Friday, June 28, 2013

Beefcake Advertising: MAN$CAPING

It's getting hot outside as summer kicks into high gear across North America, so VGMH is ready to raise temperatures in another way hopefully, with a fun retrospective of current and retro men in sexy beefcake advertisements.

Currently available for viewing pleasure is an ad for physique manscaping, a fad which many trace back to the proliferation of Internet porn's shaved-cock models and a huge new audience watching smut at home.  While the models may have been simply trying to make their cocks look longer, lots of male viewers decided to emulate what they were jerking off to, and this shaved-pubic hair-trend has had amazing staying power over the years.  In this ad, a man stands in front of his mirror and examines his nicely-grown full beard. As he trims it away, little by little, he evaluates his chances of getting lucky in correlation to his hair.   His thoughts move from “I’d wink at me?”, “I’d pop a bottle with me”, “I’d share a shawarma with me” (as he shaves his pubic hair), “I’d snuggle up with me”, “I’d invite me up to watch a movie”, to finally “I’d F*** Me!” when he stops shaving down his beard to a well groomed mustache.
Now, here at VGMH we know that no matter what decade we're talking about, if just 'getting lucky' is all that a man desires to make happen, there are easier ways to persuade someone to play 'stuff the hot dog' (just ask the booze industry) then to buy a pricey grooming gadget.   But this is an ad to sell razors, after all.  And Philips Norelco is receiving plenty of attention for this fun ad - both positive and negative - over their ad campaign. 

It's reported that some viewers got their panties in a tizzy over this ad, so the company responded with an open letter of sorts: "To our fans: The goal of our community is to talk about guys' shaving and grooming needs. Lately we've received some comments that our new TV ad doesn't resonate with everybody. We wanted to take a moment to let you know that we've heard the feedback. In response we're going to run the TV ads later in the evening beginning this weekend. In the meantime, we look forward to getting back to what we do best, talking about men's shaving and grooming!"

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 1973: Sisters Get Liberated and A Whole New World Begins in Media: The Power of the Penis In Print

As the June 29th, 1973 issue of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune took note regarding this new periodical that was showing up on newsstands across the country, Playgirl actually wasn't the only new "sex magazine aimed at women..." because there was also the San Francisco-based publication California Girl which also offered up "Entertainment For Women" featuring handsome male models and erotica.   And Viva was just around the corner waiting to make its debut.  All of this was the result of countless years of struggle for feminism.  And while gay men may have tagged along, to be honest this revolution really was initially designed for and about women.
Probably to make itself the biggest banana amongst this field of macho competition (sorry, couldn't resist!), the June 1973 issue of Playgirl offered up two celebrities of the era: Ryan MacDonald (who was formerly of the daytime serial Days of our Lives) and Lyle Waggoner.   Unfortunately, Ryan didn't show much more than a nice thick bush of pubic hair and some strategically-placed bubbles in a bathtub.  And photos aside- not everyone in the journalistic world seemed to be immediately smitten with Playgirl as a totally-new creation in the crowded world of female publishing.  As Tom Donnelly from The Washington Post noted about the new magazine, the editorial content of the first was, by and large, "a rehash of themes from Cosmopolitan."  But no matter what, it was obvious that the times were changing and men were openly becoming sex objects to be enjoyed for the simple pleasure of looking at them naked.

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's Super Crotch!

Everybody knows that if you want to draw someone's attention to something, you use red.   And VGMH isn't alone in paying homage to vintage Superman's costumed red loins, as VH1 recently rated the top best crotches in this superhero's history.  That related story can be found here.  Above photo: Ray Middleton is credited with playing Superman during appearances at the 1939 World's Fair. 

But it would take Kirk Alyn to bring his own crotch bulge to movie fans.   He's not the most well-known of actors who played Superman on the screen, but just one look at him in his costume makes it easy to see Kirk Alyn's take on the man of steel remains a favorite of crotch cadets the world over.  Kirk clearly had the goods to pack a punch where it counted.

In addition to performing Broadway, Kirk worked as a singer and dancer in vaudeville before moving to Hollywood in the early 1940s to make feature films, where he was successful only in gaining bit parts in low-budget films before landing the role of Superman in 1948.   In fact, Kirk was the first actor to play Superman on the big screen, first in the 1948 film serial Superman, which consisted of 15 episodes that recounted Superman’s arrival on Earth, getting a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet newspaper, and meeting sidekicks Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.  Kirk would then star in the 1950 sequel, Atom Man Vs. Superman.

Alyn would later recall the day that producer Sam Katzman asked him to play Superman:"I thought it was a publicity stunt. I didn't think you could ever put Superman on film. They brought the people from D.C. Comics [sic] over and they said, 'Hey, he looks just like Clark Kent.' They said take off your shirt, so I did and flexed my muscles. Then the guy said, 'Take off your pants' and I said, 'Wait a minute.' I was 37 when I played Superman. I picked up that girl and ran up that flight of stairs like it was nothing."

Kirk Alyn died on March 14, 1999 at the age of 88. He was survived by three children.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"They Don't Call Him The Man of Steel For Nothin!"

Hey! What's that up in the sky? Could it be an eagle, a plane or a missile with a red tip?   Wait a minute...I think it's a sexy man wearing blue latex with a big throbbing boner that he's ready to stick in into others, for the good of all mankind!
We all know that lots of male superheros have two identities (Superman and Clark Kent for example), and so it seems that straight adult star Ryan Driller, who played Superman XXX in 2011's straight parody sex-o-rama Superman XXX A Porn Parody,  also possessed two performing identifies--one for straight and one for gay smut.  According to media reports, the model (real name Adam Cuculich) also went by the gay stage name of Jeremy Bilding before apparently retiring from gay smut.  For fans of Jeremy, Superman XXX A Porn Parody offers an added perk, as this stud has super-screwed both ladies and gents in previous roles/movies.
As a parody goes, Superman XXX takes the original mainstream films and finds ways to get lots of sex going on into the storyline.  Everyone is fearing the end of the world just before the hero saves the day.    Unfortunately, this straight movie doesn't take full advantge of it's leading man's  abilities when it comes to fucking women and men. 

Back in 2010 it was reported that Jeremy Bilding appeared on the Bravo TV reality series Millionaire Matchmaker.  It seems that the handsome gent appeared as part of a cattle call held to find potential dates for a bi-curious millionairess.  No matter what part he plays, this performer certainly knows how to and save the day.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

1979 vs 2013 Cultures

Back in 1978, the debut of a new Superman blockbuster movie was Hollywood's A-list all the way, directed by Richard Donner and starring Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Glenn Ford, Valerie Perrine and Ned Beatty.  And appearing on the January 1979 cover of Playgirl magazine was none other than the man of steel in tights, Chris Reeve, in all his hunky glory.   

VGMH couldn't help but wonder if such a Playgirl cover would even be possible in 2013.  Could today's sexy new Superman movie star appear on a similar adult-oriented publication that celebrated male sexuality?  Would conservative and religious group protest a classic American comic hero appearing on the cover of a magazine that included someone like 1979's hot Jesse Cutler naked inside as the month's centerfold?
Henry Cavil Superman circa 2013

Christopher Reeve Superman
It was a different era and a back then. Playgirl had launched in 1973 as a “feminist response to Playboy and Penthouse" and mixed into that recipe was the belief that intelligent social stories, nudity, fashion, and fun could co-exist in one publication.  Many Hollywood stars appeared on the cover of Playgirl back then. But the cultural times, they were-a-changing.  The Ronald Regan conservative revolution was about to usher America in the 1980s.  The Moral Majority was gaining media and political clout.

December 1982
Chris Reeve actually appeared on two covers of Playgirl and the accompanying exclusive interviews were more than advertising fluff.  Below is a question and answer from one of his interviews, where he describes his views on the relatively new conservatism taking root in the country. 

Playgirl: Can you elaborate on the negative landscape you sense for this country in terms of culture?
Reeve: The negative landscape, one we are really in danger of developing, is a landscape for rich people that leaves aside poor people, who are already being wiped out by Reagan. It's a landscape for people who can afford $38 and $42 tickets: for 31-year-old account executives who have a Jacuzzi and a Porsche and take vacations in the south of France, and the only kind of theater they can handle is Dream Girls or 42nd Street, where you come out with nothing more than you went in with. It's a world where the computer triumphs and Atari TV games flourish; where people stop talking to each other, vocabulary diminishes; where people's attention spans are minimized by the evening news; where they stop imagining and conceptualizing and take their perceptions of the world literally off the TV screen or from dramatic material that poses no challenge. We will be rich people with no soul, comfortable and efficient but with no real life. That's what I see.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Artist Chris Sprouse Is the REAL Super-man Hero!

With a brand new Superman blockbuster movie hitting the silver screens, probably the last thing anybody wanted to imagine was the thought of a national boycott or homophobic scandal that could keep many away from the box office--but there was the potential for that to happen earlier this year--as a real super hero stood up for his gay-accepting ideals and values.

According to a recent story in the Guardian, a talented and well-respected comic book artist, who was due to work on the latest DC Comics’ “Adventures of Superman” digital anthology Superman series, withdrew himself from the project after the hiring of an anti-gay campaigner to write the stories.
According to numerous reports over the past few months, the company’s amazing decision to hire anti-gay author, activist, and National Organization For Marriage board member Orson Scott Card to write the story line sparked much controversy. A petition on the website called on DC Comics to drop Card from the project, and that petition quickly accumulated over 16,000 signatures.  You can view the successful petition website here.

Graphic artist and illustrator Chris Sprouse had been slated to illustrate the comics, to be written by Card and co-author Aaron Johnston. “It took a lot of thought to come to this conclusion, but I’ve decided to step back as the artist on this story,” said Sprouse.  “The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work, and that’s something I wasn’t comfortable with.  My relationship with DC Comics remains as strong as ever and I look forward to my next project with them,” he said.

DC Comics said that it supports Spouse’s decision to withdraw from the project.  “Chris is a hugely talented artist, and we’re excited to work with him on his next DC Comics project. In the meantime, we will re-solicit the story at a later date when a new artist is hired,” DC Comics said, in a statement.

 USA Today reported that due to the creative change, the Card story will not appear in the first collected issue, which was due out May 29.  DC Comics said it is looking for a replacement illustrator for Card’s story.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 1983 part two

Back in 1983, who could have guessed that the young musician who appeared in Playgirl's June issue (and not revealing as much as fans probably hoped to see) would one day show much much more of himself, and even have his own brand of dildo for sale?
It's reported that Warren Bruce Cuccurullo (born December 8, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York) had worked with Frank Zappa before becoming a founding member of the hit group Missing Persons.  And then things really got hot in his career when he joined Duran Duran. But back in 1983, the talented musician appeared in Playgirl showcasing his mane of dark hair, a hairy and defined muscular chest, and  nice trouser snake outline.
When the pants came down it became obvious that this man had a great physique.

Not to disappoint, the photo spread included a shot of Warren's firm ass reflected in a mirror along with the base of his manhood in the front.  Fans went wild for Warren. As the times changed, so did Warren's appearance and he only became more handsome.  Then in the early 2000s, the mane of hair was gone and Warren posed nude (and very erect) in a magazine along with appearing in some self-released videos.  He even created the "Rock Rod," a self-modeled dildo.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 1983

The photo above continues to be an international Internet favorite for obvious reasons. Playgirl magazine celebrated ten years of publications with 25 year-old David Van Brunt, who they described as being "Playgirl's 10: Only the best for our anniversary fete" and David certainly delivered.  But back when it first came out, the biggest news for this issue however was probably lead guitarist Warren Cuccurullo's spread starting on page 76.  It's reported that Warren had worked with Frank Zappa, was a founding member of Missing Persons, and was a long term member of Duran Duran.  But can anyone blame us for ignoring everything else in this issue and enjoying the images of David?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Scotty and Bruce (part three)

Artist Bruce Bellas photographed some of the most important figures in the world of physical culture, including bodybuilders Steve Reeves, Bob McCune, and George Eiferman.  He also recognized the raw beauty of models who become beefcake icons in their own right, like Joe Dallesandro, Mark Nixon, and Brian Idol.   But as reviewed in the prior posting here, it's widely known that his all-time favorite model was Scotty.  Scotty also posed for AMG under the name of Steve Buono, but the special chemistry between Bruce and Scotty was missing.  Without question, Bruce saw in Scotty Cunnignham the classic Greek and Roman physique of a natural athlete in his prime.  He also captured how Scotty and the camera seemed to play and tease with one another:  a wholesome down to earth 'good guy' quality of the man within that great body.  
Mr. Cunningham was equally magnificent displaying his might against a classic Greek prop as he was posing in horse corrals, sitting on motorcycles, or in navy ship yards.  In 1974, while taking a vacation in Canada with Scotty, Mr. Bellas passed away.
Today, Bruce's work (recognized as Bruce of Los Angeles) is rightfully respected as modern photographic art.  Always tasteful and refined, the natural erotica within his models was allowed to present itself without shame or guilt.  Bruce's work would later influence the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, and many other artists.
For those interested, most of the original "Bruce of LA" -rated photos (think tasteful pouches and naked butts) were developed on heavy paper using a classic white border.   They were often also stamped with the Bruce signature, as it appears below: