Wednesday, November 30, 2016

December 1980

First off, the December 1980 issue may have been packed with important info and features, like a story about What Men Fantasize About Sex, however it's also noteworthy in that back in 1980 it was an actual 'December Christmas' issue (something that would go away over time to save costs as it melded into a 'Man of the Year Dec/Jan issue).  And who could have imagined back then that Robert Redford would maintain his star power all the way into 2016? However, the big news wasn't the centerfold (which is maybe why the photo shoot seemed a little lackluster)....the main event for December was a nude photo spread of NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini.  "Football's Superstar Shows Why He's Sought After Off The Field, Too" who showed skin and pushed copies off the magazine racks across the country.  Interestingly enough, many straight male football fans bought the magazine to add to their collections. 
Born into a family that owned an Italian restaurant, Dan excelled in high school in both football and baseball and was drafted in 1968 by the New York Mets who saw him as a potential shortstop. Pastorini, however, chose to go to college, moving to the University of Santa Clara, south of San Francisco Bay. He was the Houston Oilers #1 choice in the 1971 draft. After quarterbacking for the Oilers, the 6'3" Pastorini then moved on to the Oakland Raiders, the L.A. Rams, and the Philadelphia Eagles. During these years he developed a reputation for high living; sports cars, parties, cigars,and of course beautiful women. In 1972 he married British pin-up actress, June Wilkinson. Pastorini was known as a tough quarterback throughout his career. From 1971 through 1979, Pastorini missed only five regular season games, playing through the pain of broken ribs and even a punctured lung at times. He was the first player to wear the now ubiquitous "flack jacket" under his uniform to protect broken ribs.

On May 22, 1977, Pastorini was involved in a fatal boating accident during a race on Lake Mizell in Liberty, Texas. Reports said that the boat veered onto the shore and hit a crowd of spectators after its engine failed, causing its automatic steering mechanism to fail. Two people were killed and three people were injured. Pastorini was found innocent of criminal responsibility. Subsequently however, parents of one of the survivors filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against Pastorini. To help pay for an out of court settlement, rumors at the time suggested that the 31 year old football star decided to do the nude photospread in Playgirl magazine's December 1980 issue for the quick cash it offered. True or not, the photos showed a sweaty, post-game Pastorini stripping down to his jockstrap inside a locker room and then removing the jockstrap for a shower. Although no frontal-nudity was actually shown (except for a hint of pubic hair) newsstand sales of Playgirl rose that month. Reports say that Pastorini lives in the Houston area and still indulges in his fondness for Italian food and fast cars.


Friday, November 25, 2016

November 1988

If you turned to page 44 of this Playgirl issue, there you would find their Man for November Doug Chapman, looking very sexy.  There was also a story about Johnny Depp, an interview with Steven Bauer, and a naughty photo set called Flesh for Fantasy on page 74.  But for many men (and a few women) it was this sportsman in his tight blue jeans who made the biggest splash that month.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Finding Thanksgiving in 2016

Uncertain times remind us to look to the past in order to see what the future might bring.  Good or bad that the future may be in America, Novembers past remind us of where our roots are and how far we have come.  Blessings and love to all.

Paper Magazines are an interesting media format that we love here at VGMH because they represent such an important part of contemporary gay history.  Despite promises that they would disappear, pulp magazines continue to be sold in book stores, supermarkets, major retail stores at the checkouts, and of course in specialty stores (as in adult versions).   Vintage copies in good condition command large amounts of money compared to what they originally sold for.  And unlike their electronic modern cousins, good old-fashioned paper publications do not require a battery or plug-in source to view.  

By definition, "magazines" are printed publications issued periodically, usually bound in a waxed paper covers designed to attract attention of potential buyers, typically containing essays, stories, photographs, or drawings along with advertising.  Some magazines are geared to a large audience while many specialize in a particular subject or area, such as gender, hobbies, news, gossip, or fitness and sports.  Their paper pages are fragile yet strong enough to withstand the test of time and countless fingers thumbing through them.   Here we show our appreciation to previous issues of timeless magazines from Novembers gone by.  


This November 1957 issue of Popular Mechanics (below) is one of my all-time favorites. In addition to a nifty story about how to build your very own backyard ice rink, there's a great story inside about Walt Disney's Disneyland.

The article is written reflecting the type of reader of this nuts and bolts magazine--men interested in how things work---and wowweee does it ever deliver!  Once upon a time there was an attraction at Disneyland called the Rainbow Cavern Mine Train.  This article illustrates how they made the paint pots percolate as trains passed by.  The story also describes drive belts for hippos, five-horse-power electric motors for alligators, and even tells a secret--a toot from the train whistle tripped sound-actuated switches that turned on the spinning rocks!  Very modern!
And if that wasn't enough, there was also a pattern to make your own Happy Hunter Pipe Rack!  The time spent in the basement or garage making this pipe rack could also offer an excellent excuse to have some 'male personal enjoyment' time with maybe a few special magazines carefully tucked away. 
Of course with the kick-off for the holiday season circa 1957, Kodak offered their new Pony II camera.  Hmmm..wonder who (or what) he is taking a photo of?
  And the new 1958 cars!
It was also a time when straight men could indulge in socially-naughty sexual delights with issues like this November 1957 Playboy magazine...while the nudity in Playboy was frowned upon by the conservative-minded moralists, interestingly, the male viewers of the magazine were seldom criticized for enjoying to look at women purely for their sexual pleasure (and implied desire to fuck them if given the chance).    And while on that subject, did people really believe that men only looked at the big boobs and crotch fur gals without masturbating a few dozen times?  Straight men were usually given a free pass because after all...boys will be boys...

...and sadly these decades were also a time when gay men were largely invisible to much of mainstream society and their sexual pleasures were forced to be disguised behind topics like fitness, such as this November issue of Demi Gods.
An order form would arrive in the mail after the first correspondence.  Men in posing pouches were the norm.  But even in the 1950s there were some daring specialty publications.  Although this was risky and usually illegal if caught.  A safeguard was to try and wrap the nudity around a theme such as nudists or exercise.  Below we have a 1950s football player with both a facial expression and boner that both look very serious.  Yes, it's nice to appreciate nude males, in a purely clothing-free non-sexual way, of course.
Things changed down the road a few decades later with mainstream Playgirl and VIVA magazines, when a selection of gents were offered monthly for the explicit purpose of being viewed as sex objects (albeit officially for women to ogle over).  Here's some nice vintage November issue covers:

Viva, November 1973
By November 1980, gents could give thanks for magazine covers like this Honcho (below) which celebrated the sexual beauty of the human male for the intended viewing pleasures of other men.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

1976: The Destroying Angel

Released in October, 1976

Director Peter DeRome delivers what many consider to be a prime example of how the late-1970's gay urban world moved, in stark contrast to how gently that same decade had begun.

Billed as the first gay porn horror flick, “The Destroying Angel” is as groundbreaking and controversial as it is bizarre. If you agree with the premise of the movie, by the end of the 1970's, drugs were the norm, as were multiple orgasms with many partners in dark environments, and raucous orgies happened where men were treated as nothing more than receptacles for the dicks and semen and piss of more masculine guys. To some, the movie represented the future in a strangely prophetic way, as it prefigures the AIDS epidemic, as sickly Caswell (the main character) languishes and sweats in his room, dying from a mistake made in his lifestyle. To others, it's just a freaky movie filled with ruff sex and weird fantasies/hallucinations.

Taking nearly a year to complete, "The Destroying Angel" has twenty-two scenes which were shot over the course of sixteen days in nineteen locations, including Montauk Point, Christopher Street, and even an 18th-century cemetery. With its high production values and complex storyline, complemented by a cutting-edge for the time electronic score, the film cemented director's De Rome’s reputation as an auteur among pornographers.

PLOT: We meet handsome young seminarian, Caswell, who is wrestling with a deep conflict: he's being torn between the call to his religion and it's values, and to his own repressed sexual desires for sex with other men. During a three month sabbatical from the order, he picks up a callous macho stud at a bar (played by Bill Eld) who he takes home. Eld gives Caswell a brutally animalistic fucking... and Caswell loves every minute of the primal screwing. Reportedly, Bill Eld would later comment that he enjoyed the film's artistic qualities and that he found himself completely engaged in the honest harshness of the sex scene, which was filmed with very low lights. Afterwards, Bill Eld makes no bones about expressing his disappointment with the quality of the sex, and when he leaves Caswell decides to try one of the red-headed mushrooms left behind.

After a single bite, Caswell witnesses a sexual adventure unlike anything he has ever known, and his world opens up to infinite erotic (and dark) possibilities. Taunted by glimpses of his horny alter-ego who gives into desires of the flesh, Caswell is taunted into a world of supernatural sex where men use him (including his alter ego).

This movie's sex is intense, with one of his partners cramming a baseball bat, a courgette and a banana inside of Caswell's butt. Yes, you see the baseball bat (blue) fucking him forcefully, managed by his sex partner. Finally exhausted from being a sex slut, he looks up mushroom lore in a book, and finds out that he has ingested a deadly Amanita mushroom, also known as the "Destroying Angel" because of its extreme and lethal toxicity.

Caswell learns that he is dying, and is sent into the grave by the laughing voice of his double. There's a final scene, with Caswell in black robes masturbating on his own newly filled-in grave.

As you can see, "The Destroying Angel" isn't your usual smut. It's hallucinatory montages and driven narrative create an avant-garde nightmare. Right or wrong, the director clearly wanted to express himself.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

We remember Matt

Shortly after midnight on October 6, 1998, Mr. Shepard met Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson for the first time in Laramie, Wyoming.  Matthew thought that McKinney and Henderson were going to give him a ride home, but instead they drove to a remote rural area and proceeded to rob, pistol-whip, and torture Shepard, tying him to a fence and leaving him to die. 

According to their court testimony, McKinney and Henderson discovered Matthew's address and intended to steal from his home. Still tied to the fence, Mr. Shepard, who was still alive but in a coma, was discovered 18 hours later by Aaron Kreifels, a cyclist who initially mistook Shepard for a scarecrow. 
Below are selected portions, said by Dennis Shepard (Matthew's Father) at the court trial related to the brutal murder of his son.
November 4, 1999

Ladies and gentlemen,a terrible crime was committed in Laramie thirteen months ago. Because of that crime, the reputation of the city of Laramie, theUniversity of Wyoming, and the State of Wyoming became synonymous with gay bashing, hate crimes, and brutality. Yesterday you, the jury, showed the world that Wyoming and the city of Laramie will not tolerate hate crimes.

Yes, this was a hate crime, pure and simple, with the added ingredient of robbery. My son Matthew paid a terrible price to open the eyes of all of us who live in Wyoming, the United States, and the world to the unjust and unnecessary fears, discrimination, and intolerance that members of the gay community face every day.

Yesterday’s decision by you showed true courage and made a statement. That statement is that Wyoming is the Equality State; that Wyoming will not tolerate discrimination based on sexual orientation; that violence is not the solution. Ladies and gentlemen, you have the respect and admiration of Matthew’s family and friends and of countless strangers around the world. Be proud of what you have accomplished. You may have prevented another family from losing a son or daughter. Your honor, I would also like to thank you for the dignity and grace with which this trial was conducted. Repeated attempts to distract the court from the true purpose of this trial failed because of your attentiveness, knowledge, and willingness to take a stand and make new law in the area of sexual orientation and the “Gay Panic” defense. By doing so you have emphasized that Matthew was a human being with all the rights and responsibilities and protections of any citizen of Wyoming.

My son Matthew did not look like a winner. After all, he was small for his age—weighing, at the most, 110 pounds, and standing only 5’2” tall. He was rather uncoordinated and wore braces from the age of 13 until the day he died. However, in his all too brief life, he proved that he was a winner. My son—a gentle, caring soul—proved that he was as tough as, if not tougher than, anyone I have ever heard of or known. On October 6, 1998, my son tried to show the world that he could win again. On October 12, 1998, my first-born son—and my hero—lost. On October 12, my first-born son—and my hero— died 50 days before his 22nd birthday. He died quietly, surrounded by family and friends, with his mother and brother holding his hand. All that I have left now are the memories.
 It’s hard to put into words how much Matt meant to family and friends and how much they meant to him. Everyone wanted him to succeed because he tried so hard. The spark that he provided to people had to be experienced. He simply made everyone feel better about themselves. Family and friends were his focus. He knew that he always had their support for anything that he wanted to try. Matt’s gift was people. He loved being with people, helping people, and making others feel good. The hope of a better world free of harassment and discrimination because a person was different kept him motivated. All his life he felt the stabs of discrimination. Because of that he was sensitive to other people’s feelings. He was naive to the extent that, regardless of the wrongs people did to him, he still had faith that they would change and become “nice.” Matt trusted people, perhaps too much. Violence was not a part of his life until his senior year in high school. He would walk into a fight and try to break it up. He was the perfect negotiator. He could get two people talking to each other again as no one else could. Matt loved people and he trusted them. He could never understand how one person could hurt another, physically or verbally. They would hurt him, and he would give them another chance. This quality of seeing only good gave him friends around the world. He didn’t see size, race, intelligence, sex, religion, or the hundred other things that people use to make choices about people. All he saw was the person.

I loved my son and, as can be seen throughout this statement, was proud of him. He was not my gay son. He was my son who happened to be gay. He was a good-looking, intelligent, caring person. There were the usual arguments, and at times he was a real pain in the butt. I felt the regrets of a father when he realizes that his son is not a star athlete. But it was replaced with a greater pride when I saw him on the stage. The hours that he spent learning his parts, working behind the scenes, and helping others made me realize that he was actually an excellent athlete—in a more dynamic way—because of the different types of physical and mental conditioning required by actors. To this day I have never figured out how he was able to spend all those hours at the theater, during the school year, and still have good grades.
 Matt officially died at 12:53 a.m. on Monday, October 12, 1998, in a hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. He actually died on the outskirts of Laramie tied to a fence that Wednesday before, when you beat him. You, Mr. McKinney, with your friend Mr. Henderson, killed my son. By the end of the beating, his body was just trying to survive. You left him out there by himself, but he wasn’t alone.
There were his lifelong friends with him—friends that he had grown up with. You’re probably wondering who these friends were. First, he had the beautiful night sky with the same stars and moon that we used to look at through a telescope. Then, he had the daylight and the sun to shine on him one more time—one more cool, wonderful autumn day in Wyoming. His last day alive in Wyoming. His last day alive in the state that he always proudly called home. And through it all he was breathing in for the last time the smell of Wyoming sagebrush and the scent of pine trees from the snowy range. He heard the wind—the ever-present Wyoming wind—for the last time. He had one more friend with him. One he grew to know through his time in Sunday school and as an acolyte at St. Mark’s in Casper as well as through his visits to St. Matthew’s in Laramie. He had God. I feel better knowing he wasn’t alone.
 My son died because of your ignorance and intolerance. I can’t bring him back. But I can do my best to see that this never, ever happens to another person or another family again. As I mentioned earlier, my son has become a symbol—a symbol against hate and people like you; a symbol for encouraging respect for individuality; for appreciating that someone is different; for tolerance. I miss my son, but I’m proud to be able to say that he is my son.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

George Payne 1976

George Payne plays a handsome construction worker named Charlie Dobbs in 1976's Kiss Today Goodbye who finds sexual opportunities everywhere that he goes, but in the process he cheats on his boyfriend.  Dobbs (Payne) meets a straight-identified businessman (Seager) and they form a bromance, thanks to how desperately unhappy each of them are with their respective mates back home. The storyline involves male sexual desires and a growing emotional dependence that each dude builds for the other's acceptance and understanding.  This was an era when porn movies were really trying to be films with connected plots, drama, dialog, and this one even included some special effects camera work!  Actually, reviews were mixed about this flick, but who cannot grin at a gay sex movie where one of the men in the credits is named Ben Dover?
The scene of Payne and Seager lying on the floor next to a fireplace, as Seager sucks on Payne's cock, still remains sexy decades afterwards.  Bearded Payne is master of his cock as he guides its head into Seager's eager mouth. Then a horny Seager kneels with his back facing George, offering Payne to mount him. Payne positions himself behind his partner as his cock (hands-free) instinctively enters (this is pre-condom era sex) Seager's ass.  A methodical fucking session begins, much to the painful delight of Seager, until George releases himself.  It's worthy to note that this was before home videos and the action happening in the film was played on a large theatre screen for an audience sharing the erotic experience together.  The film had its world premiere in New York City on Broadway at a time when the area around 49th street was filled with adult shops and theatres.  Writer H.M. Mostersen once recalled going to the district after working hours and sitting next to Wall Street traders in suits, city utility workers in overalls, middle aged married men and street hustlers. 

This film starred George Payne, Lew Seager, David Savage, Michael Gaunt, Mark Hamilton , Kurt Mann, Firth Demule, Ben Dover, and R. Cansino.