Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bulging Belgians

This photo's one of my all-time favorites. It comes from Belgium although it is undated and there's not much you can tell from the lack of uniforms.

War may be hell but there are moments of male bonding that just make it all worthwhile dammit.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2 Great Vintage Photos of Man Exercising

Hurry, these two photos, and a handful more, are currently available on eBay. See seller wolfchris or click here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

3 vintage photos of athletes

Short of giving him a cod piece, it's hard to see how a uniform could draw more attention to this football player's basket. Love the striped jersey too.

The back of this photo identifies the jock as Thurman Sanders, B.U.H.S. Basketball "34". Apparently this was when guys played lawn basketball. Whatever, he's sexy.

A bunch of nearly naked, sweaty athletes in the heat of competition. What's not to like?

Find these and lots more vintage gay photos at

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Male Model

"Don, a young man with a perfect body, found love where he least expected it, but Ted loved no one but himself -- and money!"

A French Line novel by Win Haven, published in 1967.

Haven't read it, never will. But the cover art! Can't get enough.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

PAJAMA photo of nude Tennessee Williams

Here's a rare find. Original PAJAMA (Paul Cadmus, Jared French, Margaret French) vintage gelatin silver print by Jared French (1905-1987) from the collection of Paul Cadmus (estate stamp to reverse).

A rare image of a nude Tennessee Williams (lower right) and Donald Windham to (upper left) dated 1943.
4 1/4" W x 6 1/2" H

You can bid on it now:

Auction closes 8PM EST Saturday Oct 24, 2009.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tejal Shah on Queer Arts Resource

Tejal Shah is a dynamic force in the art world today and her highly personal work which probes gay, feminist, and transgender issues with intelligence and wit has been exhibited in major cities in Europe, South Asia and the US.

We invite you to visit her new gallery and share it with your friends.

2 guys at the beach

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Masculine Physique

Gotta love this cover photo. Rare 1935 issue of The Masculine Physique (only 3000 copies printed). Act fast. You can still bid on it at eBay.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Affectionate Soldiers

War is hell. That's why it is so important to enjoy some lighter moments, like bonding with your buddies. These Korean soldiers seem to be having a pretty good time. Do I sense perhaps a bit of an obsession with the crotchal area? Hmm.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dorian Gray Movie Trailer

Ben Barnes will play Oscar Wilde's iconic character Dorian Gray in an adaptation of the author's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Release date September 9th.

Behind the scenes video.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Men in Swimsuits

Once again eBay has proven that there's a direct relationship between the size of a man's basket and the value of a photo. This nice but otherwise unexceptional photo from the 1920s sold for $151.49.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

John Grimek photos

Sold recently on eBay for a whopping $480, this early photo of body-building legend John Grimek dates from around 1935 (based on the Strength and Health magazine cover photo) when he was in his mid-20s.

It inspired me to go on a search of more early Grimek photos and here are the best images I found.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Social Security Statement

Dear Commissioner Asstrue,

Thanks so much for sending the Social Security Statement prepared "especially" for me. I do feel very special. But I really wish I was treated just like everyone else. That's why I support and think you should too!


p.s. you're hot!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Muscles Magazine: Dick DuBois

The magnificent Dick DuBois. He's always been a favorite of mine, [he gets extra points for a name that's a pun in two languages].

This photo, credited to Athletic Model Guild, appears on the back cover of the October/November 1961 issue of Muscles magazine.

While there are lots of familiar faces and bodies, this Brussels-based magazine has it's own stable of physique photographers including Europhoto, Ferrero, Photos Stan, and Photo Swede.

We have a handful of Muscles available at, along with the great French magazines La Culture Physique and Sciences Culturistes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Two Affection Men Swimming

Great photo from the 1930s on eBay. A little over 2 inches square but packed with acres of affection, or is that lust? And I don't see any bathing suit.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gay Pride 1970s Style

Gay Pride 1977. Original black and white real photo postcard by photojournalist Marie Ueda. For those of you who weren't around back in the 70s, the pretty woman is Anita Bryant, singer, beauty queen and homophobe best known for her 1977 "Save Our Children" campaign to repeal Miami's anti-gay discrimination ordinance. (She suceeded).

On a lighter note, we have some vintage color photos from the Polk Street Fair, about the same time. See more at

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Von Gloeden photo on eBay

Luca, one of our collector friends in Italy has just posted a wonderful Von Gloeden photograph on eBay, Male Nudes Next to a Column (1900-1930).

If you're interested in Von Gloeden definitely take a look.

Although the listing itself is in Italian, be assured that Luca is a reputable seller. It comes from a private collection that he bought from a French library, with the catalog attached.

The auction ends June 24th.

Friday, June 19, 2009

50s Beefcake Like You've Never Seen It

Sexy. Funny. Clever. Did I say sexy? The 1950s never looked or sounded so good.

I've watched this video three times in a row. Can't get enough.

Make that four times.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Japanese Penis Festival: It's Not About Dick

OK let me start by saying that I have never seen so many enormous dicks and felt absolutely nothing. So no, in spite of what looks a lot like cock worship, this doesn't qualify as homobilia. Far from it.

But it's truly fascinating from an American perspective. What would the "religious right" make of Hounen Matsuri, The Japanese Penis Festival which has been celebrated in Japan for about 1500 years?

The Japan Travel Guide sheds some light: "It is important to understand that the worship is not of the phalli, but instead a worship of the earth, of the power that nature has through renewal and regeneration. It is this context that provides the phallus with its significance."

"With everything from penis shaped candy to suck on, phallus keychains, ... dumplings in the shape of the male member, and small[?] wooden objects to take home as souvenirs, it is easy to think that it is the phallus that is being worshiped. This is not the case."

So the next time you see a guy on his knees sucking a penis, consider that he might in fact be worshiping the power of nature. But if he's sucking dick, well, all bets are off.

P.S. It's not too soon to plan your trip: the festival is held in Komaki, just north of Nagoya, every March 15th.

Gay Freedom 1970: The First Gay Pride Day

According to Elizabeth A. Armstrong in her book, Forging Gay Identities (I don't think she means "faking"), the idea of an annual Freedom Day parade was first proposed by activist Craig Rodwell (founder of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore, the first devoted to gay and lesbian authors).

The resolution passed at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations in 1969 states:

We propose that a demonstration be held annually on the last Saturday in June in New York City to commemorate the 1969 spontaneous demonstrations on Christopher Street and this demonstration be called Christopher Street Liberation Day. No dress or age regulations shall be made....

By the time of the event, references to "demonstration" were replaced by affirmations of "celebration" and "pride."

These photos are from the Commemorative Essay, The First Anniversary Of The Gay Liberation Movement, by the Editors of QQ Magazine. It's an extraordinary piece of ephemera from a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle for equal rights.

The purpose: "Serve as a permanent reminder of the greatest day in our history"... "ignite a feeling of gay pride" ... "come to know the true meaning of brotherhood."

You can find it at

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Spartan of Hollywood, Eric Pedersen 50s Muscle God

The perfect combination of photographer (dare I say artist?) and model. Spartan of Hollywood presents Eric Pedersen in all his chiseled glory in this amazing set of 12 vintage photos from the early 1950s.

For once the classical allusions don't seem silly. Somehow they serve to enhance the overall impact. And these photos with their superb lighting effects, have nothing if not impact.

Act fast: you can bid for them on eBay now with Paper-werks. Auction ends Jun-02-09 18:17:52 PDT

Monday, May 25, 2009

Two Male Nudes: Carl Van Vechten

Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964) may be best known for writing about the music, drama and literature of the Harlem Renaissance. He was a friend to many of its most important artists and an influential patron of the arts. He was the first American critic of modern dance.

But it is in his work as a photographer that I'm most interested. According to the Library of Congress timeline:

1932: Van Vechten buys a Leica and begins photographing both fledgling and established artists and performers.

1933: Van Vechten's photographs are displayed at Bergdorf Goodman, along with the work of Cecil Beaton, Edward Steichen, Man Ray, and George Platt Lynes.

Pretty fast worker.

There are 1,395 Van Vechten photos in the Library of Congress collection, consisting mostly of celebrity portraits (including many figures from the Harlem Renaissance). A much smaller portion of the collection is an assortment of American landscapes. Apparently there are no male nudes.

These two male nudes by Van Vechten are undated. Printed as real photo postcards, the AGFA stamp confirms they're most likely from the late 30s or early 40s (before the posing strap era).

They were intended, not for public display, but for the enjoyment of the photographers like-minded friends. These two photos were from the collection of James Purdy. The model is unidentified. The mood is intimate, domestic, personal. Subtly erotic. Here's another photo of the same model from Yale University's Beinecke Library.

His Library of Congress bio makes no mention of the fact that
Van Vechten was either homosexual or bisexual but does point out that he was married. Typical.

Oh, and by the way, Wikipedia doesn't seem to know that James Purdy was gay either, or that homosexuality was the major theme of his work.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two Great Vintage Photos of Real Gay Interest

OK, there's absolutely no doubt. These guys are flirting with each other and they're about to kiss.

It's all very innocent as they stand in the sunshine, in the middle of a dirt road, hands behind their backs, cardigans buttoned, ties knotted. But you can feel the sexual tension.

We're certainly not looking at father and son, or a couple of affectionate brothers. These two are kissing cousins at least. Finally somebody selling photos on eBay that really merit the tag "gay interest."

The next snapshot shows 4 men making a groin-powered choo-choo train all their own. The "A" on the sweater stands for Ashville NC in case you're curious. While equally suggestive, it isn't as overtly gay. Who knows, maybe they're just a bunch of guys have fun sitting on top of each other.

To my surprise the second photo sold for $272 and the two men about to kiss sold for $48.00. I would have predicted just the opposite result. Shows you what I know....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Affectionate Men Tintype

This category of photos seems to be immune to the effects of the recession. This tintype of two men recently sold on eBay for a whopping $280.

Why so much?

There are different levels of intimacy revealed in these photos, which seems directly connected with the prices they fetch. And this one suggests a very close relationship. I'd guess, father and son.

It is, in any case, charming. The young man sits on "Dad's" lap, casually draping an arm around his shoulder. It's hard to imagine any boy over the age of 7 who would be comfortable sitting on Dad's knee like this, or any Dad willing to be this close to his son. It's just too risky now. Too bad.

On the other hand, the guys in this photo are much closer in age, which makes their display of affection more "suspect." I learned many years ago from art historian Leo Steinberg about the "slung leg motif." It was a common visual code for sexual liaison going back to the 16th c.

Now I'm not suggesting these two guys were queer, or that they were art historians. But I see in this portrait a sexual energy which makes it far more interesting as homobilia.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Portrait of a Narcotics Dealer

This wonderful photo was sold recently on eBay (for $3.99 plus shipping). I could kick myself that I didn't get it! Written on the back: "Paul Le Baron, Narcotic Seller," with a date stamp of Aug 24, 1927.

Googling Paul Le Baron didn't lead me back to 1927 but there does appear to be a cop with that name on the narcotics beat in Long Beach.

So all we know is what was written on the photo and what we see in the image: a sweet, gentle, wistful, gender-bending man sitting at a table in a bar or cafe. Did he ever see the famous portrait of Marcel Duchamp as Rose Sélavy, (c. 1920–1921)?

Of course Paul was not as stylish as Rose (though he's certainly got style) and there's no trace of make up. Unlike Duchamp who faces the camera in a direct, almost challenging expression, Paul looks off to his right which reflects shyness or wariness, or both.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Young Athlete

Handsome young athlete in a formal studio pose, wearing his letter sweater. Let me guess, Vermont? There's something compelling about the simplicity and sense of calm. And something timeless about the guy.

Although undated, it is likely from the 1920s. Check it out at

Bodybuilders: Vintage photos

Some terrific and rare images of classic bodybuilders in classic poses (though not exactly 200 years as the video claims (photography wasn't even invented until the 1820s). Interesting comments too... all about steroids and bench-pressing as if there is no homosexual sub-text to all of this male beauty.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

MILK memorabilia

Levi Strauss & Co. denim jacket and jeans worn by Sean Penn, along with an official MILK poster, two 8x10 photos (by Biron) of Penn wearing the outfit, original prop business cards, original prop buttons, and the original prop postcard handed to Penn before his speech to the crowd: Sold on eBay on March 27 for $1,158.00. (Actor sold separately.)

Unfortunately, all items were dry cleaned before the auction (or the winning bid would certainly have been higher). In any case, the proceeds went to support the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

One small step for NLGJA. One giant leap for homobilia.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stowitts as The Satyr

Rare photo of Hubert Stowitts as the nearly nude satyr in Rex Ingram's silent film, The Magician (Metro, 1926). Stowitts was an athlete, dancer and artist whose extraordinary story is told by his biographer, Anne Holliday for Queer Arts Resource.

Anna Pavlova discovered Stowitts dancing at the Greek Theater in Berkeley in the summer of 1915 and invited him to join her ballet company. He became a star in his own right, appearing in London, Stockholm, Madrid and New York. In Paris Stowitts starred in the 1924 Folies-Bergère with dazzling costumes by Erté.

Few dancers have the courage to retire in their prime, especially when "trained down to racehorse shape," as Stowitts described himself. Even fewer have the courage at age 33 to launch themselves in an entirely new career as a painter (his studio was on Montmartre's Avenue de Clichy).

In 1926 Stowitts made his first film, "The Magician", for Metro Studios. With earnings from this venture he was able to underwrite an odyssey to the East where he lived and painted in Indonesia and India.

For more about Stowitts (and there's LOTS more to tell) check out The Stowitts Museum and Library

Sunday, March 08, 2009

6 Men in a Bed

You gotta love this photo. OK, the six men are technically in four beds, but they've been pushed together to form a single unit. And the guys are crammed together too (except for the judgemental one with the glasses: he doesn't share).

The photo (sold recently on eBay) is from Finland which may explain why the guys look so very white. It's a great shot but what is really weird is the apparition in front of the window on the right. What the hell is that?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Army Card Game Double Exposure

This is one of the most amazing images I've seen since I started collecting homobilia. A 3 1/2" square color print dated "May 1966, Ft. McClellan Ala."

A group of guys sitting around the barracks playing cards. The composition recalls the Renaissance masters, with a mysterious floating bag of Fiesta chips at the center. Above all the action, a poster (of Fearless Leader?) "Knows, Feels, Wills, Believes." Whoa.

The subject matter is a gay fantasy.

Given the sequence of images we know that immediately after the card game these men removed their uniforms and posed for the next photo. One can only assume they were playing strip poker.

But it gets even better. A close examination of the second exposure (and you better believe I gave this photo a very close examination) reveals 9 happy GI's. Open flys in the shorts of the two most prominent men who stand at ease, smiles on their faces.

My only regret is this isn't a triple exposure.

P.S. To meet the needs of the Vietnam War, an Advanced Individual Training Infantry Brigade was activated in 1966. It was deactivated in April 1970, after training more than 30,000 men. Those were the days!