Little Kiwi and Bauhaus

Little Kiwi and Bauhaus
A Boy and His Dog

Saturday, 21 February 2009

53rd and 3rd....NYC......1975

It's not just an intersection, it's a statement about homosexuality in the 1970's. Dee Dee Ramone, punk rocker extraordinaire (and one of my first gay crushes) used to hustle on 53rd and 3rd in the 1970's. My idol, Ethan Mordden, has written about the male hustlers who lined the street back then, looking for johns, hoping to make a buck, get a meal, make it through one more week. The young man, unpolished, hardened by a homophobic society, makes his way to NYC in hopes of finding 'something better', but a big city can be just as unforgiving as a small town. Then there's the boys who weren't gay, but did what they had to do to make a buck. Beautiful blonde mid-Western boys. Skinny punked out golden thugs. Angel faces. Faces that have weathered storms.
Faces that can't smile anymore, but can sneer, smirk, or stare you down with grimly intense carnality.

I've had an obsession with vintage gay erotic imagery for as long as I can remember. Joe D'Allessandro. OMG, Joe D'Allessandro, wow. I remember watching all those Andy Warhol/Paul Morrissey films and just dyyyyyyying over the blank, expressionless sexuality of "Little Joe". *sigh* Then we have Jon King. The "Noll Brothers" (SCOTT NOLL is my dream). Brian Hawks. In my early teens, late tweens, I read a biography of Dee Dee Ramone, and it touched on his time spent working as a rentboy. In my pre-adolescent (ie, "stupid") mind I remember thinking, "Damn...that's so HOT!" *sigh*

But it goes further than just the concept of "hot". I'm intrigued by who these young men were, and are. The young guy who poses for photos in a grimy setting for a couple of bucks. The men of all ages who buy the magazine and fantasize about the young man in the photographs. Who is he? Where is he? What would he rather have been doing than posing nude? No matter where he ended up, his image is burned in their minds, perhaps forever. A couple of bucks for one man, but an entire ideology of sexuality to another. That these photographs, in these magazines, get passed around, traded, shared, remembered.

When you look at those vintage 70's (and earlier) gay erotic films and photos, you're looking at social history, not just sexual history. My absolutely insane crush on 1970's porn star Scott Noll. He's DREAMY.

But did he think, back in the 70's, that he'd be remembered by some kid 30 years later? Did he know, when he got paid to pose for those photos, or make those films, that he would be an Icon of Sexuality to generations? Probably not. Heck, there was no such thing as "home video" back then.
He wanted to make a quick buck to get through the week. But he unknowingly became immortalized in the minds of many, myself included.

The mix of trash and sex. Filth and beauty. A gorgeous young man in a completely non-gorgeous setting. The young and beautiful and bruised stripped down to nothing to make ends meet. Dichotomies. Must a person remove their dignity with their clothes? Who enjoyed being naked? Who hated it? Can one ever really tell? How many sex-fantasies do people have involving public toilets? The fetishizing of non-sexual things such as knee-socks, jockstraps, soccer shorts, long hair, Converse shoes, army boots, etc.

It's not just an aesthetic thing, it's what those items remind you of that makes them sexual.

So, that's what this (me playing dress-up, or "dress-DOWN") was about. Iconography. Inhabiting that character. Adopting their signature props. The hair. The shoes. The socks. The frowns.

These guys who I'll never meet, many of whom have long since passed, left a very specific mark on me and how I perceive sexuality, sex, sensuality, art, and body image. I grew up listening to 70's rock and punk music, and a lot of classical and opera. My adolescence was, thanks to the internet, greatly influenced by the sexual imagery of the 1960's and 70's. I'm nostalgic for an era I've never experienced, and I tip my hat to those men and women who explored the sexual realm back then, and continue to do so today. I'm one who believes there is actually a rather positive psychological benefit to pornography and/or erotica. It says "Yeah, you're not the only one who's into this." Heck, there were times (ugh, that still exist in many places) where people are still told that it's not only "wrong and immoral" to have thoughts about members of the same gender, but that NOBODY ELSE HAS THEM. Uh....thanks, Mindfuck Jones. Pornography (when made properly) shows that sex can be fun, humourous, exploratory, highly emotional, adventurous and more. Fetishes. "Scenes". "Types". The props. The costumes. The roles. The attitudes. It's all out there. As weird and unique as you think (hope?) you are, you're not the only person who's into the things you're into.

Little Kiwi


johnElectric said...

ultra! i wish i was a tween in the 70s! but.. id prolly have aids by now haha

Anonymous said...

One could only hope... haha

J said...

Incredibly moving, thanks for sharing these. Something about the era has truly been captured. I am almost speachless. OH, and your pics are nice too, hotstuff.


Little Kiwi Loves Bauhaus

Little Kiwi Loves Bauhaus
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