Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s 1983 single “Relax” is so gay. Specifically gay sex. It’s amazing that when the song first came out, the band actually tried to deny its obvious prurience. Two years later though, co-songwriter and bassist Mark O’Toole wrote in the liner notes of their follow-up album, “when people ask you what ‘Relax’ was about, when it first came out we used to pretend it was about motivation, and really it was about shagging.” It wasn’t the most forgiving time for explicit homoerotic sexuality, but the band was never apologetic, and really pushed the boundaries.
During an infamous Top of the Pops performance, frontman Holly Johnson actually tore up a copy of The Sun, the tawdry rag that had been harassing his parents at home for quotes about their gay son. “Relax” also had a 16-minute-long “Sex Mix” that was just a bunch of samples of water noises—apparently even gay bars refused to play it. Then there is the original music video for “Relax,” an unintentionally hilarious ode to gay hedonism, which was almost immediately banned.
Johnson says the video got pulled when “a big wig in the ‘Big Brother Broadcasting Company’” found his kids watching it. Later the record company asked them to make a second video, the one everyone now knows as the “Relax” video. The second video is dated, naturally, and Johnson describes it as “almost like a satire of a regulation pop video—you know, guys in makeup and laser beams, lots of looking at the camera.” To be fair, the song does contain the line “hit me with your laser beams,” but I think that might be referencing something a little less… literal.
The video is utterly ridiculous of course, but what strikes me is the relative tameness of the queer debauchery. Drag queens and leather daddies, some people in cages and on leashes, a lot of mesh tank tops and gratuitous contouring blush, an actual tiger, and a hedonistic old queen overseeing the entire spectacle while being shaved. Completely insane? Yes. Is there innuendo? Definitely (especially the rather obvious reference to water sports). But there’s nothing hardcore, and it’s hard to believe that a video featuring this kind of hetero sybaritism would have gotten banned.
Citizen’s band radio, or “C.B.” if you prefer—it was huge in the 1970s. Everyone of a certain age calls it “the Internet before the Internet.” If that’s true, then these QSL cards, as they’re officially called, are the equivalent of the first website you set up for yourself to show off pictures of your dog ... or, to zoom in on the analogy a little better, the first dick pics.
Mitch O’Connell posted a large gallery of these cards a couple of years ago, and they’re quite a hoot. If you like these, there are lots more on that page.
The equivalent of “LOL” and “OMG,” time-saving shortcuts for often-used phrases, in CB land would be as follows: “3’s and 8’s” means “good luck,” while “73s and 88s,” by far the most common phrase seen on these cards, combines the numerical signals for “best regards” and “love and kisses.”
On these amusing cards, “love and kisses” is just the tip of the iceberg…...
Clicking on any image in this post will permit you to see a larger version.
For his series Rebels Without A Pause, British photographer Muir Vidler captured the most daring and stylish renegades “of a certain age.” Muir seems to specialize in surreal portraiture, extreme events and settings with the odd flash of quiet. Other series include Israeli death metal fans, a circumcision party in the Maldives, and a beauty pageant in Libya, complete with a cameo by the late Colonel Gaddafi. His elder rebel study however, has an intimate feel, with little sense of spectacle to the staging.
Take for example, Isobel Varley (above), who held the Guinness World Record for the most tattooed female pensioner up until her death just this last May at the age of 77. Varley only started getting tattoos at 48, but went on to cover every square inch of her body except her face, her ears, the soles of her feet, and parts of her hands—even her scalp is tattooed, underneath the cute blond coif. Varley isn’t the only local celeb either. You can see video below of one of Muir’s most charming subjects, Paul Elvis Chan, who used to perform his Elvis impersonation act before a delighted audience at his Chinese restaurant.
My favorite though is Danny Lynch—aka, the Great Stromboli, who did his fire-breathing act for Muir with his adorable wife in the background. Muir remembers her as very hospitable:
Yeah, she was going into the house to make a cup of tea. She said, “Cup of tea darling?”, I said OK, then all of a sudden he was blowing fire and she was dashing off to put the kettle on. With the dog and the station wagon in the photo too, it was a very suburban backdrop.
Isn’t it so terribly quaint?
Mick and Peggy Warner, whose son is a Teddy Boy
John G. Byrne, gay skinhead since 1969
Sid Ellis, who says “In my spare time I either go to fetish clubs or do needlepoint. I like medieval tapestries.”
The tireless archivists at Retrospace are truly doing the Lord’s work with their amazing library of vintage magazine scans—check out these ridiculous early arcade game ads! To be fair, video game graphics were so crude at that point, it probably felt impossible to entice potential players using only the pixels of the game itself. Still, they really had a hard time (heh) divining the erotic potential from those massive things. Some of them barely make sense—why is a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader (knock-off?) trying to sell Strike Zone? They aren’t even the same sport!
On some level, I appreciate the crudest ones most of all, and the Shark Attack ad comes out ahead on that one. (A disembodied ass? “Thrust and Munch?” Seriously?) On the other hand, attempts to keep it classy are even more hilarious. There’s been a little moral panic around arcade games since pinball was invented. To concerned parents, all change-devouring consoles smacked of gambling and juvenile delinquency. I assume the more wholesome—dare I sat “classier?”—ads were an effort to brand video games as harmless fun. How that translates to twins in prom dresses, I do not know, but hey, I do kind of want to play Deep Scan now!
Many more ‘sexy’ vintage video game ads after the jump…
Students of Internet culture know all about “Rule 34.” Rule 34 is an adage which asserts that “if something exists, there is porn of it.”
We can now add Charles Manson and his “family” to the list of things we didn’t expect to see given the porn treatment, but HERE WE ARE.
Adult Video News recently reported on the release of Manson Family XXX, an adult film directed by Will Ryder.
A TMZ report from last year reveals that Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, called Manson Family XXX “the lowest of lows” and vowed to sue the producers if they dared use Sharon’s name or likeness. As the film falls under the umbrella of “parody,” it is protected speech. Tasteless, but nevertheless protected.
Director Will Ryder stated, “The timing couldn’t be more perfect and we’ve had to put the brakes on this release for a while now due to certain legal challenges that I don’t want to talk about, but NBC is paving the way for us to have a summer blockbuster,” referring to NBC’s recently-premiered Aquarius, a “historical fiction” program based on the events surrounding the Manson Family.
Director, Ryder, claims his film explores “hippie love and intense sexual acts that took place at the Spahn Ranch near Los Angeles back in the late 1960s.”
“We actually shot much of our movie on that very land,” Ryder said.
Ryder added that his movie is a parody and “not sponsored, endorsed or affiliated with Charles Manson or any members of the Manson Family, the victims, the LAPD, Vincent Bugliosi or the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, NBC Universal or any distributors, actors, producers, writers, publishers, their estates or assignees.”
Best to cover your bases.
We have to admit, the scenes in the trailer seem like they could kinda be historically accurate. Group sex and heavy drug use were undoubtedly facts of “family life” on the Spahn Ranch.
Ryder seems to have at least convinced himself that his parody porn is a tasteful historical document of the Family:
I have to make myself clear that I am in no way glorifying murder and neither is NBC Television or any of the other mainstream production companies that are in production on Manson related projects.
We are telling parts of the Manson Family folklore just like the writers and producers of dozens of books, movies and television documentaries have told over the years. We’re just going to see them completely naked participating in all kinds of sexual exploration including wild animalistic group sex.
Here’s the pretty-much-safe-for-work trailer for “Manson Family XXX”:
It’s almost impossible to write about this story without referencing The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the successful 2006 movie that did so much for Steve Carell’s career. In Japan, it seems, the proliferation of Andy Stitzers (Carell’s character in that movie) has become something of an active social problem. According to the Japan Times, “A 2010 survey by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research found that around a quarter of unmarried Japanese men in their 30s were still virgins — even leading to the coining of a specific term, yaramiso, to describe them.”
For anyone who is not in that position, the heartache of being in such a situation, a fully grown adult with little experience to draw on and few prospects to look forward to, can be a devastating psychological toll of failure. One 49-year-old whose name was withheld in the Japan Times article felt romantic and sexual feelings for a woman only twice in his life, and both times the woman in question rejected him. “It was devastating,” he said. “It seemed to invalidate my life and take away my reason to live.”
Shingo Sakatsume and his Virgin Academia textbook.
Statistics for a straightforward comparison across international boundaries are scarce, but a superficial look at the numbers suggests that the Japanese do have less sex than most western countries. For instance, a poll conducted by Durex found that 68 percent of Japanese respondents of the ages of 18 and 19 were virgins, whereas the typical figure for Germany was closer to 20 percent, in Turkey 37 percent.
To help alleviate this problem, Shingo Sakatsume, whose company White Hands specializes in finding ways for “people with severe disabilities find an outlet for their sexual needs,” has turned his attention to what he can do for those who are sexually frustrated for more parochial reasons. His motto is “Sexual maturity means social maturity. ... Even if the person has disabilities, one who recognizes and accepts his own sexuality tends to be able to build balanced relations with others. ... People who are not sexually mature tend to get timid socially.”
Sakatsume’s program for adult virgins has been dubbed “Virgin Academia.” One of the main tools for helping such men has been art classes, pictured here, with live models—without clothes on—in order to help them get more familiar with the female body. As Takashi Sakai, a 41-year-old virgin, commented, “The first time I did this, in autumn last year, oh . . . I was so amazed. Their bodies are incredibly beautiful. ... One thing I learned is that there are many different shapes of breasts and even genitals.”
As Sarah Cascone of Artnet reports, “The correspondence course comes with a 100-page textbook, Virgin Breaker!, and runs for a full year, with participants keeping a counselor apprised of their progress in their efforts to meet women.” Cascone continues: “The figure drawing sessions, which take place every other month in Tokyo, allows the yaramiso to encounter a naked woman in a neutral environment, free of romance and pressure to perform sexually.”
Here’s a report from AFP News Agency about the yaramiso phenomenon:
As a sexual Luddite, I’ve never seen the appeal of vibrators. Maybe it’s the tacky synthetic materials, maybe it’s just the idea of electricity near my vulva, but there’s just something about bringing machinery into the boudoir that leaves me feeling like an old-fashioned girl. Even higher-end models like “The Rabbit,” with its little fuckable fauna accessory on top for extra clitoral stimulation, it looks a bit… bestial, for my tastes. No, I was never able to see the aesthetic value of the vibrator until coming across Alexandra Rubinstein‘s tranquil oil paintings.
Rubinstein’s work is all pretty sexual. She does legitimately beautiful portraiture of smutty old skinflick stills, and she has some seriously not safe for work collections, like “Celebrity Cunnilingus,” which features famous guys (you guessed it) just going to town. My favorite though is “Into the Wild,” which she matter-of-factly describes as a “series of animals found on vibrators juxtaposed with their more natural environments.” Rubinstein’s menagerie isn’t exactly sophisticated erotica, but it is a high-brow dick joke, and that’s the sort of thing the arts should aspire to more, if you ask me.
I blogged about Tumblr Seventies Blowjob Faces back in 2011 here on Dangerous Minds and I was curious to see if new images were still being added to the site. To my delight there are more many, many more images of ‘70s “pornstache” dudes perfecting their orgasmically blissful O-faces.
Man, the fuckin’ ‘70s… It’s no secret or surprise that teen magazines’ content started to skew a bit more adult in that decade, mirroring significantly more permissive times, but I was floored by the August, 1974 issue of SPEC, a sometimes quarterly, sometimes bimonthly, typically more pin-up heavy special publication of 16 Magazine. While 16 tended to keep details of teenybopper stars’ sexual lives obscured in favor of probing questions into Bobby Sherman’s favorite (sorry—FAVE, always fave) color or David Cassidy’s fave dessert, SPEC offered up a Grand Funk “Be Our Groupie” contest, a ridiculous shirtless crotch-shot centerfold of Rick Springfield, and an advice column addressing how to touch a guy if you want to turn him on, fittingly written by a gentleman named “Rod.”
And as if to prove that clickbait is nothing new, here’s what ultimately grabbed me:
OK, I was curious what I’d need to do to marry an Osmond, too…
It speaks volumes about values dissonance over the decades that that could be printed at all, let alone on the COVER of a magazine, let alone the cover of a magazine for junior high and high school girls. And not even JUST on the cover:
Sooooooo I’m still confused—is Alice Cooper or is he not a fag? We’ll have to refer to the ridiculous interview to find out:
SPEC: People say all kinds of things about you. Alice: I know, I know.
SPEC: So what’s the story, Alice? Are you gay? Are you straight? Are you bisexual? Which? Alice: Oh, I’m straight. I’m attracted only to members of the opposite sex—girls, that is.
SPEC: But you have a girl’s name, you wear all that make-up. Don’t you expect people to get the impression that you’re not straight? Alice: Well, I have a girl’s name, but that’s kind of a goof. And lots of men who perform wear make-up—that’s a theatrical tradition, it has nothing to do with sexuality. And I do not attempt to look like a girl, in case you haven’t noticed. I’m not a transvestite—I don’t imitate women. Did you ever see a woman who looked the way I do? If one did, she’d really get called a weirdo!
SPEC: Nevertheless, we get all these letters saying “Alice s a fag!” I’m sure you get them too. How do you account for that? Alice: To some extent, I must admit, we do encourage that impression. But I’m not a “fag”—you know I don’t like using that word because it’s insulting to gay people.
SPEC: What impression do you encourage? Alice: Oh, you know, bizarre, kinky, neither-here-nor-there. But I never went out of my way to lead people to believe that I was actually homosexual. After all, make-up and costumes have nothing to do with homosexuality—the only pertinent behavior is whether or not you’re attracted to people of your own sex.
SPEC: I understand you’ve been criticized by people in the gay liberation movement for exploiting homosexuality and making fun of it. Alice: I’m sorry they feel that way, but there are a lot of gay people who don’t mind what I do also. It’s all in fun, and it’s certainly not meant to be malicious in any way whatsoever.
SPEC: Don’t you think a lot of your fans want to believe that you’re gay? Alice: Yes, I know they do. Isn’t it curious? They’ll read this interview, and they’ll say “Bull! We know he’s queer!” Nothing I could say or do could convince them that I’m not.
SPEC: Why do you think that is? Alice: I figure it probably makes these kids feel far-out to think that they can dig a performer who’s supposedly gay. I think it’s groovy of them.
SPEC: Would you admit it if you were homosexual? Alice: Of course, and I wouldn’t just admit it, as if it were something you’re supposed to conceal. I’d just be it. I’d be natural about it, and I don’t see where it would be very much different for me, except I’d be making it with men instead of women.
SPEC: Aren’t you even just a little bit bisexual? Alice: You mean do I mostly like girls, but do I like boys sometimes? No, I only like girls, but if I could have chosen my own sexuality, I think I might have chosen to be bisexual.
SPEC: Why is that? Alice: It would give me twice as many people to pick from!
SPEC: Do you really mean that? Alice: Sure—I think in the future everyone will be bisexual. And everything would be so much simpler then—you’d just make love with anyone you liked, and it wouldn’t matter what sex they were, and maybe it also wouldn’t matter what color they were, or what age, or anything, except that you liked them.
That’s a way better chat than you were expecting, no? Me too. I’ve conducted a fair few interviews and I can’t imagine in a million years bluntly asking someone if he or she is gay, and Cooper handled that all really well—especially for 1974. It goes on for a bit longer, with a lot of silly, if period-appropriate, shockrocker gobbledygook about pansexuality as a panacea for social ills blah blah blah. What’s transcribed above is the worthy stuff.
Here’s some more rare ‘74 vintage Alice—a mimed version of the Billion Dollar Babies cut “Sick Things,” from a short-lived TV mystery series called The Snoop Sisters. They were actually NAMED “Snoop” AND they were snoops, you guys. Why did that not last?
As part of the TeenTech awards, an annual competition to reward the ingenuity of teenage inventors, a trio of students younger than 15 have developed a condom that changes color if a sexually transmitted infection is detected, in the name of reducing the spread of disease. The trio consists of 14-year-old Daanyaal Ali, 13-year-old Muaz Nawaz, and 14-year-old Chirag Shah, and they have named their intriguing creation the S.T. Eye, in a punning reference to STIs, or sexually transmitted infections.
Called the S.T.EYE, the condom concept includes a layer impregnated with molecules that attach to the bacteria and viruses associated with the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
These would then cause molecules incorporated in the condom rubber to fluoresce a certain colour in low light, according to the infection detected.
So the condom might glow green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple in the presence of the human papillomavirus which causes genital warts, and blue for syphilis, explained the designers.
Although still a concept at the moment, the students hope it may be possible to turn their idea into a reality in the future.
Ali said, “We wanted to create something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors. ... We’ve made sure we’re able to give peace of mind to users and make sure people can be even more responsible than ever before.”
Inherent in the product, should it ever come to pass, is that both partners might well learn of the existence of an STI after the act of sex, which would lead to a, er, highly charged conversation. Or consider this example, if one partner knows he has an STI but the other partner supplies the condom, the S.T. Eye would effectively catch one of them in a lie, which is one of the most awkward circumstances of all the condom could uncover. Eye-yi-yi!
UPDATE:Peter Yeh is calling shenanigans on the STI condoms.