Archive for the ‘Language of clothing’ Category

fancy bottoms

November 10, 2015

Passed on to me through several Facebook pages, this vintage clothing ad from the site (providing pages from 70s catalogs; the catalog this one came from is not identified):


These are knit trousers — bell-bottoms in fact — with fancy bottoms, where bottom is intended to refer to

(1) ‘the lowest point or part’ of something (NOAD2), in this case, the lowest part of the trousers

Entertainingly, there are three other possible senses here: one given by NOAD2 —

(2) informal ‘buttocks’

— and two not: a sexual sense (opposed to top), denoting

(3) someone who takes the receptive role in anal intercourse (or, by extension, someone who takes the receptive or submissive role in other sexual acts)

and a sense from the clothing trade, denoting

(4) a garment worn on the lower half of the body (vs. a top, a garment worn on the top half of the body)

So fancy bottoms could refer to fancy asses / butts (a number of Facebook readers were enchanted with the idea); or to sexual bottoms who are fancy, in one or another sense of fancy; or to garments for wear on the lower half of the body that are fancy (say, by being made of cloth printed with a fancy pattern, or by having extra features of one sort or another.

There is some discussion of the sexual senses, in a gay context, in postings linked to from this blog on 6/3/13.  And of the clothing-trade sense in four postings on this blog:

7/11/11: “Active bottoms” (link), with both bottom and active in clothing-trade senses (active ‘for (vigorous) activities’, as in active wear vs. leisure wear)

1013/11: “More bottoms” (link), with Big and Tall Bottoms

3/29/13: “Colored bottoms” (link)

10/29/13: “More bottoms and tops” (link), with buy a bottom, get a top

These sightings are entertaining because of the potential ambiguity between the clothing-trade and the sexual senses. (Ok, itr’s cheap entertainment.)

There is yet a fifth sense that bottoms might have picked up, but apparently hasn’t — as a truncation of bell-bottoms, in which case fancy bottoms could refer to fancy bell-bottomed trousers (fancy all over, not just fancy at the bottom). Such garments certainly exist; here’s a striking number from a Burning Man:


But it seems that among the alternatives to bell-bottoms — flares,  boot-cut or boot-fit trousers, even the occasional truncation to bells — we do not find bottoms.

On the cellblock, in the dugout, at an ambush

November 5, 2015

(The male body, man-man sex, and roles in sex. You have been warned.)

Yesterday’s Daily Jocks ad brings us some commanding presences:


Dominic in Dugout briefs


Mester in an Alpha harness

Dominic’s in control, and he
Knows what he wants you to
Do; submit to him. Or you can
Serve his brother
Mester; they’re both ready to
Take you.

We’re in the CellBlock 13 world of high masculinity, doms and subs, masters and slaves, and sexual fetishes.



October 5, 2015

It started with Lauren Hall-Lew (an American in Edinburgh) reporting on her daughter’s query about BrE and AmE on head band. Commenters brought in hair band, hair bobble, and scrunchie, and I mentioned sweatbands for sports use, which come as wrist bands and head bands.

I was eventually led to websites selling not just sweatbands, but rainbow sweatbands, and that led me to some more rainbow sportswear, in particular tube socks. So it turned into a gay rainbow day. (There’s a firm called, wonderfully, Pride Socks.)


More male dancers

March 23, 2015

Back on the 10th, I posted on a beautifully muscled and athletic male ballet dancer (and his dance belt). Now some follow-ups, starting with a couple of photos from Mike McKinley (balletomane and former Trock) — another ballet dancer, one with extraordinary musculature, and a male pas de deux (as a bonus, naked) — which led to Matthew Bourne and his paired male dancers.


to Birkenstock

March 21, 2015

It seems to be Verbing Day; maybe it has to do with the vernal equinox, which was yesterday. Earlier: to glowstick. And now: to Birkenstock, in a 3/23 New Yorker piece by Rebecca Mead, “Sole Cycle: The homely Birkenstock gets a fashion makeover”, about sandals. Shearling-lined Birkenstocks:

From p. 48 of the piece:

[David Kahan, who runs Birkenstock’s American division] explained that the boots and shoes arriving in stores this fall would still be recognizable as Birkenstocks but would capitalize on other trends in the marketplace. “I use ‘Birkenstock’ as a verb,” he said. “We did a sneaker bottom for spring — sneakers are a hot trend in the market, so we Birkenstocked it. We Birkenstocked Doc Martens; we Birkenstocked a motorcycle boot.” There was even a Birkenstocked Ugg: a fur-lined bootie with a ridged sneaker bottom and two sandal-like leather straps across the foot.


November 22, 2014

Posted on Facebook recently by Susan Fischer, this photo of her ca. age 3, in her blonde phase, with her mother. Her mother in a 1950s-era housedress, something you don’t see a lot of these days.



Moose Knuckles Canada

July 7, 2013

From Chris Ambidge, this photo of a window in a camping supply store on Rideau St. in Ottawa:


Moose Knuckles turns out to be the name of a brand of sportswear — distinctly Canadian, and also irreverent, sportswear. Canadian, hence the moose. And irreverent, hence the slang term moose knuckle (for male genitals visible through clothes).


Pre-op days

November 11, 2012

Notes on my Friday and Saturday, doing things, with the help of Elizabeth Traugott, to get ready for surgery on Wednesday.  Friday afternoon at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (family practice and physical therapy), Saturday morning at the Stanford University Medical Center and the Footwear Etc. store in Palo Alto. (Otherwise, a lot of exhausted sleep.) With some linguistic observations along the way.


Toga toga toga!

November 8, 2012

Today, from the Undergear people, hype for some loungewear that looks like it’s intended for rentboys in a male brothel — in particular a toga far removed from either ancient Rome or John Belushi in Animal House:

Note the well-worn double entendre on Greek. In fact, the smoldering young men are so taken with their sexy clothes and what they’re leading to that they’ve fallen into a line of iambic tetrameter (with the internal rhyme shapesdrapes).

On the left: P.O.V.® TOGA SLEEVELESS SHIRT & P.O.V.® TOGA CROPPED PANT [$49 & $38], with the ad copy:

Turn bedtime into your own private party with this sexy men’s loungewear from the P.O.V. Collection. Named for their alluring shape and silky drape, the P.O.V. Toga men’s sleeveless shirt and cropped pants are made from a light, airy blend of nylon/spandex with a sexy cutaway front. The lounge shirt’s sensual stripes, comfy pullover and cutaway front is sure to lead the way to the bedroom. The matching pants feature an elastic drawstring waist for a great fit and easy access.

And on the right: P.O.V.® TOGA ROBE [$55], with almost the same copy:

Turn bedtime into your own private party with this sexy sleeveless men’s robe from the P.O.V. Collection. Named for its alluring shape and silky drape, the P.O.V. Toga Robe for men is made from a light, airy blend of nylon/spandex with a sexy sleeveless design. The lounge robe’s sensual stripes, comfy hood and thin rope belt is sure to lead the way to the bedroom.

If these garments seem too modest and understated, Undergrear also offers some sheer black fishnetwear that will show off your junk for the enjoyment of your, um, companion of the evening; these can be viewed on AZBlogX, here, under the heading “Slutty loungewear”, along with a digression on the sarong.

Now on (male) hustlers, who also work under the names callboy, escort, and rentboy / rent-boy / rent boy. (Some trade on their careers as models, pornstars, or (sexual) masseurs, and advertise themselves under those job titles. Male sex worker now seems to be the technical term used most often by researchers on this world.) From Wikipedia:

Male prostitution is the act or practice of men providing sexual services, usually to other men, in return for payment. When compared to female prostitutes, male sex workers have been far less studied by researchers, and while studies suggest that there may be differences between the ways these two groups look at their work, more research is needed.

[and back to the toga theme:] … Male brothels existed in both Ancient Greece and ancient Rome

There is, however, a fair amount of literature written primarily from “inside” the hustler world. Among the books in my library:

Adams, Matt. 1999. Hustlers, escorts, and porn stars: The insider’s guide to male prostitution in America. 2nd ed. Las Vegas NV: Insider’s Guide.

Dorais, Michel. 2005 [French original 2003]. Rent boys: The world of male sex workers.  McGill-Queen’s Univ. Press.

Friedman, Mack. 2003. Strapped for cash: A history of American hustler culture. LA: Alyson Books. [the glossiest of these books]

Itiel, Joseph. A consumer’s guide to male hustlers. NY: Harrington Park Press.

– 2002. Sex workers as virtual boyfriends. NY: Harrington Park Press.

Lawrence, Aaron. 1999. Suburban hustler: Stories of a hi-tech callboy. Warren NJ: Late Night Press.

– 2000.  The male escort’s handbook: Your guide to getting rich the hard way. Warren NJ: Late Night Press. [nuts and bolts for a guy who’s thinking about getting into the life]

Rechy, John. 1963. City of Night. NY: Grove Press. [fiction]

– 1967. Numbers. NY: Grove Press. [fiction]

– 1977. The sexual outlaw: A documentary. NY: Grove Press. [nonfiction]

Steward, Samuel. [writing as Phil Andros, a number of fiction books with hustler characters]

– 1991. Understanding the male hustler. NY: Harrington Park Press.  [fiction presented as memoir]

Sycamore, Matt Bernstein. 2000. Tricks and treats: Sex workers write about their clients. NY: Harrington Park Press. [sex workers both male and female]

Whitaker, Rick. 1999. Assuming the position: A memoir of hustling. NY: Four Walls Eight Windows.

(Not all the authors have been able to resist the lure of jokey phrases in their titles: “getting rich the hard way”, “tricks and treats”, “assuming the position”.)

There is at least one documentary about guys in the life:

101 Rent Boys [produced/directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato] is a 2000 documentary film that explores the West Hollywood hustler scene. The producers recruited 101 hustlers from on and around Santa Monica Boulevard and paid each of them $50 for their time. The boys, who were from diverse ethnic, racial, regional and economic backgrounds, were interviewed in motel rooms on such topics as how they entered into prostitution, their sexual orientation, drugs and their first johns. The film focuses on a few of the boys more extensively while much smaller clips of other subjects are used. (link)

The film is, by turns, thought-provoking, funny, bleak, moving, and disturbing.

Meanwhile, the world of gay porn is packed with films featuring hustlers; the rentboy looking for love, or finding it unexpectedly, is a recurrent theme of the genre (which often veers between romance and hard-driving sex), though sometimes the hustler life is just an easy hook to hang a series of sex scenes on. And then there’s the puppy-dog enthusiasm of the guy who runs the Gay Rentboys site:

I travel the world looking for the hottest hustlers money can buy, film my interactions with them like reality style TV, and get them to have hot gay sex for my cameras. Then I review them for you. I love to get these hot and horny young guys to do all kinds of kinky stuff like pissing on each other and getting straight hustlers to get gay fucked for the first time. Currently my site features US rent boys, Czech rent boys and Thai rent boys and I will be filming in a city near you soon!

(Regular readers of this blog will have noticed the verb gay fucked, of course.)


Halloween stud

October 31, 2012

(No linguistic interest. Just a Halloween hunk, for fun.)

From Tim Evanson on Google+, with the caption, “happily sexually objectifying Halloween”:

On the 28th, we had “The do(ugh)nut news for Halloween”, with suitably scary items from Psycho Donuts. And on the 29th, “Halloween Giants”, with orange and black sexy underwear (for Halloween from Undergear, for the San Francisco Giants from Papi, though either would serve either purpose).



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