Pin-up boys

(On gender and sexuality.)

From Franzo Law via Facebook, a pointer to this wonderful Men-Ups! site by Rion Sabean, offering

A restructuring of the ways in which males are presented in popular media, applying traditional pinup poses that are reserved for the female form, while still presenting the models in ‘masculine’ clothing [and engaged in stereotypically masculine activities].

One example:


A skateboarder, his chest pushed out in front (as if displaying breasts), his butt pushed out in back (another sexual display), lips slightly pursued in a moué, and a saucy expression on his face.

More text from Sabean:

Society defines the sexes as being inherently born with exclusive traits that are actually imposed by the society itself. From things as small as colour, attire, and even posing, the sexes are forced into accepting ideals that are unborn [that is, unborn ‘not inborn’].

Men-Ups! is a project aimed at reversing the stereotypes created by society, begging [that is, asking] the questions; why is it sexual for a female to pose one way, and not sexual for a male? Why is it considered more comical or unsettling for males to act the more socially defined feminine?

(Sabean describes himself as “a 27 year old graduate of the University of South Florida with a BFA in Studio Art/Photography.”) Three more examples, from the 12 on his site (all the models are gazing directly, provocatively, at the viewer):


A lumberjack doing a gam display, legs together modestly but coquettishly, mouth pursed.


A soldier in camo, legs in the air, with slightly pursed mouth.


A hunky ditch-digger doing an even more extreme legs-in-the-air display. My favorite in the set.

This is not the first arch send-up of classic pin-up photos and drawings using men. There’s also Paul Richmond’s Cheekcake Boys, introduced in this video:

From a HuffPo piece on Richmond’s work:

Paul Richmond’s ‘Cheesecake Boys’ Features Men In Classic Pin-Up Poses

Each of Richmond’s “Cheesecake” pieces references iconic imagery with a modern twist. “Beach Bum,” which stars writer and artist Alan Ilagan, is a masculine take on the “Coppertone Baby,” while “Blast from the Past” [starring Darryl Stephens] is a gender-bending re-creation of Marilyn Monroe’s sexy subway grate scene from “The Seven Year Itch.”

“Each figure is shown in the midst of a revealing and ‘accidental’ wardrobe malfunction, struggling to gather his aplomb and his pants without ever losing his cool,” Richmond told The Huffington Post in an email. “It intrigues me that it was almost exclusively women who were depicted as hapless victims of skin-baring circumstance, such as the pin-up girls by Gil Elvgrin and Art Frahm. Those ladies couldn’t even walk down the street without their skirts blowing up or their underwear falling down — or both!”

View all of Richmond’s “Cheesecake Boys” series here.

Note that Richmond emphasizes the skin-baring tradition of classic cheesecake, while not disregarding the postures and facial expressions of the genre. The cover of his book:


Then “Blast from the Past”:


And my favorite, “Beach Bum”, with its title punning on bum:


A cute gayboy (in stunning rainbow trunks) pulls another man’s trunks down with his teeth; his prey is astonished.

Sabean leans towards social criticism, Richmond towards humor for queers.

On to an artist who emphasizes the hotness of the men he draws rather than the humor in his depictions (though the humor is there): J. Bone, whose pin-up drawing of his character Josh appeared at the end of my posting on Colby Keller. Another image of (scruffy, big-pec’ed) Josh, this time confronting his twin in a mirror:


Bone does superhero comics, but he’s not above exploiting his male characters for their their simultaneous humorous and homoerotic potential, as in this drawing of the Justice League of America men’s locker room:


and this one of Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) at home:


On to pin-up boys in manga style from artist Celesse, here a cowboy:


Then to pin-up boys that are frankly intended to be erotic (usually homoerotic) and emphasize masculinity, even hyper-masculinity. There’s even a magazine; here are the covers of issues #3, 2, and 1 (from left to right):


That leads us to the world of male pin-up calendars, which again are intensely masculine in focus (and dead serious). One vein of this stuff is X-rated; much of it comes from gay porn studios, and the men in it are photographed in conventional porn postures, strongly focused on dicks (and sometimes butts). Examples on AZBlogX, in 9/8/11 “Calendar Time” and 10/21/11 “Calendars and compendia”.

Another genre of male pin-up calendars avoids full-frontal nudity, but just barely: the focus is on the dick you don’t actually see. I’ve called these cock tease shots. Some discussion in this blog on the 2012 Boy Next Door calendar by David Arnot , here, and on his 2013 calendar and Philip Fusco’s calendar, here.

The male pin-up calendars range from crude porn shots to artful male photography. And they cater to a spectrum of sexual interests. From a posting of mine in January, with a discussion of

the “types” of men who get to be subjects of male calendars and of male porn in general: a catalog of sexual interests. Twinks of course, but also: uncut men, men in business garb, ranch hands (the cowboy fantasy), college men, Latinos, hustlers (from, Cubans, black men, bears, fitness models, rugged guys, leather men, international models. (Then, in porn flicks, any number of fetishes, plus specialties like heavily tattooed men, and, at the other extreme, inkless men. And in calendars, the totally dick-focused presentation of models from underneath, as they would be viewed by a man on his knees in front of them; it makes the cocks look really, really big.) The David Arnot models I posted about count as hunks or studs, all-purpose categories for hot men outside of the twink/bear/leather axes.

In any case, there’s an extraordinary range of male pin-up art (drawings and photography) out there.



2 Responses to “Pin-up boys”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    I’m pretty sure #7 is intended as a parody of a Coppertone ad in which the participants are a little girl and a small dog.

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