Jock Robin

(Jockstraps and plays on cock ‘male bird’ vs. ‘penis’, but no more than that.)

A note from the annals of (homo)masculinity, inspired by this Cellblock 13 Tight End jockstrap in robin’s egg blue, offered relentlessly on my FB page recently:


(#1) In design and material, an entirely conventional jockstrap, calling up your standard locker room, but in a very pretty color (robin’s egg blue), which seems to make it homowear, rather than than gymwear

Sometimes a guy just wants to look pretty, but apparently a robin jock — especially from Cellblock 13, which specifically designs for and markets to gay men — marks you as a fag. A tough, muscular, athletic fag, perhaps, but a fag nonetheless; in that case, you’re a butch fag. (I post fairly often on butch fagginess; frankly, I enjoy the mixed signals, which many read as dissonance.)

(Of course, you could also be a straight guy who likes pretty clothes and doesn’t mind being taken for queer, so you might well turn to Cellblock 13 for your jockstraps (and more).)

Classic jockstraps come in “natural” (cream), white, black, and maybe gray or very dark navy. “Colored” jocks in very dark colors are still offered as athletic rather than fashion apparel: other dark shades of blue and even dark purple, as in this ActiveMan jockstrap in the International Jock catalogue:


(#2) From the ActiveMan specs for the style: “Available in many colors to match your sports uniform” (the conventionally “gay” color purple is ok if it’s dark and serves as a team color)

But jocks in what now count as conventionally “gay” colors — lavender and pink, especially — are marketed as fashion items for queers.  Also from the International Jock catalogue:


(#3) Modus Vivendi mesh jockstrap, a gay confection in lavender, from MV’s Net Trap collection: “Wear for a playful romp in the bedroom or on an intimate getaway” (I would seriously recommend against wearing this one in the locker room)

And then on pink jocks — pastel pink, neon pink, what have you — see my 10/16/19 posting “Adventures in homomasculinity: the pink jock”.

Cock Robin. A jock in the color robin gets us jock robin, a play on Cock Robin — with cock ‘male bird’ inevitably calling up cock ‘penis’ and associatively latching onto the jockstrap as the cradle of a man’s cock (and balls).

The original Cock Robin, from Wikipedia:

“Who Killed Cock Robin” is an English nursery rhyme

… The earliest record of the rhyme is in Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book, published in 1744 … [but] there is some evidence that it is much older.

… The theme of Cock Robin’s death as well as the poem’s distinctive cadence have become archetypes, much used in literary fiction and other works of art, from poems, to murder mysteries, to cartoons.

One version of the rhyme begins:

Who killed Cock Robin?
I, said the Sparrow,
with my bow and arrow,
I killed Cock Robin.

Who saw him die?
I, said the Fly,
with my little teeny eye,
I saw him die. …

and goes on through the roles of various other creatures in the robin’s death, plus the telling of various sequelae to the event (there are a vast number of variants, some set to music).

I was unable to find a video of the rhyme that didn’t set my teeth on edge. Most of them are kiddy-cutesy, while I was looking for a version that was earnest enough to capture some of the darkness in what amounts to a murder ballad.

Artists, however, have seen the darker side as well as the playful side. John Anster Fitzgerald, in particular; from Wikipedia:

John Anster Christian Fitzgerald (1819 – 1906) was a Victorian era fairy painter [I love that there’s an artistic genre called fairy painting; see the Wikipedia page] and portrait artist. He was nicknamed “Fairy Fitzgerald” for his main genre. Many of his fairy paintings are dark and contain images of ghouls, demons, and references to drug use; his work has been compared to the surreal nightmare-scapes of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel.

… He produced a major series of paintings on the Cock Robin theme — among others, Who Killed Cock Robin?, Cock Robin Defending his Nest, and Fairies Sleeping in a Bird’s Nest (the last furnished with a frame made out of twigs).


(#4) Fitzgerald’s Who Killed Cock Robin?, dense with characters from the rhyme and with allusions and symbols

The name Cock Robin has been borrowed for the name of any number of things — for instance, Cock Robin, the American pop rock band; and Cock Robin, the now-vanished chain of fast food restaurants (23 at one time) in the Chicago area. As with all occurrences of cock ‘male bird’, these names are likely to trigger snickers and off-color joking.

3 Responses to “Jock Robin”

  1. Bill Stewart Says:

    First time I saw jocks and Speedos was at the YMCA in Charlotte, maybe 8 or 9. Lust at first sight! Also, after swim time at YMCA day camp, the counsellors would sit around naked, maybe in jocks or just a shirt playing cards while we were supposed to be napping.

  2. Mike McManus Says:

    The feature photo reminds me of the novelty song “Harry’s Jockstrap”, sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques”:

    Harry’s jockstrap, Harry’s jockstrap
    Is pale blue, is pale blue
    They say that he’s a fairy
    But Harry is so hairy
    So are you, so are you.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Ah, wonderful; thank you, Mike. The burlesque is new to me. Meanwhile, as you and I both know, hairy fairies are not in short supply (I am one myself), and that’s a good thing.

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