Archive for the ‘Gender and sexuality’ Category

It was thirty years ago

July 31, 2021

… well, not today, but this summer. From my 10/23/19 posting “OUTiL: a historical note”:

For LGBT History Month, some notes on a little piece of that history in linguistics, in the loose network of academic acquaintanceship that formed at the Linguistic Institute at UC Santa Cruz in the summer of 1991:


The t-shirt, once available in both pink and purple (design by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky)

OUT in Linguistics, OUTiL, OUTIL (the abbreviation pronounced /áwtǝl/, through some wags joked about its being French outil /uti/ ‘tool’, with the expected sexual slang use).

The group was primarily social, offering physical places for LGBTQ+ folk and their friends to gather, network, talk about linguistics and their lives — with a mailing list to coordinate these gatherings, and then also to offer a net-place for such talk. Over the years, it changed its mode of operation, ending up as a private group on Facebook, with me as its administrator. But now it’s been years since I was able to travel anywhere, and I’m now an old man in fragile health, not an appropriate administrator.

Meanwhile, OUTiL has served its purpose and ceased to carry any traffic. So, in the absence of anyone willing to take over from me and revive it, I have closed it down. I removed the newsgroup — with some difficulty — this Wednesday morning. Thirty summers after the first.

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Buzzcut 4: books and epithets

July 30, 2021

The last in the series of pairings of my new buzzcut with impudent gay t-shirts new to my wardrobe (earlier: BIG FAG on a pink shirt, rainbow FAGGOT in block letters, and, yesterday, a rainbow tyrannosaurus):


(#1) Posed in front of part of the Zwicky GSU (Grammar, Style, & Usage) collection, now housed in my condo, where the piano used to be, and supported by my indoor walker (which sports new purple walker balls, not illustrated here)

The t-shirt is a new version — bigger, bolder, more intense — than my first GAY AS FUCK shirt, below, which has worn over time until the colors are muted and delicate and the fabric is pleasantly soft. I see fatal holes in its near future.


(#2) Catalogue photo, not of me. With an (entertaining) asterisking strategy for taboo avoidance, unlike the flat-out FUCK of #1

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Today’s garment faggotry

July 28, 2021

Yesterday’s posting — “Big Fag in a buzzcut” — had a photo both impromptu and soulful, plus that cheeky, rather unsettling slogan. Today’s photo is posed and more magisterial (though still amiable), and the slogan is the plain rainbow “Faggot”:


(#1) “I am Professor Faggot and I’m a hell of a lot queerer than you imagined, so put aside your contempt, listen up, and I’ll guide you through things” (photo by Kim Darnell)

Below the fold, some material that’s not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest.

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Big Fag in a buzzcut

July 27, 2021

Two late July developments: the latest in a series of ever-shorter buzzcuts (with Kim Darnell wielding the clippers), finally reaching a minimal one that satisfies me thoroughly. Shorter than the crewcut that carried me through my late high school years, and requiring no stying. A bit shorter than the easy-care buzzcut my dad settled on in the last years of his life.


Huge hoary linguistics professor, wearied but smiling with pleasure — note the smile lines at the corners of the eyes — at his buzzcut and at the pink neon claim (both amiable and outrageous) to social space for his kind (photo by Kim Darnell)

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An adult adjacent industry firm

July 27, 2021

Ok, I’m leading with the meat of the story, the expression adult adjacent industry as a modifier of the noun firm ‘business company’ — an expression I believe was entirely new, and astonishing, to me (and so far seems to be attested only in the specific piece of e-mail, from what I’ll call the X Group, that brought the expression to me yesterday as a blogger and to at least one other blogger).

The expression is stunningly euphemistic, ultimately referring to a class of businesses that sell sex: adjacent is euphemistic for direct involvement in (it’s not merely near to, but digs right in with gusto), and the involvement in question is in the adult industry, a euphemism for the sex industry, in particular for the branch of it that supplies photographic and/or written pornography (hot stuff). (NOAD on the relevant sense of the adj. adult: … [d] sexually explicit or pornographic (used euphemistically to refer to a movie, book, or magazine).)

The point of the X Group’s mailing to me was to enlist my blog in a scheme of advertising and sales on behalf of the adult adjacent industry firm — call it Firm Q — with money to be made for me. The assumption of the mailing was that such transactions are the very purpose of blogging, and (to judge from the advice that the company now provides) WordPress seems to agree that blogging is all about making deals. In fact I get approached, on average, once a day — some days none, but some days three in a row — by a company that wants me to enter into some sort of advertising or sales deal with them. Nothing as spectacular as an adult adjacent industry firm (earlier today: advertise a site providing information on what to do in Wilmington NC in exchange for the site’s advertising my blog and so boosting my blog’s search engine score).

Note 1: I actually pay WordPress a fee to keep this blog free of advertising.

Note 2: I never respond to these overtures, even to say a polite no; my earliest experiences with these things was that if you replied at all, that merely encouraged the sender to think you might eventually be open to their invitation, so that they redoubled their efforts. Deletion and stony silence are the only way.

Not entirely irrelevant digression: I’m now taken with the phrase adult adjacent industry firm and have been chanting it as a tetrametrical mantra, aDULT aDJAcent INdustry FIRM (WS WSW | SWW S); repeat it three times for pleasure. It might also work to celebrate sturdy young men engaging in anal intercourse with one another on video — the sort of often-avowed interest of mine that presumably led the X Group to fix on my blog as one that might enter into an intimate relationship with the as-yet-unidentified Firm Q.

But, back to beginnings. Let me start with Margalit Fox.

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Rainbows and penguins at the gym

June 29, 2021

Yesterday was actual Stonewall Day, honoring the riots at the Stonewall Inn on that date in 1969 and serving as a flashpoint for Gay Pride events and political organizations — and, increasingly over the years, providing a hook for all manner of LGBT-oriented commerce (products for sale, advertising for those products) and feel-good publicity for companies and organizations of all sorts. On darker days, I get the feeling that queerfolk are just being used: rainbow everything, whether or not it has some plausible connection to gender or sexuality. I am myself far from immune to the allure of random rainbow objects.

Some items of apparel, however, are naturals for the rainbow treatment — for gay men, items worn in male athletic activities or associated with male sexual bodyparts (or in the case of jockstraps, both).

As it happens, athletic / running / fitness / exercise / gym shorts are a long-standing item in my clothes drawers: worn for doing exercises at the Y (when I could still manage that), as everyday indoor wear at home, and during the summer as comfortable outdoor wear as well. I’ve been accustomed to using gray cotton shorts (comfortable and cheap, also unremarkable), like these from ROMWE.com:

(#1)

But there are more interesting options.

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Annals of commercial naming: Boy Smells

June 16, 2021

Smells like queer teen spirit.

Ads for the Boy Smells company have been popping up with some regularity in my Facebook feed — no doubt because I posted a while back on some fragrances for men, one of the two scented product lines the company offers, the other being candles. A third line is underwear, all of it explicitly labeled by the company, “This comes unscented”, but in an ad for Boy Smells products, it’s hard not to think of pungent teenager skivvies. Some ads combine the boy image of actor Tommy Dorfman with an Extra Vert Candle. Ad copy:

Discover the intimate world of Boy Smells with unique candles, fragrances & underwear. 10% of Proceeds From The Pride Collection Will Be Donated to Support the Trevor Project [providing suicide prevention efforts among LGBT+ youth].


(#1) The boyish Tommy Dorfman, something of a queer, and genderqueer, icon — attired in jade


(#2) French vert ‘green’ (suggesting the green herb tones in the scent) + extravert / extrovert ‘an outgoing, expressive person’

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Fox and friends I

June 4, 2021

(Much about men’s bodies and sex between men, in plain language, with photos, so not at all for kids or the sexually modest.)

The fox in question is Sean Ford, a model and gay porn actor and observer of the worlds of homosexuality, sex work, love between men, and identities and personas. The friends are Angel Rivera, his partner in a scene (both sweet and hot) in the recent porn flick Lips Together; and Peter Berlin, a famous object of gay sexual fantasy in classic porn and the fox’s partner in a 2020 Interview magazine piece on performing gay sex.

It started with a 5/27 e-mail ad (from Game Link Gay, for a  Memorial Day sale) featuring shots from videos on sale, including a Rivera Fucks Ford shot (from the CockyBoys 2020 DVD Lips Together, Six Feet Apart) that is notable for both the men’s facial expressions and their position in the sexual act (both recurrent topics on this blog).

In this posting: on the shot, the facial expressions, the sex position, the video and the two actors. Then in a second installment, to come: on an interview with Ford, on eroticism, intimacy, and love. And on an interview with Ford and Berlin, on jealousy and monogamy, and on aspects of working in the gay porn business: managing a porn persona, getting work, continuing in the business, earning enough to live on (all aspects of the business I’ve touched on in postings on the blog).

To start things off, the shot cropped to isolate the men’s facial expressions:


(#1) An Ecstatic face on Ford (on the right), intense focus on Ford’s face by Rivera (on the left) — a version of a Good Buddy face

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Customer care and the holiday weekend

May 28, 2021

(Includes discussion of sexual acts in very plain terms, with an illustration, so totally not for kids or the sexually modest.)

A message on 5/25 (anticipating the US holiday Memorial Day) from an American company, edited so as to avoid identifying the company or its nature:


(#1) The crucial phrase in the mailing — look at the small print — is for all of your servicing needs, because of the ambiguity in the verb service in it

Being the sort of person that I am, I first read this (with considerable enjoyment) as using the sexual verb service, so I was dismayed that from May 29th though the 31st the company would not be available to provide me with the sexual attentions I might crave; its website would scarcely suffice as a replacement for personal care.

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The Ecstasy of St. Atlas

May 24, 2021

(Much about men’s bodies and sex between men, in plain language — not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

An ad on my Facebook page yesterday, with (as caption) its teaser copy:


(#1) Now selling the Cellblock 13 Atlas Jockstrap / Harness at Jockstraps.com. If you are looking for a light-weight, affordable elastic harness and jock then check out this all new product

The model’s body and face, the (bulldog) harness, and the jockstrap are all hot (in my view as an appreciator of the underwear ad genre). But then the lines the harness and jockstrap form in the photographer’s composition make for a pleasing abstract composition on their own. And the model’s posture, his gestures, and his facial expression are all satisfyingly packed with allusions to art, both high art and popular art.

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