Archive for the ‘Gender and sexuality’ Category

Extraction and insertion

July 30, 2016

(The main content is fairly technical stuff about syntax. But there’s a side discussion of gay pornstars, their bodies, and their roles in man-man sex, so probably not suitable for kids.)

From the Boys in the Sand website (an appreciation of men’s bodies, mostly in gay porn), this arresting sentence from a  posting on pornstars Micah Brandt and Rocco Steele:

(1) Which porn star does Micah Brandt think its’ a shame hasn’t fucked him? (Yet)

(apostrophe as in the original; but punctuation is not my topic here).

(1) strikes many speakers of English as plainly ungrammatical, though with some work you can figure out what question it’s asking (and the answer is: Rocco Steele). The problem with (1) is that it violates a constraint on “extraction” of material (in, among other constructions, Information, or WH, questions — as in (1) — and relative clauses) from within cerrtain sorts of embedded clauses, one of them being extraposed clauses, as in:

(2) Micah Brandt thinks it’s a shame [OR: it’s surprising] Rocco Steele hasn’t fucked him.

The extraposed clause is underlined, and the constituent questioned in (1), the subject in the extraposed clause,  is boldfaced. It turns out that two structural features are crucial to the phenomenon: that the questioned constituent is in a particular sort of subordinate clause (an extraposed clause in this example); and that the questioned constituent is the suject of that clause.

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Lives of the pornstars: Jeff Quinn

July 28, 2016

(Not much about language, but about the construction and maintenance of personas and the business of making gay porn. With considerable very frank discussion of men’s bodies and man-man sex, though the XXX-rated images are on AZBlogX; but still, not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Or: The Short Sexy Life of Jeff Quinn.

Pornstars tend to have short professional lives, just two or three years; it’s erratic, mostly poorly-paid work, hard to knit into a satisfying personal life, no matter the lure (for some performers) of wooing an audience with your hot sex.

Quinn was in and out in less than three years. We know almost nothing of his life before and absolutely nothing of his life after. While he was in the camera’s eye, he shone. Publicity photos like this one usually made him out to be knowingly, even menacingly, sexual:

(#1)

— but in fact his characters tended to be engaging and amiable, charming rather than commanding. And enthusiastically sexual. In combination with his easy masculinity, that’s what made his career in gay porn.

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A Ruthian eggcorn

July 26, 2016

The One Big Happy from the 24th:

  (#1)

Ruthie wasn’t familiar with the word synchronized in the conventionalized composite synchronized swimming, so she interpreted t as best she could, and so it became sink-n-cries, which makes a lot more sense (as her father notes).

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George Platt Lynes and Jared French

July 25, 2016

(About art and sexuality. Not much language in it.)

Terry Castle, my Stanford colleague (in English literature), has been using Pinterest to compose a kind of history of modern art in pictures, specializing in drawings, paintings, and photographs of lgbt interest. Most recently, two photographs by George Platt Lynes, a photographer of (among other things) male nudes, from the 1930s-50s:

A photograph of a trio of men from Lynes’s artistic (often labeled “magical realist”) and homosexual (the term they used at the time) circle, George Tooker, Paul Cadmus, and Jared French:

(#1)

And then a photograph of a “dancer in costume with animal skull headpiece” (as it is described by the Metropolitan Museum of Art):

(#2)

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Cute pornstars

July 23, 2016

(A number of gay pornstars, but no man-man sex and just a bit about male bodies, so somewhat racy but probably not a danger for kids or the sexually modest.)

I start with a gay pornstar whose performances I enjoy, for several reason: Tommy Defendi shown here in a porn publicity shot (back on 7/23/11, he was featured in flagrante in an AZBlogX posting):

(#1)

Here I’m primarily focused on faces and evaluative judgments of them. Defendi’s face is certainly attractive; he’s a good-looking man, but the question is: in what category of masculine attractiveness? And what label to apply to it? — at the high-masculine end, ruggedly handsome or just rugged; or handsome; or beautiful; or cute; or at the low-masculine end, boyishly cute or just boyish. I’d label him cute, along with some other pornstars, some male models, and a fair number of mainstream actors (all men whose livelihood depends of their faces and their bodies, among other things).

To come: very brief notes on Defendi. Comments on categories and labels in the domain of male attractiveness. Further examples of cute gay pornstars, of a variety of types. And a note on cute male actors outside of porn, notably Matt Damon.

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queer

July 22, 2016

Today’s Bizarro, on categories in the domain of sexuality and gender:

(#1)

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

Some brief introductory words on homosexual, gay, and queer. Then on LGBTQ. And on to a recent NYT Magazine article on queer. Which leads, remarkably, to the Penrose triangle (of interest to scholars of both perception and art).

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The Insolence and the Ecstasy

July 18, 2016

(Not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Today’s Daily Jocks ad, offering 2eros Black Label items (with my caption):

(#1)

The Insolent Brothers
Offer themselves
On the altar of Eros to
Needy faggots

Buddy White more
Welcoming, Bro Black more
Contemptuous; off work they’re
Tight with one another but
Certain they’d never ever
Switch teams to join

The Ecstatic Sisters, the way those
Queers Mikey Bono and
Lennie Vance did

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More British slurs

July 17, 2016

A follow-up to yesterday’s posting on “oiks, yobs, and prats”, about British social slurs, especially in the tv series Midsomer Murders: Facebook comments from John Wells (on the slurs in my posting, plus chav) and Don Steiny (on the status of cunt in British (also Australian) English).

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Bodily alignment

July 13, 2016

(The X-rated images are on AZBlogX, but, still, there’s some plain talk about male-male sex here, so probably not for kids or the sexually modest.)

It starts on AZBlogX, with a posting “The T-formation blowjob”, taking off from a Bound Gods image (#1 there) illustrating the pleasures of bondage, submission, and humiliation, but viewed on my blog primarily for the carefully aligned bodies of the two men engaged in a complex sexual act: the submissive, bound and gagged, man entirely vertical, including his hard cock, the dominant man (edging him) leaning over at right angles to him, making a visual T. A similar T-formation blowjob appears in #2 there, in a carefully posed scene (from gay porn) of group sex, with its central feature a fellated man (again making a strong vertical) aligned at right angles to his fellator (bent over at his task), with two flanking men (nearly vertical) serving as bookends, so to speak.

The larger topic is the alignment of bodies in photography, painting, and drawing: alignment to one another and to features of the physical context, and the direction of gazes in these scenes.

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Celebrations

July 7, 2016

The Daily Jocks ad for the 4th, featuring their very own patriotic underwear, worn by a decidely worried-looking model (with my caption):

Hank was always
Up for the
Hot-dog eating
Contest, but he was
Anxious about exploding
Fireworks in his pants

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