Archive for the ‘Gender and sexuality’ Category

With knitted brows

May 3, 2021

(Significantly about sex between men, often in street language, so thoroughly unsuitable for kids and the sexually modest.)

On 5/1, e-mail from HUNT magazine (which hawks gay video porn) featuring a new bareback release, Show Hard, all about t-room / tearoom sexual encounters — a recurrent theme on this blog (there’s a Page on postings about sex in public, especially focused on t-room sex). I’ll take up the flick (and its name) later in this posting.

But on viewing the still from the first scene of Show Hard in the mailing — muscle hunk Beau Butler getting pronged on a mensroom sink by equally hunky Sean Maygers — what really caught my eye wasn’t the sexual action, arousing though that is, but the expression on Butler’s face. One that is so common that we have a name for it in English: knitted / knit (eye)brows. It turns out that there’s more than one physical gesture that is so called; and also, unsurprisingly, that this family of gestures can convey a variety of affects. Also that there are a number of other closely related gestures, with a collection of vocabulary that refers to them; it’s a rich domain of meaning.

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Musk, leather, and the lumberjack forest

April 30, 2021

… the smell of men fucking

(Clearly not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The story begins with the Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance Tom of Finland:


(#1) Aromatic, woody, leathery ($149 for 100 ml, $98 for 50 ml)

From the perfumery’s site, with a certain amount of perfumer-talk:

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Alex Adams

April 29, 2021

(Some bits on sex between men, including in gay porn, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Alexander Adams began as a pseudonym of mine for making restaurant reservations (“Arnold (Zwicky)” over the phone is perilous indeed, especially if the person taking the reservation isn’t a native speaker of English). Which turned out to be so useful that I abbreviated it to Alex Adams, sometimes just Alex, for more informal reservations — at the barbershop, at places where you leave a name with your order at the counter and then it’s used to call you when the order is ready. Eventually, I became ready to answer to the name Alex on any occasion. That was better than having to be prepared for Ronald, Harold, Donald, Alan, Alvin, Albert, Herbert, Robert, or whatever struck other people as being more reasonable than Arnold.

And Alex (Adams) gradually evolved from being just an occasional pseudonym for Arnold (Zwicky — Arnold as a problematic name is as nothing compared to Zwicky) to being the name of an alter ego. Used at first as my sex name: people engaged in casual sex with strangers sometimes exchange (first) names, usually using pseudonyms for these occasions, that is, sex names (partly to protect their identities, sometimes also using names that seem more emotionally satisfying than their real names).

So the name Alex (Adams) was invested with transgressive sexiness for me, and eventually became the name of my alter ego in writing participant-observer accounts of sex between men, as well as continuing as a more innocent pseudonym; in effect, the everyday Alex Adams developed a subterranean sex life that he then began exposing to the world.

Then it turned out that since Alex Adams is such an ordinary, regular-guy name — one like Eric Carter, Chris Tyler, Paul Walker, and Brad Mason, all attested pornstar names — it’s been adopted by gay pornstars at least twice, including one of some fame in the business, who was active in gay porn from 2012-15.

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LSA to announce award for LGBTQ+ linguistics

April 26, 2021

Details still to be settled, but the Linguistic Society of America will be offering a regular award for LGBTQ+ linguistics. With the permission of COZIL (the LSA’s Committee on LGBTQ+ [Z] Issues in Linguistics), which proposed the award and will administer it, I am pleased to give a little peek ahead:

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trade and trick

April 16, 2021

(About the language of sex, with plenty of discussion of sexual acts, some of it in very plain terms, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Sexual vocabulary day, inspired by my puzzling about the syntax of the item trade (in examples like He’s looking for trade to service and He’s trade), which led me to a 2004 e-mail exchange — yes, still relevant — with a colleague about this item and its sexual lexical cousin trick.


Ajaxx63 Rough Trade t-shirt, on offer on the DealByEthan (men’s fashion shopping) site

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Queer linguistics blogging

April 14, 2021

E-mail yesterday (4/13) to the Linguistic Society of America’s COZIL (the Committee on LGBTQ+ [Z] Issues in Linguistics) mailing list from Archie Crowley:

June and Pride Month are just around the corner, and COZIL is excited to curate our Pride Month blog post series on the LSA website! If you haven’t checked out the COZIL Blog and any of our Pride month posts from last year, check it out here!


(#1) Queer logo from Boon Yong, “Queer Linguistics and Queer Theory”, a posting on the Open Source Studio (at NTU Singapore) site on 4/3/18

We are excited to create more queer linguistics content for this Pride Month [June], and we are looking for people who would like to contribute to the blog. Blog post submissions are due May 1st and will be scheduled to post throughout June. Anyone who is an LSA member is eligible to submit, and we would love a wide range of perspectives!

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gay therapy

April 13, 2021

An ad in my Facebook feed for a Gay Therapy Center, which briefly gave me pause because of an ambiguity in the Adj + N composite gay therapy. Now, Adj + N composites, like N + N compounds, are notoriously open to multiple understandings, even if we restrict ourselves to general patterns for the semantic relationship between the two parts. In this case, I had a moment of deep unease that gay therapy was to be understood as a treatment composite, parallel to treatment compounds: pain therapy, flu therapy, cancer therapy, etc. ‘therapy to treat condition or disorder X’. Thus viewing homosexuality as a disorder, which would make gay therapy here a synonym of the now-conventional label conversion therapy, for a scheme that proposes to treat homosexuality and cure it.

But, whew, no. The Gay Therapy Center in San Francisco (with a satellite center in Los Angeles) offers “LGBTQ therapy to help LGBTQ people love themselves and each other” — with the composite gay therapy understood as ‘therapy for gay people, to help / benefit gay people’. Indeed, the Facebook ad offered brief videos showing male couples embracing affectionately (other ads have female couples as well). A still from one of these:

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smouldering

April 11, 2021

Recently received: Almost Completely Baxter: New and Selected Blurtings (New York Review Comics, 2016), a collection of absurdist cartoons by the artist Glen Baxter. There will be more drawings from the volume; today, one (p. 30) about smouldering:

(#1)

From NOAD on the verb smolder / smoulder:

[no object] [a] burn slowly with smoke but no flame: the bonfire still smoldered, the smoke drifting over the paddock. [b] show or feel barely suppressed anger, hatred, or another powerful emotion [AZ: notably including sexual desire and sexual invitation]: Anna smoldered with indignation | (as adjective smoldering): he met her smoldering eyes. …

Clearly, #1 illustrates sense a, but some might see the burning as also an eruption of a powerful emotion (sense b) — and, since Hank is a handsome young man putting on this display for an assortment of cowboys, rough older men, you might see that emotion as sexual (and some commenters on the cartoon have seen it as camp humor).

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Assuming the position

April 7, 2021

(Men’s bodies as sexual objects — women’s, too — and sex between men, all of this discussed in street language, with edgy images, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

At the intersection of the pinup-girl world (AZ Page here) and the premium men’s underwear world (AZ Page here), two recent ads from the Daily Jocks people: from 3/28, under the mail header “Model of the week: Freddy”, an ad for OnlyJox subscriptions, already of interest to me for its display of male buttocks as sexual objects for a male audience and for pushing the line between softcore and hardcore porn in doing so; and from 4/2, an ad for the DJ Easter sale, already of interest to me for its display of the front surface of the model’s body as series of sexual objects for a male audience, from the framing of his penis in a jockstrap though the sexualized presentation of his armpits, pectoral muscles and nipples.

The 4/2 ad is also quite clearly the photographer’s carefully composed re-creation of a classic pinup pose using a male model. And then I realized that that the 3/8 ad was in fact a bow to yet another classic pinup pose.

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Pinups, the intro

April 5, 2021

Background on pinups / pin-ups (I’ll use the two spellings interchangeably), in preparation for creating a Page on postings about them and (eventually) a new posting, on pinup-girl conventions carried over into, oh my, ads for premium men’s underwear. Stay tuned.

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