Archive for the ‘Language and sexuality’ Category

Felix d’Eon: on normalizing gay

February 17, 2017

On Wednesday, in “The news for penguins and, oh yes, penises” on this blog, image #5 has a “Love Rocket” image by the artist Felix d’Eon. Now on AZBlogX I’ve posted seven of d’Eon’s gay gay gay works. Here’s an eighth, which is penisless:

“The Little Death 4”, in a series showing men’s O-faces, their faces at the moment of ejaculation, of le petit mort.



July 22, 2016

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


(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).


Escorts, rentboys, male hustlers

May 9, 2016

(Only a bit about language, and given the topic, not for kids or the sexually modest.)

The subject of the 2009 book:

Escort: 40 Profiles with Photographs of Men Who Sell Sex (text by David Leddick and Heriberto Sanchez, photographs by David Vance)


(cover model: Stefan Pinto)

Leddick has a significant career writing about male nudes and male photography, and Vance is a well-known male photographer (though almost always modest in his work, concealing genitals in one way or another, as in the cover photo).



May 8, 2016

A series of gay comics by Steve MacIsaac, using the slang shirtlifter as its title. The cover of issue #4 (2011):


The two burly characters are Matt (on the left) and Connor (on the right). This posting is moatly about them. (more…)

More on open secrecy

April 22, 2016

In a Morning Names posting today, I drifted onto Ivor Novello and his widely known (sometimes even celebratory) but still quite secret homosexuality, and the similar situation of other celebrities — until a significant number of public persons came out and demonstrated for gay rights and until legal sanctions on homosexuality were lifted (quite recently) in the West.

My posting elicited several Facebook comments about other public persons, from several eras. Selected and edited here.



March 5, 2016

This morning’s Steam Room Stories (videos set in a fictional men’s steamroom, frequented by really fit men of various sexualities talking about sex) looked at Gay Stereotyping, with three instances, together doing a pretty good job of covering the politics of gay sexuality in a few minutes while getting off three entertaining Xmosexual portmanteaus: in order, bromosexual, promosexual, normosexual. You can watch the episode here.


Sex positions in action

March 3, 2016

On AZBlogX this morning, a piece about an ad for the porn flick Uncut & Raw, directed by William Higgins for Channel 1 Releasing, with a shot (#1) from the flick illustrating a particular position for anal intercourse, plus a re-run of a shot (#2) from the earlier flick Distraction, showing a complexly athletic three-way with another position for anal intercourse.

Comments there about some language of mansex: names of positions;  the metaphor in doggie or doggie-style; ride and mount as sexual metaphors; fuck sandwich (and meat in this act), 369, and spitroast+ (and pig in sexual spitroasting) as names of three-man sexual acts. (I note there that fuck sandwich is not in Sheidlower’s The F Word, also not in Green’s Dictionary of Slang.)

Then there’s William Higgins. From Wikipedia:

William Higgins (also “Wim Hof”) is a director of gay pornographic films. His first film, “Boys of Venice,” [Venice CA] was produced in 1979. He has since produced over 140 internationally distributed titles. His films have won several Grabby awards and he is in the GayVN Awards Hall of Fame. He is the founder of the film production company Catalina Video.

One of gay porn’s pioneers, William Higgins began making movies with a distinctive ‘”California look” in the 1970s and directed many of Catalina Video’s greatest hits for nearly two decades. With classic films like Pacific Coast Highway, The Young & the Hung, Sailor in the Wild, Class Reunion, Big Guns, These Bases Are Loaded, Brother Load, Beyond Hawaii, and French Lieutenant’s Boys.

Wikipedia doesn’t say when he was born, but he must be at least in his 60s (and probably in his 70s) now.

Briefly: gaysex, mansex

March 2, 2016

(Inspired by a note from a friend about Jane Ward’s Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men, which I’ve written about on this blog before.)

There are sexual encounters often described as “straight men having gay sex”, but the men themselves deny that there is anything gay about it (and they might be to some degree homo-haters, strongly condemnatory of gay men and their cultures): it’s just sex with other men — not involving desire for another man, but having psychological values of its own.

The acts in question are ones that are characteristic of sex between gay men: man fellating man, men taking part in anal intercourse – in street talk, cocksucking and ass-fucking between men. But here the acts are disengaged from same-sex desire, gay identity, and involvement in gay culture. (Note: not every man who experiences strong same-sex desire identifies as gay, and not every man who identifies as gay is involved in some gay subculture — but men who identify as straight but engage in man-man sex deny all of these things, starting with the desire.)

I used to refer to these acts as gay sex or gaysex (coming at these things from the viewpoint of a frankly gay man), but increasingly I’ve shifted to talking about the acts more neutrally, as man-man sex — or, in convenient shorthand, mansex.

News on the sexuality front: the Jocktion Marketplace

March 1, 2016

From Mike McKinley this morning, news of the Jocktion Maketplace (website here). The name Jocktion is a portmanteau of jock ‘athlete’ and auction; the company’s enthusiastic pitch:

Welcome to Jocktion! We’re an online marketplace where the hottest guys sell the highest quality [used sports] gear. Register today to view our sales, check out our models, and participate in our Forums. Interested in selling your own gear? Apply today to earn top dollar on your merchandise. We’re constantly making improvements to our site and new items are being added, so be sure to check back often!

(Sellers pay a fee to list their wares; buyers get in free.)

The company is exploiting what you might call “contact magic”, the idea that clothes (and other artifacts) gain a kind of power from their association with specific people — usually famous people, in this case athletes. Some people will pay money to own a piece of clothing that had been worn by a celebrity. And some men will pay money to own a piece of sports gear that had been worn by a jock; its power lies in the strong masculine associations of men’s athletics.

Two thumbnails of (purported) models for the firm looking tough in their gear:


Kickboxer displaying his muscular body.


Football player displaying as much of his muscular body as he can in his shoulder pads, and in compensation doing a cock tease for the viewer.



February 4, 2016

Another item from 2006, this time  a posting by Jerry Zee to the OUTiL (OUT in Linguistics) mailing list on 5/2/06 (lightly edited):

I’m an undergrad at Stanford [in Cultural and Social Anthropology and in Linguistics, graduated in 2007], involved in the queer Asian American community here, and was wondering if anyone had noticed the word “downe” – I believe it comes from Filipino American communities and is expanding, I think – for now I think it’s either a Bay Area, Hawaii, or California thing –- I wrote a silly little paper on the site for an anthropology class last year.

My perceptions of the term are that it’s a departure from ‘gay’, which in a lot of ways gets defined in terms of white mainstream gay culture, and it’s also a lot more expansive than gay – it’s like ‘queer’ in that sense, minus the political overtones that ‘queer’ carries. Also, used kind of like a password when the speakers are trying to be discreet in more open environments – “Are you downe?” comes across as pretty innocuous to someone who’s not in the know. And for now, it feels like a very Asian and a very NorCal thing to identify as.

Here’s what urbandictionary has to say:

1. Downe *91* up, *4* down
A person who identifies as homosexual, gay, bisexual, or queer. Frequently used within Filipino American and Asian American GLBT communities. (Origns: California? or Hawaii?)
“Are you downe?”
by alwayzfione Feb 3, 2004

2. Downe *7* thumbs up
Derived from the definition of “downlow” which was taken from the African-American Community. Brought in by the Filipino/Asian-American Male & Female LGBT community. Reinvented into the word “DownE” with a capital “E” expressed during the hype of the raving/exstacy scene which began to popularize in the early 90’s. Giving those who are on the “downlow” a more open environment (i.e. E-parties.) Those using the term “DownE” also used it to seperate themselves from society’s stereotype of a Gay Asian Male, as well as Gay Asian Female. As a means of communication. The internet played a major role in the growth in popularity for the word “Downe.” With websites such as, the definition of “downe” is constantly changing. A good thing or a bad thing, take it as you will. From my opinion, the definition can’t be found on any dictionary. Define it for yourself. Whether it be just another term for being Gay, Lesbian, Etc. or make it mean more to you than just a label.
Do you remember the downe scene back in 96? Now thats taking it way back to it’s roots.
by Downe O.G. Cali Nov 3, 2005

3. Downe *3* thumbs up
origin: california; definition: identifying oneself as being gay, bi, confused, questioning, experimenting, ambiguous, or simply wanting to get laid one way or the other.
“are you downe?”, “you downe to screw?”
by jaypee so cali Nov 20, 2005

[AZ note: nothing more of significance on UD since then, as far as I can see]

My response to OUTiL 5/2/06:

On May 2, 2006, at 4:31 PM, Jerry Zee wrote: “…also, used kind of like a password when the speakers are trying to be discreet in more open environments – “are you downe?” comes across as pretty innocuous to someone who’s not in the know…”

So it’s pronounced like “down”, not “downy”.

Earlier slang “down to V / for N” ‘be available/enthusiastic to V / for N’ seems to have influenced some of the reported usages.

The connection to “downlow” is plausible, but it would be nice to have some documentation of early uses, or at least memories for them. (I know, somebody’s going to say that all that E wiped out those memories.)

On the site:

Flirt. Chat. Meet. ♥︎
The next generation of downelink is launching here soon!

downelink is the hottest destination for LGBTQ social networking. Connect with likeminded individuals, and be free to be who you are.

If you would like to join us for the relaunch of this tried and true brand, please join the mailing list.

And then on the site Are You Downe? Exploring a Social Movement among Gay Asian Youth, the most recent posting is from 4/28/09. The postings there give a picture of the downe community in the Bay Area and L.A. (for men, at least) as a place for young Asian men interested in other young Asian men (with various self-identifications as to sexuality) to party together, hook up, and find a boyfriend (one popular guy found dozens within a few years). The community (which was, of course, pretty small) seems to have largely dissolved. (Postings on the site also include some wrenching stories about coming out to an Asian American family.)

Meanwhile, Jerry has studied in China and at UC Berkeley and is now a
postdoctoral fellow in Science and Technology Studies at UC Davis, where he lists his areas of study as: environment, anthropology, meteorology, atmosphere, governing, China, East Asia. Also — joyous news — he now has a husband.