Archive for the ‘Masculinity’ Category

Just one peanut

January 13, 2020

(Lots of off-color jokes, some of them gay-inflected, along with a number of peanut cartoons. So: crude, and perhaps not to everyone’s taste.)

Today’s Rhymes With Orange — entertaining if you get the crucial pop culture allusion, incomprehensible if you don’t:


(#1) An elephant at the doctor’s office, with an x-ray showing the contents of his stomach to be a top hat, a monocle, and a cane; in the face of this evidence, the doctor asks the patient if he’s sure that all he ate was one peanut (presupposing that the patient has claimed just that)

How does this even make sense, much less be funny? Even granting the poploric association between elephants and peanuts — which is actually pretty baffling (see below) — why do peanuts come up in #1 at all? We have a trio of men’s accessories and no visible peanuts.

There’s a hint in the bonus commentary on the left: elephant to elephant, “It’s a medical Mister-y”, where the clue is Mister. But the clue is useless if you don’t know your way around the symbolic figures of American commerce.

You have to be a friend of Mister Peanut.

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Revisiting 38: More male beauty

November 25, 2019

A return to the subject of my 3/10/16 posting “Male beauty”, on cultural categorizations of attractiveness and masculinity, primarily as evidenced in facial characteristics. Adding to the mix (a) yesterday’s posting on my man Jacques Transue as a young “dreamboat” (“Him, 55 years ago”); and (b) repeated passing references here to the Clint Eastwood of the tv series Rawhide (1959-66) as “young and beautiful, but ruggedly handsome”.

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A regular festival of ambiguity

November 20, 2019

(Later in this posting there are a couple of raunchy men’s underwear ads, and some cautiously worded references to men’s bodies and mansex, so some readers might want to exercise caution.)

Ruthie and Joe in the One Big Happy from 10/9:

(#1)

Three senses of (ir)regular in just four panels. All traceable ultimately to the Latin noun regula ‘rule’, with rule understood as in NOAD:

noun rule: 1 [a] one of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere: the rules of the game were understood. [b] a principle that operates within a particular sphere of knowledge, describing or prescribing what is possible or allowable: the rules of grammar. …

The range of senses of regular is impressively large, and illustrates a whole variety of mechanisms of semantic change; the three senses above are a microcosm of this greater world.

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Shoe-high pie

November 17, 2019

The grim tale of the shoe elves who got wasted on ale and were baked into a bro pie by the evil shoemaker’s wife — I embroider a bit here — as condensed by Wayno and Piraro in their 11/7 Bizarro strip:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page. Two of these, the Pie of Opportunity and the Lost Loafer, figure in the actual content of the cartoon and will be duly attended to in a moment.)

The Bizarro Bros have folded a fair number of things into this cartoon, starting with the bro mindset and the slang nouns dude and bro, going on to Grimm’s Fairy Tales, in particular the tale of the elves and the shoemaker, and incorporating shoes from both Grimm and Bizarro, plus Greek pie, and I don’t mean spanakopita.

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Annals of burritio

October 29, 2019

(It starts with burrito-savoring, but immediately spreads to flagrantly carnal acts described in plain terms, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

An old ad campaign for Taco Bell’s beefy burritos, drastically pornphotoshopped so as to illustrate techniques for tackling those tasty tortilla tubes (10/12 hat tip to Chris Hansen):


(#1) Eat my burrito, dude!

Is this queer, or what? One shirtless guy takes tube lying on his side on a bed, the other eats it on his knees. Both have a hand wrapped firmly around the base of the object of their desire. Both have their eyes closed in the ecstasy of oral pleasure.

What do we call this act of sensual gratification? I’m going for burritio /bǝríšiò/: New Latin for ‘burrito-eating’, on loose analogy with fellatio /fǝléšiò/ ‘cock-sucking’, encouraged by the physical similarities between the two objects and between the two acts.

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Space Candy

October 14, 2019

(Highly sexualized men’s underwear, leading to blunt talk of men’s bodies and mansex. Lots of other content, but this is enough to put it out of bounds for kids and the sexually modest.)

Today’s Daily Jocks ad, for a new line of underwear for the PUMP! company — the image is meant to be outrageous, fey, macho, and funny, all at once — with their ad copy:


(#1) The all new Space Candy Collection from PUMP! has launched. A new take on PUMP’s classic shape, available in Space Candy Pink & Purple. [available as a boxer (boxer brief), (low-rise) brief, and jock]

An image crammed with content — incuding those little candy-themed patches on the front (on the hip or pouch) and the back (on one cheek) of the garments.

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Butch fagginess, take 3

October 12, 2019

(Underwear models performing displays of their bodies as sexual objects and, through their attire, stance, and facial expression, projecting personas. So: definitely carnal, but not down and dirty — mostly reflections on styles of masculiity and styles of male homosexuality — but not to everyone’s taste.)

The Daily Jocks ad from the 9th is another in a series of DJX Varsity mesh offers featuring a forbiddingly / seductively hyper-masculine character I’ll call the MeshMaster, from the tough-top persona the character projects. But this time the MeshMaster has accessorized with a bit of high-gay fashion, a neon pink harness under his black mesh crop top:


(#1) Macho on the outside; on the inside, behind the black mesh curtain, flamboyance — which he secretly treasures (his right hand, inside, pointing to the harness, is the visual center of the composition)

Yet another chapter in what I’ve called butch fagginess, sending  mixed messages: simultaneously high-macho and flagrantly gay.

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A man, his hands, his pants

October 5, 2019

(That’s AmE pants, roughly equivalent to BrE trousers. This posting is about men’s clothing and men’s bodies and gets fairly racy — it starts with a guy with his hands in his pants and sex on his mind — so some readers might want to exercise caution.)

So you’re a straight white guy, from North America or some place culturally similar. A photographer wants to take your picture. How do you pose your body? In particular, what do you do with your hands? More generally, what do you do with your hands when they’re not actually involved in your current activity? Then, what role do your lower garments — trousers, shorts, maybe underpants — play in the placement of your hands? And what, if anything, does your choice of placement signify?

So: adventures in hand-pants (or manual-bracal) kinesics.

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Gender notes: transgender fashion models

September 28, 2019

From the attitude (UK) site on 9/11/18, “Underwear brand Marco Marco features all trans models at New York Fashion Week: The groundbreaking runway show featured some of our favourite transgender stars”:


(#1) Marco and the boys

A complex presentation. Male fashion models are typically presented as ideals of conventional masculinity, with the facial features, musculature, and gait and gestures of young but mature, very fit, straight men of good class and conventional lives. Transgender men, however, often aim for more machismo markers than is customary in fashion models: facial hair and bodybuilder musculature, in particular. Neither of these is modal or classy, but they do visibly perform the masculine gender role, so that they’re of considerable symbolic value.

Transgender men are then doing two things, in different contexts: sometimes they want to present themselves simply as men — to just be, unremarkably, guys. Sometimes there are practical reasons for men to reveal their trans status, but occasionally they want to display it as an accomplishment, as here; they did, after all, put a lot of effort into achieving this concordance between their sense of identity and their appearance.

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Giovanni in Ferragamo

September 11, 2019

In the NYT Style Magazine (Men’s Style) on-line on 9/5/19 (in print 9/8), a remarkable piece by Hilton Als, “‘Giovanni’s Room’ Revisited”, with the subtitle: “James Baldwin’s 1956 novel is a layered exploration of queer desire — and of the writer’s own sense of self”. The cover:

(#1)

Als’s text comes with an artful photo-essay illustrating a reimagining of the story of Giovanni’s Room as an interracial gay love story, each photo also serving as a men’s high-fashion spread, displaying extraordinarily expensive clothing from famous brands.

A jarring moment in modern culture.

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