Firsts in Porn

Yes. I know it’s rather a weird topic to talk about. Especially that it has nothing to do with my personal life, other than the occasional (ehm, ehm) usage of gay porn. But I did notice that I rarely write here when I’m in a relationship; so I had to find a topic to talk about that doesn’t reflect my personal life. It seems to me that when I’m happy in a relationship, I rarely find the desire to write here in me.

Many gay men, and nearly all of the ones that I know personally, love gay porn.  Gay men and their attitudes toward pornography tend not to be as stigmatized as it is with heterosexual men and women, though there are plenty of them who enjoy pornography as well.

I know personally that porn has been a significant part of a lot of my gay friends; especially the older ones. I remember once having a conversation with one of them about his porn habits back in the day. He explained to me that back in the 90s here in Syria; you’d rarely find any gay porn to begin with. You’d have to settle down for straight porn. He showed me an old collection (on CDs, but obviously printed there form video VCR), of straight porn he used to see. “I used to watch the man and envy the woman for him,” he told me, “I used to like watching straight porn to watch the dudes. But they are never good looking.” I explained to him that in heterosexual porn, especially the ones produced in the 90s, their main consumer is the heterosexual man; and they didn’t want to offend him with showing better looking men in the video; so, most of the men are not on the good side of the beauty scale while all the ladies are rather seriously beautiful. “Also, they didn’t want to encourage the homosexual feelings the male consumer might have by showing a good looking man in the video,” I added, “that’s another reason for it.”

Pornography as a whole does not have the stigma that it once did, at least not with the majority of the population; in fact, in some ways, it is becoming somewhat more mainstream.  I’ve noticed, even with some of my girlfriends, that they are willing to admit that they like porn and are much more likely today to admit that they masturbate.

Based on some reaseach I did this afternoon, and Yes, I do silly and weird researches in my free time, The Swimming Hole (1884–85) by the American artist Thomas Eakins (1844–1916) is regarded as a masterpiece of American painting, and has been called “the most finely designed of all his outdoor pictures”. The painting has been “widely cited as a prime example of homoeroticism in American art”. Eakins himself appears in the water at bottom right – “in signature position, so to speak.” According to Jonathan Weinberg, The Swimming Hole marked the beginning of homoerotic imagery in American art.

Take a look at the painting and let me know what you think:

Homoeroticism has been present in photography and film since their invention. During much of that time, any kind of sexual depiction had to remain underground because of obscenity laws. In particular, gay material might constitute evidence of an illegal act under sodomy laws in many jurisdictions. This is no longer the case in the United States since such laws were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas.

However, hardcore pornographic motion pictures (“stag films,” as they were called prior to their legalization in 1970) were produced relatively early in the history of film. The first known pornographic film of any kind appears to have been made in Europe in 1908. The earliest known film to depict hardcore gay (and bisexual) sex was the French film Le Menage Moderne Du Madame Butterfly, produced and released in 1920. Most historians consider the first American stag film to be A Free Ride, produced and released in 1915. But in the United States, hardcore gay sexual intercourse did not make it onto film until 1929’s The Surprise of a Knight which features a drag queen (that we will not be aware of her status as a He until the finale of the movie); who has intercourse with a male friend. The two have sex the same way a man and a woman would have anal sex and she doesn’t take off her clothes until the end of the movie; where she shows her male member to the surprise of the male friend.

Legal restrictions meant that early hardcore gay pornography was underground and that commercially available gay pornography primarily consisted of pictures of individual men either fully naked or wearing a g-string. Pornography in the 1940s and 1950s focused on athletic men or bodybuilders in statuesque poses. They were generally young, muscular, and with little or no visible body hair. Those pictures were sold in physique magazines, also known as beefcake magazines, allowing the reader to pass as a fitness enthusiast rather than a homosexual man.

The Athletic Model Guild (AMG) founded by photographer Bob Mizer in 1945 in Los Angeles, California, was arguably the first studio to commercially produce material specifically for gay men and published the first magazine known as Physique Pictorial in 1951. Mizer produced about a million images, and thousands of films and videos before he died on May 12, 1992. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the advent of 16mm film cameras enabled these photographers to produce underground movies of gay sex and/or male masturbation. Sales of these products were either by mail-order or through more discreet channels. Some of the early gay pornographers would travel around the country selling their photographs and films out of their hotel rooms, with advertising only through word of mouth and magazine ads.

As a finale to this article; which is mostly a research article with lots of copy and paste (and adding some comments here or there), I’d say that you should feel grateful for the easy-to-get porn you are watching in the evening; people were really having it “hard” to have a “hard-on” earlier in the day.

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