RESEARCH NOTES ON PHYSIQUE MAGAZINES AND EARLY GAY PORNOGRAPHY MAGAZINES OF THE 1960s FROM THE COLLECTION AT THE ONE INSTITUTE/INTERNATIONAL GAY AND LESBIAN ARCHIVES, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

 
A. Ahoy Magazine. Summer 1963. Printed in USA.

Typical physique magazine using the theme of sailors. No nudity and all models wear posing pouches.

B. Bronco. Issue 1. No.1. May-June 1966. No Publisher.

Still the standard physique photographs and no nudity present. Smooth guys only in solo and group shots. Some more homoerotic butt shots are present which is new.

C. Amigo Nudist. No Publisher. n.d.

"Why is this issue so famous? Because it is an all male issue containing 20 pages of full illustrations depicting the joyful outdoor life advocated by nudism ... It is a must for all the collectors as well as for the nature lovers."

Some of the earliest photographs of nude men in a commercial publication that I have seen. Ironically for a nudist magazine advocating the healthy outdoor lifestyle most of the photographs are not taken outdoors but in showers/baths with men washing themselves, or the bodies are cut out from the original backgrounds and badly pasted onto dark, blank backgrounds. The models feature a variety of smooth bodies, including thin, heavy, muscular mesomorphic, and Latino. There are only single figures and no erections. The magazine features poor quality photographs obviously taken from any source available and poor reproduction. The aphorism 'the collector' shows the magazine was targeted at a particular audience and mostly gay men, not nudists, used to buy these magazines.

D. The American Sunbather and Naturist Review. No.3. New York: No Publisher. 1967.
Annotations:
"WOW - those big balls." and "Hellenic Sun - WOW - surprisingly big."

Beautiful smooth naked boy standing with arms folded surrounded by trees and grass. Both arms are held under his armpits which is an unusual way to stand when you fold your arms naturally. (See Figure 30a below). Beautiful smooth naked boy, toned, tight abs, pecs, hair parted in middle, camera low down, boy staring into it, limp uncut dick (See Figure 31a below). Annotations on the photographs of male models by collector of these magazines (see Figures 30b and 31b below) offer possible sightings of these models in other (gay?) magazines and coded notes for his own personal reference. These coded annotations are similar to the annotations found on the back of the George Platt Lynes photographs. The openly frank sexual comments in plain language are not present on the GPL photographs.

 

Text of magazine links nudism with a liberalised concept of sex education to benefit everybody. The use of 'educational purposes' to justify depictions of naked male and female bodies.

 

Figure 30a

Anonymous.
"Untitled."
'The American Sunbather and Naturist Review'. No.3. 1967

Figure 30b

Detail (far right)

 
Anon. "Untitled" nd.

Anon. "Untitled" (detail) nd.

 

Anon. "Untitled" nd.
Anon. "Untitled" (detail) nd.

 

Figure 31a

Anonymous.
"Untitled."
'The American Sunbather and Naturist Review'. No.3.
1967

Figure 31b

Detail (above right)

 

 

E. Action Line. No.1. San Francisco: Mark Vaughn Associates. 1969.

Quite chunky, smooth models but not muscular mesomorphs. Mostly smooth but natural bodies, not as built as in physique magazines. Due to availability of models?

 

Now featuring nude young men (not older men), with full erections lying next too each other touching. No sex, no sucking or fucking. Stories (one called The Tutor) of anal penetration present but no evidence in the photographs of this.

 

F. Album 1501: A Study of Sexual Activity Between Males. Los Angeles: Greyhuff Publishing, 1970.

Introduction.

"Publishers of material dealing frankly with sexual activity have suffered greatly in the past because of society's anxiety over the existence and propagation of such material. But the real issue is why should such material dealing with sexual activity be any less valid or acceptable than material dealing with other facets of human behaviour? ...
This book was produced so that all interested adults may have an opportunity to acquire it for their own private interests in matters relating to sex ...
Our publication of this book is not to be construed that we agree with, condone or encourage any of the behaviour depicted herein. However, sexual activity between males is a fact of life and interested adults should not be denied an opportunity to study this, or any other, facet of human behaviour."

The Publishers.

Bodies in this magazine are smooth, young toned men, much as in the early photographs of George Platt Lynes. They perform both oral and anal sex on each other in a lounge room lit by strong lights (shadows on walls). Black and white photographs, well shot, magazine is about 5" wide and 10" high, well laid out and printed. The magazine is a thin volume and features just the two models in one sex scene of them undressing each other and then having sex. One man wears a Pepsi-Cola T-shirt at first and he also has tattoos one of which says 'Cheri'. The photographs almost have a private feel to them.

This is the earliest commercial gay pornography magazine that I have seen that features m2m anal and oral sex and comes after the American Supreme Court ruled on obscenity laws in the late 1960s. Note the progression from physique magazines and models in posing pouches in 1966-68, then to full erection and stories of anal penetration in Action Line in 1969, to full on photographs of gay sex in this magazine in 1970. Bodies are all smooth, quite solid, toned natural physiques, not as 'built' as in earlier physique magazines, but still featuring younger smooth men and not older heavier set men.
In their introduction the publishers disclaim any agreement with the content of the magazine and are only publishing it for the freedom of everybody to study the material in the privacy of their own homes. In other words m2m sex is a natural phenomenon and the publication is educational. This was a common ploy in early nudist and pornographic publications to justify the content - to claim that the material was for private educational purposes only.