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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wanks for the Memories

posted by on August 5 at 10:23 AM

Playgirl Magazine is closing its print edition and going online-only porn publication.

In my freshman year of high school at a party at a cast party for my St. Jerome’s Teen Club Teen Show production of Oklahoma I found a copy Playgirl sitting on the buffet in the dining room. I stole it, snuck it home, and was crushed to discover that every single man in the issue was covered in chest-and-belly hair, smeared with baby oil, and sporting a mustache. They were all dudes that looked like this…


Ugh. I found much better wank material pouring over the stacks of back issues of After Dark magazine in the junk store a block from St. Jerome’s. Ah, After Dark’s ballet dancers…


Anyway, I’m often mocked on Slog for my taste in men. But I’m not ashamed that I’ve always had a thing for boyish menónot actual boys, mind you, and thank God for that. But what some don’t seem to realize is that, at the time and in the place where my tastes were being forged, developing a thing for boyish men was a rejection of prevailing standards of male beauty, not a capitulation to them. Can I help it that most everyone else’s tastes eventually caught up to mine?

Tons more After Dark pictures here.

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I myself prefer Black Inches.

Posted by Mike in MO | August 5, 2008 10:36 AM

Looks a little bit too much like pre-teen boy for my liking although i will admit that the first boner i ever got was from Christopher Atkins in the blue lagoon.

Posted by Mendicant | August 5, 2008 10:37 AM

My taste is and always will be the best. I don't understand why people think it's weird that anyone would be attracted to mummy Republicans.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 5, 2008 10:37 AM

We who are about to go gray salute you, Mr. Poe.

Posted by Dan Savage | August 5, 2008 10:40 AM

I am afraid to look at the linked photos because I don't know if they are safe for work.

Posted by Clearlyhere | August 5, 2008 10:43 AM

To each his own, but boyish men were a mid-90s blip in the fickle cycle of beauty standards. Once straight men started manscaping, the boy thing was kaput. So now you're retro.

Most everyone is back to lusting after men who look like men. The long, dry period of having to go practically underground for images of actual men is history and the mainstream is showing us males with secondary sexual characteristics once again. Thank God!

Posted by whatevernevermind | August 5, 2008 10:46 AM


Awww, I know you're bummed about it and all, but it's nothing five minutes of Just For Men can't take care of. You'll be back to 36-years-old in no time!

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 5, 2008 10:46 AM

So do you still prefer the Neighbors twink to the actual men of the Cuff Dan? Also what do you do with your body hair?

Posted by Cuff me | August 5, 2008 10:46 AM

I prefer my actual man. And I haven't been to Neighbors for a decade. Thankfully as I age (34 and counting) my tastes seem to be keeping pace. There are hot & boysih 34 year-olds out there, you know, and 44 year-olds.

Posted by Dan Savage | August 5, 2008 10:51 AM

Funny that you ended up using Cosmo's pic of Burt Reynolds instead of a PlayGirl picture...

Posted by JenK | August 5, 2008 10:53 AM

Yawn. I find your gayness boring. Why do you always have to talk about it? Is that the most interesting thing about you? Pity.

"O they shall know we are nellies..."

Posted by snoooooze | August 5, 2008 10:53 AM

@ 4: no shit. I hope there is a Mr Poe in my neighborhood when I start going grey.

Incidentally, that will be in about 20 years. Word.

Posted by Mike in MO | August 5, 2008 10:54 AM

"34 and counting"... down.

Posted by Eric F | August 5, 2008 10:55 AM

@3, vive la difference! Although grampa Charlie has always reminded me a little of this fellow:

As for the dominant aesthetic, the interwebs has pretty much eliminated a dominant aesthetic. Although Butt Magazine seems to have a powerful sway because it tells all of us we can let our gym memberships lapse, stay home and do cool crafts and drink beer. And bang each other.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | August 5, 2008 10:56 AM

Guys will be guys. Straight or gay. My story is almost the same as yours Dan, except for me it was the May 1973 issue of Penthouse (my friends Mom used to subscribe!). Every girl I have ever had a crush on since has looked like Miss May (Sandy Greco).

Posted by elswinger | August 5, 2008 10:58 AM

There is nothing more revolting than a boyish 44-year-old. It's almost murder-worthy when you unbutton that shirt only to find a smooth chest. And if that isn't enough, you have a 90% chance of running into a ridiculous boner-killing tattoo. "You don't like it?!" Hell no. What is a fucking butterfly doing on your back, you freak?

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 5, 2008 10:58 AM

I guess my tastes are just... Retro

And @13 actually made me laugh out loud.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | August 5, 2008 11:01 AM

ps by the way, Burt Reynolds was HOT back in the day.

Posted by monkey | August 5, 2008 11:03 AM

Playgirl should've failed a long time ago, it was a disappointment to me at an early age (Don Johnson, bygones...)

I prefer my men boyish in charm, and all man in looks.

Posted by PopTart | August 5, 2008 11:06 AM

Mustaches are revolting. Burt Reynolds is revolting. The first Playgirl I saw f#$%ing traumatized me, and is probably the reason all my early-adolescent sex fantasies were about girls. My guy is slender, fair, boyish, a knockout in bike shorts. He'll never go out of style.

Posted by Irena | August 5, 2008 11:29 AM

My tastes have changed over the years. When I was 25, I had a very narrow definition of what was good looking. 20 years later, I find a much wider variety of men to be hot.

One thing that has never changed, however, is hair. I've always liked my men clean shaven and smooth chested. I think I have similar taste in men as Dan.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | August 5, 2008 11:31 AM

as a boyish man, it is saddening to be going out of style :P

Posted by lee | August 5, 2008 11:40 AM

@16, which leads us to the ultimate "boyish" 44-year old, who, when you pull down his pants, reveals a pube-less manscape.


It's enough to make you wish for the butterfly tattoo, Mr. Poe!

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | August 5, 2008 11:43 AM

uh, no they didn't...the twink look is so 1992. It bit the dust about the same time that Leo Ford did the same...

And I think that After Dark picture might actually be a photo of a flat chested girl.

Posted by michael strangeways | August 5, 2008 11:47 AM

I guess my taste in men lies somewhere in between the scary hairy and the hairless boy wonders...
Daniel Craig melts my butter! (yum!)

Posted by scott in chi-town | August 5, 2008 12:09 PM

Ugh. I officially came out in 1995. Right about the time that gay culture seemed to hit a fervored peak (pink triangles and rainbow flags fucking everywhere). And to me it all seemed to be dominated by the twink aesthetic.

My taste in men is generally all over the map, but one connecting thread would be indicators of masculinity. It's possible that I may occasionally find someone attractive who might technically qualify as a "twink," but such would be the exception.

But because for so many key years in my development I practically had nothing but twinks shoved in my face as the dominant aesthetic ideal and archetype when I wanted nothing to do with it, I still find that particular aesthetic not just unattractive and undesirable, but actually loathsome and iresome.

I longed for, if nothing else, the clones of the 70's at least, and it was a great relief when the bear aesthetic ushered in a renewed appreciation for unpretentious masculinity.

Posted by Hoyt Clagwell | August 5, 2008 12:15 PM

I will say thanks for the link to the After Dark pix; brings back fond memories...

BUT, flipping through them, I'm finding a surprising amount of chest hair...and waaaay too many pictures of James Coco.

Posted by michael strangeways | August 5, 2008 12:16 PM

This is funny. Currently there is a boy--blond, suntanned, shirtless--unloading bales of hay from a truck outside my office window. According to my office mate, "he looks about 14". He's damn yummy. I'm in heaven.

Posted by Irena | August 5, 2008 12:16 PM

Eewww! That thing looks like McCauley Calkin with a Leif Garrett haircut.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | August 5, 2008 12:25 PM

@11: Please scroll through my archives. It's not all I talk about. If you want to see someone with a hard time *not* talking about his sexual preferences, scroll through Mudede's archives.

Posted by Dan Savage | August 5, 2008 12:30 PM

Dan-- thanks for posting that old pic of Burt. He is still my ideal for a guy--- probably because I would love to have that masculine uberness.As a kid, I remember watching him on Gunsmoke with those hairy forearms and being absolutely glued to the tube.

And the After Dark stuff was a great trip down the rabbit hole. I used to wonder if I could meet some of them homos if I ever got to leave my podunk town. "So that's what a gay guy looks like....."

Posted by Hartiepie | August 5, 2008 12:42 PM

I'm confused; is the idiot known as Snoooooze, a self-hating gay or a dumb as fuck straight?

Either way, he's a tool.

Posted by michael strangeways | August 5, 2008 12:49 PM

Umm, boyish men have been the standard for manly lust from the Greeks, through the Romans, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, etc. right up through the 60's and is still quite poular I believe. The manly-man look is largely a product of the post-Stonewall reinvention of the Gay Man as Everyman. The 70's clone being the first iteration.

Posted by inkweary | August 5, 2008 1:13 PM

Any man partially dressed was okay with me. I think my mother planted the copy with a naked Burt with some sort of trap. She must have noticed that page sticking together. It's funny to think about now but before I reached puberty I would love going to the public pool where I could ogle naked men. I didn't even know what sex was and I loved naked men. That should say something.

Posted by Vince | August 5, 2008 1:26 PM

Dan, what you like is GIRLISH men. You should think about that a bit.

Posted by max solomon | August 5, 2008 1:52 PM

Yeah, people's tastes caught up to you in like 1985. And then moved on. Nobody's been into that look for at like ten years now.

Posted by um | August 5, 2008 2:29 PM

@35: Them too, Max, and I've thought about it quite a bit, and arrived at this conclusion: Girly guys are a blast in and out of bed.

And you know... girly guys get the crap kicked out of them by dumbfuck insecure straight guys all the time. It's always a shame when gay men pile on too.

Posted by Dan Savage | August 5, 2008 3:00 PM

I share your taste. Continue posting links. :D

Posted by violet_dagrinder | August 5, 2008 3:18 PM

That isn't fair, Dan. There's a difference between beating the shit out of some harmless fag with a girly touch and beating the shit out of Chris Crocker. One is illegal, the other shouldn't be...and should be encouraged.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 5, 2008 3:20 PM

Jeez, I guess I'm the luckiest homo in the world: I like 'em all. :-)

Posted by Chris | August 5, 2008 3:23 PM

(rolling eyes)

but, if it makes you feel better, I'll be happy to send my tax deductible donation to the Skinny, Alpecia-Stricken, Picked Upon, Waif-Man charity of your choice...

Posted by michael strangeways | August 5, 2008 3:27 PM

FYI, that poster of Burt is framed in the women's restroom at Zayda Buddy's. My 10-year-old niece was very interested in it.

Posted by me | August 5, 2008 3:59 PM

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