Sep 25, 2017

Searching for Twinks on the Plains

Plains, September 2017

Bob has to work today, and later he's going to watch his brother play in some kind of sports match, so I'm on my own until 10:00 pm. 

 Fortunately, the Straight World loves its special events: there are about 15 things going on today. 

 I figure I'll go to some, and choose a twink from the dozen or so who will no doubt be approaching me with invitations and phone numbers, and bring him home to Bob as a surprise "share." Lately I really enjoy the sight of Bob and another guy kissing.

10:00 am: Library Book Sale.

 I can't resist a book sale.  You have to sift through a lot of bodice-ripper mysteries and "chicken soup for the soul" books, but you can still come up with some interesting finds, like Kafka's The Trial and Mysterious Wales.  

The only book-buyer under 100 is a blond guy pushing a baby carriage.  I always find young dads attractive.  Not much in the face department, but hot veiny hands and a slight bicep bulge.  He'd be fun to unwrap.

He gives me a suspicious glance.

11:00: Art Fair

About a dozen tents on a blocked-off street, with vendors selling arts and crafts.  Live music.  There's a buffed college aged guy in a Superman t-shirt at a tent selling ceramic pots.

"Are you the potter?" I ask.

"No, it's my Dad.  He can't be here until later."

He doesn't cruise.  

I buy a pot from him anyway, and make hand-to-hand contact as I pay.  


1:00 pm: Gym

The YMCA is usually a bust; I typically get cruised only by little kids.  Sure enough, a kid who looks around ten keeps staring at me and following me around.  

There are two twink brothers working out.  Hispanic, which is unusual on the Plains.  I try to make eye contact.  The older brother ignores me; the younger gives me a suspicious glance.

3:00 Department Picnic

I have to attend, even though I detest eating outside, and I dislike meeting the bored spouses and constantly-texting kids of the other faculty members.

5:00: Bier on the Boulevard

The local Octoberfest, with oompah-music and a lot of fat guys drinking beer.  A little bit of beefcake: a buffed, shirtless guy walking his dog and two twinks on skateboards.  They ignore me.

7:00 pm:  Art Exhibition

Juried art exhibition with 100 works by local artists, awards for 20 finalists. 

My ex-boyfriend Dustin is there; I spend the next hour trying to be polite without latching onto him.

I talk to another guy that I know from an antique shop in town.  

One of the prize winners is short and very muscular, with a severe military haircut and a scruffy beard.  He says that he didn't even know he was entered until last week: his sister entered the piece for him, and gave it a title.

Sister, not  girlfriend?  Must be gay.

A little flirting, but no hookup, and no phone number for later.

9:00 pm: The Gay-Friendly Coffee House

Today has been fun, but frustrating.  I really wanted to impress Bob by bringing home a surprise "share."

Besides, being a twink magnet is a point of pride for me. I can walk into any bar, any restaurant, the doctor's office, the subway, and get approached by someone under age 30.  

What happened?  Am I getting too old? 

I haven't had any dinner, so I drop into the gay-friendly coffee house for a grilled chicken sandwich to go.  It's deserted, with only one guy ahead of me: a hippie, tall, gaunt, with frizzy hair, a frizzy beard, a big nose, and tattooed hands, swaying a little as he asks the difference between a small and a large. Smells of marijuana.  Not at all my type.   

After I put in my order, I smile at him and ask "Having a nice evening?"

"Just got off work.  Got to grab a veggie burger then go home and crash -- you know, smoke a bowl, watch Netflix."

"You ever see that show Ozark?" I ask.  "It's pretty cool.  It stars Jason Bateman.  I dated his ex-boyfriend back in L.A."

"Really?  Bateman's gay?"

"Oh, please, I lived in L.A. for 13 years.  I have stories..."

11:00 pm:  The rest of the story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Terry Smith: A Life Devoted to the Beauty of Youth

Terry Smith grew up in Oklahoma, became a missionary and then a juvenile probation officer, and finally found himself in San Diego.  In May 1996, he bought a new camera and went out to shoot some skaters and surfers.  Soon he was photographing dozens of boys, trying to capture the fluid beauty of youth before it faded into the rigidity of adulthood.  He got some models from professional agencies, but most were discovered on the street, hanging out, skateboarding, swimming, being kids.

Chris (left) was one of his first models.

The project expanded to thousands of photographs of hundreds of boys taken over a period of over 20 years.

Terry preferred the androgynous, gender-atypical boys, the outcasts, Goths, Emos who rejected the macho sports culture of their high schools, the gay, bisexual, asexual, and queer.

But he didn't just photograph them.  He took an interest, got to know them, helped them through the turmoil of their teen years, kept in touch after they grew up.  Some have become models and artists.  About 20 have children of their own.   Five have died, three from the effects of drug addiction, two from suicide.

In 2012 there was a retrospective exhibit at the DRKRM Gallery in Los Angeles.

A book is planned for 2017.

A film of Terry's work with the kids, America's Finest Kids: A Historical Journey in Art and Anthropology, is in development, with a portion of the proceeds going to raise awareness of youth suicide.

Some of the photographs are uploaded to Terry's tumblr page,

Here are some of Terry's favorite models:

Joshua was an Emo kid.

Matt was a model from the Pacific Northwest.  Terry is the first photographer to ever shoot him naked.

Reed is a more recent model, just 18, a skateboarder in vintage hip-huggers.

Siaha is pink, androgynous, and reflective.

Sergei on the beach.

Thomas stretching.

Nude photos are on Tales of West Hollywood.

Sep 24, 2017

Daria: Sparks of Humanity in the Craziness of Modern Life

After appearing as a minor character on MTV's animated Beavis and Butthead, sardonic high schooler Daria spun off into her own series in 1997.  You could tell by the theme song that this would be no Beavis redux:

Excuse me...EXCUSE ME...You're standing on my neck!

Daria is a super-intelligent, anti-social, outcast student at bourgeois Lawndale High, negotiating horribly incompetent, glory-grubbing teachers and idiotic students.

Lke squeaky-voiced Kevin, a football quarterback in spite of his less-than-spectacular physique, and his ditzy girlfriend Brittany.

Home is no better.  Mom Helen is a high-power attorney who is constantly taking phone calls from work, too busy to notice her daughters.  Dad Jake is a high-strung moron with a traumatic past.

Sister Quinn is super-popular, a member of the vacuous Fashion Club, dating a dozen guys, including the trio Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie, afraid to let on how smart she actually is.

Daria has a gay-subtext buddy relationship with fellow outcast, the artistic Jane ("we'll always be freaking friends"), and there are a few other people in Lawndale who she can stand the sight of:

Trent, Jane's brother, an aspiring singer in the punk group Mystic Spiral (left, fan pic from

Tom, Jane's boyfriend, who Daria eventually steals (below).

Mack, the only black male student at Lawndale High (second below), and his overachieving girlfriend Jodie, are allies.

It's not just "aren't most people idiots" 1990s angst.  Daria has many faults of her own -- she is judgmental, temperamental, inclined to jealousy, terrified of rejection.  She often gets her comeuppance.

All of the characters are flawed, but they all demonstrate some redeeming traits, too, moments of kindness, anxiety about the future, sparks of humanity that shine through the craziness.

A lot of beefcake -- cute animated guys, that is.  But rarely shirtless.  These photos are all from the opening montage of the movie Is It Fall Yet?  

Not a lot of gay content, other than the Daria-Jane subtext and the three inseparable J's.

 An occasional homophobic aside:

Daria notes that in Medieval England, King John made Robin Hood his "special friend."

One of the J's suggests that Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet is gay, and therefore should be banned from the locker room.

A predatory bisexual woman tries to convince Jane that she's a lesbian in order to get into her pants.

Not nearly as bad as other animated sitcoms of the period, or today. Have you seen Family Guy lately?

Plus it is amazingly well-written, funny without being vulgar, and that rarest of creatures, sarcasm with a heart.  Well worth getting ahold of the complete series on DVD (65 episodes and two movies).