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The Big Gay Picture: The Mainstreaming of Homoeroticism

When it comes to sexualization of the male body, something very strange is happening.

It’s a little hard to believe now in our current era of omnipresent abs, but the whole idea of a man as a “sex symbol” is a relatively new one, not being this prevalent at least since the days of Ancient Greece or the Italian Renaissance. The idea of a male sex symbol was certainly novel in the early 70s when quarterback Joe Namath shocked many when he was promoted as one.

Beefcake is a relatively "new" invention too. In the 1980s, Calvin Klein’s underwear ads and the famous Soloflex home gym infomercial made such a big splash precisely because that kind of thing was so rare in mainstream circles.

Sure, filmmakers like Pedro Almodóvar were pushing men as sex objects in their movies – but that's why their projects tended to remain firmly marginalized as “arthouse” projects.

See full article on The Backlot