Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Vintage Gay Beefcake Magazine Covers from the 50s and 60s

Man and Art, The Male Figure, Male Pix and Physique Pictorial were just a few of the "Beefcake" magazines that were publish from the 1950s through the 1960s. These mid-century physique or bodybuilding magazines( aka beefcake mags) were produced for gay men at a time when gay porn was illegal and very hard to come by. These magazines were easily found at urban magazine shops and news-stands across the country. Since the mostly nude models were at least wearing posing straps that covered their genitals, the sexy beefcake magazines weren't considered obscene by the standards of the time.  During the late 1960s, when fully nude male bodies became legal to publish, Beefcake declined and by the late 70's hardcore gay porn was more easily available. 

There is something incredibly charming and almost naive about these photographs. In our era where graphic gay porn is only a mouse click away, take a moment to imagine how stressful it must have been for a gay man, forced to be closeted by the societal constraints and laws of his time, to buy one of these obviously gay magazines! Be grateful that these brave gay men forged the way for us. 

These vintage Beefcake Magazine represent just a small fragment of our LGBT history; unfortunately so much of it has purposely been destroyed.  Most gay erotica was eventually thrown out or incinerated by horrified family members. If you are interested in collecting vintage Beefcake Magazine, I recommend looking on Ebay.

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 Jeffrey Gent

1 comment:

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