Heirs of Narcissus – Homoerotic in black and red


“Homo-eroticism” and “homo-sociality” designate sometimes opposed but ultimately interdependent concepts. The notion of the homoerotic refers to same-sex desire. Yet the terms, like the ideas and activities they seek to represent, are often revealingly elusive. If a gay bar, men’s bathroom, and college fraternity house are all homosocial male spaces, is it clear that only the first allows for homoerotic?

Although early-twentieth-century African American lodges or the Chinatown “bachelor societies” created by restrictive immigration policies were most explicitly defined by racial segregation, such same-sex societies may have also served to complicate or clarify the sexual identities of their inhabitants. Investigations of the mutable relationships between the homoerotic and homosocial attempt to illuminate such questions.

For some critics, homo-eroticism is open, explicit, and acknowledged. For example, gay pornography. Its sexual appeal for its consumers is blatant, is obviously homoerotic. Although the term “erotic” is often used to distinguish more “sophisticated” and artistic expressions of sexual desire from more ordinary and everyday expressions.

Homoerotic art might include the avant-garde films of Barbara Hammer. Or the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe, and the poetry of Allen Ginsberg or Thom Gunn. These are all carefully crafted works that nonetheless directly depict lesbian or gay desire and sexuality. As more popular forms, the beefcake drawings of Tom of Finland, the pulp fiction of Ann Bannon. And the detective novels of Joseph Hansen or Mark Richard Zubro also treat gay or lesbian sexuality openly and sometimes explicitly.

The culture that recognize the existence of LGBT people

Such artifacts of high and popular culture are more or less produced and consumed within or at least on the margins of a culture that recognizes the existence of LGBT people. And in large part defines them, for better or worse, by their sexual desires. Homo-eroticism is thus a visible expression of any society that includes homosexuals.

I would like to know which of the following three photos you feel as the most homoerotic? Let’s see if we all agree

You are welcome and encouraged to leave your comments


Model: Andrés Yepes

Photographer: Faber Franco

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