Rhythm

Posted by Madam Bubby

 

When I journeyed to New York for the first time in 1994 for the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, I ended up the night before the parade at a wild sex/play party with a hot leather BDSM top I had just met at a dance in the Armory. The location of the party was in some area of the East Village, I think. When I saw the purple and green walls and the coked up bouncer, my first thought was I was in some kind of Fellini movie.

And then I saw it: the orgy. I couldn’t even distinguish the faces, even characteristics of the individual bodies; the guys groping and pulling and grimacing seems liked one writhing body. I was both attracted and repelled. My new friend and I looked at each other curiously; we tried to mask our insecurities in thinking we were above such lowly, ordinary lusts. My friend would have wanted to separate that group, tie up some of the hot ones with the rope he was carrying; he would contain, tame, and dominate that energy, that fervid rhythm. Yes, there would be pleasure, but not equality. He would break any boundaries, and they would follow him, succumb to his power.

 

Orgy scenes from classic gay porn films

Orgy scenes from 10:30 P.M. Monday, Turned On!, The Goodjac Chronicles, and Closed Set

 

Elias Canetti in his profound study of crowd behavior Crowds and Power claims that humans’ instinctive drive to participate in the power of the crowd comes from something at one level simple, something we don’t always think about consciously, rhythm, but the rhythm of footsteps. He makes the observation that we walk on two legs, but the feet attached to the legs strike the ground. A person can only movie if they continue to make this action.

 

And, those “two feet never strike the ground with exactly the same force.” We are different yet the same, and when persons listen to and in some cases merge into the footsteps of others, including animals that naturally congregate in herds, he was drawn to do the same, feeling that power, that ”invincible unity.”

Canetti analyzes a description of the Haka dance of the New Zealand Maoris, originally a war dance, but now performed by rugby teams as both a warm-up team spirit exercise before the game, and, after the game, a victory dance.

 

Haka dance

Haka dance - Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2015/10/14/haka-rugby- world-cup_n_8290712.html

 

What’s interesting is in its original situation as the war dance, the performers were naked. And after much showing off of individual agility, including some form of “perpendicular jump,” the dance escalates to a paradoxically frenzied yet controlled unity of movement; Canetti writes, “it is as though each body was taken to pieces, not only the arms and legs, but also the fingers, toes, tongues, and eyes; and then all the tongues got together, and did exactly the same things at the same moment; all the toes and all the eyes become equal in one and the same enterprise.” They are separate bodies, but it looks as if it one body with many limbs and heads. They are dense, equal, one. Yet ultimately it is a performance, done in times when the culture as a whole encounters boundary moments such as welcoming visitors, funerals, and communal feasts.

The literal hunt for the herd eventually became various forms of the dance, a release of that primal energy that for a brief moment blurs cultural boundaries that deter the power of the crowd, displace and deflect the power away from persons onto computers.

Rather than initiating rhythm from what we heard and felt in those original footsteps, we now try to contain it by digitizing it. It is seen, but we can’t always see who is seeing. Everything becomes a performance, but that means nothing really is one in the new world of Zoom.

 

Group Zoom meeting

Group Zoom meeting - Source: https://www.timeout.com/things-to-do/best-things-to-do-at-home- stuck-inside-bored

 

I just can’t imagine a Zoom orgy, BDSM play party, or even Haka dance. The separate but apart dynamic implodes, and it’s not just because of the physical dimension obviously isn’t there; what’s lacking is that feeling of invincible unity based on rhythm and density. Imagining yourself as a participant of course can evoke that feeling, but it’s like an imitation of an imitation. And you are alone. Not even lonely in a crowd.

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RetroStuds of the Past: Focus on Paul Rappalo

posted by Madame Bubby

Paul Rappalo in Manshots

Who is Paul Rappalo? Paul calls himself, in an interview with Manshots magazine in December 1992, an iconoclast, and based on the variety of and attitude toward his porn making, I would agree.

Manshots caught up with Paul aka David Rappalo aka Rappalo aka Rappalo Fox when he was doing a show at NYC's Show Palace, and the interviewer noted that he spoke Japanese to the guy at the sushi bar.

There's the paradox: he does shows that show off his tautly sculpted, Greek god physique, he speaks a language which is not easily learned, and, looking at his oeuvre on the trusty Gay Erotic Video Index, a good number of his films are bondage/BDSM flicks. Who is Paul Rappalo?

Paul divulges plenty in the interview, but what is interesting is the information he claims he doesn't want revealed. For example, he mentions he is Cherokee Indian. He also claims he likes high heels (he likes others to wear them).

He learned Japanese, one of five languages he also speaks, as part of his personal protection/anti-terrorism training. Rappalo is unclear as to what this training entails and its results, which adds to the mystery. No, he is not lying.

He hustled for a while (he claimed both guys and gays had long admired his cock).

He was also imprisoned for an assault case, and the prison doctor knew about his by then extensive porm film career; in the interview, he imitates the doctor's “minty” voice, “With all the money you've been making, seems that you would have been bailed out a long time ago.”

In the annals of porn history, however, some of his best work (and that includes acting, and he did do a bit of “legitimate” acting in Los Angeles) occurs in Toby Ross's award-winning Tough Guys Do Dance.
 

Paul Rappalo in Tough Guys Do Dance
Paul Rappalo in Tough Guys Do Dance

The second vignette in this flick, “Love Bug,” tells the story of a man who bugs his straight neighbor's house in an effort to share vicariously in the man's lovemaking to his wife. When the neighbor's wife leaves him, however, the gay man comes over to console and seduce him. Paul Rappalo plays the sensitive straight neighbor and David Bach is the wily gay man.

Now, what could be a sleazy take off on Reagan-era yuppie drama is actually sensitively done, and Rappalo manages to be both vulnerable and confidently sexy at the same time.
 

Paul Rappalo and David Bach in Tough Guys Do Dance
Paul Rappalo & David Bach in Tough Guys Do Dance

I like to think of him as the many faces of the Eternal Male. He wears a white shirt and tie and exudes sexiness wearing it, but when he gets naked, he can submit to getting tied up by an older, more experienced guy, enjoys, even relishes sex with women, but, as he honestly reflects in his interview, “one thing I would change is that it takes me forever to learn one lesson.”

Based on his variegated interests, I would counter that he wasn't afraid to keep learning. And that for him, life was best lived when one is aware that it is a theater where one discovers oneself by acting so many roles.
 

Paul Rappalo and Michael White in Private Workout
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Thanksgiving Porn?

We at Bijou Video carry some of the best Halloween porn, and we are in the process of coming out with some interesting “Christmas tree” porn, but Thanksgiving porn?

Seems perhaps an oxymoron, as turkeys and green bean casseroles and Norman Rockwell grandmas in aprons (and family feuds too), don't seem to lend themselves particularly well to erotic expression.
 

Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

I did a search on google, and Thanksgiving porn does show up; on pornhub, I found an image of a cute young guy in bondage trussed up like turkey on a table, but not much else that really ties into the holiday.
 

CTA train, Chicago

I did find a link to a Thankgiving parody vintage gay porn video from 1983 called Spanksgiving, complete with wavy lines that indicate a well-played Beta videotape and the ubiquitous pornstache. It's pretty hilarious, if you now what is being satirized. I particularly enjoyed the placement of the pumpkins around “Rock Hansen's” crotch.

Perhaps the easiest erotic connection one could make with a day that focuses on food is food porn, which comes in all shapes and sizes. I don't think some of the usual Thanksgiving food items would work with assplay (a firm zucchini, for example), as they are usually too glutinous and goopy. But if you get into messes, I guess one could certainly rub some cooled down gravy on a willing victim and lick it off. Ew …
 

Traditional Thanksgiving food

I am forcing the issue here, I am afraid.

I am wondering perhaps it Thanksgiving could be a day to rest form the libido; instead of feeding it with a healthy diet of erotic play, one just feeds. Literally.

Perhaps the inevitable nap could stimulate some cuddling, which could always be start rof some hanky panky rather than the end of it.
 

Cute guys cuddling

But most significantly, remember that many LGBTQ persons will not be able to spend time with blood family. I hope that many will thankfully enjoy Friendsgiving, a newly coined word that emphasizes inclusivity and the real situations of many who courageously created their own bonds of love and sharing.
 

Friends toasting over Thanksgiving meal
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Ah, Enjoying a Summer of Grande Dame Guignol: Die, Die My Darling

 

Die, Die My Darling aka Fanatic, 1965, directed by Silvio Narrizano,Hammer Films. (Hammer produced a plethora of famous horror movies; check out the link.) 
 

Die, Die My Darling DVD

Patricia Carroll (Stefanie Powers) is an American woman who travels to London to marry her boyfriend, Alan Glentower (Maurice Kaufmann). While there, Patricia stops by to visit Mrs. Trefoile (Tallulah Bankhead), the mother of her deceased ex-fiancé, who had been killed in a car accident, intending to pay her respects. Upon arriving, however, Patricia discovers that Mrs. Trefoile's grief for her son has transformed her already fanatical religious zealotry into sociopathic violence. When Mrs. Trefoile begins holding Patricia prisoner, starving and abusing her in order to convert her into “pure virgin” for her son in the afterlife, she must find a way to escape. Her attempts to break free prove futile until a surprise intervention at the end. 

Oh, Tallulah! You turned down the Joan Crawford role in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, and now in your dotage you wanted to take advantage of the 1960s “psychobiddy” or “grande dame guignol” trend that the Crawford/Davis vehicle started. It was actually kind of odd, as she was actually more of a stage actress (Die, Die My Darling actually makes reference to this fact when Patricia asks Mrs. Trefoile is she was an actress after seeing a scrapbook of actually Tallulah stage photos) than a movie star. In fact, her last big movie role was in Hitchock's Lifeboat in 1944. 

She needed the money at that point in her life, and it was interesting that her flamboyant personality in real life actually worked well in this role about a woman who actually gives up flamboyance to become a dour religious fanatic who subjects her household staff to lengthy (think, let's read an entire book of the Bible before we eat) Bible readings and a vegetarian diet of “God's plain food.” No condiments of any kind! And how dare Stefanie Powers wear lipstick or a red blouse, the “devil's color.” Well, Tallulah herself in her indomitable way said that she looked in this movie like she was old enough to be “God's wet nurse.” 

Now, what I found interesting about this movie was not just the fabulously demented performance by Miss Bankhead, who actually seems to be channeling Bette Davis (whom she always accused of imitating her in All About Eve, because everything in the universe somehow converged on Tallulah), especially in scenes where she speaks in a creepy infantilized voice to a teddy bear that belonged to her dead son. She even whines, like Jane Hudson, who also commits a murder, “What am I going to do?” after she kills the husband of her housekeeper Anna. 
 

Tallulah with teddy bear


Yes, Tallulah gives us some marvelous campy, lurid moments as was her wont, but there's another element I noted upon repeated viewings. The housekeeper Anna (played by Yootha Joyce, actually a comic actress of some repute in England) seems to be a person of abnormal strength. Think female wrestler. 

Much of the movie is the Patricia character being subjected to physical violence, and Anna (her motivation is unclear for going along with Tallulah's insane scheme, perhaps a promise of inherited money) is the heavy. She seems to specialize in something like pro wrestling arm pinning or armlock maneuvers, but overall, she seems to be endowed with, as I said above, superhuman strength. Patricia doesn't stand a chance. She at once point resorts to biting Anna's hand, getting quite a visceral reaction from her tormentor. To no avail. “Lightweight” Patricia doesn't have the chops against this uneven match. 
 

Stefanie Powers restrained


Yep, for those possible audience members who might get off on this type of scene with its potential eroticism, there's plenty of it here. And the violence in this movie usually ends up exposing more and more of Ms. Powers' breasts. (Was she even possibly not wearing a bra earlier on? I'm sure that would rank very high on Mrs. Trefoile's catalog of sins.) At one point, during one of the fights with Anna, Stefanie gets stabbed with in the shoulder with scissors, and there's plenty of skin show there. I was thinking of some of those images of early Christian virgin martyrs subjected to all kinds of torments (St. Cecilia stabbed in the steamy bath, and St. Agatha losing, yes losing her breasts, yikes). 

Leading up to the final scene of the almost successful virgin sacrifice (no spoiler here, watch the movie), one sees a bound and gagged Patricia pushing herself down the stairs in an usual for her futile escape attempt (the boyfriend has to rescue her, of course). But once again, I kept thinking how a potential straight male audience (or any others who might be interested) might get excited by seeing the struggling “damsel in bondage.” 
Stefanie Powers bound


The movie is finally available in a no-frills DVD (no menu, no subtitles) for your hot summer of grande dame guignol. 

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My Strange Addiction Redux: The Body Cast Guy

 


Oh, one of my brain candy shows has started another season on TLC aka “Sideshow America.”

There seems to be the usual people eating strange supposedly inedible objects (many of these people suffer from a disease called pica), but one guy, who lives not far from Chicago, shared an addiction which for many in the BDSM community is not that highly unusual a fetish.

Kevin from suburban Lombard, Illinois is a straight guy (who from what I saw would be very popular in the gay bear community) who is addicted to casts. Yes, casts, what gets put on a limb if you break a bone.

 

Kevin in a cast and crutchesNow, from what I saw, it's not like he is always putting on a plaster cast (remember how exciting it was when you are a kid, at least I remember, that you got to sign someone's cast or get yours signed); some that he wears seem to be made of some cloth-like material.

And it's not clear, I gather, from the show, if he is getting off sexually from putting himself into this form of restrictive bondage. Perhaps he is, but it's not something he seems to be able to integrate into his intimate relationships.

Kevin in cast - still image from episode

He is straight and has had girlfriends, and the one on the show who basically told him shrilly to choose between her and all the casts broke up with him soon afterward, but I wasn't getting the sense that the sex involved doing something with the casts.

He seemed to be more of an exhibitionist, perhaps, and the episode showed an obviously staged, scripted incident involving Kevin and his too-too embarrassed sidekick (who always gets roped into putting his buddy into his more elaborate casts, hello, Ethel) parading down Michigan Avenue. Kevin was in some kind of cast that basically covered his torso and pinned his arms to his sides. It's the type of cast someone would wear if he or she, for example, got hit by a truck.

 

Kevin standing in full cast


Now, the usual end of this show is some meeting with a medical professional, in this case, a psychologist. The doctor proclaims, sadly, that Kevin will always be alone. His addiction (I guess fetish, but as I said above, I just can't tell how sexual it is for him), according to the doctor, isn't something he can or even will manage to overcome, much less integrate into the rest of his life.

I've seen plenty of guys get into all types of restrictive bondage (I've even seen a plaster cast scene at one event), but the elaborate bondage was part of a large dominance/submission dynamic. Plus it was clear the guys got off on the activity (not that I could see evidence if the cock was covered by plaster!). Plus they were playing with like-minded people in a sexual setting. In Kevin's case, how he approaches his addiction to casts doesn't really fit into this play party context.

Plaster cast bondage

Now I've seen (and known) plenty of guys with sexual fetishes become so addicted to the fetish that they lose sight of actually relating to a person. I think specifically of guys who post multiple times a week on craigslist. (I am thinking in Chicago of Mr. I want to lick the mud off the boots of a UPS driver or Mr. karate kick me in the balls.) I guess they are reaching out and don't want to jack off alone, but the person they play with is a means, not an end.

I do sincerely hope that Kevin will find a castmate (pun intended) because of the show's publicity.

Check out our website for some of classic BDSM videos, and don't forget to check out all our fetish books and magazines too.

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