Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Cory Monroe

posted by Madame Bubby

Cory Monroe Playguy photo
Source: Playguy, December, 1986

This prolific “blond jock American bottom” appeared in more than 100 moves from about 1982-2001, also performing as Sandy Shaw, Rob Monroe, and Kurt Reikert.

According to Gay Hot Movies, “Cory is part of that pre-condom vintage era of porn that churned out countless stars and even more hot videos of bareback sex. His athletic physique, handsome face and piercing blue eyes made him a favorite among fans of gay porn, and garnered him endless job offers in the industry. Cory performed in more than 100 films over the course of his career, more often than not as a bottom.”

If he were active today, I get the vibe he would be an Instagram sensation. The photospreads he did for Playguy early in his career in December 1986 (he was 21) does reveal at one level the blond jock all-American type, but the confidence he exudes for the camera I think transcends convention. He's no perfect Ken Doll; he knows he can show off his rocket cock and firm, cute yet plowable ass, but the eyes and the facial expressions reveal a cocky arrogance. He commands the viewer to want to fuck him.
 

Cory Monroe Playguy nude
Source: Playguy, December, 1986

Three notable Bijou Classics he appears in, enticing descriptions courtesy of our website:

In Nova Studio's Oh Brother (1983), one of his earliest appearances, he appears as “supposed brother” of Eric Reikert, Kurt Reikert, in this loosely plotted tale of “brotherly lust.” According to Kevin Gender, "The climax of the film finds the two brothers alone, turning their natural love into lust as they powerfully fuck each other. If the old saying, 'Like father, like son' is true, these boys' mother must have been artificially inseminated," while Torso magazine proclaims, "Familiar face Kurt Reikert comes together with brother Eric, and their on-screen encounter is nothing but explosive... Nova has done better in the past, but it's still good hot viewing."
 

Images from Oh Brother
Images from Oh Brother

He also appears in the recently remastered Tall Tales (1986), directed by Joe Tiffenbach. Kenneth, played by Kenneth Weyerhaeuser, rings up his friend and tells about how, on a recent walk in the park, he met a young jogger who came home with him. In a flashback, Kenneth leads sexy blond Cory Monroe into his living room and offers him juice. While Kenneth is fetching it in the other room, Cory stretches and fondles his erection through his shorts. Kenneth returns and remarks about how well he fills out his shorts. Aroused, Kenneth magically transforms into nude, mustachioed Morgan Hunter and kneels before Cory, feeling and nibbling on his boner through his shorts and pulling it out to give him a blowjob. Morgan stands and Cory sucks his cock, then they move to the floor for some passionate kissing, fondling, nipple play, and sixty-nining. Morgan licks Cory's asshole, then fucks him on the floor.
 

Images from Tall Tales
Images from Tall Tales

In a dream sequence from the Bijou Video production Hey Tony, What's the Story (1993), Sam Houston, a tremendously sexy black man with a huge pole, seductively urges Tony Lattanzi, currently struggling to discover his sexual orientation, to join him a leather fantasy; another door opens on lean Cory Monroe slurping on redhead Kevin Taylor's long cock in a jail cell. Tony enters this one, biker shorts down, to be fondled by the duo before he scampers away from their grasping, lascivious hands. Another door shows buxom Hilde Hagen, Tony's former girlfriend, clad only in a leather bikini bottom, as she rubs her ample bosoms while looking in a mirror. They kiss, but Tony's heart really isn't in it, and when Sam and the caged duo reappear to taunt him, he wanders about confusedly. Kevin bangs Cory's exposed ass on a sawhorse before Cory and Kevin both vie for Sam's schlong. Director David Babbit is at his best here as these three perform unfettered by an inhibitions or misgivings; they romp like they want it! Tony finds himself on the horse with Cory and Kevin holding his legs to give him a righteous screwing.

All these and more Bijou Classics with Cory Monroe are available streaming now here!

Also, here's a link to a blog on another famous retrostud, Leo Ford, that gives some reflection on the erotic appeal of blonds.

To readers: I have not been able to locate much personal information about him; he seems to exist only in the movies and magazines he appeared in. Anyone know anything?

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Joe Tiffenbach: The Early Years

posted by Madame Bubby

By the 1970s, the golden age of gay porn in the heady days in the aftermath of Stonewall, already Joe Tiffenbach was achieving a type of iconic status as “grandaddy of gay porn.” Who was this person who encompassed in his life many different roles in the LGBTQ community? In many ways, his life and work is a microcosm of the lives of many gay men since WWII.

Joe's varied career warrants an IMDb entry, and what it says is quite telling if one applies a historical and social context. Joe Tiffenbach, Jr. was born on December 23, 1923, the son of Joseph and Mary Tiffenbach, somewhere in Los Angeles County, California. He was to remain in California for the rest of his life.
 

Joe Tiffenbach's grave
Source: findagrave.com

Joe enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943; I don't know if he ever saw combat, but one could perhaps surmise his experience in the army, like that of many gay men during this period, may have exposed him more fully to other gay men. California at that time was to some degree a mecca for gay men, because many could obtain employment at different levels in the movie industry. The closet door was closed, but in that closet many gay men were able to thrive in the creative fields while participating in the sexual underground.

After leaving the service in 1946, Joe went to college (probably on the G.I. Bill, which opened up many opportunities for persons of all social classes during that period). While in college, a friend introduced him at a party to an important figure in LGBTQ history and Old Hollywood history, William “Billy” Haines. William was a star at MGM during the silent era of the 1920s. He became a lifelong friend of Joan Crawford, with whom he starred in some movies. He ended up leaving the industry in the early 1930s because he dared to defy the all-powerful Louis B. Mayer by refusing to hide his homosexuality and living openly with his life-partner, Jimmy Shields.

Subsequently, William became a famous interior designer (he designed the interior of Joan's home in Brentwood, the location of the “Mommie Dearest” incidents). His wealth and social status enabled him to make his home a center of LGBTQ culture during that period. In other words, Joe entered the realm of that era's A-list gays!
 

Joe Tiffenbach's grave
Joan Crawford, Billy Haines, Jimmy Shields, and Al Steele
Source: https://garbolaughs.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/william-haines/

At Billy's home that evening, Joe also met John Darrow, a former actor turned Hollywood agent, and John's lover Chuck Walters, a director and choreographer of many famous movies with stellar casts, including The Unsinkable Molly Brown with Doris Day and High Society with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Grace Kelly.

What happened next sounds like the beginning of a stereotypical rags to riches movie plot. John and Chuck got Joe a job in the 20th Century Fox mail room after he finished college. He didn't exactly obtain the riches, but he ended up beginning a career in the mainstream film industry, producing travel films and obtaining various production jobs on studio shoots for major films. If he didn't enter the upper echelons of Old Hollywood, he was certainly “in the know,” and definitely had made connections with some of its more openly gay figures.

While Joe was working in the Hollywood studios, he was also participating in California's gay sexual underground. Beginning in 1950, he began posing for Bob Mizer's Athletic Model Guild publication, Physique Pictorial. Ostensibly a bodybuilding/beefcake magazine, Mizer was really producing homoerotic material. The muscle beach movement that burgeoned in California (that produced such sword and sandal/muscle icons as Steve Reeves and Dick DuBois) during that period served as a kind of “coded cover” for his images of semi-nude men, often photographed nude with the posing straps painted on before publication. (Not all Mizer's models were gay, but gay for pay was of course not a novelty in this subculture where, according to uber-hustler/pimp Scotty Bowers, Old Hollywood stars, living in the closet of fame and fortune, were able to pay for gay sex.)
 

Physique Pictorial, August 1952 cover
Physique Pictorial, v.2 n.3, August 1952
Source: https://bijouworld.com/Vintage-Physique/Physique-Pictorial-v.2-n.3-August-1952.html

Joe posed for the magazine for some time, as well as for other “physique photography” studios such Bruce of L.A. Then, in what seems to be a pragmatic move, in the 1960s he began taking his own physique photos. And in the more sexually liberated climate of the 1960s and after the famous MANual Enterprises, Inc. vs. O'Day case which established that such photos were not obscene, he began photographing and filming gay erotica.

In 1969 Stonewall occurred on the other side of America, and also that year, Richard Amory produced a groundbreaking soft-core gay erotic film called Song of the Loon (available from Bjiou Video). Joe, though uncredited, was one of the cinematographers. Joe would enter this era of gay liberation as a pioneering participant in gay erotic filmmaking, utilizing his extensive Old Hollywood background in photography and cinematography.
 

Images from Song of the Loon
Song of the Loon (1969)

Part two to follow next week, detailing Joe's involvement in other gay porn films and also his contributions to a couple of famous gay porn magazines.

Find two 1971 Jaguar classics directed by Tiffenbach, The Baredevils and Sudden Rawhide, through Bijou Video, as well as one of his much later directorial efforts, our newest release, Tall Tales (1986), starring Morgan Hunter, Cory Monroe, Gino DelMar, Dane Ford, Matt Forrest, and Chaz Holderman.

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Christopher
I hope you are well! I just found this blog, and I am really loving the posts. Joe Tiffenbach is certainly an interesting subject,... Read More
Sunday, 26 April 2020 14:57
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