The Past

True confession.  I once, long ago, got caught shoplifting a copy of Tiger Beat from a grocery store. Yes, it's true. Sadly, I had the money to pay for it,  but I couldn't let myself be seen buying a magazine with shirtless boys on the cover. Could not do it.  So, naturally, I stole it.  Or tried to.  Had it been a copy of Playboy, no problem! I was buying Playboy (for the articles) from age 16 with no shame, and no questions asked. But Playboy marked me as a heterosexual, and Tiger Beat marked me as... something else.

On another occasion  I successfully excised a centerfold from some teen rag on a drug store magazine rack. It was a full body portrait of Jimmy McNichol, lying on the floor. He was wearing white overalls, no shirt, one nipple artfully exposed.  I had to have it, so I carefully pulled it out of its rightful home and stuck it into a copy of Esquire, which I was going to buy anyway, and it was mine. 

It's hard to recall in this era of social media when every teen idol has a Facebook page, as well as an Instagram, Keek, and Twitter account, that in those days if you wanted to find out about a star you liked there was nowhere to turn but the teen mags. They gave a remarkably false impression of the world these kids lived in, making it seem as if they were all wise beyond their years, clean-cut, heterosexual, hardworking, studious, and drug-free, and most of all, single and looking.   Teen fan magazines still exist,  but they aren't what they once were, although the content is remarkably similar. I suppose that someone still reads them, or at least pulls out the pinups in them and sticks them on their walls. If  the internet had existed then, I, a teenager who was not yet out,  never would have taken the chance of getting caught stealing Jimmy McNichol's photo.  I would have found it on the internet, and "enjoyed" it on my computer. Times change, and not always for the worse.

Below, some examples of what a young Vera was secretly salivating over.

Robby Benson

Sean Astin

Willy Aames

Christopher Atkins

Scott Baio

Ian Mitchell (briefly of Bay City Rollers)

Clark Brandon

C. Thomas Howell

Jimmy McNichol

Leif Garrett

Matt Dillon


P@ said…
LOL !! great, back into the timemachine , I remember them all, thanks for the momories,
Pitbullshark said…
So many readers can relate to your experience with this. I'm somewhat older than you, so for me there wasn't much of an issue with buying Teen Magazines like you showed, since by the time we were in that era, I was was out and not worried. But prior to that, oh boy! I can remember feelings of such desire way back into very young childhood, when I might find a picture in some unexpected places that might have turned me on even in "perverted" ways. There might be a shirtless photo in a Life Magazine, or, another source might be photos in an encyclopedia, such as sculptures, like Verrochio's "David" (which I actually finally saw in real life this summer in Florence), or one of my "perverted" ones, the naked Laocoon and his naked sons being wrapped up in killing snakes--I also saw that one for real in Italy, this summer, too and it gave me a weird feeling of memories from my childhood self. I remember in those days have such an immense frustration of feeling without having any idea what I could do about it (this was pre-puberty).

I think one of the hottest (perverted) photos at that time was in a school book about Alexander the Great as a boy. There was a section in the book about Alexander learning about Greek culture by performing in a play about Prometheus, and they even had an illustration of a phenomenally hot teenage Alexander bound stretched backward over a rock so that the vulture could come every day to eat out his liver as a punishment from the gods for his bringing light to mankind. The young Alexander enacting that punishment wore nothing but a tiny slip of cloth covering his crotch. This illustration turned me on like nobody's business and I was in second grade!

When I was around 10 years old, I would go to a barber shop to get a haircut and read Batman and Superman comics while waiting my turn. One day, I was searching through the magazine stack to find a comic I hadn't read yet, when I came across a 50s muscle magazine (I don't know which one). I didn't dare touch it, but the whole time my hair was getting cut, that magazine seemed to rattle there like it was a coiled rattlesnake.

Another time, when I as a very young teenager, I was walking down a street in a seedy downtown neighborhood, and walked past a magazine stand where my eyes caught right there on display some Physique Pictorials, and a "DemiGods" that nearly made me explode right then and there. But I just kept on walking!

Finally, when I was college age, I learned that there was a porn shop next to the bus station and while my heart pounded the first time I went in there to buy something, I did do it, and based on the kind of things they had in there, I figured I needn't worry about the sales clerk, he must have seen it all and whatever his judgement of me might have certainly would not have mattered very much!

I loved all those magazines, but the Internet would have been a godsend!.
Anonymous said…
I was a fan of most of the boys as you were. I really had the hots for Chachi. I had that same Outsiders mag,
too. Cool blog!
bufs said…
My salivary glands got all tingly over each and every one of those guys. Good taste is timeless, and yours impeccable from a very early age. (And still is, of course!)
Your host said…
What good tastes you had then and have today. I applaud you.

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