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Outdoors cruising is not dead!

We have all heard stories of the ‘old days’ – before mobile apps – when homosexuality was a taboo or even illegal. For many gay men, outdoors cruising was the only way to be able to find a sexual encounter.

Nowadays, homosexuality is no longer criminal in most of the western world and technology is here to stay. Socialising with our friends or acquaintances behind a screen and finding a sexual partner has never been easier.

But some still prefer the rush and the forbidden pleasure of a casual outdoors hook up with a random stranger.

If you think the rise of new technologies and the closure of gay adult entertainment venues is killing cruising – think again.

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Still from Cruising in the Park by Antonio da Silva
Still from “Cruising in the Park” | Photo: Antonio da Silva (Edited)

From underground culture to art

Outdoors cruising has been source of inspiration for many artists, Touko Laaksonen (a.k.a. Tom of Finland) being one of the most recognisable names exploring the artistic potential of cruising.

Young artists have proved that this element of the sexuality of gay men is alive and more popular than ever. Their artwork can be seen in screens and galleries all over the world.

A brilliant example of that new generation of artists is Antonio da Silva

The young award-winning Portuguese experimental filmmaker explores the hidden side of homoerotic culture in a voyeuristic and indie way.

On his official site he explains:

“I have always been fascinated by male sex and sexuality. I became increasingly frustrated with how moving image explored this and have begun to make it the subject of my films over the last three years. I do not consider myself a pornographer but a filmmaker who use my background to choreograph short films with explicit sex themes.”

His journey started back in 2011 with “Mates” – an intimate view into the world of online hook ups. Since then, Antonio has been exploring many themes of the gay culture such as fetish, voyeurism and, of course, outdoors cruising.

Each film is a mystic combination of sound, image and movement that captivates the viewer from the first second. and has granted him a space in some of the most wanted film festivals all over the world.

From the ‘hidden camera’ documentary style of Bankers, the dance-based choreographic scenes of Dancers, to the futuristic – and almost stroboscopic – view into the world of online gay sex of Spunk, Antonio keeps experimenting and delighting his viewers with the most captivating homoerotic short films.

Still from Cruising in the Park by Antonio da Silva
Still from “Cruising in the Park” | Photo: Antonio da Silva

“Cruising in the Park” – a sensorial immersion into the cruising scene

On his most recent work – “Cruising in the Park” – Antonio teamed up with Fabio Lopes.

The duo take us on a journey into the world of outdoors cruising breaking the mainstream staged pornographic cinematography.

Combining low angle and close up shots with real audio experience and a narrative it gives us a first-person experience.

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And, if just like me, you are a massive fan of adaptations of dark themed comic books like Jessica Jones and Watchmen, you will fall in love with Rodrigo Penalosa’s deep voiced narrator’s commentary throughout the film.

Don’t believe me, then watch the trailer above.

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Arts & Erotica

Japanese masculinity defined by art

Bara is the kind of #gaygeek anime art we can really get into.

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Photo: @musclebaracigars

I’m a bit obsessed with the style of graphic art from Japan known as Bara.

Bara is a genre of the manga art-form that focuses on sex between men.

Its origins can be traced back to the early 1950s, when magazines in Japan — such as Adonis — began to focus on gay art and content.

A rough training session between a master and his student | Photo: @shiro_usagi_kurona

While Bara can vary in its style, generally it features masculine men that you could categorise as muscle-bears.

Some of the leading creators of Bara include Gengoroh Tagame — published in the magazine G-men — and Susumu Hirosegawa.

I guess you could describe Bara as the Japanese equivalent of Tom of Finland.

Anyway, it’s hot.

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