Page 97 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 97

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 3                         79

             response” to anxiety that gay men use to turn the bullies they fear into the
             gods they worship. BDSM provides both metaphor and mechanism for this
             kind of erotic transubstantiation. In Drummer, where Embry insistently
             poked fun at Davis in years of monthly issues, nearly every story and article
             centered on some insecure “daredevil” bottom seeking out and eroticising
             the man and behavior he fears enough to obey. This counter-phobic BDSM
             attitude is endlessly perverse in twirling pain into pleasure. In Brideshead
             Revisited, when Anthony Blanche is threatened with a dunking by bullies of
             the kind who tossed Cecil Beaton into a river at one of Stephen Tennant’s
             famous parties, Blanche, as articulated by Evelyn Waugh, said: “Nothing
             would give me greater pleasure than to be manhandled by you meaty boys.
             It would be ecstasy of the naughtiest kind.”
                A core concept to examine is how erotic the LAPD Slave Auction bust
             was to the heart of the magazine’s psyche and autobiography. Embry, arrested
             by the LAPD in 1976, may have suffered from “Stockholm Syndrome,”
             wherein the arrested or captured person develops a strong emotional connec-
             tion to the captor, in the way that Patty Hearst, rescued from the Symbionese
             Liberation Front in 1975, had her life shaped by her oppressors. From the
             night he was arrested in 1976 until his death in 2010, John Embry could
             not quit Ed Davis with whom he was obsessed, and on whom he wasted so
             many pages in Drummer.
                In Drummer 6, pages 12-14, Drummer 7, page 68, and Drummer 11,
             page 76, and Super MR #5 (2000), pages 34-39, Embry, greasing up the
             inherent eroticism, wrote virtual porno S&M details of how on that Slave
             Auction night forty-two leatherfolk were arrested, bound in handcuffs,
             hauled off in full leather—and in one dress—on two police busses, locked
             in crowded cells, and forced to soil and wet their leather pants during the
             long transport and the longer time they spent on the crowded floor of the
             booking center cells.
                The “Slave Auction Arrest” story is an archetypal Drummer tale of cap-
             ture wherein, through magical thinking, the pushy bottom sets himself up
             erotically to be bullied and bound in service to fetishized alpha males in
                An observer doesn’t need to juggle the archetypes of Joseph Campbell’s
             The Hero with a Thousand Faces to recognize that the Slave Auction bust
             also doubles as a kind of hero’s journey into the sort of S&M counter-phobic
             jerkoff fantasy that Drummer and its personals ads specialized in. In fact, the
             following archetypal “Services” ad with a photo of a straight dominant cop
             ran for years in Drummer personals. This was probably the most popular
             classified ad in Drummer history. It offered an ultimate Drummer fantasy: a

               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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