Page 554 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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534                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               graphic, explicit . . . and unabashedly romantic in a truer sense
               than are most books [magazines] aimed at gay audiences . . . . [This
               is a] collection of [Fritscher’s Drummer] pieces which deal with
               individual consciousness. Like Genet’s work, these [Drummer
               writings] are essentially masturbatory fantasies . . . about the
               actual fantasy of romance . . . and gay men love to read about
               romance.  — Michael Bronski, “S/M Fiction: Isn’t It Romantic,”
               Gay Community News, Boston, February 16, 1985, Volume 12,
               Number 30, pages 8-11

               Some gay men — sissy, mid-range, and butch — have been, or have
            fantasized, they were somehow misunderstood or abused by their rugged
            blue-collar or white-collar fathers. They fairly or unfairly demonize their
            straight dads who, despite the anti-patriarchal poison of gay culture, were
            the very essence of the masculine erotic authority gay men advertised for spe-
            cifically in Drummer personal ads.
               I wanted to “out” that desire for the Platonic Ideal of masculinity so
            that gay men did not have to go against their personal gender identity as
            masculine men who prefer men masculine. The readers responded posi-
            tively as Drummer tub-thumped for masculine-identified liberation of
            grown-up men who preferred each other rather than twinks, sissies, drags,
            or clones.
               As editor in chief I made Drummer the first magazine to iconize
            mature men in each issue. In this article, besides O. J. Simpson and Ken
            Norton, erotic assessment was made of Ted Turner, Gordon Liddy, and
            Ken Stabler. What I did was different from Colt Studio romanticizing
            grown-up and hyper-groomed bodybuilder gods no one could touch; I
            lionized men edgy with reality who reflected the ages and looks of men
            seen as available on the street and in bars and baths.
               I began with the concept “In Search of Older Men” and initiated it
            fully in Drummer 24 (October 1978) with my Mapplethorpe cover, my edi-
            torial, and the cover feature “An Interview with Porn Star Richard Locke:
            37 & Hot.” This “mature man” angle on homomasculinity — which I
            spun out of my longtime analysis of the Marlboro Man advertising cam-
            paign — played so big in every issue that Drummer published three extra
            “special issues” titled Drummer Daddies.
               The reason publisher Embry went for this thematic issue of “Gay
            Sports” was that in late 1975 he had commissioned some pictures from
            the popular photographer Joe Tiffenbach who, like other photographers
            at that moment, had not yet heard of Robert Mapplethorpe. Embry had
            a few left-over Tiffenbach images that he insisted I use.

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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