Aberfimbe & Crotch: Gay Chic

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jason_els, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I couldn't help it. After passing by the Fifth Avenue store at Christmas and seeing bouncers at the door, I had to wonder just what went on in this store. So last week I took a little looksie. The bouncers had the day off so in I went.

    What struck me first were the mannequins posing right in the foyer. Against a ten foot tall poster of a hot shirtless guy was a living hot shirtless guy. He leaned against the poster with his chin in the air and his hands behind his back, his jeans were tight and packed. He had blond tossed hair, waxed chest, and a singular air of hauteur, not a smile, not a leer. To his left, without a spotlight of her own, was a woman like Scary Spice. She preened for him, she gave him sideways glances, she worked her legs and tits, she was performing for him. But in the bath of the single spotlight, Jason stood firm, gazing out into the crowd, looking only at the men, including me, who entered. Medea, with all her witching, could not sway Jason from his pedestal. Sensing the privilege of communing with a Greek hero I cast my gaze at this Jason and he briefly raised his eyes to me with no show of thought or recognition beyond it. He was as remote to me as Scary Spice Medea.

    At first I turned away from him, glancing only cursorily at his body, but then I stopped myself. I would look again. Before I opened the side doors to what sounded like a gay club, I paused and turned myself fully forward to the mannequin and ogled him from head to toe. Selfishly my eyes drank in his hair, chiseled pecs, lantern jaw, and green eyes. As he reached around to strike another pose I saw his pits were waxed as well and I felt a tinge of the ridiculous. He glanced at me again and then immediately a third time. Clearly he wasn't used to being evaluated like that. Though my crotch stirred a bit I didn't change my facial expressions. I didn't fawn, didn't comment, just assessed. For in my mind was a thought.

    Moving through the door I was me with the pulsing dance music I had heard before and as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I felt like I had died and gone to gay heaven. Around me was an environment of every Tarzan fantasy in a gay boy's dreams. Throughout the store are painted panels of half naked boys swinging on vines, friezes of naked boys lounging by swimming holes looking so much like a Thomas Eakins painting interpreted by Cezanne. Wall to ceiling photographs by the renown photographer and ephebophile, Bruce Weber. His boys in coy, come-hither poses glanced out at the shoppers from behind rugged trees or ham sized biceps, daring them to buy a bit of the forbidden fruit which confronted them at every turn.

    The music was loud, too loud for conversation but nobody wanted to converse. Around me were women. Lots of women from young girls to the flirty thirties, all were having loads of fun gawking at the pictures and flirting with the salesbois who were all nearly as beautiful as Jason of the Foyer. A&F it seems, is not an EOE employer. The dance music was always the same, the pumping beat of sex and what was that I smelled in the air? It was a light, almost citrus scent with a refreshing mossy undertone. It was sweet but also sexy. It reminded me of... could it be?.... Andron perfume, the perfume with, yes, male pheromones in it. Here and there, amongst the shoppers were straight boys pulled in by their girlfriends, looking sheepish and uncomfortable.

    That's just the first floor. In the center of the store is a staircase of wood and wrought iron, it is open to three floors and, at its apex is a recessed coffer, an oriel painted with yet more half-naked bois playing with each other in various ways, hands where they might be in thoughtless play, but would also be in preludes to petting and sex itself.

    The true gay shoppers were far and few between and this surprised me. Here and there were fashion plate bois who put my gaydar over in red. As good as they looked, they couldn't compete with the Weberporn strewn around the store. They looked like wannabes, self-conscious and distracted. I wouldn't want to shop here if I was younger no matter how good I looked. It's too intimidating. Instead I walked with more confidence than I usually do, standing very straight, with what I imagined was a wry smile, enjoying a milieu which I could appreciate without fear or intimidation. Unlike the straights, I could openly enjoy the photographs, the mannequins, the tight-shirted and bubble assed salesbois, the murals. Unlike the wannabes, I had no desire to be a cute boi who needed fashion to assure me, I could appreciate the beauty without wanting to share in it. My lusts are reserved for a different sort of man. I was immune. An insider on the inside looking out.

    The thought which had preoccupied me, which I had been grasping to elucidate in the foyer, was now fully upon me. A&F is the gay world the straight world would like to imagine. It's a fantasy of straight fantasies, promising something forbidden, something erotic, just behind the next corner, but never fully revealed. It's a place of longing, of unimaginable male beauty in the Greek sense, flirting with the customers, promising they too can enjoy the gay world without having to be gay, that all these women can vicariously enjoy what the discarded Medea cannot. They buy these clothes, can dress their boyfriend like an A&F model, make him look gay, but can fuck them as well.

    It's a letter to the world, a calling card, an advertisement. A&F is a straight idealization of a gay fantasy. In these walls, on these walls, in the aisles, even on the ceiling, bois forever at risqu&#233; play in a world without intolerance. There are no 10 foot tall posters of wasting diseases, no models made-up to appear as half-dead victims of bashings, no lonely old fags who have lost all their friends, no bears, no geeks, no chubs, no leathermen. Just bois; young Apollos unblemished by life, untrampled by the straight drags who pour through the doors and leave, parcels in hand, status bags in tote, satisfied that so long as gay is young, firm, sanitary, and unattainable, then it's OK by them.
     
  2. flame boy

    flame boy Account Disabled

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    A&F is a hive of gay activity, however as a young gay guy myself I wouldnt be caught dead in there and I know a lot of my guy friends (both gay and straight) agree that its a bit...passe!

    However its nice to look ;)
     
  3. Hellboy0

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    Love to go in an perv at the pics, but that's as far as I go. I find the look way too overdone... and it was much better done in the past by Lauren and Klein.

    The last time I went into one of the stores (in Cherry Creek Mall, Denver CO August 2007), the ridiculously vague and poorly trained staff told me that they didn't have anything that would fit across my shoulders because I was too big. I'm not fat, just broad shouldered. So if you workout at all, stay clear of this fucked up place, unless you decide to become a manorexic. Then maybe a 28"waist and similar shoulders would fit into their largest jeans and shirts!

    By the way, excellent post, Jason. Very good writing style (a few typos but they fit the story) and an interesting way of looking at your subject matter. Kudos!
     
  4. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Typos??? What typos?? Are you saying MS Word isn't perfect in every way? Shit!
     
  5. Hellboy0

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    Hey, no worries! What's a typo between friends???
     
  6. D_Jurgen Klitgaard

    D_Jurgen Klitgaard Account Disabled

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    I've started to worry that A&F was becoming, well...gay. I don't go for the full blown wardrobe ensemble that they sell, with the button down shirts and sweaters, I am a simple t-shirt and jeans guy. But they do have some fine looking women working there.

    I have worn the stuff for years as it's the only clothing that fits my small frame the way I like. Their jeans, although $80, are a damn near perfect fit on me, nothing else comes close. Their shirts fit great too. I am wearing some of the jeans and a shirt in my gallery.

    I also wear American Eagle too, almost the same fit as the A&F stuff.
     
  7. simcha

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    I hate A&F. I hated it since the very beginning. Everything there is way overpriced. I can get the same clothes at Walmart for 1/4 the price or less if it's on clearance.

    Also I hate the A&F attitude. And I think they use under-age twinks for their photo shoots.
     
  8. Hellboy0

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    Yeah. What he said.
     
  9. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Now, that's an accommodating store.:cool:
    Typo city today.
     
  10. D_Jurgen Klitgaard

    D_Jurgen Klitgaard Account Disabled

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    OMG!:rofl:

    Typo corrected!!:biggrin1::tongue:
     
  11. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Here's a funny site about 111 men who went to the 5th Avenue store, stripped shirtless and did their shopping.
    Priceless.
     
  12. simcha

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    You all have to see this about A&F on MadTV.

    They all make me laugh so hard.
     
  13. Lex

    Lex
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    A&F really repulses me. From the headache inducing music (that can be hard halfway across the mall) to that nasty smelling perfume that they spray all over the store and on all the clothes.

    I won't even talk about the hyper-sexualized advertising marketed at young women and men. Ugh.

    Hollister is a close second.
     
  14. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    What typos? I likely should have used, "untrammeled," for "untrampled," but otherwise I think I'm good to go.

    I was kinda hoping that we might discuss what image of gay male culture A&F projects, whether that assessment is even accurate, and, if it is, what it means to gay rights to both straights and gays.
     
  15. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Are you sure about that??

    You and I are old enough to remember, if barely, A&F when it was an upscale outdoor outfitter; its original incarnation. It looked like a wonderfully fun store back then.

     
  16. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Pretty good, but ...

    Moving through the door I was me(t?) with the pulsing dance music I had heard before ...

    Wall to ceiling photographs by the renowned photographer and ephebophile, Bruce Weber.

    Forgive me, Jason. But thoughts of Mr. Hardcock's fitted shits have made me anal.:cool:
     
  17. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    No forgiveness needed. I was very serious. It bothers me when I read and re-read and re-re-read looking for typos others see easily. That's the trouble with not having a live editor.

    Thank you. I appreciate it.
     
  18. Lex

    Lex
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    I remember those days. It's like A&F went from a store that outdoorsmen and bears shopped (trying to edge in on Eddie Bauer's market) to a store that markets to a much more trendy (pretty-boy/twink) crowd (Like they got "edgy when the Gap got boring and American Eagle went younger and trendier) and has been embraced by those who view clothes as status symbols. A&F seems to be viewed as "chain store designer vogue." I just don't see it.

    I much prefer to buy pieces of clothing from any store where I see something that I like and work it into my own way of dressing accordingly. Finding your own style can be an incredibly liberation experience.
     
  19. SpeedoGuy

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    Agreed. Those places are ridiculous.
     
  20. unique_exposure

    unique_exposure New Member

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    That AF skit was hilarious!! Thanks Simcha.

    Jason, the AF story was really well written. Loved it.
     
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