PIN-UP PHOTOGRAPHER HAS HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF THE EARTH AND WANTS A MUD BATH
Pinups, created by Christopher Schulz, is a triannual publication featuring photos of men in various locales doing a variety of things in various states of undress. Each issue has only one or two models, no text, and can be unfolded to make a pin-up poster. Artist AA Bronson has called Pinups ”a coyly elaborate one image publication.” As such, the genre of Pinups is eventually difficult to prescribe; but the guys Pinups features feel very real and are quite sexy. I personally own issue #7 and intend to buy #11 as soon as I get back to the States. I also recently e-mailed Christopher Schulz to ask him a few questions for Jungle Guts.
JOHNNIE: Pinups often features guys who could be categorized as bears in the gay community. I’ve always felt that something about the bear persona has an aura of earth love. As an expert on bears, could you elaborate on my inkling?
CHRISTOPHER: I’ve always been very careful to not identify the models as bears or any other group because it’s too limiting. I believe the models’ beauty transcends trappings of the bear identity. The men that are featured in Pinups don’t all share bear characteristics—some are thin, some are chubby, some are hairy, some are smooth, but they are all comfortable with their bodies and don’t hide physical characteristics regardless of cultural ideals. You’ll find no bleached, bronzed, waxed guys giving Zoolander face, trying desperately to be sexy in Pinups. Instead, you’ll see men in the nude, going about their day-to-day as though clothes were never invented.
A QUEER AND DELICATE SHAPE PT. 4- SEXUAL DIVERSITY IN ANIMALS AND NATURE
Do humans who identify as transgender, intersex, or genderqueer have parallels in the animal kingdom as well?
Many animals, especially fish, change sex during their lifetimes. Blue headed wrasse go from female to male. Clownfish go from male to female ( this would have made a really good plot element in finding nemo if you ask me). Lastly, hamlets, a kind of sea bass, are male and female simultaneously. (8) Some coral gobies, a species of fish that live off the coast of Okinawa in japan, may switch genders multiple times in their lives. This ability to change gender can be highly beneficial if you’ve found another goby and it would be easier to switch genders to be able to mate with them rather than swim to some other part of the reef to find a new mate of the opposite gender. (2)
A QUEER AND DELICATE SHAPE PT. 2- SEXUAL DIVERSITY IN ANIMALS AND NATURE
If we take a closer look at the sexual patterns of animals that posses two sexes, we also find divergences from the darwinian model of sexuality in which all males are competitive with one another for female mates. many males of a species co-operate to find mates or share mates, which is in conflict with the notion that with very few exceptions, competition must occur between males. Ruffs, a species of sandpiper that live throughought Europe and Asia, have one gender of female and three genders of male with different behavior patterns surrounding mating. The first species of ruff, the black collared ruff, has a collar of black plumage around it’s neck and spends most of it’s time in a competitive mating nesting pattern called a lek. Females fly over the lek area and scope out which black collar males they find more appealing. The second type of ruff, a white collared ruff, does not have it’s own space in a lek and often flocks with females. However, when it’s time to mate, White collared ruffs will often settle down in the nest of a black collared male. The black collared ruff tolerates this behavior because female ruffs will be more attracted to a nest in the lek that has a black and a white collared ruff in it. This is because the female may already know the white collared male in the nest from flocking with it, and will be more trusting of it. Thus, the white collared ruff works as a sort match maker for the black collared ruff and in exchange is allowed the opportunity to share parentage of the eggs that the female produces. There is also a third gender of male ruff which possesses the color patterns of a female. Although I haven’t found any information on it’s heterosexual habits, This ruff has been documented engaging in mutual same sex mounting with other crested male ruffs- with both partners taking on the female and male position. (8)
Another case where male cooperation in gaining female mates occurs is in the Sunfish. Sunfish mating occurs with larger older males staking out territories and waiting for females to enter those territories while scaring off other potential males. However, younger and smaller sunfish of a different coloration will often come into the territory of an older male and the two males will solicit each other in a courtship ritual. In sunfish, fertilization occurs after a female has released her eggs. After release, the males sprinkle their ejaculate on the eggs and they are fertilized. A female entering the mating territory of two males who have engaged in a courtship ritual will allow both males to fertilize her eggs, and the paternity of her young will be shared by both. So why is the older, larger male allowing the smaller male to inseminate the eggs deposited in his territory? Because the female is more likely to mate with a male that also has a younger male partner with whom the older male has engaged in a courtship ritual with. Why is this? Joan Roughgarden, a Biologist at Stanford University, believes that these homosexual male courtships allow females to examine the behavior patterns of the larger male and see if he is healthy and will also not prove to be an aggressive mate. Thus she will be able to ensure her safety and increase her fitness. (2) These sort of behavior patterns seem odd because evolutionary theory promotes the idea that all species only reproduce for the purpose of furthering their individual genetic material. But in the case of the ruff and the sunfish, a shared parentage may actually increase fitness for the male because a female will feel more likely to mate with him if he has a partner.