Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

A Handsome Kiss: Vintage Photo

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | April 04, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: homoerotic photography, male affection, men kissing, vintage hunk

At first I thought this was a photobooth shot, but the quality looks too good. In fact, it looks like they were posing for the shot in a studio. I'm guessing it is ca. 1940s-1950s, by the haircuts and shirts. They could possibly be brothers or cousins but it's always more fun to wonder whether there was a lot more to a photo than meets the eye. There's a shy look about the man being kissed and a mischievous, possessive one to the kisser which add to the intrigue.

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Gloria; I wonder (after studying many of the photos you post, as well as 1000's of others) if anyone else has noticed the irony... That back in that time when there was no such thing as gay rights? Men were much more openly affectionate with each other. But almost since the advent of gay rights; men seem be be affectionate (in spontaneous photos) according to the clearly defined lines of 'obviously gay' ( equals open affection) vs. 'not gay at all' which results in no outward signs of affection at all. It's almost like the awareness of differing sexual orientations has brought about a cloud over the spontaneous affections of all the different orientations? How do you explain that? Might it ever change? :)

That's an interesting point. I thought I read some historian or sociologist speculate that same sex affection between men seemed to diminish as homosexuality became more open in the general culture. I don't recall if the writer hypothesized the same about affectionate behaviors between women. Unfortunately, I don't remember where or when I read this.

Regarding this picture - I immediately thought of cousins (despite the glint of mischief in the man's eyes on the right). It reminded me of how affectionate my dad could be with his male relatives (Italian-American/immigrant background) in pictures of when they were much younger.

That's an interesting thought, that we're less amorous in public now that there's more openness in general.

You'd think just the opposite would be the case.