June 17, 2011
Vintage Homoerotic Ads
I recently came across this article by the Huffington Post titled “The Most Homoerotic Vintage Ads of All Time.” I used some of the ads featured in the Huffington Post article, but with a little searching, I found a few of my own to share with you. Oh the olden days, when men were men… who showered together. Soap seems to be the number one add, but there are a few others. There’s nothing funnier than unintentionally sexual ads, except maybe unintentionally sexual vintage ads. I’ve scoured the very back-ends of the Internet to bring you the best in early “hidden” homoerotica.
The US military had to have some way to advocate safe sex. One of the ads below is such an ad for safe sex, though it is more homoerotic than public service announcement. I remember doing research one time on American soldiers in the First World War. The head of the French army asked the American General Pershing if he would like the French to set up brothels for the American soldiers (this was customary with the French military so that they could monitor the prostitutes health). Pershing declined but begged the French general to never mention this to President Wilson, or he would withdraw American from the war. Wilson (if you know much about him) was a bit of a prude.
During World War II, it seems that Cannon Towels nearly cornered the market with their homoerotic ads of soldiers bathing together. There is even at least one soldier dancing.
Ivory Soap had its fair share as well. I guess they needed soap that floats because they didn’t want hands wandering to places that might seem inappropriate. Ivory Soap just took all the fun out of it.
Underwear and sleepwear seem to have worked their unintentional magic as well. Underwear advertisements have always been homoerotic in my opinion.
And with bananas, there is always a hidden joke. Make sure that you read full advertisement.
Of course, no one did homoerotic ads like Abercrombie & Fitch would do later in the early 2000s. Click on “Read more »” below to take a trip down memory lane with the photography of Bruce Weber and A&F Quarterly.
It always amazed me that they were advertising for clothes that the models were often not wearing. For that matter, most of the models were barely dressed at all. They sure did have some great campaigns though, and they were quite effective at recasting A&F from an expensive outdoorsy clothing company to a hip and modern clothing company for young people.