Gay Sex in the 70s

Gay Sex in the 70s

2.0 out of 52.0 out of 52.0 out of 52.0 out of 5 2.0

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If Jake Gyllenhaal’s character from Sam Mendes’s Gulf War drama Jarhead were queer and had lived in New York City during the ‘70s he might have had an easier time getting off. Using an arsenal of archival photos, footage, and present-day interviews with gay men who survived the bacchanalia of the period, Joseph Lovette’s rudimentary Gay Sex in the 70s charts where Gyllenhaal’s soldier might have blown his load: at the old-school Christopher Street piers, inside trucks parked in the Meat Packing District, the baths where Bette Midler used to sing, and the backrooms of countless meat-rack bars. The film evokes the ‘70s less palatably than it does the pervasive sexual freedom of the time, which it does easily enough by piecing countless pictures of predominantly mustached queers sucking and fucking all over the city around its featherweight interview material. And though it’s pitched as something of an archeological find, the film won’t be a discovery to anyone remotely connected to the era, either personally or vicariously through Wakefield Poole porn or VH1’s much-aired Behind the Music special on Studio 54. Save for some minute-long lip service to Stonewall, Lovette is scarcely concerned with the climate of social progress that allowed for this libertine age of sexual expression, allowing his subjects to dust off their memory banks and wax nostalgic about all the boys they had and all the places they had them. It’s telling and appropriate that one of the more resonating anecdotes in the film revolves around a man recalling how he put his boyfriend’s 10-inch cock inside him for the first time, not just because a 10-inch cock is very much an archeological find but because it’s amazing how little gay culture has changed since the ‘70s. But Lovette misses the opportunity to interestingly connect the past with the present: how the gay community continues to fuck like bunnies (the only difference is that they’ve taken the sex underground—to afterhours clubs and Triple XXX parties) and how the same elitism that relegated gay men of color—conspicuous by their absence from Lovette’s documentary—to drag balls and disco clubs is the same snobbery that ostracizes them to, say, Escuelita today. Low on context and consequence if not sex appeal, Gay Sex in the 70s is only desirable if Fleshbot is having a slow gay news week.

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DVD
Distributor
Wolfe Releasing
Runtime
72 min
Rating
NR
Year
2005
Director
Joseph Lovette