We’re Obsessed With This Hilarious (and Sexy) Parody of Trashy ’70s Gay Porn Mags
“I’ve always loved gay porn from the ’70s because it was a lot more down to earth than the porn we see today,” says Greg Scarnici, a New York-based comedian who recently released Hot Rods, a new book parodying a beloved format of adult entertainment from times gone by, the vintage gay erotic magazine.
“There was no manscaping — just natural, hairy physiques on lean men who weren’t overly worked-out,” he says. “Everyone had a beard, or a mustache, and shaggy, unkempt hair. The men I saw in those magazines were a lot more relatable than the perfect Adonises we see today.” And that’s exactly the type of guy you’ll find throughout the 100 pages of Hot Rods, courtesy of some purposely cheesy shake-N-go toupees.
Scarnici’s parody of the vintage gay erotic magazine is able to do two things at once: titillate with sexy photos of muscly hunks in various ‘classic gay porn predicaments,’ and induce belly laughs with its tongue-in-cheek take on the horribly written erotica that was all too common with this type of mag.
“The grammar was horrendous, the writer always seemed to fixate on odd things and there was always an undercurrent of internalized homophobia that ran through so many of the stories,” Scarnici says of the erotica found in these vintage porno mags. “I tried to capture all of that mess in the ‘stories’ I wrote for Hot Rods.”
The pictorials and comedic erotica inside the book read like a ‘greatest hits’ of laughable gay porn circumstances. In “Daddy and Drifter,” a horny guy heads to the beach looking for action and finds it right on the sand. In “New Routine,” two guys get a real workout in the gym after one spots the other on the weight bench. Other pictorials feature a couple enjoying a lazy day at home, spent having sex on all the furniture; tricking in Fire Island’s Meat Rack; and a leather-clad bathroom hookup.
All of the pictorials in Hot Rods were shot in Fire Island during the summer of 2019 — “When we used to be able to have sex with any and every one. Oh, how I long for those days!” says Scarnici.
As for his fellow models in the vintage gay erotic magazine parody (a ’70s porn’d-out version of himself is featured in each of the five scenarios), Scarnici called on some friends — including actual porn stars Alex Mecum and Stephen Harte, and actors and performers from the New York arts scene, including Ken Barnett and Paul Vance — to strip down and pose with him. “We just spent a few hours in cheap toupees having fake sex all over the island on scorching hot days,” he says.
Hot Rods — which, it should be said, doesn’t feature any hardcore sex in its pages (it’s a parody, after all) but does bare the goods of its porn star models — is available for purchase on Scarnici’s site, gregscarnici.com, for a cool $25 (U.S. shipping included). Scarnici tells Hornet that while he’d initially hoped to offer the new book via Amazon Kindle, the platform later found it went against “community standards,” so Scarnici decided to self-publish and sell it himself.
Time will tell whether there’s a market for hilarious, sexy gay erotica parodies, but what’s unfortunate is that it appears Hot Rods could be a one-off project. Scarnici says that he’d intended to shoot two more issues — one set in the ’80s in Venice Beach, and another set in Miami in the ’90s — but those have been placed on hold due to COVID-19.
“I don’t think it’s wise to start flying around the country to have fake sex with a bunch of guys just yet,” Scarnici says, and as painful as it is for us to admit it, he’s probably right.