Back in the 1970’s, a catalogue featuring men’s clothing originated. It was called International Male, and it sold unusual items that weren’t sold in most stores. At least not most stores in suburban or rural areas. You can read more about it here, but it’s not as interesting as what I remember about it.
I started getting IM when I was a teenager, and not because I liked the fashions. The clothes were, in my opinion, cheesy and garish at best and not something I would ever wear out in public unless I were performing at the circus. And frankly, whenever I saw someone out in a nightclub in the 1990’s wearing anything I’d seen in International Male I avoided him for the rest of the night.
The reason I loved the International Male catalogue was mainly for the models and the underwear. It’s already been established that gay men don’t have a normal puberty and it takes a long time to understand who they are. Gay male teenagers can’t get porn, especially if they come from the suburbs. And even if they can they can’t find a place that’s secret enough to hide it from their families. But the International Male catalogue saved the day for me and millions of other gay and bi young men who had no choice but to spend their teenage years in the closet. We could get the IM catalogue and pretend we were interested in the clothing, not the well endowed male models who posed in underwear.
And let me tell you, those male models were not shy about showing off their goods and neither was International Male. I don’t think there’s ever been another catalogue quite like it, in the sense that it came close to crossing the line but never actually did. Though it was obvious that the models were, indeed, well endowed, a lot was left up to the imagination. And gay male teenagers learn how to use the imagination the minute they hit puberty, bless us all.
Over the years International Male evolved in various ways. When all the tacky flashy Vegas styles of the 1970’s went bust and the more conservative 1980’s preppy look took over, I thought for sure they’d go out of business. The only people who wore the clothes from IM in the 80’s and 90’s were people who were either stuck in a time warp or didn’t know any better. But IM didn’t go out of business and the catalogues kept coming. Though I’ve never ordered clothes, I have ordered underwear and things like boots and accessories I can’t find in retail shops. And in all these years, the one thing that has always remained the same in IM are the horse-hung male models posing in sheer underwear, showing off their goods.
In 2009, IM merged with the Undergear catalogue and IM doesn’t exist anymmore. It’s just Undergear now. They still sell clothes in UG…which have gotten a little better…and the well-hung young male models are still the main focus of the catalogue. I’m still on the mailing list and I just opened the most recent catalogue to see Mario Lopez on the cover. Evidently, Mario is now selling his own line of underwear for UG and he’s on the cover wearing a pair of tight white boxer briefs. The underwear line is called, “Rated M,” which I guess is supposed to be a parody of sorts.
Granted, the guy has a great body…and a great photographer. But what a huge let down to see Mario on the front cover of UG in a pair of boxer briefs and no bulge at all. At a glance, it looks more like he’s wearing granny panties, not men’s briefs. At a second glance there’s even a hint of male camel toe going on. And I just don’t get this mindset. If you’re selling underwear in a catalogue that is known for being slightly risque with regard to well endowed men, why on earth would you pose dickless on the cover? I doubt I ever will sell underwear, but if I did I’d be showing “it” off, not hiding “it.” And even if you’re not very well endowed the least you can do is stuff something down there and make believe.
Obviously image came into play here, and Mario is comfortable enough to hock his underwear and dimples to men but he’s not willing to risk the cute wholesome image to show his goods. From what I’ve heard, Mario Lopez is straight. At least he claims to be straight, but so did Merv Giffin and we all know how THAT went. In any event, I can’t help wonder what people are thinking when they do things like this. If he didn’t want to “tarnish” his dimpled image in UG he could have posed in his underwear for JC Penny’s, or Macy’s. All their underwear models are dickless. But to pose in Undergear, and not to show the slightest bit of bulge just passes me by.
As a sidenote, if you do a search for Mario Lopez underwear you’ll see a few different photos of Mario that aren’t in Undergear. It’s far more realistic and it’s by no means obnoxious. In these photos he does have a slight bulge, which makes all the difference in what he’s trying to sell.