As for gay icons, few compare to Peter Berlin. He was one of those men who attracted attention without even trying. Just one image of him can define an era for gay men, an era that I was too young to be part of. But his photos inspired me to write gay erotica, as I’m sure they inspired many others.
Armin Hagen Freiherr von Hoyningen-Huene (born in 1942) is a photographer, artist, filmmaker, clothing designer/sewer, model and gay sex symbol best known by his stage name Peter Berlin. In the early to mid-1970s, Berlin created some of the most recognizable gay male erotic imagery of his time. Serving as his own photographer, model, and fashion designer, Berlin redefined self-portraiture and became an international sensation.
This makes today’s amateur photos from iPhones look slightly silly.
Check out his web site here.
His two films, Nights in Black Leather (1972) and That Boy (1974), played to packed houses for years and, along with other pioneering erotic filmmakers such as Wakefield Poole and Jack Deveau, helped bring gay male erotic films artistic legitimacy.
And who says erotic films are not artistic? I personally think boning and art can be combined very well, indeed.
John Waters made a great video I found on Youtube.
There are tons of images here and I’m not sure what’s legal to use or not so I’m linking to them instead. It’s worth checking out the web site I linked to above to read and see more about him.
Though he retired, I’ve read he’s still in San Francisco and he’s recognized often on the street.