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Burly Firefighters as Pin-Up Guys

by Rob Blauwhuis in Media & entertainment , 16 december 2013

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

After 9/11, firefighters are looked upon as true masculine heroes, especially in the United States. Often the consequence of a transformation into an icon of virility is an erotization of the object of veneration. To a certain degree this has also happened with the firefighters. This summer, British satellite television channels showed a commercial - if I remember rightly for a bingo website that mainly targets women - which featured a muscular man, stripped to the waist and with a stupid gigolo grin on his face, while the text “Hot” is projected over him in large characters.

Subsequently we see the same man, again with the silly smile but now dressed in a firefighter’s uniform - that, by the way, still leaves the upper part of his body visible - while a tremendous flow of water gushes from his hose. This epitome of masculinity is fitted with the blinking typification “Hotter.” No one would want to claim that this commercial is an example of subtlety, since a sexual interpretation of the visual metaphor must be obvious to everyone.

When a certain group of men is collectively seen as object of desire, usually there also exists a homoerotic version. Strangely enough, this seems to apply to firefighters only to a limited extend. It’s true that Shane Allison edited “Backdraft: Fireman Erotica” some years ago and that the author of this anthology’s blurb asked: “What is it about firemen that rings the bell for gay men?

Could it be the strong arms and chiseled jaw, the bulging muscles under sweaty tees and tight red suspenders, or the cool calm as they use their hoses to put out the flames? Or is it the hot red fire engine, the yellow slickers, the black boots, and even the firehouse dog?” Although this enumeration contains a lot of reasons why these studly public servants could be the ultimate object of gay desire, examples of this homosexualization are only scantily to be found. Take a look at the category “Uniforms” in any porn shop and you’ll find an ample supply of movies about cops, prison guards, soldiers or sailors, but hardly any featuring firefighters.

A production such as “Blazing Flames,” directed by Rolf Hammerschmidt and recently released by Vimpe X, is a rarity. Furthermore, this movie appeared under the label Tainted Twinx and twinks are not the principal section of the population where you’ll expect to find hot and horny firefighters.

Who doesn’t want to indulge in his desire for firefighters with young guys, tainted or not, but with patented hunks, can really let himself go with the “New York City Firefighters Calendar,” produced by Batman Studios for the nineteenth time this year. When this calendar was available at the Amsterdam gay bookstores it was rather popular. Although part of the proceeds of this calendar are donated to the Burn Centers of New York, this profitability, which is undoubtedly much greater in the United States than in The Netherlands, could be the reason the Fire Department of New York now also publishes its own official “Calendar of Heroes” since some years. This is photographed by Patrick McMullan.

The proceeds of this calendar go in fact to the FDNY Foundation, which provides funds for training, equipment and education, so that the New York fire department stays able “to prevent and respond to fires, medical emergencies, disasters and terrorist acts,” and thus protect “the lives and property of residents and visitors in New York City.” The official FDNY calendar contains a monthly Fire Safety Tip, but other than that both calendars are produced along the same lines: attractive, muscular firefighters, who are also representative of New York’s ethnic diversity, pose, stripped to the waist, on or at well-known landmarks of the city. Of course it’s great the calendars raise money for a good cause, but because of this set-up they’re also an exciting way to propagate the hot hunks of the city and the Big Apple itself!





In the New Issue of Gay News, 322, June 2018

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