“Scenes from the Land of Hirschfeld” inside the Schwules Museum
One of our favorite correspondents, Paul Heney, is back with another great piece about his recent travels to Berlin:
Berlin took a little time to grow on me, but after four trips here over the years, it’s a place I love to visit. The city’s eclectic style, extensive arts scene, in-your-face “German-ness” and plentiful shopping—not to mention its very gay-friendly vibe—adds up to a lot of fun for the gay traveler.
I had a great opportunity to visit the city’s famed Schweules Museum, now celebrating its 30th anniversary. Schweules, one of the world’s mot renowned institutions for researching and communicating the LGBTQ experience.
Through March 31, the museum is showcasing a fascinating exhibit, “Porn That Way,” a look at the history of gay, lesbian and trans porn. And there is a lot of history, and some pretty interesting insight into what gay porn meant, not to mention how it shaped what men considered sexy. From early work that seemed closeted and subversive to the photorealistic Tom of Finland drawings—and from the gay-for-play muscled hunks that tried to show a healthy counterpoint to AIDS victims to the self-made online empires like Corbin Fischer, the show tries to show how the different eras of gay pornography related to the times.
There’s also an in-depth examination of lesbian porn, including the “produced by men for men” variety, as well as the woman-produced, safe-sex, female-centric movies and magazines.
So if you’re in Germany’s capital city anytime soon, make sure to stop by Schweules before heading over to Brunos for your underwear and gymwear shopping! It’s a worthwhile stop to pay homage and learn more about that media that no one likes to discuss in public—but that everyone watches in private.