Lucky Strike “I choose”…

“I choose”…to smoke and kiss girls, as long as you’re watching, Hot Guy at the Bar.

Are most smokers of Lucky Strikes women?  Is this one of those homoerotic ads aimed at straight women who subconsciously want to attract straight men? For the record, I should state here that I Do Not Mind this phenomenon.  In fact, should I ever find myself at a straight bar (rare), the straight girls making out is usually one of the few redeeming aspects of the evening.  Carry on, Straight Girls.

I picked this up at some bar, but I’m confused about where because the fine print is in Spanish.  Let’s assume it was in NYC.

Forbidden Fruit, Alchohol Ad 8/2011

If it’s not fashion, it’s alcohol.  In this case, a cuddle-puddle of gorgeous femmes looking ravenously at each other as they sip their ruby-coloured drinks.

I don’t know about you, but that’s what alcohol does to me, too.

This ad was in the August 2011 issue of Food and Wine.  A mixed gender audience, I presume, and therefore this ad can’t be added to my ever-growing collection of weirdly homoerotic ads aimed at straight women.  I think there’s a trend here, and I want some tidy sociological theory to tie it all up.  Any ideas?

Fragoli/Prosecco Ad, August 2011

Forbidden Fruit, Fragli/Prosecco Ad, Auust 2011

Buffalo Jeans from David Bitton, In Style 8/2010

Another fashion photograph that hints at homoeroticism and includes “the sister thing“.  It doesn’t have a strong alienation element, but something akin that I don’t have a term for yet but know as the “come join us, Viewer” look.

I find this especially interesting, given that the ad was published in a fairly straight woman’s magazine, In Style.  It’s interesting, but not surprising, since most female homoerotic advertising appears to be aimed at straight women.

Buffalo Jeans Ad Campaign, Fall 2010

Buffalo Jeans Ad Campaign, Fall 2010

Leon Max, Spring 2010

There are a few themes in fashion photography with lesbian undertones.  Two of them are in the ad below, which I nicked from the Vanity Fair March 2010 issue at my doctor’s office.  It’s from the Leon Max for MaxStudio Spring 2010 ad campaign.

Theme # 1 is alienation.  The two women are physically close but don’t look at each other.  The right woman’s arm touches the left woman at an intimate part of the body (the waist) but if you look at her face there is no evidence of any emotion.

Theme # 2 is what I call the sister thing.  I don’t know if there is an art-theoretical word for it.  Both women are made to look similar, almost like twins, or a mirror image of themselves.  This is an old idea about lesbianism- that women had sex with other women out of a desire to have sex with themselves.  Autoeroticism to the extreme.

Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siecle Culture by Bram Dijkstra has a great chapter on this subject, focusing on male paintings of perceived female autoeroticism in the late Victorian era.  For example, this drawing by Fernand Khnopff, “The Kiss,” 1887.

St. Germain’s Evocative Advertising

Advertising companies seem to have access to an expansive database of Victorian pornography that I don’t know about.  My favorite book on the subject is 1000 Nudes, and I feel that it has a monopoly on the subject.  But every so often I’ll come across a Tekserve or random alcohol ad that taunts me with its lack of citations.  This isn’t strictly Victorian (1920s, maybe?) but I place it in the same category because of its aesthetic.

found in a bar, c. 2007