Gay Man’s Worst Friend

The one publication that never failed to inspire this blog was Destroyer from the Swedish queer activist & troublemaker Karl Andersson. It was the first (and so far only) magazine that dared to put teen boys into a place that our modern society had reserved for adolescent girls. What was normal for the latter—to be adored, idolised and often enough sexualized—was apparently unforgivable once the same patterns were applied to boys.

The predictable outrage didn’t just come from the usual right-wing suspects but also, and even harsher, from the gay scene. While love without [age] boundaries was an´ordinary part of the queer spectrum once (no matter if you take historical personalities like Oscar Wilde & Walt Whitman or the fact that mainstream gay mags in the 70s & 80s used to make no difference between teen boys and buff men when it came to sexy photos) it seems to have become somewhat of a dark family secret of the past that must be kept under the carpet no matter what. Because otherwise, that seems to be the logic here, we might fuel the “all homos are peados” argument and eventually lose the equal rights and fragile freedom we achieved over the last 20 years.

Now you can read the whole story in a recently published book. Gay Man’s Worst Friend is not only the thrilling story of Europe’s most controversial gay magazine, told from Stockholm, Prague and Berlin. It’s also the story of the gay movement in the 21st century. The outraged reactions to Destroyer expose hidden power structures and show how gay identity has been steadily shrunk over recent decades, excluding ever more expressions of homosexuality.

Read more at the Destroyer Blog or order the book at I Love Mags


48 thoughts on “Gay Man’s Worst Friend”

  1. “… excluding ever more expressions of homosexuality”
    This is truer than most people realize.

  2. Having worked professionally with adolescents in 3 countries over a period of more than 20 years, I was fortunate enough to have been trusted with a great deal of confidential information. That experience clearly proved, to me at least, that the adolescent and pre-pubescent male is much more willing to explore same sex ‘relationships’ (using that word in its widest context), including sexual activity, than the Western world has ever been willing to accept, preferring rather to promote a myopic and idealized Christian influenced notion of ‘childhood’. In fact I became convinced that the world of the young male does, for many, inherently
    need such experimental liaisons and activity as part of the maturing process, allowing them within the safety of their gender, to explore their emotional and sexual selves. History across the world, cultures and times seems to also support this.

    1. So well stated. As a retired social worker my experience has has been what you so well described.

      1. Thank you. Pity however our profession is virtually not allowed to research such areas of human development now. There are a number of researches who have literally been threatened with legal action if they want to ask ‘particular’ questions to anyone under 18 so I guess this area of our species will remain for the foreseeable future a picture of untruths and hidden facts until we perhaps mature as a species?

        1. Yes it is a pity. You may know something about the industrialization and comericialization of the mental health and social service system here in america. Professionals and paraprofessionals are now simply coworkers together on the factory room floor where 80% of our day is sitting in frount of a computer monitor filling out extremely detailed, tedious and exacting reports with rediculous duplication in order to satisfy the requirements of managed care, We are now simply case managers in an evidence based care system where the paperwork takes priority over sensitive or, God forbid, in depth work. The system is an exersize in repression. What a crying shame.

  3. MB-forum reflects that fear of pc-gays as well, with all the rather youthful looking guys in their early 20s, who live in Angst that someday they will also be seen as “dirty old men”, if their interest in teenage boys will not vanish in the future (as those pc-gays would demand).

  4. It never ends, does it? The influence of hate based religions (they claim to love but that is only within the accepted group. Loving ‘others’ outside is an act of ‘charity’ and ‘forgiveness’ even ‘contrition.) touch those who claim to be agnostic or atheistic. The indoctrination of our western culture by monotheism makes it very difficult to try to see a different perspective. Our bias is fixed though not completely immutable. The bias is evident in the Gay community as seen here. How do you fight against a moral dogma that is not a veneer but a stain that permeates our culture? We end up trying to educate every other generation, and answering the same accusations and Biblically based hatred with their typical hypocritical damnation while ‘loving’ the sinner.

    I cannot see Man progressing into the future beyond his science until we rid ourselves of such ‘traditions’ that hold us back and virally influence each new generation.

  5. He got the reaction fom a large segment from the Gay community for a very simple reason.

    Many, many straight people, for whatever warped logic that goes through their underdeveloped conservative brains, try to continually and vehemently paint every homosexual adult male as a pedophile.

    The Catholic Church would have us believe that their constant problem with Priests touching boys is a ‘homosexual’ problem. In an interview on Larry King Live, the spokesperson for the Catholic Church Bill Donahue, insisted that the problem wasn’t with the Catholic Church’s celibacy clause influencing a greater preponderance of pedophilia/ephebophilia, but rather a homosexual problem. You know – if they could only keep the damn Fags out of the church, this would never happen.

    As you all well know, all Fags are pedophiles. See what we did there?

    This attitude is one nurtured every day in the media, in right wing Christian Circles, in Uganda, all over the world. Hey Milkboys! Guess what?

    Magically, when you turn 18, you are no longer a normal Gay teen, you are now a disgusting creepy pedophile. Did you get that memo? No? Well, you better run away screaming from any boyish looking adult or young adult at mach 4, so that you won’t ‘appear’ pedo to anyone watching. We wouldn’t want to have to toss you in the river to see if you float or sink, now would we?

    The reason Destroyer was attacked so vehemently by the Gay community, especially by older Gay men isn’t necessarily because no Gay male enjoyed reading the mag, or looking at the sexy young adults in the pictures and remembering with fondness their own journies into adulthood, but because these cowards in our own midst fear being called or identified as a pedophile for doing so more than they care about fighting the bogus stereotype in the first place.

    Go figure huh?

    Pretty sad if you ask me.

  6. The main argument of this book is one I firmly believe in: the worst kind of intolerance comes from gays.
    They fought so hard to get accepted, and now they are, they repeat the exact same pattern of intolerance.
    I have seen it over and over again.
    Not least from my ex best friend from high school: gay, he faught 2 decades to get accepted.
    When he finally did, and got married to his boyfriend, I then got letters of ‘shame on you’ for even thinking of younger ones.
    Shame on them: pederasty (not pedofilia) is the father of all homosexuality, back from the Greek days: shame on them for denying that just to ‘belong’ to the limited, bigoted, narrow-minded hetero family.

  7. Oh, by the way: we also get the exact same intolerance on this very site from some visitors (usually british).
    That is to say we have people judging thers for prefering ones just 2 or 3 years younger.
    I’ve commented on it before. So, so silly.

    1. I recall a few intolerant comments from american visitors on this site recently which is not surprising. I would think americans are less tolarent than the british. Not being very familiar with gay culture I am surprised at the idea of “pc gays” having issues with attraction to teen boys. I would think they would have to exeresize tremendous denial.

    2. it is indeed mostly a phenomenom of the anglophone countries, but through global Americanisation the idea “how male homosexuality should be” was exported to many regions of the world. One cannot say that statements like “I’m only attracted to guys of my own age” have a very long history. I mean… how did, for example, the *gay hero* Harvey Milk match all these political correct ideas?

      1. The brits are sadly to blame, through history they have always had the monopoly of pent-up repressive desires, right from way before, through their prudish classical art, then victorianism pathological prudery (exported with the colonisation of the States), and publicly destroying such major art figures like Wilde.
        I mean, which other country would lock up and cause the death of a national leading artist because he was …gay? (they all were!). There would have been no artists left in France!
        The english are still in absurd denial that Shakespeare wrote his love sonnets for a 14yo boy (imagine the smallness of a 14yo in the 16th century!) where there has been no doubt left since 30 years.
        My point is: it is the anglophone repressive culture and colonies that have created and maintains this grotesque witch-hunt (England, the States, Australia) and forced their values on others.

  8. The first time I heard about Destroyer Magazine was on this blog and through this blog I have come to appreciate and respect what the magazine stood for. What has always concerned me is the possibility of MB coming to a similar fait.

  9. One correction,

    Destroyer was definitely not the first magazine of it’s kind. It was the best in my opinion though, especially because the author’s graphic talent is high which makes the magazine modern and up to date. But there still is ‘Koinos’ Already there for many many years. And so there where more examples…

  10. By the way, I know a few teenagers who love to read Destroyer magazine. So to all gay men who think the Destroyer magazine or this website is only enjoyed by pedophiles: Go back to your bear leather bar and stay there :-p.

    1. There are also a number of teens who post regularly on this blog and I for one appreciate their contribution.

  11. Well, to be fair, it’s not exactly normal for guys past their late 20’s to fawn over teenage girls in the same, erm, manner that you guys fawn over the teenage boys here :3


    1. I think admiration for teens is completely normal, regardles of sex, age or orientation. Teen beauty is a huge thing these days, but gay teen beauty is considered pedophilia.
      It’s this kind of double standard that is the main issue here.

    2. I wouldn’t bet a lot of money that it will be different in your own “later years”.

    3. Would you mind defining “normal” for us? I mean, I’ve never met two people with the same idea of what is “hot” and what isn’t. And quite frankly, I don’t care. Teen guys are cute, dealwithit.png.

    4. “It is not normal exactly normal for guys in their late 20’s to fawn over teenage girls…” Are you serious?

    5. Eli,

      have you ever met a straight male over the age of 20?

      Does the word trophy wife have any meaning? How about the term “robbing the cradle”? “If the grass is green, play ball”? “Old enough to bleed, old enough to breed?”

      Straight men are attracted to young girls/women. Teenagers even. Shocking, I can tell.

      So…yeah. You’re about as off base as you can be and still be in the same county.

  12. Many homosexuals want to “fit in” society so they are afraid of been put like perverts or worst….i guess its normal this weird gay wing, normal but really really sad :S

    IM glad for Karl i know him and i even publish a photo or two in his Fagazine so im glad im been part of that era :3

  13. If we look back in history, we can see that we’ve changed a lot in the past 150 years. We will change in the next 150 years a lot as well.

    Even though the gay movement sold us out to make itself more acceptable, the way forward for us which we have no choice but to follow is whatever the path of least resistance is.

    Acceptance of our issue cannot come after acceptance of homosexuality, can it? Probably not. There are some who think that forcing labels on sexual activity, a necessary part of making gayness ok, has made the situation worse… But, wouldn’t want to make anyone feel good about being gay, would we?

    It cannot come before attitudes change toward young people’s sexuality, can it? Probably not.

    I personally don’t think print magazines are worthwhile any more — given the disproportionate backlash they can produce, and the paper trail they leave behind. With zillions of blogs, who needs it (not that there isn’t a trail there)? Maybe it’s best to stay incognito for the next ten years or more.

  14. thar’s a drawing at deviantart at my site called MilkBoy + other material – a pic sprichs a tausend worts & GAY ART maintains gay artistic genius Michelagnolo Leonardo Donatello il Sodoma Brunelleschi Botticelli et al – the straight world needs points illustrated [hope ya like our fotos]

  15. Guys, we cannot revert back to Helenic Greece. The times of erastês and erômenos are long gone. And if they’re making a comeback, I doubt we will see it in our lifetime.

  16. Although through out Caucasian history, youth was admired, it was not until the Christian religion took hold that it became unacceptable. In Asian culture, we still see the more mature male as one of wisdom and someone to be revered and accepted.

  17. Wow. It’s a shame that the admiration of male beauty be it adult or youth has become so warped. U would think that with all of the ‘freedom’ that we have 2day-it wouldn’t be so.

  18. I don’t want to doubt or criticise any of what has been said before, but I made a very different experience. I really like older blokes, and I like sex with someone who is really experienced, not just in bed I mean, but who really has lived a life, and has been places and seen things, or even had a family before and so on. But I get terribly annoyed when I meet older blokes who are all: “Oh I feel younger than my age,” or who try to sell themselves as “looking younger than their age”. I’ve had much patience for the gay scene, not even in Berlin, and the way they all want to be young, and fear being seen as old, and how age seems to be this terrible stigma, I dunno. It’s scary and very, very sad. Sure, teenagers can be very beautiful. They can also be very awkward, and spotty, and stupid. And yeah, old chaps can be like liver-spotty and fat and hairy and whatnot. But there is so much beauty in age, in being able to read the traces of a life with your fingers on the face (or other body parts) of a man… and I agree that this the same for straight women, they too seem to be compelled to stay young forever… and I think that is so sad. Just the term “dirty old man”… old men who are into sex are not dirty, they are just alive, and they got no reason to be ashamed of it.

    1. wow. nicely stated FreeFox. personally i’ve found the “gay community” in the U.S. pretty condescending, and my response to that is usually…hey, tolerance goes in both directions, guys … to which I usually get a “whatever” type of response.
      as an older guy who doesn’t mind being in good shape and looking good for my age, i’m not too down on those who try to “look young forever”, lol, mostly because it all evens out in the long run.
      anyway, not be be too long-winded here, but thanks for a nice post.

    2. This is astounding profundity, really. Clearly, statements just aren’t made like this in today’s youth oriented culture. In hetero male actors, the ten ‘most sexy’ have almost always been over 40 (as viewed by hetero females). So…. what’s happened in queer youth culture that makes you ‘throwaway’ after 40??

      As you said, there’s something very inherent and sexy in a man who is still fit, but where life as etched its mark on his face, hands and other places. It would seem like with each generation, the thrust for the ‘ideal’ is younger and younger. The irony is that the more ageist you are now, the more of a trap you make for yourself after 35. The only way out of your trap is to die young…very sad.

    3. Waaah stop liking things I don’t like! That’s what you lot sound like. Some people like young people. Some people like older people. Can we all just agree to get along?

  19. A phrase caught my attention…end of 2nd // – “and lose the equal rights and fragile freedom we have acheived over the last 20-years”… is a crock of ______. I am tired of asking please to treat me like a real person. I’m not Oliver, I’m not Pinochio, and I’m not going to beg for what is basic and free for my neighbor.
    inre: Destroyer…it was almost more due to being “naughty” than for anything else that it held it’s charm….and why should it be “naughty”? Been to a beach lately? The only difference between the beach and the mag…..the paper.

  20. As a 61-year-old gay man who is attracted to teenage boys, I’ve had to negotiate prejudice all my adult life. I’m simply not willing to hold my head in shame and live entirely in the closet. The two groups that have been the most supportive of my predilection have been my straight friends, both boys and adults. Happily, many boys thrive on the attentions of an older gay man provided that attention is unconditional. Another eye-opener for me has been that many of my straight married male peers have admitted to me that they too find boys quite attractive and can certainly understand why I would like them. Of course I have to keep my friendships with teens platonic and I’ve gotten my share of pedophile accusations. The boys come to my defense whenever this happens at considerable risk to their own reputations which touches me deeply.

    I find it unspeakably sad that there is such prejudice directed at inter-generational friendships in our culture. There is so much to share and learn from each other. I love to share with the young my knowledge of nature, building, gardening and self sufficient living, etc. Ironically, many young people identify with me because they too feel like outcasts. I can never tell whether some of the self-righteous wrath heaped on me and my young friends by “Christian” neighbors is directed more at me or at the teen boys that they also fear.

    As for the ageist gay community, I have nothing to do with it. They are judgmental, fearful, and unappreciative of the advocacy work I do for gay youth at considerable risk to myself. I’m sorry for all the trouble Destroyer Magazine has been through. Ageism is a cruel joke played by the perpetrator on himself because we all get old if we live long enough.

  21. @islanddreamer: “I can never tell whether some of the self-righteous wrath heaped on me and my young friends by “Christian” neighbors is directed more at me or at the teen boys that they also fear. ”

    Oh, aye. What is it with middle class hypocrites and teenagers? I know THAT they are afraid, but I never quite got WHY they are.

    1. My guess is what they truely feel would go against what they have been taught. Ignorance is a passion greater than love or hate.

    2. It is a complicated stew. Adult males fear the rebelliousness of youth. They also fear the competition for women and jobs from attractive, virile youth. Years ago I hung out with a group of teens that rode motorcycles and wore leather jackets. People expressed dismay that these youths were invited into the neighborhood. I relayed this to the kids and they volunteered not to wear their leather jackets anymore. They didn’t want to scare my neighbors and cause me any trouble. Just a great group of kids.

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