Ground Control to Major Hom…

ziggyGareth Longstaff takes you on a Gay-Sci-Fi odyssey through pop, performance, people, and porn related…

Is there such a thing as Gay Sci-fi? Or do we even have to ask the question? Camp chic and ironic exaggerations seem to be just about everywhere in elements of gay and sci-fi culture so blending the two together often results in a compound of originality and style – a way of simultaneously experiencing 1978 in 2011. Let’s take a trip through some of the best sounds, sights, styles and perhaps most importantly sexual splendours of the third dimension.
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (Or just about anything David Bowie did between 1968-1975) is a perfect place to start. Alter-ego’s, glitter, kooky make-up and glamorous trash all converge in one lavish and epic musical gesture. Bowie acts as a catalyst with the most imaginative and first truly popular example of ‘Gay Sci-Fi’ that mixes together an orgy of futuristic originality. Follow up albums like Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs are just as frighteningly sexy and to watch Bowies very own odyssey as he metamorphosis from rock star to space cadet to cyborg to avatar we get in a very short time span the original man who fell to earth.
A 21st century incarnation of all of this has to be Lady Gaga. With her range of savvy and intellectual takes on art, performance and pop Gaga disrupts and confuses our sense of sinister fashion and dangerous sexuality – perfect for our celebrity hungry age with its appetite for all things edgy, virtual, simulated and extreme. The video for Bad Romance alone gives us an insight into a surreal pleasure-universe where cloned humanoids emerge from space pods and dance in an inter-galactic ‘Bath Haus of Gaga’.
This abandonment of space time and logic is used by Gaga but in early films such as ‘Attack of the 50 ft Woman’ from 1958 we get another level to gay sci-fi – sci-fi as camp performance! And any film that involves a woman called Nancy with a drink problem, aliens with diamond fetishes and lots of revenge surely deserves a mention. Still, it has to be the 1968 movie ‘Barbarella’ which gives us the ultimate realisation of this campiness. Jane Fonda plays the ‘Queen of the Galaxy’ in this moment of sheer visual pleasure and strictly speaking, this is the gay man’s 2001: A Space Odyssey! Her powerful sense of sexual control and feminine self-determination takes apart the sci-fi super-hero and for gays there is nothing better than an independent woman (especially when she has fierce hair and a ray-gun) and has a beautiful blind angel as her companion.
We all have super-hero fantasies and when we are talking gay sci-fi then there is a long list of rather strange but arousing men we’d happily be saved by; Jack HarknessSuperman, Batman and Flash Gordon are muscular, virile and incredibly seductive object of desires and because we can’t have them perhaps they remain the ultimate fantasy! So what happens when the sci-fi superhero is gay? Captain Jack Harness in Dr. Who and Torchwood combines matinee idol good looks and sexy teasing but always sways a little too far on the barometer of bisexuality and the plain old world of Sci-fi compared to the spectacle of gay sci-fi already seems a bit drab, so last but by no means least, and what you’ve all been waiting for – Porn!
In this digital age of manipulation and simulation the gay porn industry is oddly enough chock-full of films which go for reality or authenticity. In the last decade chavs, rugby players and builders have transformed the real life situation into wank-fantasy and you may well think there is little demand for Sci-Fi porn. You’d be wrong. Raging Stallion’s Studio’s Sci Fi Porn ‘The Visitor ’is one such example. It combines hard bodied aliens, and stars the tribal tattooed god Logan McCree, who speaks Klingon with a German accent; granted the sex is sometimes undermined by the absurdity but there is something to be said for an outer-space orgasm and this seems to exemplify what to do with a big budget gay sex flick! So there you have it….a bizarre odyssey through something which offers us gays something both alternative but also very recognisable, and as technology becomes more and more advanced and aspects of sci-fi merge with reality we see just how much it suits us gays and the ways in which we enjoy thinking (and of course behaving) a lot of out the ordinary.