Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

Get To Know Bob Mizer, The Physique Photog Behind America’s First Gay Mag

by Derek de Koff September 22, 2016


The name Bob Mizer may not mean anything to you, but his story is the stuff of legend. In 1945, the 24-year-old spent his time lurking around California’s Muscle Beach, convincing its bulky, bikini-clad denizens to participate in provocative photoshoots and short films, wearing tiny posing straps (an early ancestor of the g-string, each sewn by Mizer’s surprisingly supportive mother out of tube socks and thin strips of elastic.)

Related: Bel Ami Helps Preserve The Beefcake Legacy Of Athletic Model Guild’s Bob Mizer

That same year, Mizer opened the Athletic Model Guild as a means to market his photography, inadvertently inventing “physique photography” as we now know it. Although bodybuilders had certainly been photographed before, it had never been with such a slyly seductive lens aimed at a gay audience. In 1951, he launched Physique Pictorial, which was the very first gay magazine to ever be released to the public worldwide.

Related: PHOTOS: First American Museum Exhibit Of Bob Mizer And Tom Of Finland’s Physique Art


As The New Yorker reports in its excellent piece on the late Mizer, he’d “produced more than a million negatives and some three thousand hours of film and video” by the time of his death in 1993. He previously highlighted some of his strongest work 1968’s “Thousand Model Directory,” which Taschen Books is now re-releasing  in two volumes that will instantaneously transform any coffee-table into a beefcake table.

Related: Stroke Artwork Goes From Under The Mattress To Out In The Open

The original copies were little 98-page books and the images were so tiny — 12 to a page — that they were as infuriating as they were seductive. Fortunately, Taschen used the original 4 x 5 negatives to present these male specimen in all their glory — or at least as much glory as was legal in 1968.

You can get order both volumes for $99, and the collection includes an hour-long DVD featuring 18 of his erotic black-and-white films, which range from simple posedowns to campy “sword and sandal” male burlesque.

Here are some highlights from the collection: 




Derek de Koff
Derek de Koff


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Think

Calum McSwiggan Pleads Not Guilty To Lying About Hate Crime Attack, “Devastated” Nobody Believes Him

by Graham Gremore September 27, 2016

It’s been a rough few months for YouTube star Calum McSwiggan. In June, the 26-year-old internet celebrity claimed he was the victim of a violent antigay hate crime outside the Abbey in West Hollywood that allegedly left him “with three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead.” “Last night was the worst night of my life [...]

Continue Reading →

WATCH: Katy Perry Votes Naked, Gets Arrested

by matt baume September 27, 2016

Mastermind Katy Perry’s plot has been successful! Yesterday she tweeted that she was going to use her body as click bait to change the world. And today she has made good on that threat, with a nude video about voting. Will it actually change the world? That remains to be seen. (Spoiler: no.) “This year, you can look [...]

Continue Reading →

Whole Foods Supervisor Who Said “Only Gay People Wear Crocs” Faces Discrimination Suit

by Derek de Koff September 27, 2016

According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday, a Whole Foods employee in Boulder, Colorado feels she faced ongoing discrimination due to her sexual orientation — all at the hands of a supervisor who made fun of her clothing, her Crocs in particular. “She told me that I looked ‘unfuckable,'” Jennifer Johnston tells CBS4. “And that only [...]

Continue Reading →