The Junk of Hunx

Written by Nicholas Alexander Hayes

“Hold on I gotta shake it,” Bogart says as Hunx squeaks in an interview with The Drone while pissing into a water bottle. His index finger coyly covers the tip of his dick. Brown pubes create a halo around the flaccid shaft. Black spandex masks his extremities. For a moment, his body terminates at his cock and becomes the potential and puissance of a sign traded in the economy of libido. Speaking on fashion, Jean Baudrillard says, “…the bar is always there as the clothes come off, signaling the emergence of the body as phallus…”[i] Hunx is a phallus that has a phallus; his precarious potency renders him desirable.

Fantasy severs his cock from reality.

I love Seth Bogart’s cock. I love it for its flexible value. His cock’s fractal potential illustrates a virulent queering of masculinity. His body causes me anxiety because his penis represents the ephemeral potential possible in potency.

I first saw his cock in the adult version of Girls’ music video “Lust for Life.” Alex Penney uses Bogart’s erect penis as a microphone to lip-synch the song’s lyrics. The warm orange glow of Super 8 bathes the straight shaft and glans (which is arched with the grace of a Sumi-e mountain.) The medium gives the leopard print room and the two men the saccharine and erotic innocence of beau hunks in a pre-stonewall pulp novel.

In this context, Bogart’s cock is a fetish to the remnants of innocence.

However, Bogart’s photo spread in Butt[ii] gives his cock a different role. Bogart stands under the stream of a shower. His white shirt clings to his body. The cotton clings to his balls and shaft. The shadows that surround him and his uneven mustache make his body sleazy like an early ‘80s porn star. The high-speed film printed in black on Butt’s pink paper gives the image a sense of cheap desperation.

This is simply not Butt’s portrayal of the authentic male body. Instead, it is Bogart masking himself in another way. Veiled in cotton, veiled in shadow, Bogart’s cock is now abject. The text informs the readers of the bathroom blowjobs, three-ways, and orgies Seth and Alex engage in.

No longer an object of adoration, it becomes a freely traded commodity. But if I were near it, the musky smell, the steamy heat from his body would hold little interest for me.

It is not that I do not lust for his meat. His body, perfect in its adequacy, is neither too hairy nor too smooth, neither too muscular nor too emaciated, neither too hot nor too transcendently beautiful, neither too innocent nor too debased. However, his desirability is rooted in his commodification not consumption of him.

Hunx as a queer and as a punk embodies masculinities closer to the extremes. Although these bodies and the material that augments them do not exactly coincide, gay punks have long challenged the “authenticity” of normative masculine performance.

Etymologically, punk possesses the connotation of prostitution. The economic linkage remains in the punk hyper-sensitivity to “selling out.” Hunx whose song “Gimmie Gimmie Back Your Love” was on a Lenscrafters commercial, Bogart who owns a small business and was on the reality show “Split Ends” has sold out. His body is flesh, aesthetic production and business profile. The ultimate process of commodifying his cock is a further reduction of his body to interchangeable pieces. Sid Vicious, another man eager to drop trou, said, “I just cash in on the fact that I’m good looking and I’ve got a nice figure and girls like me.” The matrix of commercialization that Hunx engages in is not unique, but the speed of his seduction has been more transparent than his predecessors’.

Matt Wobensmith, editor of the long defunct ‘zine Outpunk, ends his guide to “The Mysterious Ways of Gays” by saying, “Conclusion; these creatures are a strange breed. Their style is bizarre, but definitely unique. Not dangerous, but highly unusual. And don’t worry, they’re a lot more like you than you think…”[iii] In speaking of gay men (and punks), Wobensmith challenges any essential performance of masculinity.  The permutations of use and decoration of the male body insist on a likeness in identities but not a fundamental commonality. The nebulous connection between gay and punk reorients the male body, while bearing the impulse to align it through desire.

Bogart (especially as Hunx) exposes his body in ways that complicate the desire for it and from it. In his own videos, his body is hidden behind his vintage-punk-cum-‘60s-girl-group look. Baudrillard indicates, “Everyone seeks their look. Since it is no longer possible to base any claim on one’s own existence, there is nothing for it but to perform an appearing act without concerning oneself with being or even with being seen.”[iv] The look ensures one can engage in a hyperaesthetic economy. The chance to be gazed upon sets one adrift in the tides of the attention economy. In this way, as Hunx performs and projects his bitchy versatility, he augments the compartmentalization inherent for his desirability to be comodified. The unit of Bitchiness preserves his dominance, while the unit of versatility and supplication to the object of the song gives him a doe-eyed jouisance.

In his vaguely feminine attire Hunx enacts the Baudrillardian idea that, “…all signifying material of the erotic order is made up of nothing but the outfits of slaves (chains, collars, whips, etc.), savages (negritude, bronzed skin, nudity, tattooing) and all the signs of the dominated classes and races.”[v] As a sassy sissy, he has feminized his performance to enhance his erotic presence.

In the song “Gimme Gimme Back Your Love”, Hunx rejects his ex-lover by describing his new lover in the following way: “He’s such a cutey; He’s ain’t even fruity, like you.” Here the rejection of the queer body for a merely punk body reveals the method of commerce. Hunx denies the desirability of a body like his own—an archetypal trope of pre-liberation inverts. Quentin Crisp describes his great dark man as someone who could never love Crisp because to love a fairy would be to make a man weak and undesirable. Self-loathing of the queer and punk illustrate an expansive erotic energy that seeks to corrupt the network of masculinity. His erotic prowess subsumes the necrotic energies that emanate from the effete nostalgia of his punk and camp presence.

However, his outward impulse suddenly suffers its own inversion.

In the video for “Too Young To Be In Love,” Hunx pursues a fair-haired waif, a boy who is submissive and coy. This boy lacks the telltale signs of stereotypical masculinity. He, therefore, is fruity. The characteristic that Hunx once found loathsome is now desirable. The oscillation between positions of desirability equates fruit and non-fruit. Each only matters for the duration of libidinal investment. Hunx in desiring men redefines them through the direction of his phallus.

His world is not pure pleasure but impure pleasure on the precipice disastrous consumption. Nostalgia and camp provide energy only to delay dissolution not to reverse or stop it. Lust for his fragrant length of meat brings me perilously close to the maelstrom of consumable equivalence.

The maelstrom possesses something similar to Blakean evil—expansive force. The body it encompasses is the ultimate tool of the destruction. Piss and sweat mingle with dust, must and plastic. Its smell is terrible. But yet I cannot help myself from moving toward the sensuous, wanting body. The brightness in his warm brown eyes flirts. His inchoate masculinity renders him a precocious kid both desirable for his worldliness and for his willful innocence. The junk of Hunx floats freely—a symbol propelled by impulse.

As all bodies, he is simply a conglomeration of lesser impulses—some we embrace, others we reject. Hunx does not reject impulses so much as he reconfigures them to suit a look. The rejection is nothing less than the violence inherent in the depletion of other desires. The acidic and sardonic approach to the machines around us allows us to see the transcendent cock and lust for it in the moments before its economy subsumes us.

[i] Jean Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death, trans. Iain Hamilton Grant, (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2006) 102.

[ii] “Seth,” Butt No. 26 (2009): 20-21.

[iii] Matt Wobensmith, “The Mysterious Ways of Gays,” Outpunk #3: Focus on the Family (1996): 7.

[iv] Jean Baudrillard, “Transexuality,” The Transparency of Evil: Essays on Extreme Phenomena, trans. James Benedict, (New York: Verso, 2002), 23.

[v] Jean Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death, 104.