Nor, I now see, are the gay sailors I talked about in my last entry the only completely masculine pair in my collection. There are also these guys:
It’s interesting that these two, as stereotyped pirates, should also have a connection to the sea, and should also be old and somewhat timeworn, with a white beard and a suspiciously glowing nose and various appendages missing and so on. I say “interesting” because I have absolutely no idea what those connections to the sea and to being old might mean. Would a pair of younger men in a less ocean-oriented profession be somehow less expectable, or more scandalous in relation to the heteronormativity of the shaker miniverse?? Two youngish male tax accountants, say, or two male apprentice electricians? I guess I won’t know until I find a pair of salt-and-pepper tax accountants or young electricians and see how scandalized I am by them.
Meanwhile, I’m suspecting there’s something about the rough, active trades these two sets of salt-and-pepper men are depicted as engaging in that makes them safely and conventionally masculine enough to hang around together and be a pair without arousing traditionally scandalous suspicions–and also, old enough to seem both entirely respectable and a little bit past it in terms of sexual activity, and therefore, boring enough to hang around together without arousing those same traditionally scandalous suspicions. They are just a couple of guys, nothing so unsettling to the heteronormative miniverse of salt-and-pepper shakers as an actual couple of gay guys.
On the other hand, there is the matter of their attachment to seagoing in the light of the fetishizing of sailors in gay porno and such, as, e.g., in the work of Tom of Finland:
(I have cropped the bottom of this picture in order to avoid the enormity of its forthrightness.) This sort of sailor surely lives in a completely different world from the one my two aging pirates occupy. On the other hand, well, you know what they say about sailors.