Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hondo Bondage

Is there anything more homoerotic than the cowboy? A rugged, athletic man working in the outdoors all day managing dangerous animals, wearing chaps, pointy boots, and spurs, and utilizing crops, bullwhips, branding irons, and rope (lots of rope). Living in close quarters with other men, with no one but occasional whores for female companionship. Okay, you can see why TV westerns were often accused of being subliminally - and at times blatantly - gay.

Now double down on that and put the cowboy on the receiving end of being wrangled, roped, and rode hard. Whoo-eee. That's cowboys in bondage. And there was a lot of that, both in movies and on TV, in the 1950's and '60's.

Of course, Wild Wild West is famous for its bondage victim, Robert Conrad, but there were plenty of others. And one of the hottest was one of the last - Ralph Taeger in Hondo in 1967.

Taeger was a tall (6'3"), muscular former pro-baseball player who turned to acting after an injury ended his pro sports career. His first TV series was a western of sorts, Klondike, set in the Alaskan gold rush of 1897, with co-star James Coburn. The series flopped after just a few episodes, but the producers liked what they saw in the team of Taeger and Coburn so they moved the pair to then present-day Mexico, threw in Telly Savalas, and made the pair bodyguards for a rich dude with a shady past in Acapulco. That too flopped. Finally, years later Taeger had his last series in Hondo, based on the John Wayne movie. Hondo, too, lasted only a few months, but made a more lasting impression on its audience.

And looking at the caps below, it's easy to see why. Taeger was one helluva stud - great pecs and abs and a body fat percentage that had to be in negative numbers. When he beats the Apache warrior in that kinky little bondage wrestling game they play (see below), you believe it. He certainly gives Robert Conrad and Clint Walker a run for the money in the western stud category.