Monday, May 22, 2017

Any Workout Video Can Be Pornography, I Guess

I just this week realized that I neglected to post and share a video I made late last year. It’s nothing major—just a silly thing I cranked out while at home for the holidays. I strung together a bunch of vintage workout clips and then paired them with the theme to the Dario Argento slasher movie Tenebre.

The song may be more familiar to you as “Phantom,” a remake by Justice.

I’d intended to use this footage as part of my horror movie video project, but in the end that veered in a different direction, and I didn’t have a place for this. In any case, I think the idea came to me while working out at the gym and watching one of the TVs play an episode of Bones in which this poor guy was reduced down to the smallest possible human fragments. Something about exercising my own body while being confronted by the inevitable conclusion of all human bodies seemed funny, so here you go: slasher music + workout videos.

In scouring YouTube for any usable footage from the right era and in a high enough resolution, however, I realize I may have included some segments that aren’t actually design to instruct you how to exercise. I think they may actually be gay softcore. You can see the segments at 0:59, 1:30, 1:51 and a lot of other places.

Am I crazy? Or am I revealing more about myself in how I don’t see any eroticism in this and not in any of the footage of women bending and flexing in their leotards? (Guys, I think I might be gay…?)

Here are the original clips in full.

Like, this is basically porn, right? It lacks frontal nudity or actual sex, but it’s designed to titillate more than it is to get the viewer into any kind of physical shape. Right? Aside form erect. Right? Also is it gay, necessarily, or is it just the style of the time, which reads as gay today? I am totally unable to tell.

In trying to identify what these videos might have been called, I did find one more that I hadn’t seen before. It’s exactly as ambiguously gay and porny as the others.

Your input is welcome.


  1. Before the Internet, I think workout videos had a secondary market of people too scared to buy porn (straight or gay). Ditto for magazines like Men's Health and Cosmopolitan.

  2. Both clips are from Muscle Motion, a Chippendales workout video, so you're definitely not crazy.

  3. Anonymous10:59 AM

    MUSCLE MOTION (1983) Featuring the Men from Chippendales. Produced, directed and edited by Nick DeNoia. Produced and written by Curtis Cressler. Choreographed by Nancy Gregory. Music by Marc Allen Trujillo. Running time: 92 minutes.

    “IT’S ENTERTAINMENT! IT’S AEROBICS! IT’S EXERCISE! Join eight of the most handsome and virile men of Chippendales as they lead you through a workout you’ll never forget. Here is a variety of music, movement, and of course, sexy men! Unlike anything you’ve ever seen before…or imagined! Total exercise and total entertainment in one unique program. Hold onto your hearts and get ready for some heavy breathing as the world’s hottest men bring you the world’s second best exercise!”

    Rather daring for the time period when this was released in the 80’s, this video is most assuredly a camp classic by nowadays standards, but nonetheless a fun little trip into the past and highly entertaining for the unintentional laughs it will forever provide. These were some of the original Chippendale dancers, as evident by the soundtrack, the hairstyles, and the sexy little nylon shorts and revealing tank tops they wear during their workouts. It’s a breath of fresh air and a fond reminder of how much fun the 80’s really were when the “ladies-only” dance troupe first became famous.