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PHOTOS: The Secret Homoerotic Lives Of Cuban Men


Kobi Israel describes his photo series Love Stories, Cuba as a “visual travelogue,” and boy, oh boy, if only everyone could travel like Kobi.

“I explored notions of the macho and the masculine/militant versus the homoerotic in revolutionary Cuba,” Israel explains, describing photography as “detective work” to “explore the subconsciousness of emotional and philosophical queries.”

Israel was born in Tel Aviv in 1970, and now resides in London. He graciously allowed Queerty to exclusively publish a sampling of Love Stories, Cuba.

Israel says he developed close ties with his Cuban subjects.

“I made friends and lived in their remote country houses,” he says. “I dined with their families and socialized with their friends, all the while walking the thin line between observer and participant, gathering homoerotic and homo-social experiences, capturing secret love stories with my camera.”

Scroll down for a sampling from Love Stories, Cuba.




Kobi Israel Photography







Related stories:

PHOTOS: Cuba’s Vibrant Transgender Community Revealed 

Spanish Politician Strips Down For Explicit Gay Sex Scenes In New Film

Gay Cubans Don’t Need Castro’s Approval To Stage Pride Promenade… Or Do They?

On:           Aug 18, 2014
Tagged: , , , ,
    • middleagespread

      In my experiences with Cuban, men, I must say that they eat the best @ss. Like it is a buffet and they can’t eat enough. Good Lord, how I miss Miami!!!!!

      Aug 18, 2014 at 8:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael mellor

      Male nudity is not homoerotic. It doesn’t have a sexuality.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan

      @middleagespread: Thanks for the hard on! Jeesh!

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • middleagespread

      @tdx3fan: ur welcome. :-)

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty

      Sexy and Free. Lucky them.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 10:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • crowebobby

      I love the second (and accompanying the title) photo. I’m amazed no one is screaming about pedophilia yet.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 11:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NoCagada

      @crowebobby: HUH?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • barkomatic

      @Lefty: Sexy definitely. Free? How do you figure?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MarionPaige

      Collin O’Neal’s World of Men did a dvd featuring three Cuban guys “in cuba”, two of whom are twins and one of whom has done professional modeling. Then there is “the case” of Czech gay pornstar Pavel Novotony and his boyfriend being arrested in Cuba while they were on vacation there. I think there is this tendency by many in the US / West to assume that “gay” has the same meaning in all cultures – when it doesn’t.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Desert Boy

      I’ve always had a thangy for Cuban and Israeli men.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Desert Boy

      @michael mellor: Are you sure you’re gay? Maybe nekkid pussies get you aroused?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SemLefty

      Am I the only one to notice in photo six there seems to have been a poor attempt to photoshop out an erect penis? Just observin’…

      Aug 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn

      Could Queerty explain why they’ve described the men in these photographs as living ‘secret lives’?

      They don’t look that secretive.


      Aug 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • barkomatic

      @fagburn: Well, they were all photographed indoors.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr

      @MarionPaige: What are you talking about?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MphsThomas

      Beautiful men, just can’t deal with those purple peckers.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mcflyer54

      How “secret” will these men’s lives be once the book is published. Certainly copies will ultimately end up in Cuba and it seems that could put many of these men’s lives in jeopardy. What consideration, if any, was given to protecting the privacy and identity of these men by the photographer/author? Were they aware that the photographs were destined for publication or did they just think they were a private collector?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Maude


      I hadn’t noticed until you pointed it out.
      I agree, it was retouched to an extended belly. Not natural when scrutinized.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn

      @mcflyer54: I presume they all consented to be photographed.
      How would this book put ‘these men’s lives in jeopardy’?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • enlightenone

      @barkomatic: Lol!!! I’ll take #4, not that anyone asked. Not sure what makes these individual shots homoerotic?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gigi Gee

      @fagburn — It’s not illegal to be gay in Cuba anymore, but it’s not acceptable to be too out in the open about it either. That being said, the gay men find a way to meet other guys. In Havana you can meet them down by the ocean along the Malecon (near La Rampa). Some guys strut by, some stand close and look at you shyly. There are lots who just want to talk and get to know you. If you know even a little Spanish it will help you a lot. :)

      Aug 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BadSeed

      @michael mellor: I tend to agree. Maybe it’s we viewers that make these shots “homoerotic.” How about just calling them “soloerotic”?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan Shill

      @crowebobby: What are you talking about? The guy in the picture is CLEARLY well over 18. Come to think of it, what is the age of majority in Cuba?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hotshot70

      Check out the pic on guy in the bed with junk on wall. Looks like the pic to the right of the Crucifix has a nude guy in it.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blackceo

      Beautiful photo set. I love them all. Much love to my Cuban papis.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 2:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • frubino

      Be happy that your Cuban people are more beautiful than the Europeans and not to mention Russia.
      Italians and Greeks are not so bad.
      The first photo, Cuban veiled with a towel from the waist down, standing on the balcony. Do you think the same when you say free … I’m hot

      Aug 19, 2014 at 7:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • friscoguy

      @frubino: Maybe to you but to most Europeans are the hottest!

      Aug 19, 2014 at 5:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blackceo

      @frubino: I don’t think you had to say it like that. To each his own. I happen to not subscribe to the Eurocentric ideals of beauty that are shoved down our throats either but we can all have preferences without being snarky.

      Aug 20, 2014 at 2:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BlogShag

      Why are the sets so skank?

      Aug 21, 2014 at 9:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BlogShag

      I’m trying to understand what makes these photos homoerotic. So all scantily clad beautiful men are homoerotic instead of heteroerotic?

      Aug 21, 2014 at 9:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Beachman

      @BlogShag: Have you ever been to Cuba? These actually look like 5 Star hotel accommodations compared to what I saw when I was there a couple of years ago.

      Aug 22, 2014 at 12:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • aLittleDifferent

      I can recommend a really good read about gay men in Cuba. It’s called Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas. This book will turn you on and make you want to visit Cuba ASAP, especially the beaches. If anyone knows how Americans can visit Cuba at this time, please tell us. I’ll be on the first plane.

      Nov 21, 2014 at 9:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • enlightenone

      @aLittleDifferent: “If anyone knows how Americans can visit Cuba at this time, please tell us. I’ll be on the first plane.”

      Get out your current passport and buy a ticket. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

      Nov 21, 2014 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bakano69

      @aLittleDifferent: You can fly to Cuba from Mexico or Canada. They will not put a stamp on your US passport. There are flights every day from many Mexican cities.

      Jan 30, 2015 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark Behar

      Oh, so Cuban men are all young, smooth, gorgeous? Can we grow up please and show some of the diversity of gay Cuban men instead of pandering to our fantasies?

      Mar 7, 2015 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bomdia

      Cuba is an amazing country to visit…you can take a gay group tour to Cuba with World In Color Tours http://www.worldincolortours.com

      Apr 25, 2016 at 2:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John

      I have visited Havana multiple times, the Malecon, Humboldt (bar), Las Vegas(bar) and MiCayito (beach) and the Cuban men are always ready to negotiate on price. I am sure with travel restrictions softening somewhat in the US, rates will solidify. When your gov’t only pays you aprox $20 a month and you can make that much again in an hr or less if you can pick-up. On an average night The guys making the rounds would ask for $80, the later it got I found the price dropped to as low as $10. There were even times at the beach the men had their wives with them, the wives would lay out and the husband would go to “work”, no jealousy, no hang ups, it was a job. And most had fewer limits/hang ups than a “trick” you would pick up in a bar in the stateson any given night. Our culture is somewhat prudish in the US that we have been taught “the profession” is wrong, phooey! My favorite was the college physical education professor I met at the beach and was worth every bit of dinner, a few beers and a good roll in the hay plus $20. Total less than $40 (cash/dinner/beers) and it was an all day adventure. I have the feeling US will do both good and bad to the island nation…

      Sep 1, 2016 at 10:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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