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:

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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?

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  • 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!!!!!

  • michael mellor

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

  • tdx3fan

    @middleagespread: Thanks for the hard on! Jeesh!

  • middleagespread

    @tdx3fan: ur welcome. :-)

  • Lefty

    Sexy and Free. Lucky them.

  • crowebobby

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

  • NoCagada

    @crowebobby: HUH?

  • barkomatic

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

  • 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.

  • Desert Boy

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

  • Desert Boy

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

  • 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’…

  • fagburn

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

    They don’t look that secretive.


  • barkomatic

    @fagburn: Well, they were all photographed indoors.

  • MphsThomas

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

  • 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?

  • Maude


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

  • fagburn

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

  • enlightenone

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

  • 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. :)

  • BadSeed

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

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Blackceo

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

  • 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

  • friscoguy

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

  • 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.

  • BlogShag

    Why are the sets so skank?

  • BlogShag

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Bomdia

    Cuba is an amazing country to visit…you can take a gay group tour to Cuba with World In Color Tours

  • 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…

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