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  1. What a lovely choice of cover photo – a detail of the ancient Hellenistic period sculpture of Trojan priest Laocoön succumbing to a giant serpent! Part of a group of life-size sculptures commonly known as “Laocoön and His Sons,” this remarkable figure had been buried for centuries when it was unearthed in 1506, becoming an instant sensation among Renaissance-era scholars. The writhing bodies and wild contortions would be repeatedly studied, etched, and mass-distributed across Europe via the new “internet” of the age: the printing press. “Laocoön and His Sons” became the most influential model for Late Renaissance Mannerist artists and beyond, from Michelangelo to Caravaggio and Bernini, Rubens to Rude and Carpeaux. Not much more can be said regarding the inherent homoeroticism of this sculpture that hasn’t been written previously, except this: Laocoön’s expression does well to convey my own sweet agony during the throes of an anal orgasm!

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