From the August issue of OUT magazine, “The Sporno Guide to the Summer Olympics” by Mark Simpson (p. 49), with text concluding:
For 2012, it’s entirely appropriate … that a very prominent face of the Olympics is Mr. David Beckham, the athlete who became a global sporno star by flaunting his lunchbox on billboards for Armani and H&M. So, in keeping with the spirit, we present a spornographic guide to the Olympics, based shamelessly on aesthetics, rather than athletics.
with a set of photos and brief sketches about the visual pleasures of (men’s) gymnastics, cycling, wrestling, swimming, water polo, high dive, and obelisk climbing (at the U.S. Naval Academy: “shirtless cadets attempt to scale a giant phallic monument covered in Crisco” — not an Olympic event).
Sporno is Simpson’s portmanteau of sport and porno.
On sporno and Simpson, from a posting on “Keeping clean” here, offering “shower room fantasy, … in a photo of French rugby players from Dieux du Stade” and quoting Wikipedia:
… Originally created in support of charity, the popularity of the [Dieux du Stade] calendars has been credited for the increased fame of the Stade Français team, as well as rugby in general, in France. The calendars have also received a warm welcome from the gay community around the world due to the homoerotic quality of the images. The British writer Mark Simpson coined the word ‘Sporno’ to describe the DDS aesthetic. (link)
Sporno comes in many flavors. One type shows athletes in apparently sexual, but inadvertent, situations; some sites (for example the site Sporno: 20 Pictures In Which Sport and Porn Collide) collect such images. Then there are athletes showing off their bodies during play, — or deliberately or through posing by photographers, as in the DDS photos, Beckham’s ads, and this OUT photo of out gymnast Josh Dixon:
(Note the remarkable inguinal ligament.) Unfortunately, Dixon didn’t make the Olympic team.
Finally, there are jock-bonding photos, usually in moments of victory. Here are two from water polo, one showing US players, one Serbian players:
Jeffrey Powers #4 and Tony Azevedo #8 of the United States celebrate their win over Serbia in the men’s semifinal game of the water polo event at the Yingdong Natatorium on Day 14 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 22, 2008 in Beijing, China.
Serbian goalkeeper Gojko Pijetlovic (13) and captain Vanja Udovicic (4) celebrate with their team mates their victory against Hungary in the Mladost venue swimming pool of Zagreb on September 11, 2010 after their bronze medal match of the water polo European championships.
Definitely the season for sporn.