I was 11, just starting puberty, and went with my brothers and friends to see "Beneath the Planet of the Apes."
Like them, I liked action movies and sci-fi and - so I thought - the hot cavegirl, Nova.
But boy, I was in for a big surprise!
The hero of the movie was an astronaut played by James Franciscus. I couldn't take my eyes off him!
He was the most handsome guy I'd ever seen. He had golden blond hair, piercing blue eyes, and a deep voice. He was commanding and athletic, projecting a very manly, cool presence.
In his spacesuit, he looked and acted like the perfect All-American man, which had shifted in that era from cowboys to astronauts. But I quietly prayed for him to lose that spacesuit like Charlton Heston did in the first "Apes" movie! And I got my wish. Within a few minutes, Franciscus was stripped down to a skimpy loincloth and spent the rest of the movie looking like a blond Tarzan.
And wow, what a wardrobe change that was. He had a great body, with well defined pecs and sixpack abs. He didn't have the only ripped body in Hollywood then, but it wasn't that common, either. And to see such a handsome man with such a great body was really rare.
That night (and off and on for years afterward), I was confused and conflicted, since I'd thought I was into curvy cavegirls. But I had obviously discovered I preferred hard-bodied spacemen. And I got over it fast by fantasizing about my astronaut in a loincloth!
Joe - Atlanta, GA
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