ABSTRACT

The mariner holds a special place of fascination in the world of fashion and in the sexual imagination of both men and women. By the late twentieth century, the mariner and particularly the sailor as a type and idea insinuated itself into everyday life, becoming a strong signifier both of rugged masculinity and of queer identity. This chapter presents two examples among a great many, but they serve to show the extent of the idiom of the seaman in male identity and male style, and one that stretches to women's fashion as well. What aligns the two is that wearing a uniform gives the male figure a certain phallic impetus, an assertion of male dominance and power. But as in the Rolling Stones' image, the nature of this power is not uniform. The boyish charm is different from the straightforward brute masculinity of Douglas.