thru the end of June 2015

City of Wounded Boys & Sexual Warriors
a dark explicit photographic diary from San Francisco's gay sexual underground
1977-2015 by Mark I Chester
with afterwards by Dr. Gayle Rubin and Dr. Rostom Mesli

City of Wounded Boys & Sexual Warriors is a photographic monograph with over 100 pages and over 70 images in both black and white and color from ecstasy to devastation and everything in between.  There is no other artistic body of work, this personal, this raw, this sexual, this confrontational, this devastating and this full of pleasure that covers this time frame during such tumultuous decades in San Francisco's gay and leather sexual underground.

In order to maintain control and avoid the kind of censorship I faced when I self-published "Diary of a Thought Criminal," I am having this book printed digitally on demand.  The test copies have come out great and I am very pleased with the quality of the photographic reproduction.  But it is not cheap to do things this way.  Each book costs $65 plus another $19 in shipping from the printer and CA sales tax or out of state shipping and credit card processing.  That means that after the book is published, the retail cost per book will be $149.

So thru the end of June, I am offering a special pre-order price of $104 including sales tax for CA buyers and/or shipping and credit card processing.  That is a savings of 30% over the retail price the book will sell for after September.

Why is it important to pre-order your book now?  I hope to purchase as many books as possible at one time, in order to keep the price low.  I know that even $104. is a tremendous commitment for many during these difficult economic times.  But this is a unique history that must not be lost.  It shows a very different side of life in San Francisco than you'll find in any available media whether we are talking about books, articles, films or plays.  I hope to travel  in the next few years, doing slide show talks and selling books.  Help me share this important gay sexual history.  It is not a history that you're going to get from any other source.  If I don't do it and do it now, it could all just disappear.  Having gone thru both devastating arson fires and earthquakes, I know how quickly life can change in the blink of an eye.  Don't let this important history get lost!

The link below will take you to a paypal page where you can pre-order my book and/or make additional donations with a credit card, even if you don't have a paypal account.  If you do have a paypal account, you will be able to log into your account and pay for the book and/or donation that way.


City of Wounded Boys book pre-order




(Bitter) Sweet Sex benefit

The benefit was an incredible evening with performances and readings and stories.  We raised $2800 towards the exhibition and book project.  It was an exciting evening and while it was successful, there is still a lot more work to do.


$5000. grant from the Cumulus Fund

I am excited to announce that I have received a $5000 grant from the Cumulus Fund as seed money to host a major retrospective exhibition of my photographs at the Center for Sex and Culture (CSC) in September 2015 to be called City of Wounded Boys & Sexual Warriors.

City of Wounded Boys & Sexual Warriors, 1982

Along with the exhibition, I plan to self publish a companion book of my photographs because of the important history that they tell about the gay, leather and sexual underground communities in San Francisco over nearly the last 4 decades.

But, I need your help.  Additional donations are needed to complete this project.  Please consider making a donation.  No donation is too small.  Because the Center for Sex and Culture is a 501c3 non-profit, all donations are tax-deductible. Donations can be made at: http://www.sexandculture.org/sponsorships.  

Kai tying his boots, 1990


Leathermen Ballroom Dancing, 2012

Mark I Chester is a uniquely San Francisco artist.  He has created a dark explicit photographic diary that documents his life in San Francisco’s sexual underground since the late 1970s.  His photographs capture these emotionally explosive and politically tumultuous times through personal portraiture that crosses the normally exclusive photographic genres of fine art portraiture, sexually explicit work and social documentary photographs. It is an unparalleled record of this particular time in San Francisco for both the number of years that it covers and its in-depth revelations about those times and those people.  Mark’s photographs can be found on his website at http://markichester.com

CSC’s Executive Director and co-founder Carol Queen, PhD notes, “I cannot emphasize enough how important Mark’s work is to San Francisco and its sex-related communities, as it is to sexuality studies and artistic representation as a whole. Preserving it properly and disseminating it via a book and gallery showing very much needs to happen. We are proud to participate in this significant retrospective of his fine art photography, which has such great importance culturally, sexologically, and in the context of the changing San Francisco queer and sex communities, particularly the men’s community which has been so impacted by HIV/AIDS. As we learned last winter during our exhibit of 1980s-1990s safer sex posters, many young people, even among communities that were greatly impacted by HIV/AIDS, do not know the history of the epidemic, of queer community growth, of LGBT rights struggles, and other elements of alternative history that are not well-covered in school or by the mainstream culture. Mark’s work is by no means only historically significant documentation – but that is certainly one element of its importance.”  

CSC will host a retrospective of Mark's photographs during the month of September 2015. The exhibition is timed to coincide with the artist’s 65th birthday and the San Francisco leather community's annual celebration, the Folsom St. Fair. In addition to the exhibition, events will include a very special slide show talk on his work by Mark.