Where is the fishmonger?

(On facial expression and gaze in sexual negotiations between men, definitely mansexually raunchy, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Yesterday’s ad from Next Door Studios (specializing in regular-guy boy-next-door types — twinks and swimmer-body young men — enthusiastically engaged sexually with each other, covering a range of acts from vanilla mansex on out to moderately kinky stuff). In it, Dakota Payne is preparing to slip his cock (fuzzed out here) into a deliciously sling-bound Alex Tanner. But these next-door boys aren’t focused on each other; they are instead staring penetratingly into the eyes of their audience, who are pantingly stroking their dicks in appreciation of their performance. This particular image now exploited to illustrate a dialogue for learners of the Spanish language; the by-ways of kink are strange indeed.

(#1) Alex y Dakota, Diálogo 17: ¿Dónde está el pescadero?

Alex: ¡Ay caramba! / Dakota: No lo creo.
Alex: ¡Que desastre! / Dakota: No importa.
Alex: Pero te deseo, mi querido. / Dakota: ¡Vete a la mierda!

The dialogue. A fairly clunky English translation, for the Hispanophonically deprived:

A: Oh no! / D: I don’t believe it.
A: What a mess!. / D: It doesn’t matter.
A: But I want you, darling/buddy. / D: Fuck off!

(I hope to post some on the complexities of Sp. queridx soon.)

Note how you struggle to get the content of the conversational exchange to fit the context depicted in the photo. People labor, sometimes heroically, to find coherence in discourse. (You can almost hear Alex continuing the exchanges with some equivalent of the passionate plea, “No, no, fuck on! Please, please, fuck on, baby!”)

A side note. On Buy One Get One Free. NDS intends to be offering a free video for each one (from those on sale) you buy. I preferred to read it as offering a two-for-one sale on Alex and Dakota as male escorts (that is, rent boys / stud hustlers). Look, gay porn is a tough business to make a living in, and plenty of the actors / models also work as escorts. Alex Tanner certainly does; I can’t be sure about Dakota Payne.

It all turns on the ambiguity in context of the indefinite pronoun one. One of the videos offered in the sale associated with Buy One Get One Free; or one of the men in the photo associated with Buy One Get One Free.

Facial expression and gaze in mansexual negotiations. From earlier essays on this blog.

from 7/19/18, in “Get your cruise face on”, about sexual offers with accompanying facial expressions, in a variety of settings:

The facial expression for classic cruising-for-sex between strangers in public is impassive, betraying no emotion; what’s important is the exchange of gaze, held for much longer than would normally be polite in the circumstances.

from 7/27/19, in “Wary”, about a Lucas Studios Dog Days of 2019 sale offer, featuring two pornstars I treated as characters with the names Bongo and Pongo:

(#2) Head and torso shot of Bongo and Pongo together (full photo in “Wary”), showing their gazes fixed on their audience

For a change, this is not about men’s bodies, pleasing though these are; nor about pink/purple men’s bikini briefs, though there’s a fabulous array of them on display on the net; but about facial expressions.

I’m far from an expert on gesture, facial expression, stance, and gait, but I know a bit of the literature, and try to observe carefully. I’ve specialized in two cases from the world of gay men, using examples from real life and from gay porn: facial expressions during mansex (there’s a Page on this blog about postings on the topic) and cruise faces (facial expressions as part of the rituals of cruising for mansex).

My first reading of Bongo’s and Pongo’s expressions above was: suspicion; wariness; distrust; maybe even fear. Not any cruise faces I’d seen before. But both their mouths are somewhat open, in some contexts a sign of arousal.

Bongo looks especially intense, but Pongo might possibly be entertaining a trace of amusement.

And they seem to be conferring. Maybe contemplating a prospective trick. (For you? For me? Let’s do him together?)

Without more context, facial expressions are hard to read. They are seriously indeterminate: they can convey many things, indeed more than one thing at a time, they are highly variable, they are only partly under conscious control, and so on. Like intonations in conversation, vocal qualities, and other paralinguistic features. All impossible to read accurately out of context, and not fully determinate even in context.

Alex and Dakota, in #1, seem to be easier to read: they’re doing some kind of buddy cruise, together inviting the viewer to engage (imaginatively) with them sexually — as a voyeur of their couple sex; in a three-way; or in a pairing with one of them (while the other one engages with a fourth man). Maybe Bongo and Pongo are doing the same thing, but with an overlay of other emotions.

In #1, Alex is, not however, impassive; his eyebrows are arched upwards, in a facial expression that could be read many ways. Or it could just be the customary setting for his eyebrows; I have a friend with perpetually  raised eyebrows, and I’ve had to learn that he’s not expressing surprise at anything, that’s just his look.

But, no, that’s not Alex’s default expression in repose. Here he is in a p.r. photo, a head and torso shot:

(#3) He’s described as “a cute blond” in several places; his hair is sometimes strawberry blond (as here), sometimes sandy brown, but never, so far as I can tell, blond blond (I do not dispute the cute)

So the question is what he’s conveying with his markedly arched eyebrows in #1. Almost surely not dismay at getting fucked, which he appears to enjoy quite a lot.

End note on NDS. From the studio’s site, about their 15th anniversary:

The Next Door Studios story began in 2004 with the launch of our very first site, NextDoorMale.com, that introduced fresh new faces and hot amateur guys next door in intimate solo videos. The site helped launch the careers of many popular pornstars who are still performing today!

NextDoorBuddies.com soon followed to pair these fledgling stars in with hardcore videos of the guy next door with the guy next door. The site has evolved from amateur videos to a polished production with a wide range of performers from fresh newcomers to experienced exclusives.

Over time, the Next Door Studios expanded to include a stable of exclusive performers including Cody Cummings, Austin Wilde, Marcus Mojo (now performing as Landon Mycles), Rod Daily and more.

While Next Door Studios has continued to evolve, one thing remains the same, our committment to providing our members with the best quality content, fresh new faces, and exciting action!

Interesting evolution to the current relatively high degree of professionalism.

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