The hairy and the smooth

(Much attention to men’s bodies, wearing nothing but what’s billed as fetishwear / kinkwear. Not over the raunch line, but possibly not to some readers’ tastes.)

It starts with some photos of ensembles of bulldog harness plus jockstrap, all in high-macho black, but differing in significant details — of the model’s body, the way his body is displayed in the photos, and the garments he is wearing. With respect to the oppositions

hairy – smooth
raw – refined
authentic – synthetic

Presentation 1. From my 5/24 posting “The Ecstasy of St. Atlas”:

(#1) Cellblock 13 Atlas line harness and jockstrap in black: the model’s posture, his gestures, and his facial expression are all satisfyingly packed with allusions to art, both high art and popular art (the soft porn of cheesecake and beefcake) — so surprisingly refined

Meanwhile, the model’s body is smooth — very muscular, strongly masculine, and quite smooth. The harness and jock are fetishwear black, but they’re mostly constructed from elastic straps; they’re notably comfortable rather than aggressively tough.

Presentation 2. From Daily Jocks in a 5/26 ad, more elastic straps, but with a more conventional presentation of the model’s body, posed flat against a background, as in most underwear ads (but sitting up in bed, rather than standing in front of some neutral background):

(#2) [ad copy:] Get party ready with the DJX Trough Collection. This stand-alone elastic harness squares off the chest to create a defined masculine look. Pair with the matching socks, jockstrap and shorts for the ultimate party look.

Meanwhile, the model’s body is hairy — very muscular, strongly masculine, and notably hairy, in contrast to the body in #1. The presentation of his body shares with that in #1 what I’ve called the overhand arm position, a soft porn pitsntits presentation. And both models are displaying prominent earrings, presumably to convey to their primarily gay male audience that these guys are macho, but definitely gay.

Still the stretchy elastic straps. So on to some real leather for fetish / kink apparel.

Presentation 3. Sliding from the world of synthetics into the (authentic) leather world, a Charliebymz (Charlie by matthew zink) adjustable genuine leather chest harness [a bulldog, or H, harness, as above] with gold hardware and 1 1/8″ straps:

(#3) Even hairier model than in #2, with genuine leatherwear (the company also offers gear made of “vegan leather”, a euphemism for faux leather), but with some prettified features: the gold hardware, an elastic rather than leather pouch

The model’s stance is canted somewhat to one side (as in #1), so there’s some artfulness to the presentation of his body.

Presentation 4. From the Army of Men site, some “just the leather, man” gear from a devoted kink/fetish company of gay men. First the leather harness, then the leather jockstrap, both displayed on a smooth-bodied well-muscled model standing artlessly against a white background:

(#4) Army of Men leather bulldog harness with stainess steel hardware

(#5) Army of Men leather jock with stainless steel hardware and a matching codpiece

From the company’s About page (their postal address is in Alexandria NSW, Australia):

ARMY OF MEN is Derrick, Richard, and Raf.
A bunch of kinksters who wanted to make something happen.
We are just 3 guys who nerd out on designing, making, and photographing our gear.
Every product is designed and sewn by Derrick.
Every product is cut and assembled by Richard.
Every photo/video is shot and produced by Raf.
Everything you see here is done by us.

Jacob and Esau. Now the text for today, from Genesis chapter 27 (KJV):

11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man

From my posting of 7/13/20, “Turkish turquoise”, about swimwear from the Elia company, set in a fantasy version of RGT (Romania Greece Turkey):

— the men’s bodies 1.  Elia men’s models in general are impressive examples of the swimmer body type: sleek (low body fat) and well-muscled but not obtrusively so, and so contrasting with the bodybuilder or muscle-hunk type, with the twink type, and with the bear type. (Personal note: I am an enthusiast for the swimmer body type.)

— the men’s bodies 2. Yusuf and Alexandru not only have swimmer’s bodies, those bodies are also utterly smooth and hairless. This despite the fact that a stereotype of men from RGT is that they are hot but mostly on the hairy side. (There is, of course, considerable variation on this dimension: smooth men from RGT are not rare.) … (Again, a personal note: like Esau, and unlike Jacob, who was a smooth man, I am a hairy man. It’s an Alpine thing.)

So much for the hairiness opposition. More on Jacob and Esau as biblical figures, from Wikipedia:

The biblical Book of Genesis speaks of the relationship between fraternal twins Jacob and Esau, sons of Isaac and Rebekah. The story focuses on Esau’s loss of his birthright to Jacob and the conflict that ensued between their descendant nations [the Israelites, descendants of Jacob / Israel, and the Edomites, descendants of Esau / Edom] because of Jacob’s deception of their aged and blind father, Isaac, in order to receive Esau’s birthright/blessing from Isaac.

SH200 Edom. Having wandered from kink / leather gear to Jacob and Esau, I have to admit that mention of Edom instantly brought me to shapenote singing, and #200 in the Denson Sacred Harp. An old favorite, with a joyous agricultural subtheme:

He makes the grass the mountains crown;
And corn in valleys grow

Its notable defect is that there’s only one verse, so it goes by way too quickly.



(You can listen here to a singing of SH200 at the Ninth Ireland Sacred Harp Convention (2019).)

The text is by Isaac Watts 1719 (Watts (1674-1748) was an extraordinarily prolific English writer of hymn texts), the tune by Elisha West 1797 (West was a Vermont composer of sacred music, born in 1752 in Maine, died ca. 1808 also in Maine; very little is known about him).

We know little about West in general; in particular, I can find nothing about how this tune of his came to be named Edom. However, hymn tunes were named after biblical locales just because they’re mentioned in the bible. But sometimes there’s some fit between the story of the place and a text the tune is customarily paired with. In any case, about the historical Edom, from Wikipedia:

Edom … was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan located between Moab to the northeast, the Arabah to the west and the Arabian Desert to the south and east. Most of its former territory is now divided between Israel and Jordan. Edom appears in written sources relating to the late Bronze Age and to the Iron Age in the Levant, such as the Hebrew Bible and Egyptian and Mesopotamian records.

Edom and Idumea are two related but distinct terms which are both related to a historically-contiguous population but two separate, if adjacent, territories which were occupied by the Edomites/Idumeans in different periods of their history.

(There’s also a Sacred Harp song called Idumea, utterly different in tone from Edom, so I won’t digress further to talk about it in this posting.)

There might be some connection of name to tune in the story of Jacob and Esau, whose history is hugely more convoluted that I’ve suggested above. An agricultural connection seems unlikely, however, since arable land was scarce in Edom; the economy mostly depended on caravan trade stretching from Egypt to Mesopotamia.

3 Responses to “The hairy and the smooth”

  1. The Raw and the Cooked | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] A blog mostly about language « The hairy and the smooth […]

  2. Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] 5/29 posting “The hairy and the smooth” is about (among other things) a story from the biblical book […]

  3. Richard Vytniorgu Says:

    To me it seems that the smooth but muscular look seems to communicate a sense of class, clean-cut, and maybe even socio-economic success? Beards, hairiness, and muscles somehow challenge this clean-cut image.

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