How do I look?

(Yes, this is going to dwell on men’s bodies and man-on-man sex, among other things, much of it in street language, so not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest)

Today’s Daily Jocks ad — headline: KINK PRIDE: IS ‘FETISH’ THE NEW BLACK? [AZ: snowclone alert! snowclone alert!] —  offering their “party-wear poster boy, Jacob, aka DJ Debbie”, as a pinnacle of butch fagginess:

(#1) A fabulous performance that I found at once really hot (in part because of my life history, but also, look at him, he’s fucking cute) and really funny (because he’s toying with (masculine) gender and with (male) dominance of other men, two topics that most guys take very seriously indeed)

The title. The stereotypical woman’s question about her appearance, conventionally used to seek reassurance.

And then, on this blog, a Page about facial expressions in mansex, especially, but not limited to, how men look when they’re being fucked by other men.

The topic. This posting is about presentations of self — not about sexual desires / orientations (aroused by dick, aroused by pussy, etc.), or about sexual practices (gives blow jobs, gets blow jobs, etc.), or about (perceived) sexual identities (gay, straight, etc.), or about membership in gender- or sexuality-related communities (sissyboy, leatherman, etc.).

It’s about the persona, the view of himself (at the moment in the photo) that he is projecting — in this case, through his appearance. (In the real world, rather than ad photos, personas are conveyed through many modes, including speech.) Since this is a professional model posed for / posing for this shot, his presentation of self is largely consciously chosen, though in the real world, these presentations mostly arise spontaneously in the moment.

Thing is, Jacob’s presentation of himself in #1 is a patchwork of mixed messages. He comes on as a wild and faggy guy, but with butch ornamentation. At the same time, he wears a metal slave collar, normally signifying that he is owned by another man. But he wears it like a piece of jewelry, without a lock for his master; and his facial expression is neither neutral (as a boy would appear going about in the larger world) nor submissive (as a boy would appear before his top), but impudent and seductive, decidedly forward. And it all looks playful and exhibitionistic, without any of the restraint proper for a slave: “Look at me!”

So some gender details. Well, start with Daily Jocks having a male model with the professional name Jacob aka DJ Debbie (Debbie Does Dallas, the slut). A party boy (goof on party girl) who, first of all, sends up gender: there’s that very attractive conventionally feminine face, juxtaposed with that nicely trimmed beard and mustache and the obtrusive pouch. Meanwhile he’s pulled those singlet straps out to display his sweet nips — “Hey, buddy, tits and a dick!”

Check list on the head and face:

— large, roundish eyes (conventionally feminine): those are really pretty eyes

— small nose (conventionally cute)

— high cheekbones (considered beautiful in both women and men; see my 5/16/16 posting “zygomatic arch”)

— pointed rather than square jaw (conventionally feminine; see my 8/20/16 posting “Give me some men who are square-jawed men”)

— no visible Adam’s apple (conventionally feminine; most men have an Adam’s apple, though a significant minority — I am among them, and so was my dad — do not)

His neck is longer than the high-butch, thick muscular neck of a male jock; but is short of a conventionally feminine swan-like neck. For a male version of a swan-like neck, see me:

(#2) A 1995 snapshot in which I manage to project mildly gay (the smile, the posture, the head and hand gestures) male hunkiness (the muscles and all that body hair) — but, oh that neck (the hairiness I’ll reserve for discussion on a future occasion, noting here only that however I got it, it wasn’t from my father or his father, and that its main function in my life seems to have been providing me with the illusion of butchness)

Jacob’s skin is smooth and beautiful, but then he’s a male model.

And Jacob has wild romantic hair that you want to run your hands through. The hair has a weak association with femininity, but it’s complicated. See my 2/8/22 posting “A sensitive young man”, on

“sensitive” masculinity in the arts — variously characterized as delicate, elegant, Romantic [especially in hair], artistic, feminine, and the like — as seen in [John Singer] Sargent’s works.

So much for the shoulders on up. In what we see of the rest of his body, his body is mostly smooth (with just a touch of chest fur), but again that’s a male model thing, especially underwear models: a lot of them are required to remove body hair to highlight their bodies in the garments they’re selling; and many are coached to achieve the smooth body of a beautiful young man (the Apollonian ideal, versus the Priapic or Dionysian ideal). But carefully trimmed body hair — a kind of compromise between the two ideals — has become fashionable in the industry.

The truly striking thing about Jacob’s body is the tattoos. Tats are used to inscribe a gigantic range of symbolic messages on bodies; for men, these are often high-macho affirmations of one kind or another. But Jacob’s extensive tattooing is an entirely abstract work of art, and it’s quite beautiful. I would go so far as to say pretty.

Then he’s clothed in a wrestling singlet (a male athletic garment, but one that highlights both the torso and the crotch, as here. The color of the singlet is a beautiful saturated blue, a peacock color, conventionally masculine but also showy — striking colors like this often being associated with female wearers.

So Jacob has been posed to present himself playfully as wonderfully faggy, but with butch ornamentation that cannot be disregarded; his face alone is a kind of masterwork of butch fagginess.

And then the BDSM goofing. The mixed message here is the impudent facial expression coupled with the metal chain collar (which belongs to the gay BDSM world of masters and their (slave) boys).

Now, some background on dominants and submissives — dom/sub — in the MMS (male-male sex / sexuality) world. (I promise I’ll get back to good-looking guys in metal slave collars.) There are two important conceptual distinctions to be made here.

The first has to do with the metaphorical basis for the dom/sub distinction: in male hierarchies of power, in the distinction between a man in charge (the boss, leader, commander, etc.) vs. a man serving under him; or in conventional marital relationships, in the distinction between the husband and wife, with the wife seen as serving the needs of the husband. Both involve subordination and service, but in culturally different ways, and it’s these details that get carried over to the two different dom/sub distinctions.

In the MMS world, the home of power dom/sub is BDSM relationships, in particular the pairing of doms, tops, or masters with subs, bottoms, or slaves — the pairing of sir with boy. In contrast, the home of domestic dom/sub is one of metaphorical gender roles, the pairing of masculine doms with effeminate subs, reproducing selected features of the marital relationship in their lives. There’s a growing literature on effeminacy in this context, which I find fascinating and thought-provoking, but that’s not what’s going to get us to metal slave collars.

Focusing now on power dom/sub, there’s a further distinction to be made  between more or less enduring dom/sub relationships, in which ownership is central (in such a relationship a sub accepts, or usually solicits, a dom as his owner, with some form of contract between them and with a slave collar as the visible symbol of his servitude); and dom/sub encounters, in which a sub and a dom negotiate the range of the sub’s services in the encounter and the details of the dom’s responsibility to supply the HARP — humiliation, (verbal) abuse, restraint, and pain — that will satisfy the sub’s needs and desires. (Note all the social regulation that goes into these pairings of men.)

(Being owned by another man or owning another man is way out of my emotional and moral range, but in long ago times I had several quite satisfying encounters as sub, and, using those experiences, was able to act as dom for some men seeking to submit to another man. It turns out that I’m sexually more flexible than I once imagined.)

I have a lot more to say about power dom/sub encounters, including an entertaining ad for the Bondage Bros site (with two guys negotiating the delivery of pain), but this is not the time, and anyway Jacob’s dip into dom/sub (that slave collar jewelry in #1) is just goofing around with the conventions, a fetish-fashion statement, not a genuine kink. He does look hot in that collar, though.

On the slave collar market. All from Mr. S Leather, source of a wide range of high-quality BDSM stuff (they did not pay me to say that; that’s a genuine appreciation). Start with two stainless steel collars, with sizable locks:

(#3) As worn by models, of course, and they’re nice-looking guy-guy types — as are subs, for the most part; nothing says you have to look kinky

Then a thick chainmail collar with a lock fashioned to look like just a pendant:


Finally, a talon collar with no lock at all. It could just be jewelry for men:


Many men who take the sub role are quite butch in presentation; although the psychology is very complex and motivations and perceived benefits vary considerably from man to man, it’s common for a man to undergo the rigors of HARP to validate or enhance his sense of masculinity (by, for instance, successfully undergoing an ordeal, or by symbolically absorbing the superior masculinity of his dom).

Bonus: the Daily Jocks Kink Pride text. Accompanying #1, including a fluffy interview with Jacob / DJ Debbie:

With kink scene staples such as harnesses, g-strings and jockstraps now standard-issue party attire, DailyJocks asks: is ‘fetish wear’ having a fashion moment?

For decades, many queer party spaces were a sea of streetwear. In the last couple of years the tides have changed and they are now awash with wrestling suits, crop-tops, mesh and neoprene – with looks that channel the ‘varsity jock’ or the ‘cellblock dom’.

What has inspired this shift in self-expression – and how we like to be seen?

We asked our own party-wear poster boy, Jacob, aka DJ Debbie, about his observations on the influence of fetish and kink on broader queer spaces.

DailyJocks: Jacob, you DJ a variety of parties – from sex-on-premisses venues to large-scale events. Have you observed the influence of fringe and queer subcultures on broader queer events in the last few years?

Jacob: Absolutely. You see harnesses, chokers [the jewelry version of slave collars], jockstraps – which all come from BDSM culture [well, the jockstraps come from men’s athletics via BDSM culture].

DJs: Do you think what people wear in party spaces has an impact on how they behave – on and off the dance floor?

Jacob: People are tapping into an open-mindedness and a creativity for sexual expression and attaching that to looks.

The more safe spaces for people to experiment and have that liberated experience that they wouldn’t have out in public, the more the community can be supporting them to challenge their own way of thinking. And also embrace the non-binary in clothing to to see if it works for them.  These spaces provide a ‘life changing’ moment – and it’s a domino effect.

DJs: You’re modelling DailyJocks Fetishwear. Is what you’re wearing in the campaign indicative of what you’d wear when you party?

Jacob [AZ: totally deflecting the question]: Depends on my mood. I like to change things up a bit – who doesn’t love a rebrand? (laughs).

DJ: What did you enjoy most about modelling for DailyJocks?

Jacob: I love that within their different categories (fetish and party, swim, sport) there’s something for everyone. And that’s a really purposeful movement of inclusivity.

[AZ: I have femboy friends who would seriously dispute that assertion. Look, I metaphorically radiate testosterone: you can smell the male hormones on me and I’ve got that hairy body plus some jocky musculature from racquetball and working out, so, back in the day, I could easily have gotten in the door at Jacob’s parties and it would have been ok, maybe even a draw, that sexually I’m a major-league receptive. But I wasn’t actually submissive (I begged for it, but I was also telling guys how to give it to me) and I wasn’t effeminate (I never even, alas, developed the skill of switching to a more effeminate presentation of myself to accommodate to my fem brothers). But (from my position of relative power in this context) let me stick in a word for the femboy submissives among us, who should be welcomed to the party; I mean, “fetish, swim, and sport” looks  like pretty solid Butchfest. Maybe we should be advertising GOT A DICK? WANT DICK? COME ON IN AND DANCE!]

DJs: What advice would you have for anyone who is looking to find a greater sense of expression through what they wear – to a party, or in life?

Jacob: Don’t let the clothes wear you. The more people who have a ‘fuck it’ attitude, the more ridiculous these spaces can get. Push that comfort zone – that form of self expression is only going to reward you.

With underground tropes becoming more ‘mainstream’ amongst the broader queer community, does that mean that those who want to stake their claim on subversion need to push the needle even further in order to feel ‘fringe’? Let’s hope so 😉


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