Three men at play

(It’s actually about the art of photography, but showing men’s bodies and man-on-man sex and discussing these in street talk, so it’s not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Falcon / Naked Sword store DVD sale ad of 4/9 offers an artful posing of three beautiful male bodies elegantly engaged in a sexual encounter, with their three weighty cocks arranged in counterpoint to the arrangement of the bodies. The ad, with the cocks and balls fuzzed out for WordPress modesty (the actual ad can be viewed in my AZBlogX posting of earlier today, “Three men, three cocks”).


(#1) Penectomized but still stunning: left to right, Jimmy Durano, Luke Milan, and Angel Rock in Alpine Wood Part 1 (Falcon Studios, released 5/15/14); Rock is about to give Durano a pre-fuck kiss; meanwhile, Milan (kneeling between the two standing men, his eyes closed in pleasure) is about to take Durano’s cock into his mouth

Where the photo comes from. Three naked men having sex together is something you can witness in the orgy rooms of male-sex venues of various types. You can find snapshots of the action in many places, but that’s not what #1 offers you. Instead, these guys are actors in a filmed dramatic production on the theme of man-on-man sex — in a genre of movie/video created for the purpose of affording sexual arousal and release to the viewer.

So, point one: it’s staged, for filming.

But this is not a screen shot from the jack-off video Alpine Wood Part 1. Instead, it’s a separately staged shot done for p.r. purposes, carefully posed through some collaboration between the actors (whose real names and lives we know nothing about) and the photographer (and probably some others of the video’s production staff). As I’ve noted before in this blog, these carefully calculated p.r. shots often bear very little relationship to the action visible on film. (Occasionally, actors appear in the p.r. shots who aren’t even in the film, though I view this as just wrong wrong wrong.)

So, point two: it’s a shot staged in a photographer’s studio.

And then this is not a raw take from a shoot. Instead, it’s been carefully touched up, in particular, by smoothing and tinting the men’s bodies to take the photos into a world of hyper-reality: the already quite beautiful men’s bodies have been altered to look like sculptures. They’re no longer mere men, but demi-gods. (Well, yes, they’re into deep kissing, cocksucking, and assfucking, but lots of male gods are into that stuff.)

So, point three, the last point: it’s a shot that’s been massaged to make the actors resemble statues of queer masculinity in action.

I happen to think the result is breath-takingly successful, so much so that I almost immediately came to view the photograph as an aesthetic object and, oh yes, those are hot guys with really great dicks, jesus, I love dick, and yes, I would love to suck Jimmy Durano’s cock, who wouldn’t, but right now I’m enjoying the art gallery, please don’t break my focus. (Your mileage might vary.)

About the film. The intro section of Falcon’s description provides the setting (not that that means a lot, once you start viewing #1 as a piece of photographer’s art):

The hottest studs around sport Alpine Wood … when they share a house in the mountains for a weekend of fun. Leading Director Bruno Bond shows you how a rugged good time gets even better when these scruffy-faced Falcon men [AZ: in #1 Durano and Rock have very neatly trimmed facial hair, and Milan is smooth-shaven; the point is that they aren’t being presented as scruffy louts off the street, attractive though such men might be, but as icons of groomed male beauty] hook up all over the house in spontaneous manly action [AZ: the scene in #1 could scarcely look less spontaneous; fiery, uncontrollable, spontaneous sex is just wonderful, and I can easily get off watching it, but #1 isn’t it]. If home is where the hard on is [AZ: oh, isn’t that cute?], these studs feel right at home in this mountain cabin where the air smells like sex. Alpine Wood, Part 1 features nine of the sexiest young [AZ: this is complex; Milan is the only one presented as just young (lean and beardless); while the other two present as one step more powerfully mature, but still fresh — Rock is 30, in fact], hard and horny guys [in five scenes; #1 represents the third], and they’re bound to burst into exciting action when their lust levels rise with the elevation.

Bodies and cocks. The abstract arrangements of bodies (on the left) and of cocks (on the right):


(#2) The cocks are more or less the bodies exploded inside-out; the two are, in any case, complementary (yes, I know that I’m a really crappy artist, but fortunately this diagram didn’t require a lot of skill)

About the cocks. On the purely carnal front, all three are really fine examples of pornstar dicks: satisfyingly long, but not long merely for the sake of size (the dicks fit nicely with the men’s bodies, look good on them, but are also long enough to be notable); all three thick, but especially Durano’s, which is challengingly so (it’s the center of the composition, and the composition’s second focus; faces are almost always the first focus, and they certainly are here); and presenting at three different angles (Durano’s straight out, Milan’s hanging down, Rock’s projecting up at an angle). As an extra nuance, Milan’s dick is not quite as hard as Durano’s and Rock’s, and that’s pretty much a perfect cocksucker’s hard-on: he’s aroused by the act he’s performing, but he’s not fully aroused, because his attention is, quite properly, entirely focused on the service he’s providing.

Now, most of the composition seems to have been carefully calculated, but the pattern of the three dicks was probably just a happy accident; it looked good, so the photographer went with it.

The arrangement of the bodies. I had this vague feeling that the arrangement of the bodies was an allusion to some piece of art (a statue or a painting); it struck me as somehow familiar. (Male photography, of all sorts, including porn shots and men’s underwear ads, often alludes to specific works of art. I mean, the photographers are professionals, not random people taking snapshots with their phones: they typically have training in their craft and experience with a range of visual art.)

Well, three hours or so of searching has netted nothing for me. The world of visual art with three human figures is extraordinarily rich (so my search, though fruitless, was enjoyable), almost all of it with one of two arrangements of the bodies:

— |||: the three figures with their heads at roughly the same level

— o|o: central superior figure flanked by two lower figures (echoing the male triad pattern)

More rarely, you see a higher figure on one end or the other; a lower figure at one end or the other; or figures graded from one end to the other. That is, almost all logically possible patterns are attested, but with far from equal frequency.

I found only one example of |o|, two superior figures flanking a central lower figure — the arrangement in #1 — and that was from a genuinely obscure sculpture (with all three (male) figures facing the viewer) not worth examining here. And no example at all of |o| in which the two superior figures are facing one another (again, as in #1). Or, consequently, of the even more specific |o| with facing superior figures plus the lower figure facing towards one of the superior figures (again, as in #1). I go into these grinding details because my fugitive artistic memory — which might, of course, be mere confabulation — was of this last specific pattern. In fact, still more specifically, in my memory all three figures were male, and the lower man was appealing to one of the superior men.

Well, like I said, I might just have made it all up. But the fugitive memory was very strong.

In any case, if you know of a |o| sculpture or painting (of any sort) that might have triggered my memory, bring it on!

2 Responses to “Three men at play”

  1. JD G Says:

    I doubt that this is the painting you’re looking for, but if you scroll down on this Britannica page, you’ll find an image of “Greek psykter depicting reveling satyrs” (which seems rather fitting, considering the subject matter!) in which the three figures are arranged in the | o | position. Though not engaged in an explicitly sexual act, the central figure is thusly posed to indicate his role as recipient in the scene.

    I never realized how rare artistic representations of | o | are until you pointed it out. There’s plenty of o | o, even in sculptures of women (e.g. the Three Graces, though the central figure is decidedly maternal, warmly embracing the women by her side); it seems the preferred (or even “ideal”?) form of interrelation among three people are either one in which a central dominant figure is flanked by two followers, or one in which the three are of roughly equal or interchangeable stature/power.

    The most mainstream form of a | o | relationship that I can think of is the nuclear family. Consequently, the most mainstream representation of the | o | configuration that I can think of would be the American family photo — the Sears family photo (if anyone still subscribes to that ritual), or the Christmas/New Year’s card. The parents flank the children to form a protective barrier, and the children are bundled together to form the central focal point.

    But now that I think of it… Oftentimes these photos will portray not only a hierarchical dynamic between parent/child, but between male parent/female parent as well. In that way, it’s an imperfect example of | o |; taking another look at the piece “Three Male Nudes; PR photo promoting the Falcon / Naked Sword store DVD sale” I am reminded that the only notable power differential is between the two standing figures and the kneeling central figure; the two are directing their full attention toward each other, while the “o” (fittingly, in the moment depicted, he is readying himself to serve as sensory “hole”) is a worshipper kneeling at the others’ service.

    There is an unresolvable tension in any grouping of three — our physical limitation (we can only look at one thing at a time) dictates that we direct our attention to only one of the two others at any given moment. We could, of course, multitask — our mouth on the mouth of the first, our hand exploring the cavities of the other — but that, in effect, reduces both partners to objects/physical sensations.

    This I say not to cast the dynamic in a negative light; in my opinion, our limitations make the grouping of three one of the most exciting realms of possibility to work with. It can be a painful yet liberating thing to acknowledge not only the Other but the Other’s Other…

    Apologies, I didn’t mean for this comment to become such a lengthy rant! I hope you’ll see it as testament to how thought-provoking your blog posts are.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    Wow. Where to start? First, I guess, to say: thank you for this stunning comment (never, ever, apologize for doing something like this), which is observant, smart, and useful, not to mention congratulatory to me (calling my work “thought-provoking” is just a hair short of telling me that what I’ve done changed your life — a comment that I get, oh, once or twice a year and always warms my heart deeply).

    As a matter of fact, the Greek psykter was *exactly* what I had in my memory. (Jeff Shaumeyer had a different, clever idea that might have been contributory; I’ll import it here from Facebook in a little while. But you’ve nailed the thing.)

    Your attempt to insert a link in WordPress failed — “this Britannica page” has no link attached to it now, though you thought you put one in there. Here’s one:
    https://www.britannica.com/art/psykter

    (The fault, JD G, lies in WP, not in you.)

    For other readers: all you know about this person is their handle; I have an e-mail address (and you don’t), which I judge to be genuine (you wouldn’t believe how many crappy addresses I get for sources that are, oh, trying to sell showerheads, or intending to abuse me verbally), but I have no idea who they are in the real world. JD G, it would please me to make your acquaintance, virtually, in e-mail, and I would continue to respect your anonymity. I am arnold dot zwicky at-sign gmail dot com.

    Now, JD G, your commentary, with its centerpiece observation “There is an unresolvable tension in any grouping of three” (and going on from there). I would say that this is a really meaty observation, except that coming from me, “meaty” would inevitably sound like a dirty joke. But it’s a real insight, and it leads the mind to intriguing places. Thank you.

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