Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Now we’re cooking with carrots

November 20, 2021

From Ann Gulbrandsen (in Sweden) on Facebook today, a wonderful still life of earthy carrots:

Ann wrote (in Swedish; what follows is the Google Translate version in English, which is, um, flatfooted, with one paraphrase by me):

Thought to pick up the last small harvest of carrots when it will be minus degrees next week. I clearly underestimated what was [underground]. May be cooking with carrots [Sw. matlagning med morötter] a couple of weeks ahead.

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Cruising in his long johns, take 2

November 16, 2021

(Men in various states of undress, visibly tumescent while minimally clothed, looking for sex with other men — so not for everyone.)

Yesterday’s mail ad from Daily Jocks, a carefully composed, even elegant, presentation of a muscular young man posing in fashionable form-fitting long johns that highlight his weighty package, while he fixes us with an intense gaze that gay men use in cruising for sex with other men (in another context, it’s the intense, fixed smoulder that straight men use in trolling for sex with women):


(#1) Call him Helgi (it’s Scandinavian and heroic); he’s posing in the trendy bathing room from two other recent appearances of his — on 11/12 in a much cruder pose but still in Helsinki Athletica long johns; and then on 11/3 in very brief white DJX Signature briefs, apparently contemplating the excellent penis contained within

I’ll revisit those two appearances (with notes on the sociosexual worlds of gay men) and then turn to the English garment lexicon, focusing on long johns, tights, leggings, and the union suit.

But first, a bit more about the presentation of Helgi in #1.

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Carnival for catamites

September 27, 2021

(As you should be able to guess from the title, this posting is going to discourse on men’s bodies and sex between men, and then mostly in street language — this is the last time you’ll see the learnèd catamite (though I note that the etymology is from Ganymede, which is certainly relevant) — so this posting is very much not for kids or the sexually modest.)

I’ll start by looking at an image from an ad for gay porn from the Titan studio, posted on 9/25 as an exercise in interpreting images. The image is of course specially posed for p.r., not a still shot from porn, so it might bear only a glancing relationship to the actual porn. Bear this in mind when I rehearse yesterday’s comments.

That took me, thanks to a crucial clue from Richard Vytniorgu, to the specific porn scene that image was advertising, which then led to a complex world of gay male identities, personas, and sexual practices.

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Read the message in my face

September 12, 2021

(Warning: there will eventually be a naked male pornstar, but without his naughty bits visible, plus some mention of feminism and same-sex attraction.)

Two faces that recently caught my eye. I saw them first in a rich context, including the rest of the pose they were in; a background behind the pose; information about the place where the larger photo appeared; and some knowledge about that place and the function of the photo there. Here they are, as bleached of context as I could manage: just the faces:


(#1) Call this person A


(#2) Call this person B

What personas are these two people projecting? What are they like, and what are they doing in the photos?

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The flowers that bloom on the 6th, tra la

September 6, 2021

My birthday — 9^2, 3^4 — rolls around again, in its relentless way, and people are sending me flowers. Well, electronic images of flowers. (Meanwhile, I’m wearing my, sigh, gay dinosaur t-shirt, and I had coffee ice cream for lunch dessert, because it’s my favorite and because 9/6 is, whoopee, National Coffee Ice Cream Day, as well as AMZ’s and the Marquis de Lafayette’s birthdays, 1940 and 1757 respectively.) Today, three floral compositions:

— a sidewalk-crack garden (on the street in Dovercourt Village, Toronto), posted by Randy McDonald on his Facebook page on 9/3 and sent to me by e-mail on 9/4 to cheer me up (despair lurks in doorways, ready to pounce on me and rob me of joy): cleomes and snow-on-the-mountain

— from Benita and Ed Campbell (outside of Denver), a Jacquie Lawson electronic birthday card, “Golden Chain”: laburnum (yellow), drumstick alliums (purple and blue), plus seven parrots and a peacock

— from Rod [Williams] & Ted [Bush] (in Oakland), a different Jacquie Lawson card, “Birds and Flowers”: an arrangement of flowers to be identified, plus several little chirpy birds, with the accompaniment of a much-abbreviated orchestral arrangement of Chopin’s Grande valse brillante

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A stone solid pro

August 31, 2021

(Largely about male prostitution, so distasteful to many, but not, I think, actually over any lines.)

A stone solid pro, a street hustling boy, plying his trade for a better grade of customers, comfortably indoors, in his sexy Water Briefs, at a pool bar:


(#1) [from the Daily Jocks e-mailing of 8/30; ad copy:] Skip through the beach club line ups and go straight to the pool bar in the new PUMP! Water Briefs. The wide waistband on this low-cut cut brief gives you comfort at the waistline. The customised multi layered leg elastic offers the ultimate support and accentuates the butt.

You don’t see an impudent cruise face like — not his real name — Joe Dallesandro’s every day. For the use of his body and his company, you pay $400 (cash) an hour (extra for a few special services), plus the cost of a hotel room at the beach club’s hotel and the expense of a background check on you (he’ll give you references from his regular clients, and, as part of the background check, he has ways of getting references from your previous escorts — JD’s an independent contractor, and a sharp businessman; don’t let that boyish face fool you).

Most high-end hustlers make contact with new johns electronically, but, having come up from working the street as a sassy teen — risky  but thrilling — JD still prefers the physicality of face-to-face negotiation. That also allows him to show his skills at figuring out your desires and fashioning himself into the man who will satisfy them. The cruise of death is just an opening gambit, a kind of best guess as to what you need; experience tells him that most men, especially successful and powerful men, want to be dominated and used.

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Assuming the position

April 7, 2021

(Men’s bodies as sexual objects — women’s, too — and sex between men, all of this discussed in street language, with edgy images, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

At the intersection of the pinup-girl world (AZ Page here) and the premium men’s underwear world (AZ Page here), two recent ads from the Daily Jocks people: from 3/28, under the mail header “Model of the week: Freddy”, an ad for OnlyJox subscriptions, already of interest to me for its display of male buttocks as sexual objects for a male audience and for pushing the line between softcore and hardcore porn in doing so; and from 4/2, an ad for the DJ Easter sale, already of interest to me for its display of the front surface of the model’s body as series of sexual objects for a male audience, from the framing of his penis in a jockstrap though the sexualized presentation of his armpits, pectoral muscles and nipples.

The 4/2 ad is also quite clearly the photographer’s carefully composed re-creation of a classic pinup pose using a male model. And then I realized that that the 3/8 ad was in fact a bow to yet another classic pinup pose.

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Men in Love 1850s – 1950s

February 26, 2021

The full title: LOVING A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s – 1950s. Assembled by Hugh Nini & Neal Treadwell (5 Continents Editions, 2020).


(#1) Front cover of the book

From the introduction to a Queer Review interview by editor James Kleinmann with the authors (11/1/20):

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Sweet and fuzzy 4

January 8, 2021

My favorite in this series so far, because it presents me as not only sweet and fuzzy but also as contemplative (if you know me, you know that I am not only a very playful nice guy, but I am also deeply serious about what I see as my work and almost relentlessly analytic, about pretty much everything):


(#1) Once again, I  have no idea about when this photo was taken or by whom; the shirt, with its horizontal stripes of charcoal and purple, turns out to have some history, however

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Sweet and fuzzy 3

January 7, 2021

I continue to find Nice Guy photos of me projecting a sweet and fuzzy persona; apparently, lots of people I know find this presentation of self attractive (and have done so for at least 20 years). They have a point.

Here’s the latest, me at the Ramona St. condo:


(#1) Photographer not known; and date not known, but it was before the diningroom table (in the top center) became my work table and the desk (on the right) became a storage surface

This image of me is very much like #1 from my 1/5/21 posting “More sweet and fuzzy” (from 2001), but with a head tilt. Both differ from the image in my 1/3/21 posting “Sweet and fuzzy, from 2006” (the first in the series).

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