Puvis De Chavannes

Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898) is know as a leading figure of the symbolist movement.  After classic and traditional studies, he turns to painting.  He stayed twice in Italy where he studied with Delacroix. He was influenced by Ingres and Chasseriau whom he admired.

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His male vision is essentially referring to Ancient Greece, glorifying men’s muscular strength and efforts.  Male bodies and beauties at all ages really are sublimated in his representations.

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What Does Bisexuality Feel Like?

Or another way to put it:  How does it feel to be bisexual? (From a male perspective)

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First and foremost it feels like a gift.  To look at both men and women and recognize the beautiful distinctions in both, to be attracted to the physical and emotional differences, to be aware of your attraction to both and be able to allow yourself to feel the natural harmony inherent in these feelings, is one of life’s greatest rewards.

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There’s something about being a man, looking at another man, realizing he’s attractive, realizing you would like to know him, spend time with him, perhaps even touch him.  There’s the mystery and magic of seeing another man naked, seeing his body as something beautiful, attractive, sensual, inviting.  There’s something about being at one with another man’s mind, relating to it, identifying with it, sharing that particular man his innermost thoughts.  There’s something about being a man who can be intimate with another man, to know the joy of exploring a body similar to your own, a masculine kiss, the sensation of holding his genitals in your hand, their texture and weight, their ever changing size and shape, their warmth, their taste, always aware of their purpose, and yes, the feel of his penis inside.  There’s something about trusting another man, of knowing him so well you can share with abandon all of the secret treasures of your sexuality.

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There’s something about all these things that are  hard to define, hard to put into words, though these irresistible elements cannot be denied no matter how severely we are indoctrinated, no matter how completely these notions are condemned.  The power of of our instincts will always flourish; they are part of us and cannot and will never vanish.

There’s a feeling of being set apart from the general brotherhood of man, a recognition of certain facets of life that other men don’t seem to have or understand, and you feel a certain pity for them because they don’t have the gift, or they don’t allow themselves to identify it.  You believe if only all of mankind were bisexual, were to acknowledge it, then our collective ideology would be free to create institutions, such as marriage, with broader colors, and create a society free of unnatural taboos and narrow minds.

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Yet, for most bisexual men, there is another, perhaps even more important, facet to his persona.  Though he wants to connect with and is inspired by other men, he recognizes his overwhelming attraction to women; he recognizes her uniquely feminine perspective, her softness, her exquisite shape and the purpose of her body, her strength, her insights and intuitions, her powerful capacity to love, her ability to make his life complete.  He recognizes his desire to love her, to make a home with her, to build a life with her, to grow old with her.

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Sketches of Men

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Years ago I communicated with this artist.  He seemed rather vague about his work.  I gathered only that his name is Willie.

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I thought his study of the male nude to be magnificent.  He seems to focus on well shaped, well endowed, not overly muscular, but very masculine men of different races.

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The expressive poses Willie chooses displays the male body with varying muscles at play.

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Shaving Pubic Hair Revisited

Knock me over with a feather!  Looks like pubic hair shaving has been one of the most popular topics on this blog.  Personally, I see it as a sign that more and more men, gay, straight and in between (Americans in particular), are becoming enlightened males and exposing a more sensuous side of their nature, a side that doesn’t necessarily fit all the old stereotypical definitions of masculinity.

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I have to say, speaking of shaved genitals, the testicles specifically, there’s something about the hairless look, not to mention how they feel without hair in the palm of the hand, and more interestingly, how they feel in the mouth.  Hmmm.  A temptation hard to resist.  And based on the sites I’ve combed over, evidently the ladies feel the same way, perhaps even more so.  To quote some of the more popular replies, the ladies are far more apt to get involved orally if they don’t have to get past all that hair.

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As for the pubic hair . . . seems to me it depends on the individual man, his body type, and his lover’s point of view.  If the guy has a lot of body hair, especially around the area in question, it may look a little awkward to have a four inch square bald spot.  This guy is a candidate for a good trim; but shaving the pubic mound bald . . . probably not such a good idea.

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However, the boyish look is awfully appealing on the guy who has very little or extra fine body hair.  And it’s more than the way he looks shaven clean; it’s a statement of sorts, kind of like telling the world I’m in tune my body and I’m not afraid to express it.  Too bad we don’t have more nude beaches in the U.S., so that we might park on a towel and watch these beautiful, clean shaven guys walk by.

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What about how it feels?  If you haven’t tried it yet, think about how refreshing it must feel, cool.  Certainly, with your clothes off, you will more naked than you ever have.  I hear, appearance wise, it also adds as much as an inch.  I, for one, could use some of that.

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And speaking of the ladies: seems they discovered this very intimate cosmetic redo way before the guys did, and they are stunning to look at clean shaven.

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Confession of a Straight Guy

Confessions of a more-or-less straight guy

Allan MacInnis / Xtra West / Vancouver

It’s time for me to come out of the closet to Xtra West readers.

I’ve written a half-dozen articles and reviews for the paper, interviewed Annie Sprinkle and her partner Beth Stephens, and talked to the directors of two queer-themed documentaries, one horror film and at least one play. I might do another article or two for the paper, if they’ll have me.

The thing is, it’s time to admit it and take my lumps: I’m straight. An interloper, a tourist. I feel like I have to come clean.

I’m not completely straight, understand; probably no one is, but my version of “straight” may be a little more crooked than some.

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I posed nude once with Michael V Smith, and – he doesn’t know it – had a dream once, possibly wet, where he went down on me.

In university, I was convinced by an essay of Leo Bersani’s, “Is the Rectum a Grave,” that our culture’s homophobia had wrongly led men to disown their anuses as a source of sexual pleasure, which prompted me to experiment with penetrating myself during masturbation sessions.

I even figured out during my yoga days how to perform autofellatio, so I can boast about having had one penis in my mouth – my own. (Sadly, I couldn’t get hard, mostly because the position was so fucking uncomfortable; talk about a Catch 22).

There was even an episode once in my 20s where I agreed to let some anonymous man on a chat line give me a blowjob, only to discover to my disappointment that I couldn’t find the address he’d told me to meet him at.

And long before that, in my preteen years, a neighbourhood boy and myself compared our penises while hiding, literally, in a closet (I declined his invitation to suck his, but I did touch it and hold it, and he mine; I was mostly just curious – he was the one who got hard).

None of this gives me the right to call myself “gay.” Every orgasm I’ve given or shared has been with a woman. Every sexual impulse I’ve felt in adult life towards men around me – and such impulses do arise from time to time despite my hetero orientation – has been squelched as potentially opening a can of worms.

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Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus (1904-1999)

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Paul Cadmus 1937

American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes and curvaceous women in provocative poses, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.

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Born in New York City on December 17, 1904 into a family of commercial artists, Cadmus studied at the National Academy of Design and the Arts Students League. He lived in Europe from 1931 to 1933, where he traveled with artist Jared French and where he produced his first mature canvases.
Sponsor Message.

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Abducted

Abducted

Little does he know, when she pulls in front of him just as he turns into the parking lot, that this event has changed the course of his life.  His coffee splashes on the floor when he hit the brakes.  A quick flash of anger as he watches her drive on into the parking lot, oblivious to the fact he had the right-of-way.  He sees her again after he parks, when she passes in front of his van; a suburban clone, blonde, ponytail, distracted by some frivolous conversation on a cell phone while trying to see over the hood of a tank-size SUV.

She stops a few cars down to wait for an elderly couple get into their car and vacate their parking space.  Why didn’t she take the space six cars back and simple walk the extra distance?  Two cars pull to a stop behind her.  They have to wait for her to get out of the way.  She honks, apparently to hurry the elderly couple.

He shakes his head.  How many of these clones has he seen before, the type that thinks the world revolves around them, utterly unaware of the real world, or other people’s sensibilities, spoiled from the moment they’re born, little girls that grow up selfish and self-serving, then marry the ambitious fraternity man that has to have just the right female to call his wife?

Maybe this bothered him more these days, now that his business had gone under, now that he had lost his house and was living in the lake cabin left to him by his uncle, all heaped on the pain of losing his wife in an automobile accident less than a year before.  A year ago this obnoxious female wouldn’t have roused a second thought.

He watches her maneuver the big SUV into the parking space, step down out of the cab and start toward the grocery store, stopping to confront the cart attendant about a cart that had gotten in her way.  He can see the boy trying to be polite even though she’s talking down to him, likely accusing him of not doing his job.

She’s blessed—his whole world has fallen apart.  She will fill her shopping cart with expensive organic food and the latest high-energy sports drinks.  He’ll buy sugar and coffee and maybe a pot roast.  His money will run out within a few months.  He feels powerless, like the world had passed him by and he will never catch up.  His optimism and ambition have been reduced to pangs of inadequacy, failure, unable to solve problems or make decisions; a low that often feels like a physical pain, a low he had never realized even existed.

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Yes Virginia, There Really Is Bisexuality*

The recent opinion editorials and responses highlight how much of a flash point this topic is in the LGBT community. As fun as it is to banter about, what does the research suggest? In the case of bisexuality, the picture is “Yes, there is bisexuality.”*

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Every once in a while the research makes the picture more confusing. The “*” requires us to look at the fine print. The fine print almost always requires a clarification of what we mean by the term “bisexual.” The lack of precision in understanding the term is the source of much of the confusion.

Starting with the granddaddy of psychology, Sigmund Freud defined bisexuality as the ability to get sexual pleasure from a male or female. Strictly speaking, he emphasized genital satisfaction and suggested since all of us can be sexually stimulated by anyone we are all bisexual. Obviously, this view has significant limitations.

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The Powerful Art of Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins

By age twelve, growing up in Philadelphia, Eakins was already displaying his talent for art.  After studying art in Pennsylvania and Paris, finding himself more interested in human anatomy than the Impressionist movement, he went on to develop his anatomically precise style.

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A letter to his father in 1868 made his fascination with the human body clear:  She [the female nude] is the most beautiful thing there is in the world except a naked man, but I never yet saw a study of one exhibited … It would be a godsend to see a fine man model painted in the studio with the bare walls, alongside of the smiling smirking goddesses of waxy complexion amidst the delicious arsenic green trees and gentle wax flowers & purling streams running melodious up & down the hills especially up. I hate affectation.

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How one can look at art such as Eakins and still find the human body shameful or anything other than nature’s finest work, is beyond me.

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Eakins is credited with bringing photography in to the world of art.  With these college students, he captures the beauty of the male form, human energy, and male camaraderie.

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The Swimming Hole (1884-5) (above), is considered his finest study of the nude.  The figures involved were his students and friends.

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Makes you wonder why anyone would want to wear clothes.

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A photograph of Thomas Eakins (left) and a friend.

Below, Thomas Eakins carrying a woman.

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The Male Psyche

Understanding the Male Psyche

Trying to comprehend the male psyche is like trying to comprehend the Universe, but possibly more of a challenge, though worthwhile when considering the particular male you may be interested in.

The first part is easy.  His looks.  To you he is beautiful.  You want someone that looks like him.  Done deal as far as that department is concerned.  The next part is also fairly easy: the chemistry that’s likely to develop quickly between the two of you, or not develop at all.  You like the way he smiles, the way he smells, the feelings you get when you are close.  Two bases are covered, chemistry and physical appeal, you’re ready to fall in love.  You’re ready, but you’re also facing the possible challenges of the male psyche.

Studies have defined the male psyche by seven categories: shame, emotional absence, insecurity, selfishness, aggression, self-destruction and sexual behavior.

Within these seven categories lies the answer as to whether the two of you are compatible or not.  In sync in all seven, great.  On the other hand being at odds with just one of them can damage or destroy a relationship, unless one of you are prepared to compromise for the rest of your life, or the other has the ability to recognize a character flaw within himself and is willing to change.

Sometimes, usually at the beginning of a relationship, the signs of a character flaw are subtle, or easily ignored because you are so head-over-heels crazy about him.  But eventually you realize that can of beer he never forgets to open after dinner is actually a case and a half over the weekend . . . and you don’t drink!

Seven Categories of the Male Psyche

All seven categories are influenced by the the indoctrination almost every male receives from the moment he is born; it’s either a positive and healthy indoctrination; or a negative one, typically where the boy is taught to be a man within the narrow framework of what so frequently defines masculinity in today’s world.  In other words, not enough input from his mother.

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