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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The Ford Foundation is Involved in Human Sexuality

Beacon of Light

There is more reason for hope in our society when an organization like the Ford Foundation not only recognizes and acknowledges the natural diversity of human sexuality, but also throws its enormous weight behind promoting a more positive understanding of human diversity including the GLBT community.  In addition to the positive affects of understanding and the negative affects of the various kinds of prejudice, the foundation deals with all related aspects of human sexuality.  Enough cannot be said to stress the importance of their impact on creating a better, more productive, healthier and harmonious society.

From the Ford Foundation Report (Preface)

After widespread neglect over many years, the value of studying human sexuality has recently been recognized for its bearing on many important debates and problems in contemporary society. This is the result, in part, of contributions from feminist theory, the emergence of gay and lesbian movements, new efforts to prevent sexual abuse, and the international AIDS epidemic, which have generated a significant amount of new research on human sexuality. Along with increased research we see academics, advocates and community activists in the field coming together to exchange information and ideas. Having combined forces,they are focusing new attention on the ways in which gender and sexuality are shaped in different social and cultural settings, and on the complex interactions between sexuality, health and issues of social justice. This new wave of activity has led to the creation of more effective program interventions and services.

Since the early 1990s, the Ford Foundation has recognized the general lack of information and theoretical understanding concerning human sexuality. Through its work in the reproductive health field, the foundation has supported social science research and training, advocacy and public education on sexuality, sexual health and sexual rights. Early programming revealed the critical role sexuality and gender play in determining women’s social status and ability to protect themselves against violence, disease and unwanted pregnancy. As our work has evolved, it has also come to include a focus on the role of sexuality in healthy human development.

Our primary motivation in writing this report is to stimulate conversation and to encourage other donors and organizations to support work on human sexuality. Funding is needed to advance efforts by social science researchers, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health advocates, community activists, parents and practitioners. At Ford, we welcome partnerships with other donors interested in this important field.

Susan V. Berresford
President
Ford Foundation

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Naked Boys Singing

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By Joe Brown; Las Vegas Sun

What comes after the full monty?

That would be “Naked Boys Singing!,” a musical revue with seven men singing and dancing in the altogether.

Certainly there’s no shortage of bare men in Las Vegas, with at least four male dance revues on tap on the Strip. The difference is that “Naked Boys Singing!” is not a tease.

And its focus is not really entirely on what comedian Doug Benson calls “penuseses.”

Oh all right, yes it is. But only for about the duration of the first song, “Gratuitous Nudity,” which is a cheerful open invitation to ogle. “Tonight there’s an atmosphere where it’s all right to stare,” the seven-member cast sings. “Tonight you won’t wonder what’s under our underwear.”

After the novelty of seeing man-bits in motion wears off (the jiggly kickline is particularly hilarious), attention turns to personalities, bodies, faces and voices.

The off-Broadway musical revue just marked its 10th anniversary, and was turned into a movie in 2007; current stagings in London and Provincetown, Mass., are primarily aimed at gay men, but the show is also marketed toward bachelorette parties.

The 16 clever songs were contributed by more than a dozen writers with showbiz pedigrees, including creator Robert Schrock, Ben Schaechter and Bruce Vilanch. A pastiche of styles, they alternate between silliness and substance, but each song is essentially a debriefing about the meanings of nakedness: emotional (“Window to the Soul”), commercial (“Perky Little Porn Star”), comic (“The Naked Maid”) and – not only and not merely – sexual.

Mostly, these songs address the poignancy of men in unguarded moments. One of the most affecting, a wistful lament to a late lover, is sung while getting dressed. Another number, called “Fight the Urge,” comically depicts the pathos of gay boys in the high school gym locker room, hoping their anatomy doesn’t betray them as jocks parade around in the buff.

Ably accompanied by pianist Spencer Baker, who keeps his pants on, the actors are endowed with pleasant voices, and with one spectacular exception (yes, Paul Pratt, we’re all looking at you) they all have normally attractive bodies.

On the show’s first weekend, the performers still seemed a little uncertain with the material, but that should improve with more performances under their (nonexistent) belts. Director Hank Emerson and choreographer Brad Barnes keep things simple, and seem to have slowed the tempos a bit, stretching out what is usually a 65-minute show.

“Naked Boys Singing!” is scheduled to run through July 4, but if it finds its audience, it has the potential to hang on for quite a while.

An extension would be a bonus for the Rack, the fetish shop that houses the Onyx Theatre – this show has a covert dual purpose, functioning as sort of a Tupperware party for the exotic underwear and accessories peddled in the store.

*****

Sounds like fun to me   . . .visit their website here Naked Boys Singing

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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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Two Husbands

Two Husbands

A year has passed since he confessed.

Late one night, after I had taken a shower, I found him sitting in front of his computer.  He didn’t realize I had come up behind him until I wrapped my arms around his shoulders.  He stiffened.  Glancing at the website on the screen, I knew why.  As I stood back and stared at him in disbelief, he solemnly turned off the computer and went into the kitchen.  Confused, I followed and joined him at the breakfast table.

Had anyone else told me something like that about my husband, I would’ve laughed at them.  Tom and I had been married fifteen years.  A total surprise.  He’s one of the most masculine men I’ve ever known: six foot one, broad shoulders, generally a no nonsense kind of guy.  I didn’t have to ask why he was looking at a film clip of two men, both naked, one leaning over the other from behind—he simply told me in no uncertain terms.

Fifteen years.  How could I have not known?  I had never been so overwhelmed by so many debilitating emotions: shock, disbelief, anger, confusion.  Then those agonizing next few days trying to talk to him, trying understand exactly what I felt angry about.  It finally came to me.  Not so much his errant sexuality as the fact he had not been honest with me.  I had been married all that time to a man I didn’t really know.  Then another few months worrying the confession was a prelude to our divorce.  How could he love me if he was attracted to men?

At first I thought an affair with another woman would have been easier to deal with.  At least that’s something I understand.  I backed away from that notion after thinking about it.  Another woman would have left me feeling inadequate as a wife, a torment I’ve managed to avoid, at least to some degree.  Though his eyes still followed me when I crossed the bed room naked, though he still held me and draped his leg over mine when we slept, I often still wondered if he’d rather be in bed with a man.

As I muddled through those first few weeks, most frustrating was his reluctance to talk about it.  He would listen patiently to my doubts and concerns, or sit quietly through my anger and tirades, then reconfirm his love and assure me he was the same man I had always known.  Beyond that, getting answers was like pulling teeth.  Questions followed by quick generic answers.

“When did you first know?”

“In high school.”

“Did something happen?”

“No. I just knew.”

“Have you ever touched a man?”

“Yes.”

“Was it a relationship?”

“We were close friends for a year before you and I got married.”

“What happened?”

“I met you.”

“Did you sleep with him?”

“A few times.”

“Do you still think about him?”

“Now and then.”

“Do you miss him?”

He hesitated, then: “What does that have to do with you and me?”

“Do you?”

“Yes.  I still miss him,” he finally admitted.

I remember how this impacted me, this unsettling piece that complicated the puzzle, that also served to evoke more questions.

“Have you seen him since we’ve been married?”

“He moved to New York.”

“Would you?”

“Not if you didn’t want me to.”

Ah, so that burden would be on me.  More weight on my shoulders when I’m trying to reduce the load.

“Have you seen anyone?”

“No.”

Relief.  At least that’s what I wanted to feel.  He had not been honest about his sexuality, why would he answer me honestly now?  When you discover something totally out of character about your husband, you’re prepared for any number of surprises.  You have misgivings about him, and I hated suspicion—it felt like bile rising in my throat.

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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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Blame it on the Irish

Ah, so this is the story, the reason so many Americans are ashamed of their bodies, the reason we are so confused and uptight about nudity in America.  We can blame it on all those Irish ancestors who influenced our national gene pool shortly after the Puritans finished their self-righteous handiwork.  Their blood still courses through our veins.

I suspect our shame is rooted in centuries of religious doctrine, and that we have inherited it and adopted it as our own.  Seems I remember something about God creating  Adam and Eve in His own image, nude, that they lived blissfully naked in the Garden of Eden until Eve surrendered to temptation and ate from the tree of knowledge.  The key words here are “in His own image” and “blissfully nude”.  Seems more of us would be adding this up and drawing the right conclusions.  Why every beach in America is not clothing optional is beyond me.

Well, back to the Irish.  This delightful article published in a Dublin paper may explain some of our hyper modesty.

The bare truth of why we all like to look at naked women

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By Kevin Myers,  the Independent,ie, Dublin, June 16 2009

‘Irish Women and Public Nudity’, not so long ago, would have ranked with ‘Nuclear Fission; the Eskimo Contribution’ as the title of the world shortest book.

Along with ‘Zulus and Supersonic Flight’. Or ‘Lesbian Camogie in Saudi Arabia’. Or ’101 uses for Pigs’ Foreskins’, by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Simply, Irish women didn’t do public nudity. To be sure, Irishmen weren’t all that great at it, but Irish women were as likely to appear naked in front of strangers as Mother Teresa was to do a pole dance in front of the Pope.

I know three Irishwomen who once went to a naturist beach in France, but wore bikinis throughout. And they actually boasted about this on their return, declaring how “weird” the nudists were. No, girls, we know who the weird ones were. The actress Olivia Treacy once proudly declared that she was so principled that she had performed Lady Chatterley on the stage, fully clothed. Which is rather like mounting a production of ‘Hamlet of Sunnybrook Farm’. And Irish fashion models would refuse to do underwear shows. Girls had to be brought over from pagan England — the whores! the sluts! — to perform in Dublin’s annual commercial lingerie parade.

And far from this infantile prudery being a matter for embarrassment and shame, it was actually one of national pride. Irish women — it was said — didn’t demean themselves by taking off their clothes in public.

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While male nudity on the stage became a commonplace in Dublin theatre, female nudity was almost unknown. English actresses such as Diana Rigg and Helen Mirren bared all on the London stage, and in film, and no one thought the worse of them: but their Irish she-peers still donned swaddling clothes in public. A priggish and grisly she-neurosis masqueraded as a Hibernian virtue. It took the American photographer Spencer Tunick to prove that the days of Irish reticence about public nudity were largely over.

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Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus (1904-1999)

Paul Cadmus 1937

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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