Nude Sports

This story from the Sydney Morning Herald

Ready for the naked high five?

Ancient Greek Olympic sportsmen competed in the buff. Yes. Fully nude. It was a tribute to the gods, and it was for the masses to admire the male physique.

We evolved. Then we clothed ourselves. We evolved further. Then we streaked, and then we got arrested.

But nudies are no longer invading our playing fields; they are taking them over and competing nude. So is society finally ready for the naked high five?

For years, we’ve been bridging the gap, with women’s beach volleyball just one string pull away.

Tens of thousands attend packed arenas around America’s South cheer on shaved and tanned men as they rumble and fake wrestle one another. And then there is the World Bikini Football League.

But all of those competitions are G-rated compared to the folks around the globe taking it further:

Last year a New Zealand rugby team the ‘Nude Blacks’ celebrated National Nude Day in a bout with the visiting and very naked Welsh Leeks for the nude rugby World Cup.

And one man named Keith Whelan has just left WA attempting to become the first Irish man to row solo across the Indian Ocean … and says he’s doing it naked.

But not everyone embracing nature has received a warm welcome from onlookers.

A few weeks ago, a man in Ohio, USA tried to run a marathon naked … and was tasered by police. (He says his shorts were too loose, so he took them off to finish the race.)

Based on his experience, I figure it is probably safer to participate in organised nude activities rather than try your luck on the day. So in the spirit of journalistic research, I googled the local Sydney offerings of nude sports, but alas could only find one outlet: Naked Men’s Yoga. Even with a BYO mat policy, I could not partake. There is no way I would expose my downward dog to just anybody.

What about activities with less ‘exposure’? I guess I’ll never know because in Australia, there is no nude soccer, no volleyball, and no mixed-touch footy, damn it.

But if push came to shove, would I really be prepared to participate in a game of mixed, naked soccer? Perhaps in the warmer months, but when that afternoon southerly came through, I would be making sure my shrinkage was covered with something warm.

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The Masterful Photography of Marcus Mok

Interview from LifestyleAsia

What exactly is it about nude photography that attracts so much controversy and gets the conservatives clutching their proverbial pearls and having their knickers all twisted up in a bunch?

“Nude images tend to be seen as smutty and pornographic in nature. People often frown at these images. Even til today, the conservative majority still feel that way, which is sad,” offers self-taught Singaporean photographer Marcus Mok, who first dabbled in male nude photography in 2002 after realising the lack of artistically-handled male nude photography in publications. He was however, undeterred, and began carving out a niche in the area of Asian male nude photography.

But it was never Marcus’ intent to shock or be controversial. In Marcus’ works, full front nudity is not a common thread; rather the shots are mostly faceless as he feels that this, along with not showing genitalia heightens the sensual aspect and aesthetic form of the Asian male body.

Today, 10 years down the road, perhaps a sign of a maturing art scene and a slowly-but-surely liberating school of thought in Singapore, Marcus has published Liberate, his first book of sensuous male photographs, which is a collection of Marcus’ favourite works from the last decade of his photography, and his works has since been snapped up by the Singapore Art Museum and the Kinsey Institute in USA.

Marcus is hopeful for more. “I believe that Singapore will be propelled into the forefront of art in the next 10 years. Hopefully by then, nude photography as a form of art will be as common as having chicken rice at the hawkers!”

It was 2001 when you first started out in male nude photography, and even in just a decade, Singapore has actually become much more liberal than it was a decade ago. Did you face a lot of difficulties when you first started out ten years ago? Do you think think these mindsets have changed, if any at all, in these ten years and how?

10 years ago, I shot my first male nude photograph in Hawaii. It was way too daunting doing it in Singapore as people were wary of having their pictures taken in the buff. There was no comparison to make with what was acceptable and what was not. And there certainly was a dearth of avenues available to showcase nude photography here in public.

As the arts scene in Singapore becomes more vibrant, both in the visual and performing arts, people’s mindsets have changed somewhat, but we still have to be careful what images to show and where these images appear.

Sometimes there is a very fine line between artistic nude photography and something that borders on tasteless. Where exactly is that line?

I for one feel that nude photography when tastefully done crosses into the art realm. It does not matter if frontal nudity is involved but how it was conceived and captured. Anything that comes across as pornographic at first glance tends to get negative feedback.

However, if that image is able to convey a message-which really is what art is all about, then it has successfully crossed over from smut to art. Having said that, people’s perceptions always differ because what is considered art is subjective. Unless we all see nude images with an open mind and a sense of curiosity about the artist’s self expression, then we tend to condemn those images.

There is indeed no lack of female nude photography. Why do you think the area of male nude photography has been mostly neglected?

I think most photographers steer clear of male nude photography for the following reasons:

1) a perceived lack of commercial or artistic value for such images

2) the inability to get male models to pose for them

3) they are uncomfortable shooting a male nude

4) they feel such images are taboo

5) they know there is a bigger market for female nudes

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Bisexual Short Stories

An Egyptian princess gets an anatomy lesson from her lusty slaves. Former roommates reconnect in the way they had always dreamed. Revolutionaries discover erotic terrain in the battle for American independence. Gym buddies open up to the teachings of the Sex Guru. International diplomats forge a treaty of lustful longing. An orgy ensues backstage at a Shakespeare festival.

A collection of lusty bisexual short stories by Logunede Jones and available at Smashwords for only 1.99.

 

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Male Sexuality…The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater

My novel, The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater, deals with primordial issue of male bisexuality. Happily married, believing he had consigned his attraction to other men to his days in college, Johnny crosses paths with Cassandra Mott. Once his departed grandmother’s lover, she has come back from the past for reasons of her own, using the irresistible beauty of her brother to reawaken the urges Johnny has long since ignored. The supernatural elements of this tale are the catalysts that propel him down a mystifying road of self-identity. You’ll feel his emotions as Johnny grapples with his sexuality, what he views as both a blessing and a curse. You’ll wonder about the direction he may go. And you might even identify with him.

 

From Logunede Jones on Amazon

I thoroughly enjoyed The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater. Savannah (Georgia) and Kenya come alive in author Martin Brant’s descriptions. The diverse cast of characters is compelling, and the suspense is built-in by the multi-sensorial descriptions of a haunted house filled with a range of unsettling beings, and by the question of what kind of intriguing “debauchery” Johnny will be coerced into next!

Johnny stumbles into a sticky web of relationships between his wife Marilee, the otherworldly siblings Julian and Cassandra, and his new friend Brian. Ultimately he realizes an important difference–love–between the nature of his relationship with Brian and that of his relationship with Julian. Marilee opens up to her body and its responses thanks to Johnny, and Johnny finally learns the reason for Cassandra’s revenge.

The ending is a terrific wham/bam whirl, with one surprise after another in the last few pages, including a main character’s deus-ex-machina solution, very nicely done.

The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater is a portentous and philosophical novel, not to be confused with barely-sketched characters ripping each others’ pants off. Sure there’s sex: the erotic massage scene is riveting, and the leather “heathen” sequence appropriately disgusting yet compelling! But beyond this, Brant’s writing expertly explores the “haunting” of bisexuality: a phantom sex hovering in the wings, an obsession never completely conquered in the heft and smell of remembered flesh. At times the novel seems to confirm the common perception that bisexuality is merely the mid-life crisis of married men who realize they’re gay. But at other times, we read and understand the circumstances of characters for whom bisexuality is not a transitional phase, but a way of life.

Highly recommended, suspenseful, beautiful writing.

Available on Kindle or paperback here.

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