Double your Standards!

In all the years I’ve been sharing and over sharing online and using apps or websites to meet/hookup there have only been a couple of times where someone has called me out for using photos that they thought were a bit old. They were right. Like most people I have times where I’m not comfortable taking new photos because I’m not happy with my body and I may have left old photos up for a bit too long. Once they called me out, I rectified it. I would much rather someone turn up and get what they are expecting or be pleasantly surprised rather than get the older, balder, fatter version of what they ordered.

There is a man that lives in my neighbourhood that I’ve seen around and online. We had some online conversations a few years back and he accused me of using old photos once. It’s funny though, he has been using the same photos for several years now AND he doesn’t appear to have had a birthday in about 5-6 years according to his online profiles. Having seen him out and about in person I can attest that the body in his photo does not match what is walking around. Interesting.

I guess, like Mr Trump, it’s the people screaming the accusations the loudest that are the ones who might be guilty.

Happy birthday Kylie

The year was 1987 and I was in my second year of high school when Kylie Minogue released her cover version of Locomotion and took over the music charts. Ms Minogue may be a gay icon and I solidly identify with her loyal demographic but way back in 1987 this skinny blonde nearly 14 year old wasn’t even up to being in denial about his sexuality. That would come many years later. However the future-gay in me had found his icon.

Today, Kylie Minogue turns 52 and in the 33 years since she first made me dance and smile, she has (without her knowledge of course) been a huge part of my life and provided a soundtrack to that life. Believe it or not there is a Kylie album and song for every mood. She’s not afraid to take risks and while they don’t always work, that has to be applauded. It doesn’t look like she’s going to become a caricature of her former successes like a certain other one named “Queen of Pop”.

In isolation in London, Kylie is working on writing and recording her 15th studio album. She’s even teaching herself how to engineer and record her own vocals in the process. By some reports, after her surprising and successful foray into pop-Country for her last album, she is going for a pop/disco vibe for the next album and I for one cannot wait for that.

Happy birthday Ms Minogue. Keep doing your thing and making 13 year old me, and 46 year old me, a very happy fan.

What’s it worth?

A nudie that I follow on Instagram the other day messaged me asking if I’d looked at his Onlyfans page. Now Onlyfans is something that I struggle with despite having an account that I use to subscribe to the occasional page if someone strikes my fancy. Usually by the end of the month I’ve seen about as much as I want to or decide they aren’t worth following because they rarely post or it’s just more of the same when they do.

So when he asked I said I had gone to his page but I thought that it was very expensive. He wants US$25 per month when most subscriptions are about $10-12, even those of well known porn models. He countered that it was worth more because he doesn’t have a tonne of followers and that he also doesn’t have a lot of material out there. I didn’t bother arguing that he barely had anything on his page. When I looked, I may not have been able to see his content but I could see that he only had about 10 videos and 25 images. Not really worth a subscription of twice the average asking price.

Now that subscription based content is very normal in lots of areas, from porn, to magazines, even to delivered shaving/skin care products, I am planning on venturing back on to Patreon to see if I can reach more people with my photography there. Finding the right balance of price and content is a tricky one. Fingers crossed I show a little more self awareness than the guy charging double for not very much.

I do admire his confidence though. Good on him. I hope he finds some subscribers.

A great feeling

Five years ago I went back to Copenhagen after being there 13 years before. This time it was summer. Sure, by Aussie standards it wasn’t exactly hot weather but there is something very special about Copenhagen. It might be the fact that the Danes are stunning people but that’s not what this post is about.

My friend Mikael took me around Copenhagen and told me that those gloriously open minded Danes are allowed to swim naked in the harbour in the middle of the city if they want. On our first wander around the city we saw someone do exactly that. His mates that he was cycling with standing chatting waiting while he dried off, right in the centre of the city. Another day Mikael took me to one of his favourite spots and we lay naked in the sun by the harbour and swam. We weren’t the only ones naked in the sun while tourist boats and locals went past. The locals didn’t bat an eyelid.

Today Mikael messaged me saying he’d thought of me when he and a good mate were sitting on the edge of the harbour naked in the centre of town after skinny-dipping early this morning. He and his mate, a good friend that isn’t his boyfriend, cuddling for warmth naked in the sun, just got friendly hellos from strangers walking by. I can’t imagine the comments that would get here in Sydney or somewhere like the U.S.

Maybe one day in the near future the world will get over this ultra-conservative, prudish phase we seem to be going through and embrace progressive attitudes.

Hard to predict

In the time that I’ve been releasing photography downloads one thing has become clear, I’m terrible at predicting which shoots will be popular and sell more. There are some basic criteria, like having erotic content or full frontal nudity but not always. Sometimes a download with no full frontal nudity, let alone erotic content sells really well.

Ultimately that is the privilege of having this as a hobby job and not my primary source of income. This way I get to photograph what I want and how I want. I know that some of the more artistic and less blatant shoots are not as popular but even then I can’t predict that accurately.

Today I contacted the studio that I have hired lately, and they are operating with limited numbers allowed in the studio. That works perfectly for me since I usually have only myself and a model in the studio. There is a dancer with Sydney Dance Company that I have been talking to about a shoot and I need a studio for that shoot and I’m looking forward to making that happen.

Pushing back

My self portrait project is a very daunting one. The plan was for my 100th download to be a download full of my own self portraits. The project is still happening but I’m pushing the timeframe back. With isolation affecting everyone and restricting options, and now winter is definitely hitting here so even though we are allowed outdoors that’s not really going to happen at the moment.

I am still fully committed to doing the self portrait download but if I’m going to do it, I want to do it properly and do all the ideas that I have in my head. That includes outdoors and studio shoots. Neither of which are possible at the moment.

When the weather warms up and we are free to go exploring again I promise there will be more shots happening and the tentative deadline at this stage is my birthday in October. Even then the water will still be cold but the weather will be warming up enough to get to the national parks and take some cool shots.

The other problem in isolation has been my fondness for baking packet cookie, cake and muffin mixes so I’m definitely not in the shape I want to be for self portraits.

A little self conscious

I recently found out that someone I know is a qualified massage therapist and now that legitimate massage is allowed again here in Sydney (as opposed to just relaxing or happy ending massages) I thought I’d get one. Sitting at my dining table and not exercising anywhere near as much means I’m a bit seized up. It also means that I’m helping someone out that I know who needs a bit of money as his regular job is not happening either.

So last night off I went and it was so good. The knots were all worked out and tensions eased. This guy also knows that I’m a nudie and didn’t bother to cover me laying face down. He asked if I wanted to be covered when I rolled over but wasn’t surprised when I said I didn’t care and it was up to him. He didn’t bother as he’s not shy at all and is prone to nudity too.

For the past few years I’ve (very sporadically) used a different massage therapist who is a bit over weight and older so I never felt self conscious with him. Interestingly last night I was feeling a little self conscious. It wasn’t the nudity but about the shape I’m in at the moment. I’ve put on weight in isolation, baking cookies and muffins and not working out properly. Thinking about it later it was because I was not feeling good about my body and now the massage therapist was in (way) better shape. It was interesting how it changed the dynamic.

Clearly I didn’t let it stop me enjoying the massage at all. I needed the kinks worked out of my muscles and since I’ve been isolating and haven’t had sex in a very long time there was human touch and interaction that I needed. No it wasn’t a sexual massage but I’m a tactile person and a massage makes me feel good.

Invade my Kingdom

It’s fair to say that there has been a lot of television watched in isolation during this pandemic. Some of it good, some of it bad. A recent discovery, even though I started the first episode months ago but wasn’t in the mood, is The Last Kingdom. At first I wasn’t sure if I was up for Ye Olde Worlde political intrigue and warfare but towards the end of that first episode the timeline jumps forward and the main character goes from a young boy to a very, very handsome man.

The actor that plays that character is Alexander Dreymon, a 37 year old actor originally from Germany but grew up in the US, France and Switzerland. If you look on his Instagram account, he may not post much but he has a cheeky sense of humour and a twinkle in his eye.

He played a German gay prostitute in the film Christopher and his Kind but that movie bored me to tears. Apparently he also pops up in American Horror Story: Coven but I’m not good with scary shows so I haven’t seen it. It is apparent though that he goes from hot boy next door, clean cut to scruffy long haired Viking (we know I love a viking) very nicely.

The gif below is from The Last Kingdom but way back in 2015. He is still filming the series but it would sadly seem that he doesn’t get nude very often. What a shame. He is German so he can’t be that adverse to nudity, can he?

Beautifully invigorating

Today on my Instagram I posted a photo from when I was in Copenhagen 5 years ago and Mikael took me to Helgoland, a public pool/bathing place with three “pools” or areas, two separated by gender and one more open one for mixed/family swimming. The two separated ones have walls around them with decking and sunbathing areas around the open water with steps down into it. There are also steps down the outside into the more open water. All of the segregated areas are clothing optional and even going into the open water side men and women can see each other and no one cares.

A nudist friend commented on that photo saying how cool it looked and it got me searching for images of the place online to show him. When I was there it was summer and beautiful. I found this video of it filmed in winter. Obviously no one is lying around sunbathing on the snow covered decking in winter but this video is beautifully done and captures the care free nudity (no frontal as it is on youtube) and invigorating plunges into the water shared by a couple of friends.

I still wish Australia and more of the world had the same attitude to nudity that the Scandinavians and other Europeans do. It’s so darned healthy and relaxed.

Collared

Very few of my models are professional models and it’s not unusual for them to have never done a professional shoot before. Chris here was no exception. He has quite a following on Instagram because he’s mastered the creative nude selfie at home but this shoot was the first time in a studio.

We had been working with the sticks on a project at my job of the time and when that was done I got the go ahead from my boss to use them for this shoot and this was one of the occasions where I knew exactly who I wanted to model in the shoot. Thankfully Chris was up for the task.

Now, in isolation I went back through my archives and realised that I hadn’t released this shoot as a download and thus, COLLARED was born. If you want to buy the full download, simply click here and shop away with abandon and freedom contrary to the collared theme.

Try a different approach

It has become painfully obvious that home workouts are not my thing. There are so many exercises that are easy to do at home with no equipment and there are more when you add in the resistance bands that I bought when we went into isolation. Sadly I just don’t seem to be doing them. The only running I seem to be doing is to the snacks in the fridge or the pantry.

After getting out of the house and doing some exercise yesterday I have realised how unfit I am after doing so little for 8 weeks. Today I’m trying something new. Instead of being daunted and put off by the prospect of doing a full workout, every hour on the hour I’m doing ten pushups, ten crunches (or an assortment of ab exercises) and ten bodyweight squats.

That noise you hear is every joint in my body creaking and cracking. Delightful isn’t it? Clearly it’s much needed movement and usage. I’m setting alarms through the day so I don’t forget to do the exercises. Depending on how this goes I might mix it up on other days and do 2 sets of ten every two hours or something wild and crazy like that.

One thing is for certain, I will not be strutting out of isolation feeling great about my body and the first few weeks back at the gym are going to HURT, when ever that is.

Note: We are still having issues with comments on the blog not working. You can always comment on the facebook page.

Saying Yes

This morning I was having a morning pottering around the house, doing washing, thinking about doing some cooking and just living that isolation life. Australia is starting to creep towards lighter restrictions and I’ve been lucky enough to have friends over for dinner and see my family but it still feels weird to think about going out and about.

But then a friend called and asked if I wanted to go kayaking on Sydney Harbour with he and his boyfriend and a couple of their friends. Why yes, yes indeed I would. At first it almost felt like I was being naughty even though we are allowed to go out exercising in groups of up to ten now. Purely by being in individual kayaks we were absolutely fine as far as social distancing goes. So on a beautiful sunny Autumn day that was warmer than we’ve been having, we got out for some sun, some fresh air, some exercise and spent a few hours doing good for our bodies and our mental health.

It was such a beautiful way to spend a few hours and it made me realise just how lucky we are here in Australia. After being in isolation for a while and even generally I’m pretty good at saying no to things if I think I’m going to be in an awkward situation sometimes, I used today as a reminder to say yes to things. I’m 46, not 96. I’m healthy and live in a great part of the world. I need to make the most of the opportunities I have here.

Note: the video below isn’t the company we went with.

Cold & hard.

Maybe it’s the isolation and the general frustrations going on in the world but we are smack in the middle of our Autumn here in Sydney and it feels like the temperature has dropped quickly and a long way. Unusually chilly for this time of the year. Now before you all jump on me I totally get that Sydney’s winters are mild, extremely mild compared to other parts of the world. I have no concept how Canadians and Scandinavians etc cope in winter. In Sydney we don’t often get below 0˚C even overnight, let alone -30˚C.

It doesn’t take more than a cursory glance through this blog to realise I am totally solar powered and much more comfortable in hot weather, wearing minimal clothing than I am in the cold. The cold weather climates though do know how to do heating and in parts of the world, the cold has inspired awesome traditions like nude communal saunas like Finland, Banyas in Russia and Onsens in Japan. That is one aspect I’m jealous of.

Australia doesn’t even have any geo-thermal activity, being one of the oldest continents, so we don’t even get amazing wild hot springs to strip off in like the U.S. and Iceland. Oh well. I’ll settle for our long beach seasons and beautiful beaches to strip off on I guess, when winter and the apocalypse is over. Until then, I’ll rug up and stay warm.

Looking out, looking in

Apartment living is something I’ve done a little bit of and I have to say over the years that I’ve done it I have been quite disappointed at how little nudity I’ve seen from neighbours. In one apartment, my housemate and I routinely walked around nude with the blinds open. Initially because there were no apartments opposite us and a couple of years later when there were, because we didn’t really care.

In my current apartment no one looks in to our living area and on our balcony we have some plants across the glass railing for some modesty but I have been out there nude many times and to be honest, no one ever looks up. My bedroom (floor to ceiling) windows face apartments across the way but their blinds are all closed all the time.

Chatting to a friend in Melbourne yesterday he said that he is conscious of how much the apartments across from him can see and it does affect how much he’s nude but he still does it from time to time.

How many of you are living in apartments or where people might see in but still walking around nude. My theory is that not many apartments are so close that if people are seeing, they are seeing much detail anyway. I’m not shy so I don’t really care if people see.

I won!

Three weeks before I left on my European adventure last year, AirBnB emailed to say that they’d cancelled the booking I had in Slovenia and refunded me because the booking didn’t look legitimate. That was followed by lots of emails from me forwarding on my ticket to Slovenia to prove I was going to be there at the time, linking them to my facebook etc etc. After an investigation they let me know that they were cancelling my account and were under no obligation to tell me why, and that it also applied to any future or duplicate accounts.

Over the weekend I sent them an email pointing out that since they were letting go of 25% of their staff and business was tanking at the moment, it might be prudent to reevaluate those cancelled accounts. My email explained that I had not breached any of their Terms but I believed the host in Slovenia had looked me up on social media and seen that I was gay and made up a story to get me out of the booking, therefore breaking their discrimination policy.

The next day I had a reply saying they were forwarding this on to the appropriate team then today, lo and behold, I received an email saying “We’ve reviewed your account again and re-activated it for you, Brenton. That means everything should be back in working order.” I WON! It may have taken 10 months from when they first emailed to cancel my booking but I guess I was right to trust my gut and email them. When a big business is suffering financially, and you want to give them business in the future, it turns out they listen.

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