A holiday is booked

A while ago I resolved that if I can’t afford to buy a house/apartment in Sydney (and who can, especially while single) then I was going to plan on doing an international holiday every two years and in the alternate years I’d go on a domestic holiday. Since I had the immense fun of going to Europe last year I was budgeting on a domestic trip this year. That was until just over a month ago.

One of my good friends from a different state of Australia is turning 40 and decided that he wanted to go to Bali for his 40th. At this stage there are 5 of us going in 3.5 months for a week in the tropical sun in Indonesia. Bali has never really appealed to me generally but anywhere I get to spend time with these guys who are such good friends, is a good place to be.

It does mean that I probably won’t be doing the domestic holiday that I had been thinking of later in the year but these things happen. It will be starting to get quite chilly in Sydney in late May when we go so lying naked by a private pool in a villa with a cocktail catching up with good friends will be a lovely change of pace.

Why I’m a feminist

This post has been brewing in my mind for a while now. The news that a vile “human” is trying to get to Australia to hold “masculine men only” tribal gatherings to promote “legal rape” on private property has tipped me over the edge today. Australia has revoked the visas of two similar guys holding seminars on how to degrade women into having sex with you so I’m optimistic that he will not set foot here. What terrifies me is that there are guys that agree with their revolting way of thinking. Would they like to see their mother or sisters treated the way they “aspire” to treat women?

A couple of months ago I had to explain the meaning of the word “feminist” to the female junior at work after she said “no way” was she a feminist. She believed that feminist women hated men and wanted nothing to do with them. When I explained that’s not at all what it means to be a feminist and that feminists just want equal pay, equal rights and equal treatment in all areas as men she looked stunned.

For me there has never been an alternative to being a feminist. It’s not in a militant way but more about how I go about my day to day life. My mother and father are equal partners in their marriage but my mother was around more as we grew up because she worked casually for a while and then school hours when she was full time. Never were we told “wait until your father gets home” to be disciplined. She sorted that shit right out. My mother and both my grandmothers had careers and distinct identities outside their marriages. My sister is a strong, independent woman who also has a husband and a happy marriage.

It’s a sorry example of a man that, to prop up his own self-worth, needs to demean, degrade and violate a woman. The world is only improved by women being equal in all ways. Governments need a more equal representation and if more heads of state were women, global politics would be less of a power-play pissing contest and maybe there’d be less conflict.

Maybe it’s because as a gay man I have no interest in trying to sleep with women that adds to this feeling of equality but my father, my grandfathers and my brother-in-law all share(d) my perspective and led by example to teach me how to treat women. With nothing but respect and fairness.

Conflicting emotions

Yesterday was my first chance to go to the beach and get my gear off for a few weeks. On the rare weekend days that we’ve had good weather I’ve had other plans so when I realised the weather was going to be good I hit the road early and was naked in the sunshine by 9.30.

Typically the beach I go to is mostly nude in the morning but by the afternoon more and more non-nudies turn up. Today the beach was unusually crowded quite early and there were lots of non-nudies. Obviously they don’t care about us nudies or they wouldn’t go there. There was also an unusually high number of women there with other female friends. Some nude, some not.

Yesterday they number of people in general on the beach made it less comfortable, especially as the tide was coming in. Little Congwong is not a big beach and at high tide it can become a very very small beach indeed. When it’s crowded that becomes a very awkward situation.

After a few hours there I was getting hungry and the number of non-nudies was reaching a tipping point for me where it starts to become less comfortable being nude. Up to 50/50 I’m fine but when I’m in the minority, I’m not a fan. It was still great to get my gear off in the sun for a while.

The photo above was taken when I first arrived before it got busy.

Spend it all baby!

Last week I caught up with a friend and in a very meandering, interesting conversation he told me about a phenomenon called Financial Dominatrix. Basically these are people (mostly women) who get sent money by wealthy men, or even sometimes take financial control of these men spending up big on their credit cards.

Like most men that use dominatrix, these guys are powerful guys who are always in control and this for them is a way of giving up and relinquishing that control. The article mentioned the fact that these women (I’ve heard of this happening in the gay world too) don’t even have to meet these men, they just get money. How on earth does someone stumble into this? I’m pretty sure there are websites out there.

While I’m not sure I could actually do something like this, if someone decided to just buy me a house, then who am I to say no? Right?

Once again, human psychology at it’s most fascinating and bizarre.

Just because it’s beautiful

This video is a gorgeous video about a man’s relationship with his father and also the importance of saving those natural beautiful places that we hold dear.

I’ve been thinking more and more about my relationship with my father as my parents edge towards their 70’s. My grandparents are all gone now and I watch my parents age and wonder how long I’ll have them. Thankfully at this stage there are no real signs of them going anywhere for a while and my family tends to hang around for quite some time.

This film starts with a son reciting something his father wrote the day he was born. I can’t relate to having anything like that. My father is more of a traditional old-school guy who doesn’t talk about his feelings. Generally speaking my family isn’t big on emotional talk etc but we get on like a house on fire and we really do love each other.

I’m sharing this film and will be sharing others from time to time, because I think it has a great message as well as being beautiful. Enjoy.

THE IMPORTANT PLACES. from gnarly bay on Vimeo.

Gymspiration for the end of January

Tomorrow is probably my last gym day for January. I tend not to workout on weekends apart from the occasional circus training session but as far as the gym goes, it’s rare for me to go on a weekend. It’s interesting to see some different faces (and bodies) but that’s rarely enough to get me there.

I’ve been a bit surprised this week. On Monday I came down with a really sore throat so our Australia Day public holiday on Tuesday was spent quietly on the lounge trying to rest up and get rid of it. But this morning and yesterday I was back at the gym. Sure, I hardly set any records for my training but I was there and trained properly and actually feel better for it. This week has also seen me eating a bit better. Let’s see if I can keep that on track and lose a few kilos.

Enjoy the beefcake views.

Just walk away

What is it about exes that they can sometimes go a bit mad? I have only a handful of exes from my years in the relationship world. The last guy I dated and I still get on well even if we don’t really see each other much at all.

I posted after my holiday in Europe last year about the weird encounter with my ex of 16 years ago who was the bonkers one that harrassed me after we broke up. Thankfully I’ve only run into that lunatic every few years briefly and I don’t have to deal with him generally speaking.

Tonight I caught up with a friend who has had some very odd encounters with his ex. They were together for 6 months about 6 years ago but even now the ex will walk past a row of empty treadmills at the gym and get on the one next to my friend. When they broke up the guy would find all of my mate’s friends on Grindr and message them but then accuse my friend of stalking him.

Now I understand that mental health plays a very real part in issues like this but I really can’t understand torturing yourself by ignoring your ex at the gym but working out next to him. Surely that’s hurting yourself more than it’s proving a point to your ex.

Clearly I’m no expert at relationships but when I’ve been dumped it may really hurt and I may miss them but I don’t want to be around someone that doesn’t want to be around me. We’ve all been made to act a little crazy in or after a relationship but let’s just keep that crazy to an accepted public level shall we?

Happy Australia Day?

Every year in Australia we celebrate Australia Day on January 26. Today as we celebrate again, as proud as I am of being an Australian, we need to fix some things.

Every year at this time there is a push to ditch the Monarchy and become a republic. For me there is no real point. It won’t achieve anything politically as it’s not enough of an issue with enough people to spend that kind of absurd money to change something that isn’t crucial. There is usually calls to change the flag so that even if we don’t ditch the monarchy we don’t have the British flag in the corner of our flag which I do agree with. The third topic that comes up is our treatment of our Indigenous, traditional land owners.

Australian indigenous people are expected to live ten years less than white Australians. They are more likely to end up in jail than finish school and fourteen times as likely to end up in jail than white Australians. White Australians often say “they should just get jobs instead of expecting a handout.” Really? There is a pretty good percentage of white Aussies on welfare too lazy to get a job. When the white settlers came to Australia we stole the indigenous children, raped and killed the women and forced anyone not dead into serving the white people. This is not something to be proud of.

The speech below is by a journalist, Stan Grant and it was filmed a few months ago but it has just gone online and been heralded as Australia’s version of Martin Luther King’s speech. I knew we had not been good to the traditional land owners but it’s speeches like this one that open my eyes and make me want to do more to help, instead of sitting back and judging.

So when you celebrate Australia Day today, which is always great, take the time to reflect on the past as well as celebrate the now and look ahead.

Who’s your daddy?

Role play is not something I’ve ever really explored in sex and to be honest the idea doesn’t do a lot for me. I like my sex to be based on an an equal footing. Dom/sub stuff does absolutely nothing for me and if someone tries to face fuck me while I’m giving them a blow job I’m as likely to throw up on them from gagging or bite their cock off.

Today I had a new experience. I’ve had young guys hit on me before and it’s happened more and more since I hit my late 30’s and entered my 40’s. This guy and I had been chatting sporadically on Scruff for a week or so and today we were both online and in the mood at the same time so he came over. He asked what I was into and I asked the same in return. He said straight away he was into Daddy/Son role play. From there he almost exclusively called me Daddy.

I thought to myself, this can’t hurt so I joined in calling him Son etc. There was a bit of dirty talk through the encounter which was only a quick visit as he had places to go. At one point he said something about next time Daddy “incest fucking” him. That one made me baulk a little bit. For a long time it’s been my opinion that we are sexually imprinted at a fairly young age. The guys I was around as a kid/teenager, ie surfers and swimmers are still the guys I tend to go for most. Does that translate into fantasy play? Not exclusively of course but it did cross my mind today whether this guy had some unexplored daddy issues. It’s not like he’d be the first that I’ve encountered.

Instalicious – Kim David Smith

I’ve posted about the gorgeous Kim before but I thought he was worth sharing again. Kim is an Aussie living with his husband in NYC performing exquisitely bonkers cabaret in the old school, creative style singing in Kylie Minogue covers in German and a whole bunch of other cool styles. Kim is also a prolific model. He’s not your typical beefcake model that a lot of photographers are shooting. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. I shoot beefcake and those guys are fun to shoot, but Kim has a look that is from a bygone era. He could be a propaganda posterboy for the First World War or an artists muse from the 1920’s.

Kim and I have spoken online and one day, when he’s back in Australia visiting we aim to collaborate on some gorgeous images. Mr Smith is very comfortable nude as you can see and no doubt I will photograph him just as nude, but if he ever breaks into the big time as a singer I can see him in a beautiful Burberry campaign or something as gorgeous.

Head on over to Kim’s Instagram and drink in his beauty.

Open letter to Facebook

Dear Facebook,

I realise that you are the Goliath to my David and my chances of making any impact are miniscule but I have something to say. Facebook has changed the way the world interacts, sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse. You’ve created a way for far flung friends to stay in touch but you’ve created ways for idiots to spread their propaganda.

Your community guidelines are troubling me. Myself and several of my friends have received bans from Facebook for varying amounts of time for showing slightly too much skin. The photo that goes with this post, a photo of a beautiful man that I photographed myself, showing a discreet naked bum, was removed from the site and others, similarly tasteful and discreet nudes have earned me a ban for three days in the past. Breastfeeding women have felt your judgement and unnecessary sexualisation. Nudity warnings are aplenty and regularly held up.

Yesterday I reported a video of a man, trying to prove to the world and likely himself that he is indeed a tough masculine man, by biting the head off a live rat and eating it. The camera was sure to show the head in his mouth to prove his immeasurable awesomeness. Sadly, Facebook deemed that this video showing explicit animal cruelty and almost certainly an illegal act, was not in breach of the community guidelines.

If your community guidelines teach us that the nude body presented tastefully and artistically is more offensive than animal cruelty and violence then I’m not sure it’s a community that is destined for greatness or even good. The human body should be celebrated. Stupidity and violence should be censored.

Interesting times

Mid last year I was asked if I wanted to take on the role of Studio Manager at work, gradually adding that to my current role of Senior Artworker. Of course I said yes. There are some good skills to add to repertoire in that role. I’ve posted before about one of my colleagues who over the past couple of years hadn’t been doing the best work in his job. Yesterday he was made redundant. It had been a long time coming. He’d been in the role for far too long and had resisted all progress and change but was also on a salary way more than the role deserved so from a business perspective, it was time. Emotionally for my boss it was tough. The guy that was let go had been there for 18 years and needs the salary he’s on.

For me, this means I’ll be taking on even more responsibility and learning even more skills and it opens up the opportunity for me to move out of artworking and into managerial positions or account management. I had hit about the top of my earning potential in the kind of role I was in so financially it has much better opportunities as well. It will be a bit of a steep learning curve for a while but already the energy in the office has changed and it feels like the company might start making some headway.

Good to see

Tonight was the first night back at circus school for 2016. At the start of the year and even through the year at the start of various terms you see new faces. A lot of people come for a while and then drift off. There are a few people that really take to it all and come back for years. Not everyone progresses. Tonight there were a handful of new faces in the crowd including one guy that didn’t look like he’d done a lot of exercise in his life. That’s the beauty of circus. A lot of people find running or the gym really tedious or intimidating but circus class you get to dangle from the roof and challenge yourself in ways that are way more fun than lifting things up and down.

For a while now the warm up has been cheesy dance music and all of us doing quite uncoordinated aerobics. I can keep to the beat but I get tangled up doing the moves very easily. The new guy had no rhythm whatsoever and was all over the place but he had a massive grin on his face. He also had some really cool tights.

Sometimes you see people like him go from having a bit of a belly to toning up and really improving their fitness. Even if that doesn’t happen it’s great fun to see people discovering the joys (and pain) of circus.

Would we be better off?

Over the past few weeks I’ve discovered a series on Netflix called Departures. It’s a travel show about two young Canadian mates that took a year off to travel the world. They both got the bug to travel the world and experience the different cultures and ways of life that exist in various corners of the globe. It’s a really enjoyable series and it’s certainly giving me the urge to strap on my backpack and head off. I’m not in a position to do that but I can dream. Dreaming is free and it’s great to have something to look forward to.

One of the big things that I’ve got from watching the series is that it seems that some of the poorest people are the happiest. The boys have visited Cambodia, Africa, Jordan, India, The Amazon and even Mongolia and the people living very simple lives, surviving off the land with no modern amenities all have huge smiles on their faces and are happy to share their food and drink with the guys.

The burning man culture of giving up commodities and material possessions feels like a reaction of people in the modern world to that chase for the dollar. So maybe the modern struggle for wealth is a learned condition but making the most of what you have and appreciating the people around you is a healthier way to live. I once heard of a guy whose criteria for dating a guy was that they had to have a better car than him and he owned a BMW. I think we can learn from the Mongolian Reindeer herding tribes. Make some moonshine, have a warm tent and delicious food and smile a lot.

Well that’s hot!

Domenico Vaccaro has recently won Belgium’s Got Talent with this beautiful pole dance routine. This routine may not be the most technical pole dance routine I’ve seen but even though it may be relatively simple the moves that he does require a ridiculous amount of control and strength and it’s very effective.

A hot, beautifully built 22 year old doing amazing things with his body while wearing only some tighty whities is a recipe for internet success and this video has been very popular. I might have to go back and watch his other routines in the competition. Maybe he was wearing even less? I can dream.