Man on man

Gay sporting clubs are providing a safe space for LGBT people to meet other LGBT people out of the realm of night clubs and sex venues and they’ve been increasing in popularity for several years now.

The Silverbacks are Sydney’s gay wrestling club and while still a small club they have a core group of regular guys and a coupe of women who turn up to train, spar and socialise. Each year they release a calendar and have an exhibition to raise money for charity and they approach a bunch of Sydney photographers to donate images to the cause.

This year they have asked me to be a part of the project which is very flattering and last night I went along to their training space in a very cool boxing gym here in Sydney. The shoot needs to happen in the next couple of months and I’m wracking my brain to come up with a concept that hasn’t been thoroughly over done over the years.

Given that my photography is mostly nude, I’d obviously like to stick with that but making sure the shots are suitable to be aligned with a charity and also to work within the comfort levels of the guys from the club that I work with. Time to do my research on imagery and see what I can come up with.

Just plain insulting

One of the stipulations I have when I send images from a photo shoot to a model is that they don’t add any other filters to the shots on social media. Last year I had a big argument with a model because he had decided to face tune the hell out of them because he didn’t think I had done the photoshop that we’d agreed. I don’t do Hollywood retouching and I had even done more than normal for him.

Today a set of photos were released by a very well known celebrity portrait photographer, Martin Schoeller. He had done portraits of the top 32 drag queens from Ru Paul’s Drag Race over the seasons. One of them, Brooke Lyn Hates had edited hers with extreme face tune and added a caption “The non homophobic version”. Clearly she’d taken it personally that the photo portrait a human with real features, even hidden below truck loads of makeup.

Firstly, the photographer is very very talented and it’s disrespectful and insulting to his career, skills and time to decide that you know better. It’s just rude. He’s been working for a very long time developing his signature look and all the skills to reproduce it consistently.

Secondly I have a real problem with the flippant use of the word “homophobic”. In a time in History when homosexuality is still illegal in some countries, Nazism is on the rise under the guise of being a “good American” and gay bashings and murders of trans people are still common, calling someone homophobic because they didn’t obliterate your natural features is juvenile and irresponsible.

Above are the portraits in question as supplied beautifully by Martin Schoeller himself. No extra retouching needed.

Gaining momentum

I’m very late to the party when it comes to watching Sense8. I’ve tried a couple of times but never got hooked properly. I’m finally starting to gain momentum with it. It’s so cleverly done and I find myself thinking that logistically it must have been a nightmare to film and plan.

Of course, the fact that all the actors, both male and female are beautiful doesn’t hurt, especially when you take into consideration that they all seem to get nude. I’m still on season one but we’ve already had an orgy and Max Reimelt seems to have no qualms about frontal nudity. Let’s hope a few of the others follow suit. I won’t complain at all if Brian J Smith wanders around naked a bit.

I have a few more episodes of Season 1 to go, then all of Season 2. At the rate I’ve been watching it that may take another year but I’m picking up speed so I doubt it.

There haven’t been many series that have managed to hook me of late. Always happy to take recommendations from my lovely readers.

This will be different

Drinking with work colleagues and a couple of our former colleagues on Friday evening, we discovered that one of the women I used to work with and her fiancĂ© are going to be in Sardinia at the same time as me. They haven’t made any plans for the time they are there so I said, I have a camper booked with enough room, come hang with me.

They are prone to getting nude on beaches as well so they won’t be cramping my naked style, and they are great fun to hang out with. It will be quite different for me to hang out nude with a female former work colleague but since we are all nudies it won’t be a problem. Of course I’m expecting a few seconds of awkwardness but then it will be fine.

She is also an art director so I know if I get her to snap some cheeky instagram nudes then they will be great shots!

Sudden change

Every year at the start of Winter, we Sydney-siders get a surprise when cold weather hits. Compared to North America or Europe, we don’t even really get cold but for a solar powered reptile like me it’s plenty cold.

We will be back into the low 20’s next week apparently for a few days but it’s been under 20 for a week or so now and it’s been rude. On my list of places to see and bucket list things to do is to see the Northern Lights, Antarctica and many more. Neither of those, nor several of the other things on the list include warm weather. Even in Iceland two years ago when it was above freezing I was still uncomfortably cold at times.

When I do go to the cold places on my list, like Finland I will be making the most of their sauna facilities to warm myself up and to keep my nude activity quota up.

Being in the snow does provide opportunities to do silly things like nude snow angels and those opportunities should never be passed up. Just because you grow older doesn’t mean you should ever grow up.

Three days in

Now that I’ve begun the first week of the 8 week body transformation challenge I thought I’d better take a “before” shot. Now this isn’t the first before shot I’ve posted on this blog but I hope this time there is a difference between the before and the after. There is a meme I’ve seen that says “I’ve taken so many before shots that I’ve basically created a time-lapse of myself getting fatter.” That isn’t my goal.

Along with free membership for the 8 weeks including all the classes, the gym gives me access to a nutritionist who has given me goals on my food and a spreadsheet to track my “macros”. That is the most daunting part so far. It is a lot to think about during the day every day but I’m confident I’m on the right track.

I haven’t started with as much gusto as I would have liked this week. I’ve been each day so far but I was going to do an additional class last night but I was off work sick so didn’t have the energy to go to the gym.

Let’s see how much progress I can make in the 8 weeks. When I look at that “before” photo I am not at all happy with my body so that, combined with being given this opportunity is a good kick in the pants.

Go down to the Waterhole

Releasing a download every two weeks is feeling more comfortable to me than trying to get one out each week and I think that will help relieve buyer fatigue.

The model in this download is the lovely David who I’ve known through friends for years. A few weeks ago we went on a little adventure down to the National Park south of Sydney to a waterhole some friends had told me about. Given that the cold weather was starting to hit it was no surprise that we didn’t have anyone disturb us.

David was so chilled on the shoot and not just in terms of temperature. He’s not really done any full photo shoots like this before but he was great.

If you want to buy Waterhole, click here. While you are there, this is the 71st download so there are plenty to choose from.

Now it begins.

Who would think that one little click on a website could scare me like this? Scare in a good way, but scare me nonetheless.

Two weeks ago I saw something on Facebook for a competition at a gym that some of my friends go to. The competition is to win an 8 week transformation at the gym. I entered my details and they rang me to get me in for a meet’n’greet and to make sure I was capable in the gym. Then I signed up for a 4 week trial membership. This gym is more expensive than my regular gym but I may still sign up.

Today I looked at their facebook page and they had a video announcing the winner of the 8 week transformation. What did I see? I have won the 8 weeks. There are expectations around the challenge. They expect me to be in classes at the gym 6 times per week and they’ve sent me a nutrition plan as part of the 4 week trial already.

So now the hard work begins but at the end of the 8 weeks I’ll hopefully look and more importantly feel a lot better than I do now. Let’s see what results I can get. I have no expectation of looking like a men’s health cover model but a few steps closer would be nice.

Giving it a go

A few of my friends go to a gym in a suburb nearby where we all live and I entered a competition to win an 8 week body transformation at that gym. As yet the competition hasn’t been drawn but in the meantime I’ve signed up for a 4 week trial membership at the gym just to shake things up a bit. I can’t see myself joining this gym as it’s more expensive than the big chain gym that I currently belong to as well as being a bit inconvenient as far as the location.

Every time I’ve gone to a new gym I am happy to see all the new hot men that you get to see and sometimes be inspired by. Yesterday at this gym there was a hot black guy that I’ve seen there a few times. He has a rocking body, cool dreadlocks that no white man should ever emulate and just looks hot. Near him was a pale, square jawed blonde guy that I’ve witnessed doing weighted pull ups with ease. From my perspective it was like Killimonger from Black Panther was working out next to Captain America. Not an unpleasant way to start the day.

I think the 8 week transformation competition is drawn tomorrow so if I win that, then I’d be expected to do 6 classes a week. That’s a lot, but that’s the point of a body transformation prize I guess. Let’s see what happens.

If only…

Does anyone else have that person that they’ve met that you almost wish you were attracted to because they’d make a fantastic partner?

I’ve just walked in the door from a catch up with a former work colleague. He left our office a few months ago and has spent a couple of months exploring Europe and tonight was the first time we’ve caught up since before his trip. He is such good company and we get on really well.

Both of us are gay and single and both of us are the dating and relationship kind of guy, but neither of us is the other’s type at all. There is no romantic interest which is such a shame. I’m sure he’d make a great boyfriend.

Luckily, hanging out with him as mates is very easy and always a laugh. Being single it’s important to have people to hang out with and enjoy a good laugh.

Country adventure

Sometimes you just need some fresh air, good conversation and a bit of perspective.

When I posted a few weeks ago about feeling a bit blue, a guy I’ve known for about 4 years but haven’t seen in nearly that long, reached out and offered some time on his property. He paid for my flights to Dubbo in central New South Wales and in return asked that I take some photos of his newly renovated accommodation that he’s going to be renting out on his property. Pretty sweet deal.

On Friday night I left work and went straight to the airport and jumped on a little plane for the 45 minute flight West, followed by an hours drive. Over the weekend I’ve seen how dry central NSW is from the 3 year drought and that has given me a lot of perspective. Farmers are doing it really tough out there.

Amongst seeing his property, taking photos and catching up, I got to meet his 8 enormous draught horses. Charlie is the leader of the pack but Bob is the biggest character. He’s the one behind me in the gif above. He’d escaped through the electric fence and was on the outside of it.

A bit later in the day I went for a walk (not nude) and came across all 8 horses near a damn, some on the other side but at some unseen signal they all cantered around towards me where I was near the big leader, Charlie. It’s a bit unnerving as someone not used to horses, to see 7 of them running towards you wondering if they are running in a “Hi great to see you” or “Who the hell do you think you are?” kind of way. They stopped short and didn’t do anything threatening but my heart was racing a bit so I wandered off and left them to it.

It was a beautiful weekend. The Australian country is a harsh mistress but a beautiful sight, even in drought. There is a vlog to come!

The Sydney Gays…

Today has been a bit of a ride if you were here in Sydney and following a bit of localised drama going on.

A new Sydney based podcast popped up in the last day or two called The Sydney Gays and it’s first episode has people cringing hard. The two guys that run it are known around Sydney and they are polarising figures. One has a lot of followers on Instagram and the other has been on TV and on the scene here in Sydney for years.

The podcast is getting a lot of hate because it’s essentially all the shallow, self-absorbed stuff you’d expect from a couple of guys that never leave the Sydney gay ghetto. It’s about clubs, the gym, how many guys they hooked up with at a new dance party etc etc. While it promises to delve into deep topics such as racism, if the first episode is anything to go by it’s not good.

Do I agree with all the vitriol on twitter and facebook today? Not entirely. The guys have put themselves out there for public criticism and they aren’t handling the flack very well but I don’t think they need to be absolutely shredded for it. Sadly they are playing into the reputation that Sydney gays have at least here in Australia. Self-obsessed, shallow, all about partying and very little substance. So I can see where the hate is coming from but there are a lot of other shit podcasts out there and no one is forced to listen to them. If we slag off at them for being cliched A-gay stereotypes doesn’t that make us just as cliched?

To me, it’s a conversation between friends that didn’t need to be recorded, let alone published and promoted. As someone said, a drunken friend has probably said “OMG you guys are so funny, you should do a podcast.” and sadly, they’ve followed through with it.

Scary or brave?

In my spare time I seem to have been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately and yesterday I found a new channel. It’s run by a woman who goes out and asks people to share their darkest secret or to share the most painful thing someone has ever said to them. It’s fascinating stuff.

The series of videos she’s posted that I have watched the most are videos of people calling someone they have a crush on and asking them out on a date. Clearly that is something I would struggle with enormously. I’m not great at putting myself out there like that but maybe that’s something to work on.

The other problem is that I don’t have any crush to call. The guy I posted about last week that I have a crush on isn’t the kind of crush you ask out, just one to enjoy for what it is. I’ve never once pictured anything happening with us.

It’s a very bold move to call someone and ask them out if they have no idea that it’s coming and then to do it on camera is even more intense. You have to admire these people. The video below is one where it’s all guys calling their crushes, both male and female.

HOTEL

When a man has a bit of time on his hands, alone in a hotel room he is going to use those hands.

When Alex contacted me saying he wanted to work together and was happy to come to town from interstate to do it we thought we’d make the most of the accommodation he booked by doing a sexy voyeuristic photo shoot.

As you can see Alex isn’t shy and nor does he have anything to be shy about. In this series he relaxes on the bed, has a shower and explores himself in the comfort of his hotel room.

If you want to buy HOTEL click here and head to my online shop.

Work it out

Over the weekend I headed south to our Nation’s capital city to visit a friend and fellow nudie. As well as a photo shoot for him that we will both be releasing to raise money for charity, we did a very quick shoot of Tom doing a workout in his home gym. He was, of course dressed in his favourite way, completely naked.

As you all know I would love to have a nude gym but it’s a very rare thing around the world. As you can see, Tom looks pretty bloody good giving his punching bag a workout in his garage.

At the moment I’m house and dog sitting so I’m barely getting to the gym, let alone working out nude. It also means that I won’t really have an opportunity to edit the photos for a little while. I have a few shoots waiting to be edited ready for release as a download. I promise you’ll get access to them soon.