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The benefits of travelling

A few weeks ago I met a guy for a beer and at one point he said he went on an international trip for the first time at the age of 40 when he went to Europe to meet up with friends. I’ve been lucky enough to go overseas several times and the first time I needed a passport wasn’t a big trip but it was at the age of 18. I think there are benefits of travelling internationally for the first time when you are younger. You are a bit more naive and therefore go into it with less hangups or reservations. Sadly for what ever reason, be it financial or other commitments, lots of people don’t get to travel at all or don’t get to start til later in life.

This guy told me that he was on the plane for that trip and sitting in his seat telling himself “just make the most of it”. What? If I’m going to a far flung destination my thoughts are not “making the most of it”. I feel excited, a little nervous but thrilled at the idea of experiencing new things. People told me I was brave for going on a gay sailing trip by myself last year without knowing anyone and also for traipsing around Europe by myself. Maybe but as I said to those people, if I didn’t go alone I’d never go anywhere. As a chronically single guy sometimes it’s the only option. It also gives you the complete freedom to have the holiday you want without having to compromise. Selfish but true.

This video to me sums up the thrills of travelling. Sure, I have never gone skinnydipping in a waterhole with a bunch of strangers that I met in a hostel but I know for damn sure I would. Travel is all about making spontaneous decisions and taking chances. Trust your gut instinct on whether or not to do something or trust someone but getting slightly out of your comfort zone is part of the fun!

Hostelworld 'Skinny Dip' from Sacha Szwarc on Vimeo.

My gymspiration for this week!

My training has been lacklustre to say the least of late, even though I’ve managed to get myself to the gym 3-4 times per week I’m just not training hard enough. I think in general I’m going through a bit of a flat phase, not feeling great about myself.

After watching this video today I need to slap that shit right out of my head. These people were filmed at gyms around Rio and they are a complete inspiration. It’s not uncommon for people who have suffered major trauma or adversity to come out stronger but I would guess a lot more don’t make as much of the shake up as these people. I hate running at all and loathe a treadmill. Even with two fully functioning legs I don’t run anywhere near as fast as the guy who breaks a gym record.

Nor do I lift anything like a barbell with 60kg on either end of it like the little guy. I won’t even speculate on how badly the martial artist would kick my arse regardless of the fact that she’s blind. These athletes are pure inspiration. Love it.

Edgy and brave

Shaun Ross is a model that has been making waves in the modelling world for a couple of years now. He’s renowned as the first professional Albino model and he has a very distinct look that I’m sure polarises people. Shaun, who turns 25 this year, strikes me as one of those people that is just cool without even trying. Living in New York Shaun also is a talented dancer who Vogues in the underground scene.

Shaun has been all over the internet this week. Three different people have sent me the link to the music video for “Dust” by the group called Braves. It’s a single shot video, in black and white. At first it’s just a wave breaking on the shore that goes forwards and backwards for a little while before you see Shaun’s character emerge from the foam of the breaking waves. As the video progresses, it becomes obvious that Shaun is nude and in the last moments of the video you’ll be left gobsmacked. The appendage that is bouncing around goes more than half way to his knee.

TMZ has reported however that the impressive appendage is indeed a prosthetic used for the video. I’m not sure how much of a following the Braves have, but this is certainly one way to get attention to a new song.

Irrationally grumpy

Why is it that some days we are just out of sorts? I’ve had a lovely morning at the nude beach despite some patchy clouds threatening to ruin it. I’ve come home and am enjoying a really relaxing day before going to celebrate a friend’s birthday this afternoon/evening. So why am I in a grumpy mood?

I had a good night’s sleep and nothing has happened to make me grumpy, but I am. I think it’s just going to be one of those days where I suck it up. Once I’m out at my friend’s birthday this evening all will be fine. We’ll be by Sydney Harbour which is always good for lifting spirits.

Oddly enough, with the new role at work and a fairly busy day and week ahead, I’m actually looking forward to work. The mood has changed considerably there this year and it’s a fun place to go now. My boss has made comments that suggest he is happy with how I’m stepping up to the new role and he said very positive things to a colleague who told me as well.

Something is out of whack when a morning nude in the sun leaves me grumpy but thinking about work makes me smile.

SPACE from gnarly bay on Vimeo.

Must have him fooled

A couple of weeks ago when I went to the travel agent to book my flights to Bali, there were only two people working in there at the time and the one that was free to help me was a very good looking young guy in his mid/late 20’s. He was one of those guys that almost takes a run-up for a hand shake, pulling his hand back almost behind him before driving forward and giving you a really strong handshake. Now I like a strong handshake but trying to prove how macho your hand shake is feels a bit unnecessary to me.

We went through the options on flights for the days I want to arrive and leave and got it all sorted. He asked what was taking me to Bali and I told him it was a friend’s 40th and there were a bunch of us going. He asked if it was all guys going and gave a chuckle when I said yes. He clearly thought it was a bunch of single straight guys going to be rowdy, get drunk and try and shag as many women as possible. Um, no. That’s not us sunshine. More like two gay couples and a single gay.

There are two options to explain his perception that I can see. Either I was looking butch with my stubbly beard and shaved head situation or he has just no trace of any gaydar. Either way it made me laugh.

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.