See you soon!

I’ve finished work for the week and tomorrow morning I’m off on holiday. A week in hot weather with good friends is exactly what I need right now. Work has actually been fine but it’s been draining for the last couple of months and apart from the occasional long weekend for public holidays it’s been constant since Christmas. I’m certainly not complaining but I will definitely appreciate a week off eating great food and sharing drinks and laughs. It’s that good for the soul kind of stuff.

As much as Bali was never high on my list of places to see it’s always great to see new parts of the world. I love hearing different languages and seeing different cultures. Bali is very much set up for tourists so it’s not like I’m expecting an in depth immersion but it will still be great.

Whenever I take a plane somewhere I realised last year that I can’t help but smile. A plane to me represents an adventure. My latest adventure begins tomorrow. While there is a break on the blog be sure to follow me on instagram (@aussiebrenton) where there will be updates of my naked arse in the villa pool.

It’s a celebration!

Over the past couple of years I’ve become good friends with a couple that I met at the gym. They are great, low attitude high fun kinda people who are just good to be with. A couple of months ago another mate of mine became a wedding celebrant and I happened to be with Ms A having a drink at the pub when I found out that he’d qualified. Ms A and her man Mr B had gotten engaged on Christmas morning. When I told her about my friend she looked at me and said “Could you do that? Would you do that?” My answer was that yes, technically I could and of course I would.

So I have 14 months to do the course to become a wedding celebrant and be accepted. That process shouldn’t take any more than 9 months so I’m signing up as soon as I’m back from my holiday so that I can be a very important part of their special day. I’ve just had dinner and drinks with them and talked about the venue and bits and pieces and it is going to be so special to have the opportunity to officially marry these dear friends.

There is a very real danger, as the sappy romantic that I am, that I will cry the way I did the whole time I was photographing the wedding of my other dear mates last year. I was known at that wedding as the crying photographer and now I may add the crying celebrant to my list of titles.

This video has nothing to do with the story other than being called Celebration. It’s just an excuse to post an old vintage Kylie video that makes me smile.

If only I knew

A blog reader sent me a link tonight on Instagram. Someone had posted an old photo of me that I must have posted on this blog years ago. It is the shot above left. It may have also been stolen from an online profile ages ago and been floating around the internet. It’s kind of funny that someone is using my photo on Instagram but they didn’t actually claim it was them. Their page was filled with various guys that couldn’t possibly all be him.

I looked at the photo and thought wow. Firstly that I was taking such blatantly vain photos trying to be sexy. Maybe I was just getting in ahead of the smart phone selfie obsession? Secondly that I didn’t realise the good bits about my body at the time. I’ve never really appreciated my body when I was in shape and now it’s just getting harder to be in shape. At the time I was happy with how low I was in body fat but I was lucky, at the time I didn’t have to do anything to stay that way. On the flip side of that though is the struggle to put on muscle. Now it’s the opposite situation. I can put on muscle but it’s mostly quite insulated.

When I get back from Bali it might be time for another Aussielicious Fitness Challenge.

An old crush

Back in the early days of this blog I discovered the photography of Jon Andresen. That discovery was mainly thanks to seeing an image of this stunning man, Jarl Espen Ygranes. I blogged about him way back then and I recently stumbled across his images again. Jarl was a professional Ice Hockey player for the Norwegian national team and it clearly did wonders for his legs and butt. He also must have used his helmet and face protection well because he is all kinds of pretty and not busted up at all.

Jon Andresen has a very beautiful, if minimal aesthetic in his photography, relying on the beauty of his models instead of studio whizbangery. When you have Scandinavian gorgeous men of all varieties at your disposal, who needs trickery?

We should all be able to laugh

We can all safely agree that the acting and the script are not why we watch porn. If you are like me, any of the “story” is fast forwarded to the important, flesh on flesh action. God knows when I took photos on a porn shoot a decade ago the “script” was on a single sided piece of paper, double spaced. It was creatively titled “Cheaters” and involved four couples in a holiday house cheating on each other. Complex stuff. The script had amazing writing like the scene where one guy walked in to find two guys playing with a dildo and uttered the line “You bottoms need a real top.” Jane Austen eat your heart out.

This video takes all that and turns it on it’s head. Kind of. This appears to be real porn stars having real porn sex but instead of going to all the trouble of memorising their complicated and emotional lines, there are two comedians feeding them their lines through ear pieces. In all seriousness I don’t know how they kept a straight face and how Jake, the beefy sexy ginger porn guy, kept it up because the comedians had some fun with this.

Don’t think I qualify

Last week I was followed on Instagram by the Young Nudists of Australia. They liked a couple of my photos. I liked a couple of theirs, then next thing I know they’d sent me a direct message asking “Are you a part of Young Nudists of Australia yet?”

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m very flattered but as I pointed out to them, I don’t really consider 42 that young, especially in regard to an organisation that is promoting nudism amongst a demographic that is almost certainly put off nudism because it seems full of old/older people. I’m very much on board with encouraging people in their 20’s, 30’s or even teens to be comfortable nude which is exactly why I wouldn’t try and be involved in the organisation.

I have friends that I hang out nude with that are a decade or more younger than me and I have no problem with that. More importantly, neither do they but it’s human nature to socialise with people similar to you and as a nervous, new nudist I think a 20-something would prefer to be in the company of fellow 20-somethings rather than 40+.

I’ll take it as a compliment though that the YNOA thought I might be eligible. It proves that I’m either in decent shape or I’m choosing my Instagram nudes well.

Update: I didn’t make the decision that they wouldn’t want to hang out with me. It’s official policy that their members are 40 and under.

Not long now

In six sleeps time I will be on my way to Bali for a week’s holiday with some great friends for the 40th birthday of one of them. It’s going to be a week of eating great food, drinking cold beers, seeing some sights and lying nude by the private villa pool. Work has been busy and frustrating as well as fun for the last couple of months so a week relaxing in the sun will be great fun.

These photos above are a million times sexier than my trip will be but just as nude. Howard Roffman photographed these Bel Ami porn stars in Bali and I think we can all agree they are gorgeous. I will always respond well to beautiful nude men, but for some reason put them in a pool or a shower, or even just hose them down and it does something to the skin and makes it all sexy and shiny.

Your personal Match Maker

A little while ago I heard of a new app called “My Mate, Your Date” which had more real connections in mind when compared to the instant gratification of most of the other apps. That app has now rebranded and is now known as Quinn, your personal match maker.

Quinn, short for Questions and Insights, sends you a few matches per day based on your answers to a bunch of questions that you chat to Quinn about. You log in using Facebook and it also cross matches you with friends of friends in your Facebook network. It’s still in development stages and at the moment it’s based in London. I had to enter a UK postcode to get through the questions with Quinn but then that can be updated in your profile.

For those of us that are growing increasingly jaded and frustrated by trying to meet someone in a “community” increasingly detatched and focused on anonymous or drug fuelled hookups, this feels like a good step in the right direction. You take the time to answer the questions accurately and you might just be rewarded with a good match. Quinn is available for iOS and will be available for the Android platform soon.

A chilly start

Being the last three weeks of Autumn here in Australia, maybe it’s not the best time to do an outdoor shoot in the water. My mate Simon and I had been talking about the idea of doing a shoot for ages and we decided to just get it done before Winter arrives and it really is too cold. So this morning I picked him up at 7am and we went to the South head of Sydney Harbour and Simon bravely took his clothes off and jumped in the water.

The water isn’t freezing cold yet but it certainly wasn’t warm. We had shared some images with each other of what we might like to achieve but the location and the water conditions weren’t quite right to achieve what we’d discussed. Instead we stuck to our vague theme of being a bit lost at sea. The thing with photography is that it doesn’t always give the same message to everyone who looks at it. A friend thought these looked almost playful as if Simon was frolicking in the water.

We did have a laugh because Simon apparently floats really well and didn’t sink. These days I sink better than I float so it was funny watching a naked mate splashing around trying to sink.

Sparkly big man

I’ve literally just come across a video that someone on Facebook shared. The gorgeous British Rugby player James Haskell, who has stripped off for the Dieux Du Stade calendar a few years back, was being filmed for something when they asked him to take his shoes off for a shot. That’s when his “Dark Secret” came out. James gets the occasional pedicure and to help stop his toenails coming off after being stomped in a match, gets them painted. In this instance James has gone for sparkly silver toenails and he loves how sparkly they are and being fabulous in general.

There are two sides to this video. The first is James’ general awesomeness not giving a shit that big tough men aren’t supposed to have sparkly toenails. The other is the almost violent reaction he describes of a couple of teammates.

Looking at the comments on his youtube video page, James is actually really active in replying to the comments and hilariously responded to “What colour is your dick then?” with “The same colour as the inside of your mum.” BRILLIANT.

The times are changing. Clearly there are some neanderthal stragglers who aren’t coping with the change, but James is a great ambassador for tolerance. At the end of the video someone calls him a “gay icon” and he responds with “even more of a gay icon.” James, we love you for it.

Sexy as hell

I’ve been struggling lately with confidence about my photography. I’ve been happy with what I’m producing but I’ve been trying to come up with good creative concepts because I don’t want to produce photos that are just beautiful men. This has come from a couple of conversations at work with my art director, not about my photography but about other things but I’ve been worrying that I have to have a strong creative concept.

That’s not actually true. Sometimes, as these gorgeous photos of Clauss Castro by Wong Sim prove, you just need a great model, good lighting and somewhere to shoot the photos. The strength of these photos proves the point. They are striking and pretty much timeless.

Part of the desire to come up with some creative conceptual work has come from people asking if I’m working on a book or an exhibition which is understandable since the last one was over a year ago and I have done three series, each two years apart. Until that concept comes along, I’m just going to keep photograph people I want to and shoot images that I can. There are ideas in my head but nothing strong enough to carry a whole exhibition at this stage.

That time of year

Last weekend, while my mate was off doing his course and my housemate was still away out of town I obviously took the opportunity to wander around with no clothes on but it is late Autumn here in Sydney so there is a chill in the air. Thankfully we have a very effective heater. When it is slightly too chilly to be nude but you don’t want the restriction of being fully dressed my first option is for some shirtcocking.

Allegedly the term originated at Burning Man where there seems to be a fair number of guys walking around in a shirt of some kind but with no pants. I’ve seen guys doing it at the beach if they are worried about their shoulders getting sunburnt. Personally I think there are more important areas to be concerned about but each to their own.

This video is quite sexy and sweet. A beary guy exploring a beach and soaking up some wintery sun on his balls wearing a chunky knit would definitely get my attention. He looks like someone I’d hang out with. Who doesn’t love some balls out friends?

ESCAPE from MASCULAR Films on Vimeo.

What’s my type?

Given my tendency to blog about my dating woes and posting lots of hot men, people have often speculated that I’m aiming too high with guys I’m attracted to. Batting out of my league if you will. There’s no doubt that I’ve struck out with guys because they are out of my league, sure but my taste in men is wide and varied.
Yesterday I was flicking through channels on my tv when I landed on a show here in Australia called Landline. It’s all about the health of the environment and is primarily aimed at farmers. Not at all my usual viewing but an environmental specialist was being interviewed about current plans to eradicate Carp from waterways. Thrilling to some, not me, but the guy being interviewed was smoking hot. Then I started looking at him and thinking about what it was that I liked about him.
That was when it clicked. He had some similar characteristics to me. Now before you all jump up and down and call me a narcissist, he was a way hotter version of me, but he had blue eyes and a shaved head. Thinking back over the years about guys that I’ve had crushes on, it would appear that one of my “types” is guys that are better/hotter/fitter versions of myself. Maybe that is narcissistic but they are the guys that I would aspire to be. They have blonde hair but great hair, blue eyes but amazingly blue, jawlines for days and bodies to die for. Think me, recreated by Hollywood.
To get back to the sporting analogy, if I am playing in the local division, they are the guys in the professional league. It’s interesting when you work out a little bit of what is going on in your head. Not sure if it’s going to help me at all, but it is fascinating.

Refreshing and surprising

Yesterday I had a quiet day around the house. I turned on Netflix from the comfort of my lounge and stumbled across a movie called “4th Man Out”. Now I’ve blogged before about my cynicism with gay films. They are usually filled with 2 dimensional caricatures of gay cliches. For every “Brokeback Mountain” there are a million horrendous “Eating Out” style films. Occasionally a film comes along that shakes that cynicism.

“4th Man Out” is one of those surprises. Adam is a guy in his late 20’s hanging out with his three great mates having poker nights and working as a mechanic. He comes out to them and the film has some laughs and tears in store exploring how they deal with their newly out best mate and try to help him find love. The characters were all guys we can relate to. The whole scenario was real. Every now and then it felt like they were going to venture into implausible territory and give you a Disney ending but they don’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good ending that makes you smile and cry a little bit if you are a sook like me. Get on Netflix and watch it!

The night of our lives!

When looking though the photos on social media at the end of a weekend or after a big party there are a few things you’ll see. There will be the obligatory go-go boy shots, someone in a cowboy hat, some guys in leathers, a bunch of guys who look like they have had way more than their fair share of drugs and there is the A-Gay crowd.
Now, being a photographer of the male form, I’ve met a lot of the “A-Gays” in this town and a lot of them are lovely but there are a large portion of them who, judging by their Instagram are a little bit glum. Apparently it’s not very cool to smile in a photo when you are out at a club or at a big dance party. We all know that smiling causes wrinkles and the bod squad have worked far too hard on their body to let a smile ruin their perfect photo.
Quite often you will see a caption under these photographic tributes to botox that says “OMG Best night EVER!” which is lucky because if they didn’t write it, you wouldn’t be able to tell. I mean, if they’ve accidentally let a normal human in the photo behind them, they might be smiling which could be an indication but you’d never know from their facial expression.