A Vlog review!

A little while ago an email popped into my inbox from a guy who runs Sextoys247 asking if I’d be interested in reviewing some of their product. It sounded like a laugh so of course I said yes. They sent me a couple of products and I gave them a whirl.

I decided a video blog (vlog) was the best way to go. So check out my review of the Male Power Pouch Short and the Mood Ball in the video below!

This looks great

With Burning Man having only recently finished again for another year, when I read all the stories and see all the photos and videos I think back to my two visits to the festival. One of the mottos of Burning Man is “Radical Self Expression” and everyone talks about how there are no rules and it’s so free. There are a few rules of course. That sort of thing keeps people alive and stops the world descending into complete chaos.

What I really remember though is that no matter how free from convention or rules we are, it seems to be human nature for people to create rituals or ceremonies where there weren’t any before. Each evening at dusk at Burning Man, there is a procession of lamp lighters who wander out in formation to light the gas lanterns down the main crossroads across the playa. Before the man itself burns on the Saturday night, there is a procession of people bearing fire to the fire dancers who then do a very ritualistic performance. It’s natural for people to want some kind of order and ritual, no matter how small.

This video is all about the tradition and ritual of the traditional sauna of the people in Voromaa in Estonia. Sauna’s there are not an every day thing, just on weekends and special occasions and traditions must be observed. Personally I don’t do well with that much heat but I love the idea of communal bathing and the traditional sauna with it’s bizarre beating of the skin with branches etc. It’s a true bonding and almost meditative experience from what I can see.

Sadly I don’t think Iceland will have anything like this. They do have lots of hot springs though. Fingers crossed for a nude hot springs soak in the wild.

Inspiring

I’ve just got home from seeing a performance by a bunch of my friends from the circus school that is on this week as part of the Fringe Festival. The show wasn’t exactly Cirque Du Soleil but it was a bloody good performance especially for a bunch of people who hold down regular jobs and have run themselves into the ground to get it together.

There have been a couple of times in the past year or so that I’ve been going to do a routine at my circus school but then had a crisis of confidence and pulled out. One of those times was a couple of months ago. The next opportunity for me will be early in the new year but I’m not going to let myself chicken out this time. I’ve got months to get ready so there really is no excuse.

The video below is of a performer called David Omer who does this famous routine starting soaking wet in a bathtub in jeans then swinging around from the aerial straps. It’s one of the sexiest routines I’ve ever seen and I’ve been lucky enough to see him perform it live a few years back. We were in the front row and they actually gave the front row some plastic to cover themselves so they wouldn’t get too wet. It was so damned sexy I don’t think the women in the audience were wet from being splashed. I was a touch wet myself.

Bless you Gus

U.S. Winter Olympian Gus Kenworthy made headlines when he came out a little while back but what keeps my attention is his cheeky smile combined with his adorable tendency to take his clothes off and post the photos to Instagram. Gus first came to everyone’s attention for trying to rescue stray dogs in Sochi at the Winter Olympics then when he came out not that long ago.

Since then he’s had his butt out on instagram several times and even his foreskin seems to have made a sneaky appearance in one shot of Gus sleeping posted by his boyfriend. Bless. Of course I don’t know Gus but he does just give the impression of being a really nice guy.

After a couple of posts about cancer I thought we could do with a cheeky grin and a cute bum to look at.

Better check yourselves

After last night’s post about cancer and a friend losing one of his balls to testicular cancer, I thought it would be appropriate to post this video of the doctors from Embarrassing Bodies instructing a football team through a self examination on tv. I’m not sure I would be that fussed on checking my balls for lumps on national tv but it is a great instructional tool. Let’s face it, we’ve all had thoughts about football teams with their gear off so here it is.

I had a scare when I thought I found a lump on my ball many years ago. Thankfully after a quick trip to the doctor it turned out to be nothing but for a little while there I was worried. Too many men are worried about being embarrassed about something like this but it’s worth being sure. The doctor I saw that day was a woman who apparently had children in my surf club which she decided to mention while she was rolling my balls around in her hand. Just to add to the awkward feeling.

Just stop!

This weekend was a had moments that just pissed me off. Nothing that impacted me directly was bad but some people I know went through some shit. A man I didn’t know very well but have a lot of time and respect for lost his battle with a form of cancer after what we thought was a successful treatment last year. He leaves behind a wonderful husband and two children. I may not have known him well but his death has shaken me and clearly affected a lot of people evidenced by the memories being shared on Facebook.

Yesterday I also found out that a long time reader of this blog, who has also modelled for me and I now consider a friend has just had testicular cancer. Thankfully he has had some surgery and treatment and is looking toward a full and easy recovery.

There are so many people going through this kind of thing around the world but why does it always feel like the good people? One of my friends will be fine, the other has sadly gone and it feels really shitty. Sorry this post is a change of pace and not very cheerful but it really moved me.

Behind the scenes

Yesterday afternoon I put together the behind the scenes footage from my shoot with David last weekend. Each time I do a video I’m learning something which is good. What did I learn this time? The GoPro I had set up ran out of space on the memory card so I learned that I need to be more aware of how much footage can fit on different memory cards.

David is so easy to photograph. Look at the guy. He has such classic features that you can throw almost any light on him and he’ll look great. As you’ve seen with the photos, we did three different looks and while we didn’t capture all of them on video, I think this video is pretty cool. There is nudity so don’t watch this at work.

Iceland is booked!

A couple of weeks ago I booked the flights to Europe and back. Two days ago my friend and I booked the camper van that we will squeeze ourselves into to drive around Iceland for 8 nights. The mate that is coming with me is someone I’ve known for several years, but we don’t see a lot of each other. Being crammed into a camper van on the road for 8 nights together and in Iceland for 10 nights in total together could make or break the friendship.

What is the etiquette for sharing a bed but probably in separate sleeping bags? Am I allowed to sleep nude?

The van we have is small. It has the driver’s seat and passenger seat but behind that is the bed. Underneath the bed is the storage for the table and chairs and cooking equipment etc. So it’s going to be cosy. I know I can be a restless sleeper and I’m scared that will drive my buddy mad. He’s also a friend that I haven’t been nude in front of, nor have I seen him nude. He has no qualms with nudity but that’s not his thing. He has been told that I fully intend to find a quiet thermal hot spring somewhere to strip off and have a soak. There have also been warnings about nude selfies on a beach with icebergs in the background. There aren’t many opportunities for that living in Australia so I fully intend to make the most of the chances I get.

The holiday is nine months away but getting things booked is so exciting!

But… WHY?

Today a fellow photographer posted a warning on Facebook about someone who is very routinely stealing other photographer’s photos and using them on image sites as his own. Unfortunately he’s not very smart about it even taking a photo from a Facebook group for Melbourne Photographers and then posting it in the same group asking for comments and feedback. Obviously when you are that level of stupid, you get caught. Many many people have reported him on the various websites and commented on his own Facebook profile only to be abused as frauds and threatened.

With so many people knowing he is a fraud and being the victims of his theft (including an award winning photographer) why would you continue? What does he have to gain from posting photos that aren’t his? Sure those that don’t know might believe him for a while. That would be shattered the minute they see the comments on his photos from all the photographers he has stolen from.

As someone that has taken 12 years to get to the level I am at, with many years to go learning and improving along the way, I started by sharing images that I look back on now and wonder what I was thinking. No one expects you to start out with award winning images and surely there is more satisfaction in sharing images that are your own?

In the meantime, enjoy more photos of David from Sunday’s photo shoot.

It won’t be good.

Today a date was announced for a non-binding Plebiscite on Marriage Equality. Our Prime Minister before he took power said he was against the idea when his predecessor put the plan in place but he has stupidly stuck to all the policies of the man he ousted for being incompetent. The wording of the question has also been announced which will go to the polls on February 11th next year.

When I heard that the date was announced and that $7.5 million dollars of taxpayers money will be given to each side of the campaign to spend on advertising, I was genuinely sad and anxious. The huge concern with the plebiscite from the LGBT community is the damaging effect hearing the vitriol from the No campaigners will have on LGBT youth and questioning people. There have already been statements from Australian conservative politicians likening gay people to pedophiles and the old slippery slope argument saying we’ll next be marrying livestock or a lamp.

We didn’t need a plebiscite to change the marriage act in 2004, rewording it to say that marriage is between a man and a woman. Why do we need a damaging public vote now? I don’t get to vote on whether my straight friends are allowed to marry and I would never vote to deny the right to any loving consenting adults.

If people consider themselves my friend they will vote yes. A vote for no is a statement that you think I’m lesser than you, not worthy purely based on my sexual orientation. What I do in the bedroom is the business of no one but who is with me and it has no bearing on my ability to commit in a loving relationship.

There is still a chance that the legislation to have the vote will be blocked by the opposition who are steadfastly against it but that may in turn mean marriage equality is a few years away in the hands of the next government, but it also may force the hand sooner.

Shooting David

This weekend, after unwisely cancelling a photo shoot due to weather on Saturday, I had another shoot on Sunday morning. This time with a young guy I’d met online through another model of mine. David is a guy in his mid twenties who has a real Hollywood leading man, classic look about him. Not only does he have a great face but the body is absolutely beautiful.

Those of you partial to a furry guy might be disappointed but those of us who don’t mind their men smooth will delight in his completely shaved look. He’s not shy at all and was brave enough to go along with my plans to stretch some sheer black fabric over him. We also did a couple of other setups and I have to say I’m really happy with all of the results. It’s pretty difficult to take a bad photo of someone like David who looks great from all angles. We all know I am quite fond of the boy next door look and David epitomises that.

I did do some behind the scenes footage so hopefully I will get a chance to edit that together soon.

 

A new approach to an old approach

A couple of days ago on RUOK Day the theme for this year was reconnecting. With that in mind I sent a text message to my old gym buddy who I haven’t seen in ages. We last worked out together about 9 years ago and apart from a quick hello in the street when we bumped into each other a few months ago it would be 5 years since we’ve had a good catch up. We are catching up next weekend for a picnic with his wife and two little girls who I am yet to meet. His wife was pregnant for the first time when we last caught up. Too long.

It got me thinking about how well we worked out when we were training together. He pushed me to train harder and also with better form. Any of my mates that saw me working out with him were jealous because he is a good looking guy but because he is straight there was never any distraction with flirting or anything. He was good motivation to get to the gym but also focused when we were there.

In the time since I have trained with another gym buddy but that wasn’t working for either of us after a while so we ended that training relationship. In the couple of years since that situation ended I’ve trained alone with varying amounts of success. Maybe it’s time to look for a new gym buddy. Sadly at my gym at the time when I train I haven’t really seen any likely candidates. There’s no deadline to make it happen if it happens at all so I guess I’ll just keep my eyes open.

The wrong decision

This morning I was supposed to do a photo shoot in the National Park about 45 minutes south of where I live. A guy I’ve met through Instagram is a fellow nudie and I think he’s very good looking so we were going to go and have a bit of a nude hike that he’s done before and do a photo shoot with him in the waterhole/waterfall there. At 6.20 this morning I got out of bed and it was raining fairly solidly so we postponed the shoot and I went back to bed. An hour later I wake up to blazing sunshine and blue sky. Dammit.

It would have been a great day for a bit of a cheeky nude hike and a photo shoot finished off with a skinny dip in a waterhole. Oh well. It’s only just become Spring here in Australia so we have a hopefully long hot summer ahead with plenty of opportunities to get out there and have a nude hike.

R U OK?

Tomorrow is R U OK Day in Australia. Started by Gavin Larkin several years ago after his father committed suicide, the day is all about reaching out to people you are worried about and asking the simple question “Are you ok?” Importantly, you have to be ready for the answer even if it’s not a good answer. The other challenge is to keep an eye out on your friends even if they say they are fine.

As members of the LGBT community we are more at risk of suicide. Thankfully, no matter how sad or alone I’ve felt at times I’ve never been clinically depressed or had suicidal thoughts. I have known people who have taken their own life and it is such a tragic waste. The focus of this year’s campaign is about reconnecting to people who you might have lost touch with who may need you. So, even if you aren’t worried about anyone, why not just reach out to someone you haven’t heard from in a while. It can’t hurt can it?

A fitness update

It’s that time of the month again and it’s time for the Fitness Challenge update. Sadly Damien has had to pull out because of some personal issues which is a shame but I do know that life is treating him well now that he’s living in the U.S. All the best wishes Damien.

Derek and I are still participating even though I’ve just had an unhealthy dinner for the second night in a row tonight but I will train hard tomorrow at work in our group training session. I think I have actually lost a little bit of weight and I’m feeling good at the moment. I don’t know that I see any real difference but a work colleague commented that she thinks I’ve lost weight in my face so that’s a plus.

Derek has also lost a little bit of weight through his good eating and the exercise that he can actually do given a hernia situation. He’s coming to the end of his nude beach season and I’m working towards mine. Fingers crossed!