Have I failed?

This weekend I’m heading to Wollongong where I grew up to catch up with some old school friends and to spend time with my parents. Another motivation is to go car shopping with my father. My car is 15 years old and it needs to be replaced. I fully accept that cars are not my thing and I haven’t looked after it properly but there are a growing number of things happening with the car that make it too costly to repair. More than it’s worth that’s for sure.

Unfortunately I don’t have enough money so my parents are being amazing and lending me some money to buy a new car. I love them for this and appreciate it more than they know but it makes me feel like I might be failing at being an adult.

Now, I can hear you all warming up your commenting fingers telling me about my impending trip to Europe. That is the reason that I can’t afford to replace my car. Maybe I have my priorities out of whack but for me travel is a priority. I will pay my parents back as soon as I can and there will be a minimum weekly repayment agreed to but at 43 should I be able to buy a car if I need to without help? I’m not entirely sure.

This failure to adult well seems to be common. One friend of mine is sleeping on a mattress on the floor because he’s just moved house and can’t decide on what bed to buy. A work colleague (the junior) seems to often be complaining about a lack of money but then spends a LOT of money on her boyfriend’s birthday adventure. Maybe all of us have our priorities out of whack?

I know that living on a single income in Sydney is an expensive way to live, but then there is all that freedom of being single in a great city… See, I can’t adult.

A little favour…

I’m going to ask a little favour. As you all know if you come by this little part of the web on a semi-regular basis, I’ve started a YouTube channel. I started it around four months ago properly and I’ve managed to get over 100 subscribers already. Now I know everyone that follows this blog watches the videos when I post them here on the blog and that’s fantastic but I’m going to ask a little favour.

I have a longer term project in mind that will involve this YouTube channel and to make it work I’m going to need more subscribers. SO, I’m asking that if you like the videos would you mind taking a moment to go through to my YouTube channel and give it a quick subscribe. A lot of you have gmail/google+ accounts and that’s all you need to subscribe. I’ll be very grateful. Pretty please?

Looking ahead

In just over 5 months I will be taking off on my adventure to Europe. A lot of my energy recently in planning this trip has been spent on Greece, trying to find accommodation. Now that part is all sorted I’m thinking about all the fun I can have in places like Berlin. My time in Cologne will be spent meeting up with a long time reader of this blog and relatively frequent buyer of my photography, Thomas. He has promised to take me to a good traditional sauna in Cologne so I can experience the awesome attitude towards communal bathing and nudity.

Lots of people have mentioned that I should go to Berghain when I’m in Berlin but I am not a big clubbing person anyway and the thought of lining up for a couple of hours to be turned away for an unknown reason is too much for me. For a full on explicit experience another friend has recommended Laboratory, right near the Berghain but catering to all sorts of fetishes. They did warn that you’ll be able to smell the rooms you don’t want to go to.

I’ve just spent some time browsing my nude friend Kirill’s blog Active Naturists and his reviews of all the nudist friendly elements to Berlin. It would seem there are several parks, lakes, pools and bars to visit while I’m there. It would seem remiss of me to NOT find a nude part of the Tiergarten and strip off to enjoy the ambience for a while. Last time I was in Berlin it was about -5C and the Tiergarten was not somewhere I was going to strip off. An older man did try and cruise me one afternoon in the park but as well as him not being my type, the below freezing temperature and even colder wind chill would certainly have impeded any fun had I been interested.

I seriously cannot wait for this holiday to come around. Planning so far out gives me something to look forward to but it’s also a bit torturous.

A little bit of beauty

After the heavy tone of the previous post I thought I’d share something that I saw yesterday that I found really beautiful. This is a video about surfing but it is so entirely different to all the other surfing videos that I’ve seen over the years. Instead of the pretty intense rock music or dubstep noise, this one uses Puccini classical Opera instead. The style of photography is different to most surf films and the contrast between the high drone footage and the extreme macro close ups of the water moving through black sand is just gorgeous. I hope you like it.

Sable Noir – Featuring Jack Freestone from Desillusion on Vimeo.

You just never know!

Yesterday I found out that someone I know has been suffering with some pretty serious mental health issues. He is in a really bad place at the moment and while I don’t know him well, I felt compelled to reach out to him. We have known each other for several years now and while we’ve never been close, there is a mutual respect for each other.

Obviously I’m no mental health expert and I’m far from qualified to help him but just knowing that there are people out there thinking about him who want him to stick around can’t hurt the situation. Sadly none of his family is close by to help him get through this dark period. He also let me know it’s not the first time this has happened. I guess looking back there have been some indications that he was struggling with his mental health but hindsight is an amazing thing.

To all outward appearances he seemed like a very confident guy who has a lot going for him and not a care in the world. It just goes to show that you never know what is going on in someone’s life and while we may not agree with all their decisions in life or you might not believe that they have any problems, sometimes the reality is very different. It feels to me, that the world is becoming a very disconnected place and even though we all “connect” on social media those connections aren’t as good as the ones made in the real world.

Get your Briefs on!

About 4-5 years ago I saw a small drag/boylesque/circus show called Briefs. It was a low budget but lots of fun show. In the past couple of years they’ve reworked the show quite a lot, adding a few cast members while keeping the same vibe and sense of dirty, irreverent, camp, sexy fun entertainment.

Last night I was lucky enough to get a free ticket through a friend to go and see the show and it didn’t disappoint. Firstly one of the performers is someone I know through my circus school and he is a very, very talented performer and did a brilliant job on both the lyra (hoop hanging from the ceiling) and the silks. Secondly, the acts aren’t all your typical boylesque or circus acts. The show does push a few little boundaries and I’m sure a few of the straight men in the audience were a little uncomfortable at times.

Two of the new cast members are very sexy guys in their early-mid twenties and you see quite a lot of both of them. To be honest, you see everything but their cocks really. One of them spent the last 20 minutes of the show, including numerous trips into the audience in just an apron, so flashing his gorgeous smooth, tanned bum to the world. The other one was nearly naked lots of times through the show and looked very nice while he was at it. These people are obviously natural performers but it does take a certain level of confidence to be able to do that and I wonder if they have always been that comfortable or has it built up over the couple of years they’ve been doing the show.

Whatever the scenario is, it all worked. The show was so much fun to go and see. If you are in Sydney I believe you have another week left of shows to catch them in action. I highly recommend it.

So that’s how it is?

“Ghosting” is defined in the urban dictionary as “quietly disappearing from someone you’ve met on an online dating site.” I would argue that it’s not just for those people you’ve met on dating sites. I’ve been ghosted by people I thought were friends who just stopped responding to messages. I’ve also been guilty of doing the same thing. To be fair, on both sides of the situation it’s happened with people that I had been close to but had drifted away from over the years so, while not pleasant it wasn’t devastating.

Recently I have seen a guy that I photographed several years ago in my area. It turns out that he lives literally around the corner from me. He popped up on my Grindr and he used to live a good hour away and I hadn’t seen him in years. So I sent him a message and promptly got blocked. I now see him at the local pub and in the street but he pretends I don’t exist. Now of course I am not getting any answers on why this has happened. He’d have to speak to me to give me the answers. We’ve never had a falling out and while we’ve never been wildly close I always thought we got on.

My best guess is that, knowing what I do about him, he is one of those guys that immerses himself so totally into a relationship and even though we don’t have a sexual past, I represent a time when he was in a different relationship and a different time in life so therefore the boyfriend must not know about me. It’s only a guess. I’ve had people do that to me before. A guy I had met years ago and hung out with on the nude beach, again nothing sexual, once at a pub he pretended he’d never met me because he was with someone new.

Can we all just accept that we have a past and no matter how sordid or completely innocent it may be, it all goes towards making us who we are?

Please like me…

It feels like the world is getting more and more disconnected from reality. Reality tv is anything but. Journalism hasn’t contained the truth in a long time and “the gays” seem to prefer anonymous sex on drugs than they do anything with the possibility of a real connection. That is a sweeping generalisation I know but something I see happening a lot ore often than it should. People can have as much anonymous casual sex as they like but when you are scared to be intimate without drugs it’s a little scary.

Lately several people I know on Facebook have entered into relationships. I’m very happy for them but why do people need to post every status update about things they are doing with the disclaimer of “with my man” or with “my love”? Maybe I’m wrong but it really feels like people are shouting “Look! I told you I’m lovable! SEE SOMEONE LOVES ME!!!” Some of these guys had only been seeing their “love” for a week or two.
One guy posted that he hadn’t had time to go Christmas Shopping and a few people commented that it was because he had spent all his time posting gushy over the top statuses about “my man”.

Can we please make 2017 the year when people realise that a few people clicking the “like” button on Facebook or double tapping your photo to give it a like on Instagram does not validate your relationship and/or your existence? Instead of going for a walk or something with your partner and thinking you’d better put it on social media to validate it, what about just going for the walk and relishing all the good vibes? Put the phone down, hold their hand and appreciate them. If you’re focused on updating Facebook about it, they’ll wander off while you aren’t looking.

Behind Timothy’s scenes!

My recent collaboration with Timothy in the studio, trying my hand at dance based photography for the first time was very popular and has resulted in a few sales of “Ascension” the hero image from the shoot. Timothy was great fun to work with and with his performing background in ballet is very comfortable in front of the camera.

As usual (lately anyway) I did some filming on the day of the shoot so that I could put together this video. I had a GoPro set up off to the side of the studio as well as filming a few bits and pieces with my Canon as we went along. As I edit more videos I’m trying to think about the musical cues to edit to as well as making the video visually interesting. Enjoy!

Note: Nearly all the images I take are available for purchase as limited edition prints. Email me for enquiries!

Supporting artists

A friend of mine yesterday told me about a website called Patreon where artists like myself in various fields create a profile and people can pledge to back you with a certain dollar amount per month or per creation. Looking further into it I decided to create a profile to see if anyone was willing to back me and my work. I’ve never asked for money from readers of this blog because I chose to do this for my own entertainment. Creating art is a bit of a different beast. I chose to become a photographer and create these images but there is a lot of time invested in my photography and sometimes the shoots have costs involved so perhaps this might be a nice easy way to make some of that money back.

I’m not asking people who read this blog to pledge their money so that I keep creating. Like most people creating artistic works I would do this for free and have been doing it for a long time now. I’m just letting everyone know that I’m on there if the mood strikes. The Patreon platform offers a way for people to show their appreciation with a monthly backing of as little as $1. This is certainly not likely to make me rich but there are musicians and artists who have large followings but who may not have major record label deals or the backing of galleries doing their publicity, who are actually making the equivalent of a solid wage from Patreon.

Trying to let it go

Over the past week I’ve come across situations that have really pissed me off or at the least really challenged my patience. They aren’t situations that I feel would be helped by calling the individuals out on their actions. In the past that would have led to a lot of dwelling on the situation and having those amazing arguments in your head with the other person where you come up with the best arguments and insults. Instead, I’m taking a leaf out of the Disney playbook and letting it go.

As I get older I must be mellowing a little bit. Things that would have royally pissed me off in the past might annoy me for a while before I just laugh and figure that it’s just easier to walk away and let whatever needs to happen just happen rather than causing a stink. If someone is so insensitive to say or do the things they are doing then they probably aren’t going to listen to reasoning so there’s no point right?

One of the people that is testing my resolve is someone I’ve known vaguely for a few years now. He’s been hurt quite badly in a relationship as most of us have. For him that means he is avoiding the idea of a relationship at all costs and filling his time with copious amounts of casual sex and recreational drugs. Of course he is entitled to do that and it’s none of my business. It sounds like he’s having a lot of fun but what I do have a problem with is him calling me prissy and a no-fun zone just because it’s not how I spend my time. Essentially we’ve both been hurt in relationships and have had our confidence rocked but he’s chosen one way of dealing with it and I’ve chosen another. He made a lot of comments recently to me and I’ve just decided that since we aren’t close friends there’s no real relationship to be harmed by it, just let it slide. It’s a shame but sometimes you just have to look out for yourself right?

Smooth moves

On Friday afternoon a mate and I packed up his car and headed off for a weekend of naked camping. We met a couple of other guys at the supermarket nearest where we camp and got our supplies before heading off. In years gone by you used to be able to look around the locker room at the gym and see who was gay by who was doing all the grooming. These days it seems like the gay men are doing less grooming than the straight boys.

At the clothing optional retreat/campground that we go to, as with most nude venues, the clientele is on the older end of the spectrum but even amongst the older generations, through the guys our age and younger going completely smooth seems to be quite popular. Obviously there are variations on grooming habits from the completely smooth guys right up to no trimming at all but those non trimmed guys were most definitely in the minority. When I went to Europe last year I went nearly shaved but I still had some closely trimmed hair going on. Just. This year I’m thinking Europe might be the time to go completely smooth. That is if I get myself in shape because I have a theory, or more of an opinion that the completely smooth look works best on guys that are either hung or ripped, preferably both. The men above are clearly very much both. Since I have a waistline that has been threatening to go into “dad bod” territory over the past year or so and an appendage that is perfectly fine but not in the “hung” category, I need to get more ripped before I go “totally nude”.

I do love seeing a nice smooth, tanned man walking around in the sunshine nude.

Beautiful in it’s tradition

Anyone that’s been reading for a while might remember that I’m not a huge fan of lots of tattoos. Some guys just look hot in tatts like a beautiful bad boy. Then there are guys like this. A lot of people start with a single small tattoo somewhere, like a Chinese symbol on their shoulder. Not this guy. He’s gone all in right from the start and it’s beautiful. While I normally wouldn’t like this amount of ink on a guy I love that he’s kept the front clean but the rest is devoted to beautiful, very detailed ink work based in very traditional imagery and style.

Can you imagine how many hours and how much pain this has taken? It goes in his butt crack! It also doesn’t hurt that he’s very beautiful himself in a fashion model kinda way. I’d love to do some beautiful photos in a studio of him under gorgeous lighting. Does anyone know who he is?

Looking good

A long time ago when I was first beginning my nudist explorations of the internet, one of the people I kept seeing on various sites was this guy. His name is Aaron and he used to be a nude reporter for Clothes Free International, visiting all the various nudist clubs and beaches etc around the U.S. I’m not sure whether he ventured further abroad but he always looked good when I saw him.

Over the years he experimented with more and less pubic hair and definitely got more muscular. Towards the end of his “journalistic” career he got a big chest tattoo which looked a little redneck for my tastes but each to their own. As much as nudism is about being comfortable in your own skin and removing all the layers of success or materialism I think Aaron being very nicely built was a good representation for the nudist movement. The young fit guys are the ones that never seem to strip off in the locker room or at the beach even though they work the hardest on their bodies!

Anyone know what he’s up to now?

Behind the scenes with Chris.

I’m slowly catching up on video editing from my photo shoots over the past few weeks and yesterday I edited together the footage from my photo shoot with Chris. I’m curious to hear what you all enjoy about these behind the scenes videos and what you don’t. To avoid trouble with YouTube and because Christopher wants to preserve his modesty, as do most of the models, they probably won’t feature any frontal most of the time. The two that I’ve done with frontal haven’t had any problems but it does mean that if I start getting a following then they can’t have advertising on them if they are marked as age restricted.

I’m really happy with how this photo shoot turned out and it goes to prove that people that haven’t done any modelling can still do a great job in front of the camera and look fantastic while doing it. Sure Christopher was a bit nervous but he got more relaxed as we went and he knew his body well and how to move it. He also took direction really well which was great.

Enjoy the video!