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Several weeks ago I took some photos for a Personal Trainer that I know as a favour for him. As payment he has written me a new training program for the gym. He initially said some free training sessions which would have been great but he doesn’t train near where I live and visa versa so I said just write me a program which I sorely needed as my training, while doing a fair bit, wasn’t feeling effective.

Clearly it wasn’t effective at all. I started the new training routine this week and for most of the week I’ve been in pain from the workout. It may be that I’m working different combinations of muscles and just shaking things up but my god it feels like it’s doing so much more. I’ve often seen the more dedicated gym-goers on my friends list on facebook saying that they can barely walk on leg day and thought I must be doing something wrong. All that changed on Thursday when I realised just how many stairs there are in our office. We have two photo studios in our office and between the two there are 39 stairs to go up and down. Normally I run up and down them, but not for the last couple of days.

Here’s hoping all this muscle fatigue and soreness is going to do wonders. This week I’m house sitting for my sister so won’t be able to train but I’m going to focus on really getting my diet together and then hitting the new program hard again the week after as well as the diet.


With music festivals struggling to compete for the dollar these days, they are all trying to come up with a new way to draw people in and those cheeky Europeans seem to have found the answer. Nudity.

Roskilde Festival has had a nude running race as part of their festival for several years now with images doing the rounds after the festival each year of blonde nordic types with their junk out running for their lives. Now there are a couple of new players on the scene. The nude mud wrestling is an event that happens at the “Secret Garden Party” an independent arts and music festival in England I’d watch that. It looks like a laugh.

There is also the Oppikoppi Run which I’m not entirely sure where it is or even if it’s at a music festival but it’s another nude run.

Obviously Burning Man is famous for it’s relaxed attitude towards nudity even if there isn’t actually anywhere near as much as people expect. I think it should all be encouraged, obviously.

My celebrity Viking crush

All of my friends on Facebook were probably very sick of me while I was in Copenhagen as I think every second status update was about how sexy the Viking men are. On the weekend I actually started watching Vikings tv series on Netflix. I’d seen bits and pieces of it over the time but never more than a few minutes here and there. So seeing several episodes back to back I’m now invested and enjoying it thoroughly. There’s not the nudity I was hoping for from a series about Scandinavian Vikings since the Scandinavians love their nudity but I’ll settle for good stories and visually beautiful imagery.

The lead actor in the series is an Aussie guy Travis Fimmel who first made a name for himself as the hot Aussie Calvin Klein model several years ago. Travis turned 37 a few months ago and I have to say he’s aging very nicely. His features and his acting style is very reminiscent, to me at least, of Brad Pitt a few years ago, circa Fight Club. He has the twinkle in his eye and the twitchy dangerousness about him. Even the atrocious haircut in the show doesn’t hurt. At some point it went from some kind of mullet undercut to the more sexy braided long undercut which helped.

His long flowing blonde surfer boy hair was always one of his drawcards for me. That surfer hair will always do it, well usually.

Ding dong, he’s gone!

This is just a quick update on last night’s post. Tony Abbott became our FORMER-Prime Minister last night after his own party voted him out of the leadership. While the party policies are unlikely to change drastically we now have a Prime Minister and an Opposition Leader who support marriage equality.

Tony lost the vote 54-44 and promptly disappeared from sight until something like 16 hours later. At 12.30 today he made a speech acknowledging his defeat and his speech was nothing short of self-serving, completely lacking in grace or dignity and accepting not one scrap of blame for the situation he was in. This is a man that appointed himself as Minister for Women despite only having one woman in his cabinet of 19 members and a history of very misogynistic views.

Malcolm Turnbull is still on the same team but is a much more liberal thinker. Here’s hoping it leads to some good change. In his speech last night he actually acknowledged that the government needed to talk to the public as if they weren’t stupid. Revolutionary.

Fingers crossed

Any minute now here in Australia there is a formal vote happening to wrest the leadership of our nation from the most incompetent man who has ever been in charge. Malcolm Turnbull has announced a challenge to take over leadership and while he is far from perfect (we don’t seem to have any good contenders on either side) he will be a great change from Tony. Tony has done so many backflips on policy that he should take up gymnastics and the only legislation his government has passed have been borderline criminal.

The Human Rights Commission has said our governments policy on asylum seekers and our treatment of them is inhumane but good old Tony just said that he won’t be bullied by the Commission. One of our leading political journalists just last week in an interview with Tony said that he had been a great Opposition Leader but had failed miserably as Prime Minister. Tony is only capable of repeating three-word slogans and bizarrely eating onions whole and raw.

Hopefully we will have a new leader in the next hour or so. That will most likely lead to an early election instead of in the second half of next year as expected. Hopefully in that time one of our politicians will step up and make some strong policy decisions and show some leadership.

Almost perfect

Anyone who does anything creative, whether it be fashion, photography, painting or even hair and makeup will know that you are influenced by people that have come before. It may be a vague inspiration or very obvious. One of my earliest influences with photography, or someone I admired a lot, was Herb Ritts. Herb has taken some iconic images that are being ripped off or replicated over and over. His approach to photographing the form was clean, simple and striking.

These images of Logan Swiecki Taylor for Rufskin seem heavily influenced in a great way by the late Herb Ritts. I’m not sure who the photographer is but they know what they are doing. The lighting is beautiful and Logan looks amazing. Of course, this joins the ranks of beautiful imagery created to promote a fashion label that actually features none of the fashion but I’m completely on board with that.

There are actually a couple of little details that have been missed in editing the photos which I would have been shredded for if I’d done them at work, even if a lot of people wouldn’t even notice them. For me it doesn’t affect the outcome. The images and the model look amazing.

How do you nude?

As it warms up here in Sydney my thoughts are naturally turning to a hopefully long hot summer and lots of naked time relaxing. There are the natural choices for nude relaxation and recreation that we all think of like the nude beach, private pools even camping. I’m wondering what are the out-of-the-ordinary things that people do nude. It seems only natural to me that my blog which is full of nudity might attract at least a healthy proportion of nudies. If you do something like a sport, or a leisure activity that you don’t automatically think of being nude-friendly, I want to hear about it.

I’ve seen nudist groups go nude ten pin bowling or nude hiking and I’ve wanted to go nude surfing for several years now. Nude camping is something that my friends and I try and do at least a couple of times per summer if we can and tomorrow night we are having a nude drinks night at my mates place which seems to be a bit random in it’s scheduling but they are always a laugh. Several years ago a bunch of us were away for a weekend and we were playing pool and we decided to make it a game of strip pool. If you sunk the white ball or one of your opponents balls you had to remove a piece of clothing. If you sunk the black before it was time not only did you lose but you had to get completely nude.

I want to hear your ideas for nude events or activities. Are you a nude gamer? Do you have nude board games nights? Are there people out there that ride horses nude?  I want some new fresh ideas.

Dust and sparkles…

Burning Man is over for another year. Some people I know have gone several times now and other people have been year after year for many many years. I won’t ever be one of those people. There is a very real possibility that I will go back one day but there is too much of the world out there to see for me to go back to the same place, spending lots of money and using all my vacation time every year.

It’s changing and evolving which is inevitable for anything that’s been running for decades. Now with social media and a much broader awareness of the festival globally, it will only continue to attract different people who bring different experiences to the burn. The burn is created by those who attend so as those people change, so will the burn. For me this year it became clear that it was mainstream when I saw footage of Katy Perry falling off a segway in the dust and when I hear that there was mobile phone signal in the desert this year. Part of the appeal and the original ethos is escaping commercialism and every day life.

There’s nothing critical in my analysis of the burn. It is an incredible experience and one I treasure. It was sad however to read that Justin Alexander whom I’ve interviewed recently on Aussielicious had his camera, backpack, sleeping bag and even his passport stolen while at Burning Man last week. So much for radical self reliance.

One amazing thing to come out of the festival each year is my friend Vincent’s video. This year he’s put it together officially for AWOL and done an amazing job yet again.

No way in hell

The third season of Australia’s version of The Bachelor is about to wrap up and it has become guilty-pleasure viewing for me. Why on earth anyone would put themselves through it I have no idea. We all know they are manipulated by producers and edited to portray whichever character they have been cast, without their knowledge. Tomorrow night the Bachelor has to go and visit all four families of the girls who are left. My family would never support me going on reality tv at all, let alone agree to be a part of it.

When it comes to reality tv dating shows, there aren’t many that have a lot of success. One Australian show called “Farmer wants a wife” actually does really well and I believe averages at least one successful relationship per season out of 4 farmers.

The American “Naked Dating” and all the European versions can’t possibly have a great success rate. It seems they have been created as more of a titillation than really aiming for successful relationships. Of course it’s harder to titillate the Europeans when nudity really isn’t a big deal but the tumblr blog that I found these images on, the other images from the shows all had women with breasts that looked like something out of a very blatant porno. So it’s pretty obvious that producers are choosing contestants for their physical appeal over any substance.

Would I go on a first date or blind date nude? Yeah of course I would. Why not? There have been guys that I’ve met for the first time at the nude beach after talking online. I just don’t want any tv cameras there to record it and stage it.

Not cool

It’s been a policy on Aussielicious for many years that no images are posted of nude people where they don’t seem to be aware the photo was taken or given permission. On tumblr yesterday I saw a series of images that I have shared above but I’ve obscured the guy’s face. There were five shots in total and they were taken at the beach that I usually go to relax nude. The beach is a nice mixed beach with gay people, straight people and a little frustratingly some creepy people and too many clothed people.

A friend a couple of years ago felt uncomfortable taking his sweimwear off even though he’s a nudie because he was worried that someone might be taking photos. No one in particular but in general. It turns out that he was right.

In the day since I saw these shots I’ve wondered whether it would bother me if someone had taken sneaky photos of me nude on the beach. To a certain extent it is the public domain but even on non-nudist beach I think there an expectation of respect and hope that your privacy won’t be invaded. While I don’t actually think I’d be wildly upset, I don’t think it’s a very kosher thing to do. This guy may be comfortable to enjoy the sunshine nude but I’m pretty sure he would also feel at least a bit upset that these shots were taken.

It’s got me curious. I wonder if there are any sneaky photos of me out there nude?

Shattering stereotypes

As much as I know on a practical level that you can’t make assumptions based on someone’s appearance or what they do for a living, about how they think or act, it’s hard not to at times. If I walk into a pub and see a bunch of big muscled, tattooed footy players I naturally stay away thinking they aren’t going to be very gay friendly. It’s an unfair assumption to make but sometimes a sense of self preservation kicks in.

Reading this interview today with retired Rugby League player Daniel Conn shook those preconceived ideas up a bit. Daniel is an ambassador for Lifeline here in Australia and in the interview with DNA briefly talks about his battle with depression, being a bit of a gay ally and how his gay mates are “just like any other mates.” That’s exactly how we want it to be and it’s great to hear that a burly tattooed footballer hottie has no qualms. He even says that he knew of another first grade player that came out to him while he was playing but he’ll never name names and “it’s just another bare bum in the shower as far as I’m concerned.”

You can read the full interview here. In the meantime, enjoy the sexy photos of Daniel above. That smile would bring me undone.

My apologies

Yesterday in my post about Father’s day I inadvertently upset a couple of people with the line “I called him for the day like any son should.” There should have been some qualification with that. I have a great relationship with my father so it is expected that I’d call for Father’s day. Yesterday there were several stories being told on Facebook about fathers disowning sons and threatening violence because of sexuality, or fathers just being assholes. No one would ever begrudge anyone for not calling their father if they had a father like that.

I also hadn’t thought about people who have lost their fathers. It is a situation that I can’t comprehend, not having my parents around and I realise that is a blessing. The post was written about my particular situation and how lucky I am to have my father be such a good man and a part of my life. If there hadn’t been a call made yesterday, it would have been a bit shitty on my part.

If anyone was upset by my post, I’m very sorry.

Let them know

Today in Australia is Father’s Day. My father isn’t an outwardly sentimental father and he doesn’t really worry about celebrating today but I called him for the day as any son should. A lot of people are posting happy Father’s Day messages on Facebook which isn’t my thing. Dad and I aren’t friends on Facebook and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t log in expecting to see anything there.

My Dad and I are very alike in some ways and very different in others. Since I came out to my parents nearly 16 years ago (on his birthday, oops) there hasn’t been a moment where I’ve wondered if my Dad loves me or accepted me. He may have struggled with it at first but he never showed me that struggle. He is the kind of man I hope I am. He’s not a world changer but he’s a damn good man and while he is a quiet man, he has shown me how to be a good person.

In celebration of Father’s Day, I’m re-posting this video of Dad’s reading the book “I think I’m a poof” by a friend of mine, Samuel Leighton Dore. The book is written as a tongue in cheek way of reminding dads to be accepting. Last time I posted this I know a lot of people had issue with the messages in the book but it’s simplistic and exaggerated like most kids books. Seeing these dads of gay sons reading this book makes me smile.

Aussielicious Interview – John Bortolin, Photographer

It’s time to bring you another interview. This time it’s photographer John Bortolin who is the man behind the boo, Manscapes which I’ve posted about here and here. I’m always curious about the techniques of other photographers and how they source their models etc so I thought I’d ask.

How and when did you first get into photography?
I was 16 years old. I was influenced by my grandfather as he loved photography. I choose it as a subject in yr 11 and 12 during high school. 
After finishing year 12 I studied at QLD College of Art in Brisbane and did an Associate Diploma in Photography.

When did you shoot your first male nude?

My first nude shoot was back at art college when I was 18. One of our assignments was to shoot a nude. I chose and athletic guy that was a couple of years ahead of me at school.
We shot is in a forest at Rotary Park in Lismore. I shot him in from of a big Fig Tree trunk. I’d like to go back to revisit that location and do another shoot.

How did you work up the courage to ask all these gorgeous straight men to model for you?
It was hard at first. I approached one of my friends whom I used to practice fashion photography with. I finally worked up the courage
to ask him and he agreed. I used those pictures to show other guys what I was looking for and they saw the results and wanted similar style pictures of themselves. 
I then did some facebook posts looking for models for my Manscape project and it snowballed from there.

What is their reaction like when you approach them to do a nude shoot?

They are a little sceptical at first. Sometimes I ease them into it by asking to do a shoot and work my way around to the nudity question. As my folio grew I got more confidence
 and I was more direct asking if they would do nude straight up. Showing them my work made it easier. In the end they will get some great pictures of themselves and they are very happy with the results. 
I also was very determined to get my quota of models for my book so whenever I was afraid to ask someone I just kept thinking of my goal and that gave me the confidence to ask. I had a lot of rejections as 
nudity isn’t for everyone and I respected their choice.

You’ve said you are planning more books in the Manscapes series. Will they be similar or will the be some kind of evolution?
I plan to do a series of Manscape Books. The first book giving me the platform to continue and evolve my manscape series. With my next book I’d like to travel around to the beautiful urban and landscape scenes of Australia  
and shoot local men naked amongst their local landscape area. eg: Ayers Rock, Jenolan caves in the Blue Mountains, Great Ocean Rd in Victoria, Sydney Harbour Bridge and so on resulting in Manscapes Australia. I’d also like to Manscape 
myself around the world spending time in different countries and create a Manscape book photographed in each country eg. Manscapes London, Manscapes New York.

Did you approach publishers for Manscapes or was the intention always to self  publish?
I had a friend whom had published several cook books. She was originally going to publish and help promote it for me. Although that didn’t eventuate she guided me and I ended up self funding and publishing the book by myself.

What’s the ultimate goal for your photography?

My ultimate goal with my photography is to Manscape myself around the world producing a series of books from each country. I would also love to photograph same sex weddings around Australia and in different countries as well. 
I’ve already photographed same sex ceremonies here in the Byron Bay region but unfortunately its not legalised yet. I’ve photographed a lot of heterosexual weddings but its always so refreshing to photograph a same sex couple. 
It puts a big smile on my face to see one of my own kind expressing their love for each other in public.

Where do we get to see the behind the scenes videos?
At this stage there are no behind the scenes videos but I do have a plan to make a book trailer to advertise Manscapes featuring the images from the shoots. I may even put together a teaser video of the behind the scene images 
of the entire shoot. It’s something I’ve been playing with for a while. I’ve had a few attempts at it on my own but I don’t have much knowledge on the video editing.

Who is that man?

Last week I was perusing Tumblr as one does, usually one hand scrolling on my phone and the other, well, busy, when I came across the photo above. I reblogged it and in the caption mentioned not knowing who he was. Now my Tumblr feeds through to my twitter and within half an hour I had the answer. His name is Cody Deal and he’s an actor who hasn’t really done a lot of big stuff. What he has done clearly, is lift a lot of heavy things up and down in the gym and eat right.

The photo above that got my attention was for his calendar. What self respecting actor doesn’t have a calendar these days? At 6’4″ and covered in beautiful muscles I think we can safely assume he’s never going to play a sensitive genius or anything that challenging. Hollywood doesn’t like to cast against type so Cody will most likely always play jock boys and thugs but he’s pretty and buff so why not?