Saturday, December 15, 2012

Party with the Gods and Crack the Velázquez Code

Have you ever been the only one in on the joke? It's like that all the time for gay guys. We see the humor and symbolism that our straighter counterparts are blind to. So it is with the famous painting El triunfo de Baco (The Triumph of Bacchus) (1629) by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez. This work appears in gajillions of books and websites, since the Spaniard Velázquez continues to be one of the most influential European artists in history, but most interpretations are oblivious to the painting's raunchy undertones.

Triumph depicts two groups of men: three mythological figures on the left and six Spanish peasants on the right. Bacchus is the pale, shirtless man, and a handsome, bare chested satyr is sitting behind him. Another mythological companion is in the foreground. The three pagan divinities, identified by their grape leaf crowns, may be "real" gods, or they may be Seventeenth Century Spanish actors representing Bacchus and company. We don't know for sure, but ambiguities like this make great art.

The leaves Bacchus wears are the biggest. So, does that mean he's the most well endowed? It could be. He was the Greek god of wine and the life of the party. The Greeks called him Dionysus, as well as Bacchus, but in Rome, he was simply known as Bacchus.

The pale god of Velázquez crowns a young and seemingly good looking Spanish soldier with a wreath of grape leaves. This action links the two groups, but it's also sexually suggestive. The soldier could almost suck Bacchus off, if he wanted, and the Greek god would most certainly caress the soldier's hair while being serviced.

Right away, we see that The Triumph of Bacchus is a form of Seventeenth Century pornography, but how could this be in Catholic Spain? Diego Velázquez was the chief painter for King Philip IV, a great patron of the arts and an avid collector of nudes and other pictures that the Spanish public would find scandalous, but never saw at the time. Even though Philip supported the Church, he, his family, and his artists were above the Inquisition.

Sexual suggestion in Triumph also comes --pun intended-- from the other direction. The satyr playfully threatens to pour a glass of wine on Bacchus --a strange redundancy-- but he's also precariously holding the glass at the base. This, along with the grape leaf wreath, blocks much of the base and stem. The color of the wine also matches the landscape, which further "hides" the glass.

Upon ignoring this glass, the satyr looks as if he's caressing the wine god's hair. We also see the satyr tugging at the party boy's toga with his other hand. This traditionally horny deity might as well be saying, "Hey Bacchus, want to fuck?"

The poses of Bacchus, the satyr, and the soldier strongly suggest a gay ménage à trois, but was this an appropriate theme, even in more libertine royal circles? The Inquisition in Seventeenth Century Spain was hostile towards sodomy, which included all forms of non-procreative sex, not just homosexuality, and some Spaniards were unfortunately executed for this. However, certain parts of Spain were more tolerant to the point of actually blocking the Inquisition's attempts at prosecution.

Another strange aspect of the painting's soldier is the unusual location of his knife. People generally carry knives on the sides of their torsos or legs for easy access. Carrying them in back would allow enemies to easily grab them and stab us, but in art, the knife is a phallic symbol, and perhaps the soldier wants to be "stabbed," that is, fucked. 

The knife is also key to unveiling a network of sexual sight gags and looking games:
1. The knife points to Bacchus' right eye (our left).
2. Bacchus' left eye is aligned with the gray haired man's dick!
3. Bacchus is looking at the satyr's right eye and recognizing his teasing or flirting.
4. The gray haired man is gazing at Bacchus and the satyr. What a cradle robber!
5. The satyr's left eye is aligned with those of the two men who look at the viewer.
6. The satyr's left fingers are aligned with the soldier's face.
7. The satyr's left eye is also aligned with the soldier's dick!
8. The satyr's right eye is aligned with Bacchus' belly button.
9. The noses of the three peasants mentioned align with the soldier's hands, which cover his dick.

Whew! What does this all mean? The satyr is the most geometrically connected, and therefore, the horniest of them all, which is no surprise. In mythology, he screws everything that moves, and in the painting, he makes a move on Bacchus, and he's charmed by the soldier and the three peasants. Bacchus may have noticed the gray haired man before, who, in turn, wants Bacchus and the satyr. The soldier covers his dick in reverence to receive the grape leaf crown, but the three peasants "smell" his youthful virility. They want him to uncover and screw around with them.

In great art, nothing is wasted, and so the two peripheral men are having a friendly conversation, but given the sensual geometry we just revealed, these two figures could be negotiating a tryst of their own.

The third mythological figure, covered in shadow, is the most mysterious. Perhaps he just likes to watch, which would actually make him one of us: a viewer, or better yet, a fellow voyeur.

The flip side of the mythological viewer is the two men who gaze at us! They invite us to the party, and they also recognize the gay guys among us. They are seasoned men, and their expressions are all knowing. 

Even the grape vines in the corner lustfully reach for Bacchus. Given all this gay revelry, it's easy to see why Bacchus and his two companions chose to visit some poor Spanish men. The Greeks and Romans took sex in stride, and their gods were therefore very sensual. The Spaniards in the painting apparently may have lived in tolerant quarters. The wine also lowered their inhibitions to the point that the pagan gods saw fit to visit them, or three actors played the gods, or the men became so drunk that the gods' visit was a group hallucination.

An additional possibility is that the men were straight, but they, like many men, wildly enjoyed drinking and staging homoerotic rituals. For generations in America, military and fraternity initiation parties have looked as gay as The Triumph of Bacchus. Add to this the current trend of gay chicken, and the painting, in all its gay myths, given the right amount of alcohol, doesn't seem so unreal after all.

Photo Credits:
Human Trampoline 1 -- Fratmen;
Blowjob 4 -- Curtis sucks Trey, Sean Cody;
Threesome 6 -- Terry (below), Billy (center), and Ford,
     Sean Cody;
Flying Fuck 9 -- Owen tops Billy, Sean Cody;
Five Nude Swimmers 14 -- Unknown origin;
Other images are from El triunfo de Baco (The Triumph of Bacchus)
     (1629) by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, a painting of
     the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

Find me at AAG!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jacking Off is So Fucking Good for You

We call it beating off, beating your meat, choking your chicken, jacking off, jerking off, paying a visit to Rosy Palm, playing pocket pool, playing with yourself, pulling your pud, rubbing one out, spanking the monkey, wanking off, whacking off, and God knows what else. There are literally hundreds of euphemisms. Most are lesser known, but the hilarious ones include cleaning your gun, electing the President, and hosing down the driveway.

Whatever you call it, self-gratification is good and healthy for guys. Some men know this instinctively, but for others, this is news. The guilt associated with masturbation comes in part from conservative, anti-sexual religions, which include Catholicism, Zoroastrianism, Orthodox Judaism, and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Islam is also generally hostile towards masturbation, but there's a funny exception: If an act of self-gratification prevents a man from committing extramarital sex, then in some cases, it's allowed. What do you call a Muslim circle jerk? An anti-adultery club! Buddhism similarly debates masturbation; it depends on the interpretation of what's called sexual misconduct.

Taoists curiously warn that masturbation can lower a man's energy level, while intercourse with females does not. Protestant churches run the gamut. Some denominations, like Mormonism and Adventism, specifically prohibit the habit, while others are quietly unconcerned or even openly tolerant. Religious approval of wanking can also be found in Wicca, Hinduism, plus Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism.

I initially felt guilty, when I started whacking off at 13, but I did it so much, and it felt so good, that I soon accepted it as normal, and no longer suffered from any negative feelings about it. One day, when I was 14, my father told me he wanted to talk to me about an issue, and that issue was masturbation. He said he hoped I didn't get into that, because it drained a fluid I needed to grow my muscles while lifting weights.

I simply said, "Okay," to put a merciful end to this mortifying "advice." I didn't know if I was more appalled at my dad's sexual ignorance or the fact that he had brought up such a personal topic. My father had never talked to me about sex before. My mom was the one who had explained the birds and the bees to me --back when I was in Fifth Grade!

To give the Devil his due, hostility towards self-gratification, in addition to religion, comes from obsolete medical advice. Samuel-Auguste Tissot, a Swiss physician, warned in his 1760 treatise L'Oninisme that masturbation drained an "essential oil" from the male body and reduced strength, among other problems. Also, for generations, some American coaches have warned male players not to masturbate or have sex the night before a game.

There's something to this, but not in the way Tissot, my father, and the coaches imagined. It's largely a personal matter. Ejaculation temporarily saps the strength of some athletes, while it merely relaxes others. I don't splooge the night before I max out at the gym, because I want to maintain my strength, but that's just me. I can still jack off or have sex. I just don't blow my load, but every guy is different. The best rule is this: Know thy body.

Speaking is being relaxed, jerking off is a stress reliever. It's great to spew after a bad day. It also takes care of stress from within. Sometimes, we guys get so horny, we can't wait for our partner. We've just got to splooge right fucking now. It even acts as a natural sedative. Rubbing one out helps you fall asleep.

Masturbation is a fertility enhancer, as well. How so? Step 1: Enjoy beating off to get rid of old, weak sperm. Step 2: Produce new, strong, healthy sperm, while recharging. Step 3: Impregnate a female. What does this have to do with masculine gay guys? Well, some of us want to be fathers someday. So, we make donations at the sperm bank, or we interview lesbians looking for donors.

For those who find artificial insemination cold and overpriced, there's always natural insemination, or having sex with a female the old fashioned way. Yes, you have to put your homosexuality on hold for a few nights, but it makes for a more personal memory of conceiving your kid.

Wanking even boosts the immune system. Pleasuring yourself actually raises the level of the hormone cortisol and increases the amount of some types of white blood cells. These changes help the body fight disease and infection.

Masturbation is also an interesting topic in studies of serious illness. Stroking your shaft more frequently does slow down heart disease, but the jury is still out on its relationship to prostate cancer. Researchers found that some men who jack off a lot in their 20s and 50s seem to have a lower risk of cancer, but frequent self-gratification among other men in their 20s and 30s suggested a higher risk. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), which increase cancer risk, may account for the contradiction.

Finally, rod rubbing helps guys learn to become better lovers. By jerking off until just before they reach the point of inevitability, they learn how to postpone blowing their load. Yes, this edging technique makes a man out of you. Rubbing piss on your pole before showering also gives you control of the clock. You can fuck as long as you want and cum exactly when you feel like it.

The ancients took masturbation in stride, as well as sex in general. The Sumerians believed that dancing with yourself made you more potent. The ancient Egyptians took it a step further by incorporating divine masturbation into their religion. In the Kama Sutra, the Hindus wrote self-gratification instructions. The Greeks also regarded beating off as completely normal.

All guys should listen to the ancients, recognize the benefits, and throw off the chains of discredited medical and religious prohibitions. Ejecting semen is a gift we should frequently give ourselves. It improves our health, makes us better lovers, and enhances our manliness. It's something that should be celebrated. In the immortal words of sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, "Happy masturbating!"

Photo Credits:
White Room 1 -- Nathan Wessel by David Vance;
Red and Gold Comforter 2 -- Tyler of Fratmen;
Weightlifter 3 -- Publicity Shot of Wally (Tony Dow) from
     Leave It to Beaver (1957-63);
Standing 4 -- Jeremy of Sean Cody;
Chair 5 -- Ron of Sean Cody;
Black Studio 6 -- Nick Adams (1996) by Ron Lloyd of
      Legend Men and Body Image Productions;
Floor 7 -- Gabriel of Sean Cody;
Rock 8 -- Collin of Fratmen;
Money Shot 9 -- Darius of Sean Cody.

Monday, March 26, 2012

See Our Facebook Models Uncropped in All Their Naked Glory

Our Facebook portal Masculine Gay Guys drives a lot of traffic to our blog, but the puritanism of Mark Zuckerberg's leviathan is a pain in the ass. We've had to learn the hard way what the vague "no nudity"and "community standard" clauses actually mean. We've always known you can't post pictures of sex or dick, but we've been temporarily "disabled" for showing pubic hair, crotch grabbing, visible penis lines (VPL), and artistic nudity or all but dick (ABD).

The jury's still out on normal swimsuit or underwear bulges. We don't think Facebook likes them, and they've given us a little grief about it, but what the fuck! Guys have penises. They're supposed to have bulges. We can't very well ask male models to get castrated.

At any rate, we thought it'd be fun to tour the Facebook Hall of Shame. This is the photo gallery they don't want you to see. Here, our boys are undressed, uncropped, and uncensored!

We start with Ajay by photographer Dylan Rosser. Obviously, we had to crop him at the waist. Our readers loved his boy-next-door looks, and a few wanted to see more. When we sent the uncensored version through Facebook e-mail, we got in trouble. (Yes, Facebook even gets upset over e-mail between consenting adults!) Anyway, we celebrate Ajay's uncut dick in the uncut picture, as well as his ironic combination of sensuality and wholesomeness.

Anthony Green is one of many guys we have to crop at the waist sometimes. We're rabid fans of photographer Michael A. Downs' work for All American Guys, which by the way isn't a porn site. It's just a vehicle for male models, but it's way too hot for Facebook, with all its VPL and artistic nudity.

We trotted out this military VPL shot of Brock Yurich to protest the now-defunct Don't Ask; Don't Tell (DADT) policy. Facebook wasn't amused. How many times have we been "disabled"? We've lost count.

Facebook's "no nudity" ban even extends to vintage beefcake, which is older than the vast majority of our readers. Here is Bob Jensen, photographed around 1950 by Bob Mizer for his studio, the Athletic Model Guild (AMG). We're captivated by his tall, toned body.

Back to Brock Yurich, we hated cropping this shot by photographer Rick Day. Yurich sports an impressive muscular physique, but his large bubble butt practically steals the show.

For Halloween Week, we posted a cropped version of model Brad Greiner, but the full artistic-nudity picture is moodier and spookier. The tree pattern of sun and shadow on Greiner's body actually suggests moonlight and by extension, sexual dreams.

Some of our readers clamor for body hair, but most professional photographers still favor the shaved down look. This preference tends to relegate hairiness to bear and leather fetish pictures. However, Chase of Fratmen doesn't disappoint. His chest and underarm scruff make him look very manly, and his slight smirk signals an attractive cockiness, but the uncensored picture also reveals his beautiful, erect cock, which curves to his right. No wonder he's proud!

By the way, penis curving is normal. Some erections curve to the left, some to the right, and others curve toward or away from the body. (Mine is straight as an arrow --an ironic condition for a gay man!)

The readers went crazy over James Cooper, probably because of his baby face and big muscles, but his pose also calls to mind the top in the missionary position and the bottom in doggie style. We couldn't show his untanned butt on Facebook, but we can here. We think James should become the Coppertone Boy.

Occasionally, we come across models we just can't identify. So, this is Door Boy, for the sake of argument. The complete shot features an original nude pose. The guy also has big balls. His semi-erect shaft may be the below-average length of three inches, but it might reach the average five with a raging hard-on --balls not included in measurement.

Below average or not, I'd fuck around with this guy. Dick shafts that are three to six inches are perfect for my ass. Anything shorter can't get past my O-ring, and I can't enjoy a shaft that's longer than six inches. It's too uncomfortable. (Yes, there's such a thing as too long.)

Here's a steamy still from Scene 1 of the Hot House Video production Reckless 1. The film features a series of muscle studs who get it on in a warehouse. In our picture, Tony Mecelli stands and hugs Kyle King, after fucking him, pulling out, and jacking off with him. Kyle relaxes and strokes his own cock. The actors' post-sexual embrace adds a surprising amount of tenderness to their porn scene. We also love Tony's military cut and Kyle's goatee. Watching their athletic virility in action is almost a religious experience.

This second unsourced picture actually looked hotter in the cropped version, which implied that someone was sucking the guy off. We weren't far off base. The model shaved his big tool, which looks perfect for a date.

There's something about Jason Taulb that makes us cream all over ourselves. He's got a great body, but he also sports a just little bit of fat, which gives him a hot Everyman quality: a canvas for our wildest fantasies. Here he is with VPL.

Here's a more provocative shot of Jason Taulb in bed and ready for sex. He's a demigod. His muscles are great, and the slight amount of fat in his face and lower abs are endearing. This combination of the "perfect" and "imperfect" is especially seductive. (There's such a thing as too perfect; flawless guys can look rather douchebaggy.)

John Wahlberg of BelAmi Online posed for this life-imitating-art picture. The statue is probably a replica of one by the ancient Greeks, who idealized small, uncut dicks. They actually laughed and ridiculed large and/or circumcised penises. Boy, how times have changed! We Westerners still admire young, athletic male bodies, but big cocks are now objects of worship. Why, laughing would be downright sacrilegious!

We love this photo of Leandro Becker. It's from Terra: The Boy. We cropped it just below the arm, but the post-sex, morning intimacy still shined through.

Boy, did we ever get in trouble for this one. Jonathan (left) sucks Jamie's nip in a still from their Sean Cody film. We thought it was good, wholesome fun between two clean-cut, handsome guys. We didn't even have to crop the picture.  There's no midsection nudity to speak of. The shirtless guys are just enjoying themselves, but Facebook strongly disapproved.

This was a question of nudity vs. sexual pleasure. I thought since guys can walk around shirtless, this shot was acceptable. Now if Jonathan was sucking a woman's titty, then that would be indecent, because American women can't go around topless, but for Facebook, nipple sucking is foreplay, no matter who's involved.

Did you know we got shut down for a picture of shirtless Marc Dylan? We cropped this shot just above his trimmed pubes, but to no avail. When we got "disabled" this time, we'd had enough. We sent a nice message to the Facebook Team asking what was objectionable about the photo. We were very polite, and we said we weren't being argumentative. We just thought shirtless guys were okay, since they are standard fare in fashion shows, department store ads, and even Boy Scout publications. Facebook apologized for the mistake.

This mirror shot of Marcel Hans calls to mind the Narcissus myth. Of course, the picture is more impressive with the model's butt showing.

A cropped version of this photo would be ineffective, and the rumor among bloggers is that Facebook despises those black boxes that cover up the naughty parts, but all this talk of nakedness makes us horny for some gratuitous gay male porn. Here, Ryan rides Brodie's dick in a still from their Sean Cody flick. I worship athletic guys who get it on. I'm so pagan that way.

Matt S (left) kisses Charlie in a Dylan Rosser photograph. It's a very romantic shot, and like the zillion pictures we feature, it portrays gay love in a positive light. In the American political fight over gay marriage and equality, uplifting images such as this are an important step toward the normalization of homosexuality. During the civil rights movement, artists used positive images of blacks in a similar attempt to change the hearts and minds of segregationalists.

It was a shame that we had to censor this classic image of Mike Mangione. Alan B. Stone took it in 1962, and we used a cropped version to advertise our blog post about the Canadian beefcake photographer's work. Note the quaint posing strap. It was illegal to show pubic hair before the late 60s, and it's an irony of history that Facebook is more intolerant than the censors Stone had to deal with.

There's no way in Hell that we could crop a 69 picture for Facebook, but this shot is another nice sex break in our photo gallery. Here, Andreas Stich (left) and Bobby Williams service each other in the porn film Hot Properties from Raging Stallion Studios. The actors' poses and the camera angle form an artistic composition --a rare feat in depictions of 69. Even the rug is beautiful.

We have no idea who this hot motherfucker is, but Facebook didn't like us testing the limits of pubic hair portrayal. The underarm scruff and treasure trail on his chiseled body bring us to our knees. We call him the Yard Satyr, since there's a lamppost in the background.

Christian Mousel got us in trouble for checking out his package and showing just a little bit of shaft. It's all his fault. It really is.

We were so slick on this one. In a still from their Sean Cody film, Ryan sucks Brodie. We cropped out Ryan, but we left his left hand on Brodie's abs. The censored version looks like someone is just innocently caressing Brodie's body, but we all know better.

We cropped just the tip of model Steve's briefs, since Facebook is a little squeemish about bulges. This is where our self-censorship gets silly. There's no VPL, since his underwear is soft focused, and this guy looks like he walked out of a swim meet or a department store ad, but it all depends. We suspect that the hotter the picture, the more likely we'll get reported. (Yes, Facebook censors with the help of a few frustrated, busybody wankers.)

Flynn is packing, but he also looks disarmingly shy. He may have been nervous about getting naked for the camera, even though Fratmen hardly qualifies as porn. It's primarily a website of solo masturbation films. Occasionally, the guys get together for circle jerks, but there's no fucking. Recently, the company has featured gay male oral sex on its companion site Fratmen Sucks! Anyway, we're sure Flynn has realized what he has and is now walking around proud.

We call this orphaned picture Steam Room, and it looks innocent enough, since the guy is covering his dick, but Facebook doesn't allow bare midsections without at least a jock.

This is a detail from a Made in Brazil #3 Magazine picture. We like how André Ziehe, on the left, and Renato Ferreira illustrate two reactions to nudity: ashamed vs. not so shy. They're covering their dicks with their hands, probably so that the magazine can appeal to a wider audience, but most young guys cover themselves in the locker room anyway, because they're paranoid about gays. Covering up when there's a camera around is understandable, but this exaggerated fear of homosexuality is just unmanly. Men should be brave --period.

At any rate, the entire picture features five guys, but the three not shown appear effeminate in their laughter, and we're just not interested in that. Masculine, the dick goes up; effeminate, the dick goes down. That's the way we're wired --no lies and no excuses.

We featured a G-rated version of Sean from Corbin Fisher, but his story is a sad one. He died on 26 March 2012 of a drug overdose. His real name was Matthew Edison Bremer. He was 22. Apparently, his drug use was a chronic problem. He was arrested for possession on 29 May 2010 in Brevard County, Florida and received one year probation.

Is it morbid to lust after the dead? No, people still decorate their walls with pictures of Marilyn Monroe. Those who die in their prime remain forever young in their images. Admiring them simultaneously becomes a form of ancestor worship and a retelling of morality tales.

We conclude with Trey fucking Curtis sideways in their Sean Cody flick. You can almost hear Curtis' screams of pleasure. If we posted this one on Facebook, we'd be banned for life, and that wouldn't be fair to our tens of thousands of fans.

Our Facebook fan page has greatly increased our blog readership, but we have a fuckwad of a time dealing with people who don't understand the difference between art and pornography. (The censorship supposedly protects sexting teenagers from online nudity.) However, the Facebook Community Standards makes allowances for "content of personal importance," such as the statue David (1501-04) by Michelangelo.

We have a good mind to see if that's true. If we get warned or "disabled," we can say, "Hey guys, you wrote this exception. You can't disapprove." Of course, in our attempt to make sense out of Facebook's unwritten content rules, we can't understand its tolerance of male nudity in statues, but not in pictures. Isn't photography an art? Isn't a naked, athletic man just as beautiful in the flesh as in marble? Could it be that photos seem more provocative? Is a picture worth a thousand splooges?

Photo Credits:
Flexer and Pointer 1 -- Doug & Jake: Behind the Scenes, Sean Cody (Jake is flexing.);
Shower Floor Boy 2 -- Payne of Fratmen;
Other pictures are identified, when possible, in the article.