Friday, August 26, 2016

Pretty



I feel like people sometimes resent other people who are beautiful. And this impacts their own ability to enjoy that beauty, as well as the beautiful person's ability to recognize and revel in their own beauty. Thinking you're beautiful when you're not is one thing (although this is subjective), but what's wrong with acknowledging your own beauty, and benefiting from it? You're not "full of yourself" when you're athletic and you decide to join a sports team, or when you're smart and you decide to go to college.

Presenting myself as an icon of beauty - I'm not saying to the world that I am a wonderful human being simply because I am beautiful. I'm not even saying that I am smart, or athletic, or kind, or even fun to hang out with (although some of those things might be true - but I'll be the first one to tell you that not all of them are). I'm just saying that I'm beautiful.

And it's not because I think I'm beautiful - although I do, now. But I didn't always. It wasn't until other people told me that, that I began to realize it. And then I started to foster it, and capitalize on it, like anyone would do with any other talent. To quote Elle Fanning's character in The Neon Demon, "I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't write... no real talent. But I'm pretty, and I can make money off pretty." And what's wrong with that?

I hate to use this cliché, but don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Enjoy my beauty - I share it with the world not to make people like me (even though I like it when people like me), nor to make people jealous, but because beauty makes me happy, and I know that this is true for other people sometimes, and I want to use what I have to make other people happy too.

And I'd love it if we could all be happy together, instead of being jealous and petty, and thinking to ourselves, "oh, he's so pretty, I just hate him. I wish I was that pretty." Believe me when I tell you that whoever you are, you have traits that I envy, too. I am not a perfect human being. But this is one part of me that shines. Can you let me have that?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Scenes From A Motel Room Shower



The lighting is very iffy in these shots - very dim. Plus, you've got these long, straight lines of the shower which, like doors and door frames, just get distorted by the lens and made to look curved. Plus, I'm shooting at an awkward angle (through the doorway), so straightening the image out also becomes a problem. Altogether, it's a bit of a photographic nightmare for me, despite being what I thought was an exciting subject. But, you don't know until you try!



I forgot to flip the camera back on its side for these last two shots. I was dripping wet, and not even wearing my glasses. This is one of those times when having someone else be your photographer would be very helpful - and reason why I don't take more spontaneous-ish shots like this. When I pick up a camera, I can't just shoot what I see, I have to construct a portrait - for better or worse, and whether I like it or not.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sex Trafficking?

So I saw an article in Popular Science about sex trafficking, and it kinda soured me on a magazine I usually respect (although the issue also features Mark Zuckerberg on the cover, so they're 0 for 2, lol). This is one of those topics (like the 2257 Regulations) - it's a pet peeve of mine, but it's a hard thing for you to speak out against without incurring divine judgment, because the conversation is phrased (read: has been hijacked) in such biased terms. And that's really unfair. You can't say that sex trafficking is a myth (despite scientific evidence from those actually involved in the field) without people immediately jumping to the conclusion that you're trying to silence opposition to (and are thereby enabling) the selling of women and children (but especially children) into sexual "slavery" (and, egads, only a monster would do that!).

But what is "sex trafficking"? Migrant sex work? Sex workers moving from one country to another? What is wrong with that? If you have a problem with sex slavery, then call it sex slavery. But are sex "slaves" really individuals forced into prostitution via imprisonment and threats of physical violence, or individuals who choose sex work as the best (or only) of several bad options, amidst the pressures of poverty and poor education? And if the latter is true, then the real problem is poor living conditions, and lack of opportunities - how does taking one of these people's only solutions away from them help them in any way? For those concerned with the sometimes sketchy conditions of the work, the solution is improvement and regulation, not prohibition. And that can only come from transparency. The truth is, the concept of "sex trafficking" is a highly convenient (and emotionally-charged, and politically correct) front for moral conservatives to pump money and support into an infrastructure that is designed to punish anyone who buys or sells sex. It's cracking down on the sex trade disguised as empathy for the victims of sexual violence (who rarely identify as victims, until encouraged to by imperialists dubiously self-styled as "rescue" workers). It's a classic case of doublespeak - frame your position in terms that no sane person would dare challenge.

Am I against slavery, and forcing women and children into prostitution? (Notice that men - and especially transgender individuals, who are a uniquely vulnerable population - are never a subject of these discussions. I'll also point out that statistics are inflated and misrepresented as a matter of course, especially regarding the ages and numbers of "children" involved). Absolutely! But the best thing we can do to stop sex slavery, and improve the lives of those who have little choice but to rent (they're really not selling) use of their bodies, is to decriminalize sex work. Bring it out of the shadows. Stop enabling the predators (including many law enforcement officers) who take advantage of the fact that prostitutes have no recourse to the law if they are mistreated. Until we do that, any talk about "sex trafficking" is just a slimy cover for zealous bible thumpers, used to persecute people living taboo lifestyles. If you really care about victims of sexual violence, then the least you can do is identify who those victims really are, sniff out the deceptive wolves with ulterior motives that roam among you, and demonstrate that you are not, in fact, being directed by a moralist agenda. Because I'm not going to let you pull the wool over my eyes.

Now, you're welcome to rebut my position, but don't even think about opening your mouth until you've heard both sides of the issue.

"I often meet people now who, when they discover what my work has been, dismiss it with a smug claim that we have a 'difference of opinion'. I object: my knowledge is based on research and analysis over many years, not an awareness campaign disseminated on facebook or an online petition, not the acceptance of heavily biased or badly researched media articles."

- Dr. Laura Agustin, the Naked Anthropologist

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gendered Perspectives on Sex

In my experience as an erotic artist - which involves browsing material for inspiration as much as creating my own works, I have, over time, gradually come to be able to appreciate nude and erotic works featuring men as well as women. Generally, the male subject does not interest me as much as the female (despite it being exclusively what I have to work with). The female specimen is a beautiful creature, while the male is rough and untamed. That's not to say that you can't produce polished works of art utilizing a male subject - I'd like to think that I've proven that in my own work. But the male subjects I appreciate most tend to be those that imitate what I like in women (again, demonstrated in my own work) - emphasizing softness and smoothness and aesthetic beauty.

That having been said, the male principle, as compared to the female, does embody a certain forceful aggression, and there are contexts in which that can pull a lot of symbolic weight. I am pro-whatever kind of couplings (or groupings) people like to make - including, but not limited to, homosexual - but at the end of the day, I think that, for me personally, there is something powerful about the pairing of the male and the female energies that makes it uniquely interesting - and satisfying. However, those two things can certainly be explored independent of one another, and sometimes even within the same dichotomous subject.

But while I do have a greater appreciation for the aesthetic beauty of the female body, I can say that one thing I appreciate about the male perspective is its unqualifiedly enthusiastic approach towards sex. I'd like to think that we are moving away from outdated biases against female sexuality (like the spurious belief that women, as a collective category, don't like sex), but societally, and politically, what Kinsey described (I think it was Kinsey - I can't find the exact quote) is still very much true (even after all these years) - that men pretty much all understand each other in terms of how they feel about sex, whereas women are a great mystery of diversity (even to themselves).

With women, you have to worry about whether you are "objectifying" or "sexualizing" or "degrading" or "demeaning" or "exploiting" them, whereas with men, none of that matters (leading me, once, to have stated - for effect, not because I actually believe it - that there are only two kinds of porn: misogynist porn, and gay male porn). It's just sex - and sex feels great. Put a man in the same spot, and nobody feels the need to initiate a cultural discussion about the evils of emphasizing people's bodies (to the ostensible exclusion of their personalities) and the pleasures they can bring (the sin of lust, pleasures of the flesh - why does it always sound like these attitudes stem from religious taboos?) - case in point, feminists will defend Magic Mike, while simultaneously shaming men for watching movies like Showgirls. Problematic though it may be in some instances (apparently men and women have very different ideas about what constitutes rape and/or sexual harassment), as a sex-positive individual (i.e., sex is for making people happy, not sad) who wishes no harm on others, I really appreciate the moral simplicity of the male view. I just wish it came more often in a female package.

Friday, August 19, 2016

More Scenes From A Motel Room



I would have liked to have had more time to work on this shot - improve the lighting, try out some more poses - but you can only stand naked in front of an open motel room door so many times before you really start pushing your chances of somebody walking by. And while a cheap motel might be one of the places where you might have a halfway decent chance of getting away with it, the last thing I'd want is people pounding on my door asking me for my rates, thinking I'm a prostitute. (Not that there's anything wrong with that - but sleeping with complete strangers, even for money, is well outside of my comfort zone).




Just imagine being fucked from behind while peering out the window onto the lot where people are going about their daily business, completely unawares...


Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Horny Bible



It says a lot about human nature that the best-selling book in the world is a poorly written anthology of pulp fiction filled with barbaric violence and taboo sex. I've read much better pornography, but hey, when you're stranded in a sleazy motel, you gotta work with what you've got.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

It's A Trap!



That pretty girl walking through the store (the one everybody's staring at) is hiding a surprise...


It's a testament to the wonder of human diversity that some people would recoil in horror at this revelation, while others would think it's the greatest thing in the world. Just goes to show - if you don't like something, step aside and let somebody else enjoy it who does. Don't ruin the fun for everyone on account of your petty insecurities.