To my readers......

Normal Posting will now be resumed following my break. Thanks for visiting mitchmen! (Mar 12th 2017)

Monday, 30 January 2017

Vintage Season 15 - Life Is Just A Bag Of........

Don Fuller
Don Fuller's bag of sweets might be the ultimate in grabbability. The contouring is supremely smooth and modest but it's bulk (whether genuine or not) is unmissable. The natural-looking pose of the model and close cropping of the image brings out strongly his masculinity. The whip in his hand adds power to that impression and with it's strategically-positioned, dangling loop of leather it is a visual proxy for the contents of his G-string. In addition, the shadow it casts emphasises the pouches roundness and thereby it's size. The shadows across Don's thighs are actually reminiscent of garters and stockings, I suppose this may be the photographer's deliberate joke.

Jim Dardanis (WPG)
Although this picture also utilises a weapon as an accessory and nature as a backdrop, it couldn't be more different.  There's no close-up or cropping, so instead of drinking in the model's masculinity, we are invited to admire his lithe, leanness and gritty muscularity. These qualities are emphasised by his artistic, stretched, arching pose. The emphasis of the composition is weighted towards Dardanis' arms and shoulders which frame his face. His physique also lacks Don Fuller's plushness, but nevertheless the G-string contributes an erotic flavour to this rather severe pose, one which it would entirely lack if the model were clad in swimming trunks. It's untidiness and flimsy appearance is both endearing and sexy in this context and it also has that element of grabbability - although this time we are given an impression of complexity and shapeliness rather than bulk. 

Jim Drinkward (WPG)
There's more iron-mongery in this picture. In this wilderness setting Jim Drinkward's chain seems even more incongruous than the weapons in the pictures above. However, it gives him an excuse to flex his muscles and show off his smoothly muscled body. The nicely-proportioned posing pouch does not look visually out of place here. It's simple, minimal functionality also fits in with the mild allusion to antique slavery. It's chunky shape is not exactly grabbable but it stands out suggestively enough to make the model's open pose, copying that of a spreadeagled prisoner, extremely inviting. (Others equally might see here a Greasetank-esque predator, flexing his muscles as he awaits a fitting subject for his chains to happen along.)

For gay men in the 50's/60's, an interest in captivity and slavery was inevitably linked, on the one hand to their own lack of freedom to express their sexuality and on the other to fantasies relating to the unavailability and potential hostility of desirable sexual partners. In this context the model's very modern, boy-next-door look in the image above is a powerful ingredient, dispelling any notion of historical reenactment.

Joe Lynes
This image has some similar characteristics with a submissive, kneeling pose taking the place of Drinkward's implied restraint. This model has an equally beefy build and there's a military flavour to his haircut. He seems to be offering up his bicep for some sort of inspection (or perhaps his wrist for binding). It all seems to amplify the sense of vanquishment. In this position, the projecting shape of his pouch, unwittingly thrust forward, is more suggestive than if he were wearing nothing at all.
Harold Adducci and Paul Labriola (WPG)
 There's a distinct sense of weightiness to Harold Adducci's pouch in this three-quarter perspective and a sense of containment that is most erotic. Labriola's mostly-hidden garment (visually signposted by deliciously, converging muscle contours) looks as though it might be under even more pressure. 

This depiction of non-wrestling is highly stylised classicism like the picture of Jim Dardanis above. Averted eyes are the order of the day with just the tiniest hint of intimate contact at the back of Adducci's thigh. The skimpy pouches are the sole erotic ingredient, but all the more powerful for that contrast and isolation. We are free to imagine of course how those pouches (and their contents) might fare if the combat ever gets going.

AMG studio of course was even more noted than WPG for it's 'wrestling' imagery. It's interesting how often the iconography of violence and captivity surfaces in these pictures. However, it's probably less to do with present day notions of sexual S&M than we might imagine. Fighting has always been seen as a manly pursuit (perhaps less so in our more thoughtful times). Also in the post-WW2 era, popular culture was full of memories of that conflict. War films and comics, Westerns and Historical Epics all incorporated fighting, often laced with a degree of male nudity and linking the masculinity of soldiering to fighting for the good cause. It was sensible then for gay erotica to exploit and emulate that.

Phil Lambert (WPG)
Phil Lambert presents a very different subject for the G-string to adorn. With hair tumbling over his eyes and a moderately hairy torso and limbs there's a real, youthful maleness about him that tests the acceptability of the garment usually seen on smoother bodies. It does seem a little out of place, especially in this relaxed, every day sort of pose which seems is as if he is listening to his records (as young men did then). Imagine mother coming in and finding him like this! In a way that incongruity (like the oily skin) serves to accentuate his nudity and alerts us to the contrived nature of a photographic shoot, where he must do as he is told. That said, the pouch, though not exactly bulging, is promisingly full and presented in a way that can only be described as 'deceptively tempting'.

Gene Licka (WPG) click to enlarge

There's not a lot that's deceptive here. The projecting mound of Gene Licka's pouch is the whole point of this picture and any red-blooded, passing rambler might be drawn to make a closer inspection. There's a tempting handful on display and it also shows the model's thighs and torso to alluring effect but somehow, despite this, it's not exactly erotic.

I personally associate this static, crab-like pose with girls wearing skirts tucked into their knickers although it does occur fleetingly in male gymnast's tumbling routines. Quite why Gene is performing it in a running stream is unclear, unless it's for the challenge of escaping from it without falling in the cold water.

Unidentified British Model

I have featured the US studio WPG heavily in this article and by way of counter-balance - counter-weight might be a better term - I finish with this British Model who I have yet to identify. His is not the prettiest face in this post and his physique, though well developed, is a little lumpy, the hunched pose (intended to promote his supper body) somewhat ungainly. And yet this picture sizzles with maleness and sexuality, helped in no small measure by a G-string that is not only well packed and nestling between impressive, weighty thighs (phew!) but which seems to be infused with the air of sweatiness and decay (imminent failure even!) usually reserved for elderly, well used, worn out underwear. In fashion and artistic terms it looks terrible and the model's look seems to convey his own dismay and discomfort at being asked to wear it. For mitchmen-ites, that only adds to the powerful erotic effect of an unexpectedly memorable image.

More next time
Read this series from Part 1

Friday, 20 January 2017

Vintage Season 14 - Fight Fire with Fire

Whilst I have have a lot of fun over the last few weeks poking fun at some of the eccentric aspects of vintage posing pouch photography. I hope my readers will have detected a great underlying fondness for the garment which was forged in the heat of battle against Victorian-minded bigots, censors and other detractors who opposed not only male nudity but gay culture itself.

I set out in this series to show that the strangeness and absurdity that some people see in G-string is not entirely ill-founded. Each of my posts in this series to date highlights some of those absurdities but many are, in their own way, little gems of homoeroticism, from WPG's stylish torso's to Wally Grimme's astonishing banana boat. There are plenty more.

Vic Siepke (spectrum)
To me, Vic Siepke's posing pouch in this image is one of the Seven Wonders of the Vintage Era. It's skimpiness and tightness would be very sexy even if it's contours were less revealing. Is it ridiculously brief? Emasculating? Perhaps, but that is part of what makes it so erotic when it's worn (if that is the word!) by such a manly representative of our gender, a body-builder of some renown in his day.

Billy Joe Carr (WPG)
Billy Joe's pouch is similarly skimpy but even more minimal in volume terms. There's no doubting his masculinity but the photographer seems to be trying to emulate the flat appearance of female G-strings (where the censorship challenge was to see how small they could go). Carr's pubic overflow makes a jokey (and erotic) commentary on the futility of this endeavour for men.

WPG here presents it's gay audience with an image no different in substance from it's heterosexual equivalent. The relaxed, informal, smiling pose with erotic zone to the fore and eyes engaged with the audience therefore has a 'normalising' effect. Formal beefcake/body builder poses which made up much of 1950's fare were intended to be non-sexual and that made lusting over them seem furtive and inappropriate (and also relatively unrewarding). In this different style of picture Billy Joe says it's OK to admire my body and desire me, acknowledging the gay audience.


If you think this is just a couple of chaps larking around consider this.......
The playfulness of this pose draws on a common heterosexual stereotype where the decorative belle is carried aloft by her muscular beau. This simple juxtaposition is therefore daringly suggestive of men playing different sexual roles. There's also a contradictory, jokey implication that the 'strong man' underneath is not strong enough to lift his partner and we see too that his pouch is very small, underlining the subversive suggestion of the reversal of the 'normal' roles.

The G-string worn by the chap on top is barely visible and the impression that he is nude is just as challenging to social mores. While hiding the sexual organs of a nude with foreground objects and body parts gradually became acceptable, touching was still not, not even in heterosexual images. It's a moot point whether interposing a flimsy, posing pouch made it any less sexual.

The top man's apparent nudity also draws attention to the improvised, artificial modesty of his companion. Once again we see that G-strings are not really fit for purpose as 'active wear'! There's an element of intrinsic vulnerability and insecurity in the garment which stems from it's crude simplicity and is readily apparent in this shot where it's no longer pulled flat against the abdomen. That looseness makes you wonder about the one behind his head.

This is not a particularly ourstanding image, but it demonstrates how posing pouch 'duos' are full of interesting undertones and I plan to return to this subject at a later date.

Don Farr by Scott of London
The thick-looking, towel-like material of this pouch could easily have been included in one of my more satirical posts, but I think it's redeemed by some extremely neat 'tailoring' that makes every square inch count and creates a plush 'upholstered' look. While it's not quite as skimpy as Vic Siepke's G-string, it's equally well-filled and there's an indication of openness at the side, a gap into which some very suggestive lines disappear. The close cropping in this area is very clever, the whole composition flows down to this corner and Scott has ensured that our eyes go no further, but linger to drink in every detail. 

With Don Farr's smooth and gleaming body, Scott has also captured an element of how female glamour photography works, but without undermining the masculinity of his model. Photographs of men who were not body-builders were not uncommon but they were rarely as sensual as this. Nor would full nudity necessarily be any better. The G-string screens off and packages up what we are not allowed to see, adding an element of mystery if you like, that matches the intense mood of the picture very well. 

Photographers who successfully utilised heterosexual, glamour techniques were speaking to their audience in the erotic language of the day, but these images also had the subtle effect of 'normalising' a genre and a group that society was trying to exclude. Gay men seeing these images could witness an assertion that they were no different to their heterosexual counterparts and that was tremendously postive.

(However, for the model, this seems to be one of those tantalising, memorable photos that defined not just the peak but the full extent of a career).

Ed Gloeggler
This image predates the era of AMG and Co., but not by as much as the sepia finish suggests, methinks. It's the lean, deeply-cut physique of the model that makes this picture sing but nevertheless this early example of a pouch shows that with sensible proportions matched to the lines of the body and a bit of erotic enhancement the garment can put up a respectable showing in the sexy stakes.

The model's slightly apprehensive look and stiff pose suggests an uneasy relationship with the photographer. That is the stuff of fantasies and elevates the image from familiar beefcake to unexpected eroticism. That sense of vulnerability which the posing pouch conjures up contributes to the story. It offers modesty whicle concentrating the male essentials into one very obvious and highly grabbable handful.



George O'Mara (by Kris?)

That idea of grabbability also features in this image. The handsome model seems so preoccupied with positioning and shaping his foot that he seems to have left an opening for us to imagine a hand grasping for his dangling assets. If the guardians of morality missed that lascivious angle they had no chance of spotting the appeal to foot fetishists in this image!

Paradoxically, the posing pouch, intended to preserve modesty and decency, became a fetishistic object in it's own right. Because it had no other purpose than to contain and conceal men's gentitalia it came to represent them to the intended audience. It's inaccessibility became it's attraction.

More next time
Read this series from Part 1

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Vintage Season 13 - The Other Side

The subject of G-string characteristics would not be complete without touching on the backside of these models, i.e. the rear view.

Mark Nixon - WPG
 I don't have a vast number of posing pouch rear views in my collection and a browse of the Internet doesn't throw up vast amounts either. That's partly because photographers often discarded their pouches as being unnecessary for these shots, as in the image of Mark Nixon above. 

Dennis Thorpe - Great Western
It's presence for this beefcake shot may reflect the personal wishes of the model or greater caution by the studio. There's not too much to say about the garment really. Only the string is visible, curving round and disappearing into the buttock cleft. With a thong garment the back triangle usually produces quite a nice erotic effect but with a G-string there's not really enough of it to make much impression. There's some compensation in the groove which it makes in the model's flesh with it's tightness, it suggests discomfort but not a lot more. The model has a nice chunky physique and his buttock and leg hair is a nice feature of this image. The classical pose is intended to be asexual of course and it succeeds to a fair degree. However it is also quite submissive in character. I like to imagine there's a big man with a whip standing just out of shot.

Dennis Thorpe - Great Western
This is the same model looking rather fetching in his US Sailor's hat. The G-string doesn't really contribute to the success of the image or go with the hat, instead it draws attention to an awkward-looking positioning of the lower body. The line it follows doesn't conform to recognisable clothing behaviour and is confusing to the eye. It certainly draws attention to the model's buttock cleft however, producing some interesting curves just as it disappears.

The two rear strings connect to the front pouch material somewhere behind the scrotum. If you think about it, those two strings, being anchored only at the front of the body, are bound to be a bit unruly, changing position as the contours of the buttock alters beneath them. In fact if you were walking in them, you'd need pretty pert buttocks to prevent the side strings gradually descending until they just encircled the top of the thighs. This may explain why Dennis looks as though he's being very careful about retrieving his ciggies.
 
Leonard Chambers
You can see the same visual effect in this picture, the line of the strings seems unnaturally straight and their dark colour makes them very obvious. This breaks up the buttock area visually, destroying any sense of nudity we might have otherwise enjoyed. In this image the cleft between the buttocks is even more apparent and I find it interesting that this was  apparently allowable.
See more of Leonard Chambers in Bondage

click on images to enlarge
 The standing man in this picture was probably told to simulate a wrestling hold here, but it has come out looking like he's helping his fallen buddy - which is rather sweet. It's not completely clear if the kneeling model is wearing a G-string, but as this is from a wrestling sequence he probably is. The lack of visibility was an advantage of course. Contrast that with the very obvious waist string on the other model. In the previous pictures the string follows a line which curves round the top of the leg. In this view it cuts square across the waist and the effect is rather ugly.
 .
Tuck Powell
Gratuitous picture of Tuck Powell! This image by Champion tells another story with some beautiful curving lines that accentuate the model's shape and don't interfere at all with the sense of nudity. There's a nice shadow line along the top of the pouch suggesting that Tuck is getting too big for his pouch!

Jim Stafford and Paul Blake - AMG (click to enlarge)
 AMG got a good result in this picture with only the faintest of strings visible and following a natural looking line too. This is thanks to Paul Blake, the model on the floor having opened his legs (which produces an erotic vibe of it's own of course). His muscular right arm, seemingly locked behind his back, looks great and the slightly anxious, upwards look completes a memorable submissive, defeated pose. It's not convincing wrestling but I've rarely seen a more enjoyable head scissors image.

John Davidson tops Al Edmonds - AMG
John Davidson seems to be out-wrestling someone much bigger than himself here which is always an entertaining scenario. It has produced an interesting (if predictable) juxtaposition of their two bodies which you would imagine would fall foul of the censors. Were the visible G-strings sufficient to reassure moral guardians that the two men are clothed? Or were they simply not aware of the mechanics of "what those homosexuals do?" In visual terms they really do look totally redundant.

If you look closely you can see that John's strings don't dive between his legs as do Leonard Chambers' and Dennis Thorpe's above. Instead they are attached to the tail end of the front cloth which passes continuously between the legs, from front waist to rear waist, instead of terminating behind the scrotum to make a cup shape. You might say this is the traditional 'loin cloth' model and it produces a slightly different 'top line', one less likely to slip. For that reason it is a more practical form of the garment for athletic pursuits like wrestling (although not completely reliable as you can see in this AMG picture I used in part 7). Maybe it was considered more decent too, since it covered the ass.


This image illustrates the design more clearly. Notice how the left hand wrestler has no bulge at all but the nearest model seems to have quite a lot going on in his pouch! Perhaps that's because his strings are slipping (it looks as if the nearest one might be). That would cause sagging. I think the rough and ready look actually suited AMG, they were very proud of the bad boy credentials of their models. The hairy ass is part of that image as well, but it seems surprising that they were not considered offensive. Well, I don't consider them offensive either but then I'm not coming from the same place! To my eyes the white cloth slicing between hairy buttocks is exceedingly erotic and this image (which I guess is cropped from a larger picture) is only limiter by the posing, not the clothing.


More next time
Read this series from Part 1

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Vintage Season 12 - It stands out a mile

In my last post I commented on the improbable shape of the G-string bulge of the first model, rather top heavy I thought. We also saw how some of Champion's Pouches seemed to be enlarged using some sort of insert to either enhance or replace the models own natural assets*. 

Rod Bauer - Champion
This example displayed on Rod Bauer is beguiling to say the least, but the positioning of his cruet set pieces relative to his body and to each other doesn't seem quite right to me and they seem to be defying gravity, even allowing for the bagged-up effect as the fabric is drawn together round the back of his balls. Which is not to say it isn't sexy, even that bunching up between the balls has an erotic power. Indeed the whole process of getting the model to pose wearing the unwieldy contraption is distinctly mitchmen-esque. In that context Rod's smile could be interpreted as less than enthusiastic.

 *You might find it surprising that cock-shaped pouches were permissible in Champion's output but towards the end of the 60's the censorship rules were gradually disappearing, in the US at any rate. (There's an interesting article about this at Bob Mizer -  Legalisation of nudity). Also, daring publishers constantly explored what they could get away with. In the UK, the only way to find that out was by publication. Thus censorship was self- imposed to a considerable degree by retail outlets and publishers themselves, in order to avoid the attentions of the Police who monitored outlets and were tipped-off sometimes by outraged members of the public. In the 50's, Royale in the UK became notorious for their use of real servicemen and were eventually stamped out by repeated police raids to confiscate material and by prosecutions. The effectiveness of this process of suppression depended on how much effort the Police could put in (which was a surprising amount during the 50's) but it was still somewhat random. Checking what was going through the mails direct to customers was even more difficult.

Brian Idol - AMG
 In this enviroment I suppose we shouldn' t be surprised that studios sought to enhance their models for their customers and by a delicious irony the posing pouch, the embodiment of censorship, actually freed them to do so by hiding what is actually there. This AMG example plays safe by not trying to suggest a detailed shape, just showing bulk with some sort of cloth padding. At least I think it's padding - Brian Idol was not exactly shortchanged by nature! I tried to look up other images of him wearing this pouch from a different angle but much to my surprise the vast majority of pictures that came up were nudes. Exaggeration or no, it surely carries it's own risk of disapproval from moral guardians and trials back then were more subject to a Judge's whims than nowadays. But the question is, does it look erotic? I'm not sure it does but I am sure there are plentywho are into 'size' in this department who think it does. Being well endowed anyway, I imagine he must have felt a bit insulted supplementing it with fakery!

 

Is it or isn't it? You can make a case for the downward pointing cock explanation here but that rounded curve doesn't seem to extend back to his abdomen the way it should. This mound is almost a codpiece in it's own way, rigid and prominent. 
How did they get away with it? Well, maybe they didn't, this is quite a rare picture. 
I suppose the defence might be that it couldn't be mistaken for an erection but even so...!

 

I don't know this model or his Studio but the pouch seems almost identical in style to the last image and it could easily be from the same stable. I can't get the image of tennis balls out of my head looking at this picture. It seems clear that this is a case of what you see is not what you get, but it's still an attractive presentation. It seems to work better on this man's chunkier frame, but then I'm easily persuaded by a cute face and spiky hair in any era. You can imagine this shy, young man doing what young men do - study, sport, hobbies. Dressing him up in a G-string, the uniform of erotic daring has a strangely arousing effect.

 
 Projection is the name of the game in this picture too but with added bulk. This another well known, popular photograph and rightly so, a fact which seems to argue against my thesis that these quirky G-strings are bad for the image of the garment. In fact many of the images I have used in this series of posts are outstandingly erotic and pleasurable despite the odd manipulations employed. The cropping and tinting of this picture echoes that of a similar un-named image I used in post no 4. The G-string is completely different however. Probably it's by WPG.

Joe Kronsberg - WPG
A beautiful pose by a beautiful man. What marvellous legs! In this image WPG push the projecting pouch into new territory, giving it a distinct pointed shape. It doesn't look at all 'real', but it's pyramid/arrow-like shape seems like a tasteful, artistic symbol of manhood and desire. However, it's tip appears to be actually touching the rock below and Joe seems to be lowering himself onto it as one would onto a lover. So what appears at first sight to be an artistic Grecian idyll with an added dose of healthy 'enjoyment of nature' turns out to have subversive erotic undertones of a kind that the Greeks themselves would have appreciated.

Spike Adams (R) + unidentified model
Spike's round-fronted G-string resembles that of 3 pictures back, but his companion's is like a deflated version of  Joe Kronsberg's pyramid immediately above. It's fabric looks like tent canvas, however, his tent pole looks like it might be the real thing, to give credit where it's due. The models face away from each other proudly sporting their projections. Relatively innocent except it prompts the viewer to imagine, and desire to see, the image where they turn to face each other.

I believe this is an AMG picture, it has that casual air and the oily bodies suggest a bout of wrestling might be on the cards. If you look up pictures of Spike on search engines you will find him wearing an extraordinary array of garments quite unlike anything known to us today.

Dennis White by Scott of London
Dennis White shows us another fine, rangy set of legs and you can see here how the high positioning of his seemingly-insignificant side string helps to define and enhance that length. WPG played the same card in the picture of Joe Kronsberg above, but it's not quite so obvious there.

I showed a companion picture to this image in Post No 8 but the projection of the pouch and it's profile was not fully apparent there. Never one to shirk a challenge, Scott not only subtly outlines the different components of White's tackle, he shows the villain pointing upwards. Gulp!

This rather modest hint of the true nature of a man's organs (especially mild when compared with the Wally Grimme explicitness in Post No 8) makes you realise just how emasculating the flat curving G-string shape is to the models' that wear it, even the projecting ones.


In this image the G-string fabric has taken on the model's body tones and it seems to underline that desexualising effect. He's a handsome man (can anyone name him?) sporting another well-filled pouch, legitimate or not I cannot say, but the spark of masculinity is missing and his facial expression and open arms seem to speak of that loss.

More next time
Read this series from Part 1

Friday, 6 January 2017

Vintage Season 11 - Jockless, Strapless

In my previous articles I have mused over various oddities and shortcomings in the posing pouches of yesteryear to illuminate how they manage to acquire a reputation for, well, 'oddness' and this one tops the list for oddity in my book.


 I don't know who this fine fellow is, but his movie star smile, hairy pecs and beautifully defined abs (I like the old-fashioned 2-pack look!) are overshadowed somewhat by his G-string which appears to have be made by deconstructing a jock strap, discarding everything but the pouch. For the life of me I can't understand the rationale for this unless it's the expedient of a ready-made pouch shape. It looks like this example has been packed out at the top with the traditional socks.

Tom Matthews
The characteristic of 'give' in a jock pouch are more apparent in this picture of Tom Matthews and of course there are no heavyweight straps to hold it in place (hence the pixilated side escape of pubic hair). You can see in both these pictures how the top hem has been turned and sewn to accomodate the string. It's also apparent how unsatisfactory the combination of these two elements is, the chunky cloth and insubstantial, black string don't really go together. So why not simply use a jock strap?

I find it interesting that a face like Tom's, which seems typical of it's era, an embodiment of stylish manliness in it's day, doesn't really pop up in modern model line-ups. The restrained muscularity of his physique is gloriously inviting.
John Winship (AMG)
  Talking of restraint and film stars! This could almost be Kirk Douglas but it isn't. In this image the jock pouch has aquired the look of well-used sweatiness which is it's birthright. Those sporting associations don't quite gel with the bondage ingredient of course, that would have been much too kinky for those days! Nor does it seem like Roman Slave territory. Instead you get a vague impression of castaways and (politically incorrect) natives. Maybe he's the survivor of a ship-wrecked rugby team!

It may seem surprising that bondage scenarios were allowed in those days but you will observe that it has been very carefully staged to suggest the strong man about to break free of his bonds. In other words it is depicting his strength, as per the Sampson story, not his helpless predicament which in a near nude context would be a different kettle of fish!

Ray Bloom (AMG)
This is a much loved image and you may not have spotted the 'odd jock' before. The model's slender, sinuous body is a major part of his appeal. He isn't muscular but his lean-ness brings out some interesting definition that the photographer has exploited very effectively with assistance of a razor and some oil. A physique like this doesn't usually suit the conventional jockstrap which tends to sit better on bigger men. The pared-down 'jock-string' skirts round this problem but you can also see that this is a mini-version, worn very low down and given the broad sweep of the overall image it's not big enough to spoil the effect. But why put a jock on a sailor? 
Sadly, this is the only image I have ever seen of this model.

Bob McCune (click to enlarge)
A very formal pose from a serious bodybuilder which suggests to me the possibility that the 'jock-string' was intended as a sop to manly pride, the straightforward cotton G-string being too much like the female garment. I have had a quick look around but not found this model wearing anything more daring than this. AMG have managed to get him into a very skimpy version but even in this poor quality image the thickness of the material is obvious. Consoling to the modest model no doubt but those softly-contoured, voluptuous muscles give me quite enough to drool over anyway, sorry Bob!
 
More next time
Read this series from Part 1

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Mike Carcel still Most Popular 'mitchmen' post of all time - 2016

According to my Blogger 'hits' stats, Mike Carcel (A-Z of Fetish Artists posting) remains my all-time most visited article (thus giving me my annual challenge of finding an uncontroversial sample picture by him - see below)

Mike Carcel - Caged

The caged man is an appealing idea that's quite hard to make into a good picture, Mike has got some good ingredients here, the small cage size, made of wood and suspended off the ground. I always think though that tying up a man who is already in a cage is a bit unnecessary -  although this particular cage doesn't actually have a top and there's open access at the front. It looks to be more of a 'picture frame' for prisoner humiliation. Note the well-disguised noose.
 
The posts in the table below are the 20 most viewed on this blog. Titles in the list link to the original posts. Please tell me if you have difficulty with any links



Posn
(last yr)
Title of Post
(& link)
Year of
Publicn
Total
Hits
2016
Increase
1 (1) A-Z of Fetish Artists – Mike Carcel 2010 17445 3034
2 (2) Priapus of Milet - 1 2012 12392 3452
3 (3) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Malex 2010 10214 1635
4 (4) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Franco 2009 9413 1461
5 (5) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Jotto 2009 8792 1496
6 (7) A-Z of Fetish Artists – Martin of Holland 2010 6603 1461
7 (6) My Initiation 2012 5936 352
8 (-) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Cavelo 2008 5412 4217
9 (8) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Heredia 2009 4878 874
10 (11) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Leo 2010 4697 1088
11 (10) A-Z of Fetish Artists – Klaus von Brandenburg 2009 4501 868
12 (9) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Mahoney 2010 4500 774
13 (12) A Tribute to Bound Gods 2011 4459 892
14 (16) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Platter 2012 4228 1155
15 (13) Vintage Bondage Blog 2012 4125 655
16 (14) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Matt 2010 3952 681
17 (15) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Manflesh 2010 3864 729
18 (20) A-Z of Fetish Artists – Michael Mitchell 2010 3800 1042
19 (18) A-Z of Fetish Artists - Marc 2010 3735 801
20 (17) More Bondage Sightings 2012 3492 507

The "Top 20 Posts for 2016" had some surprises but the all time top 20 saw only small changes in 2016. Unsurprisingly (given it's existing lead) my Mike Carcel A-Z article kept it's spot at the top . Priapus of Milet-1 in second place closed the gap but not by much. These two articles continued to pull away from the rest at double the hit rate of the nearest challengers, although Mike 'only' scored 3034 this year compared with 3950 last. The Priapus article scored 3452 compared with 2716 in 2015, closing the gap by about 10%. 
 
The rest of the posts are the same as last year apart from the A-Z article on Cavelo which, following my revision last year, burst into the top 20 at number 8, beating every other post for number of hits received in the year (4217). It's arrival pushed the Shaving Fantasy article (19 last year) out of the top 20.

3 articles scored significantly more than their neighbours on the list enabling them to improve their position. Thus Michael Mitchell escaped the drop rising to 19 from 20 position and Sean Platter was another notable riser from 16 to 14 position ('demonic sex' is a frequently used search term at this blog!). The A-Z article on Leo also continued it's steady rise, entering the top 10. Most other articles recorded increases consistent with their position on the list, although you can see there are a couple of ‘falterers’ drifting downwards, notably My Initiation whose popularity in previous years baffled me since it is based on an image widely published on the Internet. The continuing popularity of my very brief note on Heredia is equally surprising to me, perhaps reflecting a scarcity of material about him on the net.

For comparison my 'Index of Artists' page reached 7376 hits during the year (up from 723) which would have earned No 6 spot in this ranking if I counted it as a post. I am very pleased that visitors are finding it useful. It shows the level of interest in artists who work in our field.

Cavelo's arrival gives us a representative of 2008 for the first time in the top 20, but there are no posts in the list later than 2012. I had expected Tagame to break into the list this year but A-Z of Fetish Artists - Tagame (Part 1) from 2014 is stuck at 23 just behind A-Z on Kalabro (2009) which at 22 has risen from 26 and is knocking on the door of the top 20, much to my delight. The leading representative from 2013 is my follow-up article on Mike Carcel which is at No 29 and still making gradual progress. The leading post from 2016 (WoodunArt) enters the list at 66. That's already just ahead of The Art of Eddie Chin (top in 2015) which is at 67 (up from 85). 
 
The total hits method of assessing popularity is obviously biased towards older articles and so (being a geek!) I also had a look at the total hits per year since publication - see table below. In this list, multi-part articles are represented by the highest scoring individual post. 

Top 10 Articles based on annualised hit rate

Article
Published
Hits per year
Position
(& last year)
'Total Hits' position
2016
3271
1 (-)
66
2010
2645
2 (1)
1
2012
2634
3 (2)
2
2010
1524
4 (4)
3
2015
1346
5 (-)
72
2012
1209
6 (5)
7
2009
1183
7 (9)
4
2014
1168
8 (3)
23
2009
1099
9 (8)
5
2010
989
10 (-)
6

Using this criterion WoodunArt bags the top spot and my own Christmas Criminal sneaks in at No 5 both articles taking advantage of the 'newly published' effect (just as Eddie Chin claimed No 5 in 2015). They can both be expected to decline next year but I'm happy to bask in my own little moment of fame!

Tagame is the only other 'outsider' to disturb the usual suspects from the total hits list, but he drops 5 places. Interestingly he is represented by Part 1 of my set of articles this year instead of Part 3 which was the most visited part last year. This probably reflects new readers following my guidance to start with the first article and that switch may also explain his unexpected stagnation this year in the main table.

The next 3 articles after these 10 are Bill Ward, Tom of Finland - 3 and Baron with Sean Platter and the great Teddy of Paris not far behind. So whilst this method of ranking does excessively benefit more recent, fresher works it also seems to acknowledge the true masters. Unfortunately the oldest A-Z entries, notably letters A-G which were much sketchier and originally had censored images are not well represented. These were not up to the standard of the articles from 'M' onwards. I have replaced most of the adulterated pictures now but my plans to revise more of these articles this year did not come to fruition, due to various problems including a catastrophic computer crash. The 'Ulf Retrospective' came to an abrupt halt for the same reasons. However I have consolidated the Etienne articles to try and give him the credit he is due (his top article is currently at 68 on the total hit list).

The articles I post to this blog are very much based on my own interests and fancies. My readers preferences doesn't always match my own (where are Les, JoeT and Link?). Nevertheless it's gratifying to see this interest in the great artists who often have a fairly low visibility on the web. I am hoping to finish the remaining A-Z letters in 2017 and take in some more CGI greats.

Thanks to all of you for your continuing interest and support.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

WoodunArt is Most Popular Post in 2016

WoodunArt - Lumberjack  (click to expand)
At this time of year it is my custom to review the year's posts to see which attracted the most interest. According to my Blogger 'view count' stats, those below are the most visited posts out of all those published in 2016 (titles link to original posts). Where articles have equal numbers of hits those with the later publication dates are ranked higher. Stats collected on 29th December 2016

Posn
Title (+link)
Hits
Published
1
1443
Jul
2
632
Jan
3
566
Jan
4
496
Jan
5
492
Jan
6
461
June
7
427
Jan
8
388
Mar
9
372
May
10
372
Feb
11
360
June
12
360
Apr
13
350
June
14
336
Mar
15
336
Jan
16
329
Apr
17
328
Jul
18
327
Jul
19
323
Feb
20
317
May
21
317
May

This is for entertainment only, I don't know how valid or representative Google's stats really are, I suspect they don't reflect at all people just browsing through the blog. Also posts from January have an advantage over December (see below*). On this simple measure nothing after July made the cut, despite that figure being only 317, slightly lower than last year's 331. Apart from the winner, all articles scored slightly lower than the equivalent ranking position last year, although mitchmen blog visits overall this year have increased (View last years table)

The winner this year is less surprising than Eddie Chin last time, but like him WoodunArt produces straightforward male representational art as well as S&M flavoured story-telling images. In this he follows the traditions of the other masters featured in my A-Z series, but with a notable touch of class. He is a worthy winner and his 'hit score' reflects this, more than 50% higher than Eddie's 955 in 2015 and Tagame's 973 in 2014.

As you might imagine, I am delighted that My 'Christmas Criminal' Story provided the runner-up and 7 of the top 20 entries altogether. It's the first time I have premiered a complete story at the blog (instead of the mitchmen Yahoo! Group) and my first all-colour series too. I expect to repeat these experiments sometime. Interestingly the individual episodes with the highest scores all feature the original group of images around which I built the story. Just to show the significane of timing in this annual review - the Christmas Criminal starting episode published on 23rd Dec last year has had 1372 hits to date and Christmas Criminal episode 12 (Dec 27th) has scored 1206. Both these items would have featured in the top spots here had they been published a few days later in 2016. As it was, their hits at the end of 2015 were far too few to register in that year's list either.

The other notable feature of this year is the return of several 'A-Z of Fetish Artists' entries which were totally absent last year. I'm glad Bill Ward, Valentine and Viste have got recognition from you but it's good to see lesser known names attracting interest as well.

There's usually a bondage-oriented photo post featured in this list and this year there are two, the intriguing 'Chinese Bondage' and 'Sailor Beware' honouring the Bound and Gagged studio once more. The number of articles with photographic content rather than artwork was 3 (the same as last year).

*Out of interest, I worked out how this table would look if I took into account the publication date as well as the total hits. On this measure (hits per 365 days) WoodunArt still comes top followed (a long way behind) by Bill Ward, WithNoTitle, WhiteBriefs, Wait a minute! and Christmas Criminal (16). If I were also to include more recent posts which didn't make the 'total hits' cut, the picture changes even more dramatically. For example, the December 'Vintage Season No 3' post (129 hits) would beat all but the winner, as would my October Greasetank Article (252) and the A-Z item on Xue Song aka Song Inkollo (161) in November. These articles benefit from their peak interest level being spread over a much shorter period. Which just goes to show this table shouldn't be taken too seriously!

Thank you to all my readers for your interest in my blog, I will publish the updated all-time list of favourites shortly. Happy New Year!