A young man is pressed against a wall by a larger man, who holds the smaller man’s head near his own.
This gripping photograph is from the Model Mayhem portfolio of Eri Nicholas Vohnson, and was suggested by ohmyfckity, who had this to say:
I came across this picture tonight and just had to share. I love how the younger male is utterly enjoying the dominating older man. There is no fear in his expression and he’s so willing.
This picture took my breath away because the juxtaposition of forcefulness with willingness is searingly sexy. I also like that, in a clearly dramatized scene, both models are wearing very plain clothing. Further, the androgynous look of the smaller man adds several dimensions of power to the narrative, including gender, age, and culture.
Finally, the shorter man’s untroubled expression is particularly interesting in contrast to the taller man’s aggressive stance. Coupled with his queered gender presentation, the image challenges a culture that indoctrinates many people—including men—with the belief that male lust is dangerous, and uncontrollable. Interestingly, homophobic men, like Mark Schwartz, Republican Senator Tom Coburn’s chief of staff, are arguably the group most afraid of male sexuality. According to Mark Schwartz:
Pornography is a blight. […It’s] my observation that boys…have less tolerance for homosexuality than just about any other class of people. They speak badly about homosexuality. And that’s because they don’t want to be that way. They don’t want to fall into it. […] All pornography is homosexual pornography, because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards.
Ignoring for a moment this statement’s supreme stupidity with regards to pornography, Schwartz’s internalized homophobia can be logically explained. As Figleaf points out:
It seems to me that if you’re sold on that view of men then homophobia is a twisted but logical outcome. Because if you’re raised to believe that you literally can’t resist sexual temptation of any sort but you’re not actually sexually oriented towards other men […] it makes sense that you’d be wildly intolerant of gay men. […If] one believes men are ravenously, uncontrollably sexually impulsive then one must live in mortal paranoia that not only might one inadvertently receive an aggressive sexual advance not only from perceptibly “homosexual” men (who are falsely presumed to be sexually interested in any possible opportunity for sex with any possible man) but equally uncontrollable straight men for whom, after all, must also believe “a hole is a hole.”
Put another way, the shorter man’s androgynous look allows homophobes to more easily view him as “less than” manly. They define masculine sexuality so narrowly, both his appearance and his serenity in this situation breaks the mold.
As for Schwartz, well, one does wonder if his hands are afraid of his penis since, by his logic, masturbation must be the most homosexual act of all.