SangoUntitled (2018)

I’m not sure I have much to add as far as commentary on this: except to say that every single damn time I see it my tummy does a backflip and I get impossibly wet.

On second thought: I really like how things start off full rendered and then slowly drift towards increasingly rough sketches. This gives the scene a sense of insistent immediacy; it also underscores the way that the positioning and gesture of the hands anchor the compositions and erogenous zones are emphasized with heavier lines that not only entice the eye but suggest an inviolable boundary between bodies–in turn enhancing the transgressive nature of what’s depicted with an even more compelling allure.

I also really dig the minimal use of color to add not only a sense of lividity but also to make the expressions more concrete.

Also, this works whether or not you know that it’s apparently illustrated Supergirl erotic fanfic.

Natalia Nobile – [↑] Untitled (2017); [↖] Untitled (2017); [↗] Untitled (2018); [↗] Untitled (2016); [+] Untitled (2017); [→] Untitled (2017); [↙] Untitled (2017); [↘] Untitled (2016); [↓] Untitled (2017)

I don’t necessarily like all Nobile’s work. I’ve been wanting to share some of her work for a while, I just haven’t had the time to really sift through her work until this afternoon.

I sat off drafting this post with the notion of talking about parallels between her work and other similar image makers. However, I realized at a certain point that at face value her images are compelling because of their immediacy.

What we are being shown is clear enough–it’s the why we are being shown it that remains ambiguous. But why we’re being shown what we’re seeing is less of a preoccupation than questions like are those Frida Kahlo panties? Cyrano or Elephant? Is the woman straddling the bedpost posing; additionally, is this pose supposed to suggest something vaguely masturbatory? Are those cannabis plants?

In the picture of the woman in the pink body suit on the bicycle looking back over her shoulder while feigning the fastening of her helmet struck me as having exquisite color rendition. Same with the are those pot plants one.

But organizing them together in this way showed the extent to which Nobile is using color with subtlety and style. It also shows that although you don’t necessarily realize it that color not only ties her images together within themselves, it actually ties her work together just as well as a signature.

Source unknown – Title unknown (201X)

I’m not entirely sure if this is an actual instant photograph or if it’s one of those Photoshop jobs where someone takes a Polaroid mask and overlays it against another image.

The reason I’m not entirely sure is because this acts like a Polaroid–the compressed tonal range (essentially slight overexposure on the model’s stomach, the rest of the skin tone is more mid-tone and then everything falls off to black except for the back of the couch in the upper left third of the frame and the edge of the couch on the lower right), slight chromatic aberrations at the left and right edges as well as the almost selenium-ish tone.

I’m generally not fond of work that decapitates and amputates limbs but with this there is a sense that less was intended as more. (I’m not sure it completely works from the standpoint of eschewing the problematics of depicting women nude as a coding for presenting them as sexually available but the composition is self-consciously voyeuristic enough that I suspect this was made in such a fashion to at least implicitly complicate notions of sexual availability as necessarily passive.

Source unknown – Title unknown (201X)

I think this video may be the porn clip that I have watched the most in my entire life.

Technically, it’s flawed. But the technical doesn’t matter so much when the sex is so thoroughly and legitimately haute.

From their seemingly coordinated ink: his Judge me, her Justice; to the inversion of the porn trope where the starlet furious rubs her clit while a muscle-bound stud uses his erect cock more like a gas powered chisel than a tool meant (among other things) for providing sexual pleasure; and–my personal favorite, the way she licks his semen off his tummy and then gives him a sample of the mess he’s made.

Unffff. (Also, this clip gave me a thought for a performance piece I’d like to enact at some point. I think it could be positively scandalous…)

Source unknown – Title unknown (201X)

Regardless of what you think of my notion of #skinnyframebullshit, there is never, under any circumstances, ever any justification for capturing video in portrait orientation. None. Period. End of story.

That I’m giving this a pass should signal just how amazing I find this clip in spite of the shitty execution and poor quality this is one of those rare moments when porn bothers to show not only how I like to fuck but how I like to be fucked (and in the same video, OMFG). But it also makes me feel seen and like my sexuality isn’t just something that’s impossibly inconvenient to 96% of the rest of the world.

Also, trying not to come, coming anyway and then being so at the mercy of your feelings and connection with the other person(s) that there’s no time for  a break or respite and you end up coming again quickly and with such force that you literally feel the strain from how hard you clenched up for days afterwards.

Swoon. (To whoever made this–thank you. Also, please keep making stuff like this. It matters.)

Source unknown – Title unknown (201X)

I have no idea where these images originated and that’s truly unfortunate. They’re hardly flawless–the poses are a bit too marked by self-conscious contrivance; however, they do feature carefully coordinated lighting design, a clear sense of purpose and although perhaps not intentional: there’s a sense of reflexive connection between content and context (i.e. the incisive sense of well-worn procedure in tandem with the carefully considered attention to detail).

It’s possible I’m projecting my own OCD tendencies onto this photo set. I’m very much a creature of habit. I’m very predictable and if someone knows my schedule, you can predict where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing with 100% accuracy give or take a seven or so minute deviation on either side.

I’ve always been like this. It’s part of how I’ve learned to survive in the desert of the real. There’s comfort in knowing the train arrives at this time and takes this long to get me where I’m going. Any delays, deviations, etc. cause me intense stress.

I get agitated when folks with a hippy bent preach new age/Buddhist mindfulness at me. It’s like my default setting is what such folks actively pursue. I’m constantly trying to be less aware of every goddamn little piece of sensory input screaming for a piece of my immediate focus.

What’s ironic to me is that my all this rigorously circumscribed need for order, predictability and certainty is less about iron fisted control. It’s like that Baudelaire quip about remaining boring, ordered and dull in life so that you may be exceedingly violent and unpredictable in your creative work.

The regimentation I cultivate in my own life is really a means to an end. To return to the metaphor of trains–with their timetables and presumed correlation to said timetables–it’s almost always the days where I’m merely going through the motions out of habit, and am following a particular thought that takes an unexpected turn that captivates me. I’ll completely forget that I’m on a train and end up four or five stops beyond where I meant to disembark. (As much as I crave order and hate when things go awry, I never mind these lapses. What they offer in insight is more than equal to the resulting frustrations of missing my stop and running late to appointments.)

What does this introspective speculation have to do with anything? Well, I think my need for predictable rituals as a defense against the mundaneness of daily exigencies is an itch that I don’t usually feel gets scratched by explicit depictions of sexual expression. Except these images appeal (a great deal, actually) to the order seeking side of my brain.

And I can’t help but think how aspects of my own sexual expression are similarly circumscribed. As an adolescent, masturbation was highly ritualized for me. (I’m not sure if it’s the OCD tendencies or being raised super religious… I think I could also point to my druggy years with all that focus on set and setting.)

It reminds me of something my friend Amandine said to me about attraction. Trying to seduce someone by making them want you is the wrong course of action. Instead it’s better to make them feel comfortable sharing time and space with you.

That’s the other thing about this that appeals to me. So much pornography hinges on a sort of heteronormative checklist of activities being ticked in a proscribed order. It’s about showcasing particular information–without any sort of consideration as to why this information as opposed to that information. In other words, matters of inclusion vs. exclusion are dictated by notions of what will appeal to the broadest set of viewers possible.

I’m much more interested in things that interrogate why something is being showcased over any number of other things. And these images have a strong feeling of what I’m being showed are not just things that turn the author on, there’s a great deal of effort put into presenting those things as a series of decisive moments in an erotic progression.

So yes, the attention to detail in the set design and lighting orchestration speak to creating a sense of context. The presentation of decisive moments fosters a sense of documentary objectivity. (This isn’t exactly well-managed from the point of the subjects–whose poses seem self-consciously contrived.) But it does seem to be about creating a comfortable space as a starting point and emphasizing concrete ritual procedure in a carefully considered fashion. And that feels honest and affirming of my own experience in a way that porn never really offers me.

Anonymous – Submission to NNSS July 28 (2013)

OMFG. I had a dream about this triptych!

A former employee was sitting on floor with her dress forming a perfect circle around her, her bare, unshaved legs sticking out enough to show that she was sitting frog style.

The room was an amalgam of my room when I last lived with my mom, my current bedroom at that time and the second space I rented with several college chums after earning my undergraduate degree.

The floor was made from these broad, pine planks that were worn smooth after years of things scuffling against it.

In the way dream logic works, there was a perfectly sensible reason for her to be sitting in my room. Although we’re still loosely connected, she’s not someone I see with any regularity. And there was a feeling (in the dream at least) that she wasn’t there to hang out and whatever had brought her there was already completed.

This young woman–we’ll call her Skye–tends to be fragile to a fault and prone to fits of profound melancholia. Yet, on the rare occasion that she’s in a good mood, she takes on this affected simpering bravado that would–on anyone else–appear pout-y and conceited, except on her it comes off as playful and perhaps even a bit edgy.

I suddenly felt as if she’d hidden something in my room and I was expected to find it. I looked around but without knowing what I was looking for it all felt awkwardly contrived.

Something made me think of Charlie’s BB gun. I was pretty sure that I’d thrown it away years ago. But I felt suddenly as if Skye had either found it and wasn’t happy about my having it or that it would be super bad if she knew I still had it.

I began to tear the room apart in an effort to find it and get rid of it. Sure enough it was in a shoebox, wrapped in a towel. I showed her and she thought it was dumb that I had it but she didn’t say more than that.

She was still sitting there. I wondered why she was still there. I sheepishly said that she’d been in my room long enough that she probably had a pretty good idea what a pervert I was. She said she did but that she actually thought it was charming.

I put the BB pistol back in the shoebox and buried it in the closest again. When I turned back to her, she was holding the hem of her skirt up and was stroking the shaft of a fairly large cornflower blue phallus. A small purple vibrator was wedged between her crotch and the floor. Her boy shorts were a canary yellow except where the humming vibrator pressed against the outline of her vulva, a dark mustard color spreading slowly outward.

This is okay, right? She asked.

Kellyanne BoisvertUnbend (2015)

Any good conceptual art is not unlike a kōan–various meanings and interpretations at once harmonize, contradict and morph. The longer you follow a thread, the more the blade of the idea sharpens.

My initial vector of approach to this piece is via the context of this wonderful Robot Hugs on how queerness is either ignored by hetereonormative culture or appropriated through fetishization.