To my readers......

This blog only exists because we have Freedom of Expression.
That's why Charlie Hebdo is important to us.

Your comments are always welcome.
Thanks for visiting mitchmen!

(Jan 23 2015)

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Shades of Grey

A muscular captive, tightly bound, neatly packaged, awaits his captor's pleasure.
His bulging jock shows the extent of his excitement.
It's been a long wait.....
At first the bondage game sounded like fun. Adding spice to a mediocre pick-up.
But they had both drunk too much. 
He awoke still bound, not remembering much about the night before.
He could hear his trick showering and he waited to be freed.
He needed to be at work soon.

But he wasn't freed at all. 
Instead his captor adjusted his bindings, gagged and blindfolded him.
Then bundled him into the bathroom, seated him on the toilet and left him.
The hard seat felt cold on his bare bottom.
He heard the front door close, then silence.

Not quite believing what was happening, he called out - at least he tried to. 
But the gag incorporated a plug which seemed to fill the deepest recesses of his mouth.
Trapping his tongue underneath . It had a bitter taste.
It allowed him to grunt, no more. No-one came

The strap was tight too, pulling on his jaw, which soon began to ache.

He tried to free himself from the ropes, twisting his arms, swiveling round.
But his biceps were pinned tight to his sides, his wrists pulled up towards his shoulders.
He could hardly move them at all.
and he couldn't see anything.

He tried to free his legs,
 but his knees were roped together, preventing any movement of the ankles.

He tried to stand up and hopped around to find the door .
 The tiled floor felt cold, dirty, sticky beneath his feet.
The door was locked.

He sank down on the pedestal again.
 His feeble calls to be released still went unheeded.
He began to understand that no-one was coming.
He wouldn't be able to escape.
In his despair and frustration, he wept.
Then finally he settled down and slept.

It was many hours later when his captor finally returned.
He heard him enter the flat and moving around and thought 
"Why doesn't he come to me?"
Then the door was unlocked, he heard him piss and flush and felt the splash.
His captor stroked his pecs and jock, tied his legs tighter, then left again.

Eventually he was transferred him from his ceramic cell back to the bedroom.
Even more ropes were tied around and between his thighs.
But the softness of the carpet and the bedding on his skin was blissful. 

Placed on his captor's bed, he does not know what is to happen to him. 
It might be pleasure, it might be pain - or worse.
He probably won't be going to work tomorrow either.
 Now he knows, he has no free choices any more.
He feels strangely excited.


 I find this bondage last image from ropetopsfbay particularly impressive. I love the neat simplicity and tightness of the ropework. It both complements and contains the natural-looking bulk and muscularity of the model. A little clothing lends identity to a man and I recorded my enjoyment of jockstrap imagery in one of my earliest postings here 'In Praise of Jockstraps'. For me the garment sings of masculinity, but only if it is worn by a model with some bulk - as in this case here. Boys don't cut it. This man is wearing the classic deep waistband design like he was born to it. The unusual grey colour is rather good for showing the details of the garment since it doesn't produce glare like a white one does. It also lends a well-used look which gives the wearer the air of an authentic sportsman. I love these images.

See more bondage imagery at RopeTopSFBay, my thanks to him for the pix.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Ulf Retrospective - The Year 2002

After the powerful scenes of the preceding years there's rather less agitation and menace in most of Ulf's 2002 output. This golden shower scene is still intense but it's almost introspective compared with the pissing bullies from 2000. Here in the privacy of his cubicle, a young man exults in the hosing of his torso by four anonymous men. However, they cannot even see what is happening, let alone enjoy  his abasement. Instead it is they who are being used.

This prison scene also shows a private pleasure snatched in a forbidden place. The bars of the convicts cell even keep us at a respectful distance. They modestly obscure the most explicit details focusing our attention instead on the clumsy physicality of the two men's coupling.  Usually jail scenes of this kind (by Etienne and Tom of Finland for example) depict the exploitation of new arrivals by the old lags but it's not obvious that is what Ulf has in mind here.  Rather perhaps an mutual release and temporary escape from the boredom of incarceration, with no more mental connection between them than the participants in the picture above.

In the remainder of my selections from this year, Ulf discards his fiery logo for more a classical style and the images themselves become softer and more centred on the erotic, epitomised by this striking 'predicament' bondage image whose symmetry reminds us of Ulf's thoughtful approach to his art. His rendering of shackles, particularly those clasped around the captives ankles has moved on considerably from the 2000 'Loops' image.

In 'Contrite' (which has the same 'Greek' style logo) Ulf goes further into classical territory discarding mammoth organs in favour of genuine psychology and the effect is altogether more impressive. This set piece has a certain kinship with Victorian morality prints such as the fallen woman although one suspects the offence committed here is not that profound (and possibly less sinful than the punishment it will attract). Ulf's characters sometimes look too 'posed' but it works well here and you can sense the penitent is about to kneel in the face of the carefully controlled outrage and superior power of the man who is reprimanding him.  

Ulf exploits his medium to the full in this picture creating two extraordinarily attractive men and bathing their bodies in a warm, orange light that is both attractive and atmospheric - reassuringly homely given the ominous subject matter. It's done so well that he gets away with the lack of shadows and classic CGI hovering feet - this last flaw a pet hate of the late Martin of Holland. 

This year also saw a series of 17 pictures from Ulf entitled 'The Buddy System', telling the story of a sexual encounter in a military latrine. Such a project invites comparison with Tom of Finland's 'Kake' series, not least for the size of the organs being flourished but Ulf doesn't seek to emulate the pace or erotic intensity that infuses every Kake adventure. There are a couple of spectacular aerial views that Tom would certainly have appreciated but this series more closely resembles the progression of a porn film through it's prescribed 'Stations of the Cock'. Unlike that format, however, Ulf's encounter (somewhat unexpectedly) unfolds with an element of softness and seduction that is evident in the example shown above and ends with a romantic jism-mingling kiss that you won't ever have seen in Kake. The artist's progress in refining his technique can be seen here in the quality of the composition and fine detailing like the tile reflections.

Lest you fear Ulf going soft, this memorable and disturbing image pulls out the stops to portray the horror of a captive facing a daunting level of punishment involving some heavyweight electrical equipment. At this stage the connectivity seems incomplete but likely to involve the prominent steel plug, which despite it's industrial size is not preventing him from leaking excitedly onto the wooden floor. 

The aerial viewpoint draws attention to the bareness of the room and the isolation of the victim whose helplessness is reinforced by an ultra-sophisticated, breath-control mask through which his eyes gaze out upwards. In the midst of all this high-tech, control paraphernalia, the presence of humble, domestic, laundry pegs whose contribution to the victim's ordeal would equate to the level of a flea-bite seems just a little incongruous!
to be continued
(To read these articles from the beginning start with Ulf Retrospective part 1

Ulf has a blog The Ulfian which is an interesting mix of his art, political comment and selected porn.
There's also an Ulfian fan club on Google Groups which you have to join (it's free). 
The older Fan Club on Yahoo! Groups seems to be inactive now.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Ulf retrospective - The Year 2001 - The Frontier Series

My article on Ulf's work from 2001 omitted a notable series of images set in the "Wild West'' era against the background of the conflict between the Native Americans and the Frontiersmen and US Government who sought to appropriate and exploit their homeland. 

In this series the 'Indians' (if I can use that term as shorthand*) take their revenge in a variety of ways and this urination humiliation is one of the milder ones. If you've read Ulf's blog you will know that he has a keen political awareness and there's a fairly unambiguous message here conveyed by the Indian's heroic pose and the fiery background, succinctly symbolising the erupting anger of his people.

Ultimately though in this picture political message loses out to erotic entertainment. This Indian's nordic features and muscularity seem less than authentic and, for a gay audience, his enlarged cock puts him into the category of hunted trophy rather than feared, superior being. Likewise, the piss spray which he is unleashing probably dilutes(!) his outrage for us rather than amplifying it. If you invert the image you'll see his victim's expression is almost blissful too!

In this picture Ulf invokes the terrifying, scalping-renegade stereotype much beloved of white literature and films but thankfully from my point of view he spares us the blood and gore, contenting himself with posing the threat and capturing the young victim's dismay which he does rather impressively. Although this series of images has a somewhat 'staged' feel about it, you can see Ulf is striving here to make his characters interact, both dramatically and erotically.

Drama aplenty here driven visually by the Indian's lunging pose. This is the only picture in this series where Ulf's 'labels' the captive with 'cowboy' clothing - hat, belt and boots (click to enlarge). He seems more mature than the other victims too, which for me adds to the intensity of the encounter but also makes him a more appropriate object of the Indian's 'justified revenge' against the white man. He seems to be acknowledging and enduring his terrible fate sadly, but quite stoicly. You might see echoes of Christian martyrdom in this imagery, deflecting guilt back to the persecutor, except that this man is clearly preoccupied with the painful present, possibly the guilty past but certainly not the well-earned Paradise that lies beyond.

There's some confusion of intent in the detail around the flaming brand in the centre of this picture. The Indian seems to be grasping the hot end of it and there's an odd vertical stick too which I can't interpret. It's as if Ulf has made some last minute changes here, pulling back from a more explicit image. (See discussion in 'comments' below)

I have cropped this image, which in it's full form shows a burning at the stake which I think is a little too vivid for display in this blog. The mounting fear of the victim as the flames rise around him is amazingly captured. However, although fear and sexual arousal can be linked - survival of the species and all that - his erotic response here is pure wishful thinking and fantasy. 

The youth of this victim makes him seem quite undeserving of the Indian's anger although I must confess his near-porcine fleshiness does lend his gruesome fate an intriguing, dark aptness. The captor, however, is revealed to have a base, sexual motivation - underlined by his awkward pose and ugly, mean expression. This picture completely lacks any sense of the virtuous revenge, which I attributed to the first image in this article. Instead we see beauty, innocence and virtue vindictively destroyed which is almost the reverse motivation. Oddly enough the protagonist's skin colourings are reversed too. I doubt Ulf did that deliberately but it seems to be an appropriate closing of the circle of hate and an unintentionally perceptive reflection on the barrenness of arbitrary revenge.

Back in the fantasy, I would hope that with his lust duly slaked the captor is willing to spare this beautiful creature for more rewarding porking pursuits. (Compare with  Sergey's less ambiguous outcome and other immolation imagery referenced in that article)


This is the earliest series by Ulf with a common theme which I have been able to identify. In it there seems to be an intense if slightly unfocussed outpouring of anger and energy and in this it's not untypical of this period in Ulf's art. This subject seems to have had special significance for him but I don't think he ever returned to it in later years. He's still refining his technique here but the power of the imagery comfortably exceeds those limitations. As far as I know there are 8 images in this series and I will be posting the full set as a temporary exhibition at my Yahoo! group in the next few days.

Ulf has a blog The Ulfian which is an interesting mix of his art, political comment and selected porn.
There's also an Ulfian fan club on Google Groups which you have to join (it's free). 
The older Fan Club on Yahoo! Groups seems to be inactive now.

to be continued

(To read these articles from the beginning start with Ulf Retrospective part 1

* Any discussion with racial ingredients these days is fraught with linguistic pit-falls and faux-pas. In the UK 'Native' is probably seen as a more derogatory term than 'Indian' is. I hope that my readers are able to realise that these words are used here as convenient, collective nouns and not with any intent to maliciously label or denigrate the individuals belonging to that group.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Ulf retrospective - The Year 2001

 My Ulf selections for the year 2000 showed influences from the wider artistic world on his work and that can also be seen in the balletic restraint of the prisoner in these two memorable images from 2001. His pointing toes, vainly seeking the supporting solidity of the floor create a tremendous sense of tension and body stretching. But it is only by flexing his arms that the prisoner can relieve the upwards counter-pull on his nipples. You can almost hear his grunting as his strength begins to fail. Meanwhile his captor is free to examine his unprotected tackle. And there's worse to come.

(There's a backwards look to the dramatic initiation scene from 'A Man Called Horse' (1970) in this pec suspension arrangement).

 The helpless, stretched rigidity of the prisoner, vainly arching away from the punishing blows is a disturbingly irresistible target. Ulf embellishes his buttocks and legs with highlighting that underlines both his erotic attractions and his impotent muscularity. The captor leans back, lazily almost, flexing his legs to transmit the power of his entire body into each leisurely stroke. It's a stock, beefcake pose in essence, but the skill with which Ulf has incorporated it into his image is impressive, creating a suggestion of calculating, frightening malice that goes way beyond routine dungeon play.

 The menace in this image is more melodramatic in style, invoking a medieval dungeon complete with bizarre candelabra. The threat this time is posed by a crouching, beast-like creature straight out of the movies. His whip is probably less intimidating than his low-dangling balls, a motif that is ominously echoed in the large rock attached to the captive's scrotum, as though hinting that this condition is ultimately required of him too. 

Our victim here seems suitably naive and innocent, a sort of male equivalent of Faye Wray. He may have a muscular body and virile chest mat, but there's a distinctly boyish flavour about his characterisation. I like the way the demon's machinations have invaded the private recesses of his conventional white underwear rather than dispensing with it altogether.

You can see how Ulf experiments with light and shadow in these pictures attempting to create dramatic atmosphere. Dispatching the bondage and cbt detail to the back of the picture shows a similar desire to create something more psychological than mere erotic porn. The undefined area under the beast's right arm shows that his technique is still growing.

 There's more evidence of developing technique here in the unconventional view-point and free form composition in which both men seem to float, simultaneously upright and horizontal.
The mesmerised face of the supplicant and the sensuous detailing of the dribbling pre-cum in the middle ground and swollen cock head beyond it is riveting.

In this picture Ulf's faces begin to evolve in a more characterful way, softer and more human. There's an element of caricature on the left but it's intriguing trying to read these expressions which have a sense of earnest duty, possibly dismay, rather than enthusiasm for their shared task. This subtle complexity and the darkened background is almost worthy of an Old Master. I think the attachment of the cock to it's owner could be more subtle, a slight curve to the left as it recedes might accentuate the sense of intrusion but it's an interesting image.

 There's more experimentation with viewpoints and lighting here. It's not surprising to see Ulf exploring the possibilities of fisting but the low key, less than graphic depiction here is rather unexpected. The striking feature of this picture, however, is the knife. It contrasts startlingly with the relaxed poses of the participants but in fact the picture is called 'Night Caller'. And it seems he brought his Crisco with him. Other pictures from this time also show discarded weaponry.

 As weapons go, this one is pretty scary too as witness the one captive's horrified expression and the splayed fingers of his partly-seen companion. We saw another red hot poker in the 2000 selection, but it's threat is a lot less subtle here. However Ulf  refrains from giving more than a hint about where it's headed. This buddy bondage situation is pretty erotic in it's own right as a static image but one can imagine the butt rubbing induced by their attempts to escape that glowing shaft would be something else. (I'd watch out for that floor too with a red hot poker around, it looks like vinyl!)

Ulf brings a ghoulish humour to this entertaining, buddy predicament scene and it's another ball stretching scenario. The torture depends on their continued struggling for it's effectiveness, so we must suppose that either these men are a bit slow on the uptake or else there's something nasty lurking in the shadows! There's a certain kinship here to the suspension images which opened this post.

Ulf has a blog The Ulfian which is an interesting mix of his art, political comment and selected porn.
There's also an Ulfian fan club on Google Groups which you have to join (it's free). 
The older Fan Club on Yahoo! Groups seems to be inactive now.
to be continued

Monday, 18 May 2015

Ulf retrospective - The Year 2000

Ulf has been producing erotic pictures for our entertainment for many years and he has a band of dedicated followers. His CG, photo-assisted work doesn't qualify for my A-Z series but having reached the letter 'U' where there are fairly slim pickings, I thought it would be interesting to showcase his work in parallel. That's no easy task for his output is colossal and he is the only artist in my image collection (apart from Tom of Finland) to be filed year by year. 

The earliest pictures I have are from the year 2000 and interestingly some of his best known images come from this time, like the pulley slave picture above. This picture has a simple directness that is compelling and the moment depicted, as the prisoner begins to discover the true nature of his torment, is  highly erotic. Some upturned toes testify to his discomfort and there's an intriguing bird-like shadow across the captor's midriff that suggests more complex undertones. Ulf's technique is already well developed here although the captor's body below the waist is a little muddy. The hoops restraining the prisoner are impressively chunky, but not entirely convincing.

Dungeon tortures figure prominently in Ulf's 2000 pictures but so too does pissing as a symbol of alpha male dominance. It's a subject that Ulf continues to pursue to the present day but rarely more eloquently than this. The naked, head in toilet, subservient position of the 'sub' is also sexually receptive to the man behind standing astride him so there's a satisfying completeness to the idea and this also provides context for the prodigous organ of the third man at the back.

Ulf - Time Out

There's a studious artiness about this image as the torturer pauses in his work to ponder some, seemingly unrelated, matter. It lends him an air of casual detachment (or perhaps doubt) that only serves to emphasise the implied brutality of these proceedings even if Ulf does actually stop short of blood. Despite the calmness of the image there's a sense of powerful emotional undercurrents. All of these pictures are about men exercising power and the captives and subs are mere vehicles for it, passive supporting players whose consent is not readily apparent.

 Ulf - He's Not Finished Yet

There's some interesting psychology here too, although in quite a different way. The muscular sub is being comprehensively dominated and this qualifies as another definitive image of that power fueled relationship. But this top seems ill at ease with his peers, his raised finger to the unseen new arrival conveying petulance and self doubt as much as anything, defiant perhaps but he's not exactly oozing confidence. 

Ulf faces at this time have smooth, almost robotic quality with exaggerated fleshy lips and darkly outlined, piercing eyes. It creates a quite strange, intimidating appearance that augments the dark menace of the subject matter.

 Ulf - Your Boyfriend's Fucked

Buddy punishment is another fertile avenue for S&M eroticism, playing off the friend's care for each other. However here too Ulf's (unseen) master is not content to simply exercise his power but goes out of his way to humiliate his rival top by dressing him in sheer lingerie and comprehensively fucking his boyfriend - in front of him presumably. I can't decide whether the captive top's muscular response is a saintly rising above these deliberate insults, a self-destructive Sampson-esque revenge under way or a priggish rejection of his fallen lover Either way it portrays an altogether different sort of power derived from mental rather than physical strength.

 Ulf - Task Master

Another well known image and it looks like another top is being tormented not just by his own personal cbt rock (like a hero from Greek mythology) but also by the abuse of his buddy. It's the left hand captive's stretched straddling across his odd double pedestal and the tight visual alignment with the Master standing in front that makes this picture memorable. The right hand side of the picture peters out a bit with half obscured prisoner almost completely separated from the main pair. (I don't recommend trying to insert that size of implement inside an unrestrained man in a dangling cage either!).

Ulf - Where's that Michael

I have included this image as an illustration of the way Ulf depicts tight clothes at this time. It's almost as if they are painted on in places. Compare the hem stretched over the top of the cock (startlingly effective) with the line of the shoulder straps which follow the contours of the body precisely. If you compare this with the Master's harness in the 2015 'Almost there', you will see a similar but less pronounced wavering in the shoulder lines.

Ulf has a blog The Ulfian which is an interesting mix of his art, political comment and selected porn.
There's also an Ulfian fan club on Google Groups which you have to join (it's free). 
The older Fan Club on Yahoo! Groups seems to be inactive now.

to be continued

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Baron + Sherwin - Doubly Intimidating

 Two studies by the artists Sherwin and Baron.
I don't know whose came first but they are both interesting enough for it not to matter.
 Sherwin - Interrogation

The portable compendium of nasty torture instruments is a fiendishly original way of indicating the prolonged and varied path of pain which lies ahead for the poor, suffering POW. In fact it almost takes over the image, relegating him, who should be the star, to the sidelines.
Baron - No Mercy

Baron quite often includes interesting underwear in his pictures. He's also added a loop or noose around the prisoner's neck whose exact functioning is unclear but it casts the gaping hole at the prisoner's feet in a rather disturbing light.

There are a lot of differences between the two pictures which must tell us something about the two artists interests - but there's no prize for spotting them all! 

See also my previous articles on Baron and Sherwin

Baron has a site called Sub-terranean , Sherwin has a blog, The World of Sherwin

Thursday, 7 May 2015

HeatHawk 13 - Striking Shibari Imagery

  The date that went wrong? 

It's as if the captive's right hand seeking to reach the knot in the centre of his back has been frozen there, secured tight in a supreme demonstration of his helplessness. Placing the crucial knot in this unreachable position just between and below the shoulder blades is no accident of course. 

This area of the back is celebrated as a point of ultimate (male) vulnerability in European culture too. Siegfried, the lusty hero of Germanic myths bathes in dragon's blood to make his skin invulnerable, but a leaf settles on this one place he cannot reach leaving a fatal chink in his 'armour'.

In this picture notice how tight the bindings are around his arms and body. The complex roping of Shibari is about power over the captive and this is totally nullified unless the ropes are tight. If they are not, the victim will almost certainly escape, but if he feels an unyielding grip around his body he will know he is truly trapped at his captor's pleasure.

 Date mistake part two. 

Not only are his legs immobilised now, but they are also drawn up towards the centre of his back (that place again), preventing any possibility of using them to leverage movement (if he had anywhere to go). The forced arching of his body is applying a compression to his lower back, which will become most unpleasant in due course.

This man has beautiful legs, chunky and just slightly hairy. The mounding produced by tight roping round thigh and calf produces an unexpectedly erotic shaping of his flesh, like the cut of jockstrap into buttock. Delicious.

Garish duvet covers can ruin a good bondage image but he's got it right here. The muted colours and vague impression of luxurious style throw the captive's body and his plight into striking relief in a way that is quite sinister. I think this one will become a classic.

 One removed from the naughty step. 

Where do you park a prisoner in a small flat when you want to get some sleep? We've all been there! This absurd setting complete with cat food and pasta sauce bottle relegates our hapless hero from being the centre of attention (unsought though that might have been) to the level of those awkwardly shaped, domestic appliances, so useful when needed but so difficult to store when they're not required.

His one-legged position, arms tight back position guarantees he won't get much sleep himself tonight. Tying the elbows and arms tightly together like this will prevent him from escaping too.


This is what helplessness looks like, as the captive cranes his neck to see what is happening to him. He's wondering what comes next, perhaps not anticipating that his restrictive bindings may have completely different properties if his captor chooses to raise him by the rope attached to his left leg.

The act of tying the captive in Shibari is a demonstration of power. He may accede to the first binding but as the process continues he becomes progressively less able to resist (or even to move). The increasing complexity of the rope work and the contortions into which his body is forced at his captor's whim are only made possible by his helplessness, but they reinforce and increase it. Ultimately (as in the second picture above) even the victim's personality becomes secondary to his state of bondage.

This is also a most erotic process, particularly where the artificial posture imposed on him opens up a sexual vulnerability such as opening the legs or pinning the arms back to open up the torso. The extra twist shown here, tying the arms to the ankle at one side, has produced a nice arching of the body.
(N.B.I have cropped this image)

The captive's backless briefs here showcase his beautiful fleshy buttocks far more effectively than total nudity would. His straightened leg exhibits fine erotic curves but so too in a different way does the tightly folded one. The socks and suspenders are a nice detail, a fetish in their own right for some I guess, but for me here they suggest a hasty, unplanned undressing - involuntary perhaps. A businessman snatched off the street.

Notice how the incomplete raising of his body is temporarily applying extra stress to the victim's back. The awkward, twisting tension between his left leg and right arm creates a powerful sense of frontal vulnerability for him. It's amplified by the facial roping whose purpose is not functional but to demonstrate that even his senses and his identity are no longer his to control. 

  In free suspension this unnatural position will soon become very unpleasant.

 Suspension is the ultimate demonstration of power over the captive. 

He is presented in all his helplessness at a convenient height to view and touch.
Meanwhile he suffers the discomfort of his bondage amplified by his own weight levering against the restraints, the suspension points and the contortions of his bondage. 

(N.B.I have cropped this image too)
Suspension allows the captive's body or the master's rope work
(according to preference) to be displayed and inspected at leisure.
Beyond that it creates a dismaying, insurmountable barrier to escape
If space permits, his distance from the ground can be increased to play on his fears.

See more at Heathawk13 (aka Digital Silver) but beware of female dragons!