Royale Studios - Soldier-Sailor 20 & 21
In the aftermath of the fight, both men are strung up by one wrist suggesting a punishment for their brawling. They look at each other in a humorous Oliver Hardy moment - 'another fine mess.....etc.' I like the way the ropes create continuity through these final pictures. Bondage was strictly a taboo subject in the UK at this time, but the point of this picture is not so much about immobilisation but about securing the boys so they don't get into any more mischief. The eroticism derives from their being tethered together, so close that their bodies could be touching, Royale didn't risk that but a modern day photographer free from their constraints could create seriously erotic images from this idea. Once again here Royale pass up the chance to highlight the upper body definition of the models.
The last picture in the Soldier-Sailor set brings me back to my opening speculations about connections with the 'Unapproved' set. Compare the pictures, above, from that series with No 21 above. The same uniforms of course and the two men are also tied together, with handcuffs in this case. They climb upwards seeking to escape punishment. The similarity of the idea with No 21 is remarkable. If they aren't directly connected they surely must have sprung from the same source. The FJSS storyline of squabbling and detention for punishment would also provide a neat prequel to 'Unapproved' whose opening scenes are shrouded in some mystery. But that's another story!
For earlier articles in this series, featuring vintage erotic 'men in uniform' photos, click on the GIU/Royale label below
If anyone has better copies of these pictures which they are willing to share I would be very pleased to hear from them