Statues and classical and mythological interests all coincide in this image, which is based on the famous sculpture of Laocoon and his sons being consumed by sea serpents. Personally I think the exclusion of the sons (unconvincingly muscular in the original) is an improvement. The live victim imprisoned by stone recasts the equally mythological story of the 'statue coming to life' in a highly original way (see also my A-Z entry on Sean Platter). I think it's fair to say that Priapus' melding of photography and art is not always totally successful at a technical level but there's a creative spark about these images that more than makes up for it.
Force of Nature 01
The snake, sensuously entwined around the human body is a classical forerunner of the modern tentacle 'genre', but the famous Japanese print of a woman being ravished by an octopus, The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife (1814) is even more pertinent and often reckoned to be a milestone in erotic art. Priapus provides us with a homo-erotic version of this idea in Force of Nature 01, draping the model with the real thing. I find the idea of the warm male body being enveloped by the grey, cold, clammy octopus quite thrilling.
Priapus draws out the erotic essence of tentacles, which is not their supposed penis-like quality, but their ability to express the overwhelming ecstasy of being touched, embraced - and indeed 'captured' - by another. The tentacles gently exploring the submissive body offered up to them seem purposeful and believable. Priapus is equally true to the anatomy of the creature by not showing it's mouth, which is located underneath the body, so we can't see what it is up to, we can only infer it from Blake's expression. I imagine that a greater familiarity with octopus anatomy increases the initial erotic impact of this image no end, but it doesn't really matter, because what we lose in explicitness is made up for by an overpowering erotic sensuality.
Close Encounter 09
Close Encounter 09 has a more 'conventional' approach to erotic tentacles, assigning them to a technologically advanced, alien life form seemingly able to morph it's limbs into crusty-looking dildos or penis-eating long-cocks at will. But instead of employing the usual approach of bodice ripping and forcible restraint followed by ruthless forensic probing, this tentacle creature gently cradles and seduces his human subject, who shows no fear or anger but merely the normal degree of concern one would expect on encountering such a novel experience. There's no evidence of coercion, no shredded remains of clothes (or spacesuit) which lends an air of mutual exploration to this particular close encounter.
Close Encounter 10
Close Encounter 10 takes this idea to it's logical conclusion with a truly fearsome, dragon-like alien creature descending with fire and brimstone to arouse and take his lounging man who acquiesces to this assault with calmness and even affection. Would that all men were this obliging! These images show confident insights into the nature of sexual adventure and submissive sex.