To my readers......


Thanks for visiting mitchmen, home of Mitchell's Gay Art

The Caps and Collars/ Flat Cap Gang story at Google Groups has been on a break since January, I hope to resume shortly. (see Group News for link)

Message updated 5th May 2024

Friday 30 July 2010

Royale Studio 01a - Sailors in the Rigging (revised 20th Jul 2021)

Royale Studio in the 1950's was one of the first British producers of overtly gay erotica with a bias towards military themes and corporal punishment. The 1970's Guys In Uniform Studio (which I covered in a previous series of articles) covered very similar subject matter, they were quite separate enterprises but closely connected. For information on the personalities that made that connection, I refer you to the milism article by Squaddie John. 
In this article I make some comments on the stylistic crossover.

Royale - Sailor Flogged In The Rigging

I'm going to start where I left off the GIU series, with images featuring sailors and rigging. This one is fairly well-known and the dramatic quality is striking. Compare it with Physique Pictorial imagery which was a contemporary. The technical quality is also surprisingly good.
 The flogger here is Ron Wiltshire, I think. He has a striking face and build, and his bell bottom trousers add solidity to the forceful pose as well as enhancing his thighs. Those creases would earn him a punishment of his own in real life though! Royale reputedly made its models sit in a bath of cold water to wet their trousers so they would cling in sexy places like buttocks and thighs. You can also see the effect of cold water on the man at the right making a record of the punishment, since he clearly isn't wearing any underpants. I believe this might be Tom Harding, who we will see much of.
The anchoring effect of their bell-bottoms contrasts with the 'flying' pose of the victim. His rolled-up legs mark him as a 'worker', who would normally be scrubbing decks or climbing in the rigging, hence that nice, muscular back.  His legs are spread very wide creating an exaggerated sense of helplessness and stress and also helping those wet pants to highlight a delicious bubble butt. His leg pose matches the arrow-like shape of the soaring rigging ropes and there's a sense of upward thrust which finds erotic significance in the thick central rope which rises exactly in the middle between his thighs.

There's a theatrical quality to this staging, reflecting a highly creative mind at work.
Compare it now with the similar GIU image below (taken from my GIU set 9 review). You'll notice a gulf in impact and authenticity, however, the styling and sailor-flogging subject matter itself suggests there must be a close connection between these images. It looks like GIU are using the same rigging prop and the same combination of black belts and button-front, white trousers, both rolled-up. No wonder these studios are commonly confused with each other. The question becomes not what are the similarities between them, but rather how can you tell them apart?

Guys in Uniform - Sailors in the Rigging
One useful differentiator is the reference number or set ID which appears in the bottom corner of some Royale pictures inside square boxes (see below). These occasional numbers enable whole image groups to be firmly identified as Royale rather than GIU. They are there because in those days photographs were bought from a catalogue by mail order, not downloaded from the internet! 

Royale Catalogue - Key List 8
Fortunately some of these catalogue pages are also available to us (above) and can help with set identification. This one has an image you probably recognise (middle row, far left) labelled 1-UNAP, whuch was short hand for 'Unapproved' (a suggestive play on the term 'Approved School' which was a UK euphemism for youth detention centres in the 1950's). There are 3 more UNAP's on the bottom line which you probably don't recognise but wish you did! 
These pages also guide you to model identities (abbreviated in their labels, HEB = Henri Barjac). Being able to recognise models and place them in their correct era (Royale 50's, Guys In Uniform 70's) is probably the best differentiator of all 

Royale - Nude Sailor Flogged In The Rigging

 I used to think all Royale photos were in black and white, but the masters were coloured apparently and some coloured originals did surface recently (see below). This picture is a black and white one which has been subtly coloured and altered using Photo-shop type software. In general, coloured images are from GIU. There are nevertheless lots of black and white examples in my GIU series of posts, but they are reprints from 1970's magazines, which in those days always had limited colour content for cost reasons. 
The photo-shopper of this variant has bestowed a more substantial backside on the victim and it's a result I imagine Royale would have approved of. The cropping here brings out a subtle, erotic feature of the original picture - the suggestive shaping of the flogger's free hand which seems to be reaching towards his captive's groin. Not accidental methinks, but an example of the art of 'hidden eroticism' (see label at foot of this post for links to more).

Royale - Sailors in the Rigging 1
 This is another well known Royale composition which combines 2 different viewpoints. Put together they are both atmospheric and sensual. There's no illusion of this being a real ship or a real flogging but the close juxtaposition of two shapely, male bottoms is erotic and enticing. 
Royale - Sailors in the Rigging 2

 This image is a subtle variation of the last picture and the shift in far man's backside position is very sexy if they are viewed close together. The nearer man turns his backside towards us and they both bow their heads submissively in acknowledgement of the restraint and punishment scenario that unites them and, indeed, all these images. 
As you can see above, GIU pictures featured nudes but Royale men usually remain clothed below the waist in accordance with the sanitised constraints of the times. Nude studies do appear in solo sets and there's a rear nude flash in Navy Gash, but I've never seen a frontal one. Even so, with trousers as tight as this a comparable effect to nudity is achieved and is arguably more erotic. The dramatic lighting exploits the black and white mode, it brings out the men's slender muscularity and curvaceous bottoms - compensating for the lack of bare flesh.
Royale - Sailors in the Rigging 3 coloured

 Royale lovers were given a surprise present in 2019 when a small collection of coloured images, including the one above, surfaced in the Colville Exhibition. Apparently they were the photographer's masters, which were only sold on in black and white copies. 
The far man's physique is a delight in colour, it makes you realise what treasures have been lost. The change doesn't enhance their bottoms very much which is some compensation. This slightly altered viewpoint makes the sexy, bottom-brushing effect even more pronounced. 

Royale - Sailors in the Rigging 4 (Frontal)

The frontal variant is less daring but there's still plenty visible below the waist for the sharp-eyed. Exaggerated organs were left to artists like Tom of Finland in this era. This pose doesn't have quite the same sense of struggle and sexy vulnerability as the reverse views above. The models look as though they are relaxing rather than being restrained against their will. However, it does nicely showcase once again the physique of the far model. I haven't identified him yet but the boyish man on the left is Peter George.
Royale - Sailor Stripped for Flogging

There was another surprise with this image from the Colville exhibition. Forcible stripping is portrayed in some Royale 'sets' but not quite as vividly or near the knuckle as this. The colour finish and model's faces (which look familiar to me, Frank Lampard?) would have made me guess it to be by GIU, but apparently not. The victim's lack of underwear suggests there may even have been a nude sequel. That wouldn't be too surprising, plain envelope and under-the-counter explicitness was a feature of this market place and solo, nude, model studies have survived, but if frontal nude images formed part of Royale's storyettes they all seem to have been lost.

This picture seems to be thematically linked to the first image in this post but the models look different to me. The white gym shorts are also a difference, they are an accessory we haven't seen before but were a Royale staple and will return in other sets.


Rigging Punishments continue in Royale Part 1b
You can view all my articles featuring GIU and Royale Studio by clicking on the label at the foot of this post. 
This article was originally published in July 2010 but extensively revised and extended for republication in July 2021, a process that I hope to apply to the rest of the series in due course. As an adjunct to that I am creating an archive housing my entire collection of GIU and Royale images. I have provided a link to the 'Rigging' album in Part 1b.
Also updated 7th October 2022 with corrections and clarifications

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Guys in Uniform - 10 A sailor and a soldier

Postscript (September 2011) 
It turns out I was completely wrong to attribute this picture to GIU
 - it's a genuine Royale picture, see Royale Article 17
But otherwise my observations stand.
 Sailor in shorts cornered

My final sailor picture (in this sequence) from GIU is a simple one but I think this is a little gem. The sailor has a nice build, an interesting facial expression and his clothes look right. And there's an interesting lump in his shorts too! It's not easy to make the RN cap look sexy, particularly when it's worn correctly but this picture does it. The foreground figure with his tight khaki shorts also looks sexy. The view between his legs as he stands with fists on his hips is artfully constructed to make the sailor look cornered and threatened. 
This picture invokes the time when off-duty rivalry between the services was quite liable to erupt into brawls. Just one small flaw! The soldier's shapely legs appear to be bowing inwards, probably because his feet are turned out. It slightly detracts from the menacing stance but otherwise this is a perfect finale for the mitchmen review of the work of 'Guys In Uniform' Studio.
Next time I will be looking at GIU's predecessor from the 1950's - Royale Studio.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Guys in Uniform - 9 Sailors in the rigging

Sailor dropping his pants
More sailor imagery featuring the tattooed man we saw in an earlier post as a soldier. The flap front whites are perfect for erotic purposes and have been tightened up to create revealing contours. The bowed head of the matelot dropping his trousers (like an oriental genuflection) conveys not only submission but the possibility of a spanking too. GIU pictures often seem to be steering an erratic course between artful suggestion and overt sexual display. The bucket probably denotes a floor scrubbing punishment in the offing which is of course a convincing explanation of why trouser removal is appropriate. Well it might have been in those days!A Flogging In The RiggingI believe this picture is from a different series but it has similar ingredients - tight clothes and indications of painful punishment. We have seen both the rope and rigging props before and we will see them again in interesting circumstances.
Although the men and the scenarios are interesting erotically, the pictures in these sets somehow lack energy and bite. GIU pictures always looked posed, but as I have pointed out, there is often an artful eroticism which lifts them if you look harder. It's as though the naval setting did not inspire the muse of the photographer.

Saturday 24 July 2010

Guys in Uniform - 8 The Cheeky Sailor

This review of Guys In Uniform would not be complete without a look at sailors (as those of you who know my interests would expect!). 
Sailor in the Rigging
Examples of this set have been circulating quite a lot on the net recently and were a new find for me. They also appear in part 3 of this survey, on the pages of the magazine which 'No 3' is reading. The usual tight clothing and chunky thighs are in evidence and the Naval Uniform suffers a mild adaptation for erotic purposes. Instead of shorts it's the sailor's jumper that is rolled up in order to display his curvaceous abdomen.The belt holding it up looks like an authentic piece of kit but it doesn't belong in this combo! The jumper top is authentic Royal Navy issue but he also sports an incongruous US Navy cap, presumably to add a nationalistic edge to the storyline. I have to say it doesn't look particularly good worn this way. It's no worse than the liberties taken with Army kit but when you add in the theatrical rigging the result is the wrong sort of camp compared with the usual products of this studio.
RN Flogging
However, all is not lost, this model's great assets are not allowed to go to waste! There's still an element of the glamour pose in this picture as the USN submits to a traditional RN punishment but we're back on the tracks here! This picture actually shows off two of the most attractive features of the Royal Navy uniform - the square collar (left) which flatters strong shoulders and the flannel undershirt (right) with it's square cut, open neckline which presents the erotic curves of youthful necks to tremendous effect.

Friday 23 July 2010

Guys in Uniform - 7 Willing to Learn


This series is an example of the more fantastical imaginings of "Guys in Uniform" Studio (GIU). The guards shown here are wearing military helmets representive of ruthless authoritarianism, but the rest of their gear delves into the nooks and crannies of leather fetish and bdsm. 

You can just see the leather apron from the previous post worn under a rubber trench coat on the right. There are also waders and rubber boots, harnesses and corset-like, heavy, leather belts not to mention the classic white jockstrap seen here struggling to control its contents. The combination is all the more disconcerting because of its strangeness.


 The contrast with the prisoner could not be greater. He is diminutive in stature, dwarfed by the intimidating guards, but like the other models we have seen, he is clearly no wimp. His shoulders are broad and his muscular thighs bulge out of neatly-fitting, traditional, sports shorts. The stretching exercise shown here creates the impression that this is an examination or a punishment fatigue. His close-cropped hair adds a touch of military authenticity.


Stripped of his flattering shorts the prisoner suddenly seems quite boyish and shy. He submissively places his hands behind his back and averts his eyes from the guard's stony stare. He looks lost and the camera's remote viewpoint accentuates this. However, some judicious cropping (below) brings out the power play.


This image is actually a late example (1978) of hidden eroticism. At this time it was quite possible to sell gay magazines showing naked men in high street shops but arousals and explicit sexual content were not tolerated. Thus there is no frontal nudity in this scene and the two men are not directly facing each other - or even looking at each other's bodies it seems.

However, the direction of the prisoner's gaze is carefully angled to suggest he might be or has been looking at the guard's shapely jockstrap, which itself is almost hidden in the shadows. If you click on the full picture to enlarge it you will also see that the guard's feet are also spaced apart quite suggestively converting him from a stern custodian to a teasing provacateur (of uncertain intentions). The naive observer would miss this but it alerts other interested viewers to the possible existence of more explicit and racy material.


This is one of the better photographs in the set with the naked captive exhibiting shapely buttocks and a sexy tuft of hair projecting underneath. I know some of my readers will appreciate the view of his feet too. The multiplicity of straps curving round the guard's buttock cast an erotic light on what otherwise seems like over-dressing.

GIU gave this set the title "Willing to Learn" in one of their magazines, which is a trifle disingenuous but certainly fits this scene where the novice appears to be receiving instruction on where to direct his attention. Or is that crooked finger promising a different, more penetrating lesson for him?

In the original images the German helmet bears the swastika insignia of the the Nazi party which I have doctored out as being inappropriate for a gay blog in 2016. In 1978 the symbol was associated more with the the excesses and cruelty of the Gestapo rather than Facism in general. The purpose here was to invoke the threat of terrible cruelty not to promote a political ideology. An IS fighter with his black flag would be the modern equivalent. Tasteless shorthard for terror.

This image was used as part of an advertisment (below) for the racier material and the the words bottom right are part of the copy which simply reads "Now! Great Guys, Great Color, Great Prints" 

Underneath the Studio offers 20 assorted 5"x 5" color prints for $15, 
note that it is specifically targeting the US market.


 The novice sets to his task, which is doing lots of press-ups of course. Well perhaps not!
As a portrayal of submissiveness this image is hard to beat despite being incomplete. The impressive fleshy, bottom display is humiliating for him and provocative for everyone else. That hint of chubbiness perhaps won't appeal to everyone, but if you like this model, he also appears in GIU8 as a cheeky sailor.


Those dissenters from the chubby fan club might be mollified by the scene that is revealed as we draw back to see the full picture. A cane has suddenly appeared in the hands of the principal guard and the young man's fleshy buttocks suddenly acquire an altogether differently enticing character. This is a lousy copy, but you can almost sense a surge of excitement inside that lurking guard's jockstrap.  

This guard's sudden transformation from tempting allurer to agent of spanking retribution would not surprise the readers of the original magazine, the British Police were still routinely employing entrapment tactics against gay men at this time, that background spices the scene with a cruel authenticity.

The cane has always seemed to me to be the most vicious of spanking implements, ever since I saw an errant classmate reduced to tears in front of the class by a single stroke - and that from a teacher who had up to that point seemed like a genial old man. It's sudden appearance at this stage is raw threat and supremely erotic.


In ordering these images I have been primarily guided by the state of undress of the participants and this image could fit almost anywhere after image 2. I've placed it here because on the original magazine page it is set alongside image 5a and it does make a decent link between 5 and 7 as the young man rises to his feet for the next part of his next ordeal.

The arm wrestling here seems a little bit tame. You can see the potential of the idea but it's the posing of the prisoner that makes most of these images work and he's not performing so well for us here. It seems rather static and lacking in edge. It probably doesn't help that the youth of the second guard suddenly becomes apparent in this picture (and the next)


The prisoner is certainly back on form in this picture. The artificiality of the 'wheelbarrow' pose creates a spectacular visual effect that is quite arty. It will be a familiar arrangement to spanking fans, but it's appearance in this wierd pseudo-military scenario is quite unexpected, contrasting with the very basic and unathletic intimidation tactics that have gone before.

It introduces a curious sense of formal ritual implying this unfortunate young man is merely the latest of a succession of pawns subjected to this humiliating process. Like all rituals it's simultaneously ridiculous and scary. It is designed to make him feel exposed and powerless while the guards enjoy the sense of pleasure and superiority that comes from imposing their order on him.  It's very grotesqueness underlines their arbitrary power.


This version of the picture is of higher resolution and clearer but it has come from a different, 'mainstream' magazine and has been self-censored by the publishers. However, you can see how the wheelbarrow position enhances the enticing plumpness of the target area.


After all the intimidating build-up, the final restraint and punishment is portrayed more symbolically, and this composition is quite balletic. The prisoner's outflung arm and eye contact with the camera, as though appealing to us for help, successfully conjures up a sense of pain, fear and desperation to escape. The way the guards hold open the prisoner's legs in these last two pictures is highly erotic even if we can't see very much down there.


In this image the principal guard has uncovered his cock and it proves to be moderately aroused (but still pointing downwards, which was OK). You can see his jockstrap pouch has been pushed to one side. The pose of the young novice seems the epitome of submission. On his knees with legs wide open and arms folded behind his back he looks up respectfully at his Master who towers above
......and I do like that tuft of bum hair.

Another, highly effective portrayal of domination and submission. The Guard's pose is more relaxed in this image and more effective than the rather tense shoulders in 9. The prisoner bows his head and shows him his neck in an exceptional act of resignation to whatever is coming his way. As a final treat we even get a glimpse of his scrotum.


I interpret this image as the exhausted prisoner being returned to the cells, with a guard of honour out of respect for his endurance, but there are other ways of fitting it into the sequence. Interestingly the second guard is reduced to a beast of burden here which makes you wonder what else his colleague might have in store for him.


This set of images by "Guys in Uniform" Studio must be one of the most impressive of all the 'Royale' genre. Yes, the posing is a little stilted, the models less than God-like and the photography not quite as luscious as we have become accustomed to these days. The clothing the guards wear is somewhat bizarre, but that strangeness is threatening in itself and the pure fetishistic essence of these images - domination and submission - is startlingly focussed and is not overly impaired by the cautious treatment of the sexual elements. I would love to see what a photographer like Justin Monroe might make of this subject.

I have produced a modified set of these images
that play on the sense of strangeness (Wierd Punishment)

Thursday 22 July 2010

Guys In Uniform - 6 The Leather Leotard

Servant of Leather

The set showing two Soldiers acting out domination scenarios, which we saw in the last post, continues in an unexpected direction. The submissive man helps the other to dress in a curious leather garment. It's something like an heavy apron and it appears in a number of GIU pictures which I have and appears to have a huge fetishistic significance. This is conveyed to some extent by the ritualistic feel of the dressing scene above, which is suggestive of a soldier donning armour prior to combat. 
Leather Suit
This picture shows the garment more clearly. It's worn by a different model who has a very chunky build and it's obvious that only a big man should attempt to wear it. Even this man is in danger of being overwhelmed by it. From one standpoint it there is an air of intimidation and menace, the bib top prompts mental connections with Blacksmiths and even Butchers. But there's also a feeling that this strong man is actually constrained by the garment, is a servant of it. It diminishes his manhood and his face is the face of a prisoner.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Guys In Uniform - 5 Two guys in rolled-up shorts

Two Big Guys In Uniform

GIU models were regular guys, the two shown here have ordinary, imperfect faces and bodies but big masculine personalities. GIU's odd uniform of rolled up shorts and gaiters makes another appearance. Whatever the aesthetics of the look, there is a sense of sex and danger in this image. It looks as though GIU was trying to use standard military wear to achieve a 'rough' version of the 'tight shorts' look, shown in the picture below.
This picture is not by GIU but this look was a standard pin-up device from the 50's onwards. I won't sully my pages by showing one here but you may have seen a similar pin-up pictures of women in tight shorts and vest like top - often posing with large beach ball. The shorts of the man on the left actually create a similar effect to the female version - but look much better of course. Incidentally, this picture of the two sailors made a great impression on me when I first saw it as a youth. The shorts were legitimate outdoor wear but wearing them so tight with revealing bulges and undone zips seemed shockingly sexual to me then.
Picture 3 is an impressive submission image. The implication of boot licking isn't really essential, nor is the nudity, the power of the image comes from the kneeling model. With his head resting on the floor and hands voluntarily placed behind his back, he makes himself defenceless and totally submissive. The upright military posture and casual downward look of his companion provides the yang to his yin. I marvel at the ability of this studio to create such memorable power images.

Monday 19 July 2010

Guys in Uniform - 4 Athletes disciplined

Guys In Uniform - Athletes Receiving a Reprimand

Guys in Uniform often employed conventional military power relationships in their scenarios. Here two soldiers dressed in sports gear/gym kit are reprimanded by a uniformed soldier in what appears to be a formal disciplinary hearing. 

This picture is a bit stiff but that reflects the military formality of the scene. The man on the left has impressive chunky legs and his submissive, hangdog look is very effective. His companion looks less concerned, seeming to smirk.

These are different models to previous Guys-In-Uniform posts but we have seen both these vests before and the sports shoes. The reuse of items of clothing is valuable in verifying that these pictures are from Guys-In-Uniform Studio (GIU). 

forced to undress, ear tweaking punishment
Guys in Uniform - Athletes Made to Strip Naked and Grovel

In the second picture the scene has moved beyond regulation treatment. The hunkier soldier is now naked, revealing a stunning upper body physique. He is crawling on the floor, away from under the desk as though he has just been punished.

His colleague is also naked but appears to have defected to the other side. Arms crossed he watches a third young soldier (clad in Guys-In-Uniform, regulation tight vest and shorts) who is being humiliated and punished with an ear tweaking.


I don't have the rest of this set but it looks as if the offenders are being forcibly undressed at the desk and possibly bent over it to be spanked. There's some stunning imagery here although the overall composition is a bit confusing. If anyone has the missing bits, I'd love to see them!

Sunday 18 July 2010

Guys In Uniform - 3 Boxer caught with porn

'Guys in Uniform' had a flair for using clothing to show off the models in a sexy way, but they didn't just rely on tight shorts. I talked about the numbered vests in the last post. In these pictures the guys wear those vests to highlight below the waist level nudity.

1. Boxer Relaxing

The first picture looks like a scene setter, a boxer has dropped his shorts whilst enjoying a porn mag featuring a sailor (more of whom later!). Obviously discovery and punishment will follow. The clingy vest highlights his upper body but leaves the groin uncovered. At this time in the UK, nudity began to be OK but erections were not. This compromise is both sexy and attractive but it pushes at the boundary. The just-visible jar of Vaseline is a classic 'hidden clue' doubling up the sexual charge for those who see it and understand what it means. For modern eyes the natural-looking pubes are refreshing.

So much about this 'simple' picture is clever. The boxing shorts with their distinctive label and chunky waistband are emblematic of manhood and toughness. In this pose, they also seem to suggest ankle restraints. The soles together position of the feet is a classic unconscious, awkward, youthful habit which charms the older viewer. The resulting open legged stance produces some nice shapely curves in his legs.

2. Made to Grovel
Picture 2 shows the same vest but not the same model (I think!). This is the best shot I have showing how the GIU vest brings out the shape of the fit body including the parts it doesn't cover.

The khaki shorts, rolled up to so as to seem briefer are another 'Guys in Uniform' icon. As a compromise between authentic clothing and sexy apparel it's not completely successful. I've always wondered why they didn't roll them up on the ouside, which was a common practice in that era not only for shorts but for jeans and shirt sleeves as well. (James Dean style).

The gaiters worn by the man with the cane are another slightly odd feature, they serve no purpose with shorts but as a form of strapping there is a bondage connection, I suppose. The same comment applies to the riding boots (on the right) although they do work as fetish garments here.

Although a cane is being brandished, this picture is really about bullying, domination and vulnerability. The partially undressed state of the men is sexual of course but also makes it seem like normal discipline has broken down. This slightly disturbing 'edge' is evident in other pictures by this studio and no doubt contributed to their downfall.

Apart from this, the mitchmen motto 'putting men in their place' could hardly be better illustrated.

Saturday 17 July 2010

Guys in Uniform 2 - Caning by Numbers

1 Caning by Numbers
Another Guys in Uniform gym punishment series but this time it's a uniformed soldier handing it out. You'll recognise the tight shorts but the numbered vests feature in several of these sets as well. They cling and show off the model's bodies but the numbers are depersonalising as well, heightening the sense of submission. Another nice pair of legs but the dunces cap doesn't really work for me.

2 Jump to it!
In the second picture the man receiving the punishment (number 4) is restrained by cords on his wrists, quite daring even in the 70's. Much of this set seems rather 'posed' and not quite as sexy as the previous one we looked at, but this image capturing the victim jumping in the immediate aftermath of a stroke is original and rather good.

At the end of the set the lads turn on their tormentor and give him a taste of his own punishment - a favourite device of GIU.

Friday 16 July 2010

Guys In Uniform 1 - Cane stripes

Royale (1950's) and Guys in Uniform (1970's) were two studios that specialised in producing sexy pictures with a strong flavour of military discipline. The pictures pushed at the boundaries of acceptability for their times and the men in them were reputedly genuine servicemen. Both of these facets shocked the establishment and provoked repeated police raids and prosecutions which eventually caused them to collapse. There's an interesting article at milism about their history and the connections between the two studios.

They produced some outstanding images which have always inspired me. Although they inevitably reflect their times, they still have impact today and in this series of articles I want to review some of my favourites. 
1 Ready for Punishment

The chances are you will have seen today's images before. They come from a set produced by 'Guys in Uniform' and is probably the best known example of their work - with good reason! The situation of two men in PT kit up for punishment with a cane is erotic enough for spankers! You are immediately struck by the tight white shorts which are lit to show off the target areas very well, and the glimpse of bulges between the legs is amazing, especially for an era when nudity was a no no. We can see that these are men not boys!
Tight white shorts were a universal icon in gay imagery at this time, these days a picture like this would feature white underwear but otherwise the image is timeless. The hems of their shorts show off chunky thighs while the ankle socks with blue hoops (also classic sports wear in their day) reveal solid calves - these men are fit!

2 Waiting his turn
They way these men are dressed is intended to relect the military setting where discipline would indeed be administered in gym kit, underwear would be entirely inappropriate. In picture 2 punishment is in progress but my eye is drawn to the man facing the wall, he has a beautiful figure and the upright posture (a cross between at attention and at ease) is manly but submissive. It creates a visual effect that is a treat for neck freaks like me. The bare backside is a departure from military standards but is well worth it in this man's case.

The man wielding the cane is less convincing, his shorts are not really shorts at all
 and his face and hair don't conjure up the look of a military disciplinarian
 - You need a Nick Moretti or a Spencer Reed for that!
More in the next post.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Summary of 'M' Artists

I have covered 23 different fetish artists in my survey of the letter 'M' - a staggering number including many whose subject matter is very controversial. Selecting my customary 'favourite' is going to be a major challenge. There are three criteria which I usually employ - Technical quality, Fetish content and Sensuality.

Fetish Content is probably the least helpful criterion in this case, such is the array of peversity represented by these artists! For a whole host of 'M' artists it's the subject matter which catches the eye more than anything else - much of it pushing at the most challenging boundaries of conventional taste. Martin of Holland certainly takes the prize for breadth of subject matter - and it's successful erotic portrayal. Malex and Mike Carcel's bizarre festivals of death and torture also stand out. But who could overlook Manflesh and Mack's tragic victims, Macbeth's scary aggressors and Mishima's classic bondage poses?

When it comes to technical skill, Marquis's sometimes quirky but beatiful images are worth a mention as are the figure drawing skills of Mike Carcel. Mishima's delicate Japanese bondage images score for their simplicity and elegance but one other 'M' really stands out in this respect - Max whose work was a revelation when I surveyed it properly for this review. His picture 'Stone Step' demonstrates his original technique and ability to create a compelling, beautifully balanced and wonderfully erotic image.

The final quality I look at is the sensuality of the image, it's visual appeal - a quality typified for me by Tom of Finland's early work. 'Arty' work, comic styles and simple figure drawings like those of Malex tend to loose out in this area although the voluptuous bulges of Mentaiko and the cute, fleshy captives of moc put in a good bid. Manflesh's handsome, hunky heroes also score highly as do the silky skin tones of Martin of Holland and the stylish dramas of Max. But for all round appeal I favour Matsugoroh's sweaty, chunky rugby men and Mishima's subtle eroticism and elegance of style.

Putting all these factors together and adding in my entirely unscientific, personal preferences gives me a final shortlist of favourites - Mishima, Manflesh and Matsugoroh and picking a winner from these is relatively easy - it's got to be Mishima. I've represented him here with a mitchmen-esque captive sportsman.

Mitchell's A-Z of Fetish Artists - Moc

Moc's refreshing style and lightly nuanced peril situations deserve to be better known.
Moc - Safeword
'Safeword' captures a very erotic bondage pose but the addition of an obviously gloating captor and the stop sign is seriously threatening despite the humorous treatment. Regular readers will know I prefer good fetish art to be unlaced with humour but Moc's pictures can be mentally flipped.
Moc - Tight Shift (Caught)
He captures clean cut youth very well and the Tight Shift - Caught picture is surprisingly erotic considering it's lack of explicitness. The dangling cuffs and anxious expressions fire the imagination for what is to follow.
moc - Tight Shift (Getting to know..)

Getting to know... is a later picture in the same series and contains elements of menace and humiliation. Once again the faces tell all and the clarity of the bondage detail and gagging is erotic in it's own right. The glimpse of the officer's badge on his gag identifies it as his own ripped shirt prompting the viewer to imagine the preceding scene. The intertwining of the bodies in this picture is ambitious, visually disentangling bodies is difficult in any picture, even photos. The simplified colour palette of the cartoon style doesn't help much in creating the illusion of depth, but Moc just about gets away with it thanks to careful colouring and the uncluttered depiction of the captive's torso's.

The style is economical but surprisingly realistic thanks to accurate overall anatomy and careful selection of points to detail. The characters facial expressions and particularly the eyes are striking. The expression of depth and anchoring of the posed characters in their setting is less convincing but the cartoony style provides an alibi for this. Moc draws on photographic sources but he transforms them into a distinctive, attractive and fascinating images.

Moc's work can be found at the BoundGuys site

To see earlier posts in this series click A-Z in the label list below