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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Royale Studio 15 - Sporting Hunks

Royale - Soccer Player Tying Laces

I'm going to conclude this Royale review with a selection of sporting images which are really just pin-ups and not tied in directly to the themed sets I have discussed before. These pictures showcase the famous tight shorts that were the hallmark of the studio, although they weren't alone in using this iconography (Scott Studio was probably the foremost exponent of the technique).

In the first picture the informal pose of a soccer player tying his laces has a nice masculine intimacy about it, but it is transformed into erotica by the application of water to his skin tight shorts. The reproduction quality has suffered over the years but it is a great example of subtle erotica.


Royale - Footballer in Tight Shorts

This picture is a good deal less subtle but the contrast between the standard issue football shirt and footwear and the tiny squeezed-in shorts conjures up an erotic fantasy from an otherwise everyday image. The left foot extended forward could be interpreted as a foot fetish flavouring - or maybe it's just to relieve the strain on the flimsy shorts - and model's groin! Whatever the case, the combination of enlarged boots with the model's impressively tapered torso has somehow created a curious shrinking effect around his lower body. For me thoughts of how the model was persuaded to climb into these garments - at a time when sexy underwear for me was unheard of - is just as erotic as the visual result.


Royale - Footballer Face Down on a Bench

This is a better known image and it relies a lot on the entirely unnatural, passive pose for it's impact. In the context of Royale's other subject matter it immediately suggests a punishment scenario but the open defenceless pose also invites the viewer to savour the model's body. The shorts play their part erotically, but in a more subtle way than my previous examples making the image less artificial. The viewpoint obviously makes the most of the model's thighs but you get the impression that the care has also been taken to highlight his muscular arms and calves by carefully positioning rolled-back sleeves and socks.


Royale - Cyclist in Tight Shorts

My final picture is a much prized, recent addition to my collection and once again uses an everyday pose to impressive effect. You can just imagine how Royale's fans might have fantasised about those famous shorts appearing in their own favourite, real life situations and on their favourite crush. The bicycle is an unusual erotic prop - surprisingly so when you consider the shape of the saddle and it's position relative to the bottom in the riding position. It associates the model with youthful pursuits , athleticism and independence. An example of boyish associations which Royale and GIU both flirted with from time to time in a nostalgic way - their models are never immature.

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