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

Sunday 24 November 2013

Ministry of Silly Hats - 7 The Bowler

Jesse Santana bowled over

I quite enjoy looking at Jesse Santana, He carries more iron-mongery and tattoos than I like, but he flashes a delightful, boyish look sometimes and seems to have a flair for athletic, erotic, body acting that few porn actors can match (see below). My mild hero-worship took a bit of a jolt, however, when he was filmed a little while ago wearing this undignified, bowler hat.

The bowler is pretty much a vanished species, although it still turns up in Fosse-type, dance musicals and occasionally on the catwalk as an accessory to conjure up the respectable City Gent, in order to sell some mildly racy item of clothing, like garish Bermuda shorts.

Ministry Man

As far as I am concerned, however, the bowler indelibly represents middle-aged, grey, overweight and utterly un-sexy City Bankers in suits infused with cigarette smoke and other unpleasant smells. Dogmatic Men from the Ministry too, as immortalised in John Cleese's “Ministry of Silly Walks” (whose inspiration for this series I happily acknowledge!).

But sexy? No.

 D.O. Examines Marc Dylan's accounts

I thought a gentleman was supposed to remove his hat when entering! 

These video stills come from Raging Stallion's video 'Cockwork'. The title is an allusion to “Clockwork Orange” of course, which (together with Oddjob in 'Goldfinger') gifted this hat an element of menace, but it also restated the traditional connection with clowning. Thankfully the studio did not inflict this equally un-sexy indignity on Jesse and his colleagues, although the poor loves did have to wear bright orange knee-pads. Health and Safety. Ho hum!

Jesse interviewed by Dominic Sol

From, 'Suited for Sex' by the same studio, this still shows how city attire can be sexy, although the blue shirt is a trifle loud. Jesse gives us his confused, young innocent look as a searching interview gets personal.

Jesse Santana rides again in Cowboys

No innocence here! An nice example of Jesse's body-art athleticism from Raging Stallion's 'Cowboys' with Tom Wolfe. This image succeeds in being beautiful and romantic as well as sexy.

Back to the bowler. This effort by Kevin McDermott actually comes a lot closer to the spirit of Clockwork Orange. You can mentally flip this image from tomfoolery to menace by focussing on the face and teeth. If this chap was your boyfriend you might think it sexy, but whether the bowler really contributes anything to that feeling is debatable!

For other posts in this series, click on 'hats' in the label list below

Monday 18 November 2013

Igor in Bondage


Bondage never looks better than when it's applied to a big, muscular man.

A construction worker perhaps?
Certainly he's guilty of 'builders bum'!

Igor, minus jeans, kneels in true humility.

Simply beautiful bondage by Vish Studio

Thursday 14 November 2013

Riding The Wedge - more contributions

When I initiated this theme I did not anticipate quite how many contributions from different artists I would uncover. I do not know the identity of the artists in the first 3 examples, so if anyone can help out I would be most grateful.

 The Diabolical Horse (artist unknown)

This group of pictures travels a long way from the original, simple wedge device in search of added excruciation (if that's a real word!). This must be one of the most inventive, an obstacle course that is absurdly challenging. However, the simple drawing of the victim at rest is surely one of the most convincing representations of the basic wedge effect, he is well and truly grounded on the apex of the 'horse', you can almost feel the pressure! The solid sides of the horse contribute greatly to the 'splitting' effect (compare the picture below)

 Treteau (Trestle) - artist unknown

By the same artist, this is a more basic model with added destabilising effect. 
Again, it's beautifully simple, sometimes less is more!
There's clue here that the artist may be French - any ideas, gents?

 Dildo Horse - artist unknown

We saw the dildo variant of the wedge in my A-Z article on Swordman, I'm not sure whether the wedge actually contributes anything to the torture with the dildo acting as go-between and you can see in this picture that the victim is actually raised above the wedge. Compare with the first picture above. I'm not sure what the outer dildo's are for, unless this is a wedge made for three! Actually, you get the impression that torture is not the primary object here. Having said that, it's a nicely rendered image with good body detail and an appealing facial expression. I feel I ought to know this artist but I'm afraid I don't. The drawing style and vibrator detail suggests Japanese origins to me.

For other posts in this series click on the 'wedge' label below

Sunday 10 November 2013

A-Z of Fetish Artists - My Letter 'S' Favourite

It's my custom to pick a personal favourite artist for each letter based on fetish content, sensuality (or eroticism if you like) and technical skill. I automatically eliminate those artists whose contributions to fetish art are small in number, which rules out the likes of otherwise prolific artists like Steven and Sven.

For the letter 'S' I have more contenders than usual but no obvious winner. I suppose Sean is the pinnacle of fetish creativity in this group, but I would not discount SAJ, Skipper or Stud nor Sherwin's exploration of the crucifixion niche. Sergey's fiery cowboy epic is equally worthy but I must reluctantly discount him simply because I know of no other work by him.

I enjoy Spryte's work, and envy his humour, but cartoonists usually struggle to make the cut in my survey because I prefer an element of seriousness to be present, which is why out of my Spryte selection I like best his jungle plant picture 'Juice'.

When it comes to sensuality, Sepp, Silencio, Swarbrick, Sp-i-nt (and Sergey again) put in strong bids. Sabian's naïve work also has an inexplicably effective eroticism.

The technical leaders must be Sepp, Sherer, Silencio and Ira Smith. My choice is made more difficult this time by the presence of artists whose work goes beyond the simple depiction of erotic events and therefore seems 'important', notably Swarbrick.

My gut instinct is to narrow the choice down to Sean, Swarbrick and Silencio, with Sherwin and Stud close behind. Of the top 3, Silencio is my undoubted visual favourite, strong on masculinity but perhaps too light in fetish identity. Swarbrick's images are amazingly evocative and alluring, but again the fetish ingredient is incidental and they flirt with immaturity more than I really like. 

Sean on the other hand created some amazing imagery in his 'Bound and Gagged' period and this kidnap scene is quite a good example. It is not technically flawless, although Sean is not the first artist to be caught out by the perspectives of the hog-tie position (there's a similar image in Etienne's 'Sailor Beware' series). Anyway I love the underwear bulge. It's powerful art for it's time and I don't think the other artists in this letter are strong enough to displace him from the top spot. 


So my choice for the letter 'S' is Sean. I've chosen this final example by him of two buddies being introduced to the whip in a scene full of anxiety and energy.

For earlier articles in this series, click on the A-Z label below

or search by name in the masthead box.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Sylvia Baker (aka 'Silverkitty')

Silverkitty - You Look Good Like That
Sylvia Baker's art inhabits fantastical worlds and contains mostly non-fetish themes, but she has produced some interesting captivity images worth mentioning here. This first example is beautifully simple, but as you explore, it begins to swirl with erotic charge. You realise the handsome, muscular captive is sweating with fear (and shame?) as his juice is extracted from him. He passively offers up his lips to his captor, whom he cannot see. You can almost see this hero slipping down the slope of submission. 

I often comment on the use of clothing in imagery and it plays a dual role here. It emphasises the captor's controlling position and his captive's vulnerability but paradoxically the removal of the victim's clothing has exposed his manly strength and beauty, attributes which make his plight all the more thrilling. The captor's sinister character is expressed with visual signals like the calculating, narrowed eyes and black gloves. It's classic, melodrama stuff really, but the artist has succeeded in reviving it's magic in a modern erotic context.

Silverkitty - Why They Call Him Master Miller
A good deal of fetish art and photography depicts bound men simply as isolated objects of sexual desire, available to feed the viewers imagination. Sometimes they are shown being used and abused, but nearly always avoiding any expression of tender intimacy. Thus the hovering kiss in the first picture is a rare phenomenon, but this monochrome image goes further in expressing the irresistible erotic appeal of the helpless captive, showing that it's an opportunity to touch and taste (a fate which some victims might find equally as unpleasant as outright torture). The captor's embrace restrains his captive, enabling him to apply his tests at close quarters and feel his subject squirming in response, feel his heart pounding.

Sylvia Baker's men often have Yaoi-like, chiselled, aesthetic faces and luxuriant hair (à la Playgirl) which makes quite a contrast to the traditional, butch, male stereotype of much fetish art. The Shibari style of bondage employed here is a further reflection of a man of thoughtful, unhurried tastes, with a desire to create beauty while reinforcing on his subject his complete helpless captivity.

Silverkitty - We Don't Give Up
The last two images, which come from the 'Ravenwood' comic, reflect a more traditional male ideal. The evidence of physical abuse of this chained captive gives context to the angry, defiant expression. The sense of lurking, 'real' violence gives this, and other pictures by the artist, a distinctive edge. However, the idealised muscularity and willowy body pose, topped off with tumbling hair and carefully judged chin and body stubble, conveys to us a sexual power, undimmed by torture.

Silverkitty - 'Ravenwood 3' Cover Art
In this final image the iron collar, chains and retracted arm position create a marvellous sense of helplessness and for some reason I find the glimpse of buttock cleavage rather pleasant! 

The face
is not quite so well drawn but full of pent-up emotion to match the immobilisation of his body. If you study the back of the head and the angle of the ears, it looks as if the face was originally drawn looking straight ahead, and then adjusted to show the angry profile. It makes a more interesting picture but the 'surgery' is not quite seamless, which gives us an interesting insight into the creative process.

I admit to having some discomfort about including art created by women in this series but I have introduced several in 'the letter S' based entirely on their merits as fetish artists. In Sylvia Baker's case there seem to be distinctive qualities, which I have pointed out above, seeming to reflect a slightly different viewpoint from my male representatives, but it's not an uncongenial one.

For earlier articles in this series, click on the A-Z label below
or search by name in the masthead box.