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

Monday 25 May 2015

Ulf retrospective - The Year 2001

 My Ulf selections for the year 2000 showed influences from the wider artistic world on his work and that can also be seen in the balletic restraint of the prisoner in these two memorable images from 2001. His pointing toes, vainly seeking the supporting solidity of the floor create a tremendous sense of tension and body stretching. But it is only by flexing his arms that the prisoner can relieve the upwards counter-pull on his nipples. You can almost hear his grunting as his strength begins to fail. Meanwhile his captor is free to examine his unprotected tackle. And there's worse to come.

(There's a backwards look to the dramatic initiation scene from 'A Man Called Horse' (1970) in this pec suspension arrangement).

 The helpless, stretched rigidity of the prisoner, vainly arching away from the punishing blows is a disturbingly irresistible target. Ulf embellishes his buttocks and legs with highlighting that underlines both his erotic attractions and his impotent muscularity. The captor leans back, lazily almost, flexing his legs to transmit the power of his entire body into each leisurely stroke. It's a stock, beefcake pose in essence, but the skill with which Ulf has incorporated it into his image is impressive, creating a suggestion of calculating, frightening malice that goes way beyond routine dungeon play.

 The menace in this image is more melodramatic in style, invoking a medieval dungeon complete with bizarre candelabra. The threat this time is posed by a crouching, beast-like creature straight out of the movies. His whip is probably less intimidating than his low-dangling balls, a motif that is ominously echoed in the large rock attached to the captive's scrotum, as though hinting that this condition is ultimately required of him too. 

Our victim here seems suitably naive and innocent, a sort of male equivalent of Faye Wray. He may have a muscular body and virile chest mat, but there's a distinctly boyish flavour about his characterisation. I like the way the demon's machinations have invaded the private recesses of his conventional white underwear rather than dispensing with it altogether.

You can see how Ulf experiments with light and shadow in these pictures attempting to create dramatic atmosphere. Dispatching the bondage and cbt detail to the back of the picture shows a similar desire to create something more psychological than mere erotic porn. The undefined area under the beast's right arm shows that his technique is still growing.

 There's more evidence of developing technique here in the unconventional view-point and free form composition in which both men seem to float, simultaneously upright and horizontal.
The mesmerised face of the supplicant and the sensuous detailing of the dribbling pre-cum in the middle ground and swollen cock head beyond it is riveting.

In this picture Ulf's faces begin to evolve in a more characterful way, softer and more human. There's an element of caricature on the left but it's intriguing trying to read these expressions which have a sense of earnest duty, possibly dismay, rather than enthusiasm for their shared task. This subtle complexity and the darkened background is almost worthy of an Old Master. I think the attachment of the cock to it's owner could be more subtle, a slight curve to the left as it recedes might accentuate the sense of intrusion but it's an interesting image.

 There's more experimentation with viewpoints and lighting here. It's not surprising to see Ulf exploring the possibilities of fisting but the low key, less than graphic depiction here is rather unexpected. The striking feature of this picture, however, is the knife. It contrasts startlingly with the relaxed poses of the participants but in fact the picture is called 'Night Caller'. And it seems he brought his Crisco with him. Other pictures from this time also show discarded weaponry.

 As weapons go, this one is pretty scary too as witness the one captive's horrified expression and the splayed fingers of his partly-seen companion. We saw another red hot poker in the 2000 selection, but it's threat is a lot less subtle here. However Ulf  refrains from giving more than a hint about where it's headed. This buddy bondage situation is pretty erotic in it's own right as a static image but one can imagine the butt rubbing induced by their attempts to escape that glowing shaft would be something else. (I'd watch out for that floor too with a red hot poker around, it looks like vinyl!)

Ulf brings a ghoulish humour to this entertaining, buddy predicament scene and it's another ball stretching scenario. The torture depends on their continued struggling for it's effectiveness, so we must suppose that either these men are a bit slow on the uptake or else there's something nasty lurking in the shadows! There's a certain kinship here to the suspension images which opened this post.

Continued with The Frontier Series (2001)

Ulf has a blog The Ulfian which is an interesting mix of his art, political comment and selected porn.
There's also an Ulfian fan club on Google Groups which you have to join (it's free). 
The older Fan Club on Yahoo! Groups seems to be inactive now.
to be continued

Monday 18 May 2015

Ulf retrospective - The Year 2000

Ulf has been producing erotic pictures for our entertainment for many years and he has a band of dedicated followers. His CG, photo-assisted work doesn't qualify for my A-Z series but having reached the letter 'U' where there are fairly slim pickings, I thought it would be interesting to showcase his work in parallel. That's no easy task for his output is colossal and he is the only artist in my image collection (apart from Tom of Finland) to be filed year by year. 

The earliest pictures I have are from the year 2000 and interestingly some of his best known images come from this time, like the pulley slave picture above. This picture has a simple directness that is compelling and the moment depicted, as the prisoner begins to discover the true nature of his torment, is  highly erotic. Some upturned toes testify to his discomfort and there's an intriguing bird-like shadow across the captor's midriff that suggests more complex undertones. Ulf's technique is already well developed here although the captor's body below the waist is a little muddy. The hoops restraining the prisoner are impressively chunky, but not entirely convincing.

Dungeon tortures figure prominently in Ulf's 2000 pictures but so too does pissing as a symbol of alpha male dominance. It's a subject that Ulf continues to pursue to the present day but rarely more eloquently than this. The naked, head in toilet, subservient position of the 'sub' is also sexually receptive to the man behind standing astride him so there's a satisfying completeness to the idea and this also provides context for the prodigous organ of the third man at the back.

Ulf - Time Out

There's a studious artiness about this image as the torturer pauses in his work to ponder some, seemingly unrelated, matter. It lends him an air of casual detachment (or perhaps doubt) that only serves to emphasise the implied brutality of these proceedings even if Ulf does actually stop short of blood. Despite the calmness of the image there's a sense of powerful emotional undercurrents. All of these pictures are about men exercising power and the captives and subs are mere vehicles for it, passive supporting players whose consent is not readily apparent.

 Ulf - He's Not Finished Yet

There's some interesting psychology here too, although in quite a different way. The muscular sub is being comprehensively dominated and this qualifies as another definitive image of that power fueled relationship. But this top seems ill at ease with his peers, his raised finger to the unseen new arrival conveying petulance and self doubt as much as anything, defiant perhaps but he's not exactly oozing confidence. 

Ulf faces at this time have smooth, almost robotic quality with exaggerated fleshy lips and darkly outlined, piercing eyes. It creates a quite strange, intimidating appearance that augments the dark menace of the subject matter.

 Ulf - Your Boyfriend's Fucked

Buddy punishment is another fertile avenue for S&M eroticism, playing off the friend's care for each other. However here too Ulf's (unseen) master is not content to simply exercise his power but goes out of his way to humiliate his rival top by dressing him in sheer lingerie and comprehensively fucking his boyfriend - in front of him presumably. I can't decide whether the captive top's muscular response is a saintly rising above these deliberate insults, a self-destructive Sampson-esque revenge under way or a priggish rejection of his fallen lover Either way it portrays an altogether different sort of power derived from mental rather than physical strength.

 Ulf - Task Master

Another well known image and it looks like another top is being tormented not just by his own personal cbt rock (like a hero from Greek mythology) but also by the abuse of his buddy. It's the left hand captive's stretched straddling across his odd double pedestal and the tight visual alignment with the Master standing in front that makes this picture memorable. The right hand side of the picture peters out a bit with half obscured prisoner almost completely separated from the main pair. (I don't recommend trying to insert that size of implement inside an unrestrained man in a dangling cage either!).

Ulf - Where's that Michael?

I have included this image as an illustration of the way Ulf depicts tight clothes at this time. It's almost as if they are painted on in places. Compare the hem stretched over the top of the cock (startlingly effective) with the line of the shoulder straps which follow the contours of the body precisely. If you compare this with the Master's harness in the 2015 'Almost there', you will see a similar but less pronounced wavering in the shoulder lines.

Ulf has a blog The Ulfian which is an interesting mix of his art, political comment and selected porn.
There's also an Ulfian fan club on Google Groups which you have to join (it's free). 
The older Fan Club on Yahoo! Groups seems to be inactive now.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Baron + Sherwin - Doubly Intimidating

 Two studies by the artists Sherwin and Baron.
I don't know whose came first but they are both interesting enough for it not to matter.
 Sherwin - Interrogation

The portable compendium of nasty torture instruments is a fiendishly original way of indicating the prolonged and varied path of pain which lies ahead for the poor, suffering POW. In fact it almost takes over the image, relegating him, who should be the star, to the sidelines.
Baron - No Mercy

Baron quite often includes interesting underwear in his pictures. He's also added a loop or noose around the prisoner's neck whose exact functioning is unclear but it casts the gaping hole at the prisoner's feet in a rather disturbing light.

There are a lot of differences between the two pictures which must tell us something about the two artists interests - but there's no prize for spotting them all! 

See also my previous articles on Baron and Sherwin

Baron has a site called Sub-terranean , Sherwin has a blog, The World of Sherwin

Thursday 7 May 2015

HeatHawk 13 - Striking Shibari Imagery

  The date that went wrong? 

It's as if the captive's right hand seeking to reach the knot in the centre of his back has been frozen there, secured tight in a supreme demonstration of his helplessness. Placing the crucial knot in this unreachable position just between and below the shoulder blades is no accident of course. 

This area of the back is celebrated as a point of ultimate (male) vulnerability in European culture too. Siegfried, the lusty hero of Germanic myths bathes in dragon's blood to make his skin invulnerable, but a leaf settles on this one place he cannot reach leaving a fatal chink in his 'armour'.

In this picture notice how tight the bindings are around his arms and body. The complex roping of Shibari is about power over the captive and this is totally nullified unless the ropes are tight. If they are not, the victim will almost certainly escape, but if he feels an unyielding grip around his body he will know he is truly trapped at his captor's pleasure.

 Date mistake part two. 

Not only are his legs immobilised now, but they are also drawn up towards the centre of his back (that place again), preventing any possibility of using them to leverage movement (if he had anywhere to go). The forced arching of his body is applying a compression to his lower back, which will become most unpleasant in due course.

This man has beautiful legs, chunky and just slightly hairy. The mounding produced by tight roping round thigh and calf produces an unexpectedly erotic shaping of his flesh, like the cut of jockstrap into buttock. Delicious.

Garish duvet covers can ruin a good bondage image but he's got it right here. The muted colours and vague impression of luxurious style throw the captive's body and his plight into striking relief in a way that is quite sinister. I think this one will become a classic.

 One removed from the naughty step. 

Where do you park a prisoner in a small flat when you want to get some sleep? We've all been there! This absurd setting complete with cat food and pasta sauce bottle relegates our hapless hero from being the centre of attention (unsought though that might have been) to the level of those awkwardly shaped, domestic appliances, so useful when needed but so difficult to store when they're not required.

His one-legged position, arms tight back position guarantees he won't get much sleep himself tonight. Tying the elbows and arms tightly together like this will prevent him from escaping too.


This is what helplessness looks like, as the captive cranes his neck to see what is happening to him. He's wondering what comes next, perhaps not anticipating that his restrictive bindings may have completely different properties if his captor chooses to raise him by the rope attached to his left leg.

The act of tying the captive in Shibari is a demonstration of power. He may accede to the first binding but as the process continues he becomes progressively less able to resist (or even to move). The increasing complexity of the rope work and the contortions into which his body is forced at his captor's whim are only made possible by his helplessness, but they reinforce and increase it. Ultimately (as in the second picture above) even the victim's personality becomes secondary to his state of bondage.

This is also a most erotic process, particularly where the artificial posture imposed on him opens up a sexual vulnerability such as opening the legs or pinning the arms back to open up the torso. The extra twist shown here, tying the arms to the ankle at one side, has produced a nice arching of the body.
(N.B.I have cropped this image)

The captive's backless briefs here showcase his beautiful fleshy buttocks far more effectively than total nudity would. His straightened leg exhibits fine erotic curves but so too in a different way does the tightly folded one. The socks and suspenders are a nice detail, a fetish in their own right for some I guess, but for me here they suggest a hasty, unplanned undressing - involuntary perhaps. A businessman snatched off the street.

Notice how the incomplete raising of his body is temporarily applying extra stress to the victim's back. The awkward, twisting tension between his left leg and right arm creates a powerful sense of frontal vulnerability for him. It's amplified by the facial roping whose purpose is not functional but to demonstrate that even his senses and his identity are no longer his to control. 

  In free suspension this unnatural position will soon become very unpleasant.

 Suspension is the ultimate demonstration of power over the captive. 

He is presented in all his helplessness at a convenient height to view and touch.
Meanwhile he suffers the discomfort of his bondage amplified by his own weight levering against the restraints, the suspension points and the contortions of his bondage. 

(N.B.I have cropped this image too)
Suspension allows the captive's body or the master's rope work
(according to preference) to be displayed and inspected at leisure.
Beyond that it creates a dismaying, insurmountable barrier to escape
If space permits, his distance from the ground can be increased to play on his fears.

See more at Heathawk13 (aka Digital Silver) but beware of female dragons!

Saturday 2 May 2015

Gagging For It


I tried to make a 'men sharing clothes' article out of these gag pictures from Bound Guys but the subtle variations in colours they used defeated me. I'm sure there's someone out there into 'used' gags but I can't pin it on these guys!


This is quite a nice bondage picture with the virtue of simplicity
although I suppose you might grumble about the setting.
 The soccer kit looks well on the model's physique 
and his thigh to ankle, open legs restraint is always highly erotic.


The model's tight-fitting shirt creates an impression of tight bondage here,
 even though there's not a rope in sight.


The moments when the gag is secured have a special  frisson
and the model rewards us with a suitably irritated expression.
In contrast, Rex in the first picture above really does seem to be gagging for it. 

Ron Jeffries

One of the virtues of BoundGuys output is the inclusion of the whole spectrum of body shapes and ages. Mature models like Ron above are a welcome change from the young bathing beauties that adorn most sites. Ron earns our attention with a well developed physique that is only enhanced by being tightly restrained. 

Photography by Bound Guys
(Best wishes to founder Caitiff recovering from an accident)