To my readers......

SITE UPDATE NOTICE

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

The Caps and Collars/ Flat Cap Gang story at Google Groups is temporarily paused but I hope to resume soon. (see Group News for link)

Message updated 6th Jan 2022

Sunday, 30 January 2022

101 Uses For A Belt - No 6, Upper Arm Restraint


 Belts come in handy here for improvising a dodge-ball training target

This mitchmen team have a very efficient way of testing the resilience of new recruits.

Its' no good going in for contact sports if you can't take the knocks!

~

I love this picture, the simple arm and wrist restraint is so effective both visually and practically and the sense of unexpected combination of helplessness and bizarre threat in a gym of all places is superb. It's hard to credit that it's from Kink.com.

~

Image of Adam Knox,  from Bound In Public, Arrogant Gym Rat punished (incl video clip)

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Royale Studio 3c - Navy Gash (part 2)

continued from NAGA Part 1

Royale Studio - Navy Gash 09

Tom lifts Percy's shirt and begins to scrub his bare torso with a stiff brush. Percy understandably grits his teeth. Meanwhile Ned is fumbling with Percy's top button as though determined that the rest of his water will get inside his trousers and not end up on his own bell-bottoms and the floor.

There's an interesting conjunction between Ned's thumb and Tom's balls in the background which have obviously been blurred, presumably because their shape was just too risqué. Lower down, Ned's jug, like the coal hod he used in Navy Romeo 2, has a spout with phallic qualities and just happens to be positioned opposite the apex of Percy's crotch, as if it might be inserted between his legs to cup his tackle or catch whatever might come out......

 

Royale Studio - Navy Gash 10

 

Percy is forced to turn and bend over submissively, with his head between Tom's legs, so that Tom can get going on scrubbing his back. The domination and submission implicit in this interaction is erotic enough, but the humble scrubbing brush is also called up here to become Tom's phallic symbol, gripped in his hand and strategically positioned directly in front of his crotch.

Meanwhile Ned's own phallic substitute, the jug, is also positioned level with Percy's groin and angled towards it - and his ass, which shows through his saturated trousers leaving a something to the imagination, but not much. Ned's free hand reaches underneath Percy, but it's only to grip his arm this time.

 

Royale Studio - Navy Gash 11

The first thing you notice in this picture is Tom's amazing ass in the foreground and then Ned's equally well-upholstered crotch. They both seem engaged in a determined, truly manly struggle. The sexual chemistry that these two men and the photographer manage to create between them is still amazing 60 years on from the shoot. Percy, the immediate focus of their attentions fades away in comparison, pushed aside almost, even though he's just had his bell bottoms pulled down and bare ass exposed. 

Tom is really getting into it now and has jumped down from his position standing on the bath, intent on attacking Percy's exposed nether regions with the same gusto he applied to his torso. He reaches towards Percy almost as though he's preparing to mount him. Ned is reduced to hanging on to Percy's shirt so he can't escape, but his open, thrusting pose adds an extra dimension of struggle and sexual excitement that's also reflected in the water swilling on the floor.

 Percy's bare cheeks, glimpsed through a carefully constructed gap between Tom's arm and body, are discreetly shadowed but are far from being hidden. Tom's brush is poised close by, but strangely reversed as though he no longer intends to use it for scrubbing, but for some other torment. Tom's curling hand encircles Percy's cheeks and he has a curious, three-fingered grip on the handle of the brush which I can't quite explain, but looks sexy. 

This scene has a sense of sexual menace which is far greater than anything that happens to Ted in Navy Romeo 2. Royale draws a veil over what happens next, but the next image seems to indicate that it wasn't much fun for Percy.


Royale Studio - Navy Gash 12

There's a feast of backsides here as Percy is dragged back to his berth. His lower body is twisted so his ass is turned away slightly awkwardly, as if he's suffering discomfort down there. It leaves us just a slight glimpse of cleft, but there may have been a deliberate decision by Royale to avoid showing the 'full on' rear view, although that would have completed the image rather neatly. 

Ned's S-shape pose creates a great shot of his shoulders and back - and a startling ass dimple which would have probably looked far less sexy if it wasn't for those clinging trousers he is wearing. Once again he manages to inject his own sexual dimension into the shot by thrusting his lower body into Percy's armpit. Tom pose by contrast seems almost sympathetic to Percy, he simply displays static bulk, but with cheeks nicely separated by the tight centre seam of his (water stained) trousers. 

Visually, Percy's sadly sagging body and bare ass can't compete with all this testosterone.


Royale Studio - Navy Gash 13

Percy's plight now takes a more sinister turn as his tormentors tie him, spread-eagled X-fashion, to the clothes stand on which their street clothes are hung. If you can take your eyes off Tom's bottom you'll see that Percy's unbuttoned pants are not only sagging, flap down, but to such an extent that his pubic hair can just be seen and the lines of his groin are clearly visible diving down towards his crotch (which is at exactly the same height as Tom's head - of course!). 

Ted was tied to a tree in Navy Romeo 2 and his trousers peeled down to reveal his ass too but this frontal tease is much more daring, a very sexy display for it's time. It's bookended to one side by Ned's shapely figure. He's out of the main picture for once but still pushes himself slightly forward as if he's itching for more. The image is marred only by a slightly untidy composition and background, which gives a sense that this moment has been improvised rather than carefully thought out and posed. 


Royale Studio - Navy Gash 13 (detail)

However, this cropped detail perhaps give a greater sense of the simmering sexuality.
The King Bees circle the honey pot preparing to extract the juice.

In the background you can see more clearly the picture on the wall which might be one of Royale's own booted Horse Guards studio images, although the undulating ground at the bottom suggests this is not a studio picture.

Also behind, hanging on the washing line is a RN shirt, made in cut down form as a bib which can be worn under the standard jersey top to give the same square-cut neck effect as a full shirt. I don't know if these were ever used by real sailors or if they are just a Royale prop. A bib like this also features in another well-known Royale picture (below)

 

Royale Studio - Sailor in shorts and bib shirt

This picture shows a sailor wearing a similar bib with waist ties, seen from behind. Attached to it is the famous navy square collar (conspicuously unironed, tut,tut). It's possibly the same one as that seen on the left in NAGA picture 03.

This man has a more muscular physique than the NAGA/NARO crew and is therefore able to carry off shorts which are a much looser fit than the Royale Studio's norm. They give a nice sight of shapely legs and particularly the upper thighs, being actually shorter than they look. They are pulled up tight between the crotch but there's little or no stretching across the buttocks otherwise. Intriguingly, they appear to be split open down the back seam – or is that wishful thinking on my part?

I don't have any other pictures from this 'bib' series, I suspect the model might be Brian Melloy who featured in one of the 'Rigging' finds but I'm still working on that.


Royale Studio - Navy Gash 14

 

With Percy now helplessly spread-eagled and anxiously looking down at his sagging bell-bottoms, Ned takes a grip on his arm and looks set to resume scrubbing in this very sensitive area. His brush is pointed directly towards Percy's crotch which is suggestive in itself, but the bristles are angled upwards slightly as if he's aiming to go down under, between his legs. That brush looks new too, so the bristles must still be very stiff. No wonder Percy is pulling away! Tom stands back, idly watching and showing us his succulent backside.

Notice the scissors lying on the floor. Perhaps they were used to cut the cord for Percy's ties, since they don't appear to have been used on his clothes which were either a real uniform or, more probably, part Royale's precious, hand-made, wardrobe stock (hence the lousy fit).

 

Royale Studio - Navy Gash 15

We don't get to see how this scene develops because the next picture jumps to showing Percy no longer spread-eagled but standing with his back to us with his hands are tied together at the back of his neck. The bullies have scrawled 'Navy Gash' on the back of his shirt and put his dress cap on his head to make him look ridiculous. He's now lost his trousers altogether and this has revealed a  cute bubble butt to the boys.

The transformation of Percy in these last two images from untidy scruff to lean athleticism is a true revelation. At the equivalent point in 'Navy Romeo', the two mischief makers stand back laughing at their victim, but with Percy they stop and study the sight of his backside rather thoughtfully, perhaps wondering if they've misjudged all this. Even naughty Ned seems in awe. I suspect their own trousers might have just got a bit tighter and there's some surreptitious adjustment going on!

The massive leap in the action from 14 to 15 suggests that there were a lot more images planned for the original set. With Percy bare-assed at this point, it's not hard to imagine that they would have been completely unpublishable at that time and would have certainly been destroyed by the Police if they laid hands on them.

 

Royale Studio - Navy Gash 16

The final image is of the cast posing. I posted this previously in NAGA 3a which introduced this series. It's not actually numbered as 16, so it's conceivable there is another picture which completes the story. The final image in Navy Romeo shows the boys walking off and leaving bare-assed Ted on public display, but if such an image exists for Navy Gash, I don't have it.

~

Despite the riches of sexy male form displayed in Navy Gash, the subject matter leaves me feeling slightly uncomfortable. Domination is at the centre of Royale's work* (and the motto of this blog too!). In a fictional context it can can be intensely erotic. But to me Percy seems so weedy and emaciated and so ill-equipped to defend himself that it becomes rather unattractive and goes too far. I don't feel the same about muscular 'Ted' in NARO, who looks hunky and strong throughout his ordeal and gets off more lightly. His vanity seems to somehow justify his ill-treatment anyway. 

Percy's emergence as a sexually desirable man in the closing images might have changed that view given more of a chance to develop. I'd like to think that the boys relent at the end, set him free and try to make amends. I dare say something like that did happen after the shoot..........

*The next article in this series is actually called Royale Studio 4 - Bullies (pending)

Read the new series of Royale Studio articles at mitchmen from the start:-
Royale 1 - Sailors Flogged in the Rigging

~

The General Upgrading of Royale Studio Posts at mitchmen


The original mitchmen Royale series (published in 2010) is currently being extensively revised and extended.
This completely new article replaces the original Royale post No 3 which covered Navy Romeo and Navy Gash.

To see which articles have been revised to date, please check the 'Come and Get It!' post. I occasionally revisit the articles listed there with further, minor upgrades which are logged there by dates.


You can access all the old and the new and revised articles
simply by clicking on the 'GIU/Royale' label at the foot of this post

 

'mitchmen' Royale Studio Open Archive

 
As an adjunct to the on-going article upgrade I am gradually creating an archive housing my entire collection of Royale images. I have now added Navy Gash to the mitchmen Royale Studio Open Archive and it includes all my original images as well as the enhanced ones I used for this post, also some material on the Royal Tournament. If you follow the link below you will find there's also a new zip file there which includes them all for easy downloading. 

The Royale Studio Open Archive at mitchmen blog

  Please tell me via my profile link if you have any difficulty downloading, Google has recently changed the file sharing system so links in older articles may have stopped working 

~

If you have any other Royale Studio images from this or previously published groups and would like to contribute them to the mitchmen Open Archive please contact me via my profile page link. 


Monday, 24 January 2022

Royale Studio 3b - Navy Gash (part 1)

 NAGA is a rare example of a Royale set where I have a decent copy of every one of the 16 pictures advertised in their listing. They are nearly all numbered, suggesting they have been taken from a thumbnail sheet produced as a catalogue for ordering prints by mail. Despite this however, the reproduction quality is actually quite good, if slightly over-exposed. 

 All the originals in my possession have splinters of white border which have been partially cropped off.  I have tried to (unobtrusively) enhance the clarity of all these images for this post by tidying these awkward borders, straightening where it helps and by sharpening the focus, but those flawed originals will also be included when I post the NAGA set to the mitchmen Royale Studio Open Archive.


Royale Studio - Navy Gash 01

Ned and Tom look down on new recruit, Percy, who is asleep on a trestle table, possibly skiving off from his work, although according to the Royale summary for NAGA it's his scruffy habits that irk his colleagues most. Ned (left) has come armed (inconspicuously) with a scrubbing brush and flannel. 

They loom over him in intimidating fashion, the image making the most of their torsos and bulk. Tom's great ass and Ned's more subtle, frontal lumpiness are highlighted by Royale Studio's trademark, wrung-out, wet trousers which are very prominent in this series.

 The improvised set seems to represent his Percy's berth with the jumble of clothes hanging on a line behind him exemplifying his lack of military tidiness and pride in his appearance. There's a delightfully ambiguous selection of pin-ups on the wall, seeming to feature a cowboy body-builder on a beach, a glamorous woman in a cat suit and (far right) what might be a typical Royale image of a model posing as a footballer or guardsman.


Royale Studio - Navy Gash 02

Tom wakes Percy up by grabbing his hair. He almost seems to be trying to live up to his 'Hardman' moniker here but considerately supports Percy's head with his other hand.  Ned grabs Percy's shirt with a more determined, clenched fist to shake him awake. He was also the more aggressive of these two men in the Navy Romeo saga. Notice that the boots of both of them are immaculately polished in true military fashion, in striking contrast to Percy's scruffy plimsolls sitting on the floor between them.

 

Royale Studio - Navy Gash 03

Percy resists his attackers, 'handing off' Ned by putting his palm over his face. It's not the obvious way of him defending himself and you get a good impression that it's taken Ned by surprise. Percy's other hand can be seen in the vicinity of Ned's ass but it's limp.

The jeans hanging on a peg behind them (right) were presumably worn by one of them when they arrived. By including the model's own clothes in these images the photographer plays on the dressing and undressing theme that is a prominent feature of many of the Royale Studio storylines. It obviously starts with the models arriving on set, getting out of their street clothes and donning Royale's, tight, deliberately revealing costumes. The models' story creates a sexy sub-plot beneath the surface narrative.

 

Royale Studio - Navy Gash 04

The boys roll Percy over and lever his arms backwards in a classic fight hold that epitomises being overpowered and compelled to submit*. Ned is limited to one hand by the cleaning gear he's holding and Tom's pose is rather flat-footed, so it results in a rather static and unconvincing tableau, but it's still a good vehicle for the erotic display of both attacker's nether regions.

 This image isn't actually numbered but it's pretty obvious where it sits.

(*The painful potential of Percy's position is graphically illustrated by Jeff Golden's punishment in Part 4 of the mitchmen review of 'Bound To Please 1' )


Royale Studio - Navy Gash 05

Percy is dragged from his 'bed' and hauled away in a shot that equates to Ted's treatment in the opening scene of Navy Romeo Part 2. The leverage on both his arms forces him to bow his head and stumble. Ned enforces the hold even more severely by applying a 'bar' across his upper arm (thus re-asserting a natural talent for sadism which we glimpsed in Navy Romeo 2). Tom seems to be using his free hand to offer Percy support, but it's also 'doubling up' on the leverage in reality. 

There's a good shot of Percy's crotch here with a clear hint of cock, seemingly unaugmented by padding. A typically contrived, Royale perspective shows Percy's face angled towards Ned's very nicely highlighted crotch, in fact he almost seems to be rubbing shoulders with it, but the white-out makes that harder to see. These suggestive juxtapositions might seem accidental at first, but they recur with great precision throughout this and other pieces.



Royale Studio - Navy Gash 06

It turns out the boys are taking Percy to the bathroom (an innuendo in itself). He is forced to stand in the bath with his hands behind his head. Tom's arm encircles his waist, pulling it close so that Percy's body is forced to arch backwards and his lower abdomen is actually in contact with Tom's bare torso. It looks rather like a flamboyant dance hold but there's a genuine sense of struggle.

Ned stands poised behind them with an evil grin, holding a jug of water which looks likes a scaled-down version of the coal hod he uses to drench Ted in Navy Romeo 2. Both aggressors are sporting excited bulges and Ned's balls actually appear to be brushing Tom's ass which looks impressively fulsome. We also get the first hint here that Percy's backside might be worth attention too. The models will have been conscious of their damp clinging costumes throughout the shoot and you get a sense of how sexy it must have felt to be creating these deliberately suggestive scenes in such revealing clothes.

The scene has moved into this bath area with a slickness that creates the impression at first that it's part of the original set, but it's actually a typical, domestic bathroom of the time and the floor covering is quite different to the earlier pictures. Maybe it's Clavering's own 'smallest room' but it seems unexpectedly modest for the mansion and garden he seemed to own (and which we will see in later Royale sets).


Royale Studio - Navy Gash 07

Tom has climbed onto the bath to restrain Percy's arms from behind, while Ned proceeds to pour cold (presumably) water down the inside of his shirt. It's not simulated either, you can see the wet patches. Tom gets the treat of seeing down inside Percy's shirt. I can remember experimenting with water and clothing like this as an adolescent, so this imagery has a special erotic undercurrent for me.

Ned gives us the most impressive display yet of his tight-fitting, bulging trousers and of what used to be called a packet and his certainly fits that description. The bulge may be augmented but there's still visible just the faintest hint of the contours of his actual equipment and you can also see the curve of Percy's semi, modestly outlined.



Royale Studio - Navy Gash 08

Ned ups the ante by dropping his aim and prising open the waistband of Percy's trousers so he can pour water down the inside. It's similar to the treatment handed out to Ted in Navy Romeo 2, but Ned makes it much more invasive (and sexy) here by tipping the water inside Percy's clothes. Tom gleefully tightens his grip in excitement at this development. 

Unfortunately Ned is too eager to bother with undoing Percy's tight, buttoned-up waistband and much of the water cascades out the front onto the floor. It actually looks rather like a stream of urine and some of it is falling onto Ned's own, highly polished boots. I don't know whether that was an intentional ambiguity or not, but Ned's awkward pose, putting his boot in the firing line, suggests it might have been. Percy's expression, a combination of surprise and pleasure also fits such a plot line (rather than simply being an inadvertent lapse from what ought to be a down-beaten, outraged character). Like Ted's attempted escape in Navy Romeo, it gives a pretext (even if it is only water) for the already-aggressive Ned to escalate his efforts to humiliate Percy.

~

We will see what actually happens in NAGA Part 3c.

 

 

Friday, 21 January 2022

Royale Studio 3a - Navy Gash (Introduction)

Royale Studio - 'Navy Gash', Image 11
 

Above: A highlight of Royale Studio's 'Navy Gash' storyette

"The sexual chemistry these two men and the photographer
manage to create between them is still amazing".

(from the mitchmen NAGA commentary, publication pending)

~

 

Royale's brochure image for Navy Gash

Royale Studio's “Navy Gash” (aka NAGA) is the story of a novice sailor being initiated into the demanding standards and ways of naval service by two of his more experienced colleagues. In the Royal Navy and Royal Marines 'gash' was military slang  for rubbish or garbage, something that is considered useless, broken or otherwise of little value. The words written on the victim's shirt in the picture above are 'Gash Can'. That gives you some idea of the thrust of this piece which bears striking similarities to 'Navy Romeo' (No 2 in this mitchmen series on the work of Royale Studio in the 1960's).


Royale Studio - Navy Gash, The Cast

The stars of this storyette are portrayed in the picture above with the 'novice', Percy, sitting in the middle. You should recognise the two men on either side of him. We know them as Spike (left) and Tom from the Navy Romeo saga (aka NARO see mitchmen Royale 02b). In all these images they come across as big men and even in this innocuous cast picture there's a tremendous sense of physical disparity between them and their sandwiched victim (and a salivating display for all crotch watchers!)

 

Royale Studio - Catalogue entry for Navy Gash (NAGA)

Royale's catalogue description for Navy Gash opens with the words 'Introducing...(the cast)' which suggests that it is the models' first appearance for Royale Studio. This implies that Navy Gash pre-dates Navy Romeo (and in fact NAGA is listed in Catalogue No 9, whereas NARO first appears in Catalogue 10).

If you were as confused as me about the performers' identities in NARO and DTS, the Royale blurb for NAGA creates even more confusion because it names the two tormentors from that story as Tom Harding (the same name as in NARO) but the curly haired chap we knew there as 'Spike' is called Ned Willigan here.  

In my article on NARO, I took the name Spike from Royale's own catalogue description for NARO and in the DTS article I linked that to a model named Spike Millican, who is described as being one of the 'Navy Romeo' crew in the blurb for his own solo set, but you may recall that I commented then that he didn't look like the same man at all.

So what is going on???????

What seems to have happened is that the writer for the catalogues has mixed up the names Willigan and Millican. That's easily done, these were probably not the model's real names anyway and they were just two of many men passing through the Studio. The confusion was probably not helped by the similarity of both names to that of a very well-known, zany comedian of the time, Spike Milligan (famously one of 'The Goons'). His odd appearance and bizarre personality must have led to some joking at the expense of both Royale models. Indeed Millican is probably nicknamed 'Spike' based on this association, he certainly looks crazy enough for it in his solo photo. The same may have happened with Ned, leading to him being inadvertently called Spike in the (later) Navy Romeo storyline. 

Whatever the case, it seems likely that the curly-haired man in Navy Romeo is Ned Willigan and not Spike Millican and that Millican's own catalogue entry is simply incorrect. Unfortunately I haven't been to dig out further corroboration for this but sharp-eyed readers may have noticed that the NAGA catalogue description shown above is not error-free either, check the words on the shirt here against the photo. 


Royal Tournament, Field Gun Race 1999

The other interesting element of the Royale Studio catalogue description is the reference to the models being members of the 'Earl's Court, Chatham Gun Crew.' This identifies them as being or (having been) real sailors. It's a reference to 'The Royal Tournament', a military display which the UK military services used to put on annually at the Earls Court arena in South West London. It ran up until 1999 when it was halted on the grounds of the cost but it's occasionally revived for charity events.

The Royal Tournament featured displays from all three services - marching bands, army gymnastics, dog-handling skills and formation displays by motorcycle riders, cavalry and artillery regiments. One of the most popular events, however, was 'The Field Gun Race' (above) in which two Royal Navy crews, typically representing naval dockyards (such as Chatham, Portsmouth or Devonport) competed against each other to dismantle a cannon, ferry it across and through various obstacles and then reassemble it and fire it before their opponents could beat them to it. The image above features Porstmouth vs The Fleet Air Arm from the final Royal Tournament in 1999.   In Royale's day the Royal Tournament got a lengthy, Saturday night, peak time TV viewing slot, so Royale's models were minor celebrities as well as being real sailors.

The Gun Race was originally inspired by a heroic incident in the Boer War in which Navy crews transported guns from their ships across very difficult terrain to help relieve the siege of Ladysmith. There's a succinct explanation of the history of this event in Origins of the Gun Race. The Gun Race is still used as a Navy training exercise and I believe it will feature in the Queen's Platinim Jubilee celebrations in 2022.

~

At that time the Earl's Court Arena was one of the few spaces in the country capable of mounting large scale events like the Royal Tournament under cover before a seated audience. It could accommodate military vehicles and even stabling facilities for the horses (it was regularly used for indoor Show jumping events and also for the 1948 Olympics). It was also conveniently close to Chelsea Barracks, home of the Queen's Guards.


The Colhearne Pub (ca 1970?)

Now it just so happened that the Earls Court area of London at that time had a seedy reputation that rivalled that of Soho in central London. It was home to a number of well-known gay pubs and clubs with intimidating reputations, notably The (leathery) Colhearne, The Boltons and The Catacombs. There were notorious, dangerous cruising areas, nearby. 

Given it's proximity to Chelsea barracks and the large numbers of conscripts in the services at that time, reluctantly doing their National Service in the aftermath of World War 2, there will have been plenty of off-duty servicemen who ignored the prohibitions of their superiors and frequented these gay haunts to simply enjoy the company or offer themselves for rent, where their military identity was an invaluable selling point. Basil Clavering (the man behind Royale) was a willing buyer of course and through these men he could gain access to an even larger pool of less adventurous and non-gay servicemen, who could also be persuaded to perform for him. It's possible, I suppose, that this grapevine effect may have given rise to the myth about homosexuals 'recruiting' straight men and 'turning' them queer.

During the Royal Tournament all the pubs in the immediate vicinity of the Arena will have been crammed with military men taking a break from performing and attending to their equipment, so there would have been unrivalled opportunities for Basil Clavering and his associates to chat up and proposition likely lads from all the services, offering them the possibility of becoming celebrated in a slightly different way and earning some pocket money to boot (no pun intended!). To gay servicemen in those oppressive times it must have seemed an attractive way of having their publicly despised sexuality recognised and valued even.

  I'd welcome any comments on this era by readers who experienced it.

Obviously it was risky for serving personnel to allow themselves to be photographed in compromising situations, they risked lengthy imprisonment, not just expulsion from the services. Royale's description for NAGA referencing the 1959 Royal Tournament actually comes from their October 1959 Catalogue, so the men involved were probably still in the Navy at that time and therefore highly vulnerable.


Royale Studio Magazine Ad (1960's)

Fortunately Royale images circulated largely on the fringes of society. A few relatively innocuous pictures and contact ads appeared in the back pages of British beefcake magazines (like Manual, above) but even those magazines were hard to come by in the UK at that time. There were rigorous censorship laws and uncontrolled Police activity and homophobia* led to the seizing of anything (they) deemed to be remotely indecent. In addition Newsagents, the only available public outlet in those days, were mostly in the hands of conservative private owners whose personal standards determined what could go on their shelves. Even those willing to sell the magazines were likely to hide them 'under the counter' where they were effectively restricted to those 'in the know' and bold enough to ask. 

 Nevertheless the men performing for Clavering did still risk exposure and almost certainly protected their identities with false 'professional' names, hence the confusion described above. In the erotic realm of course it's usual for model's names to be suggestive. The choices for these models are not especially subtle:- Tom Hard -ing, Ned Willy-can and Percy, which is another common UK euphemism for penis, (as in 'I'm off to point Percy at the porcelain').

~

*I don't usually do political stuff here but as a relevant aside, the recent case of serial murderer, Stephen Port in the UK has vividly demonstrated to anyone with a brain that homophobia is still alive and well and institutionally embedded in the London Metropolitan Police today. The catalogue of their 'omissions' in this case would be laughable were it not so tragic - and so obviously deliberate. The features of the case - refusal to investigate, blaming of victims, fabrication of statements and suppression of evidence, are also a familiar story for anyone who familiar with the (non-gay) cases of Stephen Lawrence (1993) and the Hillsborough Tragedy (1989). The vehement denials of the obvious homophobia by Senior Officers (mis-labelling deliberate non-actions as 'failings' and 'mistakes') simply prove the point and sadly demonstrate that nothing is going to change anytime soon, if ever. 

 

Royale Studio - Navy Romeo, Part 1 - Image 7

The need for Royale models to have a degree of anonymity may also account for the fact that their faces are often obscured or turned away in Royale Studio pictures which feature two or more men together. You can see this in most of the images above in this post but especially in Part 1 of the 'Navy Romeo' storyette. But it's also true that when it comes to censorship, rear views in general are safer ground than frontal bulges anyway.

~

Next time: The Navy Gash storyette in full 

and an updated link to the mitchmen Open Archive of Royale Studio Photos

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Most Popular mitchmen Posts - Summary of previous winners

  As a postscript to my annual mitchmen awards for popular posts, 
here is the updated list of  the previous winners, with links to the winning articles.

 

 Most Popular Post During The Year 
at mitchmen (Table MPP 2)

Cavelo - Winner in 2016 and 2018

2021 IFNB A Fantasy World of BodyBuilders

2020 Etienne/Stephen - Index to Articles (at mitchmen)

2019 IFNB A Fantasy World of BodyBuilders

2018 A-Z of Fetish Artists - Cavelo

2017  Priapus of Milet - 1

2016 A-Z of Fetish Artists - Cavelo

2015 A-Z of Fetish Artists – Mike Carcel

2014 My Initiation

 

 

 Most Popular New Post of the Year
at mitchmen (table MPP 1)

WooDun Art - Winner in 2016

2021 Come and Get It! (Royale Studio Archive)

2020 The Art of Amalaric – 1 A Slave To Passion

2019 Milking Factories – 4

2018  IFNB A Fantasy World of BodyBuilders

2017  The Milking Factory

2016  A-Z of Fetish Artists - WooDunArt

2015 The Art of Eddie Chin

2014 A-Z of Fetish Artists - Tagame (Part 3)

 

Most Popular mitchmen Post of All Time
(cumulative totals, table MPP 3)

MCarcel - Winner 2013-2018

 

2021 Priapus of Milet - 1

2020 Priapus of Milet - 1

2019 Priapus of Milet - 1

2018  A-Z of Fetish Artists – Mike Carcel

2017 A-Z of Fetish Artists – Mike Carcel

2016  A-Z of Fetish Artists – Mike Carcel

2015  A-Z of Fetish Artists – Mike Carcel

2014  A-Z of Fetish Artists – Mike Carcel

2013  A-Z of Fetish Artists – Mike Carcel

 

542 visits @end 2021

Monday, 17 January 2022

Gay Spank Art Site

ISM@ - Here It Comes

 If you like spanking art it's worth looking at the new 'Gay Spank Art' gallery.

 

ISM@RT - It's Your Turn

Gay Spank Art is still under construction but already has an enormous collection including a comprehensive compilation of my own Mitchell spanking images and several artists I haven't come across before like ISM@ whose varied work decorates this post.

 

ISM@ - Bedtime (afterburn)

'Isma' does conventional spanking cartoons, but I like these relatively mature examples which have a sense of unreality and disbelief about them, very mitchmen-esq!

Visit Isma's blog and ISM@RT on Twitter

Friday, 14 January 2022

Most Viewed mitchmen Post of All Time, 2021 (MPP3)

Priapus of Milet - Antechamber 12 (from Inner Sanctum 4)

 

Above, art by this year's winner. A scene from Antechamber (The Inner Sanctum 4) by Priapus in which a naked explorer (who looks remarkably like a bulked-up version of a well-known royal) wanders into a derelict Underground (Subway) station and runs into scary, mechanical skeletons who put him into chains and enslave him. Should have stayed with the wife!
~

According to my Blogger 'hit stats', out of all the mitchmen articles published to date, 
those registering the most total hits since publication to the end of 2021 are as shown below.


Table 1 mitchmen Articles With Most Hits Since Publication to end 2021

Posn
(last yr)
Title of Post
(& link)
Year of
Pub'n
2021
Hits
2020 Hits
1 (1)
2012
38,605
35489
2 (5)
2018
35,606
23619
3 (4)
2017
34,032
24101
4 (2)
2010
30,985
28452
5 (3)
2008
30,958
27569
6 (9)
2018
21,017
14966
7 (6)
2009
20,856
19546
8 (7)
2016
19,420
17450
9 (8)
2010
18,111
17223
10 (13)
2018
17,487
10091
11 (10)
2009
14,687
13801
12 (11)
2010
13,122
12084
13 (12)
2009
 12,401
11253
14 (14)
2015
11,569
9924
15 (-)
2019
10,850
7335
16 (15)
2009
10,260
9536
17 (16)
2009
10,201
9040
18 (-)
2018
9808
 (7856)
19 (20)
2009
9504
8359
20 (19)
2012
9338
8447

Stats compiled 31/12/21
 


This year Priapus of Milet – 1 retained the No 1 position in this table for the third year running but his lead was drastically reduced from 7K to 3K hits by the 'article of the year', which was IFNB – A Fantasy World of Bodybuilder Morphs which scored a near-record 11K hits during 2021. At the present rate IFNB will take over the number 1 spot next year. I am pleasantly surprised by the enormous interest in this article which in most weeks is at or near the top of the 'Popular Posts' gadget at mitchmen blog (in the right hand side bar). This may partly be due to the disappearance of the original IFNB blog for reasons only it's author will know.
 
The Priapus article which stays at No 1 for another year relates to some of his early work but is still scoring heavily. Priapus continues to produce stunning new imagery over at Telemachus12 and Patreon, like the image I've chosen to top this post. I don't rule out posting another mitchmen feature on him like 'Shooting The Past' last year.
 
In third place The Milking Factory (lead article in the popular series) continued it's rise, as I predicted last year, and Milking Factories–3 also jumped to sixth place with Milking Factories-4 also breaking into the top 20 at fifteen (up from 28 last year). I'm finding it harder to find new images to stimulate this series so it will be interesting to see if these challengers continue to make similar progress in the coming year.
 
Two long-standing stalwarts of this table filled fourth and fifth places, A-Z of Fetish Artists – Mike Carcel (a former winner) and A-Z of Fetish Artists – Cavelo. Both dropped two places, elbowed aside by the two new upstarts but there's a big gap below them down to 7th place and their scores in 2021 suggest it won't be easy for anyone else to get past for a while. Cavelo narrowed the gap between the two of them in their private running battle and is on course to overtake Mike Carcel in 2022, but neither are in the running for top spot any longer. The destruction of Yahoo! Groups seems to have taken down the fan clubs for these artists with it, but if anyone knows better please let me know via the comments facility.
 
Further down the table, a group of eight more posts about well-established and veteran artists all dropped one position in response to the rise of newer art - Jotto, Etienne, Malex, Franco, Martin of Holland, The Hun, Heredia and Julius. Two other significant artists dropped out of the chart altogether this year - 'demonic' Sean Platter and Leo. The Etienne - Index of articles at mitchmen which caused such a sensation last year wasn't able to repeat that performance in 2021 but managed to keep it's position in the top 10. The hit rates of all of this group dropped significantly this year, except for Martin of Holland whose score rose fractionally.  
 
Kalabro is another member of the 'well-established' band and he managed to improve his position, from 20 to 19 this year. He scored marginally more hits than in 2020 (possibly helped by his role in inspiring the Milking Factory phenomenon). Unfortunately his total decamp to Patreon has made his exciting art more difficult to access.
 
The other surprise of 2020, Homoeros Gallery Guide continued scoring at a substantial rate in 2021 which lifted it to 10th place and will get it significantly higher if repeated in 2022 (much to my bemusement, I must admit!). It was joined in the top 20 by another article on the same artist,  Homoeros – 6 (Art of The Cross), a subject which for me is the meat of this artist's work and clearly popular with others too. Crucifixion also featured in the Art of Roa, the No 2 new post of 2021. 
 
Like Etienne and Homoeros last year, My Initiation also had a spell of inexplicable, euphoric support a few years back, but now clocks up more mundane counts. It actually had a better year in 2021, however, which enabled it to cling on to 20th place, but is still in danger of being ousted from the top 20 next time. It is still the only photograph-based article in the chart unless you count the photo manips of IFNB and Priapus.
 
Last but not least, hanging on to 14th position (much to my delight), was A Christmas Criminal by Mitchell (1-5). It is the most successful of my 'own work' posts at mitchmen and did better than the ebbing fortunes of other mid-table articles, but is equally menaced by newcomers coming up below. 

 ~
 
 The entry level to this all-time top 20 is now 9338, about a thousand up on last year. It's sobering to reflect that this total is more than four times the score of the 2021, New Post winner, Come and Get It!.  However, the previous year's runaway hits  The Art of BrosFate – 3 and The Art of Amalaric – 1 A Slave To Passion however are fast approaching in at Nos 28 and 40 respectively. Both have a chance of getting in the all-time top 20 next time.

All of the older articles which still make up the bulk of this table were originally posted when the levels of visitors to mitchmen were much lower than they are now, which makes it all the more remarkable that so many are still holding off the 'new order'. Their on-going scores are probably helped by the mitchmen 'Index of Artists' page which reached 65,018 hits at the end of 2021 (more than 23% up from last time). This would have earned it top spot in this ranking if I counted it as a post.


mitchmen bog was first published in 2008 and nine of the fourteen years since then are still represented in this survey, the missing years between 2008 and 2021 are shown below

Average hit rates

The total cumulative hits method I use for assessing the all-time popularity table is obviously biased towards older articles which have had longer to accumulate their hits. However, the higher traffic counts in recent years are offsetting that advantage more and more, enabling the best of the newer articles to contest the top positions. It's interesting to compare the total hits ranking (above) with that based on average hits per year since publication, which gives a more balanced view of long-term popularity - see table below.
 
In this list I have left out the 2021 posts because they don't even have a full year yet and their initial surge (if you'll pardon that expression) produces ridiculous hit rates. They are covered by a separate table (MPP1). 
 

Table 2
Articles with the Highest Average Hits per year Since Publication
 
Article
Published
Hits per year
Position
(& last year)
'Total Hits' position
2018
9330
1 (1)
2
2017
6990
2 (2)
3
2018
5825
3 (3)
6
Homoeros Gallery Guide
2018
5735
4 (4)
10
The Art of Amalaric – 1 A Slave To Passion
2020
5264
5 (-)
40
2020
4222
6 (-)
28
2012
3976
7 (6)
1
2018
3770
8 (5)
 8
Milking Factories-4
2018
3667
9 (7)
15
2020
3006
10 (-)
52
2018
2911
11 (8)
18
2010
2692
12 (10)
 4
2008
 2690
 13 (11)
5
2020
2512
 14 (-)
118
2020
 2479
15 (-)
124
2018
 2432
16 (9)
 37
2018
2336
17 (12)
26
2019
 2216
18 (14)
 48
2017
2143
19 (13)
23
2020
2092
20 (-)
197

 With the top 4 articles impressively holding on to last years positions, the most striking feature of this chart is the entry of 4 new articles from the 2020, 'Art of Amalaric' series at 5, 14, 15 and 20. Also two of the 'Art of Brosfate' posts at 6 and 10, also from 2020. 

 These six newcomers swept away more of  'the usual suspects' which have dominated these charts in the past:- Hunk Hunt – Mitch Colby 5A-Z of Fetish Artists - MalexA-Z of Fetish Artists - Jotto and  A Christmas Criminal (ep 1-5) Now only there are only 3 articles left that are older than 2017, a sea change that is gradually being manifested in the total counts table (top). 

 The cut-off point for the 'hit rate' table rose from 1584 to 2092 hits per year. That is a total which was exceeded in 2021 by most of the articles represented in the 'Top 20 scorers during 2021', which indicates that these top scorers are not totally out of sight.

You can see how this method tends to benefit popular, newer articles in the short term by the new entries whose overall totals, reflected in the last column have yet to demonstrate long term consistency. The score of newer articles decays more quickly than the older ones if they don't keep up their initial post-publication surge and this year we also lost two newish articles which have already run out of steam The Art of Sparkieshock and Another Milking Factory No 2 (both from 2018).  The bottom end of the table is full of other newish articles in decline, it remains to be seen if new boys Amalaric and Brosfate can make a lasting impression on these rankings.

If you scan the years in the second table, newer articles fill 9 of the top 10 spaces, but the amazing long term performance of Priapus sticks out like a sore thumb in 7th place as do Mike Carcel and Cavelo which are running neck and neck (as usual) at 12 and 13. These articles have sustained heavy hit rates for 10-14 years not just 4 and the newer articles will have to do likewise to keep their present positions.

 ~

The articles I post to this blog are very much based on my own interests and fancies but the results of this survey do help me plan future offerings. My readers preferences doesn't always match my own (where are Les, JoeT and Link?). Nevertheless it's gratifying to see such interest in the great artists who often have a fairly low visibility on the web.

Remember, this comparison is only made for entertainment, since I don't really know how accurate Google's stats are, they don't seem to add up to the overall hits at the blog and I suspect they don't count the activity of people who just browse through the blog roll.

Thanks to all of you for your continuing interest and support.
 
This annual set of articles is made up of 3 charts
MPP1 - Most Popular New Post of the Year 
MPP2 - Most Popular Post of the Year (Old and New articles )
MPP3 - Most Popular Post of All Time (i.e. cumulative performance)
that's this article!
 
Charts and reviews for earlier years can be accessed by clicking the 'MPP' label below