Monday, 14 April 2014

Gay-Friendly Mérida (Spain) ?

[Image description: Mérida's Roman bridge]

Number of gay bars in Mérida - 0 {possibly 1 down some back alley out at the back-of-beyond per possibly queer maître d'}
Number of gay-friendly bars in Mérida - 0
Number of gay clubs in Mérida - 0
Number of gay-friendly clubs in Mérida - 0
Number of out gays in Mérida - close to 0
Number of closeted bi's per GAYDAR - l0ts!!!!!!
Number of gay-friendly places that taxi-drivers can take one to in Mérida - that would be, errmm… 0

Oh, and virtually all research for gay-friendly accommodation in Mérida points to the Parador, where we are staying.

Number of gay guests in Parador - 2 {yes, that would be us!!!}



How gay-friendly is Mérida - %O



Saturday, 12 April 2014

Death in Valencia


Thrillers are not usually my cup of coffee - unless they are the camp, hammy Agatha Christie variety where one is nestled in a morally polar fantasy-world  and the bad guys and/or gals invariably get their just desserts. So it was with much trepidation that I turned the front cover of Jason Webster’s A Death in Valencia. I was not to be disappointed. Even cameos are brought to life and one feels their pains, one hurts when they do and one laments their departures.


To be honest, the title is a total misnomer. I suspect the publishers just did not want the nomenclature, “Death in Valencia” for fear the novel would be confused with or just might draw comparisons with Thomas Mann’s “Death in Venice”. Though really, there is a genuine commonality - both are literary, each with a mystery at their heart.

So why is the book’s name inaccurate? Well, there are a number of “deaths” depending on one’s moral perspective. I do not think I should beat about the bush. One of the themes of the book is abortion. So, in some sense, if one is anti-abortionist the tally of referenced deaths would be in the hundreds. Pro-abortionists will count at least a handful of deaths, not necessarily linked or committed by the same person(s) - but I am not going to give the game away! There is also allusion to petite mort, little death, or orgasm; the decline and fall of old Valencia; as well as the moral, emotional and spiritual atrophy of the main protagonist. One is left questioning just what is murder.

Another leitmotif is the lore of Valencian paella. I did not know that locals categorise this platter with one of three labels, “, rebò and mèl” [p.108] - ‘good’, ‘very good’ and ‘honey’. There is a higher rank, but I shall leave the reader to discover said label for themself. However, you may ask [p.110]:

‘So what’s below , then? What happens if it’s a bad paella?’
Torres scowled.
‘No such thing,’ he said.

The reader will also discover what is so special about socarraet and why aficionados of paella fight over it [pp.107/8].

Death. Life. Great themes, beautifully introduced and handled by the author. Twice during my reading I was in floods of tears and once almost inconsolably so. I was quite literally mourning for a wee while the final demise of one of the characters. The tale fully inveigled me, so that I was unaware of the author’s voice in the well crafted writing of this skilled novelist. I so enjoyed the book that I quite deliberately only read a few chapters at a time in order to prolong the exquisite pleasure of my perusal. I hope you will be as gratified as I with this literary mystery. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

My Sporting Heroes


Queers used to be viewed as just effeminate menfolk who had no interest whatsoever in sport. To a certain degree there is some truth to this: a lot of gay/bi men hate sports of any kind, often due to bad experiences in their school years. However, sites such as Outsports quite clearly demonstrate that there is much interest in sport amongst gay/bisexual men and lesbians/bisexual wimmin.

I went to a rugby (union) playing school, hence this list includes more rugger-buggers than participants in other sports. I hated playing the sport, but I loved watching my form (class) play against the other teams. Two of my school peers appear on this list (S).

Additionally, I am rather proud of some of my family members, so they have been added too (F).

I have only highlighted (Q) those men who are actually out of the closet: this statement does not mean to imply that others on the list are any specific sexuality and no such allusions should be inferred.

* Indicates met/seen in the firm but pliant flesh.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering: Paul Scholes scores my goals! ;)


American Football


Athletics


Australian Rules Football


Baseball


Basketball


Cricket

*Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff


[Image courtesy of Wikipedia; © Blnguyen]


Diving


Gymnastics

Olga Valentinovna Korbut


[Image courtesy of Wikipedia]


Ice-Skating


Lacrosse


Rugby League/Football


Rugby Union/Football

*Olly Barkley


[Image courtesy of Wikipedia; © PierreSelim]



Soccer/Football

Paul Scholes


[Image courtesy of Wikipedia; © James Adams]



Swimming


Tennis


Yoga



Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Standing Congress


This particular blog-post contains sexual imagery, including gay sex, and descriptions of a sexual nature, so please read/look no further if any of these might offend.





My favourite sexual position as the recipient of the gentleman's appendage, is one that can be enjoyed by receivers of either sex. Women have a choice of orifices, but for we blokes, well… it is the butt!


[Image courtesy nightcharm.com; © unknown]

This position is good for me as a disabled, gay chap as there is no pressure on my hips or lower spine and my weak legs are not required to do too much.

This is the description of how to from Cosmo (Cosmopolitan magazine):

If you're a lightweight, or he has Herculean-like strength, there's a step-free way to navigate this perpendicular position: Put your arms around his neck, have him lift you by holding onto your thighs or locking his hands beneath your butt, and wrap your legs around his hips. You'll make the position less strenuous and be better able to synchronize every move if you lean against a wall or other solid surface.
The funniest commentary I have seen on this - remember my favourite - position is from cracked.com in their article, "The 7 Most Preposterous Sexual Positions People Claim to Use":

[Image courtesy & © cracked.com]
I can only assume upright sex was invented as a way to shame the weak and enfeebled who are incapable of holding up an entire second person while engaged in coitus. I struggle to keep my mind on not embarrassing myself during most sexual encounters. The added stress of keeping another body aloft would be far too much, and the end result would likely be my severed dingle and her greatly bruised ass with my foot in it.
I don't feel like there are many upsides to sex in this position. It's possible the woman enjoys some kind of lofty, weightless feeling, being tossed about like a sack of potatoes, but as a guy who could probably hump a sack of potatoes if I were so inclined, I'm not seeing the benefit. In fact, I just went to my kitchen, grabbed a bag of potatoes and held it close, and no, nothing. Even if I had put my dick in it, I feel like it would have been a loss for me.

Not every man has the strength and/or the stamina to keep it up - so to speak. So, thankfully from my perspective there are several tweaks. Here a high-stool is used to take the load - phnah-phnah:


[Image courtesy & © goodtoknow.co.uk]

Goodtoknow entitles this position, "Tight Squeeze" and has this to say:
Great for... Spur-of-the-moment sex 
How does it work? Although this position can just about be done on the bed, it probably works better in a more spontaneous location, such as a table, kitchen work surface, chair, desk... if you get our meaning. The woman sits on the surface with her legs wrapped around the man's waist and squeezing him. The man stands facing the woman and she can wrap her arms around his back to keep herself upright.
The turn-ons:This works well for spur-of-the-moment sex, and can be done in quite a small space - that should be enough of a turn-on, if that's why you're trying it.
The turn-offs: You probably need to be quite fit to keep this up for longer than a few minutes.
You say: 'Me and my boyfriend did one similar to this. He did all the work, I just laid back and enjoyed it!'

In Spain this sexual feat is known as "El Abrazo Total" or The Total Embrace.

[Image courtesy & © terra.com]

[Image courtesy & © 10000posturassexuales.com]

In the top image, the couple are free-standing. I have not actually experienced this. If there is a chap out there who can hold up a 65 Kg chap and stand in the middle of the room and shag, please get in touch! In the bottom (no pun intended but what the heck!) image, the guy is leaning his partner against a wall. This is much easier to co-ordinate and takes a little of the effort off the poor man thrusting, or trying to.

A slight adaptation to this position can be done in a narrow passageway, where the raised partner can lock him- or herself between the two walls. Yes, it can be done… but I am not telling!

Knowing this enabled me to find my next modification. This time using the bed as a firmish base.



[Image courtesy & © 10000posturassexuales.com]



This is what 1000posturassexuales.com has to say:

Trayendo las piernas hacia tras, la mujer pasa a apoyar su peso en sus rodillas, disminuyendo el esfuerzo físico necesário para la posición, pero también pasando a controlar el ritmo y la intensidad de penetración. Por otro lado, en esta posición los movimientos son limitados, y por lo tanto la penetración es mas controlada, lo que puede auxiliar hombres que sufren de ejaculación precoz. Mientras el hombre utiliza las manos para sujetar el cuadril de la compañera y controlar la penetración, y ella sostiene su peso en los brazos, los cuerpos permanecen totalmente unidos, en una posición donde besos y caricias son muy bienvenidos.

The translation is: Bringing your legs straight behind, the woman goes to support her weight on his knees, reducing the physical effort required for the position, but also going to control the pace and intensity of penetration. Moreover, in this position movements are limited, and therefore penetration is more controlled, which can assist men who suffer from premature ejaculation. As the man uses his hands to hold the rump of the companion and control the penetration, and she holds her weight in his arms, bodies remain totally united, in a position where kisses and caresses are very welcome.

Okay, a bit mean; but sometimes sex does feel like learning a foreign language and not quite knowing what is what. And I am always willing to learn.

So let's go back to the tweaks, apart from using walls, one can use the bed for the receiver to balance their feet on, again taking weight off the lifter. And another variation is using a window-sill.

[Image courtesy Kamasutra Gay; © unknown]

Whilst my legs are not the strongest, due to wheeling my wheelchair my arms have both strength and stamina, so this is something I can do.

Finally, whilst attempting to source images for this article, I came across a photo of a variation of this position with three folk involved.

[Image courtesy Karmasutra Gay; © Randy Blue]

In some ways this would be even better for me as there would be two folk to hold on to me and keep me raised, thus pain-free. And for bisexuals/lesbians, I see no reason why one of the holding partners or both could not be female body-builders or weight-lifters using a strap-on.

And if you do have a weight-lifter on hand, why not try The Flying High Position where the recipient's legs are not wrapped around the giver's waist/hips, but over his shoulders and wrapped about his neck. Good grief: imagine the potential for cramp, back damage, etc. with this one! Think this may just be beyond by physical capabilities - but only just mind! ;)

[Image courtesy & © gayspirit.me]



Monday, 24 March 2014

Nude Photographic Session

Nearly two years ago I wrote a blog-post on the sensitive photo-art of Manuel Delgado. In a recent article of his own, the wonderfully calming and very affable Manuel (pictured below) put out a request for men to model nude for his latest project.


I come from a family of five in which everyone strolled about the house naked except for yours truly who kept tightly buttoned up in winceyette pyjamas (pajamas). Nudity was not a preferred state of mine. Yes I was the prude of the clan. In fact it has taken me a very long time to relax about my body (I am nearing my half century!). A few years back my then partner and I tried nude sunbathing on a mixed sex, mixed age naturist beach near to Marbella. Interestingly, I was the one who was first to remove his clothing. However, I shall let you into my secret: since being a wee bairn (small lad) whenever I took off my spectacles I believed no-one could see me; a little of this spell still works for me…

Anyhow, it is a big leap from being naked with hundreds of other folk, especially when surrounded by every conceivable shape and size of human being, to being photographed one to one with the potential that the artist can do whatever he likes with the image.

I wrote to Manuel. Here is part of my letter:

Manuel,

¿Podrías estar interesado en un chico con discapacidad, aunque no visible, por tu proyecto fotográfico?

Para mí, mi cama es una celda, una cárcel, por lo que una ‘cama-celda’. Debido a mis diversas discapacidades y enfermedades, la gran mayoría de mi vida se gasta atrapado debajo de las sábanas y dentro de las cuatro paredes de mi dormitorio. La ventana de la habitación me permite ver la vida pasar por mí. A través de ella yo oigo: las voces de niños jugando; mis vecinos disfrutar de festines al fresco; sus coches que llegan y salen, llevándolos a trabajar, el cine, el teatro, ... ; vehículos de reparto con lo que los artículos comprados en las tiendas; aviones teniendo la gente a los lugares lejanos. El paso del tiempo se repite por los cambios de luz y oscuridad. Y todo el tiempo estoy metafóricamente encadenado a mi cama; incapaz de moverme sin causar dolor.

Mi cama es mi comedor, mi baño, mi báter, mi oficina, mi salón, mi gimnasio.

Mi cama es una casa de muñecas.

Mi cama es un microcosmos de toda la vida humana.

Me pregunté si mis posiciónes en la cama sería de interés para ti: durmiendo; descansando con una almohada; trabajando / socializando a través de mi portátil; ejerciciando con mi bastón con ejercicios ideados por mi fisioterapeuta y algunas posiciones de yoga.


Manuel,

Might you be interested in a disabled guy, even if not visibly so, for your photographic project?

For me, my bed is a cell, a gaol; hence a ‘bed-cell’. Due to my various disabilities and infirmities, the vast majority of my life is spent entrapped under the bedclothes and within the four walls of my bedroom. The window in the room allows me to see life passing me by. Through it I hear: the voices of children playing; my neighbours enjoying alfresco repasts; their cars arriving and departing, taking them to work, the cinema, the theatre,…; delivery vehicles bringing goods bought in the shops; æroplanes taking folk to faraway places. The passing of time is iterated by the changes of light and darkness. And all the while I am metaphorically chained to my bed; unable to move without causing pain.

My bed is my dining-room, my bathroom, my toilet, my office, my drawing room, my gym.

My bed is a doll’s house.

My bed is a microcosm of all human life.

I wondered whether my positions abed would be of interest to you: sleeping; resting with a pillow; working/socialising via my laptop; exercising using my walking-stick using exercises devised by my physiotherapist and some yoga positions.


Manuel was delighted to have me on board, but wondered why I was interested. I responded:

Estoy esperando que la sesión fotográfica podría ayudarme a ponerme de acuerdo con mi propia carne.

I am hoping the photographic session could help me come to terms with my own flesh.


Manuel asked me to elaborate:

De hecho, estoy viendo el proyecto como potencialmente poderoso para mí. En los últimos años he estado aprendiendo a enfrentarme a mi pasado, mi psiquis, mi mortalidad, mi aspecto físico (ya que interactúa con el espacio). Ahora tengo que aceptar el cuerpo que me ha fallado, en una manera de hablar. Quiero llegar a un acuerdo con y hacerme amigo de esta carne debilitada y en su defecto, a aceptar que es tan parte de mí como mi mente.

Durante muchos años he estado intelectualmente atraído por la filosofía del holismo. Me parece que ya es la hora de que pongo en práctica la teoría en lo que respecta a mí mismo.


Indeed, I see the project as potentially empowering for me. Over the last few years I have been learning to confront my past, my psyche, my mortality, my physicality (how it interacts in space). Now I must accept the body that has failed me, in a manner of speaking. I want to come to an accord with and make friends with this weak and defective flesh, to accept that it is as much a part of me as my mind.

For many years I have been intellectually attracted to the philosophy of holism. It seems to me that now is the time to put the theory into practice in respect to my self.



On Saturday 15th, in a village-like barrio of Málaga, I entered the space in which the photographs were to be taken having already removed most of my clothing other than my briefs and socks. The photos below demonstrate that depending where in the room one is positioned how one perceives the light. Manuel has set it up so that soft, natural light cascades on to the subject from a slightly raised window. All the background is white, so that flesh tones are enhanced.





Manuel warned me that the session would be quite long lasting up to two-and-a-half hours, which it did. But oddly how speedily time passed. I gradually warmed to Madame Cámara, slowly giving in to her charms until I was directly facing her on my belly, lower legs swinging in the air. I was actually disappointed when the session came to an end.

Liberating. Invigorating. Affirming.

Manuel showed me some of the images he had taken. I teared up, as I had never ever even imagined my body could look æsthetically attractive.

At the end I was permitted to replace my glasses and Manuel took some snaps with my camera. The viewer can perceive just how relaxed I was. These are not positions that were taken in the main session; but they give a sense of how the scene was set up and the wonderful colours.

[WARNING: nude images below]





Me - beautiful !?!