Last week I featured StudioMGphotography's new photo book, Anton's Three Day Weekend. The images I used for the story spotlighted Anton dancing in his vintage navy uniform and his naked gymnastics on the beach. Anton's weekend wasn't just fun and frolic however, the heat began to rise, (as did Anton) when the shoot moved inside the abandoned warehouse, where Anton worked up a sweat on the stack of old mattresses left in the building.
Anton's California weekended ended in the shower, (more on that later...) where he not only cleaned up after his hard day, but he also shaved off all of his sexy fur, beautifully on display in these two shots. Mark had asked Anton not to shave before the shoot, but after the last snap was taken, Anton was eager to again shave off his body hair! So glad Mark managed to get so many great shots of Anton before it was all swirled down the drain in Mark and Mike's shower.
Regular FH might notice, I have been doing a few more 'Vintage Vantage' pieces of late. It began after I attended a wedding last month, and had a tour of an old house with a widows walk. I was so fascinated by the theme, I wanted some way to incorporate it into a piece for the site. While searching for just the right images to go with the piece, I came upon several images that have sparked additional posts and themes, the last, In the Deep End, I posted last week.
In the Deep End was interesting to me, not just because of the male nudity, but because it was a piece of history I had not known about before. Like the co-ed naked swim teams, today's focus has a bit of a cmnm, and cfnm theme, more common it seems historically, than it is today. As far as we think we've come, there seemed to be much less stigma, and far fewer issues with male nudity in days gone by.
(1) Free of contagious diseases that would likely endanger the health of other personnel.
(2) Free of medical conditions or physical defects that would require excessive time lost from duty for necessary treatment or hospitalization or would likely result in separation from the Army for medical unfitness.
(3) Medically capable of satisfactorily completing required training.
(4) Medically adaptable to the military environment without the necessity of geographical area limitations.
(5) Medically capable of performing duties without aggravation of existing physical defects or medical conditions.
Some Won't Go
Elvis drafted into the Army (1957)
The more 'vintage' male nudity features I do, the more I learn how common ritualistic nudity used to be for boys and men. I am sure there are many cases as well with women, but it is clear, there was a times, maybe especially in the early to mid 1900's, when men were not only expected, but forced to strip down in front of others.
Up until 1973 when the draft ended, all young men were required to register once they turned 18 and be ready for service if needed. When joining the military, after the initial application, the first major step is the physical. Recruits are required to remove all of their outer clothing for the exam. In addition to height and weight measurements, hearing and vision tests are done as well as urine and blood, alcohol and drugs. Muscle and joint tests, as well as stamina and flexibility. Additional tests may be required, especially for recruits who are overweight, or show visible signs of having a health issue during their exam.
Recruits are encouraged to get a good night's sleep, and ensure to have a bath or shower before their exam. They are told to come without a hat, ensure they are wearing clean underwear, and bring along any eye wear, hearing aids and any wrap or brace normally worn on the body. Female recruits are assured privacy and a female attendant when they have to undress, something men are not automatically given.
When I was first featuring photographer Dave Larson's (takeapic4u) Dirty Nature series last year, one of my favorite models from the series was 27 year old Iowa model Matthew Dunston. It was one of Matthew's images I chose to use as pic of the day, and was hoping to have the opportunity to feature more of his work in front of the camera.
I frequently describe models looking comfortable in front of the camera and that certainly applies to Matthew's images. Maybe even more so than just comfortable in front of the camera, Matthew appeared comfortable in his own skin, especially when that skin was not covered or restricted by clothing. Even during Iowa's long, cold winters, Matthew usually only wears clothes when he absolutely has to!
Although Matthew is completely naked in almost every image that I am including, the visual contrasts, in style, look and feel are unique with each of the five artists featured. Whether in classic physique poses, in studio or in the great outdoors, Matthew displays a great connection, not only with his body, but the camera and the artist behind it. Many models begin a modeling career and find themselves with having to decide how much skin to show. For Matthew, showing skin, was not a secondary element, but the impetus for seeking out photographers to collaborate with. Below, Matthew shares why.
'Ever since I was a young kid, I've always been trying to find ways and scenarios to be nude. This continued throughout high school and college, and when I turned 18, I ran across this one photographer's website. He was interested in taking pictures of students who went to the University of Wisconsin Madison while they were naked. Even though I didn't attend this university, I really wanted to be involved with the project since there were some great areas to shoot around the campus.'
'I sent in some shots of myself, and he said that I didn't qualify since I didn't go to school at Madison. I was really bummed out, but always looked for additional photographers that may want to take some artistic pictures of my nude form. Fast forward approximately 7 years, and I ran across Dave Larson's ad about a Dirty Nature shoot, basically a shoot were I would be naked and covered in mud outside. This sounded like so much fun. I love the outdoors and being nude, so it was a win, win for me. Dave was the first photographer that but his trust in me, and I will always be thankful for that.'
'Obviously I am comfortable taking off my clothes and being nude. However, the general public typically frowns on this, and I really don't blame them. There are a lot of ridiculous people out there that spoil nudity for everyone. I am not going to get on my soapbox about this, but It is just a shame that we as a society in 2017 are not more open about nudity. Anyway, the way that people perceive my nudity was a big factor that I thought about before taking it off for the very first time. I was a bit nervous about that, but I didn't let that stop me from stripping naked and having a good time in front of the camera.'
'Everyone who I've worked with has been professional. Thank goodness too since I have gone to some of their houses and hotel rooms to shoot. You never know what you are going to walk in on, but my advice to beginning models is to make sure you communicate clearly with your photographer before agreeing to meet. Also, it really does not hurt to talk with them over the phone. I know a phone call is overlooked nowadays, but it really is the best way to understand a person's intentions.'
'I've had many great experiences with each photographer I've worked with, but my favorite will always be the Dirty Nature shoot. It was my first photo shoot, and I had so much fun doing it. I have done two shoots so far for that series, and I plan on doing one more this year to hopefully get some even better shots.'
'Modeling is a great hobby for me. I have always been into trying to promote a positive self-image, and I believe that my photos try to do that for a larger group of people. I am far from the fittest male model that you will see on model websites. I really don't have six-pack abs, huge biceps or triceps, well defined leg and chest muscles, or, let's be honest, a huge penis, but I am still getting naked for others to see. Don't get me wrong, I try to workout and gain muscle, which you can hopefully see in some of my newer pictures, but I really don't diet. I'm just the average guy that enjoys pizza, beer, and ice cream.'
'This next part is very important. I'm an advocate for positive male image because I have witnessed nude male body shaming in the locker rooms and have heard stories of my younger cousins getting pushed around in the locker rooms of their high school for not having the "perfect male body." I get so frustrated with people that body shame. Everyone is built differently, and everyone has their idea of being happy with their body. We should all encourage people to stop stressing out about their physical looks.'