men_in_full: (de vos bacchus)

[livejournal.com profile] jennie_jay a few years ago pointed me to an article in a Swedish newspaper (sorry, no link) about the annual Swedish "Näcken" contest. Näcken is a Swedish water spirit who inhabits springs or waterfalls; plays the violin beautifully and irresistibly, and lures those unwittingly attracted to him to their doom. In the contest, men tune their violins to a strange, dissonant scale called "troll tuning," then play a folksong on their fiddles while sitting naked in an almost-freezing, running stream. I think the one who can play the whole song through without freezing wins.

Anyway, I've always loved the photo on the right (from the article) - not only because of the man's chubbiness, but because of the flowers which frame his face, and his blissful expression.

I guess I'm not done with the water motif, just yet. According to [livejournal.com profile] jennie_jay, the Näcken of folklore is a spirit who lives at the border between water and air. Part of the beauty of fat men in the water is how people in water float. It's the closest experience most of us will ever have to being airborne and weightless, yet with mass and substantiality. Air moving over the surface of water produces waves, and the beautiful refractions of light through the water create an ethereal underwater landscape, a perfect setting for the naked beauty of the large man's body.






Below the link, some "Water Men" photographic images by GroovyandDreamy on Flickr.

Wet and probably NSFW )

Earlier: Fat Men in the Water

men_in_full: (Default)
My apologies to Canadian readers and others who are probably sick of election posts on LJ. Hang tight; it's almost over. I am laying in supplies of booze and chocolate for tonight's viewing.

I'm going to let the lunch crowd die down a bit and then go over to the polls this afternoon. Ordinarily I would have posted after voting in the hope of having some interesting anecdotes to offer. However, in honor of Election Day I went looking for photos of 27th US president William Howard Taft (whose term went from 1909 to 1913) and couldn't resist putting this one up. What a sweet, genial expression.



*** GO VOTE! ***

"I'm William Howard Taft, and I endorse this message."





Taft had a bathtub specially made for the White House, big enough that four "average" men could sit in it. We need one of those around here; I could make good use of it ... :D
men_in_full: (de vos bacchus)

msnmark, link


Hopefully you will enjoy this photo spread of big men in the water. I'll probably do a series of "elemental men" over the next month or so, with photos of "men in full" surrounded by the other elements as well (fire, water, earth.) Also, there were many more great water shots than I could use in one post, so rest assured that we haven't left the poolside or seashore!



Water brothers, NSFW )


For newer readers, here are some earlier posts which also incorporate watery themes, even if it's just an illustration:

http://men-in-full.livejournal.com/24609.html
http://men-in-full.livejournal.com/26891.html
http://men-in-full.livejournal.com/29189.html
http://men-in-full.livejournal.com/43708.html
men_in_full: (Default)
Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices. - Song of Songs, 8:14


Kate Harding has an interesting combox discussion going on in response to the question, "Do I Have to Find Fat People Attractive?"

Some people just aren't going to, period - just like some people don't find thin people attractive. That doesn't make them bad - doesn't make them "unaccepting." In the realm of the senses, in the realm of my senses, there is and will be discrimination in several different directions. In sexual love I prefer men to women; and I strongly prefer fat men to thinner ones. Even within the vast range of bodies subsumed under the umbrella of fat men, not all will strike within me the peculiar chord of desire. Should I "retrain" myself to respond to that which normally does not move me? I don't think so. It doesn't matter whether my desire is "natural" or not - but it is integral to me, and has been for some time.

At bottom, those first few moments of attraction which coalesce into desire are a mystery. I can't tell you why I find fat men aesthetically beautiful and erotically compelling. In some ways I don't want to know. Malcolm Gladwell in Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, talks about the "adaptive unconscious" - that part of the mind which we simply cannot know. We know it's there; it can be studied through psychological experiments, but to attempt to know our own through cognitive self-examination doesn't seem to be possible. There are whole vast reaches of ourselves that seem to be perpetually off limits to the conscious mind, and yet we seem to do much of our thinking and reacting there. While Gladwell doesn't talk about this much, I wonder if some of our aesthetic and emotional judgments also possibly are drawn from this unconscious well?

We rely heavily on visual images; visual processing takes up a substantial portion of the sighted person's brain. (I am not sure how it works in those who do not have sight.) One can focus too much on visual images, though, especially those with which we get saturated through the media. Sexual attraction and response aren't all visual. A lot of desire has to do with the other senses. Some people can seduce with only a few words, given in the right husky tones, close up against the ear. Some can seduce with a song, with the richness of their voice. Some, when you stand near them and breathe in deeply, fill your whole body with their scent. However, for many, it all begins with the eye.

The eye links to the thinking brain. In other creatures that is not necessarily so. When a frog sees a fly, for instance, the virtually instantaneous response of its tongue to catch its prey bypasses its tiny brain entirely. So does the escape response of the fly (which is why they are almost impossible to swat.) With people, though, we can learn to be inspired by images deemed "sexy" by society (or at least pretend to be inspired, even if our attractions lie elsewhere.) It's not clear when these associations are formed - some are probably genetic; others are formed in early childhood, perhaps others at puberty. But no matter what their origin, the skin probably plays a big part in desire, too, and perhaps the thinking brain isn't so much involved as we think. Perhaps the skin is the conduit or even the repository for at least some of the "adaptive unconscious," at least as far as desire is concerned.

A fat man's body especially appeals to me aesthetically because of the circular beauty of roundness - of the face, of the shoulders, especially of the belly. Visual appeal, though, isn't an end in itself - it points to the possibility of other sensual delights.

To paraphrase the French painter Henri Matisse, love may come in at the eye, but erotic love expresses itself through the skin. To lie up against the fat flesh of love is the fulfillment of that which the eye only suggests. The eye is a path which leads to the foot of a mountain, but to remain at the foot, staring up at the summit, is not to experience what that vast hill of love has to offer. We climb the "mountain of spices" not with eyes alone, but with skin alive with desire and heart inflamed with love.

For love, which comes in through the eye and is felt through the skin, is lived in the heart, in the mind, and in the will. It is a great gift to love someone so much that even if their body brutally, radically changes (think of the late Christopher Reeves before and after his accident which left him quadriplegic), the love is still there, even the sexual love. None of us knows if we have that gift, not until we are tried by fire.

This is not to slight the role of the eye, or the visual "decisions" we make every second of every day, without even knowing it. Some of our "gut responses" of what is desirable or attractive are no doubt conditioned by what we see in the media. But there are also deep reasons, too, for all these permutations of love and desire buried below the surface, the sum total of a whole personal history of thoughts, feelings, experiences. Some will love fat; some will not. It's just how the magic of desire works.
men_in_full: (Default)


In the port of Amsterdam
You can see sailors dance
Paunches bursting their pants
Grinding women to paunch
They've forgotten the tune
That their whiskey voice croaks
Splitting the night with the
Roar of their jokes
And they turn and they dance
And they laugh and they lust
Till the rancid sound of
The accordion bursts


- "Amsterdam," Jacques Brel (English translation)
men_in_full: (iz and marlene)
I've mostly thought of the Swiss symbolist Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901) as a painter of moody islands, but in later life he created quite a few images of mythological sea-people which both charm and disturb at the same time. I came across these:

Two Böcklin sea scenes, SFW )

men_in_full: (iz and marlene)
Amber of Mommynme-Stock is one of those relatively rare women who uses the full-bodied man as subject. She has a series of beach-themed stock photographs which appeal to me, because I've a real soft spot for men surrounded by the elements, especially water.

Images under cut )

My favorite is probably the top one, where the smaller swell of pale flesh contrasts vividly with the cape's larger one.

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