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Archive for the ‘Pretty young men’ Category

milo-ventimiglia-no-shirtSo, I fell off the face of the planet. Can’t promise not to do it again. I’m still struggling with this stuff, and still can’t face going out to try and actually interact with it. It’s not even the thing itself that worries me at this point, it’s the thought of The Scene. I actually now feel like I want to move towards this, to explore, but I just have no clue how to do it.

So instead, I’ll just keep trawling the mainstream media in the safety of my own home, getting far too excited about everything which looks even a little bit like something which might be my thing.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to post about Heroes for a while. Flawed as it is, here’s a lot to like in it, and I heartily approve of their equal opportunity approach to lechery. Season 2 was pretty much the season of half-naked Milo Ventimiglia, and Season 3 the season of half-naked Zachary Quinto. Thanks, Heroes producers.

In fact, though, Ventimiglia’s character, Peter, didn’t do for me at all in season 1. I might have loved him when I was 12, but as an adult, he was just a bit twee for my taste.

But then season 2 opened…

It’s the contrast as much as anything, so I’ll give you the back story. Peter was a sweet, soft, decent, floppy-haired pretty boy in a family of manipulative political near-mobsters. He was caring, gentle, emotional and perhaps a little fragile, and worked as a palliative care nurse. Then he turned out to have the ability to absorb other people’s superhero powers by empathising with them, making him potentially the most powerful ‘hero’ of the lot. He tried so hard to use his powers for good, but eventually he picked up some radioactive power that he couldn’t control at all, and at the end of season 1 his brother had to fly (like Superman, not like aeroplane) him out of New York in the nick of time to stop him accidentally blowing up the whole city.

So season 2 opens four months later, and Peter’s still missing. Noone really knows what happened when he, um, exploded. Through the whole first episode everyone’s wondering what happened to him. And then, far away, in Cork, some petty criminals with incredibly unconvincing Irish accents (really, rarely have I heard worse) go to a dockyard looking for some stolen merchandise, and open the crate to find not the ipods they were after, but a very confused, shirtless Peter, handcuffed to the wall. All cropped hair, dirt, and muscles. And with no idea who he is or how he got there.

I think my friends were a little confused by how excited I was about it. But I’m sure you can see it. Gentle Peter, suddenly turning up all dirty and muscular and bewildered, like someone picked up that soft, delicate creature, shaved his head, and brutalised him for four months. And then chained him up in a crate, and left him there. What did they have him doing all that time? Was he digging holes? Being forced to use his powers for evil? On a chain gang? Being experimented on? So many fun places the mind goes to.

And then, the not-Irish guys tie him to a chair and work him over. Still half-naked, so you can see all the muscles and sinews stretching. Splendid.

Video of Peter all dirty and bewildered and being beaten up in Cork (YouTube continues to be too smart for me, so you’ll have to watch it on Vimeo instead.)

By the way, it turns out that where he’s been is indeed a ‘research’ facility, where he’s spent four months being the plaything of the boss’s sadistic, lightning-wielding daughter. Awesome. And at first he’s all, ‘These people know best, I should be locked up because I’m a danger to myself and others,’ all docile and quietly taking the pills, but later (persuaded by the ‘English’ guy next door – another truly atrocious accent) he starts plotting to escape, and then he starts smooching up to her and letting her zap him, to distract her from the fact that he’s stopped taking the drugs. Which of course pleases my ‘men offering up their body when out of other options’ thing no end. And wow, I wish I could shoot electricity from my lips. How much fun?

Video of Peter being toyed with by sadistic daddy’s girl in a research facility

The following season, the lightning-wielding sadist, Elle, ends up in a facility herself, where she’s visited by series big bad, serial killer Sylar (Quinto), who killed her father to take his powers. He’s got a sudden case of the warm and fuzzies, having had a taste of unconditional love from his long lost (not really, but he thought so) ‘real’ mother. And so now his long lost (not really, but he thought so) ‘real’ father thinks he can change his ways, and learn empathy to take people’s powers without killing them, by learning empathy.

So Sylar lets Elle take her revenge on him. Which she does by lightninging him up (yes, I said lightninging) to the point where she’s literally flaying the flesh from his bones. I mean, sure, he regenerates, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt (hello, Wolverine, my old friend). And he just keeps getting up and letting her hurt him more, taking it all for her. And really, they could hardly have found a better body to rip the clothes off with lightning.

Video of lightning vengeance

And then, the next season, the government decided everyone with powers should be rounded up and killed/locked up/experimented on -so all the heroes had to go on the run. I love men on the run. The desperation, the fear, the loneliness, the physical hardship, the sheer unrelentingness of it. Yum yum yum.

So, yeah, a lot to love.

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eagle-eye-shia-labeouf-1646I seriously doubt anyone’s going to be bothered, but just in case, I’m declaring spoilers for Eagle Eye.

I have a little Shia LaBeouf thing going at the moment. What a great manga-face. I looooove big eyes. To borrow a phrase from a young friend of mine, I would wreck that.

I mean, look at it.

Why am I boring you with my slightly sinister cradle-snatching lust? Because it represents a partial return to form for me.

You see, I haven’t been quiet just because I’ve been busy (though I have). Nope. I’ve been right off this whole bdsm&m thing. For a good month or so, my brain has been utterly refusing to engage with it at all. It hasn’t wanted to play. It’s been like, ‘You know, this thing is messed up. Let’s just not look at it. We can manage without sex. We can get by without intimacy. Wouldn’t that be easier? Move along now, nothing to see here.’

I’ve been feeling intellectually repulsed by it (I forget who called this ‘social nausea’, but it’s perfectly descriptive), and sexually detached from it.

And then I saw Eagle Eye, and found my… um, ears?… pricking up. And it quickly became apparent that of course it wasn’t the manga eyes that did it (though that helps), but that good old pain/shame/powerlessness/self-sacrifice thing again.

Shia’s character, Jerry, is a drop-out who is weighed down by feelings of inadequacy, having being consistently outshone by his twin brother Ethan and ignored by their parents. At the start of the movie, after being estranged from his family for some time, he hears that Ethan has been killed. Cue funeral scene, with some really top-notch crying.

God, I love crying men.

He then gets ‘activated’ by a mysterious woman who turns out to be a near-omniscient and -onmipotent computer, and spends the next hour or so being a helpless pawn, making futile attempts at rebellion, but ultimately being outclassed and emotionally manipulated. If only the computer had gone in for a little sexual harrassment as well. Sadly, she is a computer and wastes the opportunity.

Learning that his brother worked with the computer as a super-secret Air Force secret agent type, Jerry decides to go along with it and finish the job for him. He then discovers that Ethan actually tried to foil the computer because it was trying to kill the president, and so he has to race to stop the planned assassination.

And this was the yummiest bit.

To do this, he runs into the State of the Union address, where a tiny crystal bomb in a necklace is about to be detonated by a trumpet (I know, mental), climbs on a table and starts firing into the ceiling, knowing full well that, while this is going to save the day, it’s also going to result in him getting shot by every secret service man in the room.

The look on his face as he does this is simply gorgeous. He knows what’s coming and he can’t bear to look. So beautiful.

So, as I’m sure you expected, here are some clips. Funeral (with tears) first and aftermath, then we jump forwards to see him confronted with childhood memories, and then, of course, the grand climax. (If all you want to see is the look on his face as he sacrifices himself for the greater good and his brother’s memory, skip forwards to about 6.45.)

(Edit: Gah! YouTube hate me. You can watch it here instead.)

So, I guess I’m back in the game, dipping my toes in the water once more. I’m still feeling pretty uncomfortable with a lot of stuff – which I’ll write about another day – but at least I seem to be coming out of lock down.

(Edit 2: It seems he’s likely to be playing the last man alive (after a ‘plague’ wiped out all the men but left the women alive) in an adaption of Y: The Last Man. I can see some potential with that concept – but probably the series is miles away from my fevered imaginings.

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You’ll have to forgive me, I really am in fangirl mode at the moment – I just saw the HBP trailers the other day, and the new Harry/Draco promo shots which are spawning a new wave of fanart, and I’ll all overcome with slashy joy.

Geek pride, my friends.

HBP was so great for H/D shippers. Plus, you know, Draco Malfoy terrified for his life and his family’s, stripped of his swagger, set an impossible task, trying and failing to bring himself to kill, totally breaking down and crying big fat tears in the bathroom, so lonely and frightened and desperate that he turned to the ghost of the world’s most annoying muggleborn girl just to have someone to cry at. Desperation. God, I love desperation. When it comes in a pretty blond package, so much the better. And tears. God, I hope Tom Felton can do the tears.

Anyway, as I haven’t posted any video for a while I thought I’d share this rather lovely compilation of beautiful young men kissing. You’re going to want to turn the sound off – the music really interferes with the ability to lap up the boy-on-boy action.

And why have I posted three times in one day? Because there’s a scary piece of official paperwork I’m supposed to be filling in.

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My Christmas present came early this year – I’ve been snowed in at a friend’s house with a few people, including one very beautiful young man who’s spent a lot of time running around in his underwear. I confess I’ve been mildly sexually harrassing him.

Even more fun, one of the girls teaches this, and has been flying us. I wish I could find a good picture to show you. It’s a bit like when you were little and adults would ‘fly’ you on their feet, only with therapeutic stuff built in. Imagine a tiny, petite woman lying on the floor, with a grown man (a beautiful young man) stretched out face down over her hands and feet – essentially, he’s stretched out the way he would be if he were hanging by his arms, with his chest extended, his stomach pulled in – and she has him raise his arms over his head (this is horizontal at this point), bend them at the elbows, and join his hands, so that his forearms are now pointing down his back, and his hands are in a praying position. It was incredibly powerful – this tiny woman effortlessly manipulating a man’s body as if it weighed nothing, him all stretched out and completely dependent on her. Total trust. A kind of submission, really. A kind of bondage, even.

This is the closest picture I could find, except that in this picture the flyer’s body is angled downwards, in the pose I’m talking about the base’s hands were raised so that the flyer is stretched out horizontally and the spine is curved and extended, and of course the arms bent back over the spine really adds some extra punch. Annoyingly all the pictures on the interweb seem to have make bases and female flyers – it’s a totally different experience the other way round.

Not so fun was an odd little moment one morning. For various reasons I’d ended up sharing a bed with the pretty young man (I was very well behaved), and the next morning I made some quip about how he was tired because he’d been fighting me off all night. I’m sure you can imagine the scenario that was in my head – me pinning him down and molesting him, and him struggling to break free. I quickly discovered that what I said created a totally different image in the minds of my friends – the jokes they made in response were all about a scenario where I was pleading with the PYM to have sex with me. It’s so messed up – for most people, a woman actively pursuing sex equates to her being desperate and powerless. Stupid fucking society. There seems to be no way to get away from the rule that a woman’s power lies in saying no – that men must pursue and women must run. How can we get people to see these things differently?

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Wow, I really am working hard to destroy my credibility here.

Yes, I know, it’s Nsync. (Or should that be NSync? N’Sync? I’ve no idea.) But it appeals to me. Those poor, fragile little guys, running around trying to break their strings and escape their tormentor, summoning up the courage to leave her because they ‘can’t take it no more’, despite their uncertainty that they can ‘make it alone’.

(Plus – going after a guy with attack dogs? Yeah, baby.)

What’s up with my head? Really?

I always seem to love any kind of dynamic where a guy is behaving in a way traditionally associated with women. Not a guy pretending to be a woman – this is a crucial distinction – but a guy, being a guy, but in an emotional role traditionally ascribed to women. For example, I loved the relationship between Elliot and Keith in Scrubs, where she was all about the crazy fantasy sex and he was the one wounded by her lack of interest in emotional intimacy. (Though actually I most loved that relationship when all was happy; when he was perfectly happy to let her call the shots. I never felt he was in any sense ‘wimpy’. He wasn’t suppressing anything. He was just happy to let her call the shots. Some people prefer to follow.) Or the relationship between Alan Shore and Denny Crane in Boston Legal, which is not remotely sexual, but is profoundly intimate, in a way that women’s friendships are expected to be and men’s friendships are expected not to be. I find that very attractive.

I think this is one of the reasons I love slash. I mean, obviously there’s the whole guy-on-guy thing, which is just hot. But there’s also a tendency for characters in slashfic to be more emotionally motivated, more visible vulnerable, than male characters in the mainstream. And that really presses my buttons.

How all this sits with the whole ‘big tough guy who fights you hard’ thing I don’t know. Is it different sides of the same coin? Or genuinely different things? My head is a confusing place. But hey, that’s the point of thie blog: to try and develop some kind of roadmap.

Incidentally, NSync definitely fit into my pretty, powerless young boys box. I’d take them in, poor lambs. Then go after them with dogs, laughing maniacly, when they tried to escape me.

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I saw this movie with two very American friends, who really weren’t very comfortable. 🙂

Anyway. It’s the title I’m thinking about today. ‘I deteste anything feminine; except in young men.’ Much as I love big tough subs, I’m also fond of pretty young boys, especially pretty young boys who play on their prettiness. How, you may wonder, does this sit with my dislike of the whole forced fem thing? An interesting question. I’ve spent a fair bit of time trying to work out exactly why I like this archetype, and I think, like the cage-fighting thing, it comes down to a lack of power, of having to get ahead on someone else’s terms.

During the reign of Elizabeth I, a lot of things got turned on their heads. One of the biggies was that, because the person of influence and those closest to her (her ladies in waiting) were women, men seeking influence suddenly had to compete on different terms. In her father’s time, they could get ahead by being one of the boys. In Elizabeth’s time, they found they were better off sexualising themselves.

Elizabeth’s fondness for a pretty leg was famous. This is why trousers suddenly got shortened to crotch level – long, shapely legs became the height of male fashion because Elizabeth liked men’s legs. Especially when dancing. All that leaping around and showing off their legs. She gave Christopher Hatton his first court position because he caught her eye dancing.

The whole dark-eyed gypsy thing that became so popular; the long dark curls, the flashing eyes, the louche, insouciant pearl earring; it was all because during her reign men had to play the game that in most periods women had to play: make yourself pretty and smile at the people with the real power.

I think that’s what I like about it. It’s as if pretty, dandified young men are all saying, ‘I have no power; my only hope is to please you.’

In the non-fantasy world, I’m not, in case you hadn’t guessed, a big fan of the Tyra Banks, ‘post-feminist’ (hah), girl-power school of thought that make-up and heels are a kind of empowerment. I’ll have power on my own terms, thank you very much, not by virtue of other people’s physical desire for me. Are you seriously telling me that pandering to the prevailing standard of ‘beauty’ is improving the female position?

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