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  1. I have been thinking a lot about this lately. It’s a personal thing that seems foreground right now.

    So I guess I’ll start with a confession of sorts, or an acknowledgement more like it: This is a LOT about ego, a lot about body shame, a good deal of it is rooted in resisting getting older (and invisible).

    Also too, I presume to know my audience…and that some of you might identify with some of this and do me the honor of replying either in the comments or privately…

    Be sure I don’t SUFFER this as much as it nags at me.

    I am in my sixties and it sometimes feels like it. But most of the time I am just me, like I have been for decades and decades. I can wear the same jeans, the same shoes, the same swimsuits…maybe a bit of a change in the eagerness to get into designer underwear and such…but it’s more an issue of not wanting to be ‘that guy’. You know, the one who is OBVIOUSLY old enough to be a grandad to the kids at the_______[insert here: party, bbq, bar, nightclub, tailgate, Super Bowl party] who is tragically insistent on trying to wear whatev Timothée Chalamet is sporting and is SO oblivious to the fool he is making of himself. PLEASE STOP ME if you ever see me do that on here or anywhere.

    As time has evolved I have become quite the amateur athlete (have talked some about that) and so bucking the trend of my peers a bit…but it is a very private activity….not a lot of people know I am such a committed rower…it is really what I like to do in my spare time.

    But recently I have noticed that I am NOT ok with the way I look when I catch myself in the reflection of a window on the street, or worse, see a pic someone took of a group of us at some place…I look nothing like the way I think I look. My self image is nothing like the real thing.

    This has now gotten to the point where it is bugging me enough that I am super determined to get the real me closer to the self image me.

    Now here is the rub: how much of this is pathetic.? Is it something I should just give in to? Try to come to terms with? I mean it’s not like I am unable to do any of the stuff I am now engaged in during my shred: weights, rowing a ton, eating cauliflower and kale, and resisting sugar and caffeine….

    Because I actually want to look at myself, take pics for this site and others and LIKE what I see, actually truth be told, get turned on by what I see.

    And let me stress: I am not in a place of hating what I see in the mirror, it’s more like that wince you do when you hear a recording of your own voice and it is NOTHING like your voice….but FUCK! That is what people have been listening to all this time!

    One more thing about this. I touched on the invisible thing. It sucks to know that no one sees you. This is not something I can change by the way I look, or act, but it does matter that I let it matter. The better I feel about myself the less it seems to happen. So I wonder how much a positive self image (or lack thereof) has to do with the sense that you are undesirable, unnoticeable, even a bit repellent?

    I know I can’t control what other people think of me. Trust me, been down that road. But I can and must work on how I think of me. It is an inside job. And then there's that idea or approach that I have to be the best steward to the body that I have...be kind to it...feed it well...change the oil every 5000 miles.

    To wrap up I am on a rowing team. There is one guy who is just 100,000 meters ahead of me throughout the season…I bird dog him every season…he’s 74…and the best season distance on the team? 75 years old and has done 5 times the meters I have done this season. So I am in their wake…and that keeps me from thinking I am getting too old for this shit. It actually makes me so proud to be on their team! And they’re mentors of course…and kick my ass into gear….All important roles to have someone in by my reckoning.

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  2. I wrote this in response on another site and thought I would post it here as well as it fairly well describes a dynamic that comes with my workout that most of you will likely identify with (if not think obvious)

    I have no desire to live to 120, and my mortality is something I think I have come to accept, but will never know for sure until the moment comes...we are dealt the hands we are dealt...Greg is an example of how to include the new material in the current assessment and move on...

    I row on an erg. (kinda a lot). and I do 10-20 K a day. I used to run before I started rowing about 10 years ago. Both running and rowing there comes a point...a place...sometimes quickly in the set sometimes later on...when suddenly...almost overwhelmingly...my mind says STOP....and the ways it says that is telling me that I am in pain...but I have come to recognize that it is not the same as when my BODY says stop...that is completely different. And I have somehow come to recognize when it's my mind and am able to hear that and continue rowing. Now if my body says stop I STOP. Usually it's something fairly serious like dehydration or heat related.

    When I row through the mind signal telling me to stop, like running a red light in a way, it stops...fades...and a few strokes further I get into that place all rowers (and runners) love...a place of seemingly effortless motion.
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  3. So in High School (I went to an all boys boarding school) None of the guys there would have placed me the the “jock" social subset. I was a ski kid, in the mountain climbing club, did Lacrosse and Soccer and into making art. But there was a substantial percentage of the kids who were definitely jocks. A full Varsity and JV hockey team, decent football team attracted to the school by a pretty ambitious outreach by the school to get talent into the eyes of colleges and universities.


    Strangely I was envious…mainly for the community they had…the bonds…and I ran in the periphery of their orbit a lot…befriending some. After school I became more and more athletic…the inverse of what you might expect. My early career and ambitions in that domain kept me from structured team sports until I was in my 40s.


    In the 80s when ‘going to the gym’ became a regular part of social life I again thrived. And since then I have more or less been above average active athletically for my age group.


    But it is all not because I want to be healthy, keep the weight off, or look good (although those benefits are certainly not accidental) it is mainly because working out, doing sports and exercise is like ‘coming home’ to my body. Well not ‘to’ my body…as that sounds a bit like it is separating myself from it…it is the way I embody my lived experience. It feels kinda like it does when I wake up without the alarm in the morning…’coming to’ or gaining awareness.


    My cock has a definite role to play in all this. Because it is in this awakened physical sense that I am most turned on…it is when I am most alive. And most creative, and enthusiastic as well…it’s not just sexual energy…it is life energy.


    So I am a jock I guess…and looking back at those men I knew in school and seeing athletes around town I recognize that energy in a sense.


    And I love community like this…where sometimes (often to be honest) I just log on and scroll the threads to hear the voices and see the images to be reminded that we re all alive, vibrant and to some extent robustly seeking life at its fullest.
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  4. So...I have a theme to this kind of work that I am showing here...the tenure or scope of the pictures and stuff are really about being a guy Raised by Men.

    Many of you know what I am talking about...as to some extent we share this sense of following in the footsteps of the men we admired growing up...the ones we revered and in a sense worshiped. I was lucky in that mine were very relaxed and comfortable in their own skin for the most part. Naked or bare assed a lot of the time around the house (saved on laundry and felt good)...pissed with the door open, pissed together outside side by side...admired one another physically and challenged each other to be the best version of man we could be: to have courage to stand up for ourselves in a fight; to talk straight to one another; to be there for one another come what may.

    Sexually w talked a lot LOL...about porn, about pussy, tits, cocks and how good it felt to beat off...and did so often together.

    I crave the simplicity of that time, and so I guess I am piecing it together here and there...and this is part of that.
    . raisedbymen.jpg
    DSF140, ct_bi_dad, mutualjax and 3 others like this.
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