1.4.0 Shoot #14

Confessions of a child prostitute?
Not my words but his. This confessional comes from a mature and intelligent man who has led an extremely colourful life. He pulled no punches in his interview, but his frankness was not designed to shock but merely to be as honest as possible as he felt I may not have many willing volunteers that would be happy to speak with such candour.

A most interesting man who firmly places himself as heterosexual, but early on he realised this posed a problem in that he had an enjoyment of being penetrated. Discovering the pleasure that could be gained from some occasions in public toilets he was very pleased to find out he could be intimately satisfied and also be paid for the pleasure. So in his own words at the age of 12 or 13 he set himself up as a child prostitute – he takes great pains to point out that this was his decision and that he felt in complete control in every situation. This is another time where we question the age of consent and the latent sexuality of what we call class as children. When they are on control and exploring the pleasures of their body who is to blame? I have no interest whatsoever in someone who is under the age of consent…indeed my preference has always been for older men; around about the age that I have now become. But as I recall my own burgeoning sexuality then the legal age of consent would have meant little to my desires at the time. This is not necessarily a subject that is relevant to the body of work I am creating but just something that has cropped up from a couple of the participants to the project.

“I’m stuck with a label of bisexual when it probably doesn’t really apply…and in a lot of cases it probably doesn’t apply to a lot of men – there is heterosexual & gay and in between this category of bisexual and the range is absolutely massive.” He is beautifully succinct when describing the situation the majority of men my ‘model pool’ come from. These men have a need that cannot be supplied at home but that need can range from S&M, through quick gratification to something a lot more sensual and intimate – but in all cases these are additional needs that can only be found with another man. And again with this model we question the acceptability of sex for the more mature generation…at what age are we expected to hang-up our whips and chains in favour of knitting needles and cups of decaffeinated tea?

As with all these shoots I did not ask the subject to pose. Some shots were taken as he stood, some sat & some lay down but the only minimal direction I give is to make themselves comfortable to allow me time to work around them looking for the angles. He was a fairly mobile person which helped in capturing the more structural shots. As always I sought images that complimented his form and spoke of his masculinity and sexuality (sexuality as a male not as a definition). I must never lose sight that I need to compliment these men and not get lost in images that show the brutal truth of the ageing body. Contrary to popular opinion the male ego is a surprisingly fragile thing and we are invariably hyper-conscious of time’s effect upon our bodies.

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