Friday, 26 October 2007

A Question of Bareback

WARNING: this is a very adult oriented post.

I have developed my own rules about what I'll post about here in the 18 months or so I've been doing this. Two of the more ingrained ones are (1) that I don't post about subjects I don't have personal experience or impact of to 'add value' to the blogosphere and (2) I generally don't choose to dwell on depressing matters as I like to have TWFH be something of a pick-me-up for those who read it (hence no Maddie or Northern Rock commentary). Here though I'm breaking both those rules.

This week a timely conjunction of news stories in the gay porn world has brought the issue of 'bareback' material into question.

This is something I feel strongly about so it warrants my comment. Now I could be described as a one-time cog in the gay porn machine, having had photos and videos I've made published in the 90s, but I'm a jobbing amateur these days and most of my work is non-nude solos so I can't claim inside knowledge. Equally, though I lost my virginity bottoming without a condom in February 1983, this was mere weeks before HIV/AIDS reared it's ugly head in the UK and I didn't enjoy it anyway - hence I've avoided being fucked or even doing the fucking for two good reasons. And I haven't ever went for an HIV or even STD test, on the flimsy basis that I think I'd notice symptoms by now. So I'm not a prude or a perfect role model but a product of my time - an era when people had a literally healthy fear of 'the gay plague' as the tabloids had it at the time. It's just not the case now - AIDS has been 'cured' in public perceptions, and certainly amongst the later generations of gay men who are casually falling back into the habits of the pre-AIDS generations. Trouble is, the genie is out of the bottle and AIDS has not been 'cured'.

Now, the lack of alarming 'iceberg' ads on mainstream TV and national newspapers must be one contributing factor and the red ribbons are no longer the fashionable must-haves at your average celebrity awards ceremony but the most insidious contribution to this attitude has come from within - gay porn. Men of all persuasions have long gleaned their sexual education from porn, so it's not merely an entertainment. And here is where America has, I think, done the right thing while Europe has put the bottom line above ethics and sheer consideration for your fellow man. Whole studios in Europe are devoted to bareback/raw 'brands', usually employing the youngest performers from the AIDS-ignorant generation and often from economically exploitable territories. In fact it's increasingly hard to find non-bareback titles if you browse some catalogues. Bareback is becoming the dangerous default. Peer pressure and the commercialized culture of the gay scene makes it more and more difficult to say no to someone who insists on unprotected sex (BTW I'm sure women have had this problem all the time). And frankly I can't see the attraction to what is marketed as and renumerated at a premium - even if you physically crave anal sex without barriers I can't see how that relates to what you watch detachedly on a screen.

Anyway, I don't think you can defend bareback porn on the basis that it sells or that the performers are consenting adults who are well rewarded. The same defence could be used in the context of prostitution, where a bit more public health concern might be forthcoming. Alas, sex is sex in both cases and both prostitutes and porn stars mix with the rest of us in the real world as well as their punters/co-stars. We're not protected from their risk-taking so they should be protected from being put in that position.

The case of the three young porn stars who were infected following a gay bareback shoot was in the UK.

Invasion of the Cat

I've had an unsettling week. Last Thursday, in advance of her rightful owner (my landlord bro-in-law's big brother ... it's a long story I might bring up later) a cat moved in to my house while I was at work. Actually she's officially a kitten because she's only about a year old. They call her Willow (some Buffy reference I'm told).

Anyway, though my family has a long unbroken history of dog ownership (specifically white West Highland Terriers of whom there a currently three in situ next door) I've never had a cat or lived in a house with one. I'm clueless about them. And I don't think I'm a cat person really.

I had instructions to just give her lots of love and cuddles and let her sit in my lap, and I'd been provided with a multitude of kitty consumables so that I had no worries in that regard.

There was a 24 hour honeymoon before the claws and the "what time do you call this?" screeching arrived. Willow even stirred up her own shit in the litter tray (which I felt was very un-feline) to create an almighty and unneccessary pong during the weekend. I'm sure it was revenge for the lack of attention she felt was due. Aren't cats meant to be solitary creatures?

[I should point out here I've just had to go and edit out all the many it references above and replace with she and her ... a subconscious signal of how I feel]

Are cats meant to try and clamber up your chest with claws brandished? Do they get miffed if you stay out late or leave them in the dark overnight? Is there a way for me to stop her using my pot plants for target practice? And why are they just so damn ungrateful for your feeding, watering and cuddling. It's like having a mini-diva squatting.

All advice and sympathy welcome. This situation may need to go on for weeks and months ...

Thursday, 25 October 2007

On the Ball

This doesn't really need me to add anything ;-) Thanks again to Stuart.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Doctor Who - "Time Crash" for Pudsey

Well the official BBC site and the next DWM have pictorial confirmation of Peter Davison's brief return to the series for a "Children In Need" special next month. Entitled "Time Crash" it is written by Steven Moffat.

This raises a few questions for me, most obviously "will it be canon" ? (the 1983 and 2005 CiN specials were but few countenance the 1993 "Eastenders" crossover as canon for either series) , will they recreate the white '80s TARDIS interior for Davison to appear in and will they use a companion actor (the 5th Doctor was never officially alone between stories - Big Finish used this to their advantage with Nyssa, Turlough and Peri expanding their 'sole companion' periods) ?

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Spooky Totty - Raza Jaffrey

Though I'm not immune to the charms of Rupert Penry Jones, my most fanciable member of the current "Spooks" line-up is Raza Jaffrey who plays Zaf. As of the first two episodes of season six (which I caught last night) his fate is unclear, but I hope we've not seen the last of him.

Two things you might not know about the actor: he was in the musical "Bombay Dreams" and has just married his "Spooks" co-star Miranda Raison. I predict very good looking offspring.

Another good reason to catch the new series is the addition of actress Gemma Jones to the team as of episode 2 in which her character Connie proves she can handle a USB stick for MI5 just as deftly as Louisa Trotter could run the Bentinck Hotel.

Some housekeeping notes

"From your 248 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 4,984 items, starred 4 items, shared 2,818 items, and emailed 0 items."

That's what my Google Reader's stats tell me today about my "blog within a blog" which can be accessed (if you're minded and 18) at top left and in almost bottom left column. It does get a shedload of hits, and it needs to with a turnover like that (2918 divided by 30 is just about 94 - that's the average number of external posts per day imported into the blog!).

Anyway I'm after a bit of feedback from my lustier regulars...

Am I overloading it or is it a case of the more, the merrier? I realise there's a fair bit of duplication in there when half a dozen blogs carry the same advertorial for a photoset/video from one particular site or even a celeb photoset such as the flurry this week over the Ben Cohen calendar.

I'm also in two minds about quality control as I don't prune it so much that it's 'la creme de la creme' in there and I've got varied tastes. Saying that I don't consciously include any 'bareback' material on principle and there are obviously certain things that will never appear. My preference personally is for solo material, but I know others crave a bit of action too.

On the other extreme, a lot of the gay blog posts I share are actually quite family-friendly and I do feel a bit guilty shutting them off to younger readers, however I try to copy and paste the best of these into or the main blog. Likewise the real gay porn afficionados may not appreciate the dilution!

And to explain why the 18+ panel widget can look a bit incomprehensible - basically, although it is easy as pie to click 'share' on each item, I can't edit the post title or add a comment as I'm used to with the widget. Hence all the foreign language in there. However, if you can trust my judgement you do get directed to the original post as per the original blog, which in some cases are longer than the feed in the 'collated' version I initiate. The blog owners too would, I'm sure, appreciate the visit.

Two further related points about content here on "the world from here":

As you may have guessed, I've discontinued "Gay Porn Star Peek" mainly due to the 18+ blog subsuming its role a hundred-fold. It was also a bit more of a pain to complile than it looked, especially since I've not had computer access at home. So sorry to all the GPSP fans but I hope there remains enough smut and totty here to keep you amused.

Also, as from today you might notice I'm opening my Flickrs for you! Well at least the public photos from my Flickr account. There's 3 in all and they each display a random 10 photos from 3 distinct sets, landscape photos I've taken (until the camera went AWOL last month), model shots I've taken (usually with Stuart's camera thankfully) and lastly a magpie collection of assorted homoerotica.

You can go directly to any photo that takes your fancy by clicking on the individual thumbnail display or click the lower hyperlink which takes you to the entire sets. Note that every time you refresh or revisit the photo selection changes.

Anyway please feel free to comment (either here or at Flickr) or email direct at cobaltmale (at)


Monday, 15 October 2007

England Rugby Totty

I'm sad that my home team failed to progress past the quarter finals but with England defending their Rugby World Cup title against South Africa next weekend it's a good excuse to dig up these 2001 shots of Johnny Wilkinson when he wasn't quite so sniffy about getting his kit off. One of his 2003 team-mates (who also shared the Northampton dressing room with Sean Lamont) who has no such qualms is scrummy Ben Cohen - his 2008 calendar has just been released and can be had on his website for £12.50.

More Ben pics here

Friday, 12 October 2007

More Mitch

mitchhewer-armpit, originally uploaded by Graeme @ Cobalt Studio.

Again with thanks to the AgeAppropriate blog

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Attitude, October 2007 issue

Thanks once again to Stuart for scanning duties and tipping me off.

If I'm not mistaken, that's Mitch Hewer (Maxxie in "Skins") decorating a second cover this year.

Update 10 Oct: a liitle extra from inside the mag, courtesy of AgeAppropriate blog

Monday, 8 October 2007

Gethin Jones: Strictly Come Dancing

A delightful little compilation from a "Blue Peter" last week where the lovely Gethin's appearance in the 2007 series of "Strictly Come Dancing" is used as another tenuous opportunity to strip him down, this time for a nearly-all-over spray tan from Zoe. (I'm sure we all remember the spontaneous chest waxing he got from Konnie and Liz a couple of years back ...)

Glad to note he's looking better than he did in the initial publicity shots with partner Camilla Dallerup.

And here's some clips of the man in action, shaking his booty in his debut competition piece (a cha cha) on Saturday. Note the expert voiceover, which rated him higher than the fifth place the studio judges awarded.

and in a group swing dance screened on Sunday.

Obviously, it goes without saying that Gethin is my favourite of the men, but I think Dom Littlewood might be the dark horse.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Scottish News Priorities ...

I am quoting verbatim an email I got from my mate Stuart this morning, Bear in mind this is someone who has given me cups of tea in a Celtic mug and is a much more avid follower of the game ...

"Been having a rant on Usenet about the 6 PM Scottish ITV News tonight giving Top Billing to some guy running on to the pitch at Celtic Park last night .A full 5 minutes incl a live reporter at Celtic Park . Then they decided to mention a debate at Holyrood .Can't not give football it's place can we .!!!

Some woman commented in reply to me ..

>I did grasp your point first time around. I also disagreed with
>you on the over dramatisation thing. I was looking forward to
>getting a clear picture of the pillock. The event could be nothing
>it will be something if Celtic end up getting walloped too hard.
>Maybe there are others out there who would have wished fuller
>coverage of the event and it's possible future outcomes.
>Oh well maybe not. I for one felt that the STV coverage was a
>downright disgrace of under coverage.

Check the last sentence . I then asked if maybe she wanted the full 30 minutes devoted to the incident .

Others just accused me of being a greetin' face .FFS "

I am also minded to note that they would no doubt have ended the report with the phrase "And now over to the sports desk ..."

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Doctor Who on your Christmas lists ...

Starting modestly above with the DWM out on 18 October (note "Torchwood" didn't get a cover of its own, but "Sarah Jane Adventures" has) I thought I'd do a quick round-up of some of the glittering goodies targeted for us fans in the run-up to Christmas (yes, it IS closer than you think).

Obviously there's the Season Three boxset (out 5 November), and this year rich completists may like to go for all three available boxes ...

There's the default one here

The Amazon one

And my favourite (as it doesn't overbill the Master at Martha's expense), the Woolworths one

Just announced too is the second volume of Murray Gold's soundtrack music (also released 5 November).

Plus, hot on the heels of the recent Key to Time mega-boxset another classic boxset is available from 26 November. The "Davros" boxset features all the classic stories featuring the creator of the Daleks, including the debut on DVD of "Destiny of the Daleks" which followed immediately after the Key to Time Season. More new DVD extras have also been added to 1988's "Remembrance of the Daleks" for this release. And for the first time, Big Finish have teamed up with the DVD producers to supply a back up set of original Davros audio plays (including one recorded specially) where 80s TV version Terry Molloy is complemented by Rory Jennings as the character in his youth. Mind you the RRP is £99.99 which is more than either of the aforementioned box-sets!

Meanwhile, next up on the regular 'classic' DVD release schedule we're back to Sarah-Jane who features with Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor in 1975's "Planet of Evil".

With the reputation of being a 'Bovril' story (you either love it or loathe it) I have to say I'm very fond and may be tempted as of 15 October ...

Anglo-Saxon Totty - Harry Lloyd

"Robin Hood" returns for a second series this weekend. Lead actor Jonas Armstrong has reputedly hired a personal trainer to buff up his bod and prepare for more shirtless shots (according to the new "Radio Times").

I'm afraid I still prefer Harry Lloyd aka Will Scarlett, pictured above in a pose from the new run of episodes.

Harry has been a busy lad of late - as well as months of filming for this series out in Hungary he also managed to graduate from Oxford University in July and us "Doctor Who" fans were wowed by his performance as Baines/Son of Mine in "Human Nature"/"Family of Blood" in series 3. RTD went on to tip him as a future possibility for the Doctor himself!

He's interviewed on location on the BBC mini-site.

And here's a fansite devoted to the Scarlett one.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Duke Special - Our Love Goes Deeper Than That

Finally found out the name of this track today - a collaboration with Duke Special featuring Romeo of The Magic Numbers and Neil Hannon, the genious behind The Divine Comedy.

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