I think sometimes models may forget that when it comes to avatars, simplicity can sometimes attract more attention. For models, the image they choose, although initially viewed very small, is the images that will eventually want people to see more. The image of model Dennis Bethea at the top of this post is the visual that had me clicking to see a larger version, a beautiful classic image of the male form.
It's hard to put into words exactly why a certain model, a certain image, grabs my attention. If you scour the many models sites across the net, it is not difficult to find tons of images of great looking men without their clothes on. It is not always easy however, to find a model that has you wanting to know more about them. The images of Dennis are powerful on the strength of his physical presence alone. His body is one you certainly want to visually explore but there is also something about him which makes you stop and go beyond the physical appearance.
There is a beautiful contrast between the strength of his body, and the gentle beauty of his face and eyes. Sometimes models, maybe especially muscular fitness models at times, have facial expressions that almost come across as cocky and arrogant. It make turn viewers off of even the greatest of photographs. What I got from Dennis was a quiet respect for the work, he didn't really seem to have anything to prove to anyone, except maybe himself.
It might have something to do with his background. Dennis says his mother is very conservative, and to some extent it rubbed off on him. Taking off his clothes for a camera wasn't something he necessarily saw himself doing and didn't exactly come naturally. Dennis says that he didn't always understand that the naked body could be as artful as one clothed, that was until he saw an image that inspired him. There was a particular model whose naked image was powerful enough to change his view on nudity, and he has been following her work since.
'Honestly I don’t really need a big name photographer to shoot me, all I want is a good experience shooting, good photos, and maybe a some coin after we’re done. I love shooting with some of the guys I’ve shot with already, (Anthony Ragland, BluePhotoNYC, NYCMALE and Hombre Media). There are a lot of talented photographers out there but not all are professional or fun to work with.'
Dennis says he doesn't see this as a career, the Bronx model has several other jobs and various other interests and is fine with keeping modeling as a hobby. When he first began modeling years ago, Dennis says he wanted to be one of those guys on the huge billboards in time square but now his focus on other things. Dennis actually left modeling for awhile, discouraged with some of the people within the industry, but always kept his toe in the water with his profile on ModelMayhem. Dennis says that he would occasionally go his profile and recently got so tired of seeing the same old images, finally got annoyed enough with seeing them and decided it was time for an update! Since returning this year, Dennis says his time working and shooting has been a much more positive experience.
Being on MM means Dennis gets the usual offers for porn, and with his incredible physique, he has also had his share of offers for naked wrestling. Dennis doesn't really mind those offers, as he simply says no, but his modeling wish list is a little bit more refined. Dennis would love to be involved in a couples shoot. Not just posing in a sexual way with a model, but something a little more sensual and maybe a bit more dramatic. Dennis would love to partake in cosplay (Costumed role-play). Dennis along with a beautiful woman, both dressed up as a fantasy characters from history or literature would be at the top of his list of dream shoots.
'The next day my father handed me a book called Basic Facts About Sex. He said I should read it in my spare time and if I had any questions I should come to him. There's a whole section about wet dreams and another on masturbation. Maybe they do know about me after all! My stomach jumped around so bad I had to take a pill.'
I have written a few times about my official coming out. It was comparatively rather late, most stimulated by an engagement to a woman that I knew I could never go through with. Despite being in my twenties, I never really up until that point really felt trapped in the closet. I was doing what I wanted for the most part, had friends and thought myself fairly happy, at least I did at the time.
I hear people talk about knowing almost since birth they were gay. I never really felt that. I did know, strongly, that I was different, or at least thought differently. As a kid however, I had friends both male and female, played hockey and baseball and blended quite naturally with my peers without really giving it much thought. The differences I felt were initially called 'sensitive' by my parents and others. I had a deep, almost obsessive need to think, then talk everything through. Even the smallest problem required a degree of energy most kids did not express. I remember my parents worried how troubled I was over things most others seemed to easily blow off.
I would think and talk for hours about my concern over the birds and mice our cat killed, someone at school who was struggling or being bullied, a relative who seemed depressed or worry about the stress on the tadpoles my brother had in an old bucket in the back yard. This worry, this concern, I later discovered was my attempt to not feel or deal with what was going on in my own life. That, I think I deliberately decided to push until I was older and more ready to face.
There were many hints and signs that I was gay, most of which I didn't really pay much attention to at the time. Actors I became obsessed with, guys I school I crushed over and a certain author who seemed determined not to let me escape from my true feelings. Many teenagers, both female and male spend time during puberty with the works of Judy Blume. A key theme in two of her books, Are You There God, It's Me Margaret, and Then Again, Maybe I Won't, focus on the changes, both mentally and physically of going through puberty.
Blume says that after she finished writing Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, she decided it would be interesting to try out what life was like for a twelve-year-old boy. I was about 12 or 13 at the time of reading and remember the scene with Tony was spying on next door neighbor Lisa Hoober. I don't still have the book (although the one I did own was with the puke green color border at the top of the page), but if memory serves me correctly at one point Tony says 'It went up'. As I read that, I went up as well. I knew instinctively that I was not up because of the half naked Lisa, but instead, because of Tony and what he was experiencing.
Tony's voyeurism was at the time, the most erotic think I had ever read or experienced. The book, like many of Blume's, was like a peek into a world, one that for the most part I had been suppressing. It was a peek into a world I would enter soon, in no small part because of Blume's welcoming invitation.