Monday, July 2, 2018

Erotic Isolation: Craig by Richard Rothstein

'We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.'
Orson Welles

Isolation is a theme I've explored often over the years. Although many think of sex as involving more than one person, for most, especially men, sexual gratification is just as likely to be a solo sensation. Beyond sex, moments of eroticism, titillation and lust often occur when we're alone. I've had some of my most powerful sensual sensations while driving in a car, or walking or running by the lake. They're usually not planned but arise from a quick thought or memory that triggers an arousing reaction.

When I first saw Richard Rothstein's series of images with Craig, I was struck by the overwhelming sense of erotic isolation. There is almost a science fiction feel, like a Twilight Zone episode where the main character awakes to find that everyone on the planet has disappeared. Richard's images drew me into a story of Craig waking up and finding himself totally alone in one of the busiest and most populated cities in the world, New York.

In only his tighty whities, Craig explores his neighbourhood looking for any signs of life. Finding no other beating hearts, the first thing Craig feels is the quiet. An overwhelming quiet with no sounds from animals or birds, not cars running or honking and not even the hum from the electricity that energized the city. After the shock wears off, Craig begins to adapt to his circumstance and decides to slip off his undies and take control of his domain.

As the only person left, for the first time Craig has total control over what he does, where he goes and what he thinks. Without any eyes to see, to judge, Craig walks confidently through the streets of the city that were once a challenge to navigate and get through. Of course the courage and confidence would eventually transition to feelings of fear and loneliness, but for awhile, Craig immersed himself fully into his erotic isolation.

Or course, all of Manhattan didn't head upstate so that Richard and Craig could have the city to themselves. But... the calm, quiet and isolation came from hitting the streets before the crack of dawn when the city is as still as it can be. Like his recent work with Clay, (A Walk in the Park) Richard says Craig too had a surge of Pride an defiance taking on the big apple with all his naked glory. Of course, given this wasn't a science fiction TV show, the journey did include running into a few other signs of life...

'We did encounter a very handsome dog walker and sat and watched us for about 15 minutes. His smile was priceless. His dog just kept staring and clearly thinking 'there’s an ass that needs to be sniffed!'

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