Mar 5, 2014

Naked Rugby Team Calendars

When I was a kid in the 1970s, you could see naked guys only by sneaking into a locker room.  I didn't even know that pictures of naked guys were available until the spring of my freshman year in college, when Lars Lundquist, the photographer responsible for my brief modeling career, told me.  They were very rare, apparently acquired through mail order, passed from hand to hand like sacred texts.

When I turned 21, I found In Touch and Mandate at the adult bookstore in downtown Bloomington, Indiana.  So I could get about 20 pictures of naked guys every month, but the magazines were very expensive, about the equivalent of $20 each today.

Then came the internet, and cell phone self-photos, and suddenly 50,000,000 photos of naked guys were available with a few clicks.  All sizes and shapes.  Russian Orthodox priests, African-American bodybuilders, dwarfs into leather, fratboys dropping their pants at the Wal-Mart, whatever.  If you weren't careful, you could spend all day just accumulating and classifying hundreds of naked guy photos.

So why would anyone want to spend money on a calendar with amateur guys getting naked?

1. The guys are spectacular, the cream of the crop of amateur rugby players, rowers, military officers, Marines, and so on.  Although with the recent proliferation of nude male calendars, sometimes they're less spectacular celebrities, artists, factory workers, and farmers.  Nothing wrong with seeing some bodies of "regular guys."

2. It's for charity.  Since 2009, the Warwick University Rowing Club has stripped down every year for Sports Allies, which fights homophobia and bullying. Other groups strip down to fund breast cancer or AIDS research, or children's charities, or to memorialize a fallen comrade.

3. They're not heterosexist.  A few professional naked-male calendars are aimed specifically at gay audiences, but most are advertised with rhetoric like "for the ladies!"; "every woman's fantasy!"; or just "a woman's calendar."  These are usually advertised without specifying a gender.

4. Don't let these coy pictures fool you.  There are a lot of full frontal shots.

So far it's been mostly European and Australian men with the bollocks to pose nude for charity, but a few American teams have gotten in on the act, like the Nashville Grizzlies, a gay rugby team.

March isn't too late to get a 2014 calendar; they're half-price.

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