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Category: February PhotoFest 2020 (page 1 of 3)

Is This It

Today’s album cover is The Strokes and Is This It. Why doesn’t that album have a question mark? Whatever the answer is, the person we have rocking this look is @19syllables and one thing we know for sure is that nobody ever says ‘is this it?’ when she gets her butt out!

February Photofest

Fat Bottomed Girls

So, the eagle-eyed among you will realise I’ve gone slightly off brief here. You see, this is meant to be album cover week and Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen was a single not an album. But having trawled five years of archives for today’s Throwback Thursday I realised that I hadn’t once done an album-themed photo. So a single it has to be!

February Photofest

Cigarettes After Sex

“I am a respiratory registrar; my day job involves treating smoking-related lung diseases like emphysema and lung cancer but I still believe that in the right circumstances, smoking can be really fucking hot!” The Other Livvy

I’ve known for a while (about two years!) that I’d eventually get round to doing an album cover series. This Cigarettes After Sex cover has been on the list since the beginning. I don’t know much about the band but I was captivated by Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby during the first series Handmaid’s Tale and when I looked the tune up on Spotify I immediately approved of them using this Man Ray image for their cover art.

The title of the album also makes me hugely nostalgic for, well, cigarettes after sex. Cigarettes after sex go together like cheese and wine or strawberries and cream. Like all ex-smokers there’ll always be a part of me that romanticises cigarettes and misses them, even though I know they’re bad for us and ludicrously expensive and make us smell and taste bad. Part of me wishes we didn’t know so much and could all just bust like Marlene Dietrich.

When I was figuring out my February Photo Fest photos I put Livvy’s name against this photo because I knew she’d pull off the Man Ray look so wonderfully. It was only as I started reminiscing about all the excellent post fuck fags I’ve had in tents and fields and manky student bedrooms and lying on lawns of stately houses during May balls that I suddenly thought: “bloody hell, she’s a lung doctor, that’s a totally inappropriate caption for her photo.” Then I remembered the above quote from this post and laughed out loud. She’s right, in the right circumstances smoking can be really fucking hot. Or at least it was.

This spate of nostalgia has been heavily influenced by the re-run of This Life on BBC4 and iPlayer. If you are of a certain age and disposition and are similarly besotted with that programme may I recommend The Guyliner on why you are not and never will be Anna from This Life!

To say the programme influenced my early twenties would be an understatement. The first series broadcast during my last term at university and a few months later as six of us stumbled into a three storey town house in Camden with its primary colour walls and big windows and high ceilings one of us exclaimed: “it‘s just like the This Life house,” and we put the deposit down on the spot. We weren’t lawyers, we were all working in PR, fashion and travel, but we swanned around Camden feeling like we were the This Life gang. When the second series landed in spring 1997 we felt like we were watching ourselves. We had the washing up and stolen yoghurt arguments, we had a couple who at times were not dissimilar to Egg and Milly, we had a flatmate move in a dodgy partner, there were the money dramas, the job dramas and lots and lots of partying, booze and sex.

While we saw our London life and home and co-living dramas reflected back at us and we definitely allowed ourselves to be influenced by it, I didn’t think it had influenced the sex we had that much. I mean, we had a lot of it with a lot of different people, but we were 22 and box fresh graduates with disposable income arriving in Camden amidst the excitement of 1997. If we hadn’t been having a lot of sex we’d have been missing an open goal.

I say I didn’t think the show had influenced the sex we had.

For more than twenty years I’ve had a fantasy about fucking on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. I’ve had many orgasms to that fantasy over the years. The details change. Sometimes the audience are just watching, sometimes they are wanking as they watch. One time David Beckham was in the audience wanking. I always thought it was bizarre that I’d magicked this fantasy up before I’d ever visited the Royal Albert Hall. In recent years I’ve used the fantasy as an example of how I was clearly an exhibitionist even before I’d heard the word or read anything about it. But last week I’m watching This Life and Milly, Egg and Anna are watching porn. “How can people do that in front of a camera?” says Milly, to which Anna retorts: “I’d fuck on stage at the Royal Albert Hall if it meant I was getting some.” Ah!

Oh, I love my life now. I love my solo-living, clean and tidy, smoke-free flat in suburban south London. But fucking hell, if for one day I could just magic myself back to Camden of summer 1997 and be 22 with it all to come and lie in bed listening to the noise of the house and the street as I smoke a cigarette after sex…

February Photofest

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Gold Against The Soul

On Tuesday 18th February 2014 I flew to Poland to visit Exhibit A. Six years ago today! I only realised this as I was drafting these posts last night (I’d originally intended this photo to close album cover week on Friday). That was only the second time he and I had ever met and in hindsight maybe it was a bit of a bonkers thing to do, but I was only six months into a new chapter and I was making up for a lot of lost time so when he suggested it I thought ‘fuck it’!

That first evening in Warsaw we discovered we had a shared love of the Manic Street Preachers. Anyone who pays even the slightest bit of attention to my Twitter or blog will know that the Manics occupy a special place in my affections and finding another fan always makes my heart sing. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen them since I paid £6.50 to see them at Warrington Parr Hall in October 1992 – closer to 40 than 30, I’d say – but the last few times have been with Exhibit A. They’ve definitely become one of our red threads.

This blog was started exactly one year later (five years ago this coming weekend!) and pretty much since day one I’ve wanted us to do a copy of this album cover. With those twisted limbs and roses near eyes it’s not really one you can quickly shoot on self-timer when there’s just two of you! Finally, during our group gathering a few weeks back there were enough extra hands for me to be able to tick it off my list.

A lot has changed in those intervening years – a fact that’s probably most neatly summed up by saying his wife took this photo while his one-year-old daughter was napping in my office! Back then I was in a ‘fuck it, I’ll try anything’ phase but not really having any structure to that part of my life or thinking too much about what really made me happy; now I’m in a much more settled place of knowing what combination of ‘partner light’ relationships and casual but valued play date arrangements work for me.

I think I can probably speak for both of us when I say that if someone had told us six years ago that we’d be taking this photo and in what circumstances, neither of us would have believed them. But I’m very happy that as both of our lives have evolved we’ve managed to maintain and grow our own connection. Here’s to many more Manics gigs, late night singalongs to Design for Life and, of course, photos!

February Photofest

Lovesexy

I have lots of outtakes of this photo! It’s remarkably hard to get someone to clasp their chest and stare into the distance with an intense and tortured Prince expression on their face without them breaking into giggles.

February Photofest

Remedy

If you missed yesterday’s epic photo then you may not know that my February Photo Fest has moved on to reimagining album covers. Today we bring you Remedy by Basement Jaxx featuring Honey, Haiku, Katteroo and Livvy.

Sinful Sunday
February Photofest

My Pussy Belongs to Daddy

Well, food week is behind us and so to a week of images inspired by album covers. Some will be a little arty, some sexy, some just, well, words escape me…

First up I bring you Kateroo and George in a homage to My Pussy Belongs to Daddy.

February Photofest

Hide the Sausage

It’s the final day of food euphemisms week and I’ve saved the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it!) for last. And appropriately it falls on Valentine’s Day.

There are many things I value about having Exhibit A in my life, not least that he is a great partner in photography crime. As well being an excellent model when I decide to get my arty shizzle on, he will also humour my more unusual requests. I thought maybe I’d peaked last year with Cockshot(t) but it seems not. In case you needed any confirmation, he really is the best person to hide the sausage with. Happy Valentine’s Day!

February Photofest

Hairy Rambutans

For Throwback Thursday on Food Euphemisms week, here I give you my hairy rambutans. They first made a public appearance in my Journeys post a couple of years ago but the photo was actually taken six years ago when I was in Indonesia for work.

Rambutan is the Malay word for hairy and in the course of this crazy February Photo Fest I learnt that these lychee-like fruit are a south-east Asian euphemism for testicles. What would we do without Google?! This photo was the first of many photos I have sent to Exhibit A from hotels in far-flung places. It predates this blog by more than a year. At the time I thought I was sending him a flirty fruity photo, little did I know I was sending him a photo of my hairy bollocks and that one day I’d post the photo on the internet.

February Photofest

Ooh!bergine

Last Wednesday’s post was a celebration of the friends I spent a wonderful and hilarious Saturday with, capturing many of the photos you’re seeing here this month. You could call this post part two.

One person who was missing from the cast of characters mentioned last week is today’s subject. He also made an appearance in the Sound of Music week and will be here again in the album covers theme next week. Those photos were taken the day before the group gathering but despite not being fuelled by a Bellini brunch he embraced my ridiculous ideas with just as much enthusiasm. And it was the first time I’d ever met him!

As I said last week, I was pretty blown away by what my friends got involved with but at least I’ve got shared history with them. There’s years-long friendships there; they’re people I’ve laughed with, cried with, shared meals and boozy nights with, I’ve been at their weddings and big birthdays and looked after their babies, we’ve played board games and visited museums together. Our photo adventures sit within a rich tapestry of deep friendships.

Not this chap. Imagine being so brilliantly game that within half an hour of meeting someone you’re stood butt naked in a park on a cold and windy January day while a relative stranger straddles a muddy puddle so she gets the right angle. Then going back to her place and posing with an aubergine over your cock. He first mentioned us having a photo adventure back in the autumn after seeing my Yorkshire Moors outing with Missy. He may have been imagining expansive vistas but he got emoji dick pics and muddy suburban parks. I did buy excellent cake, but still, kudos!

But this is yet another thing I love about our little corner of the online world. For all the shittiness and snark it throws our way, Twitter is an excellent place to get to know brilliant people. For the record, this man and I have many good friends in common and had been online acquaintances for a while – he was a ‘by now our paths really should have crossed in offline life’ person. In short, I don’t do photo adventures with actual strangers. Only people I already know I can trust get to lie on my bed holding a shiny purple protuberance.

Thank you for being such an excellent sport. You have many many credits in the bank for majestic outdoors nudes and beautiful arty black and whites and I look forward to you cashing them in!

February Photofest

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

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