09 June 2015

For 6/9: My Story

It all started when I was in my mid-twenties.

By the time I was 25 I'd seen pictures of fundoshi about as frequently as any other 20th century human being, which is to say not very often.

Maybe once every 5 or 10 years, a picture in a book or magazine. Never mentioned by name. For some reason though the images always stuck with me.

My interest was initially visual. I liked the way it looked, so precisely folded and wrapped. Simple yet complex, no laces or buckles or zippers to be found. It was a puzzle.

Being a kid, I felt similarly about Hadji's swimsuit/loincloth on Jonny Quest, which looked like a cross between a dhoti and a langot. It also looked comfy and unassuming, in a way that name-brand swimwear never could. In fact I've spent YEARS looking for the Johnny Quest coloring book I had as a child that had a great line drawing of Hadji in that garment, its folds and gathers and his ever-present turban the only things covering him... I'm sure it's long gone.

I don't really know what my first exposure to loincloths was, but I started off in the 1970s if that explains anything!

I always liked them. I think maybe I saw depictions of Algonquin warriors wearing only loincloths in a World Book Encyclopedia and I thought to myself, "I wonder what it would feel like to wear that?" Would there be a breeze? Would it be different than these Sears brand tighty-whiteys that mom and dad buy me?

Jockstraps were part of my sports life, which was like an extension of school. Not sexy to me yet. Man, what a missed opportunity! Locker rooms and communal showers are like the holy grails of male-male attraction. Oh well, now I know that while I was busy averting my eyes and being respectful, I could have been secretly ogling butts and maybe slapping a few of them! Hell.

Back to my story.

I moved into a farmhouse in the early days of the century, with a housemate who was gone all day every day. The house was beautiful but quiet. It was isolated, too. To the south was a huge county park, partly wild, that closed down at 6 PM every day. To the west was a vast cornfield. Same thing across the road to the east. There were one or two small houses nearby, but I'm not sure I ever even saw my neighbors let alone met them. I think I saw one farmer out mowing the fields, in the distance, once. Most of the time it was just me at the house, maybe a deer or a squirrel attracted by the fruit trees in the yard, some vultures circling way up over the cornfields, and my housemate's dog.

I got to thinking of sex frequently, as a young man in his 20s will do.

I remember once when my roommate was gone turning off all the lights in the place, closing all the curtains, lighting incense, putting on King Crimson's Discipline album really loud, and just dancing around naked to it completely free in the pitch darkness.

I think it was that restless urge to be sexier in private than what I would allow myself to be around friends that dredged up memories of the fundoshi glimpses I'd seen over the course of my life. Oh yeah, what was that thing those men were wearing? It was somehow twisted onto their bodies, flowing over every muscle and curve. Stark white fabric on glistening golden skin, perhaps bisecting intricate fields of tattoos.

Being a little under-employed while living at the farmhouse, I was also short on cash so I stayed home a lot. I think I was restless for new sensual experiences in my own solitary way. I'd certainly become a big fan of masturbation, sometimes jacking off 3-5 times in a day.

Ironically, I'd learned about masturbating from Christian conservative Dr. Dobson, who wrote some book about questions every teen asks that my parents handed to me when I was ten.

Rewind to the Reagan years:

Dobson described masturbating in very vague and fleeting terms, buried in a single sentence in the middle of the book, writing that it was something like "rubbing the genitals until a tingly sensation is felt." Tingly sensations! That sounded fun.

It made me remember the time I'd gotten my first hard-on, watching the Incredible Hulk at a babysitter's house. I didn't understand what was happening at all, I even asked the babysitter what it meant that my penis had gotten stiff. I think she explained that the intensity of the TV show had gotten me nervous and afraid, and this was my body's response to my amplified state. Good answer, babysitter!

...Even though I would misinterpret a boner as a fear response until my buddies in 4th grade gleefully enlightened me as to the true purpose. I don't know how old I was for the Incredible Hulk episode, maybe 8 or younger?

I got my first bedroom all to myself around the time I read Dr. Dobson's book, so I sat on the edge of my bed and masturbated for the first time. That was 30 years ago. I masturbated daily for most of the next three decades! Of course for the first while there was little cum as my body hadn't really started producing it yet, but soon enough puberty really kicked in and I couldn't seem to ejaculate enough to keep up with the industrious semen-production of my overzealous balls.

I already knew I was into loincloths and to a lesser degree underwear. It wasn't the leopard skin Tarzan style (though I liked Tarzan a lot). The kind I liked most from a young age were Native American breechcloths, as well as the Aztec maxlatl, and the linen kilts worn by ancient Egyptians in murals. National Geographic had some great painters for their archeological articles and every time a Central American city got excavated out of the jungle, I was right there with rapt attention. I also always noticed loincloths in comics, from Hawkeye to Conan The Barbarian.

Up into my early twenties I would frequently hold wet washcloths up to my hips in the shower so that it hung dripping over my genitals like the apron of a loincloth. Often this was a prelude to masturbating. The shower was perfect for jacking off as a teen, all the evidence swirled down the drain!

Somewhere there are some really old pre-selfies I took with an instamatic camera of my skinny, 13- or 14-year old body clad only in a pair of very short red nylon trunks with white piping. In another photo I have a striped terry cloth towel wrapped between my legs and cinched at my sides. It looks kind of like a giant diaper without safety pins, though I've never gotten into diapers. It was the best I could do with a bulky bath towel.

This was back when you took your film somewhere to get developed, so I wonder what the developer thought of those?

Fast forward to the farmhouse:

Left to my own devices in a remote house with little to do but smoke weed and jack off, I began searching around online until I found it: fundoshi was its name. It was somehow related to what sumo wrestlers wore, yet very different in finished form and visual impact. It always seemed to be snowy white fabric.

I wanted to wear it. I could not figure out how to!

I could kind of fake the look but it wasn't even close to what I was seeing in magazine photos. Either it wouldn't stay tied, or it looked awkward and off-kilter. I genuinely liked the feeling of a sling of fabric buoying up my balls, so I persisted.

Either way whatever I was tying was not a fundoshi. Not yet.

Maybe it's just that I didn't know where to look back then, but information seemed exceedingly rare. These days I can check a few sites and do an image search and turn up an average of 5-15 fundoshi pictures I've never seen each day. A couple times a month someone new will e-mail me with some new fundoshi experiences or photos.

I can't get enough.

I want to get my hands on the pre-internet photographs, magazines, and artwork that features fundoshi. Old issues of Bon magazine. Out-of-print Tamotsu Yato photography books. Porn. All of it. I know there's so much more to see!

All the information I was finding during my early attempts to uncover the secret of fundoshi was in Japanese, or occasionally Thai. Translating algorithms were still very primitive.

Well, I thought, looks like I'll have to figure this out myself.

At the time, I avoided overtly homoerotic depictions of fundoshi. I focused on the simpler depictions of what was clearly a manly garment associated with everything from farming to fighting. I studied the images intently for clues, every once in a while finding something incredibly helpful like a YouTube video or a scan of the instructions printed on the packaging of commercial fundoshi.

There was a lot of trial and error involved, and a lot of learning on my part that this simple piece of cloth was revered in Japanese culture. Poems mentioned it. It was freely depicted in artwork, no shame or provocation at all depicted in most images of it. No awareness of how sexy it looked to Western eyes.

No doubt I've mentioned that my first fundoshi was an old, soft, white bed sheet that I tore into strips for the purpose.

A fundoshi's resemblance to a thong has been remarked on many times before, but it was the front view that I particularly liked.

A latent bulge fetish? Maybe. Probably. Okay, yes, definitely. But I was still oblivious to this as I sought to perfectly capture my tackle into that mounded shape with its slight crinkle that I saw in all the best photos.

I've since relaxed my formality about striving to tie a classically-perfect fundoshi. Comfort is key for a daily wearer like me.

I've also gradually relaxed that formal standard of only presenting clean, masculine, dignified pictures of fundoshi here on this site... What am I saying? I opened the floodgates of eroticism. Exposed penis? No problem. Cum stains, anal sex, hot sweaty bondage? Sure, as long as there's at least one fundoshi being put on, taken off, or worn, as part of the activities!

First off, the fundoshi lends itself quite well to sexual fetish and expression. It's "a sort of soft bondage," suggested journalist Camille Oger when she interviewed me for Têtu magazine's article on the fetish scene in Japan a couple years ago. I felt unqualified to speak for all fundoshi-wearers. However I wrote lengthy answers and she seemed curious and willing to overlook my very indirect connection to the fundoshi's parent culture.

She's exactly right about the soft bondage observation. Fundoshi holds in the belly and gently yet firmly restrains the male sex. It feels absolutely great when a lover loosens and removes it -- especially if they've let you squirm around in it for a while during foreplay as your growing arousal pushes against unyielding fabric. It exquisitely "draws the eye to the genitals even as it conceals them," to paraphrase Dr. Otto Steinmeyer's essay The Loincloth Of Borneo.

For me, the wearer seems subordinate to the looped fabric around their loins. The fabric is the dominant who demands that form be followed. Yet it's the beautiful form of calligraphy rather than anything brutal or institutional.

Body style, male or female, not an issue. Some people only like bears, or otters, or twinks, or silver daddies, or women, or really heavy guys, or young guys... not me. All of the above. If you like fundoshi, if you want to see me in fundoshi and show me yourself in fundoshi, I'm into it. It took many dozens of years before I felt comfortable reaching out to fundoshi-wearers I encountered on the internet. I was fortunate that a few spoke English; with many others I stumble through Japanese translated by Google, hoping and praying I don't sound like a moron or that I'm not accidentally being insensitive.

I've screwed up with that a few times.

Yet without fundoshi and all the generous souls along this path who've shared so much information and so many images with me, I may never have found my true sexual self. Sex isn't the regimented thing that the far right or American tradition have made it, something never spoken of and repressed to the point that it pops up in all kinds of unhealthy ways in our society. Nor is it the series of pigeon-holes that most of the rest of society offers up as a series of boxes to be checked, sexual absolutes and behavioral norms.

"I am a left-handed, non-standard velvet fetishist who prefers green lightbulbs and water with no lemon."

Look at how limitless human sexual expression is, yet instead we've settled for a society where that expression is mostly realized as advertising gimmicks, as an endless source of illicit commerce, or as the vehicle for predators and abusers to inflict harm. Such missed potential!

Sex is most definitely not "just for procreation." Other species, such as dolphins, engage in sex for play. Stallions masturbate quite frequently and shamelessly. Humans have invented a garden of delights centered around sexual pleasure, radiating out into all areas of life and manifesting as varied preferences, as countless allusions and allegories in our stories and songs and films, and as entire social/historical institutions. But then we've studiously buried these feelings and activities in the crawlspaces of our lives.

We were born into a society whose attitudes and morals were already solidified.

Sex is as astonishing and as vast as the stars in the heavens. Every time I think I've seen it all, something new to me blows my mind. And sometimes, something old comes back for a visit.

I've had sex with myself -- or really, with my right hand -- thousands and thousands of times. I've spilled billions of sperm, gallons of prostatic fluid. I've probably wasted gallons of shampoo and conditioner on my cock to lube up shower-time adventures. Without the now familiar feeling of a fundoshi passing between my butt cheeks and nestling right up against my anus, I might have never slid a shampoo-slick finger into my ass and felt around, discovering my prostate, and a whole other world of pleasurable sensations.

A month or so ago, I uncovered a latent underwear fetish that had been laying dormant for, well, forever. I've always liked underwear. Periodically the International Male catalog would show up at our home when I was young, so I saw attractive male models posed in fashionable underwear -- what was essentially masculine lingerie! I think I absolutely loved that idea. Manly yet expressing the sexual force that lingered underneath the stretched cotton contours. Tough and tender.

Underwear was a secret. I remember discovering a box of bikini briefs in my dad's dresser one time. I stole the black pair. Now, I wish I'd stolen the blue-and-white pinstriped ones. Back then, black seemed like the most common color and the one he'd be least likely to miss. Now... I wish I still had the whole box!

Underwear, in stripping and seduction, is considered an "interval" between the dignity of being fully clothed with a romantic partner and the perilous jungle of naughty possibilities that being naked with a romantic partner can unleash.

I still have those black briefs tucked in the back of a drawer. These last couple weeks, I can't get enough of videos where guys perform all manner of acts with one another, but the undies stay on no matter what -- even if it means tearing a hole in the seat of a nice pair of briefs for efficient anal access.

Jockstraps of course render that issue moot.

Just days ago, an equally latent "gear" fetish flared up. I played sports when I was younger, mainly soccer and hockey but some swimming and track too. I had no idea there were guys really into sports equipment!

Jockstraps and Speedos, of course. I knew guys were into that. Wrestling singlets, sure. Locker room sex, yeah, you'd have to be pretty thick not to realize that was a major gay porn trope.

But football pads and scuba equipment and Motocross leathers? I have no idea why that didn't occur to me before as an area of sexual interest but let me tell you I am really intrigued by it this week and it has incredible erotic range and potential! I really like the idea of transforming utilitarian equipment and uniforms into something kinky. To so many, sports merely inspires fandom but to gear guys it is a wellspring of sweaty, salty delights.

Chatting with a young guy in Canada, he asked me if I would electro-stim his cock remotely from the bleachers while he played hockey! Wow. He showed me the electrode that would go inside his cup. It wrapped around the head of his cock and inserted into his urethra. I asked him if he cums around it, he said yes. I asked him if he's ever tried it inside a cup, he said yes. I asked him if it got messy, he said yes.

He asked if I would rather E-stim him on my bed or on the ice? I suggested that I handcuff him to a tree instead, so he wouldn't catch hypothermia wearing only his strap and cup.

That conversation blew my mind. I never even thought of an electrode that fit inside my urethra, that someone else could control. Am I that much of a newbie? I guess I was distantly aware of electro stimulation. It seems in fact lots of people are into it. Where have I been?

Fetish is a wide world. 

I've always really appreciated the artistry and sometimes palpable sexual agony of rope bondage, and the decorative end of shibari is something I mean to explore quite soon (I've even bought a book!). Other than that, mainly visual and voyeurist fetishes -- the perfection of a fundoshi on another guy, taking seductive pictures of myself, and remotely viewing bondage, appeal to me.

I guess I am still fairly sexually green, as far as the wide world of fetish goes. A spectator at the carnival.

I've always been naturally talented at sex, but I was never even close to promiscuous. I would call myself more of a serial monogamist. Girls and I partnered up for a while, anywhere from five months to a couple years. I never sought sex without an emotional and intellectual connection too. This made it harder to be successful with girls I liked who were not so into the idea of partnering up. Whatever, I know I left a trail of satisfied and appreciative women. I know this because it's a short trail and I still see almost all of them socially. They're all strong people and that's definitely one of my factors of attraction.

Okay... not to make it all weird.

While I appreciated my own male body and its budding sensual abilities, all my slowly simmering homoerotic tendencies were filed away rather abstractly and I can't say I was attracted to any males I knew growing up or in college.

Out of curiosity, raise your hand in the comments of this post if you're a woman who reads this blog! I'm going to guess that it's 99-100% male readers, mostly gay, some bisexual and a few otherwise gendered. It would be awesome to be wrong about my guess.

It was only very recently that I got aroused for the first time by a male friend. He and I and a mutual girlfriend were hanging out at a bar having a few drinks and we decided to walk back to her house for a few more drinks. While there, he got really animated talking about his plans for the music he was recording. It was infectious, I got fucking inspired by what he was saying. Unknown to him, I was wearing a black fundoshi underneath my jeans, and I started to get hard. I was a little intoxicated, so I didn't really know what to do. I tried to pass intoxication off as the reason I couldn't sit still, but I was squirming around trying all at once to both hide and diminish my erection.

So that was new.

Sitting in the room with a good friend, fully dressed and not being at all sexual, yet getting aroused by him and his presence and his excitement about life was unique and cool and gave me an insight into what attracts me. I've certainly been turned on by many of you on frequent occasions, and frequently wished we could be hanging out in the same room, but we are often being flirty and dirty knowing we are continents apart. I've seen most of you in only a loincloth!

I've seen countless guys on film of course who aroused me.

My porn passion last year was (and continues to be) frottage. Known by many other names, frot is when two (or more) guys help each other pleasurably by rubbing their cocks together. There's a surprising amount of imagination and passion that goes into this simple act, and I can tell it feels great because guys I see on video are ejaculating all over each other, usually after copious quantities of precum seeps out of them. It also does a nice job nearly eliminating power dynamics. Yet this simple, sweet erotic act remains on my bucket list. It takes two to tangle. I nearly hooked up with a local guy looking for a jerk buddy, but then he said something racist. Instant boner killer.

We focus a lot on butts and bulges here. Shoulders and chests too, to be fair. Handsome or beautiful faces, also. Nice calves, sometimes feet. But to me it's the brain that's the sexiest organ. You can be hotter than freshly-erupted magma, polished and muscular, but if you can't have a conversation (or if you are mean or selfish) it is not going to happen in my pants. I've never been able to be 100% purely physically attracted to anyone. There's always a mental component.  It's why for me, staring into each others' eyes beats kissing during sex. More information flows. Or sometimes closing my eyes and letting my body be the pilot.

That is a lot of words! But I wanted to journal about it while I had a brief memory-window to that feeling of discovery I had uncovering my particular spot on the sexuality spectrum and introducing myself to fundoshi-wearing.

Since then, I can honestly say that I have grown to become a member of a true community. I really love it here, splashing around in this huge ocean of sexuality with you; all of us lovers of the fundoshi and friends of one another!

The images scattered through this entry are pictures I've taken over the last year. I hope you enjoy looking at them in every possible way, though I am not the best photographer nor do I have the best camera. I live with others, so I often have to take pictures hastily while everyone is away. With a little planning and/or a little spontaneity though, the results can be fun. If anyone would like to see more photos of me, send me an e-mail. I enjoy hearing from you!

Always working on climbing the next height, and looking forward to meeting you there!

-- Ry


Papalo Q said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalo Q said...

Hey Ryan,

How do you think the maxtlatl was worn?

My guess is to bring a length of material around the waist, tie it at the front, and then bring one end between the legs and over the top of the waistband at the back.

Any info?

mahasikhari said...

This is one of the most honest and open accounts of male sexuality I've ever read. If every one could or read this they would be well on the path to their own enlightenment, which naturally starts with understanding the deepest functions of the material body we travel in in these lifetimes, both at the gross level (sensual) and the subtle level (psyche, ego, emotion).

Thanks so much for sharing this Ryan.

Ryan Rokushaku said...

Papalo, I am eager to find out more about maxlatl, too! The closest thing I can find is the sirat worn in Borneo that is discussed about halfway down the page. I don't think they're alike, but I think the same tying principle could be being used.

If anyone out there can demonstrate how to tie a maxlatl, it would be great to see it!

Ryan Rokushaku said...

Oops, meant to link that: http://www.ikanlundu.com/literary/borneo_loincloth.html

Ryan Rokushaku said...

Mahasikhari, thank you for that encouragement! I was really nervous as I was writing this, I've never been this candid. But I decided not to edit it, just let it flow outward.