I caught up with Richard Crowe and asked him a few personal questions.
Can you remember the first time you jacked-off?
As an early developer, one of the first to have pubic hair in my cohort, I was very young when I started to masturbate — no more than nine years old.
My father was a keen collector of straight pornographic magazines — Mayfair, Penthouse, Fiesta and the like — which he hid in various places around the house to keep them from my mother. Keeping them from us, my older brother and I, was a different matter, however. I think we found every hiding place and plundered his collection mercilessly.
At this time my brother, 12, and me, nine, shared a bedroom — two single beds against opposite walls. I remember my brother reading out loud from the Forum section of Mayfair — a place where ‘ordinary housewives’ or whoever would confess their sexual peccadilloes and adventures. Pretty graphic stuff with as much mention of dripping cocks as slippery tits — it was always the cocks I wanted to hear about, even then.
As I listened, without knowing what I was doing or why, my hand strayed down to my small but very hard cock — all perfectly natural, I suppose — and I began to rub myself. I believe my brother was unaware of what I was doing throughout — not that I would have cared — and, of course, he too, unbeknown to me may well have been masturbating.
What I distinctly remember was a growing sense of excitement and pleasure as I continued to rub my cock. The words my brother spoke, at once, both hugely stimulating and seemingly irrelevant, disappearing into the ether as the tingling in my cock grew in intensity. Until I reached a point where I had to stop or die or pee or laugh out loud or scream. In other words, I had an orgasm. No ejaculate, no sperm or semen, obviously, but an orgasm nonetheless.
How did you feel when you first jacked off?
I think my first thoughts were that I’d discovered something wonderful and unique to me. It never occurred to me at the time that my brother might have done the same thing, or that boys everywhere might do this. But I knew that I would do it again and often because it felt so good — I went on to do it six or seven times a day regularly.
I had no feelings of guilt, dirtiness or the like at that time, though I understood it was something private to do behind locked doors or under the sheets. Also, despite the ‘experience’ gained from my father’s magazines, I had no idea what to call this beautiful thing. Wank, wanking, tossing off, and masturbation were words that would be missing from my vocabulary for a few years yet. So I called it ‘sensation’ because that’s what it was.
Did you talk about it with anyone?
No. I wouldn’t have known who to talk to about it or how. I also felt quite protective about the experience. It was mine and I wanted it to stay that way.
Did you try any different techniques in those early years?
I stuck pretty much to the conventional peeling back and pulling forward of my foreskin, but I do remember variations in my early years — including soap in the bath, a pillow between my legs in bed, and simulating sex with a cored apple.
Can you remember the first time you talked to someone else about jacking off?
When I was nine — a big year for me — I started to attend a traditional English all boys public school. Among other things, this meant spending all my formative years, puberty and teens, exclusively with other boys, all aged between 9–18.
Changing rooms and showers were communal, organised by House rather than year group, and no one was allowed underwear beneath their sports kit. Everyone had to shower, no excuses, and no modesty panels. We were also required to swim naked in the indoor pool — we were allowed trunks in the outdoor pool, but only since a local convent girl had been found peeping through a pair of binoculars.
So cocks — naked, a bit hairy and really hairy and floppy and erect — were an everyday fixture. At times, it seemed, they were pretty much everywhere. So was an awareness of wanking off. From the age of 12, I guess, it wasn’t so much talking about wanking to other guys that I remember, but rather wanking other guys off.
This included my first proper ejaculation, at age 12, when three boys were working on my cock in a classroom during a morning break. These sessions were regular and were, more than once, interrupted by masters walking into the room and expressing surprise at our being there. Whether or not they knew what we were up to is, with hindsight, another matter.
How has your jack-off style evolved over the years?
During puberty, my glans outgrew my foreskin, which rolled back to reveal my mushroom head. As a result, I began to experiment with my masturbatory technique, wanking more, I imagined, like boys who were circumcised.
Neglecting my foreskin, I’d use baby oil and facial creams to stroke my glans and bring myself off.
However, I then discovered the joys of talcum powder and the dry wank — applying more powder to soak up any juices produced in advance of orgasm. Dry wanks produced the most powerful ejaculations that I’ve ever experienced.
What’s your preferred way to jack-off currently?
Now in middle age, my cock-head has begun to shrink a little, my foreskin to stretch, so I’m back at stage one with a fully uncircumcised appearance. So I tend to revert to the traditionalist style of masturbation, rolling back and pulling forward on the foreskin.
I think variety is essential to a youthful outlook and attitude, so I like to mix it up when I can, using wet, dry, and pillow techniques to get me off.
What jack-off hints or tips would you give a young guy just starting to explore his sexuality?
Never be afraid of masturbation. We still don’t talk about masturbation enough and still the agenda can seem dominated by the Christian-right and those who would tell you that it’s sinful, unnatural, and harmful.
It’s not. It’s wholly natural — other primates and apes and mammals do it too. It releases tension and stress. It helps you to sleep. It releases good hormones and, particularly as you get older, it reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Masturbation can save your life.
We need to talk about masturbation more. Be more open about it. My father may have left porn mags around the house for me and my brother to find. But he never talked openly about the subject, and my mother would have died if it was mentioned at the dinner table.
Wank and enjoy wanking. Wank knowing that you’re in the majority. Most males wank — old and young, in partnerships and single. Once you start you never stop. You think you’ll stop when you get a partner. But you don’t. When your partner goes out you go and have a wank. That’s fine. It’s natural. Wanking and sex are very different things and serve very different purposes. Wanking is just for you, wholly indulgent, you can be with who you want and you can cum without any pressure to perform or satisfy.
Relax! Masturbation is cool.
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How to explore your fetish fantasy
I caught up with Will Kane from calendar-boys to talk about the art of fetish photography.
When did you discover and start exploring your passion for photography?
From as far back as I can remember, I was always into photography. I remember going on school trips at primary school and always making sure I had a camera with me. Back in the 80s, I was always very clear about what I wanted to shoot and who’d be in the shoot - making the tall kids stand at the back, and getting lots of heckling and shouts of ‘hurry up’ - but I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and this was back in the day where you had to leave your film with the chemist and wait a week to get them back to see if you had decapitated anyone.
I think I probably got a new camera every year for Christmas. My first camera had the 110 film, then I remember getting the disc camera which was super slim and deemed revolutionary at the time, then I went through a stage of disposable cameras because they were cheap and I’d then get them printed on CDs so I could edit and save them.
About 10 years ago, a colleague at work inspired me to a Canon camera. It’s so fancy - it has so many features that I don’t even need or use, but it allows me to capture the images I need before I manipulate them into the finished product.
What drew you to specialise in fantasy fetish-wear photo-shoots?
Who doesn’t love a man in uniform! I love a fancy dress party, either throwing them or attending them, but either way I take my costume very seriously. As a result, I’ve ended up with about 10 cool uniforms that I acquired from eBay, Amazon, and various specialist online stores. People always commented on how authentic the outfits were at these various parties, and obviously people always seemed to want a pic standing next to me in whatever outfit I was in.
I began to think I could combine these two things - my passion for photography and my love of sourcing authentic genuine costumers. I thought that there must be guys like me - normal build, shy-ish, non-scene, that most likely don’t fit the stereotype of what a fetish-wear guy looks like. I’m not a baldy, bearded, buff bear, but every time I wore the CHiPs outfit from the 70s TV show, I felt incredibly powerful, sexy, and horny.
I’m also a member of fetish app Recon, and I get lots of messages from guys who look at me in some of my pics and are very surprised that someone like me would be into leather and uniforms. My response is always the same - do not judge a book by its cover.
What sort of guys are you interested in commissioning you to take photos of them in fetish-wear?
All sorts - I shoot anyone and everyone! When I see pics of guys in fetish-wear they usually fit the stereotype of being buff, bald, bearded bears. It led me to think - What about us less built guys? What about us shy guys? Also, fetish-wear can be expensive, so I thought that if someone has seen some leather porn and thinks - ’I’d love to get some chaps but wonder if they’d suit me’ - this way they can come to my studio and have some cool and hot new pics, and also see how’d they look in leather. A new pair of chaps cost upwards of £200, but my shoots cost a fraction of that.
Shy guys and curious guys are made especially welcome, as I understand their nervousness about appearing in gear. When I first bought chaps and a waistcoat and put it on for the first time, I felt incredibly powerful and horny and sexy but also was aware that to some potentially ‘hardcore’ leathermen I probably looked ridiculous. I’m part of a group called Leathermen South, which is based in Brighton. They’re always encouraging me to don my leathers and attend one of their meets, but it’s only me holding me back. It’s a confidence thing.
I’m also happy to shoot anyone who is already into fetish-wear. Maybe they have lots of leather and trackies, but want to try on some police uniforms - I have six to choose from. Or, maybe guys want some new pics for various social media or hook up apps, or it could be a gift to a partner, or if you’re having a party and fancy some pics for a super cool invite. I’ve had guys who want to surprise their boyfriend for a calendar for their office so they can gaze at them adoringly 365 days a year.
I’m happy to shoot duos - a couple of mates together, or perhaps a couple. I’m also happy to shoot them in some amorous positions, but I need to make clear that I’m not a pornographer. I have had lots of interest from guys who want to get into porn - I’ve been able to give them some great shots to send off to porn producers and studios. My studio is very welcoming and very private, and has a well-stocked fridge to ease any nerves.
When I’m scouting for models, sometimes I get guys who have no clue that they have this amazing look and are pleasantly surprised at the end results. I had this one guy who was short and stocky and super sexy. He had a silver crop, so I suggested that he’d look amazing as a skinhead. He’d never thought of that look, but when he donned the gear he looked like a different person and developed this hard-man persona while in gear. The outfits themselves have powerful qualities.
What sort of gear do you have available?
I have over 70 costumes and outfits and props and scenarios to choose from. Within that 70, there are also variations, so even one particular genre can maybe take a good hour to shoot with all the various gear and props I have.
This is something that I discuss with the client before the shoot, to make sure that I have everything in their size and also to make sure they’re all washed and ready to wear. I have the usual stereotypical items that us gay guys seem to like - leather, sports gear, suits, and many, many uniforms.
My collection took quite a while to accumulate, as I was getting suggestions from friends and online fetish forums. Previous models I’ve had have really surprised me in what they’ve found sexy. A few models said that they really liked the paramedic uniform. I’ve had so many requests for lingerie. I also have some superhero costumes.
Is the photoshoot itself a sexual thing?
It is indeed! Guys can’t help being aroused, so thankfully my studio is very private and not overlooked, so guys can disrobe and parade around naked as much as they like. For those shy guys, I have slippers and dressing gowns for guys to wear between takes and costume changes. My studio also gets quite hot under the studio lights, and I have a TV there with various DVDs if guys need some visual stimulation for ‘adult’ pics.
There are times when I’ve had to leave my studio when I’ve gotten aroused - I’ve had to go away and ‘adjust’ myself, as it’s not very professional and I’d prefer guys to look into my lens not my bulge. I have had guys message me and ask if I’ll be naked for the shoot, or if I’ll also be dressed up in fetish-wear. The answer is no - I’m too busy assembling their outfits and props for their shoot.
Because we’re much more open these days, we’re able to discuss our porn-watching habits more openly and so a lot of guys want to emulate their favourite porno genres - army, builder, boxer, convict, cop, cowboy, doctor, firefighter. The fact that my studio is private and warm also makes guys feel more comfortable disrobing in front of strangers, but also some guys are just exhibitionists. I have a huge full-length mirror, so guys can constantly check themselves out when in gear. I shoot everything against a white backdrop - I then Photoshop the background to match the outfit.
My job is to make everyone feel super-confident and make them look as amazing as I can so that they’re not disappointed with the end result pics.
If I was a bit fetish curious, how would I go about organising a photo-shoot to start to explore that side of my sexuality?
Guys get in touch through my website. That way they’ve mostly already looked at all the different outfits that I have to choose from. I given them a call, and we discuss the outfits that have caught their eye. I ask about what outfits they find sexy on others, what porn they watch - lots of different questions to get a picture of what’s going to work best for them. Then, we book the shoot in and we start to bring those fantasies to life.
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