The male model as fighter seems to be a common pose. Particularly the fitness models seem to regularly pop up with fists raised and chins down. Since everything is a commodity, these pics beg the question: what’s being sold here? It’s not the clothes (particularly for those models in-stance not wearing any). I propose that what’s being sold is that package of elements that is essentially at the heart of what I write about all the time.

It’s sex. It isn’t vanilla sex, but it’s the sex that emerges from lust and aggression simultaneously. The gorgeously hard body, tensed and toned, positioned in order to display the narrow waist armored by six-pack abs is intended to tell the story that turns me (and so many of you) on. Designer/director Tom Ford tells the tale with his arms around two sweaty boxers poised for the fight. The kiss on the forehead exposes the fierce-faced hardbody as the object of lust.
I can just smell the fantastic elixir of testosterone and sweat emanating from Bryan Thomas. The male model in a fighting stance taunts the gay male gaze. It promises sex and violence in one sweet image. It draws us in to the erotic combat of hand-to-hand, body-to-body competition, offering us the prize that if we beat him, we own him.
Tattooed stunner Tegan peers over his clenched fists at us, his thick, flexed forearms like the steel bars of a cage. His warm-ups sag below our line of sight (for full frontal trade of bewitching Tegan, aka Jagger, check out ChaosMen), with all the muscled lines of his torso pointing us downward. Perhaps, just perhaps, if we step inside that steel cage and take the beating that Tegan is planning for us, if we fight hard enough and suffer desperately enough, he’ll give us one final workover with his most impressive muscle of all.
Philip Fusco looks more like he wants to put up a fight, but not actually win. He’s too intent on displaying his chiseled face than protecting his vulnerable jaw. He’s planted vulnerably on the backs of his heels, subtly signaling that the battle will be short-lived, but his endurance to be worshiped as the conquered god he is will go on eternally.
I can actually hear the photographer’s voice instructing Philip to arch his back a fraction more here, to stick out that oh-so-round bubble butt just that much more. Once again, Philip is flat on his feet, entirely conscious of his body, ante-ing up a fighter’s pose just to signal that he’s game. This isn’t the form of a savage sadist ready to beat us into submission, but rather the eager bottom secretly begging us to call his bluff and drop him to his hands and knees. He isn’t actually planning on suffering too long, but we can teach him the ecstasy that awaits him (and us) when his endurance is tested, when his cries of submission are ignored, when the pain is unrelenting until he can genuinely stand no more.

Jamie Dominic appears as if in the post-coital position in which we might leave him after beating him senseless with those boxing gloves we placed tauntingly across his exhausted cock. He’s earned that coat of sweat glistening in the crevices of his shredded abs. He’s battled past the point that the gloves came off, past the point that the trunks came off, past the point that the jockstrap came off. In nothing but his sparring boots, he’s been hammered down until he moved too slowly to defend himself any longer. He’s been squeezed and probed, tried and pried until he had nothing left but to submit in body, mind and spirit. Back in the locker room, he struggles with his pride beneath the brim of his cap, our gloves re-enacting the final hold that forced him to give himself entirely for our pleasure. He’s even now reliving the bout, blow by blow, as the memory of the beating washes through him and begins to dislodge the gloves. He’s vowing that next time he’ll do the conquering. Next time, he won’t succumb to his own guilty ecstasy at being owned, used, and put away wet.
So, perhaps not quite all of this narrative is necessarily written into the male model in fighting stance. But you and I know that at least the kernel of that story is undeniably there, calling to us, taunting us, displaying for the world, but particularly us, that aggression and sex are a potent combination.