We love a new gay fetish book and one has just arrived which is particularly easy on the eye. It is the work of San Francisco based photographer Mark I Chester and it contains hardcore artistic gay fetish images of hot kinksters around the streets of that fair city.
Mark I. Chester is an American photographer born in 1950 who moved to San Francisco, California in 1977 and immediately began his photography career in earnest concentrating in documenting life in the infamous gay South of Market (SOMA) neighbourhood where Folsom Street and many fmaous bars and clubs are located. He calls himself a gay radical sex photographer, digital photographer, underground artist, writer, performer and curator whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including PFIQ, Modern Primitives and Drummer. Mark’s photographs are, in his own words, “socially conscious, politically provocative, sexually explicit and artistically taboo. They break down the barriers between fine art portraiture, social documentary work and sexually explicit photography.” Due to censorship, he has exhibited his own work and the work of other sexual and underground photographers and artists in his studio which is actually on Folsom Street itself including : Charles Gatewood, Fakir Musafar and Eric Kroll, among many others. One of his high points was providing the artwork for the poster of the film Dances Sacred and Profane and its DVD and Profane Redux which features a photo taken by Mark of Fakir Musafar being pierced for the Kavadi ritual by Jim Ward.
This book contains wonderful artistic shots of fetish men shot entirely outdoors and many of the faces you will recognise from the kinkster scene. Mark added “I particularly enjoy portraiture. As a gay man I mostly photograph gay men, but I do photograph men, women and others. I do portraits, body portraiture, nudes, sexual portraiture, leather, fetish or SM – from vanilla to kinky, from young to old, from fuck/suck to leather, of any race.”
This is Mark’s Third book; it is hardback landscape 10″x8″ coffee table book with 100 pages and has Anthony Leatherman on the cover and Sam Stewart on the back. There is a Foreword by Mark himself and other contributions from Nick Wafel (new editor of Drummer), Alisa Swindle, (art historian and educator) and Terry Beswick, (LGBT Historical Society).
We asked Mark which was his favourite picture:
“I seriously love them all for all different kinds of reasons. But there is a single image of a leatherman leaning against a metal garage and his dick is hanging down, very full and waiting. I chose it as the frontispiece of the book. To me it is immediately iconic and represents what the entire book is about. My favourite quote in the book was from Nick Wafel -There is political power in these photos. Mark and his subjects are reclaiming queer space. They are upsetting heteronormativity and revolting against so-called standards of propriety.”
Mark added “There is a mythos about the South of Market in San Francisco. The area is currently changing in ways that may further erode the connection that gay men and gay leathermen have to the South of Market or Miracle Mile as some call it. So much of that life has just disappeared including the sexual behavior of gay men on the streets of South of Market at night. I am 70. So, this is equally a love letter to the men of my generation, so many who have been lost, and a hope for the future to queer men here now and in the future.”
One of the models in the book is our very own gay fetish travel destination writer & blogger Will Stone who is also the CEO of leathermentravel.com & he shared his personal feelings about appearing in Mark’s book
WILL STONE: “I’m indescribably proud to be featured in FIVE photos in Mark I. Chester’s scorchingly hot book Street Sex Photos, depicting REAL action on the streets of San Francisco. And hey, that’s Anthony Leatherman on the cover! Contact Mark directly to get a copy. The photoshoot Mark did of Steve Ellis and me was honestly one of the hottest sexual experiences of my life. What was it like? Read on:I wasn’t around San Francisco during its heyday in the ‘70s and ‘80s, when Leathermen ruled the streets of South of Market. So where was I?
In the late ’70, I had a summer job picking up trash on the highway near Boston. We’d find porno magazines strewn around the rest areas. Playgirl, Penthouse, Oui. I was mostly intrigued by the pictures Playgirl. I wondered why.
In the early ‘80s, I was in college. I discovered gay sex in the men’s room in the basement of the student union. I skipped countless classes searching for cock on campus. All I knew of being gay was cock sucking in the foul air of men’s room stalls. And that was enough.In the late ‘80s, I was back in Boston after a stint in the service. I discovered the sidewalk sale—men in t-shirts and tight jeans clogging the sidewalks, looking for short-term romance. If you didn’t score there, you just moved on to back alleys. I had learned since college that there was more to being gay than tearoom sex. But I realized that anonymous alleyway sex could be both desperate and celebratory. Just maybe, society’s purpose was to support the ability of gay men to get as much dick as possible while the straight drones worked, had babies, and slept.
In the early ‘90s, I noticed that my knees grew weak in the presence of a guy in chaps. I needed to kneel before him and service him. I wondered why, but not too much. I couldn’t wait for the weekend when I’d stand in line to get into the backroom at the Ramrod, where a dress code was strictly enforced. I gradually built up my own collection of chaps, vests, harnesses, and more.
By the late ‘90s, the bars were getting less crowded, the lines on dress code nights disappeared, and the sidewalk sales closed. Suddenly, we could order sex online like we were ordering takeout from a Chinese restaurant. Some f*cking please, with a side of bondage, hold the watersports. But the thrill was gone. The thrill of checking out a guy in a bar and hoping he’d give you a cruise back. The thrill of standing on a packed sidewalk, wondering which of the guys in t-shirts and tight jeans would want to bring you home. The thrill of dodging cops while cruising in the park if you struck out on the sidewalk.I ultimately found my way to San Francisco. I regretted that I got there long after the glory days of the Miracle Mile on Folsom Street. I felt the loneliness of being the only guy in chaps in a bar that had been a sea of black leather when I’d visited San Francisco years before.
So, I leapt at the chance to take part in Mark’s Street Sex Photo series. The leather pig inside me I’d nurtured for decades was ready to reach maturation out on the streets. Like the Leathermen that came before me, I roamed the streets and alleys of South of Market that night. I wasn’t looking for sex; Steve Ellis was my partner in street crime for the night. We just had to find the right spots to practice our craft of Leathersex. We fucked in alleys. I got down on my knees for Steve right along a busy street. A passer-by joined us for an unplanned three-way. Even if only for a few hours, the streets and the night once again belonged to us.”
ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!
The book at present is available from Mark directly. People can message him on FB, or even better just text him at +1 415-613-0369 where he would love to speak to you and answer any questions. Books are $50 + $5 sales tax + $20 shipping or $75 by venmo, paypal, check etc and other well know payment methods.
Written by Will Stone and Paul Stag