He’s 18. He was born in 1994. I started by asking him just to stand in what he thought would be a good pose. He stood still for a little while and then put one arm up in a way that said “You haven’t defeated me.”
I’ve been having Pony and Trevor videotape each man as he takes his clothes off. I think there’s a great deal to be studied and learned in watching men stripping to nudity. Pony told me that as Joshua took his pants off his cock was erect, a little drop of pre-cum on the tip. Joshua was cursing quietly, obviously humiliated by being aroused. Throughout the shoot I had the sense that he was giving a good deal of thought to keeping himself unerect.
I honestly don’t think this had anything to do with sex; it was the novel excitement for a teenager of being naked in a room with clothed men who were studying him.
I had him sit down. As I’ve mentioned before, if there’s tension I tend to move closer. I don’t know why. I think I just want to get to the heart of the problem.
If you just look at his overall expression, it can be off-putting. But get close and look deeper into his eyes. There’s wonder, openness, innocence that’s almost painfully direct and simple. This is youth.
Every moment, every movement was tense, difficult. He was being courageous and strong and obviously–very obviously–wanted to throw his clothes on and bolt. I told him to choose anything in the room as a prop, something to hold on to. He grabbed the book he’d brought with him. I said “What’s that?” He said in a whisper “What does it look like?”
After he left I looked up the book. It was written in 1936. It’s about two cowboy brothers who share adventures on their father’s vast cattle ranch. Here’s a description I found:
“The Manley boys, Roy and Ted, are the sons of a old ranchman on the Great Plains, who owns many thousands of heads of cattle. The X-Bar-X punchers are real cowboys, but they’re full of fun, too. Roy and Ted can ride and shoot with the best of them, and manage to rope in more than their share of thrills and adventures.”
I finally had him stand up again. “Last shot,” I said. “Show me exactly how you feel.” At first, his elbows were touching, hiding his face completely. I walked up and gently pulled them apart. He resisted but let me do it.
Afterward, I had him come to my office for a chat. I asked him question after question. Every answer was absolutely serious, as though he was proving to himself that he was a real and complete man, an adult.
Later, after Joshua had left, Pony came in and handed me the cowboy book that the teenager had forgotten in his nervous haste. I spent the next few hours reading it, loving every page of the Manley boys’ wild adventures with the secret rangers.