:: The Ecstasy In Me ::

'The Ecstasy In Me' is an upcoming series of seven artworks, which are essentially sexual self-portraits. These are intended to be beautiful, artistic, psychedelic and visionary images of gay sexual activity, but they are also unabashedly graphic. The images on this page are ADULT CONTENT and for PEOPLE AGED 18 AND OVER ONLY! If you are under 18, if you are uncomfortable with graphic artistic depictions of gay sex (and frankly I don't need to hear from you why), or if you live under a jurisdiction where such images are illegal, please leave this page immediately!

Adult Content Warning! 18+ Only!

Since the days of sexual liberation in the 1960s, women have been increasingly persuasive in telling us that they have a G-Spot, and that its stimulation is a powerful and meaningful aspect of sex for them. What is less often told is that men have a kind of G-Spot too, and it is located “where (straight) angels fear to tread!”

Even in these days where gay people are increasingly accepted (in the West at any rate), gay sex is still held to be dirty, unsettling to the majority, something to be hidden, the sex act that dare not speak its name, let alone be flaunted in public. Gay anal sex in particular is subject to some of the most pervasive moral judgements, and even in the gay community, the ‘Bottom’, the passive partner in sex, is often subtly denigrated – he is a little bit shameful, submissive, emasculated – while the ‘Top’, the active partner, remains relatively unjudged because he, at least in part, conforms to the heteronormative expectation, dating back to Roman times, that "a man shall not allow himself to be penetrated."

Such subtle perceptions and denigrations are seen to be even truer in the eyes of the heterosexual majority, and being the passive partner in gay sex is inherently transgressive. We have lived with such narratives and undercurrents for decades, even centuries, and it is time for them to change.

Fuck Me Detail

My own inner and sexual experience is very different from the denigrating social norms that gay people have to deal with on a daily basis. If anything I feel more like a man – and to be honest I don’t feel much like a man at the best of times – when I’m being fucked. I feel wilder, more uninhibited, like all boundaries are falling away and very often – especially if the Top knows what he’s doing! – I will move into ecstatic territory.

Not ecstatic as in ‘very happy’, but in the original Greek sense of εκστασις, ek-stasis, ‘out from the static, outside of oneself’, of having an experience that propels me beyond everything I think I know about 'me'. Beyond pleasure, beyond pain, into something transcendent, visionary, psychedelic, mythical, wild, an electric intensity coming as if from the beginning of time when the cosmos was fresh and new, and burning with magic. High, buzzing with energy, loaded and tripping with every sexual emotion from lustful to grateful, flying to grounded, beautified to sacred. So completely in my body, yet paradoxically unbound from my physical form. Shining with the intensity of a thousand stars.

Oh Yes Detail

I do not feel like hiding this truth anymore, and so I am burning every piece of shame (again to be honest, I never had very much!) away from my Queer Male Soul to stand up and say: I know the pathway to my Ecstasy. I know how to get Beyond Myself into a wild embodied, disembodied, magical, visionary space. And I know the liminal place which springs from falling out of an artificially constructed ‘Real Manhood’ into an authentically experienced Queer Fucked Ecstasy.

“I am Ganymede, I am Antinous, I am Xochipilli,
I am the Complete Owner of my Ecstasy:
Hear me howl with delight!”

‘The Ecstasy In Me’ is an ongoing series of artworks exploring all of the above and more. Each work evokes the lustful delight, sensuality, pleasure, joy, playfulness, transcendence, ecstasy, and deep meanings from the mythical to the emotional, that I experience as the passive partner in gay sex.

Seven works are planned, each with a colour scheme following the six colours of the LGBTQ Rainbow Flag(*1), plus a seventh(*2) which will combine all these colours. I do not shy away from graphic depiction, but the intention is aimed towards honesty, beauty and transcendence rather than blunt pornography. That said, I am aware (but do not much care) that some viewers may only be able to see graphic porn where I intend beauty and transcendence.

Fuck Me Love Me...
Oh Yes He FUcked Me...
‘Fuck Me Love Me Take Me To A World Of Stars’
Acrylics, Inks & Markers on Canvas
60cm x 120cm :: 2017
‘Oh Yes He Fucked Me Way Beyond Sensual’
Acrylics, Inks & Markers on Canvas
60cm x 120cm :: 2019

Each image will also be a sexual self-portrait, and grounded in real experiences, to move the depictions away from pornified fantasy into scenes of intense honesty - indeed to make each one of the artworks into a self-portrait is the only way I can see for the image to not be porn, or at least not to be just porn! Each artwork will also explore one main aspect of my gay sexual experience, and while they may seem like immediate depictions of individual sexual encounters, sensations and experiences are aggregated from my long and promiscuous sexual history!

One key feature of each artwork will be my intense gaze staring into the viewer as a kind of challenge. This gaze is contrasted with the Top - who is usually the subtly celebrated one - whose face will be hidden or only partially visible: it is the Bottom who bears the primary sexual agency in this series.

To date three of the seven works in the series have been completed:

- ‘Fuck Me Love Me Take Me To A World Of Stars’ (2017), whose theme is visionary magic...
- ‘Oh Yes He Fucked Me Way Beyond Sensual’ (2019), where the theme is kink and playfulness...
- 'Ganymede (Go Fuck Yourself Rembrandt)' (2020), challenging Rembrandt’s homophobic rendering of the Greek mythform...

Future works - to be completed when the sexual/artistic spirit takes me - will explore the emotional, the self-transcendent, the psychedelic beauty and the deep gratitude I feel within my queer & gay sexual experience. This series is my ultimate liberation!

It will be noted, too, that the images from this series will not run along the usual tracks of Queer Art, which in my view tends (implicitly or otherwise) to emphasise identity with the outcast, the broken or the aesthetically challenging: "whatever is not normative"(*3). Rather this series aims to envisage a sensual beauty, a holistic ecstasy, a sacred sexuality, which delights in wholeness regardless of the fragmentation that heteronormativity seeks to exert on gay & queer sexual experience. Thus, they have the flavour of the iconic about them: this is me demanding that iconicity and wholeness, not 'making do' with half-formed, half-rejected imagery from the periphery of modern life, nor accepting that fragmentation as the heart of my identity. This is me taking my wild fucking sexual ecstasy centre stage.

Bruce Rimell, January 2020

Ganymede quick snap

'Ganymede' (in progress, detail)
Completed January 2020

(*1) - I am mindful that the twenty-first century Rainbow Flag contains two extra colours - Black and Brown - to emphasise the visibility and participation of LGBTQ people of colour in our global movement, and to protest against the increasing erasure of non-white people in Queer spaces. As a white person, I obviously cannot create sexual self-portraits from these perspectives, and so I cannot address these two colours on the flag with any meaningful authenticity. I hope, however, that the creation and eventual publication of this series will encourage others - gay people of colour, as well as lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and non-binary/genderqueer people of all ethnicities - to explore their sexual self-expressions in equally radical and liberating ways. I have no doubt that many have already done so, and this series is therefore my contribution to this evolving Queer expression!

(*2) - The original Rainbow Flag had a seventh colour - Pink - standing for sexuality and sexual expression. While the seventh artwork will be multi-colour, its main intention will be to evoke this now missing colour from the flag.

(*3) - I have long felt that Queer Theory, along with much of the Queer Art which follows it, is fundamentally a conceptless movement of 'whatever that (i.e., the mainstream) is not is who we are or take ourselves to be', an intangible void whose emptiness is disguised by large amounts of abstract and reflective thinking which misdirects us from what being Queer might actually be. By contrast, many indigenous cultures around the world have historically held positive Queer cultural concepts - third and fourth genders, Two-Spirit concepts, structured systems of homosexuality, and so on - which are deeply embedded in the ritual, behavioural and normative structures of the culture. Such indigenous images, filled with experience, practice, pragmatism and above all coherent, life-affirming concept, can tell us, I believe, a lot more about the positive fundaments to being Queer than the conceptually empty 'whatever that is not' approach of Queer Theory is capable of. This is an area of future research, and this series in part springs from this rejection of Queer Theory.


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