PAUL’S PHOTOS || The Ballet Dancer
When Trevor asked me if I wanted to photograph a ballet dancer I just said “Sure” without thinking about what it might entail. I was completely unprepared.
I always let men find their own poses. With this man, we went through a very long sequence of stances that were foreign to me. My tradition is pornography: casual, incidental, unposed. His tradition is formal, practiced, artful. His movements as he went from one pose to the next were smooth and graceful.
I had Trevor come over and position his hand on the young mans genitals. At that moment, the dancer’s cock was throbbing intensely. Later Trevor told me this was an amazing moment for him. Not because he was touching a cock—Trevor’s a man with plenty of experience—but because there was something almost radiant here.
I learned later that the dancer had expected to pay me for the session. I was shocked.
The session had lasted a couple of hours. In the end I had to wonder why he’d come to me. Did he expect me to strip away his formality and years of training?
In this last shot I was able to recognize him in my terms, open and available and fully sexualized. I’ve never felt so strongly the translation of a man from one vocabulary to another.