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Rion Sabean's Men Ups series

Death by Party | Rion Sabean’s Men Ups Series

I was introduced to a style of photography today called “Men-Ups.” When I first heard about the title of Rion Sabean’s male pin-up photography series, I literally thought menstrual, not men, which instead conjured up semi-erotic images alluding to certain posts I’ve written in the past that continue to alienate me from certain friends and perpetually gross-out my boyfriend. Or there was that one thing that Jeremy Kinison of Cut Throat Freak Show in Phoenix sent us. Luckily, this post has nothing to do with either of those, except for the fact that I just brought them up. Whoops. I have A.D.H.D., gimme a break.

Anyways, about these “Men-ups.” As a burlesque performer and pin-up enthusiast, one would think that as an open-minded, artistic individual, I would love these refreshing, gender role reversing images. The problem is that I don’t. I don’t like them. They make me feel uncomfortable, in the way that when I see my gorgeous female friend dressed up in her drag persona and can’t figure out if it’s the girl or the guy that is turning me on, that kind of uncomfortable. That, and they remind me of my self-loathing, cross-dressing, “I’m totally not a hipster” (but clearly is a hipster) ex-boyfriend, with his ironic facial hair and secret closet of girl’s clothing. He would totally be into these. If Rion Sabean didn’t live in Tampa, they would probably be friends and have panty-swapping parties, toasting to powerdrills and mustache wax. “He’s a lumberjack and he’s ok…”

Check out Rion’s Flickr page and his own photography website, and let me know what your reactions are below.

-Louise LaTease

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