31 August 2023
By Chris Chi
Sharing stories about us
Hello beautiful people!
August is a month of reflection. As I started to embark on the journey to meet and photograph more boys, I found often myself in situations that resonnated with certain moments of my own past, such as my moving to Brussels and consequently settling down there 18 years ago. In Porto, I met Antonio, an Italy Phd who were visiting Porto for the first time. When I told him that I had been here for 5-6 times, he couldn’t understand why I didn’t explore new destinations. “I don’t know. I like this nostalgia and the familiarity that a place brings to me. It’s comforting.” However, the truth is that even in the same city, with the same people, you feel different. Sometimes you feel grateful. Sometimes there is remorse. Like one of my t-shirts summarises it pretty well, C’est la fucking vie! And it’s ok. We just need to make the best out of it.
MEETING MOUNIR AGAIN
I finally managed to fix the dates of my visit to Paris with Mounir and his husband Malek, a Lebanonese couple who moved to Paris a few years ago after having lived in Dubai. Summer is the high traveling season. Many of their friends from Dubai and Lebanon, understandably, wanted to visit them and Paris in July.
They hosted me last October. We were naked in the apartment and more naked in the Bois des Vincennes. There was a sense of great freedom and tenderness. It mattered. Almost one year later, I was at their appartment again. Paris reached 34 degrees. The heat made everyone exhausted and lazy. Most of the locals had fled the city. I carried on with the planned photoshoots. And we spent amper time together. Maybe it’s not necessary. But everytime when I came back after the photoshoots, Mounir would say “Welcome back”.
On my last evening in Paris, I met two other common friends Elio and Vincent (a couple) for dinner. Mounir and Malek came too. Oddly, there are a lot of commonalities among them. hey all have met in Bois des Vincennes through me last October. Elio, Mounir and Malek are all Lebanese. Malek shares similar taste in men as Vincent. Elio and Mounir are both my models. Vincent sometimes takes good photos of Elio for his instagram. They all have hosted me before.
After dinner, we walked to the Labenese ice cream shop where they had thyme-olive oil flavor. The heatwave started to lose its grip on the city. It’s almost pleasant to walk by the buzzy cafes and restaurants on the narrow streets of central Paris where Parisians formed a unique view of the city. Soon it’s time to say goodbye again, to this city and to them.
“Do you consider Paris your home now?” I asked. Mounir said “Yes, we made it our home.” We, referring to him and his huband Malek. I liked the answer and felt its weight. “It’s nice.” I murmured. Suddenly, it struck me. In French there is no equivalent translation of the statement “This is home.” This kind of bothered me. Home, a place where you belong to, a safe haven, a source of strength and joy…When you utter this sentence, the comfort that it brings can never be replaced by anything else. The idea of being unable to say it is unsettling.
I know very well the sentiment of Mounir’s words. “We made it home.” I don’t think I could have built a home of my own without my boyfriend, 18 years’ time of being together, with our own good and the bad moments. This feeling extends to the city where we live in, Brussels. Maybe that’s why whenever I travel in a different city, I always miss Brussels, no matter how great the city I am visiting is. So I am happy for them. They have made Paris their home. The rest will fall in place.
Daniel texted me on Instagram asking when I would visit Porto. I told him that Portugal had become too expensive, then he invited me to stay at his place. I just spent almost the entire July at home in Brussels and was on the edge of going crazy, so I said “Why not?! How about this Friday.” After his confirmation, I booked the flights to Porto the next day.
I had more time to explore the city as the trip was unplanned, meaning that I didn’t plan photoshoots as I always did before traveling. The first thing I did after leaving my luggages at Daniel’s place was to go to this little local cafe/restaurant opposite to the campanha train station. It’s my holy place for Bifana’s, a traditional Portuguese sandwich that comprises of a bread roll filled with marinated pork cutlets. After I discovered it accidentally many years ago, I would make sure to visit it every time I visited Porto. To be honest, I was a little nervous. After all, it’s been 4 years since I visited Porto the last time. Many things have happened, pandamic, overtourism, just to name a few. Did this place survive? You can imagine the joy I felt, when I discovered that this place remained exactly the same as I remembered. The lady who doesn’t speak any English was still there, in charge of making the bifana’s. The iron tables outside were still the same. Of course, the bifana’s, tasted like heaven!
As I opened Grindr, out of mere curiosity of new faces in the neighborhood, Antonio, an Italian phd at the Oxford Univeristy texted me. In his profile it’s written he wanted someone to explore the city together. As a solo traveler myself, I kind of liked the idea. We met for lunch at a simple Portuguese restaurant. He was excited about Porto and its beauty. I remembered he wanted to see the sunset at the riviera. He even confessed his preference of Asian men and told me that his ex was Chinese. We ended up meeting a few more times. I found it interesting, two strangers with completely backgrounds and mentalities, cross paths in Porto. On Sunday we went to a queer bar and had cocktails. We had the seafood rice and cod croquettes for dinner. He managed to convince me to try the rooftop bar at his hotel, where I enjoyed delicious caipirinha. Oh, right, we also had one of the best ice creams (at La Copa) on a hot evening.
It almost sounds like an innocent encounter. After all, it’s Grindr. Antonio wanted sex. There has been this constant teasing about sex. We would both leave Porto on the same day. On the last night, he texted me again, saying he’d jerk off. While I was enduring the heat at the apartment all by myself, I texted him back, “Can I take some photos?”. He said “Yes, just not of my face.” I arrived at his room. To my surprise he had put on white socks. I think he might know that could interest me based on the instagram stories I was sharing these days. The airconditioning was also a pleasure add-on as it was hot outside. “Let’s get to the fun part shall we?” “Oh yes I have to tell you that I don’t like my body. I used to be obese and weighed 100kg when I was a kid. I had to follow a strict diet to lose that fat but my skin now is not the same as others.” I saw what he meant, a bit of lose skin around his belly. As a matter of fact, this confession made him a more interesting subject for my camera. ‘Don’t worry. Just have fun.”
He jerked off while I was on the other side of the bed. I told him to hide his face behind the pillow. He did. He asked me to put my feet on his body, something he saw on my instagram. I did and he came hard. “That was good!” He smiled. “That’s for the Caipirinha.”
FLORIAN IS INTO PISS
(Florian in his bathroom, Berlin, 2022)
I’m a very sexual person, mostly bottom. I’m horny most of the time and I got a lot of kinks and fetishes.
I’m very into sportswear and sneakers (especially heavy used, white sneakers), dirty sox, rubber, masks, anonymous sex, sex in public, sex in clubs, deepthroat/gagging.
But my biggest fetish is piss. Not really collecting piss in a bottle and drinking it during the day, more drinking fresh from the tab. If the the top wants, I can drink every drop, no matter if its white or very strong piss. My biggest turn on is getting pissed on in public. Mouth / face / clothes, love being drenched in piss.
SOAKED IN THE SUN
Danny from Mexico, in his studio in Paris
FEATURED ARTIST: Stefano Questorio
“I was born in the north of Italy, not far from Venice, and soon moved to Bologna were I studied Arts Theatre and Music and Dams University. I trained mainly as a dancer and choreographer, and worked with several italian and european choreographers and dancers, but always had a great passion for photography since I was a child. This passion flourished some years ago with the re-descovery of instant photography, especially polaroids. I love working with expired films for their unpredictable results, where each time I shoot something magic happens, something I didn’t expect but that is perfect. A large part of my works focuses on the body: the sensuality, the fragility, the intimacy, the truth of male bodies. I worked a lot with selfportraits, something between the exercise and self-eroticism, but I love working with other people, especially non-models, to seek for the beauty and the mistery of their bodies, sensuality and souls.”
— By Stefano Questorio
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