Modern civilization insist on defining each individual by placing us in certain categories, what I like to call a box. From the moment we are born we are either; male or female, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, or other (whatever that means). And this continues into our adulthood where we are defined by our sexual preferences and even our profession; into gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, white collar professional or blue collar worker.
Having been born outside of the traditional boxes - A first generation Dominican-American raised in Connecticut in the late 70s, I have always struggled with this and it was not until my later years that I have come to the realization that some men, such as I, can't and won't ever fit into a box.
Even till this day, my Adult Industry profession demands that I identify myself as either a Twink, a Daddy, a Muscle Boy, a Thug, a BiLatino, the Boy Next Door, a Dominant Leather Master or the ever constant All American Boy. And due to my skin color I am most often depicted in the Thug role. Call me a 'rebel heart' but I feel that not one of these categories truly encompass the man that I am. So I find it difficult to check a box and quite frankly I say fuck the boxes. Ironically I say that I don't fit in a box when in fact I am a 9" hung square peg that does not fit in every hole.
So who am I? Which is my corresponding box? That is the question. I'll tell you who I am; a 38 year old Latin man who is too muscular to be a Twink, too young to be a Daddy, too thin to be a Muscle Boy, too professional to be a Thug, and too untraditional to be the Boy Next Door or the All American Boy. I will dominate you with the sternness of my body not the fiber of my leather costume. I am a professional adult Blatino gay model who refuses to be defined by any box in today's society. This is who I am, a man without ties to a box!
That being said, I sought out to deliver my message to you guys the way you love it; hard, straight and with a few dangling ends. In the course of my research I found out that my friend and Project Runway designer Cecilia Motwani recently launched a collection of handmade men's ties and bow ties.
Being a woman who's tackling men's accessories in a field dominated by men, I could think of none other out of the box designer (whom I longed to feature her exquisite craftsmanship) to collaborate with. And that gave birth to the idea of MEN WITHOUT TIES, because nothing is more confining in a man's wardrobe than ties. Having worked in various projects with photographer Mike Ramsey I reached out to him and the rest is visible history.
So, with no further ado I present to you a collaboration that was forged without ties, because we all don't fit into a box!
All ties and bow ties by Project Runway Fashion Designer Cecilia Motwani.
All photographs by photographer Mike Ramsey.