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I’m a 27 year old, black male whose pronouns are him, he, and mmm. That last pronoun might have you thinking “wait...what!?”, but trust me after you see these photos you’ll be referring to me as such soon enough. I would like to say my relationship style is basically monogamous. For the longest time I’ve been afraid to be myself outside the walls of my home. I have always felt that once I left the comfort of my home, I would feel compelled to have to fit a certain role. Whether that role was put there by my friends, strangers, and society in general. Just to be clear it's not like they said anything explicit to me like “we need you to behave this way.” However, it was more like if I ever stepped out of the bounds of their schema they would make sure to let me know: “Oh, stop acting white, you know black people don't get good grades”, “Why are you watching that show, that's only for girls”,”why haven't you had sex yet” followed by “You need to sleep with x amount of girls to be Cool”. Those were a few examples of “don't be the nail that sticks out, before you get hammered” and that's what it felt like: a hammer constantly reminding me of my role. Because of that I’ve never really felt that people liked me for who I was, but because I never strayed away from their image of who I should be. This resulted in me being constantly under the impression that nobody would like me or wanted to be with me if they found out who I really was. Just some Black kid who was still a virgin, didn't drink nor smoke, didn't know how to dance, and liked anime and manga. In my heart, I thought that keeping these secrets would help me stay afloat, but instead they were weighing me down.

I didn’t start opening up until I entered college. That's when it hit me that it’s kinda hard to hide who you are when you live with 3 other human beings in a shared space. High school, college, and even now you would be hard pressed to see me as anything other than as an extrovert. My alone time was the only chance for me to catch my breath, before i had to put the mask back on and interact with the world. Honestly the entire time spent in college was a process of seeing how long can I stay beneath the surface before running out of air. Unfortunately, it's a losing battle. Simply because as a human being: You. Are. Meant. To. Breath. Above. The. Current.

For a very long time and even now, I’ve had doubts about whether or not I’m actually being myself. It’s been a daily struggle to gain this sense of freedom, both in body and mind, learning to be comfortable with who I am. Laughter has helped me a lot in surviving and I try my best to bring that laughter wherever I go. For these photos I wanted to show you what truly makes me feel sexy and what I find sexy in other people. Your ability to laugh and be you in the face of the supposed schemas other may have put you into. I personally believe this is why Braden and his project resonate with me and so many others. However, i can safely say that I now spend a majority of my time above the current. Taking in deep breaths and laughing one day at a time.

Now that you know what's underneath the hood; let's talk a little about my outer sexiness. I really love food and if you feed me I’ll be your friend for life. They say you are what you eat and boy do I eat a lot of chocolate. Haha, but I only look like chocolate. So, please don’t try it...well, maybe a little and we’ll see where that leads us. I enjoy being Black. Many may not see it as such, but I've been blessed as you'll soon see. I like to workout -> eat ->dance -> eat. Many of the above can be switched out with more eating. Haha sorry, I don't really know what I find sexy about myself, because this is all new to me. My friends say I have a nice body and a great butt. I suppose, I know what I find sexy in a woman, but what do women find sexy in a man. Hell, what do other men find sexy in other men? I know I think dudes with muscular traps are nice to look at, but I also can't resist the urge to rub the belly of a guy with a beer gut? Hmm, sexiness is very fluid I think.

I’m very open to new things. I really like sex... a lot. And the people who’ve had sex with would agree as well. All 2 of those individuals. 2/2 ain’t bad, right? Remember I’m a Big, Black, Cheiranthus(wallflower) that bloomed at 24. It’s been interesting seeing the different avenues of sexuality that are available out there. Got to meet many “different” people and learned a lot about the world, especially when one of those people is a sex therapist. I may not try all of them myself, but I think having information about other communities is important for open dialogue and gaining useful information about everyone's favorite activity.

Still haven't found myself, yet but I'm enjoying the journey so far. Very happy that I did the shoot and looked forward to the next one. Special thanks to Ivory for convincing me I was sexy enough to join you guys.