Karen, Jaymee’s mum, joint owner of the house we live in here in TN and tireless fighter for women’s/lesbian rights, trucker, and also endurance performer (fire breathing, bodyburning, nail beds and so on) got snarled at in the road yesterday. ‘I don’t like your boys coming past my house without a shirt on: can you see to it that they dress properly in future?’ Just like that – out of the blue…

Apart from the fact that we’ve got only one boy and his mum is Clare not Karen…

The other boys the dear lady refers to must be his close mates aka (until this Saturday anyway) as the gang of five Transatlantic Teenboys

Well! Speaking as one who prefers to be shirtless whenever possible, along with my partner, our colleagues and – indeed – my son Leo, I thought that we lived in a free country.


Is the male chest so alarming to some womenfolk that they want it suppressed? We found two things out we didn’t know. The first is that in New York, if nowhere else in the States, it is legal for men or women to walk around topless. Specifically legislated for. Now, in a way, that’s just as weird.


If it’s OK by the mayor of New York City (and I think, the whole state), why not accept it in Tennessee? ‘Because you’re in the God-fearing bible belt’, do I hear you say? Maybe they preach against it in church – I wouldn’t know because we don’t go there.


(By the way, if you think I’m picking out pictures with great nipples on them, well you might just be on to something)

But in those religious instruction classes I was forced to attend in school back in the UK, I don’t recall hearing anything about not going out without a shirt. All I can say is that it is a good job this lady doesn’t see what we get up to in the training cabin, especially sunning ourselves behind it naked away from preying eyes. And I don’t think she has cottoned on to the fact that our household contains four gay men and two gay women as well as two very straight and upright teenagers. My goodness, that would make her day, I think.


There’s more. Our lesbian housemates bare their tops whenever they can too – as endurance performers withstanding flaming torches on their skin and all that stuff, it makes sense. 118921468_341cc0ffa6In a number of jurisdictions, it is apparently OK for women to bare their breasts so long as the nipples themselves are covered. As illustrated on the left by another endurance artist. This is insane! The actual female nipple – except perhaps when they are breast feeding – is hardly distinguishable from the male nipple – yet male nipples are OK – on the beach, at the pool, in the gym, driving your car and, in most situations I would insist, in the street. Well, except when going past number 1350 down the road…

There is, apparently, a campaign for female nipple release. #freethenipple !! Miley Cyrus is involved and a host of other well-knowns. I found an article about it all from the Huffington Post on my phone. It is fronted by the actress Lina Esco. Reminds me of the opposite campaign which has been running in the UK – and again fronted by women – to rid the ‘red top’ newspapers of their topless ‘page 3’ girls, a campaign obviously taking the totally opposite view to Lina and Miley!

Do women actually KNOW what they want? Page 3 men in some cases…


Well, we’ve obliged – videos anyway – in our younger days, before we grew older and grumpier. And wiser.

So, it’s #freethenipple for Miley, Lina and their supporters, the opposite for the ‘opponents of female exploitation’ having ago at popular tabloid ‘newspapers’ (a cause our spinster neighbour would probably subscribe to), while we men get it in the neck for shucking our shirts too often by far.


It’s hard even in many gyms to train without the shirt…


…all too often there are notices in the public gyms rather bluntly remarking about ‘appropriate clothing’ with everyone takes as a need to keep covered. Heavens, around here, there are guys who even wear tee-shirts in the public swimming pools! OK, so not every guy wants to take off their shirt. It’s a free country, as I said (and they say), but there are far too many personal prejudices around which people make strenuous efforts to impose on others.

bc_flat abs

I defy anyone to tell me what is offensive about any of the pictures posted here today!

‘Bit of a rant, Tone?’

OK, I’ll leave off. Just a few more general fitness pictures and a commercial break. Just make sure you get your nipples into shape! Which could mean beefing up the pecs behind them…


chest wow


The first part...The second part...Cover 3 ThumbHere’s how we got into this stuff in the first place! Discovering our gay love, working on our acrobatics, getting into trouble… click on any cover for more information!



tumblr_me1unqQDx01qj73e2o1_500And here’s a finale for the weird kid – my son Leo – who so easily seems to have gotten our dear neighbour’s goat!

About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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2 Responses to #freethenipple

  1. Pingback: Not Beside the Sea | Tony Cavanagh

  2. Pingback: Ethical Discussion: “The Gymnastic Art” | Tony Cavanagh

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