When I started this, I believed in making photos that looked idyllic. Not anymore. Nothing about this project has been idyllic. I don’t want to be the representative of the “gay, inter-generational, inter-racial couple”

Worn Stigma
2021

Aff[li/e]ction:Embrace

mind your environment: page contains nudity

With time, I learned that to be young and have affection, lust, desire for much older people was not an exceptional phenomenon. It is merely a rare expression in contemporary society.

Eventually I came to understand my relationship to this age-gap phenomenon—and on another level to whiteness.

I assume now that my peers found it odd not for age but position: I refused to be “with” youth, I chose to be “with” white men. Neither of these positions were anything I consciously chose. They were inevitable clashes with desire.

Beauty Queen
2021
Dale & Mr. X
2020
German-American Siesta
2018
MALEPIX.net
2022
Baytown, Texas
2021
Fourth Floor in Antwerp
2018
Dale & Mr. X
2020
Chiron Rising Magazine
Issue 93, 1999
Nude men, three generations
Source Unknown
Escalator Interaction
Source Unknown
"Man and Youth"
Pottery, Italy, est. 540 BC
Rone & Jose, Provincetown, Mass. 1986
Sage Sohier
Jane & Elaine, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1988
Sage Sohier
From "Fantastic Moonlight"
Ibrahem Hasan
Painter Konstantin Somov with Boris Snezhkovsky
1933
A Couple in West Village
Bill Hayes, 2020
“Die Hunde von Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1475-1571) greifen die Indianer”
Theodore de Bry

“Balboa set his dogs on fifty putos he found there and then burned them, first knowing of their abominable and filthy sin”

Francisco López de Gómara, 1553. See “Los Huecos Negros: Cannibalism, Sodomy and the Failure of Modernity in Tierra Firme” by Marcia Ochoa.
Read “The Hetersexual Violence Machine” →

Affliction for little reason more than the salacious mainstream image managing the public assumptions of sexuality between age-gaps partners: stockholm syndrome, age-play fetishists, solicited sex, gold diggers, sugar daddy & baby,  lolita complexes, "daddy issues."

Meanwhile, the Rich, Old, White Man remains a charged symbol around the world as a social marker for our white-supremacist capitalist patriarchies. Ones relationship to that symbol contains an active political violence—as a brown body, my public appearances with an older white man never represents itself as just a relationship.

Despite this, when I began this project I earnestly believed in creating a new "queer representation" for the "good" intergenerational coupling beyond the mass media image.

That naïve passion died with time. Mass media continues to control the essence of this thing, then the sugar daddy youtubers began popping up everywhere, and with it my interest in this subject vanished.

Young prostitue with older john
from T.V. series "Shadow Line
Exploitative clergy
from film "The Boys of St. Vincent"
Sugar Daddy with prostitute
from short film "Daddy"
Film where the primary plot line is that several old men fondle a "sleeping" woman
from film "Sleeping Beauty"
Highschooler seduces his teacher
from short film "Professor Godoy"
Poster for "Lolita"
One of the leaders in youtube Sugar Daddy content
Kaleb Alexander
A troubled kid confides in a pedophile
from the film "L.I.E"
A young geriatric nurse seduces his patient
from the film "Geron"
An internet user meme's a photograph from Matthew Morroco
From the artist's series "Complicit"

“What we can be certain of is that to consider money the basis of these relationships or to deny that they might have an erotic dimension degrades the people involved in them."

Loren A. Olson M.D. in “The Curse of an Attraction to Older Gay Men”
Alain & Lin, 2018
j. bilhan
Alain & Lin as Censored by Instagram, 2019
j. bilhan

Aff[e/li]tion:Embrace

read essay

When I conceived this project I was much younger, childish person than I am today. My intentions and goals changed with the months and from 2018-2021 the project hung like a specter over my life. After showing some prints at exhibitions, and receiving several rejection letters for grants, I finally decided that my work was done.

The idea to curate accompanying elements and show them here was late—about January 2022. What solidified this decision? Something I learned over the past 5 years was that “age gap” relationships were never exceptional, not now nor historically. In many cultural cases, they are very ordinary. Presenting my photographs as a singular experience somehow always managed to convey the events within the photos as “unqiue”.

Nothing about this project is unique.

Thanks to everyone whose paths crossed mine during this discovery, and who contributed to shaping this work: Jurgen, Alain, Lin, Peer, Guntram, Pierre, Cristophe, Dale, Mr. X, Kenny, Larry, Herrman, Nayaab, the wrestling physician, Loren, Francesco, Chris, Will, Terry, Jessi, Bill, and to my dears Louis, Latifa, Cory & Dominic