Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

Pick her up / August 14, 2013 / Comment on this

“A man has always wanted to lay me down, but never wanted to pick me up.”

— Eartha Kitt.

immerse / March 14, 2013 / Comment on this

When I have sex with someone I forget who I am. For a minute I even forget I’m human. It’s the same thing when I’m behind a camera. I forget I exist.

— Robert Mapplethorpe

Katie West / December 17, 2010 / Comment on this

Things like this are why I love Katie West’s work. Normally she’s known as a self-portrait photographer; but she expresses herself so well in any format she chooses. This appeals to me both directly if not exactly, and in wanting a woman who thinks like this.

How I choose my lovers

I find them on subways reading books I have on my list of Books To Read. I find them at bars dancing more enthusiastically than anyone else; even if they can’t really dance. I find them in line at the grocery store on a Friday night buying cookie dough, milk and that’s it. I find them in the Canadian poetry section of bookstores. I find them at work, having great ideas and wearing seasonal socks. I find them on the internet, creating things that make me wish I had thought of it first.

When I sit beside them, they smile. They’re easy to talk to. Their intelligence surpasses my own. Their vocabulary makes me swoon. Their brilliance with words makes me start to imagine them naked. They make me smile at a frequency I feel is too much for any respectable person, so I bite my lip in an effort to stop. After half an hour in their presence, my lips are sore, and yet I still wouldn’t refuse their kiss.

The way they see the world is very different from the way I see it, and we can share our views and always our eyes get wider. They listen to me. (So very few people actually listen to me.) They make me laugh; I make them laugh. We are at a party and they say something so beyond everyone else’s scope with an ease that makes me lean into them hard. But they do it softly, and gently, so no one feels inferior, instead we all feel better for having heard it. They argue with a grace that moves me. Between their legs. They are collaborative. They are receptive to constructive criticism. They think honesty is the best policy.

They touch me gently in all the right places at all the right times in ways that only make me imagine them touching me roughly in all the right places at all the right times. I mean, they place their hand on the small of my back as I walk through doors in front of them, which makes me think of their hand on the small of my back as I’m on all fours in front of them. They lean in and whisper things in my ear that are completely inappropriate at the absolute worst moments because they know it makes me crazy. They hold my hand like they mean it.

These are the sorts of people I choose as my lovers. You see how so much of what you fret about is non-existent in my process? Believe it’s true for others. And love you how I love you, okay?

— Katie West

Katie West - Black & White coverKatie has also recently self-published another collection of self-portraits. Definitely not safe for my family or work, but her work is always incredible. I have a print of hers hanging on my wall, (the only other photographer’s work on my walls is Dorthea Lange). It’s cheap, it’s filled with amazing images, it’s only a click away… buy it!

Valkyrie / October 17, 2010 / Comment on this

“She was one of those giant broad beamed Scandinavian giantess warrior women types; the fucking Russ Meyer buxotic women, you know what I mean: WOMEN with breasts and hips like we don’t have anymore. Oh my god what was that horrible- what is this god awful frightened 14 year old boy runaway cul-de-sac we’ve gone down in regards to women? These fucking shaky dog waif model Chihuahua girls with the visible heartbeat through the rib cage, that Lara Flynn Boyle: “If you fuck me I’ll tear!” I don’t want that! I don’t want to fuck a box kite! Jesus Christ! Starches! Finish my fries! She was huge and Nordic, she was a fucking Valkyrie and she began to construct my joint. SHE CONSTRUCTED MY JOINT. And to give you an idea of the care and concern and craftsmanship that went into my joint- it took her an entire song on the mixtape to roll it. Unfortunately you know what the song was? Queen’s We Are the Champions. I say unfortunately because as it was starting to play I was like, “Oh I wish this wasn’t happening because now this sounds a bullshit story!” But it really happened this way literally as she opened the paper and put the fucking weed on: I’VE PAID MY DUES TIME AFTER TIME! I’m like, “No! Not this song! This is turning into a Robert Zemeckis film!”

Patton Oswalt discusses purchasing weed at a pot cafe in Amsterdam

Rules for dating (especially for “nice guys”) / September 27, 2010 / Comment on this

In no particular order, and open to frequent revision:

Rule 1: Forget everything you’ve learned. Forget whatever you saw on every TV show, movie, fairy tale, or webcast. Most of them are ridiculous, stilted, or simplistic. Real emotions and hormones are unreliable, gritty, and erratic. To think a cleaned up hollywood remake of a 1,000 year old fairytale is going to say anything useful to you today is foolish.

Rule 2: Say every stupid thing that comes into your head. When I was much younger, I had a wonderful night talking with a very cute girl. I felt like I was being smooth and charming and everything good. Then I leaned against a folding chair and flipped over the back of it. I laughed at myself and figured I’d had a good run… at least I tried. The girl left shortly thereafter, but 3 minutes later, her sister came back and gave me the girl’s phone number. Sometimes, it pays to be ridiculous. Better that you make an impact – no matter how ridiculous it might require you to be; than you being polite and kind and proper and not having them remember your name.

Rule 3: Don’t be self deprecating. I used to do this, as a means of getting a laugh and relieving any tension. But … you don’t want to relieve the tension. Tension is not always bad. Besides… no one has ever been impressed with someone who always puts themselves down. You don’t have to be a conceited dick, but if you don’t act like you’re worth something, why should anyone else believe it?

Rule 4: The Andrew Rule – Andrew’s rules number 1 through 5 are all the same: “You put the penis in the girl”. You meet an attractive woman, you’ll want to have sex with her. If she’s still talking to you despite the fact you’ve been trying not to stare at her boobs for the last 10 minutes, she probably finds you attractive and enjoys sex too. Hey… you have something in common! Why don’t you do something about that?

Rule 5: The Mairin Rule – “Don’t think too much”. Don’t try and guess why the other person is behaving a certain way. You’re probably not going to be even close, and certainly not going to have a complete picture. And all it will do is make you paranoid in the meantime. Be happy with what you learn outright, and if you need to know why they’re acting a certain way…? Ask.

assurance and inexpressible delight / September 1, 2010 / Comment on this

Let the philosophers rave on about the summum bonum and mystics about embracing God. They are still vertical humans and therefore even their adorations still have something aggressive about them. Humans in the horizontal position have always struck me as less likely to be violent and destructive. So I take my place beside the poets, and less arrogant than the philosopher or mystic, am prepared to find the greatest good and embrace God whenever I hold a woman in the act of love. It is then I know with assurance and inexpressible delight that whatever it is life promises us, this must be it; and that a universe containing this experience must have something grandly important going for it.

— Irving Layton (via Katie West)

Nice Guys / May 23, 2010 / Comment on this

Being a “nice guy” is like being an alcoholic, in that you’re never really cured. There’s always that little bit of something in the back of your mind, waiting to jump out and take over your life again. So I speak from personal experience, but hopefully at a distance. It certainly feels like a drastic change occurred in my life within the last few years. And there’s plenty of evidence to support that. But I’ve been feeling like maybe I’m in a unique place, able to see the issue from both sides.

For the sake of less arguments, let’s define what a “nice guy” is. You’ve met them. You know them. You’ve listened to them talk, and talk, and talk. If you’re a woman, you think they’re your sweet, vaguely clueless friend. If you’re a man, you’re friends with them; but you find yourself shaking your head a lot at what they do. And if you are them, you have a justification for everything I’m going to say, anyway.

The “nice guy” label doesn’t come from a good place. Although these men probably are pleasant overall, the name has nothing to do with desirable personality traits. It comes from what is a common refrain, when discussing male/female interaction with these men. “Women don’t want nice guys. They want assholes.” Or “I’m a nice guy, so women never want me.” You know you’ve heard this dozens, if not hundreds of times. Most likely among guys talking to guys. If it’s a guy talking to a woman, I promise you he has a crush on you, but doesn’t think he has any real chance; but maybe if they can just convince you…

Those discussions always proceed with great amounts of logic and reasoning. Always with the logic. Like many things in my life, I always felt safe retreating to logic. “Well… if you look at it in this common sense way… A + B = C, then I’m right, even if it didn’t work out.” And while I was almost certainly correct, it was completely beside the point. I was trying to use logic as a defense in human relationships, which are at their core, completely illogical.

The nice guy will eventually tell you where he has firmly positioned himself in the whole scheme of relationships. “I don’t even try anymore.” “I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy.” “She wasn’t what I was looking for, anyway.” “I just can’t meet women, because of X”.

And the nice guy is going to do this…. over, and over, and over and over… the nice guy telling you about their dating life at 25 will sound pretty much the same at 30, and 35, and…

Why are we like this? I would guess a little bit of conditioning, and — if current science is to be believed — a little bit of biology. Second point first, ‘nice guys’ are almost always geeks to some extent. While they may not wear a pocket protector, the personality quirks are still there. Often with a strong leaning toward Asperger’s-type traits.

But the conditioning part is what interests me most about all this. “Why did I think about men, women, and relationships in this way?” In general, everyone you’ve met shares the same large cultural reference pool. So it’s probably not a question of strictly ‘what’ you’re exposed to. I had the same interests as anyone else. And to some extent, they even matured as I got older. But especially when you’re talking about the sexes and how they interact, there was always a certain amount of unflattering naiveté. Like I was looking at the world through a Norman Rockwell painting, or Disney colored glasses. Women are great, but you put them on a relatively chaste pedestal. Dating always leads to something more involved when it goes well. Sex is great, but it’s walled off in it’s own little world. I would like to say it’s a sort of junior-high point of view of the adult world. But I’d guess junior high kids today are less clueless than I was.

Many years ago, when I first started questioning the “Women don’t like nice guys” mantra, I said that maybe it’s not ‘assholes’ they want so much as confident men. Confidence is absolutely an attractive trait. Real or faked, it gets me better results in both business and personal life, regardless of whether I actually know what I’m doing. But… like everything else… I don’t know if this is really so clear cut. Confidence is a symptom of a personality that is outgoing, that takes initiative. You’re not sitting back examining life, but you’re actually participating in it. You’re engaged, good or bad.

Those kinds of traits absolutely run contrary to the mental process of a nice guy. These men don’t want to exert themselves on someone. “I’ll just tell this person I’m interested in about myself, and if they’re likewise interested, they’ll let me know, and we’ll…” …whatever. It sounds so mature, and logical. But relationships don’t start out like you’re drafting some mutually beneficial contract. Looking back, every person I consider important — every relationship, male or female, that means something to me — initially flared up in my life like a struck match.

What about sex? For nice guys, it’s this great thing that will come about after you’ve established a relationship with someone. While you’re by no means celibate or ashamed of sex, it’s not part of this early connection with someone. It’s a secondary, or tertiary stage. This one is harder to discuss intelligently. If relationships — as I said earlier — are completely illogical, sex is completely insane. Sex is hormones coursing through the blood telling you to do ridiculous things that probably even violate the laws of physics. What on earth made nice guys think this blood/sweat/magic thing can be left out of the discussion? A romantic relationship doesn’t lead to sex. Sex is part of a romantic relationship. Leave it out, even initially, and you’re leaving out a vital ingredient. The unspoken promise of sex, the looks, the hand on the other person, the holding, the actions themselves. Some female friends recently stated that while yes they wanted nice men, (presumably with a looser definition than mine), they wanted nice men who would put them over the arm of the couch and fuck them. The idea that women want to have sex isn’t shocking. But the sheer directness and central nature — that struck out at my dormant “nice guy”. Every woman I’ve asked about this has agreed with the main point, without question. Even better? The women who made the initial comment are the geekiest, most intelligent, uber-nerdy, (honestly… Asperger-ish) women I know. Apparently there are no “nice women”.

How do I think of life and relationships now?

Life is chaos. Try to simplify it and make it manageable and understandable, and you’re actually stripping out the things that make it worth living. If you dive into the chaos and let things swirl around you, it’s fascinating what you will see and experience. A hour of unexpected, new, exciting things is worth many times even the most enjoyable pre-planned day.

Relationships are similar. Don’t go in with a plan. Just go in. Interact in every way that comes up. Say every stupid thing that comes into your head. Forget everything you’ve ever seen or read, because every human relationship is unique. If there’s a connection, seize it immediately. And if not, that person still fits in your life somewhere.

i have no words… / January 28, 2010 / Comment on this

I think I have fulfilled one of my lifelong goals, with this comment I received today:

I know I needed the laugh and believe it or not u r the first one I think of when I think of any comment about my ass!! hard to believe I know

whores / October 27, 2009 / Comment on this

“Do you think I’m a whore?”
Well… you know… not ME. I only wish I had that kind of problem. But it’s a topic that seems to come up on a not infrequent basis. Women asking me as a representative of the male gender, if I think so-and-so physical act or mental desire made them a whore.
My 2 cents:
First and most obviously, “if you have to ask”, you’re probably not. If you’re that conscious of it and concerned at the same time, then no, I doubt you could be a whore, no matter what happened.
You aren’t screwing around for sheer physical pleasure, regardless of whatever warm body it is. By the very act of asking the question, you’re showing concern for what the other person thinks about the act. I think what makes a whore a whore is when the other person (people?) involved in the act don’t matter at all in your mind.
But regardless of the length of time together or current intimacy of the connection, if someone makes you feel very good in any way, and you both know what you’re getting out of it, then I really don’t think there’s anything to feel bad about.

women wanted / February 14, 2008 / Comment on this

2264133438_8af348b0f5.jpg
I took this about a block from my apartment yesterday. I was getting out of the house for a mental break, and thinking that I needed to photograph something for my daily shot. I had just started literally looking around me, when I saw this sign.
Some things never change, in this neighborhood.

male prostitute / August 5, 2007 / Comment on this

You know I get no end of joy out of watching the prostitutes as I walk home late at night. Flamboyant doesn’t even begin to describe them. Is ‘miamiviceish’ a word?
But last night as I walked back from the metro around 3:00, a big, black SUV pulled up near me, and the two attractive women inside asked me if I was doing okay. To think I look like a male hooker is probably the least likely thing you can imagine.
(The only other possibility I can come up with is that the sexual come-on was just a lure for some less enjoyable event. But we won’t think about that.)

Prostitutes, Lesbians, and Orgasm Fairies / August 7, 2005 / Comment on this

I was offered a job as an Orgasm Fairy, the other day. Apparently, I am #5 on a google search for the term “Orgasm Fairy”.
So I got that going for me.
Then again, every time I check my stats, someone has found this site by searching for the term “fucking little girls”.
Ew.
But you know… I’ve still got the hookers for neighbors. Call girls, I guess, since they seem to operate primarily on an in-call basis. I’ve gotten in the habit of looking at the guest sign-in whenever I stop at the front desk, just to see how many visitors they’ve had. Um… so to speak.
But yeah… they apparently tried to lure the Cleaning Lady into working for them. I find it a little funny. She’s not ugly… but I don’t know if I would pay for sex with her. She probably doesn’t have the temperament, anyway. Just being asked was so traumatic that she immediately ran to the assistant manager to report it. It’s the worst kept secret in the building, that they’re working up there. But if they start making life difficult for other people, they may find themselves out on the street. This time, in daylight.
Besides the fact that hookers do laundry all the time, apparently it’s common to order everything C.O.D. Besides being amazed that anyone even offers C.O.D. shipping anymore, I find it interesting. I guess this isn’t a job were you want to leave a huge paper trail. Just the other week, a UPS guy came by with another such package. It was his third and final attempt at delivery. The one girl finally answered the door, stark naked, presumably expecting a customer. She quickly jumped behind the door, though certain body parts kept slipping out. Man… is that the start to every bad porno, or what?
Meant to get this updated look for the website up yesterday. I had the template basically done. But Pixel wanted to play, and I wound up going to Chiaroscuro with Kier again. Kelowna seemed to have a good night. Dancing and spinning. Taking all kinds of pictures, including one she ran over to show me, of all the dancers spinning around me. Finished off the night pretty well, too, from the looks of it.
I didn’t see Kris there. Although, I did learn that her name was Kris. So that’s something. She was always the-girl-in-the-sports-bra. Until someone pointed out last week that she was also the girl I met at a home farewell party, who gave me a lift home, a couple months back. Weird… never saw the connection. Probably wouldn’t have known what to say in the truck home. ‘Cause… you know… I got those mad people skills.
But we did have more faux lesbians last night. And we all agreed that beats sitting home on the couch watching TV any night.

Cindy vs. Julia / April 30, 2002 / Comment on this

It is a bit of a running joke in my family, that around the holidays, whenever someone asks what I would like, I always tell them “Cindy Crawford” or “Julia Roberts”. How I’ve managed to make it this long without receiving a life size cutout or blow-up doll of one of these women is beyond me.
I must say, that if I am forced to choose between the two, Cyndi has just climbed the ladder a few notches. I caught a clip of her on television licking her own nose.
There is a great potential for talent in a woman like this.

This woman sat down / September 22, 2001 / Comment on this

This woman sat down next to me on the subway today. An amazingly beautiful woman. Thin, athletic body. Quirky smile. Worn out jeans, boots, and small white T-shirt.
Of course I didn’t talk to her.

“When I do finally torture, medicate or hypnotize someone into manipulating my bits , the police will find our remains blasted into the walls by ballistic semen.”

“And I am forced to suffer this in a city where I can fall in love eighty times a day just by stepping out onto the street and opening my eyes.”

“You will pay.”

— last 3 paragraphs courtesy of Spider Jeruselum, I Hate it Here