After a hiatus, the erotica series is back, although I do have to cover some well-worn ground now and then. The hairy, virile and priapic Samson has been the focus of more than your usual biblical erotica, tempted by the alluring Delilah.
The story has provided a moment for screen sirens to play the voluptuous Delilah and for that condom full of muscles to do his thing. What they once said of Keanu Reeves – young, dumb, and full of come – may also apply to Samson.
But there is something odd about these images …
Something about the hair …
Post-coital fetal position notwithstanding …
If you had grown up with great slabs of the Bible at the end of every evening meal, you would know that Delilah doesn’t do the deed. She is merely the facilitator of Samson’s emasculation, for Delilah ‘called a man, and had him shave off the seven locks of his head’ (Judges 16:19).
For all their decadent plushness, it is a feature the older paintings capture.
Suddenly the scene teams with people. Gone is the hetero couple in intimate deception, for now we have hair fetishes, hints of group sex and a bit of S/M thrown in.
What marks the turn to the hetero couple? The atomisation of modern life? The narrowing of ideas of love and lust?
Or the need to slot Samson into that key role of straight biblical hero (albeit a little flawed). So we can’t have him, as in this picture, in intimate embrace with other muscled men, some in uniform, others brandishing their phallic things at him, Samson with a leg in the air and perhaps enjoying the attention.
No matter how seedy, he must, after all, be straight: