Fiction: Night Swim

beautiful brunette shivering after taking a nude night swim
Night Swim. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Fiction by ChatGBT

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Night Swim

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The evening air was crisp as the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm orange glow across the serene lake. A beautiful woman named Diana emerged from the water, her long dark wavy hair clinging to her wet skin, glistening in the fading light. She stood at the edge of the lake, shivering slightly from the coolness of the water and the gentle breeze that swept through the valley.

As Diana tried to warm herself, she instinctively covered her breasts with her arms.  Her gaze was fixed on the distant mountains, captivated by their majesty and the ethereal beauty of the setting sun.

But in that moment, as she turned her head slightly to the right, Diana noticed a movement out of the corner of her eye. Her heart skipped a beat, and a sense of vulnerability washed over her. She realized that she wasn’t completely alone.

Her instincts urged her to flee, to seek the safety of her clothes and retreat from the unexpected presence. But curiosity mingled with fear, compelling her to stay and investigate. She wanted to know who else shared this isolated lakeside paradise.

Slowly, Diana turned her gaze towards the source of the movement. Her eyes widened in surprise and intrigue as she saw a figure emerging from the shadows. It was a man, tall and muscular, with an air of mystery about him. His eyes met hers, and a moment of silent understanding passed between them.

There was a charged energy in the air, a recognition of the raw vulnerability they both felt. Diana’s initial fear began to transform into a different kind of anticipation. She felt a flicker of desire awaken within her, blending with the lingering sensations of her nude night swim.

Without a word, the man approached Diana, his eyes never leaving hers. His presence was both comforting and electrifying, drawing her in like a magnet. She found herself entranced, her body responding to his proximity.

As he reached her side, the man extended a hand, a silent invitation for Diana to join him on this twilight adventure. Something within her urged her forward, and with a mix of trepidation and excitement, Diana placed her hand in his.

Together, they walked towards the fading light, towards the mysteries that awaited them beyond the mountains. The photograph would forever capture that fleeting moment of connection, a testament to the power of unexpected encounters and the allure of the unknown.

 

 

 
 

 

 

Fiction: The Temptation of Monsignor Luna

Photograph of three actors modeling for a Tony Ward photograph: a monsignor, a nude woman and a woman in prayer
The Temptation of Monsignor Luna. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Text by ChatGBT

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Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Monsignor Luna sat at his desk in the rectory, surrounded by stacks of paperwork and an ever-growing to-do list. As he took a sip of coffee, he noticed a photograph on his bookshelf that he hadn’t looked at in some time.

In the photo, a woman stood behind him in prayer, her head bowed in reverence. In front of her, a nude woman sat on a bed of nails, legs and wrists shackled while looking away from the priest with dark eyes. Monsignor Luna shook his head, trying to clear his mind. How did this photo end up on his bookshelf?

He remembered the day it was taken. A woman had come to him for confession, seeking guidance and comfort in her faith. She was in tears, overcome by guilt and shame for her past sins. Monsignor Luna had listened with compassion, offering words of wisdom and hope.

As they prayed together, the door had opened and in walked a nude woman, claiming to be a model for a local artist. She had been drawn to the rectory by some unknown force, compelled to be in the presence of the popular religious leader.

At first, Monsignor Luna was taken aback by her presence. But then he felt a strange sensation, a feeling of power and control over the situation. He saw the women as two sides of the same coin, one representing sin and temptation, the other purity and faith.

He asked the women to pose for a photograph by a famous photographer friend who  he commissioned to capture the vision in his mind for posterity. Now, as he looked at the photo, Monsignor Luna felt a sense of unease. Was this a moment of weakness or strength? Had he given in to temptation or overcome it?

He closed his eyes, praying for guidance and forgiveness. He vowed to use this photo as a reminder of the power of faith and the dangers of temptation. Monsignor Luna knew that he would never forget this moment and the lessons it taught him.

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To access a gallery of Tableaux Vivant’s by Tony Ward from 1994- 1996, click here: https://tonyward.com/portfolios/tableaux-vivants-1994-1996/

Diana Desiderio: Women’s Extreme Wrestling

Text by Diana Desiderio, Copyright 2023

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Photographs by Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

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Tune In, Freak Out, Get Beaten

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I know you have read about my evening at the Satanic Temple last Halloween; and what I have been up to the past 15 years that led up to reuniting with Tony for our “Night Swim” shoot in 2021. Now let me shed some light on how Mr. Ward and I came together for our very first shoot. Women’s Extreme Wrestling; that’s how. Anyone in Philadelphia knows that wrestling is just about as die hard as the fans, especially in these parts. I had been working for a few years in the sex industry locally at that time; and had become fast friends with Annie. Man, as I sit here and type, I am literally smiling from ear to ear thinking back on it all. What a wild time; we were off the rails and getting into all sorts of mischief. We became as thick as thieves and chasing all sorts of adventures together; as well as on our own. Annie had proposed that we join forces and create one hell of a tag team. She had already done some matches and training, and I was always one to dive in head first. We started training together and the birth of “HELLS BELLES” had ascended from the pits of the slums you told your kids to stay away from. (or so we felt) If you had ever watched GLOWW in the 80s; we def were the hardcore version of the heavy metal duo, Chainsaw and Spike meets a hint of ECW’s Sandman with a dash of Stone Cold. 

Women have always had a place in the sport. The public’s appetite for professional wrestling was enormous and had been gaining since the 1930s. Exaggerated movements giving rise to over the top body slams, and costuming and masks. This emphasis on entertainment developed as the years wore on, moved on from live events to television. And what better way then to implement the presence of bosomy bombshells in bathing suits and flamboyant costumes to add to the circus. A documentary entitled Lipstick and Dynamite provides a wonderful portrait of these early female pioneers of the wrestling ring. As far as the matches go this is purely staged choreography and the winner IS in fact decided prior; but the hits are very much so REAL. That is the part which suck a lot of viewers in, THE BEATINGS! What no one else sees is also the vicious cycle of training. Throwing yourself on your back a hundred times in a row perfecting “taking bumps”. Training is all about the repetition of the moves to get them down and perfect for showtime. In some way, it def contributed to my sado/masochism cause I very much so enjoyed the pain as well as dishing it out. Honestly, another reason as to why I was ready to dive in head first to the idea when it was first proposed to join a tag team.

At that point we were gearing to do a lot of projects, pay-per-view events, random appearances etc. One in particular was our guest spot on the “Howard Stern Show” which was coming up in the early spring of 2006. One day my tag team partner, AKA Annie Social; said that she had received an opportunity for us to shoot for Hustler Magazines Taboo for the January 2006 print edition and that we would be working with Tony Ward. We wound up shooting at our training facility in the ring we took hits in on a regular basis. The issue came out and we were on such a high from the exposure to the fans and everything in between.

Here’s were this story takes a turn. It was better for me physically  but worse for my wrestling career; you see, “it’s a mans world”, or at least it was way back when. It was so hard to be taken seriously by our colleagues, folks we did matches with and shared the ring with. Why? There will always be a stigma; or at least back then, that women in wrestling are just ring rats with ZERO talent. Ring rats are just groupies of the wrestling world for those who are familiar with the lingo. For a woman like me with the temper I did have in those days, that type of ridicule was not flying. And just like that, as I speak of “flying”; I had done a match were I jumped off the top ropes and wasn’t caught correctly and suffered a pretty decent injury to my neck and upper back. Nothing was taken care of medically cause the waivers for a lot of indy matches left you up to your own “you wanna take hits then take em” vibe if you catch my drift.

Do I regret it? ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY NOT! I would do it all over again and not trade any of it in for the world. Every path I have journeyed down has taken me to where I am right in this moment. Everyone I’ve met along the way and all of the experiences both good and bad kept paving the way to today. I definitely back what Hunter S Thompson said in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; “No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride… and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well… maybe chalk it up to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.”

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About The Author: Diana Desiderio  is a motion picture production manager based in Philadelphia. To access additional articles by Diana Desiderio, click here: https://tonyward.com/night-swim/

Norma Rae Jean: 20 Years Later

 
Text by Norma Rae Jean, Copyright 2023

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20 Years Later

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As a young girl, we all have dreams… Dreams of our life in the future. Who will I marry, where will I live, what will I be, who will I be??? 

 With models like Cindy Crawford, Christie Brinkley, Christy Turlington, that was what I wanted to be.  As my teenage years approached, I wasn’t tall enough, I wasn’t skinny enough, I didn’t have the right look. Though I would not be a super model, I would find other ways to quench that desire. 

Remember before the internet,  the books that women used to look at in the hair salon to pick their next hair style?  You could find me in there. Or maybe in the window of a department store as a live display, did that too… Shows at night clubs to display an artist’s design.. Though not a super model, I had fun with what I could do. 

  In my early twenties, I posed for Tony Ward for the first time. Believe it or not, I was the first model he used a digital camera to photograph in 2003.

Now here we are, 20 years later and he asked me to pose again. I was more than excited to work with him a second time around,  and honored to be the model for his January 2023 homepage. 

 The day of the photo shoot, December 14, 2022, I went and had my make-up done.  My nerves grew as I drove to Tony’s studio. Getting lost twice on the way did not help. When I arrived Tony greeted me with a big hug. I knew right then I was in good hands. 

KVaughn, a fashion designer who also was creative director on the shoot brought a trunk full of jewelry,  scarves, fabrics, and dresses. Using what he and I brought, K Vaughn put my looks together. He is full of energy and so fun and creative to work with. 

We all made our way over to Tony’s new studio, which is in his back yard in Elkins Park. For the next three hours we had such a great time. Working with Tony, K Vaughn, and photo assistant Anthony Colagreco was so much fun. Once again, I was Tony’s first.. First model he shot in his new studio. 

Editor’s Note: Norma Rae Jeans hair and makeup was styled by the Blow Dry Bar in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Styling by KVaughn.

 

Kitchie Ohh: Resolution Revolution

Portrait of Kitchie Courtesy Geoffrey Feret. Copyright 2023
Portrait of Kitchie Courtesy Geoffrey Feret. Copyright 2023

Text by Kitchie Ohh,  Copyright 2023

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Resolution Revolution

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Happy January. The first month of a whole new year. A time to set new goals, make resolutions, leave last year in the past. A clean slate.

Social media is always a wealth of posts shared for laughs, information, and most often, on my feed, inspiration.  However, I am finding more and more that those intended inspirations are toxic as hell. The number of people in my network proudly declaring – warning, really – that they are “matching energies” has become overwhelming. So what’s the problem with that? I’m so glad you asked.

Most, if not all of us, were raised with some form of the Golden Rule. You know, treat others the way you’d want to be treated. Numerous belief systems have some variation of this rule, you’ve very likely heard it regardless of faith. So THAT my friends is the crux of the matching energies problem. Responding to someone’s behavior toward you in a way that reflects their treatment of you, rather than who you actually are is disingenuous and, very likely, petty. I say this as the majority of times an individual claims to be engaging in an energy match, they are doing so only to those they feel disrespected or in some way slighted by. I rarely, if ever, see or hear this in the context of being kind. It has become a practice in returning slight for slight, creating a near-obsession with getting even and perpetuating the behavior they are trying to end. It’s also made a spectacle for others to applaud and encourage. Thanks, Facebook.

Rather than engaging in this behavior, on- or offline, wouldn’t it be more productive to be up front with how someone made you feel? Telling a person they offended you, rather than going right for a return offense seems a more logical step one. It also leaves room for clarification of intent. Every person is entitled to feel the way they feel about the words and actions of others toward them, intention never invalidates how something is received and processed.  However, every person also should be given the opportunity to learn they offended and offer apology, not that they will. Sometimes the way you feel about what someone has said or done is exactly what they intended. In which case, there is likely no apology coming. 

There is absolutely no merit in being a doormat, allowing people to walk all over you, or treat you unacceptably. Trust me, I’ve been there. However the alternative isn’t stooping to their level. I am in no way trying to tout myself as any kind of expert here. But, I have in recent years discovered the joy of setting boundaries. I define the parameters for what is and is not acceptable behavior toward me. There is nothing forcing me to accept the unacceptable with a smile. I am allowed to be hurt, insulted, angry, etc. and walk away from it with a clear and resounding NOPE! Not even a No, thank you. I don’t owe politeness or anything else to those who refuse to accept my boundary.

There is a secondary issue I have with this whole matching business. In letting those you’re interacting with dictate your behavior you lose all consistency of self. When the answer to the question “who are you?”becomes “well, that depends on who I’m with,” that’s a big red flag. Do you even know you? 

While it’s not the same thing, I am linking another over-shared thing I see via social media these days as equally problematic: most zodiac related posts. I definitely read my horoscope on occasion and even sported my sign as a tattoo for a while. It’s all in good fun, it has never and will never control my life- hence the cover up. What I’m referring to is the posts declaring the star signs are the reasons for awful behavior. Ugh, how very Capricorn of me. Seriously though, like the matching energies, defaulting to zodiac traits to explain or justify behavior is just another way to refuse responsibility for your actions. Because, again, I rarely observe this in connection to positive traits, its mostly the negative or hurtful ones. Reflecting someone’s behavior back at them or shrugging off something you said or did as an unconscious fault of your star sign that others should excuse only shows a lack of accountability. How can anything ever be your your responsibility if the cause is external – other people, the stars, universe, whatever. Totally not your fault, right? Wrong. Regardless of what anyone else says or does, the position of celestial bodies at the time of your birth, or today, you are still responsible for your words, actions, and reactions and should be held just as accountable for them as you expect others to be. 

No offense to those who follow the zodiac and/or do any type of energy work. You do you. 

Oh, and yes, if you caught the reference, I am a Capricorn. My birthday is this month. This year, I will find the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything….

Kidding. But, if you get THAT reference (without Google!) you not only know my age, but you’re pretty damn cool.

How about we use this New Year to do better, to be better, or the best, versions of ourselves that we can be? This includes doing the bits that might be hard to do, like admit fault and apologize; set boundaries or cut ties that are overdue for severing, and walk away without getting the last word. Also, let’s not call this a resolution. I hate that. Let’s call it what it is: self-improvement. This is an ongoing process not limited to start and end on certain dates. Every day we have choices, to act or be reactive, to grow or remain stagnant. To let others determine who we are or to be genuinely ourselves. Which is kind of beautiful isn’t it? Don’t wait for a new year, start when you’re ready and keep it going.

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Pin Up model Kitchie Ohh topless
Portrait of Kitchie Ohh, courtesy Geoffrey Feret. Copyright 2023

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About The Author:

Kitchie Ohh is a full-time professional fundraiser who has worked with a number of health and human services nonprofits for over the last 20 years, currently with a food-related Philadelphia nonprofit. She found her passion for modeling after a pinup-style photoshoot in 2013. Since then shes worked with many talented photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists in a variety of styles.  She has been featured in -and on the covers of- multiple print and digital publications. Over the years she has branched out from pinup studio modeling to serve as a figure model for live sketching, walked a runway, and was part of two campaigns for local Philadelphia designer K. Vaughn. 

In addition to her food insecurity-related work, she has also volunteered with art, historical, and community organizations, and even on the events team of a local brewery, pre-pandemic.  

Youre just as likely to find her whipping up something deliciously plant-based in her kitchen or knitting a sweater as you are to find her on a photography set. Her motto is be both.” The model and the homemaker,  sultry and sweet, serious and silly. All the things, all at once.  

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To access additional articles by Kitchie Ohh, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/memories/