This was not the post I had in mind for today, but I came across the below pic on Tumblr this morning and this post is the result. I think it has been a long time in coming, this photo simply acted as a catalyst. I’m quite candid, so be forewarned.
In the past I’ve shied away from really, truly discussing the visceral reaction I have to Richard Armitage. Largely, because I feared the backlash that others have faced. But here is the thing: my reactions are a fundamental part of who I am as a fangirl. It is part of what spurs me on to make graphics, fanvids, write fanfic and continue with this blog. So for this post at least, I’m an open book.
I love what Servetus says about how the distinction between Richard’s looks and his talent is a false dichotomy. (Sorry Serv, I can’t remember which posts you’ve mentioned that in to link back.) His talent is what keeps me watching. I long to see what he’s going to do with each new character. However, it was his looks and the way his presence filled the screen that initially drew me in. I feel certain that with the absence of either of these aspects, Armitagemania would have never existed for me in the first place or if it did, the duration would have been greatly reduced.
No matter how much I appreciate his talent, I can’t avoid the fact that my reactions to images like the one above have very little, if anything to do with him as an actor. I look at that image and see a desirable man. A man that looks like he could be a regular bloke you’d pass walking through the airport. One who could easily be seated next to you at the gate as you wait for boarding. Gazing at that picture I can’t help the unbidden thoughts of how much I’d love to feel that beard reddening my skin as it abrades my flesh. How I want to run my fingers through the smattering of chest hair poking out of his neckline. I can almost envision that first glimpse of his eyes as I reach up and remove those sunglasses. Aren’t you glad this isn’t a full body shot?
How about the tongue of concentration. It frequently shows up when fans participate in the 30 day challenge. Many find it cute, endearing even. I’ve gone on record agreeing with those sentiments. However, to leave it there is dishonest. My primary reaction is not, “Ahhh, that’s sweet.” Rather, it is a tightening low in my belly as the lascivious thoughts take hold once more. “What kind of magic could he weave with that tongue?” I wonder.
Then there are the bound characters. These scenes and screencaps are so compelling and not just because of the original story line. While I know I should be concerned about the characters well being in these moments, more often than not my mind is back in the gutter. Take for instance John Porter on that cross in the first season of Strike Back. He’s in the desert, shirt removed, sweating from the intense heat, dehydration is a concern, burned flesh a likelihood, not to mention that he’s the prisoner of a terrorist. Am I thinking about the scenario as it plays out in the show. Not a chance. I’m fixated on his glistening torso, and the way his belt frames his hips. I’m fantasizing about licking the sweat from those glorious abs. The pleasure I could give him while he’s restrained and completely at my mercy.
I don’t know what to make of all of this some times. Having been raised in a devout religious family, these kinds of thoughts have always been discouraged. You aren’t supposed to think them and you certainly don’t give voice to them. Each day on this journey feels like a chain in the link of my life long restraints is loosened. I’m starting to see that all of this isn’t really about him. He’s a catalyst, just like the picture. A doorway to the whole me, the one who doesn’t have to hide parts of herself to please others.
Reading back through this, I have a clearer idea of why I enjoy reading the fantasies of others. They provide evidence that I’m not alone, a misfit. And sometimes I need that confirmation.