Sancta Paraphilia: the new year's nudes are sacrilegious. And hot.
by Drew Rowsome
With smartphones keeping track of the time, date and year, calendars have become works of art, more décor than utilitarian.
Or they can be statements of lifestyle preferences when one chooses between comical cats, sunsets, movie stars or half-dressed hunks.
Or promotional giveaways to promote your insurance company, bank or dentist.
Or fundraising tools as sports teams, clowns, morticians, leathermen and your granny's social activist group, all strip down for provocative photos.
The geniuses behind the Orthodox Priests calendars claim to have battling homophobia in religion as their raison d'etre. 2014's Love is Love: Orthodox 2014, celebrated the idea of same-sex marriage and "the role of gay men in religious orders, corruption in organized religions, and the treatment of minorities by society."
And the photos were/are hot. Heaping helpings of beefcake with the emphasis on the inherent wholesomeness, and erotic heat, of gay relationships. That the men were (masquerading?) as priests added a spicy kick of sacrilege.
The next year went a little darker with S.A.L.I.G.I.A., each letter corresponding to one of the seven deadly sins. The "priests" wore masks and less clothing, and were definitely kinkier. It was, it is, a very hot calendar.
The promotional slogan was "Social Tolerance: Support it! Encourage it! Deal with it!"
2016's Sancta Paraphilia, which translates as "holy desires, or sexual practices that differ from traditional," is more overtly political. The cover features half-clad and fully glamorized versions of anti-gay figureheads Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill. It also, from the photos teased so far, seems more explicit and kinky.
In a world where the Catholic Pope has to fire priests for dragging their robes out of the closet, evangelical preachers have their spread asses splayed across Grindr, and Muslim sexual repression is being imaginatively circumvented and subverted, the Orthodox Priests have had to up their game.