June July 2016
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The Advocate

PHOTOS: Bare and Banned

A few months back we covered the successful Kickstarter funding of Michael Stokes's book Bare Strength. The photographs in the book were beautifully shot set-ups of incredibly fit young men in themed settings rich in masculine texture and meaning. There was also a large section of amputee Marines. Stokes posted some of those images on Facebook to promote the campaign and was zapped by site censors even though the images stayed within guidelines. Was it the sexuality of the images? Or were they targeted because the models were amputees? 

Regardless the occasion of these new images below is to herald the availability of the book on Amazon, as well as other venues — just in time for holiday gift giving!

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And Stokes makes sure that the profits from the book got spread around. There was an added special edition of 100 books, clothbound, with cloth slipcase, signed by Stokes and all three amputee veterans. Each copy sold for $300, with $100 of that going to the Semper Fi Fund.  They sold out and raised $10,000 for Semper Fi, a charity based at Camp Pendleton that assists injured vets and their families. The $10,000 was matched by the founder of GoDaddy, so in total it was $20,000 for the charity.

Stokes is not only a photographer but a collector as well. See our recent article on the Taschen book by Dian Hanson called My Buddy, which uses Stokes's vast collection of vintage photos of military men, many of them nude.

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See more images from Bare Strength on the following pages >>>

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