But these 2012 pics, of Rafael Nadal, Chris Paul, and Michael Phelps, are the most sexually charged, pinup-style images of men they’ve featured.I wonder what the thought is behind them. Is SI dipping its toe into trying to appeal to a female demographic? Is this (coupled with the female athletes in body paint) an attempt to force more “sports” into “Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue”?
In any case, I don’t mind it, as long as they keep the cake and the ice cream separate. The swimsuit issue fantasy involves me being the only male in existence, so there should be plenty of man-free photos of the girls.Also, I don’t want to be crass, but these are young, virile, athletic guys in their 20s, and they’re intertwining their bodies with a bikini-clad Bar Refaeli. How is every shot not just a picture of their boners?
Maybe they’re nervous. But I like to think they were coached ahead of time. “Okay, if you need a break, just signal the makeup person with this discreet hand gesture, and she’ll announce that you need some powder. You will have three minutes in the next room.”
Finally, I’m straight but I’m not blind. In the pics with Bar and Rafael Nadal, it’s almost a coin toss as to who I should be looking at.