How long ago was the release of the first Climax photo book? The makers sure took their time with the second one. X-Ray Media, which also publishes the "X-Ray" titles, are by now the masters in assembling flavors-of-the-moment Filipino men for portfolios of impeccable quality and steaminess. Photography, styling, design, packaging -- all ace. Testicles, shafts, asses, pubic hair -- present and in abundance. Only the cockheads are missing.
The men of Climax 2 are collectively tagged "Indie Boys" -- actors starring in recent independent movies: Josh Ivan Morales, Kristofer King, Harry Laurel, Will Sandejas, Gabriel Del Rosario, and Andro Morgan. It must be noted that they're stars of a particular subgenre: films with sexy gay appeal. Though the guys let it all hang out (only Gabriel Del Rosario keeps his jewels encased), you may feel underwhelemed by a lack of new revelation. Afterall, we've seen more from these men in their movies and photos from the internet. Really, the only way Josh Ivan Morales can top himself is if he fucks in another hardcore porn. But that doesn't make these new sets any less hot. You'd be hardpressed to find their bodies worshipped in richer textures. Like the first edition, Climax 2 is a beautiful celebration of flesh. It feels like a liberation by way of objectification.
I'm also thankful for what is probably the first glossy spread for Kristofer King. Although the most talented, longest-running, and boldest dramatic actor of the lot, I don't think he's ever really enjoyed a full-blown, visual, sexy publicity like the others.
The copies are limited and hard to find, available only in the following stores: CV Magazine in Landmark Makati, Dongskie (below Quezon Avenue MRT and Cubao MRT Walkway), Hilom Spa Center along Mother Ignacia Avenue, and online through ManilaGayGuy. Filbars branches also sell but don't display them, so you will have to ask for it. Finding it will have to be like the minor effort before unearthing a gem.