San Antonio photographer Bennett Lee said, “Cure likes to be naked, the man behind the 2018 Texas Cures calendar and one of the many photographers on the 2022 calendar. Prints of previous years’ calendars – Suspiciously at regular intervals, the servers appeared at our table with a jug of water to refill our barely touching glasses of water, flowing slowly as their eyes wandered to spread security. Were
2018 was to be separated from the calendar form, Lee explained. He wanted it to be more artistic than his predecessors, focusing more on the architectural features of the cave and the hip curve. Of CoreFor example, there was a dramatic shot of dripping, golden stalactites and, in the distance, peeking out of a small tunnel in the background, a cherubic ramp that Lee proudly told me was his own.
In addition, there were reportedly behind-the-scenes differences during the creation of the previous calendar in 2010 – rumors of the Curers halting the production process because they wanted some images to be added to others. The turmoil was enough to persuade Lee to create his own 2018 calendar years later. “I was just like that, spoil it,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about this shit. I don’t have to worry about any fights. I just make what I want.”
The 2018 calendar was the fourth in the immovable (and erotic) series for which money was raised. Texas Cave Management Association (TCMA), a non-profit organization founded in 1986 to help secure, manage and research many of the state’s cave systems. 2022 Calendar, now available. Buy online, Will be the fifth.
The calendar, which has been in hiding for the past two decades, is not a government TCMA project. They are freely gathered by groups of passionate curios who have eyes to catch their peers in different states.
They have not historically been big money makers. In 2018, Lee ordered two hundred copies, fifty of which he gave to calendar models. Then he sold about one hundred dollars for 20 dollars each, all the profits went to TCMA. “I was happy with it,” Lee said, although there are fifty copies left in his house. “Every now and then I know someone about it and they buy one.”
Decentralized creation of calendars means that each iteration has a different aesthetic and tone. The first two, published in 2002 and 2005, were called “Texas Women, Texas Caves.” They were printed in black and white, and featured, as the title suggests, all female models. These images felt like a classic, mid-century pin-up. April 2005: A dark-haired woman stands in a narrow tunnel, watching with advice over her shoulder, her heavy belt strapped down on her bare back. July: A woman kneels in a shallow cave pool with a helmet and headlamps, pulling her coffee, knee-length chest out of the confines of her weight suit. August: A pair of Ethereal Cave apes wander through a dense forest of stalagmites, bare-backed on camera, with their heads turned to stare into the darkness.
By the next edition, in 2010, the world had changed: Barack Obama was president, the United States was emerging from a brutal recession, and for the first time, male butts were included in the naked caving calendar. With the title, mostly, the “Texas Curers Calendar,” 2010 edition was printed in full color, and had a less provocative tone than the previous one. There were few pictures. Playboy And more Outside, If everyone inside Outside Forget about getting dressed. There were naked splinters wandering through the natural tunnels, climbing the stairs, and kneeling under the stalactites.
Then came the 2018 calendar, headed by Lee, who managed to put his artistic stamp on the project. As he said: “I wanted one with a terrible cave, and it turned out to be naked people.”
Lee had no plans to collect another calendar until he was contacted by the TCMA organizer earlier this summer. In recent years, TCMA’s main source of revenue has been public fundraising events held in large caves across the state. Due to COVID restrictions, such large, private gatherings have not been possible, and funding is running low. The nonprofit wanted to know: Would Lee and others be willing to revive the Naked Kyung Calendar to help raise some money for the Cure Group?
Lee agreed, and he and four other splinter slash photographers who agreed to take on the project gave themselves a strict deadline: the calendar must be printed before the annual Texas Cures Reunion. This week, so they can sell it to fellow Spylog fans.
Shortly after TCMA contacted Lee, he and other organizers made model calls to various Texas Facebook groups and email list services. The answer was overwhelming. While some users of a Facebook group wondered why this year’s calendar might not be a healthy and well-dressed celebration, they were in the minority. Due to the aforementioned nudity of the cures, there were more models than using the calendar.
Over the next few weeks, photographers campaigned in the caves they chose. There, the models would go down, and the photographers would set up and take their own shots. Later, via zoom calls and email, the organizers limited many of their images to just a dozen, Lee said, adding that the process was easier because they mostly agreed on which were the strongest images. Are
But they can only add twelve images, and when it came time to choose the last image, the choice was between a couple of shots that seem to be floating on top of a flowing rock – a sheet-like stone structure that floats. Due to the mineral deposits from the water – and the image of a naked woman handing her partner a bag of cave-making on the upper bank, her neat monster is moving towards the camera like an experienced beauty model. He hesitated. “If you have nudity in front of you, this is a gray area,” Lee said. “It’s now open for anyone to interpret whether it’s obscene or not.”
But the flow stone was also controversial. At the time, a recent article on a climbing website caused a stir in the cave community over fears of climbing the flow rocks shown in the photo.
“Whenever you climb on formations, you can damage them,” Lee said. A person’s skin oil can accumulate on a formation and prevent water from settling there.
The response to the article, which described a couple’s climbing in a cave in France, was so strong that the editors posted a lengthy apology before removing it from their site.
Unlike the couple in the article, the caves in the picture were not actually climbing the flow rock. It was as if they were from the angle of the camera. But the group is still worried that the shot will be more angry with the caving community.
So, the organizers of the calendar had to decide which content would be more objectionable to their audience: the obscenity or the obstruction of the flow of minerals? “You don’t want this conflict, but you have to have this conflict,” Lee sighed.
Nudity aside, the broader question about cave protection is the ongoing debate between caves. How does one create awareness and excitement about these delicate, underground wonders while at the same time allowing humans to be clothed or otherwise enjoy, admire and potentially harm them? Is?
“It’s a balance between the two,” says Lee. “How much traffic do we allow? How much harm do we allow people to do, or how much do we protect it so that people can see and use it?”
It is not difficult that almost every natural place on earth would benefit from leaving humans in hell. Wherever adventurers gather in large numbers, they inevitably bring with them trash, pollution, skin-damaging oils, and devices that bring graffiti and curses to hearts. And yet, how dark it is to imagine a world in which man is completely sealed by the extraordinary creations of nature – where you cannot experience the wonderful and lonely sense of smallness that stands in this place. Comes with a being that stands in a place designed by bigger and bigger powers. Your brain can fully comprehend at any time a terrifying world in which the only possible background for the taste buds are man-made.
Eventually, when it came to the 2022 Cure Calendar, environmental concerns prevailed against milder, and the group decided to have a full front shot. Lee was satisfied with the decision. “It’s clearly not pornography,” he said, and I agreed.
It was not clear if our servers agreed.