(This article was commissioned by Gay Entertainment Directory, and it first appeared in their September 2019 edition.)
There is no boundary between work and play at industrial designer/conceptual fetishist Héctor Belloc’s scenic studio in Puerto Vallarta’s Gringo Gulch neighborhood, overlooking the Rio Cuale and Banderas Bay. Once a pioneering sex shop designer in Mexico City (sex toys, included), he now enjoys Puerto Vallarta’s laidback vibe as the perfect scenario to express his creativity through a variety of projects, including a unique line of playful jewelry-art and leather accessories for all gender and persona.
Originally from Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta’s state capital, Héctor was favorably influenced by an artistic household and developed a unique talent for drawing and illustration before reaching his teens. Like many kids his age, he was intrigued about sex. “There was no Internet when I was growing up,” he recalls, “so I became intrigued about human anatomy in general, and genitals in particular, and started making my own sketches of what I imagined what bodies were like.” H.R. Giger’s strangely sensual biomechanical illustrations for the Alien film franchise also served to nurture his fascination with technology and sexuality at the time, and remain a notable influence to date. Tom of Finland’s erotic illustrations had a similar effect.
I made my first dildos with materials you couldn’t possibly imagine.
At age 12, his father noticed his erotic drawings in one of his notebooks. Rather than scolding him, he used the opportunity to have an open conversation about sexuality. “I was never a rebel child because I didn’t have to. My parents raised me to explore life’s pleasures responsibly, and without shame.” This provided the perfect circumstances to develop a healthy, creative and curious sexuality.
Hector studied at the University of Guadalajara’s Art, Architecture and Design Center, majoring in industrial design, with additional studies in sculpture, photography, painting, drawing and video production. “The university expected us to take specific, prescribed paths, but I took advantage of any multidisciplinary opportunities I could get.” Upon graduation, he sought like-minded creatives, but quickly realized that Guadalajara was not ready to welcome an artist interested in exploring and expressing sexuality through erotic objects d’art.
While still living in Guadalajara, his work caught the attention of two sex shop chains in Mexico City (Erotika Sex Shop and Love Store) and he was called upon to get involved in all aspects of production, from designing the shops to overseeing the overseas production of the sex toys he was designing for them. “I made my first dildos with materials you couldn’t possibly imagine,” he chuckles.
After several trips to Hong Kong to oversee sex toy production, felt wat he described as “plastic/latex overload,” and decided to turn the page some seven years ago, move to Puerto Vallarta, and begin envisioning a new chapter with materials that were kinder to the environment. This led to a variety of projects that fused organic shapes and elements, such as his sculptural lamps (a noticeable nod to Giger’s work) and his “wearable sculpture” line of erotic jewelry.
The pieces are as unique as his imagination is sexually vivid. There are rings that use iconography and vivid enameled colors to take the sartorial hankie code from the 70s to an entirely new level; symbols feature something for everyone, from two cocks next to each other to one between two breasts, and even an icon shaped like an anus, surrounded by yellow enamel “for water sports lovers,” he explains.
Some cockrings are shaped like a double-headed sperm, while others feature hanging strings of onyx beads to produce a tickling sensation when used. Bracelets double as cufflinks. Nipple rings and so-called “love triangles” are cleverly designed to be used even by those without piercings. And then there are his “love tools,” which feature computer-designed, laser cut threaded nuts to fasten them to your nipples, earlobes, scrotum, or any part of your body where you wish to experience the erotic boundaries between pleasure and pain. “We never stop playing,” he muses. “We simply change toys as we grow older.” And since his editions are small—15 of each, in natural silver, gold washed or black rhodium finish—they almost one-of-a-kind words of art to treasure and to enjoy playing with.
For more information or to schedule a visit to his Puerto Vallarta studio, visit Hector’s website, www.hectorbelloc.com.