R.I.P. Jeff Brennan (Topsail) passed away on Nov 7.

Jeff has had such an influence on so many of us in this group. Not only his great storytelling and illustrating, but in the way he encouraged others to be creative. I personally would never have started putting out any of this work had it not been for his gentle urging and on-going friendship. And I found him to have an almost childlike enthusiasm for things. I will miss a real friend.

Jeff was in his late eighties and had been having serious health issues. So, his death was not unexpected. He did take the time to write his own obituary for our community… which follows.



Jeffrey M. Brennan (the pseudonym he used professionally), died on November 7, 2020 in Florida. He was just three days short of his 88th birthday.

Born in a small town in New England in the waning years of the Hoover Administration, he grew up in the Great Depression and World War II. His father having died in an accident before he was two years old, he was raised by grandmothers and aunts for role models. He was separated from his two older brothers during his formative years, as they, too, were “farmed out” to other relatives.

As a pre-teen he developed an identification with “he-man heroes” in the comics, the movies and on radio. Pulp magazines of the era fueled his fascination with heroes held prisoner and tortured. He had fantasy friends with whom he imagined being captured by Indians, aliens from Mars, sadistic gangsters, and later by the enemies of World War II. He and his fantasy friends never gave in, never “talked,” but always managed to “take it like a man” and emerge victorious.

Jeff’s passion for “he-men” never became an obsession, never interfered with his highly successful life, nor was it followed as a life style. He balanced his fantasy world and the real world with intelligence and confidence. Educated in a service academy and subsequent graduate courses, he rose to high rank and retired in his 50’s as a senior military officer, having held significant command and staff positions. He was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, earning awards for combat action in the latter. He was well known in the military academic world as a historian and analyst, and had been published in professional journals and as a contributor to service academy textbooks.

Although limited in the fulfillment of his desires by both the constraints of the times and the entrenched regulations of the armed forces, he did enjoy many satisfying scenes, acting out [sometimes very realistically] the “he-man who won’t talk.”

With the advent of the Internet, Jeff became well known to the BDSM community as “Topsail.” He founded several Yahoo and MSN groups and contributed to many others. He was asked by its owner to take over the “Muscles-n-Manacles” site on Yahoo, and with three friends made it a popular Yahoo group. It was expanded as the website musclesnmanacles.com, but later was changed into a pay site by its hired webmaster. In recent years Jeff had continued to moderate several sites, and was a major contributor to the excellent site established by “Aquadude.”

Jeff was successful in living this “double life,” and worked tirelessly for civic and charitable organizations in his retirement. He remained until his death a highly respected military career man, with many wonderful friends; he was personally acquainted with many of the “names” in both his worlds. He was loved by the succeeding generations of his extended family, who knew him only as the generous uncle, grand-uncle and great-grand-uncle.

He was married late in life to a woman who had been a “best friend” for nearly forty years, but with whom he had never shared his secret alter ego.


For stories by Jeff Brennan/Topsail, go to: Bunker Content/ Literature/ Authors/ Topsail

For his illustrative work, Go To: Bunker Content/ Special Features/ Topsail Captions


8 thoughts on “R.I.P. Jeff Brennan (Topsail) passed away on Nov 7.

  1. Though, as you write, this news was not unanticipated…I still feel a devastating sense of loss. I knew of Topsail since the days of the Yahoo groups he mentions, was inspired to make my very first manip by one he had made previously, and eventually got to know him personally; first, by onsite communication and then e-mail correspondence and later face to face. Cherished memories involve meeting up with him in an old hotel he favored in the town where I lived, jumping into his big boat of a car (he loved to drive in those days) and heading up the coast, finally stopping at some scenic spot or town to get something to eat and enjoy the views, Simple pleasures but, in their own way, also profound. He once offered to mail me his military dress sword as he didn’t want it anymore and was ‘clearing things out’. For one reason or another we never got around to that and I regret it now. Ah well, I still have many fine memories of Jeff and they will never fade.

    God bless you, good friend, on your journey home. Travel in peace…


  2. Aquadude, thank you for this moving tribute to Jeff. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word, and will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.

  3. Thx for the tribute. Topsail/Jeff was my gateway to branching out beyond a limited activity world. His normalcy when I started playing in late 90s was a model and inspiration. His enthusiasm infectious. He introduced me to Cavelo and then who we now know as “Commander” in Amsterdam. Through him, I played with some of his subs in the most interersting activity ever (including Marcello, whom many of you are familiar with from his videos). We shared our fictions, encouraged each other. We met several times when he visited LA, saw and envied my dungeon. Among our shared interests was one in Sean Flynn – his moves and his life. He told me he had seen Sean in Saigon at a military bar, knew who he was, said he was a spectacular in person as on screen. But seemed to be reserved and distant, so he didn’t approach. Our last contact was a few months ago when I asked him advice about an issue peripherally related to this site. He gave me good advice that backed up my thinking. What a life. I miss him already.

  4. God bless Jeff and his service. A life well lived and there is a strong strain of masculine interest, fantasy and actuality among quite a few military/ex-military guys about real CP and challenges to “take it like a man” in POW settings my humble self included.

  5. A pioneer and a pillar–and a real-life conduit to the military world that is so much a part of my fantasy life, and of the fantasies of many of you reading this, I know. I learned a lot from him!

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