Damsels, strumpets, and witches are always getting tied to poles, chained down, or strung up some other way. I thought I would ignore convention and make my 'in distress' figure a dude. Initially, I had his head turned away from the viewer. Then I realized what a mistake that was. If this were happening to me, I think I'd be looking away, pretending or denying or disbelieving what was about to occur.