Move over Adonis

It’s reassuring to read Daren Pritchard, a London-based performance artist, articulate the same gripes I’ve had about the use of ‘perfect’ male bodies in a preponderance of print publications.

Daren Pritchard comments on GBBO 2014 baker Iain Watters’s appearance in Gay Times ‘Naked issue’:

“For Gay Times to feature Iain Watters, it’s refreshing to see a man with a real, ‘average’ body and not a worked-up fantasy, an ‘ideal’. 31 year old Iain admits that he wouldn’t describe himself as body-confident, but he doesn’t take stripping off too seriously and was persuaded by the charity cause. We need more men to step forward into Iain’s or Olly Murs’ shoes and confidently offer something real.”

Have we learnt nothing?

Pectoral machine fase due

I maybe missing the point here, but Mark Simpson’s Guardian piece previewing his appearance at the now fully-signed up BEEFCAKE: gay men and the body beautiful doesn’t tally with my personal experience (or indeed those of some of my friends).

As an avid fan of the male body I can’t help but mostly welcome today’s parade of metrosexy male bodies. Despite the downside to male self-objectification outlined in the YMCA study, the generalised, compulsory self-loathing among men that went before was mostly worse. It was also considered normal.

I should be fair, to begin with. I think Mark’s point is to that male self-objectification is in some respects a good thing because – and here I’m massively summarising and possibly even mapping thoughts on to his piece which weren’t originally there – it breaks down barriers, balances things out and makes the previously untalked about now talked about.

Yep, good stuff.

But the flip side is – to my mind – pretty serious.

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Oxford City’s Lee Steele: A move in the right direction

Good call on the part of Oxford City football club for sacking striker Lee Steele over a homophobic tweet about Celebrity Big Brother chappy (and it seems now a recruitment consultant) Gareth Thomas.

There is a feeling – small but vital – that a collection of people are taking the issue of homophobia in sport – and wider – seriously. This resolution appears like a clear message sent out to an impressionable target audience that homophobia won’t be tolerated.

I’d question whether it was necessary for team manager Mr Ford to say that sacking Steele for the action was “the most difficult thing he’d had to do in football”.

It might have been. Personally however, I don’t care how difficult it was. It’s something which had to be done and no one should shy away from doing the same in the future. It goes with the territory.

It’s time to end marriage discrimination


Quite possibly the most beautifully simple and hugely effective piece of two-minute storytelling I’ve seen in a long time with a carefully selected cast, the star of which (pictured above) is suitably visually engaging right from the off. We’re hooked in. Waiting for the cum-shot, so to speak.

And it comes right at the end. Complete with one simple overriding message: It’s time to end marriage discrimination for lesbians and gay men.

Shame this campaign only extends to Australia.

Attitude on iPad v.2


Attitude magazine editor Matthew Todd should feel quite pleased with the latest issue of the monthly gay publication. It’s gone through a digital upgrade, making it a major win over the first version.

Internal navigation improved and page layout optimised for digital subscribers, the visual treat of a video-cover, engaging copy and use of embedded video inside the magazine makes the digital version feel like a viable offering.

This issue is also the first which doesn’t carry adverts for adult chat lines. A major step in the right direction.

Yes, Mr Todd. It’s even commute-friendly too.