Short Report

This summer ditch your belt and say hello to the comfort of elastic waistbands! Elastic waistbands, with and without draw strings, are the biggest trend this summer that you can actually wear successfully. Not just for gym shorts anymore. These easy breezy summer shorts are perfect for a daytime BBQ or a night out drinking.

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(From top- Row 1: both Denim&Supply by Ralph Lauren. Row 2: American Eagle, H&M. Row 3: both ChubbiesShorts.com. Row 4: both J Crew Factory. Row 5: both Gap.)

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00230fullscreenThe other (bigger) trend this summer is tropical prints. You’ll see them everywhere at the mall. This trend got it start on the Spring runways in Paris back in 2012. Now it’s finally trickled down to the retailers we can afford. I love this look but I recommend you proceed with caution because you can easily end up looking like a Margaritaville reject when done wrong.  (Above: short from H&M. Right: Givenchy Menswear Spring 2012)

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Party Talk

tumblr_lxi81yTu3c1qcp9gro1_500The next time you find yourself at a party with nothing to talk about use these helpful topics to jump-start conversation.

  • Recast your favorite movies such as, The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Waiting to Exhale, Star Wars, The Breakfast Club or Wonder Woman with current actors.
  • Recast your favorite movies with other people at the party.
  • Pick 3 people at the party that you’d have sex with.
  • If you won the Power Ball jackpot, what kind of car would you buy and where would you go on your first trip?
  • If had to be your age in a different decade what decade would it be?
  • What would be your major super power and your minor super power? (Minor super power example: the ability to untoast toast)
  • How many people at the party have you had sex with?
  • Fuck, Marry, Kill: SNL addition. Pick 3 cast members from Saturday Night Live and choose who you would fuck, marry, and kill.
  • If you had to, what reality show would you go on?
  • In a trivia contest, what topic is your specialty?
  • As people pass by you must choose what act you would do with them. Choice are: hand shake, hug, kiss, over the clothes grope, oral, rimming, anal, or anything.
  • What Olympic sport would you want to win a gold medal in?
  • Famous movies you’ve never seen.
  • Country or state with the sexiest accent.
  • Best sex ever stories.
  • Everyone must read their most recent text message and show the most recent photo on their phone.
  • Best city you’ve ever visited and most over-rated city you’ve ever visited.
  • What non-porn media have you jerked off to?
  • Pick one food you could never eat again. Choices are: Cheese, Bread, or Chicken.
  • Everyone must open Google on their phone and tell their three most recent searches.
  • Rim, Blow, Fuck: Bill Clinton, George W Bush, President Obama. Who would you rim? Who would you blow? Who would you fuck?
  • Fill in the blank: Even though everyone loves _______ I hate it (or them).
  • I’m embarrassed to reblog pictures of ______ on Tumbler.
  • I want to spend a week as _______ (someone famous)
  • The worst sex I ever had was ________.
  • The first time I jerked off was________.

Focus On The Do’s Not The Don’ts

tumblr_m685wkVYOY1r68d1so1_500It occurred to me recently that although I’ve opened up and talked about many different topics, there is one subject I haven’t properly addressed: Oprah. More accurately my long held love of Oprah. I have a very deep respect for her and over the years her talk show gave me several “A-Ha moments”. I’ll be honest this comes with a twinge of embarrassment because I know many of you are rolling your eyes in amusement. Regardless I must admit that I’ve learned a lot from watching the Oprah Winfrey Show. I’m not talking about frivolous makeover tips either. Oprah has taught me some major life lessons.

Focus on the do’s not the don’ts is one of these big lesson. For some reason we all have the tendency to focus more attention on what’s going wrong than what’s going right. I saw this back when I was a retail manager and had to hire new employees. One of the questions in the interview was, “Tell me about great customer service experience and tell me about a bad customer service experience.” As you can imagine people were quickly able to recall a time when they were treated badly by a service worker. However almost everyone took a lot longer to recall a moment when they had good service. There will always be things in life that we don’t like. All that time spent on those negative behaviors is a waste of energy that could be put to better use. Apart from trying to see what’s good in the world, focusing on the do’s also challenges us to put our attention toward the actionable details of the future. Your energy is better used on what you can do to make your life better going forward. Listen to a speech from any successful person who came from humble beginnings. They’ll tell you about the mountain of obstacles that stood in their way. At any moment they had every excuse to give up but instead they powered through and didn’t let anything get in their way.

I realize this all sounds like a Tony Robins motivational speech so the best way I can relate this to real everyday life is to talk about Growlr and all the other online dating/hookup apps. Every one of us has seen a profile that is a list of everything the person doesn’t like or doesn’t want. “Sorry I don’t like Indian men. Also no one over 5’7. Please don’t contact me if you’re over a 1000 miles away and my private pics are g-rated so do not ask for nude photos.” After reading that profile my first thought is that this person seems really negative and I bet he’s always in a bad mood. Also I’m not really left with any useful information about what he likes or things we might have in common. Starting a conversation about a mutual hatred of faceless profiles doesn’t easily lead to a date or sexy time. Instead the same profile could read,

“My ideal type could best be described as Chris Pratt mixed with daddy Russell Crowe. If you’re short that’s also a major plus. I tend to be more of a homebody and therefore a local guy gets first priority. I’m a little shy so if you want me to unlock my private pictures get ready for some kick ass vacation pictures.”

That profile conveyed similar information only this time it’s from the positive perspective. The reader is also given much better information so as to judge whether or not they’d be a good match for each other.

Focusing on the do’s has also been an extremely useful tool since having a blog. It’s helped me avoid the urge to be negative and instead flip the script to the positive side of things. I’ve noticed a lot of people like the idea of having their own blog because they want to use it as a means to vent and bitch about all the things that annoy them. Unfortunately that’s just lazy writing that is easily found in the depths of the internet. I hated it when another website made a lists “The Worst Types of Gay Men.” So as a reaction I created a list of the best types of gay men. Focusing on the do’s and not the don’ts has also come into play in many other subtle ways. This is a good time to give you a little glance behind the scenes of The Gay Gasp. I wanted to write something about the current HIV environment amongst gay men. My first inclination was to chastise the growing ambivalence and call out everyone who is less than honest about their ‘undetectable’ status. However as an HIV- man that’s a blog post I just can’t write. To avoid offending half the world the subject needs to be addressed by someone within the HIV+ community. It would be the same as if a white writer condemned the black community’s degradation of women in rap music. While the point may be valid the source muddies the water and racism and many other ideas come into play. In addition while it would make me feel better to write paragraphs about everything I thought was wrong with the world it would do nothing to help people change their behavior. Plus with the outrage movement taking over the internet my complaints would just be lost in the mountain of noise that’s already out there. After some thought I decided to focus on the positive and that’s how Save The World Suck A Dick came to be. I realized that so much of safe sex talk was sterile and clinical. I wanted to give useful safe sex advice that didn’t lose the fun and horniness of sex.

Back to Mrs. Winfrey. I learned this lesson when she talked about how she had skinheads on her show way back in the day. Her thought back then was that she wanted to expose these hateful men and have them share their views as a way to open a dialogue about racism. What she realized was that rather than creating a dialogue she was just giving them a platform to spew their hate. From that point on she decided she would try to have a teachable moment or positive action behind every topic. I’ve taken that same idea and applied it to this blog. You’ll notice that I didn’t add a link above to the article “The Worst Types of Gay Men.” That was a specific choice because I refuse to help them get more clicks and more viewers. From a bigger perspective, the people I truly despise are the the people I never talk about here. Talking about them only fuels their fire.

Focusing on the positive doesn’t mean we have to stick our heads in the sand and ignore all the problems around us. Quit the opposite. I think talking about these issues is integral to making change. However there are more useful ways of having the discussion. So much of online culture has dissolved into winy trolls with a victim mentality who think their opinion, no matter how uneducated, needs to be heard above all the rest. However very few people take action to actually change what they don’t like or take action to support what they do like.

Bear Run Bingo

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Bring this to your next bear run and play along with your friends. The first person to get a full card wins a free Z-pack.

Facebook Stranger: You’re meeting him for the first time even though you’re Facebook friends. It’s extra awkward because you know a lot about him from his excessive posts but he has no idea who you are because he has 5000 FB friends.

Mr. Monday: He’s the super hottie that messages you on Monday morning as you’re heading to the airport.

Waiting to Exhale: The guy who wears clothes two sizes to small.

Welcome Wagon: He’s a local that is always up for meeting new out-of-towners and acts as a sort of welcome wagon. He’s the first one to spot a lonely newbie and chat them up to help them feel comfortable. His friendship is valued at first but tarnished as you discover that needs the out-of-towners because none of the other locals will talk to him.

Bear Twink: He’s the very cute chubby guy who hates his body and will ditch any and all bears if he ever diets down to his goal weight.

Father Time: He’ll have on a baggy leather vest and a beard that reaches down past his nipples.

Mr. Shadow: He’s the guy that you keep running into everywhere you go. You’ll have close friends at the event that you’ll never cross paths with despite constant effort however this guy always knows where and when to find you.

The Newbie: It’s his first bear event ever and he’ll judge everyone and bitch about how he hates that the whole weekend is about sex. He’ll also hit you up on Growlr at 2am begging to be fucked.

Stealth Bomber: He’s the ultimate player. He’s broken a lot of hearts and pissed off a lot bears with his game playing. So much so that he doesn’t post anything on Facebook or tell anyone in advance that he’s going for fear of the angry mob that will inevitably want his head. More likely he also got rid of Facebook to avoid the constant angry bear confrontations.

The Vendor: He has a booth at the vendor market. He’s probably selling candles, soaps, tee-shirts, leather goods, sex toys, underwear or porn.

SBB (Secret Boyfriend Bear): This is when you meet a guy who is really cute and fun and could consider dating. That is until he mentions a partner back home. That is usually followed by the phrase, “He’s really not into bear runs.”

Two Thirds: This is the couple that is constantly looking for their permanent third with no success. There have been many train wreck cubs that have come and gone but none of them have been a good fix fit.

Eeyore: This person complains about every detail of the event and are constantly telling you about better events that they’ve been to. Whenever you’re around this person or couple you often wonder “If they hate it so much why did they even come?” Very similar to the standard Eeyore is the Pretentious Eeyore who complains that all the bear events in Europe and Australia are so much better. PEs also talk a lot about their over abundance of frequent flyer miles.

The Cautionary Tale: He goes to every party and he parties harder than anyone else. You can always count on him for a bump of coke or a hit of ecstasy. He’s been going strong for decades and shows no sign of slowing down. You love his crazy stories and admire his longevity but deep down you hope you never turn out like him.

Red Barron: He’s the overly muscled gym rat who’s tribal tattooed skin has that constant reddish tint of high blood pressure and steroids.

The Veterans: This is the couple that has been to this event more times than anyone else and they show their tenure by wearing the event tee-shirts from years past. The benefit of this couple is that they are a great source of info on local restaurants and airport transportation. The con is that they have a very rigid routine that will not be interrupted or changed.

Missed Opportunity: You’ve been chatting with him for weeks and now you’re finally going to get the chance to meet him in person. Unfortunately when you finally check into the hotel the excitement of the event takes over and you spend  the rest of the weekend sending ‘Sorry I missed you’ or ‘Sorry I just left’ messages of Growlr.

Long Distance Lovers:  This couple is a long distance couple that has chosen this bear event as a convenient “meet in the middle” weekend. They usually do a lot of the day time excursions and are in bed relatively early. You won’t see much of them.

The Title Holder: He is proudly wearing his leather vest complete with the large emblem showing off his drag pageant leather contest win.

Surprise Surprise: He’s the unassuming person you meet early in the weekend who ends up being one of the best parts of the event.

Carey Bradshaw: This is the single guy who’s entire personality revolves around being single. He’ll find a way to make anything and everything about his lonely love life. A first you feel bad but over time you realize he’s just a self involved complainer. Everyone knows why he’s single except him.

Shouter: He’ll send numerous Growlr shouts throughout the weekend begging for anonymous loads in his hotel room. You’ll never actually see him in person.

BBRF (Best Bear Run Friend): He’s a great guy who you love to hang out with at bear runs. Although you’re a great pair at and event you suspect that if you lived in the same city you would actually have nothing in common in regular life.

Mr. Bitter: He’s home and complaining about all the posts he’s seeing from the event he’s missing.

Prance Queen! Prance!

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The Prancing Elites Project is a new show on Oxygen that follows a black male gay dance team from Alabama. Those are all words you rarely see in a sentence together. The team specializes in the J-Setting style of dance that originated at Jackson University by the Jackson University Prancing J-Settes and it has been around for many years. The dance style wasn’t brought to mainstream consciousness until it was featured in Beyonce’s Single Ladies video. As for the Prancing Elites my first introduction to them was a couple of years ago when a video of them dancing at a basketball game went viral. Shaquille O’Neal tweeted his praise and their Youtube views went through the roof. I loved the video because their moves were filled with confidence and sass but I didn’t know anything about the team’s back story.

From a far away glance you may write off the Prancing Elites as another version of the effeminate black gay man stereotype. However I beg you to watch at least one episode to see that they are so much more. Yes they have an undeniable sashay when they walk but this dance troupe is kicking down the boundaries of gender and sexuality all with the flick of a wrist and a killer death drop. On one end of the spectrum there is Timothy Smith who lovingly goes by Timberly. Tim prefers the pronoun she and goes bra shopping complete with fake breast inserts. By contrast founder and leader Kentrell Collins formed the group in 2004 after he was discharged from the army. Their only agenda is to dance and entertain people but by doing so in Mobile Alabama while wearing sequin leotards they are boldly walking head on into the discrimination and fear of the deep south.

I can’t sing my praise of them loud enough! The Prancing Elites really are some the bravest people I’ve seen in a long time. They could take the easy way out and move to San Francisco or New York with everyone else that is trying to escape small town life but not these queens. They stay in Alabama and fight the dirty war of hate every single day. They’re the first ones to admit their struggle “We’ve got three strikes against us. We’re black, we’re gay, and we’re from Mobile Alabama.” From the comfort of the big city it’s easy for many of us to assume the whole country has joined our cause thanks to Ellen and Will and Grace. We forget that there is still very real hate out there. If you’re like me you might even consider yourself to be someone who tries to fight discrimination each and every day. Unfortunately the truth is we are just preaching to our own choir. Too often we as gay people think we are proudly standing up for diversity just because we change our Facebook pictures to that red equal sign so that all our other gay friends will see how serious we are. Maybe we go one step further and attend a marriage equality rally in the gayest section of our majorly gay metropolitan city. While any action is better than no action, preaching equality to other gay people is as easy as getting a dog to bark in a kennel. By stark contrast The Prancing Elites have chosen to taken the path less traveled and are standing up for themselves in the face of harsh opposition. They are often met by angry crowds and unfriendly police and that’s on a good day. In episode 3 we watch as Jerel returns home to discover that his home has been completely destroyed by fire. It quickly becomes clear that he was targeted and that this was no accident. He picks through the ashes only to find that he has lost everything he owns. That is the ugly side of the gay rights movement that is too often forgotten by those of us in a gay bubble. These five people who simply love to dance in sequin onesies are fighting for their rights in places many of us wouldn’t dare drive through on the highway. I have tremendous respect for them because they persevere and are able to give us one hell of a performance and one hell of a television show.

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Watch the Prancing Elites Project on Oxygen Wednesday nights at 10 Eastern/9 Central.