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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:08 pm 
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Dear young men: The old stereotypes of what it is to be a 'man' are a load of rubbish
by David Cain
Sunday, 5 October 2014

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Teenage kicks: negotiating his school years left the author picking up coping strategies from his equally confused peers.
Peter Beavis/Getty Images

I want to tell you what I wish I’d been told, as I bumbled through the awkward years between 15 and 25.

This whole letter might sound self-important, coming from a 34-year-old who writes mostly about how he’s just beginning to get the hang of adult life. Maybe it is, and you can take it or leave it. All I know is that when I was negotiating that stretch between junior school and full adulthood, I could have used some guidance from men who were old enough to be done with that phase, but who were too young to be my dad.

But I didn’t have that, so like most of us, I picked up my strategies from the similarly confused young men around me. Even though that’s pretty normal, in terms of instructions on how to be a mature and respectful adult it’s hard to do worse than that – so I hope I can offer you a bit of insight which you might not find among your peers. You’ll still have to choose who to believe and who to ignore, I just want to offer a different voice than the ones you may be hearing. Some of what follows applies particularly to straight young men, because I’m pulling it from my own experience, but I think the principles behind it are pretty universal.

You will constantly have people telling you, both implicitly and explicitly, that you have to be a man. What that even means, in the 21st century, I don’t quite know. It certainly has a less specific meaning than it used to, and that’s a good thing. Machismo was never a good fit for many of us guys and it clearly doesn’t make the world a more enlightened place.

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Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people

Still, if you are male, you will be forced to relate to this increasingly irrelevant concept of “being a man” in some way or another. Even though we humans are (thankfully) moving on from seeing ourselves as two distinct kinds of creatures, there’s nothing wrong with being a man and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There’s nothing wrong with doing traditionally “manly” things. Don’t be embarrassed by them. If you want to watch football on Sunday, or train in mixed martial arts, or grow a handlebar moustache, or buy a pickup truck, make no apologies. No, there’s nothing wrong with masculinity – until it’s used as a gauge for measuring and excluding people, whether they’re women or other men, or people who don’t identify as either.

Regardless of whether masculinity appeals to you, either as something to embody or to simply admire in others, understand that it’s purely a matter of personal taste and has nothing to do with personal value.

Don’t worry about how your sexual experience (or absence of it) stacks up. At about age 14, boys feel like they have to start bullshitting about their sexual exploits in order to survive. The pressure on these kids is just too great for them to speak frankly about it. Ignore what everyone says about their sex lives. They are lying, all of them, at least a little. And the kids who are actually doing it in their tweens probably aren’t doing it very well, and they’re probably not people you’ll want to trade places with in 10 years.

Forget the word “virgin” as a descriptor for both yourself and others. It’s an archaic, irrelevant word, meant to stigmatise and shame people. It oversells a person’s first sex act as some grand, transformational experience, which supposedly vindicates a young man and spoils a young woman. It’s an obsolete, religious, judgmental word. Let’s leave it behind.

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Get good grades and make some friends, but don’t worry about being cool

Failing to “fit in” at school is a good thing. It means that there’s some element of individuality in you that will not be squashed. God help you if your self-esteem peaks in high school. Nobody knows who they are at that age anyway. People start to get an idea of what’s important to them and who they want to be in their late twenties or early thirties. Just try not to cause too much damage in the meantime. Simply survive those awkward years. Get good grades and make some friends, but don’t worry about being cool. Successfully achieving coolness in high school is like being knighted by Ronald McDonald.

All young men will encounter the “seduction community” at some point. Beware. While there is some genuinely well-intentioned dating and self-improvement advice to be found there, so much of the discussion is absolutely riddled with misogyny. It isn’t always overt, but it’s always there. If you start referring to women as “targets”, you crossed the line a long time ago. Think of women as being just like you, rather than some other species. You don’t learn to approach women, you learn to talk to people. Those forums are filled with young men who never learnt how to talk to other people. When you’re 30, come back and read this stuff. It will make you sad.

If there’s a real secret to “seduction”, here it is: always be building a life that turns you on, represent yourself as honestly and straightforwardly as you can and have conversations with a lot of people. That’s it. Connections will happen. If you’re bad at those things, give yourself as long as it takes to get good at them. You have time.

On the matter of “sluts” – there are none. Nobody is a slut. The number of sexual partners a person has had, or is rumoured to have had, is a) none of your business and b) indicates, by itself, absolutely nothing about the character of that person. If you want to know what kind of person someone is, talk to them. If you believe in personal freedom you cannot believe in sluts.

Throughout your life you’ll encounter sexist attitudes, even from your favourite people. Much of it will come in the form of what you are supposed to do, think and say, in order to be a man. And unless you’re not paying attention, you’ll almost certainly discover some of these attitudes in yourself. Sexism isn’t confined to bigots and wife-beaters. It’s too common, too normal for that. It is often subtle, unintentional, even well-meaning.

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Failing to “fit in” at school is a good thing

You have a responsibility here, whether you want it or not. Some of the very normal expectations that will be placed on you as a male – to distance yourself from femininity, to be tough and stolid, to laugh at certain jokes, to use words like “slut” without irony, to deride ambitious or non-traditional women, to dominate and emasculate other males – are keeping even the most enlightened parts of this world less hospitable for women than for you. Learn to recognise and violate these expectations. Don’t be another dead billiard ball, passing this nasty energy on to your peers, and eventually your sons. We need new norms, and creating them will take the help of defiant and thoughtful young men. That’s you. The problem of sexism isn’t a women’s issue. It’s a matter of ensuring personal freedom for everyone regardless of sex.

And a lot of your pals (and even your heroes) aren’t going to help in this department. Most of them will be embarrassed to talk about it, because they’re too afraid of saying something that will disqualify them from successfully being a man, based on their current strategy.

If you believe that you should have the freedom to pursue happiness within your rights, it’s only sensible to believe in that freedom for everyone, and that means making sexism your problem too, even if it never seemed like it was. At the root of it all is our lingering capacity for violence – the unfortunate biological reality that even a physically unremarkable man can knock out the average woman, if he thinks it will help him more than it will harm him.

So from the dawn of humanity, whenever there has been a disagreement between a man and a woman, both of them knew from the start – no matter what kind of reason or sense either side brought to the table – which one must eventually back down. Unlike the woman, the man could expect to get his way without having an intelligent argument, without considering the needs of others, without being right at all, without any sensible reason for things to go his way.

This expectation – that power over others is a viable, noble path to happiness – lingers in the way we talk, in the way we define manhood, in the expectations males place on each other. This is especially influential on high-school and college-age males, because they do not yet feel like men and they believe that they’re supposed to. The forces of civilisation and education are very slowly discrediting this stone-age approach to life and dismantling the power imbalance that has grown around it.

For us to get there, young men need to understand as early in their lives as possible that men have a long history of getting their way for no good reason. This advantage comes, of course, at the expense of fellow human beings, and we need to learn to be aware of it and eliminate it wherever we see it.

Is it your fault? No. But whether you want it or not, you’ve inherited the responsibility of creating a new answer to the ancient question of what it means to be a man. The old answers are no good.

Source: Independent UK.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:25 am 
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5 things men won't tell you about sex (but you need to know)
By EJ Dickson and Nico Lang
January 28, 2015

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The penis is finally having a moment in pop culture.

After Ben Affleck’s headline-grabbing side penis in Gone Girl sent the Internet into a tizzy, designer Tom Ford debuted a phallus necklace just in time for Christmas — the perfect stocking stuffer for grandma, if your grandma is Blanche Deveraux. And just last week, penis cutouts debuted at Paris fashion week, with heart-shaped peepholes in Rick Owens’ collection that exposed his models’ private parts. While topless female models have long been a staple on the runway, male nudity has a lot of boundaries to break.

This speaks to the larger discussion around male sexuality, where the realities of men’s bodies and sex lives remain obscured. Whereas the Internet has made female sexuality a topic of discussion and debate (the G-spot, anyone?), we’re reluctant to address men outside of stereotypes and misconceptions. That not only does a disservice to men; it hurts women who grow up internalizing these myths, and all of us who have to date them.

Here are just five of the most common truths about male sexuality that often go unaddressed, but trust us—it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

1) Men feel insecure about their bodies, too

Nico: And according to poll data, men are nearly as insecure as women are. A survey published by New Look in 2014 found that 30 percent of British men reported feeling unhappy with their bodies, almost the exact same percentage as the 35 percent of women who feel the same way. Interestingly, researchers found that more women reported confidence in their appearance than men, at respective figures of 37 and 35 percent. The most common reasons men felt they didn’t measure up were their body fat, height, waist size, and lack of musculature. No matter your gender, everybody feels the pressure to have nice, six-pack abs.

According to RoleReboot’s Sydne Didier, she found the same thing from teaching private swimming classes — the men she worked with “needed the same kind of reassurance” that women do. Didier wrote, “[Men] fear man boobs and cankles just like women fear cellulite and back fat, and teaching men has reminded me that we are all filled with uncertainties about our bodies.”

The Telegraph’s Rupert Hawkley reports that around a quarter of men in their 20s are “so self-conscious about their bodies that they prefer to have sex with the lights turned off,” which likely speaks to another sensitive area of male body discomfort: penis size. Data shows that 23 percent of men are unsatisfied with the size of their penis, while a whopping 62 percent want to trade in for a bigger model. (Who wouldn’t? Unless you’re one of those tiny baby arm guys, of course.)

This is a huge problem not only for men but their partners, as men who feel size anxiety are less likely to wear condoms, primarily because they refuse to buy a rubber that will actually fit; according to former Jezebel editor Anna North, 45 percent of men reported “[using] an ill-fitting condom in the past six months.” North wrote back in 2010, “These men were more likely to report that the condom was uncomfortable, or that it slipped or broke.” These men are not only more likely to impregnate their female partners but to spread STIs to partners of all genders. Condoms are only 98 percent effective as contraceptives, and that percentage is even less when you’re doing it wrong.

Harris O’Malley of the Dr. Nerdlove blog (also a Daily Dot contributor) writes that large penis size has little to do with manliness or one’s ability to pleasure their partner. “Just as there was a period where plump women were the height of beauty, there have been long periods in Western culture where a smaller, uncircumcised penis was the ideal,” O’Malley writes. If men want to feel secure in their bodies and themselves, simply remember that the ideal isn’t just a fad — it’s also hardly ideal. After all, Willem Dafoe allegedly has an oil tanker in his pants, and he’s hardly the guy you’d want to take home to Mom and Dad.

2) Ask before you play with a dude’s nipples

EJ: Nipple play is like canned tuna fish: Some people can’t get enough of it, while others recoil in horror when they see someone open a Starkist can. My partner falls on the latter side of the spectrum. When we first started dating, and I started absentmindedly tweaking his nipples while fooling around, he looked at me stone-faced and said, “Elisabeth, that does absolutely nothing for me at all.”

I was aghast. My previous sexual experiences had taught me that nipple play was an essential cornerstone of foreplay. Yet here my current partner was, telling me it did nothing for him, in the same tone of voice as if he was telling me my grandmother died.

Like most other sexual acts, nipple play is highly variant: Some men love it, and some men hate it. That said, there’s a body of research suggesting that there’s something of a nipple gender gap. A 2006 survey by Drs. Roy Levin and Cindy Meston determined that only 52 percent of men reported nipple stimulation increasing their sexual arousal, as opposed to 82 percent of women. Bottom line: #Notallmen love nip play. But #notallmen loathe it either.

3) Men like to cuddle

Nico: In 2007, there was a bit of a spat during a segment on the Today show when it came to the subject of cuddling. When author Ian Kerner asserted the old cliché that men don’t like a good post-coitus snuggle (they just want to sleep, bro), sexpert Tracey Cox immediately shot him down: “I disagree with this. I think men do like to cuddle! They’re just worried their partner might see it as weak and them as vulnerable. I think a lot of the time a man suggests sex, what they’re really after is the physical closeness a cuddle would provide.”

If you want the truth about cuddling, Reddit is ready to help. A 2013 thread in the AskMen forum inquired about men’s cuddling practices. Like a therapist asking about your childhood, the poster wanted to know: How does cuddling make you feel? Pretty good, according to users. The most popular comment, from Gingor, read, “You know that feeling when you cuddle a kitten? Like that, except I get a boner.” Other men replied that cuddling made them feel “wanted and appreciated,” while others argued it was even better than sex.

Sex and intimacy fulfill a variety of purposes for both genders, and as a Kinsey Institute survey suggests, non-coital interaction like kissing and cuddling is “more important to men than women.” While getting that intimacy is important, too many men are either unwilling to ask for it in fear their behavior will be perceived as less than masculine. According to Salon’s Lisa Wade, this also goes for their relationships outside of the bedroom. Wade writes, “Men desire the same level and type of intimacy in their friendships as women, but they aren’t getting it.”

While this is largely a product of homophobia — as male-male intimacy is stereotyped as exclusive to gay men—our own Samantha Allen argued it’s a stigma that needs to go, in order to prevent the negative consequences of male loneliness. The difference might save lives.

4) They’re not all interested in anal

EJ: The stereotype of heterosexual men is that once they’ve had a few rounds of standard P-in-V sex, they’re constantly on the lookout for the new Holy Grail of sexual experiences in the form of another orifice, be it a mouth, butt, or even an armpit. If they don’t gain immediate access to this orifice, they’ll stoop to extreme and occasionally mind-numbingly stupid acts of subterfuge to get it (hence, the “but it just slipped in there for a second by accident” trick).

If you’re one of those gentlemen that fall into this category, I’d like to take the opportunity to inform you that we ladies know exactly what you’re doing, and the next time you try it we’re going to return the favor. But more likely, you’re one of the not-insignificant number of men like my boyfriend, who actually aren’t all that interested in having anal sex.

“I just don’t care about it that much,” he told me. “For one thing, doody comes out of there. For another, doody comes out of there.”

Granted, that’s not an incredibly sophisticated argument, and given the extremely high representation of anal sex in hetero porn, you’d probably assume that it’d be just as popular among the hetero male set. But in all my years of having sex, what I’ve learned is that straight dudes aren’t nearly as interested in experimenting with anal sex as one would assume.

While anal sex is on the rise among young men, with 19 percent of men aged 18 to 24 reporting having tried it, in my experience most dudes simply aren’t that interested in an alternative to vaginal sex, when vaginal sex is already an option. The reasoning seems to be: Why have lobster when steak is already on the menu?

“I really like vaginas. They are just fantastic. I’m not really looking for an alternative,” my friend Scott told me when I talked to him about his lack of interest in anal sex a few months ago. “When something else comes up [in porn], it’s like, what is this shit? That’s not what I came here for.”

Of course, there are certainly dudes who have an insatiable appetite not only for steak and lobster, but chicken and fish and cheesecake as well, and God bless them. But for most men attending the high-end steakhouse that is the range of sexual activity and experience, one entree will do just fine.

5) Men and women are both on the same planet when it comes to sex

Nico: You’ve heard it all before: Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus. Thus, the twain shall never meet, especially in the bedroom, where the two have completely different expectations. Men just want to get it on, whereas women want puppies, rainbows, and a Pinterest fantasy. I believe it goes something like this: “Darling, what a passionate yet tender act of lovemaking we’re about to embark upon. Please caress me gently while we discuss my Beyoncé mug.” “Yeah, Beyoncé is hot. Now take your top off and wiggle.”

There is some biological evidence to support the fact that men and women view sex differently. According to CNN’s Louanne Brezendine, “men have a sexual pursuit area that is 2.5 times larger than the one in the female brain.” Brezendine writes, “All that testosterone drives the ‘Man Trance’ — that glazed-eye look a man gets when he sees breasts... Their visual brain circuits are always on the lookout for fertile mates. Whether or not they intend to pursue a visual enticement, they have to check out the goods.”

But part of the way men deal with sexuality and emotions has less to do with biology and more about social conditioning. A prescient comic from Mike Rosedale depicts a man on a therapist's couch confessing, “I’m too afraid to admit how I really feel.” The female counselor listening to him thinks, “And I just thought he was the strong, silent type.” The problem here isn’t that men are unemotional but simply that they process their emotions differently, especially in a society that often tells men they aren’t allowed to have feelings at all.

If women are just as sexual as men are (arguably even more so), men aren’t robots. Sex is a complicated act, and the people involved in it are just as unpredictable and complex. Want to know what men think about love, sex, and their emotions? Follow the first rule of affirmative consent: Ask. The answer might surprise you.

Photo by hoshi7/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Source: DailyDot.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:55 am 
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It’s time to take a stand against the urinal
by Peter Ormerod
Friday 6 February 2015

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Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 work Fountain. ‘The only suitable place for the urinal in the 21st century is behind glass in an art gallery.’ Photograph: AP

If you’ve ever wondered how men achieved their cultural dominance in the world, I’m pretty sure I know what happened.

Long ago, the gods disproportionately granted to men positions of power in politics, business, science and the arts – power they still exercise to this day. But there was a cost: they would have their dignity affronted routinely and be expected to conduct one of their most delicately personal acts in public. Yes, that’s right: we were lumbered with the urinal.

The thing is, I’d happily trade in my male privilege for a world without them. I’m 35 years old and have never knowingly used one. Now I find such matters phenomenally difficult to discuss, and struggle to utter even the gentlest euphemism concerning the expulsion of bodily waste. But all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to say nothing – and as urinals are evil in porcelain, I feel a duty to let it all out.

My desperation has been prompted by the invention of a urinal attachment to the standard domestic lavatory. It encourages the worst in us men: the indulgence of a certain Neanderthal instinct to consider ourselves different in every way from The Ladies. For the unspoken truth is that women could “enjoy” urinals too if they really wanted to. But quite rightly, they’d rather queue for months than use the things.

Whether trough or bowl, the urinal subjects a man to the most wretched of indignities, to which we have become so inured that any deviation from the norm is considered effete. The urinal is inconsistent with civilisation: there is something barbarous about expecting men to expose themselves and carry out such a tender operation before others, especially while maintaining conversations with ostentatiously unembarrassed neighbours. And don’t give me that “it’s just a natural bodily function” nonsense: you don’t leave the door open when you’re in the cubicle, do you? (Do you … ?)

The act of public urination, a practice encouraged by the urinal, has become a trope of hairy masculinity: it forms part of a key scene in the putative board-sweeper Boyhood, and is something in my experience expected of full-bladdered men at barbecues and so forth. But it’s surely the nastiest and grisliest way of affirming one’s testosterone levels. Yes, there are times when going al fresco is essential to prevent further humiliation, but I’ve managed to avoid the eventuality on all but one occasion, our car having had to stop in the Northamptonshire village of, ahem, Weedon.

The existence of the urinal has nothing to do with biological necessity and everything to do with showy manliness. Men: you can do it seated, you know, which is a thousand times more hygienic and gets around the whole seat-up/down business. The Main Drain just encourages bad habits – and, not for the first time, the Germans are way ahead of us. Increasingly, the average boy is taught to be a sitzpinkler, the meaning of which can be inferred. In fact, so advanced are they that a judge over there has just had to consider whether it’s even legal for men to do the deed upright.

Yes, it’s time to take a stand against the urinal. In fact, the only suitable place for the urinal in the 21st century is behind glass in an art gallery. It’s just got to go.

Source: Guardian UK.

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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 2:27 pm 
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Why the penis is having a moment in men's fashion
by Simon Chilvers
Thursday, 30 April 2015

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A spread from the Fantastic Man shoot Photograph: Fantastic Man

The phrase “emperor’s new clothes” is rolled out all too often in fashion – but this season it could be bang on the money.

Because the hottest trend in menswear right now is not about clothing but the lack of it. That’s right, chaps, this season cocks are in – or, perhaps more specifically – out.

In January, at Rick Owens’ Paris fashion week show, penises swung gently down the runway. The designer – who has a made a career out of creating highly expensive leather jackets – sent out several models minus underwear in tunics featuring peepholes, cut to reveal their genitals. Cue a storm of media coverage and the Instagram hashtag: Dick Owens. Meanwhile, last season, photographer Alasdair McLellan shot a Raf Simons/Sterling Ruby collections story for Arena Homme+ featuring two naked images of the model Danny Blake; one was full-frontal nude, the other featured a jumper with nothing on the bottom half. More recently, bi-annual style magazine Man About Town featured the model Michael Morgan nude on its limited edition cover, also shot by McLellan – the limited run of 500 sold out in 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in the 10th anniversary issue of Fantastic Man, there was a full-nude shoot featuring men of various ages.
Rick Owens' now notorious autumn/winter 2015 menswear show.

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Rick Owens’ now notorious autumn/winter 2015 menswear show. Photograph: PIXELFORMULA/SIPA/REX/PIXELFORMULA/SIPA/REX

Of course male nudity in fashion is nothing new: Bruce Weber has long photographed well-endowed, tanned men wearing nada and frolicking on beaches; Tom Ford launched the M7 fragrance with a full-frontal campaign during his YSL years. But there is a rawness to this new presentation of nudity, and in the case of McLellan’s work, a sense of Britishness that feels far from the perfect bodies and fabulous tans of so much of what has gone before in fashion.
Why is all this nakedness happening now? Are men less bothered by seeing other men in the buff? Is it all PR and noise? Or perhaps there’s a new confidence – and fresh experimentation – coming from within the men’s fashion industry, which is reportedly growing 1.5 times faster than women’s.

Owens, for one, claims his motivations were pure: “I was just questioning why we keep penises concealed and why exactly it’s bad to show them,” he tells me. “The social rule to keep the penis hidden just gives it a power I’m not sure it merits. But isn’t it great when something is sacred and profane at the same time?” He declines to reveal whether he will be going commando this autumn in one of his own ensembles but does suggest that fashion shows aren’t always about the garments shoppers will actually wear. “I wanted to present something graceful and classical like a Degas’ painting of young Spartans exercising … And doing it in a runway context had the advantage of making it anarchic and Arcadian at the same time,” he says.

Others see Owens’ show as a simple bid for social media coverage for his brand – just as Karl Lagerfeld does by creating gob-smacking sets for his Chanel shows. “He just did it to shock,” says Robert Johnston, style director of British GQ. “I think Rick Owens is a very, very clever man but he’s suddenly a big noise even though he hasn’t changed what he does for 15 years.” [See footnote.]

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The limited edition cover of Man About Town shot by Alasdair Mclellan. Photograph: Alasdair McLellan/Man About Town

Ben Reardon, editor-in-chief of Man About Town, says his nude cover was not a PR stunt, though he concedes that it has got the magazine attention. “It wasn’t meant to be specifically shocking or erotic, just honest,” he says. “When you see [male] nudes it’s all very airbrushed, the pubic area is always very shaved, like an Adonis.” McLellan, too, says the images of Morgan – which are deliberately raw and explicit – were supposed to “feel very real. Yes, I wanted him to look handsome and everything but I didn’t want them to say: ‘Look at me, I’m really hot’ – I hate all that, it’s embarrassing.” McLellan, who also shot the naked story for Fantastic Man, which featured men aged between 22 and 52, and was accompanied by an essay on the ageing process of the male body, said the shoot was about creating characters who were appealing but “not necessarily in a fanciable way”. Jop van Bennekom, co-founder, creative director and editor of Fantastic Man, says that as well as showing diversity, the shoot offered “an unbiased look at the male body without it being sexualised”.

As to whether a naked or semi-nude picture could convince a customer to buy a jumper, well, perhaps that is not the point. The truth is that these images stop the viewer in their tracks. For better or worse, male full frontals remain the last taboo in an otherwise hyper-sexualised society and still have the power to shock and even anger. Johnston, for one, is no fan of nudity in men’s magazines. “I can’t stand it. I think it’s pathetic … Man About Town’s fashion can be great but the deliberate nudity is just a little bit grubby. It’s not sexy or new or shocking. They’re not pushing naked men, it’s always boys.”

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A typically androgynous JW Anderson menswear look. Photograph: Danny Martindale/WireImage

Top female models are often inured to nudity. “If you ask a female model to take her clothes off, you don’t really have to get permission from the agent,” says McLellan. “But if you ask a guy to take his clothes off it suddenly becomes a big deal.” Andrew Garratt, a model booker at Select Model Management, confirms that male nudity is always discussed before a shoot, and no naked shots of the model would be supplied to the photographer in advance. Many male models, he says, have turned down very successful international photographers because they didn’t want to get naked.

Man About Town’s cover star, Morgan, 22, is from Wales. “When I got the call it was a bit daunting,” he says, “and I wondered who would see it and how it was going to look, but I love Alasdair McLellan’s work and Man About Town and respect both of them so I just thought: ‘I’m just going to do it,’” he says. “I rang my Mum and asked her what she thought – she fully supported my decision and said if it’s going to help you do what you want to do, do it.” His mum hasn’t seen the pictures but Morgan is pleased he did the shoot and hopes it will have a positive effect on the appearance-is-everything social media generation. “Other guys my age might realise you don’t have to be this beefcake guy, all tanned or oiled up,” he says.

As men’s fashion continues to break out from the shadows of women’s, there is increasing scope for stylists and photographers to push the idea of what masculinity means. Could we see more objectification, too, bringing menswear closer to the women’s fashion industry? Certainly, social media is littered with male flesh, with most male models unabashedly posting regular topless six-pack selfies. And it’s not just models sculpting the perfect abs these days, as Van Bennekom notes: “When I was in art school in the mid 1990s you just wouldn’t go to a gym – that was for a completely different type of people. But now in art schools everybody goes in with a sports bag. People also just take better care of themselves, eat better and are more aware of their physique.”

Not that many designers muses, these days, are obvious gym bunnies. Jonathan Anderson of JW Anderson has been exploring ideas around gender for several seasons – for autumn/winter 2013, he created the men’s boob tube. Gucci’s newly appointed creative director, Alessandro Michele, too, has styled male models with flowers in their hair in pussybow blouses. When a brand as commercially driven as Gucci is playing with androgyny, change is coming. Plus, as Reardon argues, in an era where retailers are increasingly creating their own editorial products, magazines need to challenge mainstream ideas to ensure they do not look like catalogues of product.

Johnston, however, remains skeptical. He’ll believe there has been a shift in attitudes towards masculinity when a model is styled to look androgynous, not beefy, in place of the likes of David Gandy or Beckham in a major advertising campaign. As for whether we can expect to see a male full-frontal shoot in GQ anytime soon, he says: “In its simplest terms, GQ is all about neat shit to buy. You can’t buy a cock. So what’s the point?”

• This footnote was added on 11 May 2015. Robert Johnston has asked us to make clear that he was not criticising Rick Owens, and holds the designer and his work in high esteem.

Source: Guardian UK.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 5:46 am 
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13 Reasons You Should Be Dating A Lumbersexual Right Now
May 7, 2015
by James Treacher

You haven’t lived until you’ve dated a lumbersexual.

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1. He has long, untamed hair akin to that of Highlander.
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2. He isn’t afraid to sport a manbun.
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3. His facial hair is rugged and always just perfect.
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4. He takes you on romantic trips to his log cabin in the forest…
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5. …where you would spend your time in his warm embrace forevermore.
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6. And where he would be doing generally manly things like chopping wood and communing with nature.
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7. Oh yes, they are most certainly good with their hands.
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8. And being a Lumbersexual he has a manly hairy chest you would feel compelled to nuzzle for hours.
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9. He would be good with your cat…
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10. …and with your baby, for that matter.
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11. Importantly, he looks good in a suit so you can show him off at parties.
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12. He doesn’t look too bad out of it either.
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13. Indeed, looking into his eyes is like looking into the soul of a warrior prince from a bygon age.
instagram.com / Via instagram.com

Go on, date a Lumbersexual.

Source: Buzzfeed.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:39 am 
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4-Year-Old Girl Was Afraid To Wear Dress To Cinderella Movie, So Her Uncle Did This
3 June 2015

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4-year-old Izzy was all excited to dress up for the latest Cinderella movie, until she got nervous that no one else was going to dress up. Izzy didn’t want to be the only wearing a princess costume at the theater, even though she looked so darn cute in her colorful dress and matching tiara.

Her devoted uncle, Jesse Nagy wasn’t going to let his little niece miss out on the fun of dressing up, so he made sure she wasn’t the only one in costume for Disney’s new Cinderella live action movie. In order to ensure she was in good company he put on his own princess costume, even though he’s really a prince.

Jesse is the last person you would expect to see wearing a dress. The 26-year-old actor is muscular and tattooed, but he’s clearly manly enough to pull off the sweet Cinderella costume with the grace of real royalty.

Jesse borrowed the blue and purple crystal-accented prom dress from a female friend, and topped it off with pretty red handbag and sparkly tiara. He did opt for flip-flops instead of glass heels, but other than that his outfit is spot-on princess perfect, just like Izzy’s!

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The up and coming actor from Michigan will do anything to make his adorable niece smile, including wearing a dress in public. Jesse said, “If it’s going to make her happy, I’ll do it. I don’t care.”

His act of kindness is being awarded with all kinds of praise on social media. The down to earth dude writes on his Facebook page, “Some have said they hope my new found popularity doesn’t change me, my response is sincere: thank you for valuing my character enough to not want to lose it. It has happened to some, but I am just me; and I’m pretty happy with myself as I am.”

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Photo Credit: Facebook, Twitter

Source: Earthporm.

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