Final Publication Sadly, this will be the last edition of the UK’s favourite free gay monthly lifestyle magazine to be published. Over the years Bent has undergone many changes and has been available in over 400 venues; bars, club and saunas bringing features, articles, reviews, fitness, travel and a host of other delicacies for our readers enjoyment. It’s not that this is the end of Bent, far from it. From next month the magazine will be
totally online with a new regime of news, stories and features, all regularly updated to bring you what’s happening on a daily basis for you to access via your phone, iPad or computer. For myself, the road has come to an end. After five years at the helm of this fantastic magazine it is time to give a new editor the chance to take it to the next level. So, to all those who contributed to the magazine’s success and to you, our lovely readers, for me it is Goodbye. Gordon
Issue 165 2012
Publisher Terry George
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Cover Photo - Lorreen
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Getting Higher with Lachie The Overtones debut album ‘Good Ol’ Fashioned Love’ proved to be a surprise smash hit when released late in 2010. Having accumulated over half a million sales to date, and reaching #4 in the UK album charts, the boys Lachie, Mike, Darren, Mark and Timmy are much in demand. With the release of a new album this month and the start of a massive UK tour in November, Bent took the opportunity to chat with amiable Aussie member Lachie Chapman about life in the band.
According to a Top 500 Power Gays list by leading Euro lifestyle mag Mate, Leonardo da Vinci is the most influential homo in history. The list may have some people reeling and arguing at the arbitrary way the list was compiled (Graham Norton is at 27, while Noel Coward flounders at 495) it is terrific to see so many of us boys making such a contribution to the lives of everyone over the years. Perhaps a few of those strange fundamentalists should take out a subscription to Mate! Also available on Ipad.
Where and when did you guys meet? It can’t have been at a 50s and 60s musical appreciation weekend… can it? Ha! Nothing quite so glamorous I’m afraid. We met each other on the open mic scene in London and became friends. We had a sing together and liked how it sounded so decided to become a group. That’s the real short version of course.
Top 10 1.Leonardo da Vinci 2.Socrates 3.Alexander the Great 4.Stephen Fry 5.Oscar Wilde
6.Harvey Milk 7.Peter Tchaikovsky 8.Julius Caesar 9.William Shakespeare 10.Andy Warhol
After the success of the first album, what can we expect from the new one? We obviously have a lot to live up to after that success. ‘Higher’ has been a real labour of love for us. We’ve
worked really hard to progress, grow and push the boundary of what we do, while making sure we keep the elements people loved about the first album. There will still be lots of good ol’ fashioned loveliness but there will also be a few surprises in there too. We’re very proud of what we’ve ended up with. Is there a track (tracks) that you are particularly proud of? For me all the tracks are important in one way or another but I guess ‘Higher’ is a track that has a special place in my heart. We all brought a little to that song without knowing what each other was doing, we were able to piece the song together from all our ideas… and it’s good to dance to!
God no!! The first thing that suffers for me is my sleeping pattern. It’s not easy living on three hours sleep a night, then getting up to do morning TV at stupid o’clock! It’s just a good thing we love it so much!! Have any of your audience shouted out for you to sing ‘Teenage Kicks’ or ‘Here Comes Summer’, thinking you were the Undertones? If not, have you thought about including them?
That’s never happened. We get the odd person that shouts “You’re from the Undertones”, we just smile and either correct them or wait to see if they have any gifts for the Undertones that we might like. So, what’s next? World domination! Mwah ha ha haaaa. The album ‘Higher’ is out now and their tour dates can be found at: www.theovertones.tv/
You seem to have been involved in all aspects of this year’s celebrations – from the Queen’s Jubilee to the Olympics… is it just because no one can stop you from performing at a camp celebration? Well, we just love a good doo! It was a complete honour to be asked to perform for the Queen’s Jubilee and then the Olympics. I’m not sure you can call them camp though... we’d be up for the next Abba anniversary/ celebration I’m sure. Were you involved in any of the pride events? Not this year no. We’d love to perform at pride events… so, let’s just throw it out there... EuroPride...let’s set our sights big! You’re about to launch yourselves on a massive tour, how do you feel about that? Excited, nervous, proud... lots of things… we love touring. It’s the front line of what we do. To see an audience react to our songs and performance is just amazing. It means the world to us that people come to see us so we make bloody sure we show them a great night! When you are in such a busy band are relationships the first things that suffer?
Despite the political problems, and the UK’s embarrassment, from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, one thing that cannot be denied is the quality of the winning entry. Representing Sweden, and an odds on favourite with the bookies right from the start, Euphoria sung by Loreen stunned the crowd and the international audience of over 100 million viewers. Not only was it a hit right across the world, it eased its way into the Top Ten here in the UK, something that rarely happens with a song from this particular piece of Euro kitch. What was it like to be a part of Eurovision? It felt great to win the competition because I created something that was different and that I believed in – and it worked. And it was important because it’s also a symbol. From the beginning it was perhaps not so many who believed it would work. So, the symbolism is when you believe in your style, your art and work hard for it - then it will work. Has your life changed in any way since going to Azerbaijan and bringing a win to Sweden? I haven’t changed so much – but my surroundings have changed. It’s hard work, a lot to do and also a big responsibility. But it is fun and I enjoy it – because I think I have something to communicate and pass forward for people to get inspiration from.
Now obviously this year’s competition was shrouded with controversy over Azerbaijan’s human rights record. You were one of very few contestants to speak out with your opinions. Was this something that was important for you to do? Yes, it was very important. I feel for other people and am close to compassion. There are so many out there who want to make a change, but don’t know how to do it. So, if my work and engagement can inspire others, I’m happy. But Azerbaijan is only one of several countries that need this attention. You do your part – no matter how big or small it is. As long as you do something. Fans of yours will know that later this year you’ll be releasing your debut album, what can they expect? There’s a lot to expect from the upcoming album. There’s a lot of emotion and passion that I’ve put into it but, just like along the lines of ‘Euphoria’ there’s also that electro heart to some tracks which really ignites the emotion of dance. Something which ‘Euphoria’ has shown by being played across the club scene around the world. What do you hope for from the album? I hope to be able to create something people can get inspiration from. You can expect two sides on the album, just as I am. One very soft, feminine and fragile. And my other darker side as a warrior and fighter because it’s an honest album, so you don’t want to obscure the darker side you also have.
New Album ‘Healed’ out: 24th October
Beyonce: Sometimes It Pays To Be Mistaken For A Drag Queen I’m standing at the bar when I notice the boy next to me is giving me the eye. Not just any boy, you understand, but the kind of boy that you look at and immediately decide the rest of the world suddenly doesn’t matter any more. The kind of boy who makes you grin so wide and for so long that your face actually stretches into a new shape— like you’ve got a banana stuck sideways in your mouth.
‘Well my friend waved at you.’
‘Are you Miss Hershey Barr?’ he asks. He’s wearing a gold chain and what I assume must be Henley’s jeans. His hair is gelled and his accent’s as broad as Les Battersby’s would be after throat cancer. Call me a sick pervert, but I think I actually want to have his babies right there at the bar.
By this point, his friend has walked over, and I know who he’s talking about: an old drinking buddy from Leeds. It’s all his fault, I think, searching my head for witty things to say.
I pause for a moment. Just to make sure I’ve heard him right.
‘Does your friend only wave at drag queens, then?’ ‘Well he’s just got back from Leeds and he was telling me that he saw his old friend Miss Hershey Barr, who’s mixed race, and very fabulous.’ ‘I see.’ ‘So what’s your name?’
‘Oh, hi,’ I say. Playing it cool. Or something like that. Either way, I’ve clearly decided I don’t want him to run away after all. ‘James, this is Beyonce. Beyonce, this is James.’
‘Sorry?’ ‘Are you Miss Hershey Barr from Leeds?’ I notice he has a really heavy gold chain round his wrist too. I feel a bit moist, and I begin to blame all those low-budget porn films that glamorise Burberry caps and grey joggers. ‘Well, I’m originally from Leeds, and I know Miss Hershey Barr, but she isn’t me. Or rather, I’m not her. Her legs are way better than mine.’ I want to say something like,‘I know we’re both brown, but we don’t all look the same, you know.’ But those eyes are too gorgeous and I find myself melting like Lurpak on freshly made toast. ‘Oh right.’ He looks disappointed. ‘Are you a drag queen though?’ I shake my head. ‘No. Do I look a drag queen?’ ‘Well, I don’t know. But I thought you were Miss Hershey Barr, so maybe.’
‘So I was right! You are a drag queen then?’ James says. ‘No. No, I’m not a drag queen, I just . . . ‘ I don’t know what to say any more. How do I tell him that I’m not a drag queen, but I did dress up once as Amy Wino in a beehive wig made from tabloid newspapers? How do I tell him that I’m not the screaming queen you’d imagine me to be with a nickname like Beyonce? How do I actually get him to believe that when I don’t believe it myself? How do I tell him that my nickname’s just something that stuck because gays are very unimaginative, and I’m brown, and Ms Knowles is brown, and Miss Hershey Barr’s brown, and apparently we all look the same? Would it be any better if I said that if I was blonde I’d be called Britney or Christina? Instead I tell him my real name. ‘You can call me that if you like.’ ‘I prefer Beyonce, actually.’
‘Why did you think I was Miss Hershey Barr?’ Let him dig this a little deeper, I think. If I embarrass him enough, surely he’ll just run away, and I can forget how attractive he is.
And he smiles again, and I melt like Lurpak—again. ‘Okay. Call me whatever you want.’
I realise I sound as camp as Christmas when I say this. And as slutty as Paris Hilton in front of a camera with nightvision. I try to butch it up a little. Be more restrained. I put my hands in my pockets. No, I realise: that just makes me look sulky. Or bored. So I put them on my hips. Argh! Bad move! Now I look like a total queen. Finally I just take my wallet out. I hold it open in my hands like a black leather dove that’s been hit by a car and which I’m now inspecting for signs of life. I begin to worry that it’s all looking a bit forced. ‘Would you . . . like a beer?’ My forehead must be an abacus beaded with sweat right now. I dab it. Miraculously, it feels dry. What am I saying,‘miraculously’? Normally I’m great at chatting up guys. Normally I’m in my element. It’s just . . . it’s just . . . well, there’s those Henley’s jeans again. ‘Er, yeah, okay. But I’ll get them.’ He takes out his own wallet. It’s Diadora. Does Diadora even exist any more? Didn’t I see that on a billboard recently? What kind of gay man has a Diadora wallet? He must be into really straightacting boys. Perhaps I should pretend to like football? I turn to look at him and suddenly my face feels stretched again. He buys me a drink while I try to make small talk. You know, the usual: what’s a gay like you doing in a place like this? We’re in G-A-Y, of course, so it’s a stupid question with an obvious answer.
‘Well I could spell it out for you?’ he says. I laugh. He laughs. Then he looks confused. It must be me confusing him, I think. One minute I look like a tranny, the next I’m trying to be all manly and take the lead. He’s probably picked up that I’m a complete lunatic today and should never have left the house. The barman hands over our drinks. James winks at me before turning to our mutual friend and asking him for a fag. ‘Do you want one?’ he says. At this point it does occur to me that I could pretend to smoke too, but then I sigh and give up. Enough pretending for one day! ‘Sorry. I don’t smoke.’ They both say their goodbyes and I notice him draw a packet of dodgylooking foreign cigarettes from his pocket. The exact type that have been in the news for having human flesh and faeces in them. Should I warn him? Will I look like a lunatic? Before I can speak, he turns back to me and says: ‘It’s a pity you’re not a tranny. I really wanted to take you to the toilets and suck your cock.’ He walks off and I feel the banana in my mouth turn downwards—into a frown. I guess sometimes it pays to be mistaken for a drag queen. Do you think I have time to nip to the shops and buy a frock?
TEA FOR TWO (or more)
The Richmond Tea Rooms arrived in Manchester’s gay village last year, and since then it has become a delightful example of the trendy new gay and gay-friendly venues opening off Canal Street, bringing with them their own distinct character as destinations for those with more refined (and ostentatious) tastes. The Richmond Tea Rooms, above Eagle and behind The Lodge, is a decadent tea room, serving freshly baked cakes and a wide range of teas (plus a few cocktails, should you feel the need to treat yourself!). The tea room is all cushions, quirky artwork and gingham, perfect for your inner queen. Lavish touches such as an indoor glasshouse only add to the charm. Offering homemade soups and sandwiches, breakfasts and brunches, and high tea whenever you feel the need, The Richmond Tea Rooms are a little slice of Wonderland in Manchester. Richmond Street, The Village, M1 3HZ
VERMILION & CINNABAR: A TASTE OF THE ORIENT More than just a place to eat and drink, Vermilion & Cinnabar, described by the proprietors as an Asian wonderland, can be found just outside Manchester city centre. Blending South and East Asian delight with fabulous contemporary style, Vermilion restaurant and Cinnabar provide visual, aural and culinary delights aplenty—but the venue also features a gallery and events space, making it a cultural destination as well. Taylor Swift, Tim Burton and David Cameron are just some of the VIPs spotted hanging out in the plush Cinnabar cocktail lounge. This cool dreamscape sports bulbous cocoons, each with its own theme: Angels & Airwaves, Crystal Castles, 1984, Daft Punk, Futura and Akira. Glowing orbs of pink, orange and green dot the ceiling at various heights, like rainbow bubbles. Here you can enjoy colourfully-named (and colourfullyprepared) cocktails such as the Battle Royale and the Golden Child. The first is rather pleasantly like strawberry Chewits with a kick, while the latter is a lemongrass-infused cocktail, drawing upon the Thai curry spices for inspiration, with a delicious hint of chocolate. Resident DJs including Damien (Clique), Gold Teeth (The Deaf Institute) and Thomas Eskiturk (Idiosync) play music that fits the spirit of fusion just as much as the cocktail and food menus Beyond the bar itself is The Abacus Gallery, which is perfect for events of 50-250 people, with its own private bar and dining facilities, a separate sound system, plus access to 200 free car parking spaces. Vermilion also sports its own contemporary art gallery, VOX, and boasts its own informative and thorough seafood recipe book, Ocean to the Plate. Vermilion’s chefs opt for locally-sourced food to maximise freshness and quality, and through its parent company Seamark obtains the highquality seafood that makes its array of fish dishes unique in the UK. From the river king prawns with fresh mushrooms, roasted chilli paste and
lime juice (Tom Yam Khoong) to the ridiculously succulent, melt-in-the-mouth sea bass steamed with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, chilli and fresh lime (Pla Nung Manow), the fish is guaranteed to tantalise the tastebuds.
Vermilion Restaurant & Cinnabar Lord North Street, Hulme Hall Lane, Manchester M40 8AD 0161 202 0055 / vermilioncinnabar.com
For those with more carnivorous tastes, the beef sirloin skewers with lemongrass and spices, served with spicy sauce (Nue Ping Chaing Mai) and duck breast with vegetables, tamarind sauce, dried chillies and crispy shallots (Ped Nam Makam) make for truly flavoursome dishes from the Authentic Royal Thai menu. On the richer side of things, the Majestic Indian menu offers original takes on classics such as tikka, which comes in the form of chicken, malai chicken and salmon tikka. The tandoori seafood platter boasts cod, rock lobster, king prawns and salmon. Deshi lamb curry, aloo gobi (curried cauliflower and potato) and karahi paneer (Indian cheese in a tomato- and chilli-based sauce). Set menus aid the indecisive, with a range of sophisticated choices at various prices, and sampling either the Authentic Royal Thai or Majestic Indian menus, or incorporating items from both. Desserts include the Banana Bonanza (banana cake served with organic green tea ice cream), mango cheese cake, young coconut custard, and warm Indian dumplings of cottage cheese with vanilla ice cream (gulab jamun)--among others. The service at the restaurant was faultless, with attentive and friendly wait staff, and swift turnaround on courses. The food was impeccable and the range of drinks impressive. Unlike other restaurants that offer many dishes but specialise in none, Vermilion’s chefs are skilled enough and creative enough to handle a wide-ranging menu without letting up on quality.
Singles Adam Lowe CALVIN HARRIS
Down in the River 22nd October
Sweet Nothing 14th October
A r t m a g i c ’s post-album single ‘Down in the River’ is an unashamedly brash celebration of love, hope and aspiration, its colourful explosion showcasing the b a n d ’s a b i l i t y t o c o m b i n e infectious g u i t a r- l e d melodies and incessant rhythms with armsaloft anthemic choruses. Artmagic combines the genius of Sean McGhee (Britney Spears) and Rochard Oakes (Suede), b u t c u t s aw a y f r o m t h e i r musical pasts to carve out s o n g s o f r a d i a n t m e l o d y, textural colour and bulletproof hooks.
‘Sweet Nothing’ veers easily between grinding electro gears and slippery euphoric flourishes. Harris is pure Megatron here, but this is leavened by the sultriness of Florence, as she pours over the android cracks with human emotion, like the proverbial ghost in the machine. Served up with a smorgasbord of tasty remixes, this is a sure-fire club hit. The Burns remix, for instance, filters the music as if underwater, allowing greater space for Florence’s vocals to float over the rippling surface. Meanwhile, Tiesto’s remix strips out the hardcore edge for something more lo-fi, focusing on funkier beats and a more pareddown electro aesthetic with shades of 80s arcade games.
DRUMSOUND & BASSLINESMITH
She Wolf (Falling to Pieces) 1st October
Daylight 29th October
Guetta and Sia collaborate again on this song with a familiar name. Alas, the title’s not the only thing that feels borrowed. ‘She Wolf (Falling to Pieces)’ is something of a hodge-podge of fleeced audio bric-a-brac. It’s reminiscent of ‘Titanium’, of course, with hints of ‘When Love Takes Over’ and Layo & Bushwacka!’s ‘Love Story’. Then there’s a drop and it just gets silly. The ravey squeaks and squeals in the middle are unable to carry the weight the lyrics and serious pianos seem to demand. Ultimately it feels misshapen, although there are enough echoes of something almost-good for bright-spark DJs to riff off when the remixes hit.
Hadouken! started life as semiironic, club-friendly emo rockers who mocked the scene they so readily appealed to. ‘Daylight’, among their more recent attempts to grow up, is a collaboration with Drumsound & Basslinesmith that reveals how difficult that can be when you simply aren’t ready. The checklist includes guitar riffs, hard basslines and the usual rock tempo—as you’d expect—but it all feels a little too much like posturing. This sounds like the kind of music a student boyband would make if they wanted to sound dark and serious to pull ladies. Though they’re really trying, Hadouken! just can’t seem to leave their adolescence behind.
Kylie at the Abbey
Nick Cave re-recorded his vocal on the famous duet, “Where The Wild Roses Grow”, especially for the album.
Kylie Minogue releases her brand new album “The Abbey Road Sessions”, which features sixteen tracks, all radically reworked, spanning Kylie’s incredible 25 year career. The album was recorded in London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios with Kylie’s band and a full orchestra.
Other highlights of the album include a wonderfully poignant “Better The Devil You Know”, the ever-amazing “Confide In Me”, a sultry “On A Night Like This”, a joyous “All The Lovers”, the beautiful “Finer Feelings” and a version of “The Locomotion” which swaggers with true 1950’s panache. Over all 16 tracks one thing becomes very clear stripped of her high end pop production, the emotional resonance of many of Kylie’s songs has never been clearer, nor has her voice ever sounded better. The album is released on 29th October on Parlophone Records and is available in the following formats: CD, Digital, Limited Edition Deluxe CD and only available at www.kylie.com a limited 12” vinyl with CD.
Barbra Is Released Barbra Streisand’s private music vault holds all the master tapes she’s recorded for five decades. Now, she’s sharing 11 previously unreleased songs, spanning a cross-section of her career from 1963 to the present in a collection titled, ‘Release Me’. With the exception of two songs where the original masters couldn’t be located, all the tracks on ‘Release Me’ were transferred from first generation master tapes. Every attention was paid to preserving the sonic perspective of the sessions as they were originally recorded and mixed. Reflecting on the album, Streisand noted, “The thing I’m happiest about is that I still have great affection for all these songs. They appealed to me at the time…and still do. Listening now, I actually think to myself, ‘The girl wasn’t half bad.” The album is available from 8th October – Sony Music www.BarbraStreisand.com
Albums Adam Lowe
As Robbie Williams looks to the future with the release of the incredible “Take The Crown” – his ninth studio album and his first for Island/Universal – it might also be interesting to remember his considerable achievements so far. In a career strewn with awards, Robbie has quite simply sold more records than any other British solo artist in history. Having sold a staggering 60 million albums over his solo career, Robbie has also won more Brit awards than any other artist in history ( a grand total of 17, to be precise). Six of his albums appear in the all time top 100 biggest selling albums in the UK whilst Williams appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 1.6 million concert tickets in a day in 2006. In 2010 Robbie Williams won the Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award at the BRITS; later that year his reformation with Take That led to their album becoming the fastest selling album of the century.
Since then Robbie has been working on his brand new solo album, recorded in Los Angeles with producer Jacknife Lee. The orchestra on the album was recorded at the fabled Capitol Studios in LA.
ROBBIE WILLIAMS TAKE THE CROWN 5th November
The album is preceded by the single “Candy”, released on October 29. Of this brilliantly addictive classic Robbie Williams pop song, written with Gary Barlow, Robbie says: “It’s a summer song, about a girl who thinks she’s great. And she might be, but she’s a bit nefarious with her ways. Some songs take an age to write and some songs just fall out of your mouth completely formed, and you don’t have to think about it. I don’t know why that fell out of my mouth and out of my brain at that particular time – it just did”.
Out of the Black 1st October Out of the Black, produced largely after sunset, is a raucous twilight zone of electro, with snatches of old school and acid house. Boys Noize (Alex Ridha) has worked with the Scissor Sisters and Santigold, David Lynch and Daft Punk, Depeche Mode and Skrillex. Though his trademark bombastic electro is present on the album (such as the wonderful ‘XTC’ and ‘What You Want’), there are more melodic offerings too, such as‘Ich R U’ and‘Reality’. One highlight is his delicious spin on the Jungle Brothers’ classic ‘I’ll House You’, which features recent Rastafari convert and hiphop master Snoop Dogg.
Drum Rolls & Heart Breaks 22nd October These quirky songs are those Caro identifies as influences and inspirations for her platinum album, Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor. Caro serves up a delightfully old school double-disc anthology, featuring such icons as former-Catwoman Eartha Kitt singing ‘Mambo de Paree’ and ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy’, Sarah Vaughan with ‘Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)’, Billie Holiday with ‘Pennies from Heaven’ and Shirley Bassey with the sexy/ funny ‘Kiss Me Honey Honey (Kiss Me)’. This camp treat will be loved as much by mothers as by their sons.
PAUL HARDCASTLE SONNYMOON 18 Below Zero 15th October
Paul Hardcastle rose to prominence back in the 80s with his hit 19. With his passion for experimenting in the studio, his album came to be seen as a classic in electro music.The success of this album helped Simon Fuller set up his music empire,19 Management. Paul’s track ‘The Wizard’ even became the theme tune for Top of the Pops. In 19 Below Zero, Paul brings his thirst for experimentation to bear on today’s charts. A kaleidoscope of ethereal beats, entrancing rhythms and warm electro soundscapes, the album features nine new tracks plus a selection of material previously unreleased in the UK.
Sonnymoon 22nd October
Sonnymoon’s eponymous album is a spacey, hip-hop flavoured jaunt through genres. Punchy grooves drip LA haze and singer Anna succeeds as a marvellous hybrid of Jill Scott, Joni Mitchell and Rickie Lee Jones.This album immerses you in sitars, fluent rhythms and strange futuristic touches, with hints of J Dilla, Regina Spektor and Dwele. Sonnymoon are progressive and carving themselves a niche in that musical forefront alongside original artists such as Little Dragon and Flying Lotus. Certainly not your average electronica album, this is a smooth, assured fusion of tastes.
IF IF YOU YOU FIND FIND CHEAPER CHEAPER WE WE WILL WILL BEAT BEAT IT IT We wont
be beaten on price
We wont be beaten on price
We wont be beaten on price October 2012
Dance Trax Iain Macleod Iain is well known within the UK’s gay scene and has a following from his “Handbag House” downloadable mixes. He frequently DJ’s at Newcastle’s Powerhouse, and Bradford’s Village Club. Find out more about the man himself at: www.handbag-house.co.uk
Dada Life Feed The Dada Electro House (So Much Dada Records)
Flirting between their own credible EDM productions and remixes of mainstream pop, Swedish duo Dada Life have returned with what is arguably their best record to date. The slightly cringeworthy and repetitive chorus of “come and feed the dada, dada” is instantly forgiven when the heavy bass-driven drop kicks in, ricochets and spawns what can only be described as a headthrash moment. Laced with attitude and a quirky video this could easily be a crossover mainstream hit.
Nicky Romero & Calvin Harris - Iron Progressive House (Protocol Recordings)
With producers hooking up with each other more often than one of Silvio Berlusconi’s bunga bunga parties, the line between EDM and the mainstream is becoming more and more blurred. Blips, womps and glitches lead us up to a simple pianodriven breakdown which underpin Harris’ just-woke-up vocals. A glittering electronic backdrop of Romero’s usual top-notch production-work builds up to an epic climax in the form of a pumping melody that doesn’t disappoint.
Jupiter Ace To The Air
Electro House (Big Vision Records)
Having made a huge impact on the festival circuit with his previous single, ‘Glowing In The Dark’, Belfast-born Gregory Ferguson returns with this massive instrumental beast. A summery, melodic breakdown builds and builds until it slaps you in the face with a ridiculously epic techno-fuelled drop. It’s easy to see why the likes of Avicii,Tiesto and Pete Tong are big supporters of his productions. It’s crying out for a vocal, so I’d wager that bedroom DJs will embrace this track as a foundation for countless mash-up opportunities.
DJ FRESH - NEXTLEVELISM Dance music is a vast genre that has taken many forms over the years; many of which have edged their way into the UK Top 40. From UK Garage of the 90s to the explosion of funky house in the 00s, this decade has witnessed the birth of a new genre. To some, dubstep sounds little more than the sound of a car that just won’t start, but Worthing-based Daniel Stein has recognised a gap in the market to fuse those aggressive breakbeats with irresistibly catchy pop. He’s no stranger to the field of course, with Nextlevelism being DJ Fresh’s third studio album to date. This time round, he’s teamed up with some established pop artists such as Rizzle Kicks, Dizzee Rascal, Professor Green, and Sian Evans from Kosheen. He’s also brought new, up-and-coming vocalists into the foreground: Following the success of number one single, “Louder”, Rita Ora’s career was undoubtedly kick-started after appearing on follow-up single, “Hot Right Now” – which also topped the 16
UK charts. The album is immaculately produced from start to finish. Typical drum’n’bass and dubstep percussion united with synthetic power-chords feature heavily in every track, but Stein plays hard and fast with different genres being thrown into the mix. We hear elements of 70s disco in “The Power”; Liam Bailey lends his soulful vocals on “Don’t Tell Me”, and even the folk-like “See You Again” features a stripped down guitar and heartfelt vocals which fight their way through a whirlwind of raucous drums and electro shrieks. The stand-out track is the album finale, “Forever More”. Featuring both Professor Green, and the Fray (who by the way, sound more like Linkin Park in this production), the dubstep lurks quietly in the background of this atmospheric, anthemic electro-rock anthem with great effect. The real accomplishment is that every track has the potential to be
a hit single, however the lack of fillers is compromised only by the fact that all the tracks are very, very short. Not all of them make it past the 3-minute mark which has meant that despite having 12 tracks, it weighs in at little over half an hour in length. The good news however is that there will be a deluxe edition in due course, which will feature 7 remixes and an unreleased bonus track. Nextlevelism is out now. 4 out of 5 stars
We have 3 copies of Nextlevelism up for grabs! To be in with a chance to get your hands on a copy, all you have to do is answer the following question: Which vocalist featured on the hit ‘Hot Right Now’? Answers to email@example.com
Nervo Vs. Hook N Sling - Reason Progressive House (Spinnin Records)
With our so-called “Summer” coming to a close, Nervo have “hooked” up (sorry) with Hook N Sling to make one last attempt to get us in the holiday spirit with ‘Reason’. Self-confessed club addicts, Nervo consist of multitalented twins, Mim and Liv who are DJs, producers as well as vocalists. Their sweet, pop-like warbles grab your attention early, with an echoing chorus that escalates to one of those uplifting, energy-bursting, hands-inthe-air moments.
Kinky Girl Shaniqua Shay was born in London on an early Spring morning in1987, though born genetically male she had always struggled with her identity. Being born transgendered she felt she didn’t fit in with anybody, this ultimately resulted in years of bullying through high school, which lead to her final years of school being home schooled. She spent all of her teenage years glued to the internet, writing songs, looking at pop culture and focusing on moulding herself into the person she had always known she was meant to be. She comes with a clear message, be true to who you know you are, stick at it, and eventually it will all fall into place. You don’t have to be perfect, You just have to do you. Shaniqua unleashed her creativity online back in 2009 shooting to internet fame with her parody music video’s of Britney’s “If You Seek Amy”
(188k views) and Lady Gaga’s “Love Game” (369k views) with now over 1,950,000 video views on Youtube she has managed to establish herself as an online persona. This year Shaniqua’s debut album entitled ‘Transition’ was created, where she has worked closely with Luke Ross, a producer based in Canada, creating catchy, pop/dance/electro hits - giving you something you haven’t heard before. Transition caters for the avid pop fans, with songs like “Kittycat”, an Up-Tempo Britneyesque record, with hard hitting synths with catchy melody and clever lyrics, To “Kink” (a Bent office favourite) which delves into the darker side of sexuality, There’s no shortage of your typical ‘club bangers’ here either, with the Avicii/Swedish House Maffia infused songs ‘What Should I do?” & You only call me (When You’re Lonely).
The album is available on iTunes now.
Website facebook.com/shaniquashaymusic Twitter: @shaniquashay Youtube: www.youtube.com/iseeboys
tweets from the stars in celebville by @jonny_cox
“I can feel the phoenix rising.”
“Remember when we were young and couldn’t wait to grow up? Wow, what the hell were we thinking?”
oh, so is THAT what you call it @katyperry?
“After rehearsing all day for tour I have to“You admit can’t Im excited judge to put on my Mickey Mouse tracksuit & watch X Factor USA #itsBritneybitchesss”
Oh and of course @JodieMarsh, you know what it’s like..
“I love my brother so much I wish I could punch him right now”
“Shout out to the man playing trance at 9am on the easyJet shuttle home from Ibiza. Dude, holiday is OVER”
As much as we love you @CherylCole, MICKEY. MOUSE. PJS? Seriously babe.
#HARSH @Pink. I hear you though. @Lyndsay01_ probably feels the same..
Unlike you to be a grumpy pants, @ Grimmers.
a book by its cover!” But, @SimonCowell, we can judge
“Watching #xfactor... fancy some tea and toast...” Aaaahh. See what you done just then, @ NathanTheWanted.
‘Shadowformerself’ is the enigmatic debut solo album from Graingerboy co produced by Ian Catt (St Etienne). The quirky play on words in the title gives a very apt insight into the personality behind this gem of a collection, musically influenced by the likes of; David Sylvian, The Beloved, Carl Craig, Massive Attack, Brian Eno and One Dove, inspired by a decade of life experiences that include a personal near death experience in the Christchurch Earthquake.
Graingerboy is Simon Grainger who is super lovely, talented, gay and hails from Leeds. A brush with chart fame in the late nineties as one half of Electric Boutique with Kitsune DJ Jerry Bouthier saw their club hit, “Revelation”, catapulting them into the UK Top 40, cumulatively selling over a million copies over the last decade featured as it was on numerous worldwide compilations. However, Simon is perhaps best known as one of the darlings of the Balearic music scene during the 90’s when he played live keyboards and backing vocals for the legendary Ibiza sunset band ‘A Man Called Adam’. AMCA tracks can be found featured on all the best Ibiza compilations from the past 15 years. During his time with AMCA Simon supported Groove Armada, played at The Big Chill Festival and headlined the Cafe del Mar’s 20th anniversary celebrations in Ibiza. The forthcoming album represents a bittersweet milestone in the life and career of Graingerboy. Generally a laid-back affair, there are moments that pull the listener from ambient intensity to the uplifting magic of euphoric disco. Jagz Kooner has remixed track 5 on the album, flirting with a sound somewhere between the Pet Shop Boys and Hot Chip, joyously entitled ‘Vintage’ the track is due for release September 3rd and a definite contender to be playfully setting dance
floors alight this Summer. It’s a perfect, feet shuffling, just cant help those hands from raising, Summer delight that gets you grinning from ear to ear. “PMCM”, was commissioned by Rambert Associate Choreographer and South Bank artist-in-resident Rafael Bonachela, who most famously choreographed Primal Scream, Hugo Boss and Kylie Minogue’s “Cant Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head” mash-up for the Brit Awards. Out: 15th October - www.popcrisisrecordings.com
£14.99 IF IF YOU YOU FIND FIND CHEAPER CHEAPER WE WE WILL WILL BEAT BEAT IT IT
We wont be beaten on price
Cho Business American comic legend Margaret Cho arrives in the UK for a series of London dates later this month. Billed in Wikipedia as ‘comedian, fashion designer, actress, author, and singer-songwriter. Cho, of Korean descent, is best known for her stand-up routines, through which she critiques social and political problems, especially those pertaining to race and sexuality.’ In other words, this woman is a one-person demolition force, so just be glad she’s on our side. Your MOTHER tour is up and running…how has it gone so far? It’s actually just starting! And it’s going great! Wait to I’ll get to the UK!! Has your mother been quite supportive or up in arms? She loves it. She basks in the fame! You arrive on these shores with the UK on a high from a successful Olympics (and Paralypmics) and a Queen celebrating 60 years on the throne… how would you feel about appearing on a Royal Variety Show? I loved the Olympics and Paralympics and I’ve never met the Queen but I have had the honour of meeting Prince Charles and the more Royal variety the better! You’re performing at the Leicester Square Theatre in London, do you like playing to a UK audience? Yes, I love coming and performing in the UK! It makes me feel very exotic and American, which are words that do not go together. Do you have to do any major re-work for a British audience? Yes, I think so! It’s a whole new world! With your television appearances in popular shows like Drop Dead Diva and 30 Rock are you ever encouraged to be less ‘inyour-face’ for your live shows? If anything I think I’m more in your face! I’m all over your face! Are you going for the comedienne with the most DVDs award? Ooh I need to put out a fitness DVD too. Yes I believe I have the most. An American election is looming, and here in the UK we’ve heard about the Tea Party but not a lot of the Cho Party, is this an opportunity missed? There needs to be a big Cho party for suuure! With drugs please! Bring on the festivities You love to blog but have the responses ever got to you? Oh I don’t know how to read them on my computer so my answer would be no. A recent Cho tweet on Sex Advice: I have had a great deal of sex in my life, yet not a lot of people ask me sex advice. Perhaps it’s because I complain a bunch about it and nobody likes a squeaky wheel although it does get the grease. I don’t know. I have it less lately, more because the level of my desire has gone way down. It may be aging, or a health issue, or a kind of shutting off of lights in certain rooms that don’t get used much in order to save energy. I’m being green about it. Margaret Cho plays Leicester Square Theatre in London from 26th October for 6 nights Photo: Miss Missy photography 20
E X T R A S H O W S A D D E D - O C T O B E R 3 0 t h & 3 1 s t A T 7. 3 0 P M
2 6 t h – 2 9 t h O C T 2 0 1 2 A T 7. 3 0 P M
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AROUND THE WORLD
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Glamorous, vicious, camp, the bitchy yet heart-warming trolley dolly rules the skies” SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
FEBRUARY 2013 07 09 10 12 13 16 17 20 22 23 25 26
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MANCHESTER MANCHESTER ST ALBANS ST ALBANS READING BIRMINGHAM
OPERA HOUSE OPERA HOUSE ALBAN ARENA ALBAN ARENA HEXAGON ALEXANDRA THEATRE
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AmericanConnection MARTHA WASH IS SOMETHING GOOD BY DUSTIN FITZHARRIS
Thirty years after singing “It’s Raining Men,” Martha Wash is still going strong. In a career that has spanned nearly four decades, Wash has sung some of the biggest hits in dance music, including the chart-topping “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” and the inspirational “Carry On.” However, as Wash once put it, “Unless you are a die-hard fan, you wouldn’t know who I was.” Now, The Queen of Club Land is ready to claim her legacy. After earning eight #1 hits and an additional eight Top 10s on various Billboard Charts, Wash is releasing Something Good. It will be her first project of all new material in almost twenty years. 22
“I’m trying to move my career forward,” Wash says about why she returned to the studio. “I’ve been working all along, but people weren’t really seeing me unless they were coming to my shows. People know the music, but they need to see me.” But don’t call Something Good a comeback because Wash says she’s never gone away. “Where have I been?” she laughs. “I’ve been right here—working!” Wash continues to headline concerts world wide, and recently appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival in
Switzerland, where she performed a tribute to dance music at the request of Nile Rogers, Quincy Jones, and founder Claude Nobs. In an age where artists come and go, Wash has proven she is a survivor. Along with Izora Armstead, she began singing background for Sylvester under the name Two Tons O’ Fun. Together, their dynamic, soulful voices can be heard on his signature song, “You Make Me Feel Mighty Real.” Eventually Wash and Armstead released their own recordings, including three Top 5 Billboard dance singles, “I Got the Feeling”, “Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven” and “Just Us.”
In 1982 the duo announced, “Hi, we’re your weather girls and have we got news for you!” Within the blink of an eye, Two Tons O’ Fun became The Weather Girls and “It’s Raining Men” went on to receive a Grammy nomination, an achievement Wash considers the most memorable moment in her career. In 1984 The Weather Girls lent their voices to Rebbie Jackson’s hit, “Centipede.” By the late ‘80s they went their separate ways, and Wash forged ahead as a solo artist. In spite of the ballads she has recorded, including her #1 R&B duet with Luther Vandross, “I Who Have Nothing,” Wash has been labeled a dance artist. Proving she is much more, Something Good finds the songstress taking chances and singing skillfully crafted pop/adult contemporary songs. The first single is a beautiful ballad, “I’ve Got You.” It’s a song Wash says speaks to everyone. Initially she had reservations about doing material audiences wouldn’t expect from her, but realized that as an artist, she couldn’t play it safe. “I’m just spreading my wings more and moving in another direction. As long as you live you’re going to get a little older,” Wash says. “Are you going to keep doing the same things you were doing in your twenties when you get into your fifties? It’s about advancing and moving on.” “You may stumble and fall, but you’ve got to get up,” confirms Wash. “You can’t stop moving. Finding your path is the journey. Along the journey you have the highs and the lows, but you can’t stop because time will keep on going with or without you.” In 1991 Wash proved her strength and became a pioneer for artists when she sang the lead vocals on C&C Music Factory’s #1 hit, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now.)” However, in the accompanying music video, her vocals came out of the group’s lead singer’s mouth because her image had been deemed unmarketable due to her size. Furthermore, she also failed to receive proper credit and compensation on vocals she did for Black Box’s album, including their Top 10 songs, “Everybody Everybody” and “Strike It Up”, and Seduction’s “You’re My One and Only (True Love)”. While others may have backed down, Wash filed a lawsuit and won. Her efforts now make it mandatory for artists to receive rightful credits on albums and music videos.
In spite of the difficulties, Wash always maintained a positive outlook. Her new song “Destiny,” which she co-wrote, tells the story of her path. “Letting go was never easy for me. I was holding so tight, but it never felt right. Couldn’t see the person I could be through all this pain.” Wash hopes the eight songs from Something Good, an album she calls empowering, will inspire others to find their strength inside and follow their destin y. “Whatever song they listen to, I hope they get something positive out it,” she says. Something Good comes on the heels of the thirtieth anniversary of “It’s Raining Men.” It seems impossible to comprehend today, but Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Cher, and Diana Ross all passed on the iconic song. In fact, Wash and Armstead weren’t too keen on recording the tune either. “Paul [Jabara] played the song for us and said, ‘I want you to record this.’ Izora and I just laughed and laughed and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ He said, ‘No, I just know this song is going to be a hit.’ Then we laughed some more! We went into the studio the next day and recorded the song in about ninety minutes and walked out of the studio and went about our business. Now it’s an official classic.” Wash says people still love the song because it is fun. She doesn’t deny that it’s campy, but when she sees that older people know it, their children know it and sometimes their grandchildren know it, she proclaims, “I can’t be mad about that!”
A CHORUS LINE Michael Bennett’s production of A Chorus Line won nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama when it opened on Broadway in 1975 and went on to become the then longest running musical on Broadway achieving an astonishing 6137 performances. It features some of musical theatre’s best loved songs: One (Singular Sensation), What I did For love, I Can do That, Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love and Hope I Get It. For the first time since its first London season, which opened in 1976 and won the Olivier Award for Best Musical, a full London revival of the Broadway Production will be staged at the London Palladium from 2nd February next year. The season will be strictly limited, running through until 29th June.
The production will be directed by Broadway and West End veteran director and choreographer Bob Avian. Avian was Michael Bennett’s long term collaborator and his co-choreographer on the original production. Avian was also responsible for directing the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line. Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “I am delighted to welcome A Chorus Line into The London Palladium. This classic Broadway production has not been seen in the West End for almost 35 years.” A Chorus Line The London Palladium 8 Argyll Street, Soho, London, W1F 7TF Box Office 0844 4412 2957 www.achoruslinelondon.com
Martha Wash still loves every minute of performing. While her dance and disco fans revere her, the time has come for Wash to receive the accolades she’s earned from all audiences. The truth is told in the haunting new ballad “Proud”: “I’ll make you proud of loving me. You won’t regret that you believed. How did you see what no one else could see in me?” If you don’t know who Martha Wash is by now, you’re missing out on something good. Martha’s new album, “Something Good”, available on iTunes 31st October.
Come Dine With Me Clare Balding By Lee Hudson
Some friends and I were discussing who would be our ideal dinner party guest and without hesitation I said Clare Balding. Being a horse racing fan I’ve known of her for several years from when she used to be a top amateur jockey. She then went on to present Horse Racing on the BBC and regularly amused me with the way she covered her co- presenter ex jockey Willie Carson’s shortcomings, as it were. Clare came to many people’s attention when interviewing jockey Liam Treadwell, after his winning ride in the 2009 Grand National, she alluded to his lack of teeth and how he would now be able to afford to get them fixed. It was spoken in jest and taken in the same spirit by the jockey but some viewers and Press took it the wrong way and she felt honour bound to apologise. Liam was no doubt grateful anyhow as he was fitted with new gnashes free after the publicity. More exposure ensued when, following a TV series on cycling around Britain, journalist AA Gill in the Sunday Times described her as “a dyke on a bike” .When he refused to apologise she enlisted the support of Stephen Fry and complained to the Press Complaints Commission who found in her favour judging that she had been referred to in a “demeaning and gratuitous way” Clare is also known to some for Crufts and Countryfile but she has really come to prominence recently with glowing reports for her presenting
of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. She also fronts the BBC Rugby League coverage and the fact that she has the respect of the macho sportsmen speaks for itself. Now comes the release of her childhood autobiography “My Animals and Other Family” which will no doubt raise her profile even more. Clare was born into a horsey family 41 years ago. She didn’t fit in at school where she was bullied and later, after trialling boyfriends, came out as gay in her 20’s. She has now been with her partner Alice Arnold, a Radio 4 newsreader for 10 years and they sealed their Civil Partnership in 2006. The thing that impresses me particularly about Clare is the fact that she throws herself into any project with great enthusiasm and her research and professionalism is second to none. There really does not seem any subject that she could not cover or discuss. An ideal dinner party guest. She has almost 300,000 followers on Twitter and is a regular Tweeter and I am determined to get a reply from one of my tweets to her one day soon. She said in a Daily Telegraph interview that “You should love who you want to love and be proud of it” which just about says it all. If you’re reading this Clare, I do a very nice Chicken Alfredo...Seven thirty for eight? ‘My Animals and Other Family’ is out now published by Viking
Images: Channel 4/ BBC
Cardiff Mardi Gras
There was a slight shift of emphasis at this year’s Cardiff Mardi Gras as, for the first time, organizers had a parade through the city before the entertainment at Cooper’s Field. The theme of this year’s event was “visibility increases understanding and reduces fear” and organizations, business leaders, politicians and the general public were encouraged to take part. Around 600 people did take to the streets to be visable and vocal in their support and as one of the organizers Richard Lawson said: “Despite legislative changes the facts are all too stark, reported hate crime against the LGBT community is on a significant increase.” For the third year running Cardiff Mardi Gras hosted a Youth and Family Zone. John Bond, Mardi Gras Youth Officer explained: “The Youth Zone offers young people the chance to speak to qualified youth workers about any issues they may face (Substance Misuse, Sexual Health, ‘Coming out’) and signpost young people onto the relevant agencies in their areas. When the celebrations started in Cooper’s Field a strong cast of entertainment took the huge crowd by storm. Artists included Ruth Lorenzo, Marcus Collins and Heather Small and a terrific selection of top drag and tribute acts. For the first time Cardiff Mardi Gras hosted their own official after-party. Despite a last minute venue change due to Council restrictions in the Dance Arena on Coopers Field it moved to Solus, Students Union. The best World Party travelled from Spain to Wales as the SuperMartXé World Tour, presented The Freemasons with DJ Abel the Kid and performer Sandra Criado. www.cardiffmardigras.co.uk
Brighton Pride 2012 Words and photos: ChrisGeary.com It really is strange, I have attended many pride events over the years but the colour, anticipated fun and overall enthusiasm never dulls my excitement. The beach promenade filled steadily with familiar faces and floats decorated in flamboyant designs, features and balloons, and it was nice to see many big companies supporting the parade. The theme of the event was the “United Colours Of Pride”… celebrating colour and diversity whilst recognising the discrimination of LGBT communities around the world. After all the shenanigans of this year’s London Pride, the change of Brighton Pride’s management and moving the date forward a month to Saturday 1st September (due to the Olympics), I was not sure what to expect from this year’s festival. I was looking forwards to a proper parade and party in the park and I am pleased to say it turned out to be one of the best festivals ever!. The new organizers managed to put on a fantastic event with a friendly fun packed atmosphere and the sun even popping out every now and then.
The park was packed with happy faces and enough entertainment to keep everyone from the hardened festival goer to first timers, old or young, satisfied all day. Apart from the queues to get into the park and long queues to access the dance tents, I could not fault it. In the cabaret tent (hosted by Lola Lasagne) the crowd was entertained by Miss Jason, Titti La Camp, Dave Lynn and The D.E. Experience. Then after ordering some very tasty curly fries I meandered and mingled around visiting friends in the Revenge pop tent, while all around d other things were adding to this special day; line dancing, bear tents, market stalls and fun fair. Then to finish off the festivities I partied at the main attraction that was the Wild Fruit Dance tent with The Freemasons and Fat Boy Slim. I can say that I hardly noticed the non-appearance of Alexander Burke, so it was her loss.
Web site: www.PrideBrighton.org
GHOSTS OF BOYFIENDS PAST!
Imagine the scariest night you can think of?! You are a drunk and suddenly all your ex boyfriends come round the corner but they are not your exes anymore but a bunch of ghosts and zombies!. (Yes we know, we date those sort of guys too!) What do you do but run down to the depths of the The ‘Haunted’ Basement Club but it’s darker, and scarier and there’s cobwebs and lots of ghoulish goings on, oh my! Will you ever return from the depths of The ‘Haunted’ Basement Club or will you be lost and haunted forever by ‘Ghosts of Boyfriends Past’! Of course this nightmare wouldn’t be complete without a scary costume to freak out the neighbours and passers by. You might even get a free ‘Blood Cocktail’ and also get a chance to win great prizes including cold hard cash! Legends bar boys are resurrected as sexy vampire boys and gorgeous ghouls for one very sexy spooky night. Plus don’t forget to grab you favourite shot for only £1 all night. Legends Bar at 8pm with The ‘Haunted ‘Basement Club opening at 11pm. So get a bloody marvellous night out at Legends on Wednesday 31st October
www.legendsbrighton.com image: www.netfreestuff.co.uk
Pink for boys By Jorge Treviano When I was a kid at school, as far as I can remember, I was the only lad who ever wore pink underpants. I just loved those pink nylon briefs , they gave me pleasure to look at and an oddly ‘daring’ feel when wearing them. Needless to say, my colour choice was ridiculed and I had various hurtful comments and name calling (if later to be found accurate) aimed my way. So, as a young but not overly confident young boy I didn’t like the things being said about my undies and quickly returned to wearing the majority white briefs. Thankfully, things have changed and I’m sure now, even in the school changing room, colourful pants rarely raise an eyebrow.
In all their goofy glory, briefs in bright colours including pink, are undermining the classic white brief’s long-held domination below-the-belt. In fact, while sales of traditional briefs have been down for the last few years, nontraditional styles in boxer briefs, bikinis and thong styles have all been way up.
Thankfully, pink briefs, for decades the butt of jokes and the joke of butts, has, in the last few years, turned into a serious business.
Pink’s popularity makes sense. Pink brightens and warms up pale skin tones. It also contrasts nicely with darker skin. Also, as one underwear retailer said:
Jockey was the first to report that sales of their colored Y-front briefs rocketed by an average of 60% last year – with the baby pink pairs selling more than any other.
‘When the economy’s gloomy, shoppers tend to make small, often unconscious, decisions in their consumer habits and buying fun pink briefs helps lighten their mood and brighten their day.’
It’s not just gay men buying them either. Straight men (and the girlfriends and wives who buy for their men) are buying them at higher rates than ever. However, it is gay men (and celebs like Justin Beiber and Ashton Kutcher) who are the more-daring consumers of new styles – willing to experiment with the newest styles before they become trends.
£14.99 IF IF YOU YOU FIND FIND CHEAPER CHEAPER WE WE WILL WILL BEAT BEAT IT IT
We wont be beaten on price
We wont be beaten on price October 2012
Glow In The Dark House of Holland underwear includes some bold prints and a range of neon garments which glow under UV lights. £21. shop.houseofholland.co.uk
Bag Boxfresh has come up with a new range of designs that include rucksacks, holdalls and satchels – all great for any occasion. We have decided that the Paragon backpack is just right for our trips to the gym. £48
Wrapping up for winter As the cooler weather seems to start earlier and earlier, it might be best to get some of your winter wardrobe in asap. The Galad Troyer Pullover is both warm and trendy. £124 www.energie.it
Luke is a practical interpretation of contemporary menswear; it has all the components of the modern lad, part gentleman, a dose of working class hero and with a bit of rogue thrown in. T-shirt - £55 Shoes - £99 Jacket - £150 www.luke1977.com
It s a wind-up
With every hat style you could need including a collaboration with Ariel 7 for hats with headphones embedded in them. They also have a cold weather collection which includes gloves which work on tablets and smart phones. Kangol/Ariel 7’s, the flat cap style is £87 and the army cap style is
Some guys are impossible to find gifts for, so why not get him something he’s probably always wanted since he was 5 years old, his own robot. It’s a wind up!! Crafted from as early as the 1920’s by Shanghai toy makers, a range of mechanical collectables built with the dedication and skill of designers and craftsmen. All Fantastic & Co. products are supplied in a beautifully designed box – and it could be the start of his own collection!
£75 and they are available from www.kangolstore.com
Fantastic & Co.
Last month I went once again to my favourite Spanish island – Gran Canaria. I had scheduled one week for the video production and two additional weeks for some relaxation and holidays with my boyfriend. The preparation for the shoot ended in stress as a few days before we set off to Gran Canaria I found out that one of the models I booked had become a girl, thanks to sex reversal surgery. I wondered why the tests and health checks he supplied showed the first name of “Jana” and not “Jan”. The last name was correct. So I called the model and he told me that he had the operation in July and looked forward to working with us again. Previously, in May and June this year, we had lots of horny scenes with him but he had never mentioned his future plans to become a girl. And he (she) did not understand why I didn’t want to take him to Gran Canaria now - with quite an essential part of his anatomy (at least for a gay porn movies) missing. So, I had to find a replacement at the very last second, which was more hassle (and cost) to change the flight tickets. Despite this the filming on the island itself went fine but with the usual ‘minor’ production dramas. This time we decided on a large finca in the mountains near Mogan and did not book anywhere in the tourist gay mecca of Playa Del Ingles. So, thankfully we had much more privacy for the filming outside the house, around the pool and so on. But on the other hand, the boys had quite a boring time as they could not go to the bars or the beach during their free time. It seemed the only entertainment they found was an old Playstation and having sex with each other. This was very inconvenient for me as producer because the models should “save” their loads and lust for their scenes and not spoil it before. So I found myself many times behaving like an old nanny and shouting at the boys to stop fucking or jerking each other off. On the plus side, at least I didn’t have to throw cold water over any the copulating couples. Due to the high temperatures (up to 42 degrees) and very bright light we just had a few hours per day for the shooting: from 7:30 until 10:30 and from app 18:30 – 21:00 in the evening. That means we had to get up around 6:00 every morning but we could also relax from 10:30 to 18:30 in the
shadow by the pool – with an ice cold beer in the hand. What a tough life a porn-shoot can be. One scene we planned to have on a boat. In the script we had ideas of a nice catamaran and I sent out my boyfriend to rent one. What he got was more or less a nutshell with a motor – for almost the same price. Obviously it is tricky and almost impossible to rent a boat alone on Gran Canaria. On that island you must have a local skipper with you. Of course we didn’t want some nosy local (and maybe straight) Canarian on board while we were shooting a gangbang. So we had to bribe some friend of a friend of a neighbour so we could get at least something on our own.
To shoot an eight guys gangbang scene on a boat designed for 6 person maximum was kind of artistic. Because it is not only the 8 models, we have also the director, 2 camera people, the sound guy and some guy doing assistant/makeup/light. Needless to say that quite a few guys fell over board during this sequence (thank god no camera or equipment met the same fate). I’m currently editing the scene and actually it looks very professional and horny - you even think we are on a big yacht. So, in a small area we were able to film 8 guys in a gangbang, a double penetration and a foot-fucking in the searing heat, in the meantime our hysterical make-up bitch shrieked in the background, while simultaneously loosing the baggage over board. Having said all that, well done to everyone, the models and the camera men who all worked superbly but I have to admit, it was one of the strangest experiences I had on a shoot this year. You can imagine that after this production I really needed the 2 following weeks of holiday alone with my boyfriend on the island. But I am proud that we really made a great horny and sexy movie. A strong DVD you will surely like a lot! Unfortunately we do not have a title for this production yet. So watch out the new releases on www.Homoactive.com The DVD will be out pretty soon. Love,
Hot â€™n horny hookups.
Horny? Hookup with local gay and bi men.
Tellin Stories – Terry George It costs a lot to get it on the cheap I’ve just returned from a 2 day hop across the pond to San Francisco, as I got it cheap from a friend who’s cabin crew. I’m always open to offers so took him up on this opportunity for a freebie, with a promise of being upgraded subject to availability on the flight. When I arrived at the airport I was wearing my jeans but he told me he could only look to get me an upgrade to first class if I was wearing trousers. I’ve got a wardrobe full of suits at home but had to get some retail therapy at the airport and spent £600 to look the part. Before boarding I was told that there weren’t any seats left in first class, then another message before the flight to say business and economy classes were also full. ‘Don’t worry though’ he told me ‘I can get you on a jump seat used by the crew.’ So I had to spend the next 11 hours suited and booted on a jump seat next to the toilets at the back of the plane- that’ll teach me to try and blag a freebie! I didn’t arrive in San Francisco quite as fresh as a daisy, and I wasn’t in the mood for putting ‘flowers in my hair’ as the lyrics of the song go. On my whistle-stop tour of course I went to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge, which was in the mist most of the time. I hung around so long for it to clear people thought I was soliciting. The bridge signs made me smile - ‘If you’re going to jump don’t. Phone this number instead.’ A friend of mine from LA came up to be my guide and show me around. I like the architecture and the slower pace of life than New York, it has a lot of character. The geography was different to how I’d imagined it, I thought you’d come over the bridge and into the city but it isn’t like that at all.
The numbers of homeless people shocked me, but some of them had a sense of humour – like the guy holding a sign saying ‘Give me some cash or I’ll vote for Romney’. Then a woman with a cat in a trolley begging who I later saw on her mobile phone. My favourite was the guy with the sign which read ‘too ugly to prostitute’ We took a trolley ride through the streets thankfully as they are so hilly, but the trolley only covers a small area of the city. Of course we didn’t miss out the famous Fisherman’s Wharf where there are sea lions on Pier 39, which were a bit stinky. (I’ve no idea what the difference is between seals and sea lions though!). I got my first taste of a U.S. prison too, but fortunately only as a visitor, at Alcatraz. It was very realistic, the sound effects made you feel like the inmates were still sharing a cell with the infamous Al Capone or the Birdman of Alcatraz. At night we went out on the gay scene in the Castro district but it felt so 80’s, from the music, the way everyone was dressed and the décor, it was really old fashioned. Drinks were reasonably priced though. The weather wasn’t great and to quote Mark Twain ‘The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco’. I can identify with that, it was freezing at night. I always judge a place on whether I’d go back though, and would love to visit San Francisco again, but next time for longer than 2 days. I’d like to thank my American friend Marc Schaffel for showing me around, I wouldn’t have seen so much on my whistlestop tour without him.
I managed to get a proper seat on the return flight but in the Premium Cabin - it wasn’t quite as exclusive as I’d hoped but better than a jump seat. I felt like the airline were tempting you to pay for business class as they gave you a better seat but it didn’t recline.They should have had an ad on the back of the seat in front saying ‘I bet you wish you were in club class?’ Thankfully the journey from London to Leeds was the most comfortable of all. I travelled First Class with East Coast Trains. www.eastcoast.co.uk or call 08457 225 225
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Books TURNON: GEAR brunogmuender.com
There is a growing fan base for hot men in gear such as lycra and industrial textiles, rubber and sports uniforms. Turnon: Gear explores the idea of various fetishes far from leather in a high-value 256-page coffee-table book. This stunning compilation features photographs by top names such as Joan Crisol, Mark Henderson, Joe Oppedisano, Dylan Rosser, Tom Bianchi and Patrick Mettraux among many others. 36
Books Zack - The Art
The name of Zack rings loud throughout the gay world as one of the foremost creators of erotic imagery. Under his given name Oliver Frey he has had an impressive career as an illustrator—but his pseudonym Zack stands for a marvellous cosmos of its own: sexy boys and hunky men, love, lust and total abandon. An artist who has such an incredible sense for both stirring storytelling and accurate anatomy.
When David lands in L.A. with very little money and no real prospect of publishing his first novel, he takes a succession of dead-end jobs. Soon he realizes that he has to offer something really special if he wants to make good money. And so he decides to think big—and to cash in on his massive, yet most personal asset. It’s racy, juicy, funny and sometimes sad.
By Jody Horowitz
Black Dungeon Masters The Bible Of Gay Sex
Iceman Blue is a huge fan of superheroes. And because he wants them to really take a walk on the wild side, he simply decided to draw his own comics. Even if you still enjoy the original Superman & Co. you won’t find adventures as smutty and enjoyable as the ones that Iceman Blue invented. Big problems are always solved with SEX! Fantastic comic art for guys who like their men super!
This collection of horny tales brings readers the sexiest men of colour and the men who desire and serve them. Here is a chance to explore their own submissive fantasies, from being kidnapped to being shackled by the Black Dungeon Master. BDSM role-play stories that might shock some but have others craving for more.
By Stephan Niederwieser
Hallelujah! Finally there is a book that tells you ALL you need to know about gay sex. Talking sex is only easy as long as you can play the part of the experienced lover. This is about everything you need to know, whether it’s dating, health, the best ways to relax or the responsible use of stimulants. The Bible of Gay Sex is richly illustrated. It’s a competent and entertaining book about everyone’s favorite pastime.
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ROCK OF AGES
This deals with a young gay man’s coming of age in a gritty, heartstopping way. Moody, dark and handsome Dominik is tormented by homophobic classmates after video footage of his drunken kiss with school bully Alex is spread across the internet. Grappling with the public humiliation, Dominik seeks solace in an avatar based virtual network ‘Suicide Room’ where he finds himself in a fight for his very existence.
A Broadway musical, based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, is being written by the successful song-writing duo Tom and Julia. However, a rivalry soon forms for the lead role between a youthful, inexperienced Midwestern beauty and stage veteran Ivy Lynn, who’s determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break. If you missed the TV show then don’t miss this DVD
Wit h a cas t t hat includes Tom Cr uis e, Cat her in e Zet a- Jon es and Rus s ell Br and, and bas ed on t he hit Br oadw ay m us ical feat ur ing t he hear t pounding h i t s o f D e f L e p p a rd , Fo re i gn er, Jour n ey, Po i so n , R E O S p e e d w a g o n , Tw is t ed Sis t er a n d m o re, “ R o ck o f A g e s” is a f unn y and f a st - p a ce d l ove st o r y t h a t celebr at es big d re a m s a n d l o u d d ru m s.
Out: 8th October – DVD – tla releasing
To be in with a chance of winning a copy of this DVD, just answer this simple question: In America, what colour is a school bus?
Out: 29th October – DVD – Universal Playback
Out: 8th October – DVD & Blu-ray – Warner Home Entertainment
To be in with a chance to win a copy of this DVD, just complete the title of this Marilyn Monroe movie: Some Like It ____?
To be in with a chance to win a copy of this DVD, just complete the title of this Tom Cruise movie: Top ______?
CASA DE MI PADRE
Out Now – DVD & Blu-ray – StudioCanal
Out now – DVD & Blu-ray – Anchor Bay Entertainment
SONS OF ANARCHY
Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) has lived and worked on his father’s ranch in Mexico his entire life. As the ranch encounters financial difficulties, his younger brother Raul shows up with his new fiancee, Sonia. It seems that Raul’s success as a businessman means the ranch’s troubles are over as he pledges to settle all debts. But when Armando falls for Sonia, and Raul’s business dealings turn out to be less than legit, all hell breaks loose as they find themselves in a war with Mexico’s most feared drug lord. A very ‘serious’ comedy.
With universal appeal to fans of historic dramas, gut-wrenching and action-packed fighting and erotic scenes that would make 50 Shade of Grey readers blush, the vicious and deadly gladiatorial epic SPARTACUS returns with more lust, blood and sweat than ever before in VENGEANCE. This gripping depiction of one of history’s most brutal eras boasts cutting-edge digital technology, CGI graphics and special effects that take you right into the battle with a captivating blend of history, action and drama to arouse the senses.
To be in with a chance to win a copy of this DVD, just complete the title of this Will Farrell movie: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron ____________?
To be in with a chance to win a copy of this DVD, just answer this simple question: In Roman weaponry a gladius was: A, a shield. B, a net. C, a sword.
Out: 8th October – DVD & Blu-ray – 20th Century Fox Home Ents
Sons of Anarchy is the high-octane TV show focusing on a dangerous and enigmatic motorcycle club, who resort to the illicit to protect the town and its families from rival gangs, drug dealers and corporate developers. Season 4 sees the gang out of prison and back in business, with SAMCRO facing a powerful new nemesis as they forge an unlikely alliance and head in a dangerous new direction. To be in with a chance to win a copy of this DVD, just complete answer this simple question. What is an American term for a motorcycle: A, Frog. B, Hog. C, Dog
page 62 for details
ALL FOR ONE
WRATH OF THE TITANS
BAD BOY STREET
It is a feature length documentary about the hottest boyband on the planet, featuring never-beforeseen exclusive footage, interviews with all One Direction band members, celebrity interviews with Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Nicole Scherzinger, The Wanted, Westlife and many more… plus an UNSEEN performance of Harry Styles’ debut group – White Eskimo!
In the second inst alment of the historic Greek my ths and legends stories, Perseus (Sam Worthington) b r av e s t h e treacherous u n d e r w o rl d t o r e s c u e h i s f a t h e r, Z e u s , c a p t u r e d by his son, Ares, and brother Hades w h o u n l e a s h t h e a n c i e n t Ti t a n s u p o n t h e w o rl d . Wi l l t h e m o n s t e r s i n f l i c t e n o u g h h av o c t o d e s t r o y m a n k i n d o r w i l l a d e m i - g o d s av e the day? To be in with a chance to win a copy of this DVD, just answer this simple question:
Claude finds a young m an pas s ed out in t h e s t r eet and, t a king pit y on h im, decides t o t ake him t o h is apar t ment t o s afely s leep. Aw akening t he n ext mor ning, t h e s exy st r anger s oon m a k e s a p l a y fo r h i s fo r t y- somet hing h o st , k i ck - st a r t i n g a p a ssi on at e r om ance. B u t w i l l t h e ch a n ce m e e t i ng develop int o m o re t h a n j u st l u st o r w i l l t he pair ’s d i f fe re n ce s d ri ve t h e m a p a r t ?
Out: 22nd October – DVD
To be in with a chance to win a copy of this DVD, just complete the title of this One Direction hit record: What Makes You ________?
Out: 15th October – DVD & Blu-ray – Warner Home Video
Who was the Greek god of Underworld?
Bringing You The
Out: 22nd October – DVD – tla releasing
To be in with a chance of winning a copy of this DVD, just answer this simple question: In which French city would you find The Louvre Museum?
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SKYFALL Out 26 October
British director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) takes over the reigns directing the latest James Bond installment Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig once again for this third outing as the famous spy. Plus crowd favourite Judi Dench and Javier Bardem as the baddie Raoul Silva. Ralph Fiennes too. In Skyfall, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
SPARKLE Out 5 October
Whitney’s last movie unfortunately. At least it is good and a fitting send off to her. Musical prodigy, Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) struggles to become a star while overcoming issues that are tearing her family apart. From an affluent Detroit area and daughter to a single mother (Whitney Houston), she tries to balance a new romance with music manager, Stix (Derek Luke) while dealing with the unexpected challenges her new life will bring as she and her two sisters (Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter) strive to become a dynamic singing group during the Motown-era.
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Out 19 October
Perhaps the most incredible film of the year so far. Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in “the Bathtub,” a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink’s tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack--temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink’s health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother. The plot sounds very strange and film experience is strange and curious, this is unlike any film you have seen.
FRANKENWEENIE Out 17 October
In 1 98 4 Tim Bur t o n d i r e c t e d a s h o r t film Fr ankenweeni e a b o u t a y o u n g b o y who conducts a s c i e n c e ex p e r i m e n t t o bring his beloved d o g Sp a r k y b a c k t o l i fe, only to face u n i n t e n d e d , s o m e t i m e s mons tr ous , cons eq u e n c e s . Al m o s t t h i r t y year s later he is b a c k wi t h t h e s a m e stor y this time in g o r g e o u s s t o p - m o t i o n and filmed in black a n d wh i t e a n d render ed in 3 D. On c e a g a i n Ti m Bu r t o n dazzles us with h i s c r e a t i ve g e n i u s a n d i s a r etur n to for m a f t e r Da r k Sh a d ows .
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA TAKEN 2 Out 12 October
Out 4 October
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world’s most famous monsters - Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more - to celebrate his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem - but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis. Good fun.
Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent with a “particular set of skills” who stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim from kidnappers in Taken. When the father of one of the villains Bryan killed swears revenge, and takes Bryan and his wife hostage in Istanbul, Bryan enlists Kim to help them escape, and uses the same advanced level of special forces tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers one by one. I loved the first Taken and had hopes for this one, unfortunately I was unimpressed… the film came off as cheesy.
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER Out 3 October
The best teenage movie of the year. A funny and touching coming-of-age story based on the much-loved best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. A moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope - and the unforgettable friends that help us through life.
FILM BUZZ Melissa McCarthy is in talks to take a small role in The Hangover Part III. The film is currently in production ahead of its May 2013 release.
that she, Harrison Ford, and Steven Spielberg are all on board for Indiana Jones 5, but that the decision to make the film rests with George Lucas.
Casey Affleck will star in the true adventure story Race to the South Pole, with his brother Ben Affleck and Matt Damon on board as producers. Casey will play Englishman Robert Falcon Scott, one of two early 1900s explorers competing to be the first person to reach the South Pole
Filming has begun on Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, a project about the making of Mary Poppins starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.
The next film that Sylvester Stallone will write, direct, and star in looks to be Hunter, a 3D project about a veteran hunter who battles a government experiment gone wrong.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) has entered talks to direct In the Garden of Beasts, an adaptation of Erik Larson’s popular Nazi Germany book starring Tom Hanks. NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke confirms that more Bourne films, as well as a sequel to Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, are on the way.
Indiana Jones’ star Karen Allen says
Shortflatt Tower Buried like a precious stone in the Northumberland countryside, Shortflatt Tower is an historic estate featuring five-star Gold accommodation and a range of treatments and activities at its boutique wellness centre, Fullerton Place Spa.
By Adam Lowe
The estate itself, just past Belsay Village on the A696 out of Newcastle, dates back to mediaeval times. As you draw up the secluded drive, at first you see only trees. Then the trees part and you sweep round to see the full extent of the tower and gardens: masterfully maintained stone walls, well-groomed lawns, and a pink quartz water feature to die for. The luxury accommodation is based in the 13th Century Fortalis Tower, flanked by enclosed gardens at the side and rear. The Tower’s seven bedroom suites sleep fourteen. There are five bathrooms, with either shower facilities or baths—including a couple of decadent cast-iron baths, perfect for a relaxing soak with a flute of champagne and your lover. There is an open plan sitting room/kitchen, a traditional dining room downstairs, and a formal drawing room in the original Tower Keep. Whether you fancy a four-poster bed or a bit of contemporary fashion, there are rooms to suit your needs. Take a wander out the patio doors into the secluded gardens out back, and you’re greeted with a gorgeous expanse of turf. Dare to walk barefoot here in the mornings for a revitalising lift to your day. Alternatively you can take tea and cakes on the white swing seats late in the afternoon, or sit with a loved one by lantern-light after dark. Though the Tower only sleeps fourteen, arrangements can be made for indoor dinners with up to forty guests, including themed events. Shortflatt Tower is also fully licensed to hold civil ceremonies and can hold elegant affairs either indoors or on the pristine lawns outside.
FULLERTON PLACE SPA The heart of Fullerton Place Spa is the gorgeous Hammam chamber: white quartz walls, gold heated benches, soft lighting, running water and a marble massage table. The Moroccan ritual of Hammam involves cleansing of the body through water, essential oils of eucalyptus and rose, mineral-rich clay and Argan oil, to draw toxins from the body and leave you relaxed and rejuvenated. The process involves a Savon Noir exfoliation with Kessa gloves, which works to cleanse and nourish the skin. Then comes the signature element of the Hammam treatment: the massaging practice of pouring and splashing buckets of warm water over the body. Rhassoul, a volcanic clay from the Atlas mountains, is then applied while the heating benches of the Hammam are allowed to do their magic. Moroccan Argan oil is then used for a final massage, which works deep into the muscles to either relax or revivify, depending on your requirements. Hammam treatments are available for one or for couples. Other popular treatments include an aromatherapy massage, hot stone massage, lomi-lomi massage, Swedish massage and reflexology. Scrubs, waxing and hair and beauty treatments are also available for men and women. Visitors can also use the outdoor hot tub and order freshly-made light lunches, such as afternoon tea or a ploughman’s lunch. RETREATS Shortflatt Tower and Fullerton Place Spa specialise in a range of three- and five-night retreats. These include stress management, relaxation and health and fitness retreats, with workshops, life-skills coaching, and
specially prepared catering tailored to your individual needs. The retreats are enjoyable, with all activities voluntary, and are interspersed with spa treatments, yoga and sound relaxation. A sample three-day, all-inclusive retreat offers daily meals and snacks, guided walks, yoga and sound relaxation sessions, pilates classes, seminars on stress management and nutrition, and an indulgent hammam spa treatment. Prices range from £450 per person (based on two sharing a kingsize bed or twin room) to £750 (for a single occupancy suite with super kingsize bed). The luxury five-day retreats typically include the same activities and treatments, plus a session of either reflexology, Indian head massage or back, neck and shoulder massage. Five-day retreats also include life coaching and an introduction to massage. Prices range from £745 per person (based on two sharing a kingsize bed or twin room) to £1,250 (for a single occupancy suite with super kingsize bed). A range of new retreats will be published online next year. Further information about the retreats and spa treatments can be obtained from www.shortflatttower.co.uk or by calling 01661 881 804.
The development and restoration of Shortflatt Tower and Fullerton Place Spa was supported by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) network— now run by DEFRA, the County Council and the RDPE delivery Newcastle office.
Hot, Fit, Swiss!
Chocolate ‘n cheese, mountain ‘n lake, money ‘n men: Adrian Gillan is far from neutral about the sporty summer outdoors and butt-bare spas of Switzerland, amidst lofty Alps and fit male bods!
aturally dramatic Switzerland has it all, even in the non-snowy seasons: invigorating outdoor activities, relaxing spas and finest food! And nowhere more so – for anyone seeking distinctively Swiss open-air thrills, paired with soothing spas and chicest eats – than the country’s largest canton, Graubünden, in the north east; notably around lovely Flims and Laax, and nearby Vals. This area of outstanding natural beauty can easily by reached in around 2½ hours from Zurich airport, on Switzerland’s famously efficient and comfortable rail and bus system.
Stay On arrival in Laax, check-in to the fantastic Signina Hotel (www.signinahotel.com), a friendly hub boasting comfortable rooms; welcoming bar and terrace, perfect for an aperitif; highly tasty Italianate restaurant, Camino, with even tastier waiters; wonderful ‘adventure pool’, with banks of buttons setting off all manner of watery jets and falls; and extensive secluded naturist zone, brimming with saunas, steam rooms, plunge pools and showers, where you can really get your kit off! And all so well located: the perfect starting-point for forays into the great outdoors! Listen out for the local Romansh lingo too!
Action Ride an E-Bike for a few hours along trails through the surrounding Flimser Forest.These electrically enhanced bicycles – available to hire from various places around town, for private jaunts, as well as part of more organised tours – make light work of what could be more gruelling mountain bike trails, giving that extra e-kick when most needed, making most routes accessible to most people. For the more adventurous in the warmer months, try Switzerland’s oldest ferrata – a cliff assent, aided by ladders and hand-cables - opened in 1907, and fully renovated in 2007. The historic “Pinut” via ferrata is nominally suitable for children aged 12 and up, and – with due care and use of the safety equipment provided – is, clinicallyspeaking, almost risk-free, although that’s not what your nerves will most likely be telling you! Mountain guides offer weekly tours (Reservation: +41 (0)81 920 92 00); or you can dare to ascend on your own! After a couple of hours of such steep climbing, spend another couple more gently hiking back down into the peak-flanked Bargis Valley, for a traditional Swiss lunch on the lovely terrace of Restaurant Bargis. If you fancy getting a bit wet and seeing the valleys and mountains from a different perspective, try your
hand at river rafting (www.swissriveradventures.ch), in the spectacularly beautiful Rhine Gorge, sometimes dubbed the ‘Swiss Grand Canyon’, complete with ‘Il Spir’ viewing platform.You’ll be well kitted out and drilled before you hit the low-to-medium difficulty rapids for a couple of hours – but don’t put up with any freeloading slacker fellows on your inflatable! Of course, to get truly wet, there’s nothing better in Switzerland than a dip in a real-life Swiss lake, and few are more picture-perfect, bijou and glorious than lovely little emerald-green Lake Cauma in Flims. Descend the funicular to the lake enclosure, before lolling on the grassy banks, or swimming out to the little island - or maybe to one of the jetties for a spot of diving. Just make sure you can swim properly first, though, before striking out too far mid-lake! Lovely restaurant for a spot of lunch here too! Idyllic! For the truly, truly daring, hit the Freestyle Academy (www.freestyleacademy.laax.com) in Laax, just behind the Signina Hotel – to ‘express yourself’ through skateboard, trampoline, acrobatics, BMX, wall-climbing and the like. Amongst the best centre of its kind in Europe, and all under one roof! Younger visitors also have lots to do at the Rocksresort (www.rocksresort.com) – a fab development of rental apartments, shops, bars and restaurants, with a fun outdoor activity zone at its midst.
Steam & Rest You’ll be pretty content at the Signina Hotel’s own spa area. But you might like to up the health-and-wellness ante with a day-trip to the spa at the nearby historic 5-star Hotel Waldhaus (www.waldhaus-flims.ch) in Flims – offering a range of pools, including an outdoor fish pond, plus handy naturist area! Alternatively, spend a day at nearby Vals, just an hour away by bus. After a wander around the small, beautiful village itself, set in a breathtaking valley system, hit the main event in ‘town’ - theThermeVals spa (www.therme-vals.ch), built by renowned architect, Peter Zumthor.This futurist wellbeing complex, built from local rocks, is a cubist temple of spa areas, combining hot and cold, light and dark, inside and out. Soak in the wild-flowers scent bath, and the triple-chamber steam room; or just bask out on the terrace, gazing across to the rocky peaks! And you’d be mad to leave Vals without a spot of lunch on the terrace at Restaurant Rovanada (www.rovanada.ch) – try their amazing meat-with-salad combo; or without a gentle 2-hour hike to the Peilertal, to see the goats being driven down to be milked for cheese.
Eat Other top local eateries include cosy Arena Kitchen (www.arenaflims.ch/en/kitchen); modern pan-Asian, Nooba (www.nooba.ch) in the Rocksresort; and lofty uber-Swiss Larnags (www.larnags.ch), on the hill just above the Rocksresort, itself affording a great vantage from which to do some dazzling nocturnal star-gazing - of the real, astronomic variety, that is!
For more information on Switzerland check out www.MySwitzerland.com or call the Switzerland Travel Centre on freephone 00800 100 200 30; alternatively, visit www.graubunden.com, www.flims.com, www.laax.com or www.vals.ch SWISS operates daily flights from London Heathrow, London City, Birmingham and Manchester to Zurich. For reservations call 0845 601 0956 or visit www.swiss.com For details of getting around Switzerland on its legendary rail system, not to mention bus and boat - including the great-value Swiss Pass - call the Switzerland Travel Centre on 00800 100 200 30 or visit www.swisstravelsystem.co.uk
NICE A PIECE OF TREN Located along the Cote d’Azur, Nice is the second-largest French city to border the Mediterranean Sea. Famed artists Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle and Arman all purportedly drew inspiration form Nice la Bella (Nice the Beautiful), because of its sweeping coast, dazzling skyline and pristine white architecture. Adam Lowe finds his own muse as he saunters through the routes principales et les ruelles of Nice. The city is more cosmopolitan, and definitely more lively, than its nearby glamourpuss sister Cannes, and for this reason draws a young, vibrant queer crowd. Its location as the hub of the Cote d’Azur means that Cannes, Venice and Monaco are all easily accessible by road or public transport. Its Mediterranean climate also makes it the second most-visited French city after the capital, with the deliciously tolerable summertime running from May to October, and warm Aprils and Novembers too.
WHERE TO STAY Connexion Hotel at 65 rue de la buffa is a straight-friendly, kink-friendly, wallet-friendly establishment with rooms for one to four people, and prices from 50 to 140 euros a night. While there are simpler one-bed rooms available, Connexion also offers more expansive accommodation, with optional extras such as sex benches and slings for the more adventurous (and athletic) of travellers. The hotel is easily accessible: just catch the Number 99 bus from the airport (ask for ‘Gambetta-Dante’) or arm yourself with Google maps and head there by foot from the train station (which takes about ten minutes).
WHERE TO EAT
SIGHTS Castle Hill, founded by the Greeks, is preserved only as a few remnants of its former glory, but includes fragments of classical and mediaeval architecture, seeped in history.The park offers unparalleled views over the city and the sparkling sea beyond. The Old Town was, until the 18th Century, the heart of Nice. Now it’s the heart of the gay scene, decorated with flashes of baroque and colourful façades. Meanwhile MAMAC (the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) covers French art from the 1960s to the present day, with features such as the new realists, pop art and the School of Nice.
Le Fenocchio at 2 Place Rosseti is a family-owned, but gay-friendly, ice cream parlour with all the colours of the rainbow represented in their astonishing range of glaces. They serve both sweer and savoury flavours— everything from lavender to cactus to avocado. With nearly a hundred flavours to choose from you, can return as many times as you like. Le Makassar, our personal favourite, is run by the fabulous and amiable Jessica. There is an understated and elegant design to the place, which lets the food take centre-stage. Though there were only two staff in attendance when we last visited, the food was prompt, and every dish prepared with love and expertise. Jessica’s knowledge of which wines
complement each dish is impeccable and the chilled out atmosphere is a winner every time. Le Hussard at 1/3 rue Saitn Francois de Paule is a fabulous eaterie in Nice’s Old Town. This popular open-air rooftop restaurant and bar overlooks the marché aux fleurs, but because of the warm nights and ideal location, book in advance or expect to wait. The price, however, is ultimately very reasonable for the quality of service offered. Just watch out for the more decadent wine choices. Chez Mêmêre is a friendly, colourful restaurant that offers staple French dishes and their signature DIY skewers, where diners are invited to cook their own food. The meat is always falling off the bone and the hospitality is camp and fun.
ENDY FRENCH NICHE
SAUNAS & SEX SPOTS Morgan at 3 rue Claudia is Nice’s newest sex bar. It features cabins, glory holes, a maze and all the other trappings you’d expect from such a venue. Other establishments popular with cruisers include Le Code at 4 rue Papon, Le Block at 10-12 Rue Gilly and Eagle at 18 bis Rue Emmanuel Philbert. Le Glam (above) also has spaces for cruising, if you’re looking for something a little more mainstream but still just as fun.
FLIGHTS BARS & CLUBS Le Fard (lefard.com) is a great little warm-up bar located at 25 Promenade des Anglais, overlooking the sea in the popular tourist area of the city. Though the area around the bar is rather narrow (basically consisting of a few stools and just enough space to squeeze past to get the toilet), there is a slightly more spacious seating area at the very end of the bar and more space outside. One of the delights of any evening in Le Fard is when some random hunk casually brushes against you, crotch-first in tight jeans, on his way to the bathroom. If you’re lucky, he might just beckon for you to follow. Le Glam (leglam.org) is the go-to venue for the gay crowd in Nice. Its metrosexual clientele is welcoming, stylish and open-minded, with a great mix of ages and scenesters: from drag queens and lesbians to muscle Marys and twinks. Located
at 6 rue Eugene Emmanuel, Le Glam is, as the name suggests, a trendy place with hot staff and a well-stocked bar. The décor is arty and full of sassy camp, but at the same time, there’s plenty of space for those of you who are so inclined to cruise hot guys. With their cabaret, Pop Stars and bear events, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone.
Leading leisure airline Jet2.com offers friendly low fares, great flight times, and a generous 22kg baggage allowance to Nice from Manchester Airport, up to 5 days a week. Flights start from £33.99 one way including taxes. For more information please visit jet2.com
The Jazz Rock Café has a monthly MADmoiZelles night just for the ladies, should you fancy a break from the gorgeous French boys smouldering all over the city. If you’re looking for the penultimate in queer clubbing class in Nice, try Blue Boy. This ultrachic venue at 9 rue Jean Baptiste Spinetta is open from 11.30pm-5am, located away from the bulk of gay venue on the west side of Nice’s downtown area. It’s popular, too, with a lesbian crowd, and is noted for serving Dom Perignon!
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks go to the French Riviera Tourist Board, and Florence Lecointre in particular, and the Nice tourism board. Thanks must also go to Victoria Bartram and Lauren Godfrey at Jet2 for their assistance.
In my first visit to the West Coast in many years, I decided to venture out to the land of dreams, Los Angeles, California and more specifically, West Hollywood. In a region known for celebrities, rolling hills and mega mansions, West Hollywood is a wondrous enclave, with its own identity and a drastically different vibe than its surrounding neighbors. The most difficult part of your journey will be getting from Los Angeles International Airport to West Hollywood…the traffic in Los Angeles is legendary. But once you arrive, all of your worries seem to fade away. Check in at the newly renovated Le Montrose Suites, situated just blocks from Santa Monica Boulevard and minutes away from some of the most popular gay venues in the country. The magnificent boutique hotel offers a full-service restaurant, beautifully appointed suites complete with full kitchen, living space, balcony, flat screen televisions and luxury linens. Le Montrose also features a fitness center and rooftop pool overlooking the Los Angeles skyline, perfect for sun
bathing or enjoying a late-night swim. A car isn’t really necessary in West Hollywood, unless you would like to take a trip to Malibu, Santa Monica or nearby Pasadena. Everything you need during your stay in WeHo is at your fingertips. Stop in at one of many LGBT-owned retail shops lining Santa Monica Blvd. and check out the latest fashion trends from local designers. For a delightful dining experience amongst the West Hollywood “It” crowd, head to Eveleigh, located on the famous Sunset Strip. Here, diners can feast on a variety of options. To start, try some of the wonderful “small plates,” which include: Crisp Spring Fennel with black olive aioli, Grilled Monteray Squid with garlic, lemon and olive oil or Roasted Bone Marrow with celery cress, radish and smoked sea salt. With something for every taste, Eveleigh is definitely one of the premier dining establishments in the area. The restaurant also offers a wonderful wine selection, perfect to accompany any entrée. I highly recommend the Grilled Boulder Valley
hanger steak with crisp potatoes and caramelized onions or the Roasted Half Jidori Chicken with picholine olives, almonds, preserved lemon, and golden raisins. After dinner, head back to Santa Monica Blvd. to one of over a dozen gay bars/clubs in the city. Of course, the most popular of them is The Abbey. Voted “Best Gay Bar in the World,” by Logo, The Abbey is located just steps away from Le Montrose Suites. Owner David Cooley founded the venue 20 years ago as a coffee shop and since then, it has grown to the premier LGBT nightlife venue in West Hollywood with approximately 16,000 square feet of space. Drinks at The Abbey are a little pricier than other establishments, but well worth the money, especially their famous Raspberry Mojito, a drink recommended to me by many of their patrons. The bar also offers a wide selection of martini’s, old-fashioned lemonades and Caipirinhas. Dance the night away to the pulsating beats of some of the world’s greatest DJs who regularly visit The Abbey. After a night of partying, it’s time to explore some of the cultural attractions West Hollywood has to offer. Begin at the MOCA Pacific Design Center. Founded in 1979, MOCA is the only museum in the region devoted exclusively to contemporary art. It is committed to the
By Joey Amato collection, presentation, and interpretation of work produced since 1940 in all media, and to preserving that work for future generations. The museum is about a twenty-minute walk from the hotel, but well worth the visit. Another highlight is the MAK Center for Art & Architecture. The MAK Center seeks out and supports projects which break down the boundaries between art and architecture. In addition to an ambitious schedule of events, the MAK Center hosts a bi-annual residency program for eight innovative artists and architects from outside the U.S. The famous Schindler House, at the site of the MAK Center, is considered to be the first house ever built in the Modern style. If all that sightseeing made you hungry, walk over to Tender Greens, a wonderful restaurant offering a selection of fresh soups, salads and grilled items. Try the Happy Vegan
Farro Wheat with Cranberry & Hazlenuts, Quinoa with Cucumber & Beets, Green Hummus Tabboleh, Tender Greens Happy Vegan Farro Wheat with Cranberry & Hazlenuts, Quinoa with Cucumber & Beets, Green Hummus Tabboleh, Tender GreensHappy Vegan salad, a lovely blend of farro wheat, cranberries, cucumbers, hummus, beats and Quinoa. Another stand out is the Tuna Niciose salad, made with potatoes, quail egg, tomatoes and olives in a sherry vinaigrette. Just a few blocks away is Shahr Salon & Wellness, a lovely new wellness center offering a variety of salon and spa treatments including relaxing massages and luxurious facials. The property also features a private outdoor space for yoga and meditation. During my visit to Shahr, I was lucky enough to participate in a private yoga session taught by a very knowledgeable instructor
who focused mainly on stretching and breath control. This was followed up by a wonderful 60-minute massage. I would highly recommend making the time to visit Shahr during your stay. A journey to West Hollywood would not be complete without visiting The Sunset Strip, a premier destination for the music, entertainment, and fashion. Some of the greatest bands in rock music got their start playing venues including The Viper Room, The Roxy and Whiskey a Go Go. “The Strip” is one of the most likely places in West Hollywood to bump into a celebrity. Those looking to spend more time with the “boys” or “girls” should head back to Santa Monica Boulevard to any one of the exciting bars which include Rage, Revolver, Fiesta Cantina, Micky’s and Here Lounge in addition to others. The drinks in WeHo are plentiful and the eye candy is as well.
For more information, visit www.visitwesthollywood.com OUT Destinations is part of OUTreach Public Relations, a Nashville-based company specializing in LGBT marketing. Founded by Joey Amato, OUTreach PR has quickly become one of the most sought after companies for firms looking to target the ever growing and affluent LGBT consumer. For more information, please visit www.outreachpublicrelations.com
Post Summer Skin
Years of exposure to sun, sea and surf can take its toll on skin and there’s a fine line between rugged and craggy. Vitaman Grooming helps make a difference delivering skin, hair and bodycare that has been especially designed for men. From Age-Control Masques to Skin protecting serums you can find the full range at www.vitamangrooming.co.uk
Ted Baker has unveiled its latest products in the form of a new Men’s Grooming range, taking inspiration from the already successful Grooming Rooms, which practice Turkish Barbering across 3 central London locations, the range caters to men’s grooming needs at every stage. There are several steps to achieving the perfect look and Ted Baker has all points covered. The full range starts at around £6 and is available at Boots and Ted Baker stores
Fit Tip: High intensity interval training (HIIT) - fast results! If you’re short on time but want to see fast results, try HIIT for immediate fat burn and weight loss. This form of training is all about speed and intensity! Use a timer to keep you motivated and on course with your workout. 30-second intervals are the ideal place to start with interval training. You need to work hard enough so that the last few seconds feel almost impossible to keep working-out. Everything in your body should be burning, so go for it! Try 60-second intervals to completely exhaust your muscles of their stored energy, which will take 24hr to 48 hours to replenish. Or try my favourite 40/20 sessions. Work as hard as you are physically able to for 40 seconds, followed by an active recovery for 20 seconds, repeat for 15 exercises with supersetting arms, legs and trunk exercises for maximum calorie burn! Don’t forget just walking You can burn up to 300 calories an hour, just by walking and if you increase the speed for a brisk 45 minute walk, then you will dip in and out of your fat burning zone, as well as gaining a low intensity workout. Little tricks I use to increase daily calorie burn and stay slim include: Always walking up escalators, and taking stairs instead of the lift Park as far away as you can from the supermarket entrance. This way you have further to walk back and forth with the shopping or the trolley and this will burn even more calories 52
Ensure you pull in your belly button, and squeeze your shoulder blades when walking to help create perfect posture - and squeeze your backside to activate the glutes and leg muscles. Advice from celebrity fitness expert Wayne Gordon, ambassadors for ICON Health and Fitness (ProForm, NordicTrack and iFit exercise ranges), which can be found on Twitter @ iFitLiveUK
Savidge Opinion: What If We Lived Life Like Porn? M y bo i l e r b r o k e d own l a s t we e k , wh i ch I a m su re you a r e a l l ex c i t e d t o l e a r n , a n d wh e n I t we e t e d that m y p a r t n e r a n d I we r e h av i n g t o h ave m i n i m an s h owe r s wi t h b u c k e t s , m o s t o f t h e re p l i e s wer e a b o u t h ow h o m o e r o t i c t h a t m u st b e a n d w a s it like r o l e - p l a y i n g . Er m , s t a n d i n g in a b u ck e t , pour i n g b o i l i n g wa t e r ove r o n e a n o t h e r a n d was h i n g e a c h o t h e r ’s s we a t y n o o k s a n d cra n n i e s in th e f r e e z i n g c o l d d o e s n ’ t r a t e h i gh l y o n m y mos t e r o t i c e n c o u n t e r s … s o t h e a n swe r w a s, N O . Whe n I t we e t e d t h a t a p l u m b e r wa s co m i n g r ound t o fi x m y b o i l e r, t h i s i t s e l f r e su l t e d i n t h e r ath e r p r e d i c t a b l e r e p l i e s o f “Ar e y o u g o n n a do hi m i f h e ’s fi t ? ”, “Be t y o u wo u l d l i k e yo u r pipes s e e n t o o ”, “Wo o f, i t ’ l l b e l i k e a p o rn o ” . This c o u l d o f c o u r s e m e a n t h a t I m ig h t w a n t t o chang e m y fo l l owe r s , t h e d i r t y b a s t a rd s, ye t we do s ee t h e s e r o l e s s o o f t e n i n p o r n o fi l m s d o n ’ t we? Co u l d I , i f I wa s s i n g l e, s e d u c e t h e b o i l e rm an, e r m , I wo u l d n ’ t d a r e. . . i m a g i n e i f t h e y sa i d no, y o u ’d h ave t o fi n d a m o r e ex p e n si ve m a n t o come - a n d - d o . I am not holier than thou. Back in the late nineties I would happily, in the bar I worked, catch a punter’s eye and be off with them round the garages next door on my break, but that was just being a young slutty tyke. However, just a few days ago one of my friends on Twitter tweeted a picture of a fit guy on the train and said “would you?” My response was “As if, life isn’t like a porn film”. To my utter shock, and as I said I am no prude, my friend then ended up having a dangerous liaison with said fitty and had the pictures, though thankfully he didn’t tweet them, to prove it. So it appears for some life can be like a porn film but can you imagine if it was? Fir s t l y i t wo u l d g e t a l i t t l e b i t b o r in g a s n o o n e wou l d eve r h ave a c o n ve r s a t i o n wo u l d t h e y?
And if they did it would b e ra t h e r st i l t e d a n d as wooden as the member yo u r b a n t e ri n g p a r t n e r w o u l d , a f t e r a b ri e f p e rf u n ct o r y d i a l o g u e, b e w avi n g i n f ro n t o f your f a ce. It co u l d eve n g e t b o ri n g h avi n g sex a l l the t i m e … co u l d n ’ t i t ? N o, o h m a yb e t h a t ’s j u st me t h e n . T h i n k o f t h e ch a f fi n g a n d t h e e n d l e ss n eed t o b e re a d y fo r i t . H oweve r, I su p p o se i f we wer e a l l p o rn st a rs we w o u l d n eve r h ave t o g o t o t he g ym , a s we w o u l d a l l n a t u ra l l y b e b u f f, a n d your p a r t n e r w o u l d a lw a ys h ave a b i g w i l l y, so n ever a n y d i sa p p o i n t i n g su rp ri se s. Imagine, should your boiler break down and the hunky plumber turns up, how vexing and shattered you would be, after having that morning alone had it away with the milkman, the postman and the neighbour you passed in the hall. Or going round the supermarket and having to fend off copulating couples in the way of the fish fingers, or throwing themselves in a lusty embrace into your trolley and crushing your goods (not a euphemism) before you have to blow the checkout assistant!!! No, no, no. It would surely be a nightmare having to cope with everyone wanting, and expecting, a session day in day out. So, while I can se e i t co u l d h ave a few i n i t i a l ‘ p e rk s’ , t h o u g h I a m ve r y h a p p y w i t h h i m i n d oor s t h a n k yo u ve r y m u ch , I t h i n k we w o u l d a l l g et a b i t b o re d o f i t … w o u l d n ’ t we ?
Engenda Janet Watson uses brand new Reflective Repatterning to resolve negative feelings, no need to spend weeks and months in other therapies. (3 sessions average) Further information and to book confidential personalised 1-2-1 sessions in person, by phone 01484 541832 or via skype at £60 each, ring or email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.engenda.co.uk For workshops see www.headtrash.co.uk
Written by DG y partner and I were lying in bed the other morning when we got talking about what turns us both on. Not that this isn’t a regular topic of conversation but the previous night we’d watched a programme about Scotland and I commented on how sexy I thought the guys looked in their kilts. There was some kind of military tattoo going on, so the marching bands and soldiers all looked pretty hot in their traditional dress. James, my partner, asked if it was the thought that all those guys weren’t wearing anything under their kilt that I found so exciting. I replied that I appreciated swinging genitals as much as the next homo but I found the idea of them actually wearing something covering those bits even more of a turn on. James thought for a moment and then started to list the things that he would find sexy. He loved the idea of an entire regiment of hunky, young, fit soldiers wearing jock-straps under their kilts. He’s always had a thing about that particular piece of menswear. Then he got more excited as he thought about leather jocks… or shorts, or briefs… I could see his mind was beginning to work overtime as he was getting himself quite aroused. The mental image of the kilt swirling up to reveal leather undies… yep, that got him real excited. With the duvet cover thrown back revealing his sexy, lightly tanned, hunky body there was no denying the fact that his own white CK briefs were bulging at the thought. As he mused on the subject he absent-mindedly stroked his ever-growing cock through the soft thin material and was more excited than ever. I let him get most of his thoughts off his chest before I countered with the fact that I’d like to
see something a bit… well… kinkier. For a start, I wanted to tame all that bulging masculinity. Keep all that macho look on the outside but have them wearing a little pair of silky
knickers underneath. Not that I’m particularly into feminine things but, pretty is pretty after all and, after some thought, I could see James liked the way my mind was going because his eyes suddenly lit up as he digested the idea. He was literally licking his lips as I told him how I’d like to put all the guys in different coloured satin or silk knickers so that the shiny fabric would grip and mould around their arses and cocks, emphasising their glossy bulging assets. Think how much fun it would be to see a line of sexy, silky, colourful, tight-fitting briefs should a sudden gust of wind send their kilts a fluttering upwards. Mmmmm, now my mind was racing. I wanted to take the younger recruits, who would of course be equally as hunky but perhaps just not as macho, and slip them into nappies and cover them with frilly plastic pants. Why my mind should have gone down that route I have no idea. There was obviously some kink floating around the back of my mind that I wanted to explore and that thought, as weird as it seems, was turning me on more than I thought it would. As I continued to explain how each hunky soldier would look underneath his kilt, James was taking care of my raging hard-on. Soon I could no longer speak my thoughts as I was feeling the impact of his aggressive sexual arousal and finding that there was no better way to start a day than with a ‘stimulating conversation’.
The Bronze Eye Is Open: A Philosophy of Anal Sex By Marten Weber As anyone who has ever been skilfully buggered knows, anal sex -- at least for the prostateendowed -- is the best invention since sliced bread. Straight men have recently discovered “prostate massage” and “prostate stimulation.” According to a manufacturer of sex toys I interviewed for this piece, strap-ons have been their fastest-growing item for five years now. For every person who has the guts (pun intended) to give it a try, way to go, bro! It is truly awesome if done right. I realize that the politics and philosophy of female anal penetration are a lot more complicated, and I will leave them aside for now. It is the receptive male I am concerned with here, and the sexual revolution “from the bottom up.” It is of course much more than a sexual revolution. For centuries, the penetration of males has been condemned. “Buggery” or “sodomy” were considered evil, not because of any real religious concern but because they supposedly undermine the male’s position of strength in a traditional society. Even today, religious people run around with the archaic concept that active=dominant=seeder=h onourable whereas passive=submissive=seeded =shameful. It is a reflection of attitudes toward women as much as a relic of Roman times. The biblical prohibition of bum fun is mostly based on one deluded apostle living in Rome, where these attitudes were the norm. Romans could bugger non-Romans (slaves and non-citizens), but for a freeborn Roman citizen to take it up the chuff was considered demeaning and punishable by law. For centuries, the inviolate male backdoor was a symbol of integrity and strength. No wonder in a martial society that valued its warriors and fighters more than its philosophers. But even in good old Greece, famous for “tolerant” attitudes toward male-male fondling, things were not what they seemed. The Greeks, too, had sexual attitudes based on victor-vanquished, dominator-dominated, rather than the concepts of equal love that we now stress in the marriage debate. Many countries condemn not homosexuality but the penetration act. Iran, Saudi Arabia, and a few other countries still mired in mythical thinking imprison, hang, and stone to death men who copulate, the act constituting the crime, not the affection itself. Why, then, is a tightly shut “bronze eye” (to use
Jean Genet’s sweet term) no longer paramount in modern culture? When exactly was the taboo lifted? Why are even straight boys discovering the pleasure of the back tunnel without feeling shame? The reasons are manifold and reach from general secularization and decriminalization of homosexuality to the rise of women’s rights. The forces of reason have worked together to remove not just the stigma of gay sex but the lock on the rear entrance altogether. These forces are part of a demilitarization of our Western world. The Greco-Roman concept of “winner buggers all” does not apply anymore in a world that has no distinct warrior class. Passive is no longer shameful; in fact, the very idea that the penetrated is in any way “passive” is disappearing for good. As any good bottom can tell you, it is hard work to please your man -- or woman with a strap-on, as it were. Incidentally, the revulsion conservative women experience when confronted with the subject is also rooted in the acceptance of their biblical function. The penetrated male takes away their role. In a traditional society, women are already secondclass citizens. A man who assumes the “passive” position by choice rather than by birth must surely be lower than a woman. Homophobia among poor, uneducated women is common in countries that still have dominant male “warrior” ideals. India, for example, still has its own (low) caste of buggerable boys. They play a large role in Arab societies, too. Many Arab men gain their first sexual experiences with other boys -- boys, not men. As soon as the boy becomes a man (in olden times through valour in battle or other adulthood rituals, today mostly by marriage), his bronze eye must be off limits. Sex slaves in Arab societies include a large number of imported -- often abducted -- boys. The differentiation between boy and man is crucial and echoes the same Roman concepts of war-fitness. Fit to fight means no more penetrating (e.g., piercing of the body, wounding, dying). All these concepts are thankfully disappearing with the feminization of our Western world. They must, because they take with them all forms of sexual violence, including rape. If buggery is part of our shame-free sexual repertoire, it is no longer a threat to maleness, valour, or honour.
The relaxed attitudes to journeys up the chocolate tunnel make the recent obsession of clerics in both the Arab world and conservative America all the more worrying. I won’t post links, because I do not want them to get more publicity than they already have, but several websites in America are denouncing the corrosive attitudes of “power bottoms” and the menacing qualities of anal sex. Sodomy is equated with the devil’s work, playing into the good-bad or light-dark dichotomy that religious people hold so dear. Ultimately, the prohibition of anal sex has nothing to do with the word of God or with any other religious concept. It is power politics. Societies and cultures obsessed with prohibiting anal sex are invariably unfair toward women, too. Their main argument is one of “utility” of sex -- that is, sex as a tool for procreation. However, limiting the sex act to procreation also limits women to a societal “function,” just like in biblical times. Let’s not go back there. It took us long enough to free ourselves from these ridiculous conventions. My answer to the fearful, the religious, and the impenetrable: Lean back, take a deep breath, and enjoy the ride. Marten Weber www.martenweber.com is the author of Benedetto Casanova, the biography of Casanova’s fictional gay brother, and a proud power bottom.
First published August 2012 www.huffingtonpost.com October 2012
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Social and business events will have their tense moments, especially if you have been helping to organise them. Whenever possible, take the chance to relax and enjoy
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the positive side of it all. This is an ideal opportunity for you to meet different people from different walks of life. Sometimes you feel alone in public but you have plenty supportive and interesting friends around you now. A
Commitments that need in-depth concentration and quiet focus are best tackled now. You will get the peace you need to get on with your private interests. our thinking will be clear and your determination to
you a chance to think creatively. There is a need for you
professional relationship is turning into a good friendship.
to make your influence and attitude felt more strongly in your closest relationships. Interfering friends or neighbours may have to be told to look after their own interests and not yours! You can trust your partner with your secrets.
see a certain job through to the end is at an all time high. Meetings with influential people will stand you in good stead for new possibilities later in the month.
Taking care of your health is always important and more so over the weeks ahead when responsibilities are increasing.
The week ahead will be ideal for increasing the scope of your interests by joining new clubs and societies. If you’re asked to take on a leading role in a group project, don’t hesitate about saying yes. With you at the
Your attention could be caught by a new past-time that not only promises to be enjoyable but will also help get your body into better shape. You will be less inclined to follow traditional patterns now. Your ideas are more experimental and less based on established routines.
helm, this venture will be a huge success. Your sense of fair play and justice may come to the forefront in a situation where you feel someone is being singled out unfairly. They can trust you to speak out on their behalf.
These next few weeks will be good for applying your creative and original ideas to work and money-making ventures. There may also be the chance to make
Grab that brilliant opportunity to restart a personal project you pushed to one side in the past. You may not have been in the mood for it then but now you can envisage the likely outcome of this venture and you are positive it
money out of a favourite hobby. You are keen to please your friends and loved ones but you can’t take care of everyone’s needs. It’s important to encourage others to get on without you, some of the time. You can’t be in two places at once and this week, everyone seems to want you.
is going to work. The weeks ahead will present you with a number of interesting challenges. This is likely to be one of your most memorable and fortunate months of the year.
Family relationships, friendships and romance are all an
Hugh Jackman Born 12th October 1968 Sydney, New South Wales Perhaps most famous for playing Wolverine in the X-Men movie series, Hugh is set to play Jean Valjean in the up-coming epic musical drama film version of Les Misérables to be released at the end of 2012.
important part of your life. Communication, joint activities
Travel would be one way to keep your restless spirit at bay. You continue to feel a strong need for change, adventure and excitement. Journeys made to visit close friends will be rewarding. People in other towns and regions might be
and all relationships will help you develop your skills. You can learn from other people as you share interests and discuss new possibilities. The more involved you are with others the less shy and more sociable you will be. You feel you are making a real contribution to the world.
getting in touch with a business offer or social invitation. You won’t think twice about acting on a desire to help the needy and underprivileged to improve the conditions they live in.
If you feel certain areas of your education are sadly lacking, set some time aside over the week ahead to
A friend might reveal a secret that involves someone you used to work or study with. They know you can be relied on to keep such information strictly confidential. Background investigations and research carried out as October begins could be useful for meetings or interviews that are on the agenda over the weeks ahead. A close friend needs a shoulder to cry on but do you really want to be loaded with their problems and demands?
investigate what’s on offer. Although a home study course might sound like a good idea, evening classes at a local college would be an even better one. Learning in a group situation will be more stimulating and fun. You always enjoy the company of friends and like-minded people.
(Aug24th - Sept23rd)
A relationship you had high hopes for seems to come to nothing. At least the two of you tried and you will remain friends after going your separate ways. An inner need to improve your future security will make itself felt over
the weeks ahead. If you feel the household budget is in
It does not matter what you are doing this October, as
need of a revamp, now is the time to voice your feelings.
long as it is with people you enjoy being with and it gives
You can avoid financial problems by planning ahead.
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