Aries: Think about the power of language this month. The words that you use repeatedly start to define and control your world. So, change them up! Learn some new ones. Purchase a vocabulary book and make it a goal to learn one or two new words each week. By the time winter is here you’ll have a whole new plot worked out for your life.
My high school photography teacher once pulled me aside with a secret. He said, I want to show you a book I ordered — but you have to keep it low-key. I’ll leave that teacher unnamed, though he was one of the most transformational public school teachers I had growing up, on account of the many things he gave me a chance to see.
After centuries of religious oppression and decades of sexual shaming and second-class citizenship, gay men are finally achieving legal and social equality with the ability to confidently come out. But we still have a lot to work on when it comes to self-acceptance, especially within our own community and for our bodies. Here are ten things we often get hung up on: 10.
About seven years ago, I got a curious, unexpected email from former Nightcharm editor John Calendo. He’d discovered my personal blog from a comment I left on a Nightcharm article, and wondered if I’d be interested in contributing to the site. I was stoked. As a 22-year-old college student, for a rate of five cents a word, I’d just landed my very first paid writing gig.
And with a new DJ at the turntable. Please welcome Nightcharm’s new editor-in-chief (right) Matt Pizzuti. Matt’s from Colorado, so he’s got a wide and high perspective — a little bit renegade but always civil. He can string syntax spectacularly. And he’s also handsome. Those are important qualities for an editor to have at his command. And, too, a guy’s face is always his fortune, so it’s a stellar combination — especially in this era of a instant information and the omnipresence of selfies.
One of my college sociology professors argued that gay men expanded the sexual options for straight people. He wasn’t talking about straight guys going trade in bathroom stalls in urban areas but about the world of socially-accepted ideas about sex. Gay men pioneered oral and anal sex, he said. With mainstream awareness of gay lives came awareness of gay men’s necessary improvisations for penetrative sex, which in turn gave straight people ideas for having fun without anyone getting pregnant.
Though I’d kill for the navy blue sequinned number worn by the guy in the first photo (below) and though the long-haired lad in the final photo may be a tad androgynous, there’s simply nothing at all “feminine” about any of the men in this gorgeous series of photos by Nir Arieli described by the Huffington Post as “capturing the feminine side of masculinity”.
Eighth grade was a tough year for me. I was 13 years old in 1998, in an oppressive yet typical American middle school where “pack of wolves” could describe the student body. I was a big-eyed late-bloomer who enjoyed class more than recess and was irrepressibly talkative. Quickly, I became a focal-point of abuse for male peers, most of whom were bigger than me, had girlfriends, and were more developmentally advanced — some of these guys were even shaving already.
This is a tribute to the many kinds of disco, whether it be nu-disco, new wave disco, disco house, or the classics (i’ll hit italo-disco next time around I do this kind of set). I wanted to focus on that perfect DTLA poolside summer disco that we get out here in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Its that type of dance you can just relax to and chill out..
“There are some eyes,” writes Angela Carter in her clever tale of feminist fiction The Bloody Chamber, “that can eat you.” Of course, a person’s sexual subjectivity, as we’ve seen throughout, complicates these matters even more. After all, an exhibitionist revels in this very notion of being consumed by others’ eyes. (And in fact Carter’s own empowered female characters often find their loins stirring unexpectedly at the thought of their trembling “horseflesh” being held and rotated in a man’s carnivorous mind.) Beyond our own private liaisons, our evolved theory of mind system also enables us to morally evaluate (as we’ve been doing all along in this book) those whose sexual natures differ so drastically from our own.
There are two red-flag, deal-breaking traits that can instantly make a man repellent, and both start with a V. Violence and Vanity. Look, we all go for a certain manly vigor, but if a guy flips out over everything and starts bashing his head against or wall or has a stockpile of weapons, that’s a whole other bag. Conversely, you don’t want a guy who’s such a supercilious, preening peacock that he instantly seeks out any reflective surface and acts like he’s gracing you with his presence.
Still one my all-time faves, which I think is an indication of my judgment when it comes to men. Before MTV was overrun with Guidos who look like they just swaggered off a porn shoot, Italian-American sex machines were in comparatively short supply as far as gay porn was concerned. Blond, fun-loving beach boys and doe-eyed, ice cream-smooth stud muffins were protocol in the early ’90s when Queens-born Marco Rossi hit the scene.