Tag Archives: GAY LIFESTYLE BLOG

FRIDAY MUSIC FIX: A TASTE OF HONEY

jon travolta gay disco music blog

Do you believe in reincarnation? I do and I’ll tell you why. My unbridled love for disco music is clearly a carryover from my past life as a discotheque frequenting, flare wearing, dance floor boogying, New York living, Tony Manero type. I’m pretty sure that I partied at Studio 54 with Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger because what else could explain the nostalgia I feel when I hear songs like ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’ by A Taste of Honey? Or my love for flares? Ok, I don’t really love flares but I do love the energy and freedom of disco music which transports you to another place and time.

You can’t tell me that this song doesn’t make you want to flick your hips around a rainbow underlit dance floor?

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Celebrities during New Year's Eve party at Studio 54: (L-R) Halston, Bianca Jagger, Jack Haley, Jr. and wife Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol. (Photo by Robin Platzer/Twin Images/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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MY GREATEST FEAR HAS ME CRIPPLED

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It’s been so long since my last post. 92 days to be exact and the longest time since I first started this site. While I wish I could blame it on writer’s block, this is certainly not the case – I’ve had so much that I’ve wanted to share with you. On the surface I blame my job for my lack of writing as it consumes so much of my time and energy but this isn’t the cause either. What I’ve come to realise is much deeper than effort or inspiration, it is something that has affected me throughout my life and permeates all facets of my being. What I’m referring to is vulnerability and the repercussions of not giving into it.

Vulnerability is the ability to put yourself out there, wholeheartedly, in the scary big world, for all to see, and without control of the outcome. It’s the strength to forfeit expectations and honestly live in the moment. I’m certainly not the first to discuss this topic, researcher Brené Brown does a far more eloquent job at explaining the concept in this widely watched Ted Talk, but this is the first time that I’ve realised how debilitating the fear of vulnerability can be.

But first, how does this impact on writing? Well, my writing can almost be seen as a metaphor for my life. When I write I ruminate over every word and every sentence, making sure the end product is perfect. If I don’t think that the final product is perfect, particularly in the eyes of others, then I won’t push publish on WordPress. If only you could see the unfinished posts that are sitting in my drafts. This translates into the real world too. I can’t start a project or move towards a goal until I know that everything is in faultless alignment. Such obsession with perfection is evident in my personality traits whereby I do my best to portray the well put together image of someone who has their life together, who is successful, confident, unfazed by other’s opinions and certain of his future. How far from the truth the reality. Like a vicious circle this in turn influences my writing because a post about how I’m afraid of vulnerability will shatter the illusion that I’ve worked so hard to create. Herein lies the power of this particular article.

I work in the communications industry, a profession where my day-to-day task is to control ‘messages’ that brands want their customers to receive. I’m great at my job and skilled at creating the right perception for my clients amongst the public, probably because I’m so good at doing it for myself. Using these same skills, I have crafted a life that avoids vulnerability at all costs. I’ll dismiss people before I’ve had a chance to properly meet them to avoid them doing the same to me first. I’ll do the same to guys I find attractive. I’ll create stories about how I shouldn’t approach them because they’re probably stupid or an asshole and I’m better than that anyway when in actuality it’s fear of rejection which in turn is avoidance of vulnerability. I’l be loud and boisterous amongst people who I don’t find intimidating but when I’m in a crowd of people I deem ‘superior’ in popularity or status I’ll purposely ostracise myself. As I’ve become more aware of this concept of vulnerability I’ve also become more aware of how it affects others, particularly gay guys. Have you ever noticed how some gay men love to tear each other down? How they’ll look at someone else’s success or someone else’s relationship and pick at all the flaws? “Oh he makes a lot of money but I bet his boyfriend is cheating on him”. Why do we do this? Because we’re jealous and too afraid to admit that we feel less successful in comparison or worse, that we fee we are not worthy of being loved.

This particular post is a personal first step towards vulnerability, a step closer to honesty and wholehearted living. I want to share more with you, dear reader, in the hope that we can overcome our shame together. You see, shame is a component of vulnerability. Avoiding vulnerability is a protective mechanism against exposing one’s shame. If I’m not open then you can’t see the darkness inside of me. Both Brown and Alan Downs, author of The Velvet Rage have explored this concept of shame. Downs looks at shame particularly in the gay context and how it affects ours lives. Personally I think you need not even open a book to understand the by-product of shame in the gay community. In my opinion, many mainstream gay mega parties are a perfect example of shame avoidance. These gatherings are a coming together of men who are hiding from their shame (either consciously or subconsciously). They mask their vulnerability behind hard bodies of muscle and supress their emotions through excessive drug taking and sex. In my eyes, the act of taking off of one’s shirt in this environment or similarly in a gay club is an overt expression of vulnerability avoidance. The act says, ‘don’t try know me for me but judge me only on what you can see of me on the surface’. Of course I am generalising and I’m sure I’ll be accused of stereotyping or internalised homophobia but I only offer these observations and musings as my own opinion. Whether or not you agree with me or Downs or Brown is not the point, the point is that we are open enough with ourselves and each other to discuss our shortcomings. That is what vulnerability is truly about.

I hope that I can continue to write stories and post articles that you find thought provoking. Perhaps some will be inspiring, while others purely entertaining. You may agree with what I say or my words may have no resonance. Either way my intention is to be more open so that you and I can share strength and embrace vulnerability together.

Image by Giuseppe Attanasio 

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THE GAY AMERICAN MEN OF INSTAGRAM (GAMI)

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An outsider’s satirical view on the gay American men of Instagram.

The gay American men of Instagram (GAMI) must have an abundance of energy and equal amounts of money. I see them on Instagram and I wonder how they have the stamina to lead the eventful lives that they do. If they’re not at a pool party surrounded by equally beautiful men then they’re at a trendy restaurant playing drag bingo or trying out the latest hot-yoga-hip-hop-boot-camp-spin-fusion class. In their spare time they’re running cross-country to raise money for homeless youth or flying business-class across the globe to visit friends in exotic locations. And they’re documenting all of this with the precision and skill of a professional photographer, always ensuring that the angles are right, the timing perfect, the lighting adjusted and the appropriate filters applied. I don’t understand how they do it but I’m intrigued.

Never do I see pictures of them alone, unless of course it’s a gym selfie or an artistic semi-nude picture taken on a mountain trail. They all seem to be very popular, regularly hashtagging “bestie” under pictures of different guys and girls. How many best friends do they have? They must never feel lonely. The GAMI are fascinating and I’m certainly not the only one who is fascinated by them. These men have a combined following of millions. While some use their huge fan base as a means to inspire and raise money and awareness for LGBTI causes, others are happy to simply entertain their adoring fans. And they have plenty of adoring fans. Gay men from around the world love to comment on their pictures, openly daydreaming that one day they too will have fabulous lives.

But how do they do it? How do the GAMI have the energy to maintain their very social social lives? Where do they find the time to attend all those gay parties in all those gay cities throughout the world? And how do they fund their lavish lifestyles?

I can only assume that the GAMI must be making a fortune in their respective careers, although I’m not 100% sure what their careers entail as they never appear to be working. Are they doctors? Dancers? Hairstylists? Make-up artists? Models? Businesspeople? Designers? Whatever they do they must be doing it well because the GAMI are always decked out in the most stylish clothes (when they’re wearing clothes) and always eating in the most expensive restaurants (when they’re eating). Do they ever have downtime or a bad hair day? Do the GAMI get pimples? Do other gay men of Instagram ever reject them? While I’m sure there are plenty of regular gay American men who are also on Instagram and whose lives are unexcitingly normal, I never see them. They do not appear on my news feed or garner enough likes to justify following.

But then again maybe the GAMI don’t always lead such fabulous lives. Perhaps they are smart enough to realize that Instagram isn’t actually a reflection of the real world. Perhaps they have worked out that with clever editing they can make their lives seem much more interesting than they really are. Either that or the gay American men of Instagram have an abundance of energy and equal amounts of money.

Image by Remulo Brandao for Coitus Magazine

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FRIDAY MUSIC FIX: COMPANY FREAK FT. VIVIAN REED

Music Blog Company Freak

A good song has the power to evoke feelings of joy, nostalgia and even melancholy but a great song will take you deeper, to another place and time.  That’s exactly the power that Company Freak wields in their first single “Sexaholic”. Featuring the vocals of Tony-nominated Broadway and recording star Vivian Reed, Sexaholic sounds like a synth-funk/electro-boogie anthem taken from a dance floor somewhere in 1981.

Company Freak stands as a homage to 70s orchestral disco-soul and 80s post-disco artists like Chic, Change, Kool & The Gang, Boney M, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, and Midnight Star – a retro feel that recalls the freewheeling sound of Studio 54 and the Paradise Garage, and the glistening nu-disco of the Scissor Sisters, Daft Punk, Hot Chip, Jessica 6 and Tensnake. Mixed by Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem) and engineered by Alex Nizich (Hercules & Love Affair, Antony & The Johnsons), Company Freak are a revolving multi-generational cast of vocalists and session players that include music legends from the 70s and 80s as well as up-and-coming 21st century stars.

Gay Music Blog

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57 THINGS I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT BEING GAY IN MY 20s

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They say that it’s in your 20s when you really learn who you are and who you want to be. While I don’t know yet if thats true, I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself, about other people and what it means to be a gay 20-something.

Here’s a list of 57 things I’ve learned (so far) about being gay in my 20s:

  1. Sex is not like it is in porn
  2. You don’t need to go to every gay dance party just because it’s a long weekend
  3. Sleeping with someone because you’re lonely won’t make you feel less lonely
  4. You will never find love when you’re desperate to be loved
  5. You can’t make people like you
  6. The best relationships start with someone being brave enough to say hello
  7. The more time you spend at the gym, the less content you will be with your body
  8. You’re happier when you’re eating carbs
  9. Brains, ambition, confidence and a sense of humour are harder to find than abs, biceps and a big chest
  10. Messaging your ex-boyfriend when you’re drunk on Saturday night is not a good idea
  11. Sundays are more fun when you’re not hung-over
  12. Devoting time to do charity will make you happier than only devoting time to yourself
  13. Gratitude is the key to happiness
  14. Don’t compare yourself to others
  15. You are not a real housewife of NYC or Beverly Hills or Orange County
  16. Everyone is just as confused as you are
  17. The people who you think have their shit together are often the most messed up
  18. The number of selfies you take is inversely proportianate to how good you feel about yourself
  19. “Liking” something on Instagram will never replace a compliment delivered in person
  20. The less time you spend on social media the happier you will be
  21. You don’t need to take your shirt off every time you’re in a place with more than 10 gays
  22. FOMO fades overtime when you realize that there’s not really much to miss out on
  23. Enjoy the moment
  24. Having a photographer take your picture does not a model make
  25. Wear what you want
  26. It’s better to be disliked for being yourself than to be liked for trying to be someone else
  27. You don’t have to have your life in order by 27
  28. Use your head and heart as often as you use your penis
  29. It’s best to leave some things to the imagination
  30. The most intriguing people are the ones you know the least about
  31. Happy couples aren’t always happy
  32. Not everything needs to be shared on social media
  33. Get over your slutty phase as soon as possible before you develop a reputation
  34. Sometimes mornings alone with Sean Cody are better than mornings in bed with some random
  35. Sleeping with straight boys is like drinking tequila, it seems like a fun idea at the time but you’ll regret it in the morning
  36. You may think you fell in love in Mykonos but it won’t last when you both go home
  37. Always wear a condom
  38. Your heart will be broken but it will eventually mend
  39. Don’t place your self worth in other people’s hands
  40. If you can’t find any gay role models, try to become one
  41. Surround yourself with people who inspire you
  42. It’s never too late to start
  43. Be careful who you send nude pictures to
  44. Snapchats can be saved
  45. You might make new friends but the best ones are those who have been there the whole time
  46. The guys you party with don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart
  47. If you’re feeling down, talk to someone, chances are they’ve felt the same way
  48. You can sit with us
  49. You don’t need to shave your chest hair
  50. Just because you love Gaga and Britney doesn’t mean you can’t listen to The Hives
  51. It may be in fashion but it doesn’t mean it’s going to suit you
  52. Bleaching your hair was a bad idea
  53. Plan for where you want to be in 10 years
  54. There’s more to you than your sexuality
  55. You are not better than anyone else
  56. Be kind to others
  57. There’s still so much you don’t know

Image by Sharif Hamza for VMAN Magazine

The Modern Gay has expanded to YouTube! Please subscribe to The Modern Gay Guide to Life for extended personal content and don’t forget to tweet me @moderngay so that I can answer your questions.

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10 PEOPLE YOU MEET AT GAY CLUBS

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No matter which gay club you visit throughout the world you’re bound to find variations of the same people. Here is The Modern Gay Guide’s list of the 10 PEOPLE YOU MEET AT GAY CLUBS.

1. The Party Boy

Gay Channing Tatum

“The Party Boy” comes in all shapes and sizes from the typical muscle jock who works out at the gym 6 days a week in order to look hot at the club to the skinny twink in gold short-shorts and the hairy bear, bound in leather. The one thing that they all have in common is that they’re probably shirtless and don’t have a full-time job to worry about come Monday morning. You’ll find them on the same dance floor every weekend.

2. The Fag Hag

Fag Hag Modern Gay Life

She’s the queen of the gays and everybody knows her name. Never seen in the company of other women, “The Fag Hag” frequents gay clubs with “her gays” and is often seen locking lips with party boys after downing one too many Jaeger shots.

3. The Bachelorette

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Dressed in a white veil, clutching a sex toy and wearing a sash that says  Bride to Be, “The Bachelorette” and her bridesmaids love the novelty gay experience. They giggle uncontrollably as they rub up against the sweaty party boys on the dance floor and take thousands of pictures on their iPhones of semi-naked men whose chiselled bodies look nothing like their husbands’.

4. The Straight Guy

Taylor Lautner Gay

It’s 3am and all the straight clubs are closed. That’s when the straight boys head over to the gay clubs. There’s always a late night/morning gay club filled with revellers who eagerly anticipate the arrival of heterosexual meat. Sure you might score the odd straight guy pash or if you’re lucky he’ll be so out of it that you’ll take him home for some experimenting but guaranteed the next day he’ll freak out, swear he’s not a “fag” and you’ll never see him again.

5. The “I’m never coming back here again” Guy

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“I hate this place” he says as he enters the club for the fifth consecutive weekend. He sways from side-to-side on the dance floor as his party boy friends dance frantically so that all the other boys are aware that they’ve arrived. He buys himself a drink, makes a comment about how “there’s no-one here” and then leaves, swearing to never come back again. Until he does, the following week.

6. The First Timer

Gay Club First Time

For underage gay boys, the gay club promises to be nirvana – a magical place where all their wildest dreams will finally come true. They count down the days until they are legal or until they can find a convincing enough fake ID. When the day finally comes, they’re in their element, taking it all in (so to speak) like a kid in a candy store.

7. The Out-of-towner

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He has read about this place on GayCities or asked people on Grindr where the best clubs can be found. He’s written a list of all the clubs and bars to visit and ordered them according to the days of the week just to make sure he doesn’t miss any of the hot spots. You’ll notice him because he’ll be the overly enthusiastic guy talking to everyone, desperately trying to make friends and take home some of the local talent.

8. The Lone Ranger

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Possibly drunk, possibly still in the closet or possibly an out-of-towner, “The Lone Ranger” can be found prowling around the club by himself. The Lone Ranger constantly moves around to make sure nobody realises that he’s by himself. Alternatively, he’ll be found hidden in a discrete corner waiting to be picked-up by the first person that makes eye contact with him.

9. The Older Gentleman

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He’s been here since the doors opened. Thirty years ago. Although in his late 60s “The Older Gentleman” is not ready to forgo his party boy status.  While most of his friends have hung up their fluro bracelets and shark tooth necklaces, he’s still dancing to his own techno beat and there’s no sign that he’ll ever stop.

10. The Drag Queen

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She practically owns this joint and you better not mess with her otherwise you’ll be escorted out by a bouncer who looks like Shrek. Not only is she the hostess and the star of the midnight show but she’s the giver of free drink passes and sassy one-liners. “The Drag Queen” is never seen on the dance floor mixing with the commoners; she’s either in a private booth, backstage or posing for a photo with The Bachelorette.

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