Thursday, May 28, 2015

Underwear Model Dad Bods; Tatum O'Neal Dates Women; Hot Photos of Harry Potter's Matthew Lewis; What Gay Life Was Like Years Ago

Underwear Model Dad Bods

I was going to post about BEA (Book Expo America) but since that is so freaking boring, and so heteronormative, this article caught my eye instead. It's focused on what advertisements would look like if they used dad bods instead of photo shopped bodies of perfect, muscular young men. And I think it's interesting because I've not only been seeing a lot of this lately, I also think people are getting tired of seeing the same old images of men in ads. People like a balance. I run four to five miles a day, and lift weights, but I do that for healthy reasons. What I get physically from running and working out is only something a little extra. I don't even like having my photo taken, so the body image for me is the least of it all.

In any event, here's what it's about:

Summer 2015’s hottest men’s health trend is apparently doughnuts, pizza and beer.

But we have a feeling the dad bod craze was always a bit of a nonstarter.

The folks over at Distractify seem to feel differently, though. They reimagined some iconic underwear advertisements with dad bods replacing the hard-won gym bods.

Which do you prefer?

 You can check out the images here. It's interesting, but I'm not sure it will catch on everywhere. In all honesty, I don't think I'd put a dad bod on the cover of a gay romance novel. But as I mentioned, the balance is important.

Tatum O'Neal Dates Women

I'm not sure how we should react to this. I guess everyone will react differently. However, my initial reaction was...big deal. She dates women. And I like Tatum O'Neal, always did. 

 Proving that it’s never too late to be true to yourself, even for a precocious former child star, Tatum O’Neal has announced that she’s now dating women.

“I like women,” O’Neal tells People magazine. “I definitely have been dating mostly women recently.” The now 51-year-old actress avoids labeling her orientation and only says, “I’m not one or the other.”

Maybe it's a good thing that my initial reaction was big deal. It could mean we're moving toward a place where labeling isn't as necessary as it once was, which in turn removes the shame we've all lived with for so long. That can't be a bad thing. I can still recall when it was insulting as ask a guy if he was gay. Not so much anymore.

You can read more here.

Hot Photos of Harry Potter's Matthew Lewis

This is one of those multi-link articles from Queerty where they mention more than one topic. Part of it is about a photo shoot Harry Potter's Matthew Lewis did.

It’s another score for Gryffindor! More photos from Attitude magazine’s cover shoot with a barely-clad Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis have been released.

But if you really want to get to the most important part of this article, scroll down and read what Sir Ian McKellen has to say about what life was like for gays years ago. This blew me away.


Sir Ian McKellen once had a crush on his Vicious costar Derek Jacobi. “Yes, I did fancy Derek, but I didn’t act on it, God, no,” he reveals. “It was illegal, remember. I do get on my high horse about it, because it was so difficult. There were no gay clubs you could go to. No gay bars, no gay newspaper, nothing. What there was was a bit sleazy, I suspect. One of the reasons I became an actor was that you could meet gay people. Even then everything was difficult. When you went to America they asked, “Are you now, or have you ever been, homosexual?” I lied on the form. It was a different world.’

You can see all this here. I never knew a time like that, and I think it's fascinating to think about how gay men before me lived and survived.

 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

E-book Piracy In 2015; Who Are the E-book Pirates; Exposing E-book Pirate Web Sites

E-book Piracy In 2015

I haven't posted about this topic in years, literally. Part of that is because I just gave up, and part is because some e-book piracy web sites have been taken down and I've even heard cases where e-book pirates have been prosecuted. I don't have links to any of that so I can't confirm it, but as far as I know those who still pirate e-books are breaking the law, they are taking a huge chance at getting caught, and a lot of authors are following them secretly so they can expose them.

With a simple search the most recent piece I found on the topic of e-book piracy was from The Digital Reader. Most people familiar with e-publishing are familiar with this site. I follow him on twitter and I've always found his pieces short, simple and factual.

This time he's talking about piracy and google.

Piracy is endemic to almost every retail site which sells digital content. Some sites such as Amazon routinely (and sometimes aggressively) police their catalog for pirated content, while others have a more laissez-faire attitude.
 
Google definitely falls into the latter category. The ad network is allowing large-scale commercial ebook piracy to infest Google Play Books.

Update: I have published a second installment. And Google has responded.

I HIGHLY urge you to read this article, here. The thing I found most fascinating was that some book pirates aren't just sharing anymore. They are SELLING e-books they've stolen, and at much lower prices. And they're attacking indie authors, too. I don't even want to begin to think about the e-books I've written that have been pirated. I used to be willing to turn a blind eye on the culprits who just shared. I understood, at the time, e-books are not a tangible item. But when I find out they are making money on indie authors and on publishers I find myself thinking a lot differently.

Who Are the E-book Pirates?

Now I'm linking to another web site that talked about e-book piracy in April. And I'm finding out a lot of new things I didn't even know...or realize. I had absolutely no idea this WTF-ery was going on.

Pirate sites pose as legitimate on-line booksellers and sometimes as a kind of Netflix for readers. They charge a monthly fee to members, giving them the right to download multiple books, all of which were pirated in the first place. Yield for the author: Many new readers perhaps, but no money.

And mystery novelists may be more vulnerable than writers in other categories. An independent bookseller recently told me that her customers are more likely to read mysteries on an e-reader because they are not the sort of books—like nonfiction, for instance—that people want to keep and reread. If, as mystery writers, we are more likely to sell e-books, we are more all the more vulnerable to Captain Hook.

You can read all of this, here. It also tells you who is trying to stop it and how authors can fight back.

Exposing a Book Pirating Web Site

And this next article comes from a web site that's caused a lot of controversy over the last two or three years because it focuses on bully practices in publishing. I've linked to them before, but had no idea they were also exposing book pirate sites, too. I found this, again, through a simple search.

We received an email today about this book pirating website.  Several authors told us they were able to remove their books successfully without anything affecting their computers.  Others, who tried to download free books to test the site told us that this is a phishing website.  Therefore we have removed the link.  We want everyone to be aware that there are many sites like these on the internet and to be extremely careful when you find one.

You can read the rest of that here.

As I said, I do know authors who have been following some of these secretive book pirates around for a while...and also following the readers who get their e-books from pirate sites. While I can't go into detail, I can say that I have a feeling we'll be seeing some readers being charged criminally in the future, and finding themselves facing steep legal fees they never saw coming. Some will be sued. It's not a chance I would want to take.




Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Straight Acting Gay Men Left Out; Orgasm and Prostate Cancer; Madrid's Hot Fetish Bar

Straight Acting Gay Men

Here's an article that talks about an interesting topic, and yet misses the most important point associated with the topic, as if it doesn't even exist. I'll get into that in a second, but first let me show you what I'm talking about.

The gist of the piece focuses on the struggle many straight acting gay men face...or rather, if there actually is a struggle. It's one of those meme things where guys leave quotes. In this case, it's the "straight acting" guys giving their thoughts.

Here's one:

Because I'm gay I get asked to do flamboyant things like dress as a girl. It bothers me that people fail to realize that not all gays are that way. Ignorance makes the world blind to reality.

There are others that follow the same voice and tone, here.

I believe the mainstream media has a lot to do with this. From books to films, they know how to exploit us well for monetary gain. Up until recently, most of the gay men we've seen portrayed in films and on TV have been the most flamboyant. I rarely ever found any I could personally identify with. There's nothing wrong with being flamboyant, however, the gay male community is much too diverse to only show one type of gay man. I'd like to feel as if I'm being represented once in a while, too. But more than that, people tend to overlook the fact that gay men, are indeed, men.  And we identify as men.

I also believe that as the entire LGBT community gains more equality and it becomes more natural to come out of the closet, we'll be seeing a huge show of gay men most people never even thought existed. In short: the gay men who act straight. Everyone says the Internet killed the gay bar. But I think it goes deeper than that sometimes. There is still a HUGE silent segment of the gay male community that has no interest in being segregated to a gay bar, living in a gay ghetto, or falling into the cliched stereotypes that have been forced down everyone's throat since the 1960's. And it's going to take time for that to happen. Most of us still don't even know that we're being appropriated on a daily basis.

Of course you have to check out the comments.

And, just to reinforce this with an example here's something that's been happening. They want to give Dan Savage his own TV show. Personally, I find everything about Dan Savage annoying, from his politics to his views on religion. And I am not, and will never, submit to the kind of peer pressure that says I have to like or even agree with Dan Savage. I think he's a douche who will do anything to get attention. But, Dan Savage is getting a TV show. That's a reality. And that's what I mean by how the media distorts things for many gay men. We are not, by any means, all like Dan Savage. 

Orgasm and Prostate Cancer

Evidently, having an orgasm a day will help keep you from getting prostate cancer.

32,000 men participated in the study over the course of 18 years, making it the largest research to date on male ejaculation (or at least the largest scientific study). Participants shared their monthly ejaculation practices between the ages of 20 and 29, and 40 and 49.

Of the 32,000 participants, 3,839 eventually developed prostate cancer. Interestingly, men who reported orgasming more than 21 times a month showed a 22% lower risk of developing problems.

I always have problems with these studies. They never seem to prove accurate over a long span of time. I know a lot of people who have had cancer and died from cancer. None of them ever smoked, got too much sun, or were exposed to chemicals. I'm not saying things like smoking are good for you, but so far no one has been able to isolate how or why we get cancer.


You can read the rest here.

Madrid's Hot Fetish Bar

A lot of gay men I know go to Spain all the time...for a lot of fun. Ibiza seems to be the place of choice, however, this article talks about Madrid.

Odarko bills itself as “a benchmark in the international gay fetish scene.” Located in Madrid’s Callao gayborhood, the bar is known for its all-night fetish parties, elaborate laser lights, and house and electronic music spun by resident DJ Manuel Carranco. It’s a must-see for any gay, leather-loving traveler who finds himself passing through Madrid.

The rest is here. There are photos. Oh, are there photos. But all SFW. 

This is a big part of gay culture nowadays, but by no means the only part of gay culture. And it's exactly what I was talking about earlier in this post. I also know a lot of gay men who would never, ever go to a bar like this, anywhere and at any time. And they live full, happy lives.  ...Diversity.



 
 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Bush Supporting Gay Marriage; Lesbian Love Story At Cannes; Jane Fonda's Gaydar Off with Warren Beatty

Bush Supporting Gay Marriage

This really shouldn't come a a huge shock to anyone, and it's not really all that political anymore. Former President George W. Bush didn't support gay marriage while he was President, but that all changed once he left office. This has been the same pattern we've seen with many politicians since gay marriage has gained more support in the mainstream. 

The Bush family have a compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Jeb Bush is a patron of  HB Provisions, a general store owned by Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen.

The couple married in 2013. George HW Bush, also a former president, attended the wedding.

You can read the rest here. I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of this "safe" support in the months to come.

Lesbian Love Story At Cannes

A love story about two gay women starring Kate Blanchett and Rooney Mara recently won the Queer Palm Award at Cannes. According to this article, it's a love story set in the 1950's, in NY, when homosexuality was considered a crime.

Blanchett plays Carol, a wealthy married woman who falls in love with an ambitious shopgirl played by Mara.

Earlier this month, Blanchett revealed that she had 'many' relationships with women but later denied having had any lesbian relationships.

The film is said to be a strong contender for the Palme d'Or which will be announced on Sunday.

You can read the rest here. I haven't seen it and know nothing about it so I can't comment.

There were tweets going around for a while where Kate Blanchett allegedly said she'd had relationships with other women. I honestly didn't pay much attention to them at the time, and don't care too much about it now. But this is interesting. 

Here's a link to the article where Kate Blanchett denies having lesbian sex.

This quote is rich.

'I think what often happens these days, if you are homosexual, you have to talk about it constantly; it has to be the only thing you put before your work and any other aspect of your personality.'

Well, yeah. I think that would apply to almost any minority who has been discriminated against. If she was gay she would have phrased that differently. But I'm not going to continue. Everything about this just makes me uncomfortable. I doubt I'll be seeing this film. 

Jane Fonda's Gaydar Off with Warren Beatty

If you've never seen an older Warren Beatty film, you should. At one time he was one of the hottest men in Hollywood. And his storied romances with many of Hollywood's most famous women go on forever. This man has always been the epitome of heterosexuality. 

However, Jane Fonda thought he was gay.

But Jane Fonda, who rose to movie stardom in the early 1960s at the same time as Beatty, was apparently immune to his considerable charms.

'I thought Warren was gay,’ the two-time Oscar winner tells W Magazine.

Why did she think so?

‘He played piano, and all his friends were gay.’

You can read the rest here. I know it's only speculation on my part, but maybe Warren Beatty just wasn't into Jane Fonda. You know, not everyone is.

I'll ignore the part about gay and playing the piano. Fonda is an old woman and doesn't know any better. It's generational.









Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ireland Gay Marriage Popular Vote; Avoiding "Swamp Crotch;" Pray the Gay Away

Ireland Gay Marriage Popular Vote

When put to a vote, gay marriage recently won in Ireland by a huge margin. The most significant part of this is that it's the first time gay marriage won by a popular vote, anywhere.

This article talks about five reasons why it went this way:

Ireland is one of the most Catholic nations in the world. The vote was a thumb in the eye of Irish bishops who made a last-ditch appeal to the faithful, who haven’t forgiven the bishops for the Church’s child-abuse scandals. The bishops’ failure shows how frayed the Church’s hold is on those in the pews. Worse still, it’s not as if pro-marriage Catholics felt that they were bucking the Church. In fact, many believed that they were following Church teachings that demand fairness. The power of the Catholic Church isn’t what it once was in Ireland. But what diminishes the Church’s hold there will inevitably hurt the hierarchy in the U.S. as well. After all, the Church is a global corporation.

You can read the rest here.  

I have many opinions on this topic, however, this time I'd rather just congratulate Ireland for a job well done and smile.

Avoiding "Swamp Crotch"

I had no idea what "swamp crotch" was until I read this. Evidently, it's about cleaning your private parts.

There's a list of things to do...because showering regularly I guess just isn't good enough anymore.

“It should be remembered that sweat is in fact odorless, it is only when it is broken down by bacteria that it smells.” says Tee.

The key to freshness is limiting the amount of moisture before that breaking down can even place.

“Thorough drying of the area after a shower (using a hair dryer if necessary) is vitally important to prevent or reduce these problems.”

 And there you go. They forgot to mention water is wet.

You can read the rest here...or not.

Pray the Gay Away

I think I posted about this bishop, but I can't remember. In any event, this same Catholic bishop is now having second thoughts about whether gay people can pray the gay away.

He said his comments were misinterpreted and that he regretted any pain he may have caused.

“I never wanted to hurt or stigmatize anyone,” Lovey said. “I don’t consider homosexuality to be an illness.”

“But,” he continued, “I do know people whose homosexual tendencies were fleeting, without claiming this is the case for everyone. I used the term ‘cure’ for a person who was homosexual and who talks in these terms about his personal experience.”

Now that's something I never heard of either. 

You can read the rest here. 











Saturday, May 23, 2015

Duggars and Sex Abuse Reports; Let's Give Ian Reisner a Break; Give Sam Kalidi a Break, Too

Duggars and Sex Abuse Reports

I've rarely posted about these Duggar people on the blog because I always found them strange. And for other reasons that didn't actually go as far as the latest development with them. Most recently, Josh Duggar, who heads one of the most anti-gay marriage firms in the world, was linked to sex abuse.

Duggar is one of the members of the evangelical Christian family that stars in the TLC reality series 19 Kids and Counting. He is one of the 19 children of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and a married father of three himself.

'Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,' Duggar said in a statement. 'I hurt others, including my family and close friends.' ... I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions.'

You can read the rest here. If nothing else, aside from how sorry I feel for those innocent people who were abused, this will at least be an example to use the next time a far right Christian points the finger at gay people.

Let's Give Ian Reisner a Break

I'm starting to feel bad for this dude. I'm not joking around either. He's taken a lot of heat for having a dinner "event" in his multimillion dollar NY home for none other than Ted Cruz.  At first, Reisner made an unusual apology, then he insulted everyone, then he made a few more odd comments, and now he's donating money to Fire Island.

Here's part of a long letter he recently penned:

Now let me state unequivocally that I made mistakes. While my initial intention was bi-partisan dialogue about National & Israeli security, I’ve come to learn that intentions and outcomes are different things. The outcomes of my actions are that I’ve deeply hurt our community – and I am truly sorry.

In order to help build a stronger community I am taking the following steps:

– I am renewing and redoubling my commitment as an ardent supporter of LGBT causes.

– I will continue to invest my resources in the Pines, its cultural programs and activities that celebrate the diversity and acceptance of its community members, so that it always holds its rightful place in LGBT history.

– To this end, today I made a donation to the ‘FIPPOA-PAC’ — matching All funds raised in its last active year — which supports politicians committed to the Pines and to LGBT issues.

You know, it's not often in life you see someone continue to try to change something he did. And I find Reisner to be working harder than most would work to rectify his situation. You can read the rest of his letter here. Maybe it's time to give him a break. He's an openly gay man trying to survive in a world where that alone is still a novelty.

Give Sam Kalidi a Break, Too

Sam Kalidi created a meme for Memorial Day and some people in the comments of this next link didn't seem to get it. I've looked at it over and over and I honestly can't seem to find anything wrong, nor did I see anything disrespectful. It looks as if Kalidi is paying respect to the gay men and women who have served, who have served and died, and to those who are still serving.

Seriously. I didn't see anything glib about it.

Editor’s note: We’ve asked online comedian, voice actor and chest hair model Sam Kalidi to create a new meme each week for Queerty readers. This week he proves once again that gays and lesbians have a rich history of serving in the military. 

You can see it all here.

I think most of my readers know that I'm usually the first one to open my big mouth about something I thought was wrong...or in poor taste, especially when it comes to something as serious as Memorial Day. But this time I can't for the life of me find anything wrong with what Kalidi did...in spite of the way people commented.

You can find him on TwitterFacebook, Instagram







Friday, May 22, 2015

Free Gay E-book: Guy With Two Penises; Ryan Phillippe's Nude Scene: Catch Hell; Fifty Shades of Dick; Jobriath First Openly Gay Pop Star

Free Gay E-book: Guy With Two Penises

For Memorial Day Weekend, I'm offering the latest book in The Rainbow Detective Agency series, A Guy With Two Penises, for free. It's on sale now at allromanceebooks.com, and at most other web sites where e-books are sold. The only place it's not free is Amazon...I wish I could do it for free there, but they won't allow it unless I sign an exclusive. And I believe in distribution far and wide with any book.

So here's the link to Allromanceeebooks.com.

And here's one to Smashwords. 

The sale runs until Tuesday.

Ryan Phillippe's Nude Scene

The other night I saw that I'd recorded Catch Hell on DVR, starring Ryan Phillippe. I'll admit that I don't follow Phillippe much and I don't know much about him, but according to what I've read he directed and wrote the film, too.

I liked it. I wouldn't call it Oscar material, but it was a good film for what it was and I thought it was a fast two hours. But more important, there was one of the most unlikely gay scenes I've ever seen in a movie. To be honest, I was kind of hoping it would happen, and it did happen. And if you want to take this to a deeper more meaningful level, I think it's something that could happen given the circumstances, the mentality of the characters, and the setting. I also do follow some celebrities on social media and I always find it interesting the way they travel around to do certain films on location.

And then there was the brief nude scene with Phillippe.

Ryan Phillippe directs himself in his new film Catch Hell--though we think it'd be more aptly titled Catch Heaven based on the presence of Ryan's bare ass!
 
That being said, the subject matter appears to be quite dark based on these stills, so we'll just proceed without further comment. 

I'm not going into a full review, but I liked it and I would recommend it if you're looking for something different. It's one of those movies that don't get too much attention, but deserve more...think the opposite of Fifty Shades of Grey. 

You can check out the nude photos of Ryan Phillippe here. I think it's SFW.

Fifty Shades of Dick

This, of course, is parody. It's a compilation of photos from movie scenes where there was male full frontal nudity or bulge. 

This is a compendium of the most important bulges and full-frontal peen that one can see in films that are available on Netflix and at their local Redbox. Some I knew, some my Jezebel colleagues helped me with, and some were complete and delightful surprises.

The biggest surprise was that this took me more than four hours to put together.

It's from Jezebel so I'm assuming it's SFW, but don't quote me there.

You can check that out here.

Jobriath First Openly Gay Pop Star

I honestly never really thought about who the first openly gay pop star was, and I still think there are some who might dispute this...you never know. However, this is what one article is claiming.

If you’re unfamiliar with the colorful, tragic story of cult entertainer Jobriath, you can’t be blamed. Before the glam rock performer arrived on the music scene with nearly unprecedented hype only to crash and burn almost immediately, he’d already lived a colorful life in which he’d been a child piano prodigy, appeared in Hair, gone AWOL from the military, arrested and confined to a psychiatric hospital. He was eventually signed to a lucrative contract and surrounded by incredible hype as the next big thing and, as a testament to the burgeoning sexual liberation of the era, he never attempted to conceal his sexual orientation.

I never heard of him. The article/interview is fascinating and long, and you can read the rest here. 

There's more about Jobriath here, at wiki. Interestingly enough, he was born in the Philadelphia area, not too far from Bucks County where I live.