Mark Simpson at Heartland Festival

Delighted to announce that I’ll be appearing at Denmark’s famous Heartland Festival, Egeskov Castle, 2-4 June. I’ll be discussing that hot topic of contemporary masculinity – and it’s need to be hot – along with the Danish designer Mads Norgaard, with the journalist Adrian Lloyd Hughes charing. More info here. The festival promised in the video below looks charming. Not sure I’m flexible enough for the yoga, but the hot tubs look fun.  

Pre-Activated Glutes – With Added Sleet

Not entirely sure how useful their fitness advice is – nor how you ‘pre-activate’ your glutes without using lube. But full marks to the Kilted Coaches for doing their kilted/un-kilted vids in Scottish sleet. Next to what looks like a busy A-road.  

Love Reaction (Give Me Satisfaction)

About a decade ago, I visited my Queen is Dead pen-pal/co-author Steve Zeeland when he was living in the largely-forgotten US Navy town of Bremerton, WA. Forgotten, that is, save by the self-described ‘lover of sailors’. In the early 1980s, before he discovered his true, bell-bottomed love, Steve had been the frontman for industrial-electro band Zyklon (‘America’s answer to Throbbing Gristle, according to one critic). He still had several synths and sequencers which we fooled around with at his place in a 1940s apartment building, conjuring […]

Mark Simpson Now on Patreon

I’m now on Patreon. If you would like to help a stray writer keep on straying – in a world in which the traditional structures for the monetisation of words are, shall we say, in ‘flux’ – you can do so for as little as $1 a month. At the moment there are no special ‘rewards’ offered. Except of course the warm, priceless knowledge that you are a good and generous person with truly excellent taste.

A Taste of the Forbidden – Coca Cola’s ‘Pool Boy’

Mark Simpson on the sweet fetishism of Coca Cola’s ‘delightfully slutty soda ad’ How much Coca Cola ads have changed since the famous singalong, smiley, folksy, innocence of the famous 1971 commercial! How much the world has changed. If it were remade today you’d be forgiven for thinking that song would have to be retitled: ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Perve (In Perfect Harmony)’. ‘Pool Boy’, the latest ad in Coca Cola’s current ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign, has prompted a veritable geyser of complimentary press for […]

I Don’t Bite – Unless You Ask Me To!

England rugby captain Dylan Hartley was spotted bonding on the touchline with Jonathan Joseph at the England v Scotland match last weekend, Hartley playfully teasing Joseph’s pretty mouth. They’re both highly edible. Even more so sandwiched together. The touching scene put me in mind of this documentary some years ago about the arresting (rom)antics of a Lancashire amateur rugby club and their pride in their well-endowed captain. And also the time I attended the Army & Navy rugby match at Twickenham and saw more flirtatious […]

The Ultimate Male Consumer

Male grooming seems to be growing a pair. I recently wrote about a rather ballsy TV ad for Below the Belt antiperspirant gel – for testicles. Here’s another, viral ad for the same brand, the butch Scottish voiceover perhaps playing naughtily on Gerard Butler’s hairy grooming forays. It’s exciting to see that at last, male grooming is getting up close and personal. And also that now possibly the most important but hitherto most overlooked male consumer of all is stepping out of the shadows and finally being […]