Just For Men & Hipsters

Remember Just For Men? Or ‘JFM’ as it likes to call itself now. Well, it never went away – and it’s all over social media. Though perhaps it’s just my social media – because those pesky algorithms know how old and grey I am now. Launched in the late 1980s by Combe Incorporated of White Plains NY (who also market Grecian 2000), Just For Men was a pioneering mainstream male vanity brand. If incredibly cheesy. They became a byword for camp in the sense of […]

Cristiano Ronaldo The Electronic Sex Doll

This ad starring Cristiano Ronaldo flogging body exercise electrodes called SIXPAD – or SEXPAD? – has been airing UK television for some months now, but every time it comes on it still makes me gape – pardon my French. It’s both funny and disturbing, and in truth I had avoided writing about it until now because I hoped it was just a bad dream (I usually glimpse it on late-night TV). But it isn’t going away. The ad itself is incredibly camp. Or kitsch. Or […]

Artisan Abstinence Pants

‘Are you tired of manhandling your manhood?’ No siree bob. But thanks all the same for offering to help out. Of course these anti-fap pants, ‘made of Beechwood’ and dreamt up when ‘motorcycling through Colombia’, had to be from Brooklyn. And cost $28. The official point of these environmentally-friendly contraptions seems to be delicately saving you from the horror of actually having to touch your own penis or ball sack when adjusting your undercarriage. Or save others from the indecorous sight of you rummaging about. But […]

Irritating Male Skincare

Men’s skincare commercials can be the pits. What’s the point of ‘all natural’ ingredients if the ad brings you out in a rash? This one from the butchly-named Bulldog currently airing on UK television, is one of the most irritating I’ve seen – in a very competitive field. In it two bearded elves beavering away in Santa’s workshop talk about how much they ‘love Christmas’. Then the one on the left announces: ‘We spend all year making gifts for people all over the world but […]

Balls on the Box: Male Grooming’s Groping For New Markets

by Mark Simpson All these nicely-presented years on from the birth of the metrosexual – he turned 22 this month – and my prediction that he represented the future of masculinity, out and proud male vanity shows no sign of getting bored with itself, or running out of cash to splash. ‘Male grooming’ is still booming: it’s a fine-smelling, thoroughly-moisturised market estimated to top £14.8bn globally this year. But now that almost every post-pubescent male shares his bathroom with a buff puff there is a danger […]

Sassy Misandry: Abusing Men isn’t ‘Bloomin’ Awesome!’

Mark Simpson on how beating up on men has become a painful corporate cliche (Originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph, 01/11/2016) Does the empowerment of women need to take the form beating up on men? And isn’t it anyway something of self-defeating strategy? These are the questions often lurking in the back of my mind when I read one of those sassy columns that seem to be a list of insults hurled at men – or MEN! – as a sex. But I usually think twice […]

Dreamy Scaffies

Premier Inn appear to have launched a builder-themed gay night. Or a Top Gun-themed builder night. Either way, I’m checking in. This hilarious, very smart new TV ad ‘Scaffolders’ for the budget UK hotel chain is currently airing nationally – not just in Manchester’s gay village. It masterfully deploys the famous Kenny Loggins ‘Highway To the Danger Zone’ MOR track from the classic 1986 Tom Cruise fighter ace movie, along with some of the iconic/camp styles, shots and heavy filters to synthesise an entirely convincing Top Gun-ness. […]