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 […]

Mark Simpson At Birmingham City University Discussing ‘What It Means To Be a Man’

On the 22nd March I’m appearing on a panel at Birmingham City University with John Mercer and Dr Clarissa Smith, chaired by Jose Arroyo. We’re discussing ‘What it Means to Be a Man in the 21st Century‘. I have no idea of course what it means to be a man. So I’ll wear some camouflage trousers and big boots. The event begins at 6.15pm. Admission is free.

Uplifting Visions

Because I’m such a dedicated fan of yoga (in kilts) I’m overlooking the beards and posting this very uplifting BBC Scotland video of Finlay, a yoga teacher from Dundee, and his pupil Justin, practising their inspirational moves in the bracing Caledonian countryside. And while we’re all inspired, I thought I would also post this spornographic video ‘The Homoerotic Side of Wrestling’ below. To be fair to the wrestlers, the homoerotics is mostly in the naughty editing here. And also the design of wrestling singlets: apparently, unlike […]

Superhero Games: The Jacked Joy of Gymnastics

Last year, in the run-up to the Rio Olympics I wrote, only slightly feverishly, about the inspiring way modern men’s gymnastics is responding to our hyper-visual culture and the spornosexual trend of eager male self-objectification by shyly taking its top off, going back to its naked/’gymnos’ Greek roots and showing us its ‘totally jacked’ body. And selling us jeans and cornflakes. The globally-transmitted HD spornographic pleasures of the Olympics last Summer naturally only served to accelerate this shredded strip-tease – US gymnast Danell Leyva famously performing a […]

Notes on Hipsterism

By Mark Simpson While everyone else in the 80s wanted to look like they’d walked off the set of Blade Runner or Top Gun, Peter York looked and sounded like he’d stepped out of Dangerous Liaisons. Whenever the co-author of Style Wars and The Sloane Ranger Handbook popped up on telly, as he often did back then, talking about trends or ads in a dapper Saville Row suit, his hair looked like it should be powdered and bowed, and his upper-lip beauty-spotted. In BBC Four’s recent TV doc […]

Older Drivers: One Foot in the Grave – The Other On The Brake

By Mark Simpson You’re stuck behind a MG Rover that is going a little slower than you would like. It’s driven by someone with white hair, glasses, and perhaps a hat and driving gloves. They are taking their time at junctions and traffic lights while peering over the steering wheel like that ‘Kilroy Was Here’ Second World War graffiti that they are probably old enough to have drawn themselves. Suddenly the idea of bringing in compulsory re-testing of drivers who are over 70 becomes very […]