How The Prostate Came Out of the Closet

Mark Simpson snaps on the latex gloves and gives men’s prostates a thorough examination (Originally appeared in a shorter, more tasteful form in The Daily Telegraph, 12 Nov 2014) ‘Movember’ is upon us again, and so are the ironic and perhaps not so ironic upper lip pubes, reminding us of the very important, very worthy – and until recently very overlooked – issue of prostate cancer. A disease which affects 42,000 men in the UK each year, and kills 11,000. But this is perhaps also a […]

The Celebrity Sex Lives of Rats

‘Men brought up with women are less sexy’ announced the headline in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, the UK’s last daily broadsheet.  A headline which has, unsurprisingly, helped to make it the second most popular story on their website.  A headline which provokes a number of intriguing questions.  Questions such as: Men brought up with women are less sexy than… what?  Men brought up with wolves?  Or, men who attended Eton? The Daily Telegraph’s Science Correspondent helpfully elaborates: ‘Having a large number of female siblings makes men […]

Let’s Be Civil: Gay Marriage Isn’t The End of the Rainbow

by Mark Simpson (A shorter version originally appeared on Guardian CIF November 2, 2008) “It’s better to marry than burn with passion,” declared St Paul. But now marriage itself seems to have become a burning issue – or at least, gay marriage. The re-banning of gay marriage in California earlier this month with the passage of Proposition 8 has been presented by gay marriage advocates as a vicious body-blow for gay rights. Angry gay people and their allies have protested across the US, some reportedly […]

Epic Illusions and Metrowarriors

Achilles, Alexander, Jason, Odysseus – the fabulous scrapping, rutting warriors of the Ancient World fulfil every boy’s own fantasy. Now, says Mark Simpson, Oliver Stone’s spayed movie ‘Alexander’ and the recent crop of ‘epics’ confirms that Hollywood has abolished heroes – past and present. (Originally appeared Independent on Sunday, 19 December 2004) For some, the entry “Double Classics” in their school timetable might have been an ominous omen. For me and my classmates however it meant 80 minutes of bliss listening to a wonderful old […]

Is There Sex After Marriage?

A remarkably, refreshingly reasonable treatment of the Spitzer scandal and the indispensable social role of prostitutes by a woman, Minette Marin, in The London Times (if a straight man had written this he would probably have faced a lengthy free sex ban): Right up and down the scale, a man can rent a girl a great deal better and more cooperative than the woman he lives with. She will be probably be much more sexually experienced and more accomplished than most wives too. In plain […]

The Sex Terror Revisited

Yesterday’s London Times ran a three page piece called ‘Oral History’ interviewing some of the ‘players’ (or perhaps ‘chancers’ would be more accurate) in the Monica Lewinsky ‘scandal’ that was to engulf the Clinton Presidency for more than a year, lead to his impeachment and, very nearly, to his departure from the White House. The piece was pegged to the tenth anniversary of the surreal crisis and also, of course, to the Presidential Primaries in which Hillary Clinton, energetically supported by her husband Bill is […]

Cyclesexuals – a Silent Menace

A 51-year-old man caught by cleaners ‘simulating sex’ with a bicycle in his locked room in a hostel in Ayr, Scotland has been sentenced to three years probation and has been added to the Sex Offenders Register. “In almost four decades in the law I thought I had come across every perversion known to mankind,” opined the presiding judge (talking I presume about the cases he had heard rather than other judges). “But this is a new one on me. I have never heard of […]