Assume the position: a queer defence of hazing

September’s Out magazine features an essay ‘Assume the position’ by yours truly defending hazing.  An ancient masculine ritual that almost all respectable people now oppose.  Including of course respectable gays. One out-raged reader has already described the essay as being the ‘lowest, most immoral homo-commentary I’ve ever read’.  Oh, you’re just saying that.  I’d love to believe it was true. Here’s the opener: ‘When I joined my local rugby team, I was made to do terrible, awful things. Even now, all these years later, I feel distressed and choked […]

Wanking On: How Masturbation Became Aspiration

Mark Simpson gets to grips with a man’s favourite bad habit ‘WANKER!’. A bastard blue van has just cut me up, pulling out suddenly from a side-street right in front of me, forcing me to brake. Hard. So I respond in the customary English way: winding down the window, leaning out and calling him, at the top of my voice, an Onanist. Tasting his oil-seasoned exhaust while rolling the window back up I feel a warm sense of satisfaction. After all, calling someone a wanker […]

Promiscuity into Bureaucracy: Gaydar and Online ‘Dating’

The MP Chris Bryant has faced calls for his resignation for appearing in his pants in messages sent via a gay website – but others see Gaydar as the future of dating. So what is it really like? Mark Simpson speaks with the (exhausted) voice of experience (Independent on Sunday, 7 December 2003) Gay men are having sex! Lots of it! Every night! With a different man! And they don’t even have to leave the house! There was more than a hint of sexual jealousy […]

Global cooling – the Rise and Rise of ‘American Air’

Mark Simpson on the rise and rise of ‘American air’ (London Times Magazine, 2003) ‘This is my home, this is America!’ a canned, generic male power-ballad singer, possibly on loan from those naff Gillette commercials, warbles over the P.A. The giant on-stage video screen flashes stirring images of the American flag, soaring eagles, the Statue of Liberty and Abraham Lincoln. Song and images reach a lugubrious climax. Lights flash. Disco music pounds. A middle-aged man in an expensive suit and a side-parting that appears to […]

Sporno: where sport and porn meet and produce a spectacular money shot

Just in time for the World Cup the July issue of the re-launched OUT features an essay by yours truly on the post-metrosexual pornolization of sport – or what I dub ‘sporno’.  Here’s a (breathless) taster: ‘Sportsmen on this side of the Atlantic are increasingly openly acknowledging and flirting with their gay fans, a la David Beckham and Freddie Ljunberg (the man who actually looks the way Beckham thinks he looks). Both these thoroughbreds have posed for spreads in gay magazines and both have welcomed […]

The metrosexual isn’t dead, he’s just power-napping on the sunbed

The Times recently ran a feature by Andrew Billen called ‘Metrosexual R.I.P.?’ wondering whether the metrosexual was now dead in the wake of the recent closure of Conde Nast men’s shopping magazine Cargo.  The piece below by yours truly ‘This trend’s not dead – just dead common’ ran alongside. I wasn’t shown Billen’s piece before penning mine.  Now that I have, there are a few things I’d like to point out: Metrosexuals are not female-friendly New Men with pectoral muscles. They could be new mannish; but they could equally be […]