Retrosexuality isn’t what it used to be

My attention was recently drawn by a concerned member of the browsing public to a piece on Salon.com, ‘Retrosexuals: The latest lame macho catchphrase’ by Aaron Traister, entertainingly lambasting the ‘new’ retrosexual trend: I woke up this morning to discover my local paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, peddling a story about America’s new favorite model of man: the retrosexual. Normally I ignore almost everything in my local paper, but this, in combination with a recent article in the New York Times about the sequel to “The […]

The Metrosexual Noughties

Amidst the swathe of drearily predictable ‘decade  in review’ pieces that appeared at the end of December this one by Amanda Hess at The Sexist stood out as one which actually managed to offer some observational cultural insight, rather than just recycled cuttings and cliches: Think boys are simply born into their masculine gender role? Consider, for a moment, how quickly the cultural norms of acceptable maleness can change. The past decade of masculine fads saw cultural expressions of manliness range from finely-groomed boy bands […]

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 […]

Duckie Goes Retrosexual

Ever with its middle finger on the cultural pulse, this year, Gay Shame, the Duckie collective’s artsy alternative to the pink poppered-up roller-skating jollity of Gay Pride, has this year decided to go retrosexual. But unlike the mainstream appropriation of retrosexuality – e.g. those tiresome cloney beards all men, straight and gay, have to accessorise these days – Duckie’s, held this Saturday night at The Coronet, Elephant and Castle, South London, is being done with a rather keen sense of irony and parody. It also […]

Transexy Time!

 by Mark Simpson  (Out magazine, March 2008) How do you turn a penis into a vagina? It’s not as difficult from a medical point of view as you might think. Yes, it involves some rather delicate major surgery and the risk of all kinds of ghastly complications. Nobody undertakes such a project lightly. But – and I know this will come as a disappointment to many – male and female genitalia are, anatomically speaking, sufficiently alike to make the procedure relatively straightforward. Essentially, the penis […]

The Sun newspaper: Retro or Metro?

So, Cilla, which of our lovely lads is the public going to plump for? Will it be ‘Dave’ the retrosexual PE teacher from Liverpool with a pint, who only uses aftershave his mum bought him for Christmas ‘on special occasions’ (but seems to be rather fond of hair product)? Or will it be ‘Joe’ the metrosexual Accounts Manager from Essex with a glass of Chardonnay and perched on an Ikea stool (I know where it’s from because I have one) who spends £350 a month […]