Do You Shave Your Chest?

When I joined the British TA infantry back in the late 90s (bit of a long story) and had my medical the (woman) doctor asked a topless me: ‘Do you shave your chest?’ It was still verboten back then to be gay and in the army so I hurriedly said: ‘Er, yes. I do bodybuilding and it shows off the muscle definition better.’ ‘Hmm’, she said, sounding unconvinced, and made a note in her file. How things have changed in the intervening fifteen years. I […]

I’d F*ck Me: Mirror Man-Love

 WARNING: hipsters and gay bears may want to watch this ad backwards. I’m rather taken with this refreshingly direct ad currently airing on MTV for a Philips Norelco product that promises to ‘shave, style and groom’. And also you’d be forgiven for thinking, suck your cock. A young man approaches the mirror, face and chest hidden by unruly red hair. He reaches for his versatile buzzing buddy. After tackling his face fuzz, he despatches his chest rug, then his abs fur. As he ‘manscapes’ himself […]

Winsome, Losesome, Mansome

It’s always tricky as a writer talking to a researcher for a TV or film documentary. On the one hand you want your ideas to be taken seriously and the historical record to be as accurate as possible. And of course we all like attention. Especially from a visual medium we probably don’t belong in. On the other hand, you don’t want to give everything away for nowt. But you can hardly blame researchers for trying. For every ‘expert’ who appears on-screen in a doc, […]