Magic Mike XXL

Magic Mike XXL: What It Tells Us About Modern Manhood

“The Magic Mike movies are, truth be told, a bit of a nostalgia trip. ‘Male stripping’ is actually rather retro. It emerged as a phenomenon in the now impossibly innocent-looking 90s when the Chippendales and their orange muscles framed by bow ties, white cuffs and permed hair drove women wild – and Channing Tatum himself […]

hemsworth bulge

Britain’s Got Tarty (& Chris Hemsworth’s Got Codpiece)

I always used to wonder when watching gay porn in the 1990s how the deuce the models managed to get their pants over their chunky butch boots without removing them. Now of course every straight male from South London learns how to do this before they can legally drink in pubs – as ‘Forbidden Nights’, an act […]

Trunks 1938

‘Trunks Should Be Worn High (& Adjusted Privately)’

  It seems that Cape May’s Speedo ban was relatively liberal compared to the beach blanket American Puritanism that preceded it. Until the 1930s you could get arrested on East Coast beaches just for showing your (male) nipples, no matter how baggy and unappetising your swimming trunks were. In Europe and on the West Coast topless bathing […]

Viennese Gag on Big Strudels

A poster campaign advertising ‘Nude Men’ (“a long overdue exhibition on the diverse and changing depictions of naked men from 1800 to the present”) at the Leopold Museum in Vienna seems to have aroused the passions of the local phalliban. I thought the Austrians, like the nut-brown Germans I spied on in Corfu when I […]


Firemen’s Big Hose Sets NY Ablaze

By Mark Simpson (The Guardian, 8 Aug 2007) The Phalliban, America ‘s killjoy campaign against the male body’s, er, maleness, strikes yet again. The 2008 Fire Department of New York Calendar of Heroes, the eleventh in series of snaps of buffed young firemen stripped to the waist which produces mass hysteria on the streets of […]

Pillars of the community – the Phalliban pops up again

  In the latest example of the prudish power of the USA’s rampant Phalliban, outraged residents of Kaiser, Oregon, have demanded the removal of some newly installed safety pillars. Apparently they are too reminiscent of male genitalia. What a load of bollards. Although I’m no expert on American penises, I’ve seen a few in my […]


Speedophobia: America’s Fear & Loathing of Budgie Smuggling

Mark Simpson undresses the tortured relationship between American men and their swimsuits (Out, February 2007) PROHIBITED… THE WEARING OF SKIN-TIGHT FORM-FITTING OR BIKINI TYPE APPAREL OR BATHING SUITS BY MALES OVER 12 YRS. AGE If the stern, killjoy rubric of this warning sign, erected in the 1960s by the good people of Cape May, N.J., […]