I Don’t Bite – Unless You Ask Me To!

England rugby captain Dylan Hartley was spotted bonding on the touchline with Jonathan Joseph at the England v Scotland match last weekend, Hartley playfully teasing Joseph’s pretty mouth. They’re both highly edible. Even more so sandwiched together. The touching scene put me in mind of this documentary some years ago about the arresting (rom)antics of a Lancashire amateur rugby club and their pride in their well-endowed captain. And also the time I attended the Army & Navy rugby match at Twickenham and saw more flirtatious […]

Lucozade Ad Warns How Beards Make Everyone Look The Same

Even if they are wearing numbered, different-coloured shirts. Well, can you come up with a better explanation what the rugger-buggery is going on in this slightly creepy latex-laden ad for Lucozade Sport ‘Strictly for the Home Nations Only’? Pegged to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in Twickenham and starring big buff bearded England captain Chris Robshaw and chums, I’ve watched it several times and it still makes no sense to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t follow rugby. Or maybe it’s because I’m not an advertising […]

Invictus – Smells Like Team Sporno

  This bombastic ad for Paco Rabanne’s new fragrance for men ‘Invictus’, released this Summer, stars Aussie rugger bugger Nick Youngquest, his muscles, his tatts, his beard, and most of all his obliques. (They’re the diagonal lines above those track pants with the really worn waist elastic – pointing to his, ahem, priceless package.) The world’s paparazzi bathe him in money-shot white flashes as he strolls through a stadium showing off his oiled, winning body with a rather self-satisfied grin. Not that we hold it […]

Really Rucking Funny: Best Manlove Video of 2011 (SFW)

This clip by Irish comedy outfit Dead Cat Bounce called ‘Rugby’ has to be my favourite video of 2011. Even if it strongly suggests that, in Ireland at least, my work here is done and it’s well past time to retire to the touch-lines. There’s much to admire here: the lightness of touch, the hilarious blend of the accurate and the absurd; the joshing, bantering, boyish affection — both for rugby and manlove. I even like the tune. But I find myself especially mesmerised by the lead […]

Traditional Masculinity Has a Stroke – From ‘Burly Rugby Player’ 2 ‘Gay Hairdresser’

My friend Michelle, formerly the male stripper known as ‘Stud-U-Like’, alerted me to this ‘freaky’ tale of transformation reported in this week’s freaky Daily Mail with this priceless headline: Burly rugby player has a stroke after freak gym accident… wakes up gay and becomes a hairdresser It then teases us with a couple of ‘shocking’ bullet-pointed facts  Chris Birch loses eight stone and transforms himself from skinhead to ‘preened man’ Gives up job in bank and retrains as a hairdresser   Cutting to the chase: Mr Birch […]

Touching Another Dude Dudely

I’m not sure I entirely believe the preamble from the overly dudey – if very easy on the eye – presenter and star of this ‘experiment’ in ‘touching dudes softly’. Particularly the bit about ‘nothing makes me uncomfortable!’ But it is interesting to watch the responses of the men he decides to monster with ‘inappropriate’ tenderness – or ‘touching another dude softly’. I’m also personally interested in why I found it very uncomfortable to watch. Is it because I’m worrying the men will freak out? […]

Sporno

Mark Simpson on how sport and porn got into bed – while D&G and Mr Armani took pictures…. (Out magazine, May 2006; expanded for The V&A’s ‘Fashion V Sport’ catalogue, June 2008. Also collected in ‘Metrosexy‘) You might think that it was Italy’s greater ball skills, or stamina, or team spirit that won them the 2006 football World Cup. But you would be wrong. Clearly, explicitly, thrillingly, what won it for the Italians was not so much their sporting spirit as their sporno spirit. In […]