Balls on the Box: Male Grooming’s Groping For New Markets

by Mark Simpson All these nicely-presented years on from the birth of the metrosexual – he turned 22 this month – and my prediction that he represented the future of masculinity, out and proud male vanity shows no sign of getting bored with itself, or running out of cash to splash. ‘Male grooming’ is still booming: it’s a fine-smelling, thoroughly-moisturised market estimated to top £14.8bn globally this year. But now that almost every post-pubescent male shares his bathroom with a buff puff there is a danger […]

Notes on Hipsterism

By Mark Simpson While everyone else in the 80s wanted to look like they’d walked off the set of Blade Runner or Top Gun, Peter York looked and sounded like he’d stepped out of Dangerous Liaisons. Whenever the co-author of Style Wars and The Sloane Ranger Handbook popped up on telly, as he often did back then, talking about trends or ads in a dapper Saville Row suit, his hair looked like it should be powdered and bowed, and his upper-lip beauty-spotted. In BBC Four’s recent TV doc […]

Older Drivers: One Foot in the Grave – The Other On The Brake

By Mark Simpson You’re stuck behind a MG Rover that is going a little slower than you would like. It’s driven by someone with white hair, glasses, and perhaps a hat and driving gloves. They are taking their time at junctions and traffic lights while peering over the steering wheel like that ‘Kilroy Was Here’ Second World War graffiti that they are probably old enough to have drawn themselves. Suddenly the idea of bringing in compulsory re-testing of drivers who are over 70 becomes very […]

Pietro Boselli – Spornosexual Philosopher

Mark Simpson sits at the feet of ‘The Bona of Verona’ Pietro Boselli, the ‘world’s sexiest maths teacher’ as he has been breathlessly dubbed by the press, is living, geometrically consistent proof that spornosexuals don’t have to be dumb. And also that for all their self-sexualisation, spornos can be romantico. Angelic, even. Though if angels look like this who needs Hell? Hailing from Verona, Italy, with his cherubic facial features, those bucolic, rosy cheeks that belies his 27 years, and that smiley submissiveness, Boselli puts […]

Dreamy Scaffies

Premier Inn appear to have launched a builder-themed gay night. Or a Top Gun-themed builder night. Either way, I’m checking in. This hilarious, very smart new TV ad ‘Scaffolders’ for the budget UK hotel chain is currently airing nationally – not just in Manchester’s gay village. It masterfully deploys the famous Kenny Loggins ‘Highway To the Danger Zone’ MOR track from the classic 1986 Tom Cruise fighter ace movie, along with some of the iconic/camp styles, shots and heavy filters to synthesise an entirely convincing Top Gun-ness. […]

Joe Orton’s Wallpaper: The Visa Affair by Jake Arnott

Joe Orton has been pricking up my ears lately. On a recent visit to London, thanks to the randomised wonder of ‘dating apps’ – or online cottaging – I found myself, as you do, visiting someone I didn’t know terribly well but wanted to get to know much better. He happened to live very close to Noel Road, Islington. This is the road where, at No.25, the 1960s queer playwright and keen old skool pre-internet cottager Joe Orton famously lived – and died, fifty years ago next year – […]