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Award-winning musical, Once, coming to Vancouver this November

Once musical is coming to Vancouver

MAILMASTER Once_Subject: Once On 2013-11-29, at 2:41 PM, Yeo, Debra wrote: Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal in once, playing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre until Jan. 5. Joan Marcus photo Once.jpg

Once, a new musical based on the Academy award-winning film, is coming to Vancouver this November 17-22, 2015. The show tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant who are drawn together by their mutual love of music. Over the course of a fateful week, their friendship evolves into a powerful and complicated romance. Once is a musical celebration of life an love, daring in honesty thrilling in originality, and unforgettable in every way!

Winner of 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, Once will play at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver from November 17-22, 2015.

Based on the Oscar winning independent film, the original film was made for $150,000 and shot in 17 days. The movie would go on to gross $20M worldwide. The movie became well known for its song, Falling Slowly, which won the 2007 Academy award for Best Original song, along with the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Music, and the soundtrack was nominated for two Grammy Awards.

Tickets for Once the musical will go on sale on Monday, September 14 through ticketmaster.ca. Tickets start at just $25 (plus service charges). There will be performances Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00pm, Sunday evening at 7:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00pm.

Once, presented by Broadway Across Canada, will also be making stops in Calgary, Alberta, from November 3-8, and in Edmonton, Alberta, November 10-15.


Relax at Walnut Beach Resort, Canada’s hottest late-summer vacation resort

Walnut Beach Resort, Osoyoos, B.C.

The summer slowly begins to wind down, and the kids finally get back to school, it means, for some, that vacation time is about to begin! Late summer can be an amazing time to plan a last minute getaway, especially if know you the hot spots to go, like Walnut Beach Resort in the beautiful southern Okanagan Valley.

Walnut Beach Resort, Osoyoos, B.C.

Quietly nestled along the shores of Oyosoos Lake, the warmest lake in Canada, is Walnut Beach Resort. This luxury resort property is the perfect place to sit back and relax, while you enjoy the late summer sun while sipping on your favourite glass of wine.

Walnut Beach Resort, Osoyoos, B.C.

Just a stones throw away from over a dozen wineries located within minutes away, the modern luxury craftsman style resort is a great choice for a quiet late summer / early fall retreat, with warm, dry weather during the day, and clear, calm, brisk nights. During the day, kick back at the pool terrace, located in the center of the resort, overlooking the lake, or pull up a chair on the private beach where the peaceful waves crash along the shoreline. Either way, you can’t go wrong; however, you can order drinks poolside, if that does alter your plans.

Walnut Beach Resort, Osoyoos, B.C.

The newest resort property in Osoyoos, the rooms at Walnut Beach Resort are tastefully decorated and well appointed with many modern conveniences travellers have come to expect including free in-room WiFi, crisp and soft linens, fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and TELUS Optik TV.

Walnut Beach Resort, Osoyoos, B.C.

 

The décor incorporates many colours from the surrounding area, along with large windows to let the natural sunlight filter into the rooms. Stainless steel, wood, fabric, and granite surfaces bring a wide variety of textures into the room, making it feel warm and inviting.

Walnut Beach Resort, Osoyoos, B.C.

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, poolside, on the patio, or at the Vista Point restaurant, serving up a variety of house-made specialities, including from a knife and fork caesar salad to lamb chops served with seasonal vegetables. Paired with a glass of sangria or local wine, you can’t go wrong.

Walnut Beach Resort, Osoyoos, B.C.

Keeping healthy and active on vacation is important. The resort offers a modest fitness area, perfect for doing some cardio to burn-off those vacation calories. There is also an outdoor walking trail along the lake, ideal for an after-dinner stroll. You can also detox and rejuvenate in the steam room, sauna, or the on-site spa.

Don’t let summer be over. Now’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy it. And it’s not going to cost an arm and leg either, especially with the low Canadian dollar, making the Walnut Beach Resort an even hotter Canadian destination!


Do you feel lonely, isolated and depressed? Maybe you have social anxiety.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is very common with gay men. Most people who suffer from social anxiety don’t even recognize that they have a problem. According to Wikipedia social anxiety is:

An emotion characterized by a discomfort or a fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves a concern of being judged or evaluated by others. It is typically characterised by an intense fear of what others are thinking about them (specifically fear of embarrassment or humiliation, criticism, or rejection), which results in the individual feeling insecure and not good enough for other people, and/or the assumption that peers will automatically reject them.

Social anxiety begins at a very young age, when boys become aware of being different from other boys. Gay boys will fear of being rejected and become hyper vigilant around others.

The fear of being in social situations results in the person avoiding social situations. Social anxiety is not avoidance of people, it is avoidance of people in social settings. Interestingly, the same person who avoids social situations is still able to run large meetings at work, manage many employees, and teach 30 or 300 persons at a time with little or no anxiety. In all of these situations there is a structure and the role is clear, and maybe even having some authority provides comfort. In social situations the rules and expectations of how one is to behave is vague, the structure is flexible. What a person talks about and how it is said is not spelled out. This is where fear creeps in, that is, the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, the fear of being judged, of looking foolish etc.

The most common reaction to anxiety in social situations is to withdraw as much as possible. Bathhouses are a good place for guys with social anxiety because there is sex and connections that can happen without the pressures of conversations in a group of people. It is not surprising that bathhouses thrive, because they provide an outlet for guys. Not everyone in a bathhouse has social anxiety but it is a safer place to meet guys and hook-up without the fear of social conversations.

It’s normal for people with social anxiety to gradually reduce their social commitments and spend more time alone or with one or two friends. This alone time often leads to depression. Most people with depression look for treatment when the cause is likely due to loneliness.

To avoid loneliness, it’s typical for gay guys in their mid-30s or 40s will get a dog or a cat. A dog can work well for the guy to get out and walk his dog without too much social interaction. If he is in a social situation or a date he will have the excuse that he has to get back to let his dog out. The dog becomes a good reason to only have short social interactions. But also the relationship with the dog provides some comfort and feeling of being needed and belonging.

There is nothing wrong with a dog replacing socializing in groups. Having a dog works well as a way of coping with the loneliness and isolation. In fact it works so well that many guys do not even try to socialize and live a life of avoiding connecting, and socializing. Not everyone who has a dog (or cat) has social anxiety but it could be something to examine if the pet helps one to avoid or limit the amount of time in social gatherings.

According to WebMD, social anxiety is relatively easy to overcome by counselling:

The counsellor will “guide the person’s thoughts in a more rational direction and help the person stop avoiding situations that once caused anxiety. It teaches people to react differently to the situations that trigger their anxiety symptoms. Therapy may include systematic desensitization or real life exposure to the feared situation. With systematic desensitization, the person imagines the frightening situation and works through his or her fears in a safe and relaxed environment, such as the therapist’s office. Real life exposure gradually exposes the person to the situation but with the support of the therapist”.

People do not talk about social anxiety and therefore goes undiagnosed and untreated. The result is people who are lonely, isolated and depressed without understanding why. Take a moment to look at yourself and how much social fears and anxieties limit the amount of time is spent in social situations.


Summer Rum Punch

Summer Rum PunchBefore you starting winding down summer, there is still plenty of time to get out and enjoy the sunshine, beaches, and all the outdoor fun. This Summer Rum Punch is sure to start up conversations of your winter tropical vacations and some of the best beach vacations you’ve taken.

  • 1 ¼ oz Coconut Rum
  • 2 oz Orange Juice
  • 2 oz Pineapple Juice
  • ½ oz Fresh Lime Juice

Pour the coconut rum and all the juice into a martini shaker. Shake well for 15 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass with fresh ice.


Gilead applies for PrEP approval in Canada

Gilead Sciences Logo

It’s official – Gilead has applied to Health Canada for Truvada to be approved as PrEP – an HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Truvada, a combination of the drugs Tenofovir/emtricitabine, is highly effective at preventing HIV when taken daily. It has been recommended for people at high risk of acquiring HIV by UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the International Aids Society. It has already been approved as PrEP in the United States where uptake has been seeing dramatic growth.

Truvada is already approved by Health Canada to be used in the treatment of HIV-positive people. However, it is not approved as PrEP yet in Canada which means doctors must prescribe it off-label and it is not yet on any provincial drug plan formularies outside of Quebec. Gilead Pharmaceuticals has now formally submitted its application to Health Canada for Truvada to also be approved for a preventative indication, otherwise known as pre-exposure prophylaxis. Much of this can be attributed to a petition launched in April by several HIV and gay men’s health organizations in Canada, calling on Gilead to apply to Health Canada. Gilead formally altered its policy position paper on PrEP to reflect that is has now applied for approval in Canada.

It is unknown how long it will take Health Canada to review Gilead’s application. Some are estimating a 12 month period is standard but many hope that additional political pressure may push Health Canada to expedite the process given current rates of infection. If Health Canada approves the application, it is then up to the provinces to add it to their provincial drug plan formularies and, more importantly, provide no cost access to people at high risk of acquiring HIV. Stay tuned for further information on what you can do to help ensure gay men at risk can get this drug as soon as possible in Canada!

2015.08.26 Gilead submits application


Need more dick? How to open your relationship

Need more dick? How to open your relationship

Most gay men have open relationships. This is not a new thing. Far from it. Maybe the fact so many gay men are even in committed relationships in Western society is what is actually relatively new.

Traditional marriage, at least in a Western context, was essentially an economic unit based on the division of labour. A man and a woman brought different strengths, literally, to a relationship. We can underestimate just how difficult life was before the post-modern age with all of our technologies. But traditionally men did more physically arduous tasks in the fields while women did more home tasks – raising children, cooking food (including stoking the fire for hours on end), cleaning (scrubbing for hours on end) plus some outdoor tasks during peak periods. Each had full time jobs – and by full time, that’s 18 hours a day for 6 days a week with no time to relax except on Sundays.

Monogamy was enforced on women. This was to protect the man’s property, women could not independently own property, so that it only went to his natural offspring. Monogamy was not enforced on men. Laws prohibiting prostitution are relatively new. Even in the depths of the religious middle ages, there was prostitution for men to satisfy their sexual urges outside of marriage.

But what about the traditional gay relationship? Gay men are mostly hidden from history, our heads popping up mostly when we interacted with the justice system. Therefore, little is known besides the occasional love poem or glimpses from court cases convicting gay men for their sex lives. It’s safe to say committed relationships between men were rare though. If a man tells you he’s looking for a traditional relationship, ask him if that means going down to the docks and giving a quarter to a sailor for a fuck.

Of course, relationships today, gay or straight, have changed vastly. Technological and social changes have made women more free and altered how we think of relationships. Many Churches and other religions are having difficulty on how to change to reflect this. These days, marriage is but one form of relationship. Common law is much more prevalent, boyfriends and girlfriends exist, some couples now live apart, and of course there’s non-monogamy – for both men and women.

With all these changes, why do we even have relationships? After all, the traditional division of labour has been destroyed and many relationships don’t include children. There are many reasons. Societal pressure to maintain the traditional order, the need for security in a fast changing world, a partnership based on love and mutual interests, or just habit.

Why is this relevant? It illustrates that the way we form relationships are not natural but shaped by the cultural, social, economic, and technological factors of a particular time. We rarely question why we make the choices that we do but often just imitate the norm that we see around ourselves. As gay men, we traditionally had and should still have the ability to form relationships that fulfill our own individual needs rather than the need to conform to societal expectations.

Open relationships, or non-monogamy, come in many different varieties to suit the unique needs of a particular couple (or triple, etc.). Some play together; they’ll only have sex with another guy if they’re together such as in a threesome or group play. Some play apart; they go off and fuck around with other guys with various rules often in place. Some are polyamorous; more than two people will be in a relationships at once (a thruple) or one person will have more than one relationship (similar to polygamy). Some people will have a primary relationship that takes precedence over a secondary relationship. The list is endless.

But why do people have open relationships? The central reason for most is that a single person just can’t satisfy all of our sexual and/or emotional needs. And that’s okay. These days, our needs are more complex than putting food in the belly and having a roof over our heads, at least for most people in Western society. These could be kinks or fetishes that only one partner is into. Both may be tops or bottoms. They may have different libidos. Let’s face it, some just want to have lots of sex with lots of men or even just with a few more men than just one. That’s completely ok, and normal.

How do you go about opening a relationship? That’s the tricky part. Oddly enough, the business world has something to add here. The plan-do-check-act cycle.

  • Plan: approach your partner, communicate, and set boundaries.
  • Do: Play and fuck.
  • Check: evaluate what is working and what is not, followed by a lots more communication.
  • Act: put the new boundaries in place and get back to playing and fucking. Repeat for the duration of your relationship, even if you both decided to try monogamy again.

Here are six steps broken down.

Approaching your partner. Maybe you’ll have this discussion before you’re even dating. Or once you’re already in a relationship, there’s been a series of brief discussions or hints. Everything depends on the particular dynamics of your relationship. Set aside some time to have an initial discussion and advise them ahead of time that you want to have an important and meaningful discussion – don’t drop the issue while you’re cooking dinner or out at the pub. You want to be prepared by having enough time set aside and so that there’s no distractions – people coming over, phones going off, etc. Most importantly, continually assure them that you love them and that this doesn’t affect how you feel about them. You don’t need to have the full conversation that day – you’ll need to set aside more time later after you’ve both had time to think about this – especially if this is a new idea for your partner.

Communicate. This means both speaking from your heart and listening with your heart. Discuss what your needs are and what your partner’s needs are. Be aware if your needs, sexual or otherwise, clash. Discuss how you are both feeling. But importantly, examine why you each feel the way you do. Sometimes we project our past experiences on our current relationship and they are not grounded in current reality. Sometimes we feel the way we do because society has told us that’s how we are supposed to feel. And sometimes, this can bring up deeper issues beyond just your relationship such as insecurities from our childhood. With your needs and emotions expressed, you can then set boundaries. This could be not wanting to know your partner is penetrated by someone else. Or it could be no anal outside the relationship. It could be that you don’t want to hear about your partner’s escapades, that they can’t sleep over at another person’s place, or they cannot fuck a person twice. Write these down so you both agree! If you need help with this part of the process, don’t be afraid to seek out a counsellor that can act as a neutral facilitator and help you work through your thoughts and emotions.

Sexual health. This is about communication as well but it’s particularly important for gay men. It’s tricky because what you get, your partner may get. First you need to educate yourselves. STIs are not all the same. There are several of them, each with their own mode of transmission, each has prevention methods that are of varying effectiveness, each are treated differently, with some treated easily and some not easily treated at all. You face different options, depending on what level of risk you are each willing to take. Also, have you heard of PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV?

Play and fuck. This is the fun part. Go have some fun. But try and stick to the rules that you’ve agreed to and hopefully these are nice and clear.

Evaluate. Set aside more time to discuss what’s working and what’s not. If you’ve failed to adhere to these rules, examine the root cause of this. Is it a need that wasn’t properly addressed? Your and your partner’s needs may change. You may experience emotions that you weren’t expecting. That is normal. This is a never ending cycle. Be open to change and continue to communicate. It is possible that you may need to end the relationship because you have conflicting needs and boundaries – it’s not having an open relationship that ends a relationship, it may just end sooner because you were open with your partner and that is actually the sign of a healthy approach to relationships. Not all relationships will last forever.

Repeat. Once new boundaries have been established, get back to playing and fucking. And continue this cycle of communication and having fun.


It’s time to get excited about men’s underwear, again.

Excite for Men men's underwear by Fantasy LingerieUnderwear is everything for gay men. It’s a statement about who you are. There are a number of designers and companies that have certainly cornered their edge of the gay market with their tight ‘n’ bright collections that every guy seems to have at least 20 pairs of their underwear overflowing out of their underwear drawers. You go to any event and everyone is judging you for what collection you’re wearing, the style, and what season it was from. It’s a hellish game. Gays like to judge each other. The reality is, there are many other fantastic underwear companies out there that have amazing collections that are just as sexy, fun, and at a fraction of the cost.

Excite for Men men's underwear by Fantasy LingerieFantasy Lingerie has been producing quality underwear for over 30 years. In 2011 they launched their menswear line, Excite for Men. There are four distinct men’s underwear collections that fit into every area of your life.

The Classic Collection are perfect for everyday. They are the daily wear men’s underwear that are practical, yet have a hint of sexiness, perfect for wearing under your slacks for a day at the office. After a long day of work, strip down and feel sexy and confident that you have a great pair of underwear on.

Lingerie for men is a fetish that is growing quickly. The Excite for Men Fantasy Collection is geared towards guys who are into role-play. They are really fun, like At Your Service, a boxer-brief or brief that looks like a tuxedo.

Excite for Men men's underwear by Fantasy Lingerie

Strippers, hustlers, go-go dancers, and anyone with an adult entertainment interest will want to get some of the hot gear from the Extreme Collection. This collection is all about showing off you best assets. There are snap-away tear-off boxer shorts, wet-look chain-link thongs, and see-through mesh boxers and briefs.

Excite for Men men's underwear by Fantasy Lingerie

The Jock Collection is fun for a night out at the bar. The Jock brief has both a full front and back, along with thick and comfortable elastic waist band, but cleverly cuts away at the sides for some sexy distraction.

Excite for Men men's underwear by Fantasy Lingerie

Go ahead. Get adventurous. Unleash your inner fantasy. Be romantic. Feel sexy. Do it all without breaking the bank and wearing all the same gear that everyone else has.

Check out the full line-up of Excite for Men underwear by Fantasy Lingerie.


5 reasons every gay man needs to watch sports

5 reasons every gay man needs to watch sports

There is some kind of misconception that gay men don’t watch or play sports, and if they did, people assume it’s sports like figure skating and rhythmic dance. The reality is that most gay men love sports, including football, baseball, soccer, and of course, hockey.

If you’re not a sports fan, here are five reasons every gay man needs to watch sports:

  1. The athletes are hot. Duh! These guys make a living by working out for hours on end each day. They are total eye candy. There’s nothing like watching a soccer star bend over to take a corner or watching a good looking boxer give a flex before a fight. If nothing else, check out Australian Rules Football sometime. That’s a Sean Cody moving waiting to happen.
  2. Sports are a bonding experience with straight people. When the guys at the office are talking about that awesome two-point conversion from the game the night before, you don’t want to feel left out. If you at least knew who was playing, what sport they were talking about, and how the game ended up, you could join in the conversation. Not only that, but not all the friends you hang out with have to be gay. You might even head down to the local sports bar and make some hetro friends. Shocking!
  3. Sports are a bonding experience with gay people. If you in a major metropolitan area there will undoubtedly be a gay sports bar. This is a great way to meet other guys who like sports. Join in by wearing your favourite team jersey on game night. It’ll make more people want to talk to you and have you join in on their fun. There are also gay sports leagues, games, and races. You don’t have to play to appreciate them.
  4. Fantasy sports can be profitable. Professional sports come with their own fantasy leagues. Online, in the office, or through a circle of friends, the right picks can lead to a big victory and payout. Having some sports knowledge can help you pick winners the for the next office pool.
  5. Sports are motivating. You’re probably not going to be the next David Beckham, Russell Wilson, or Tom Daley; however, those guys, and many others, are fantastic motivators.

Go sportsball!


5 great adventures in the Big Easy

5 great adventures in the Big Easy

By plane, train, boat, automobile, or horse-drawn carriage, you need to find your way to New Orleans. The historic southern city is shrouded in fascinating history, ghostly mystery, folklore fantasy, and of course, a lot of debauchery. A visit wouldn’t be complete without checking out these five great adventures in the Big Easy:

Walking haunted ghost tour

A fantastic way to learn about the interesting history and stories of New Orleans is to go on a walking ghost tour. These guided tours are typically two to three hours. The guide will take the group throughout the French Quarter, stopping and landmarks and points of interest. At each stop the guide will tell one or two stories about the location, what happened and its historical significance in shaping the city.

5 great adventures in the Big Easy - Haunted Ghost Tour

Architecture history tour

Education on vacation? Yes, absolutely! New Orleans has so many different influences, including the French, Spanish, and Union, each playing a vital role in how the city was developed. The two-hour tour through the French Quarter will teach you the differences between a verandah, balcony, and gallery, take you into the Saint Louis Cemetery #1 to see the famous tomb is Marie Laveau, the notorious voodoo queen, inside buildings to see living quarters, and find out which buildings have been featured in TV shows and movies.

5 great adventures in the Big Easy - Architecture History Tour

Landmark beverages, bits, and bites

Lunch in a 175 year-old family restaurant (the oldest in the United States!), with over 15 dining rooms and 25-cent martinis? Head to Antoine’s. Want to grab a Purple Drink at the oldest continuously operating bar in North America? Go to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, serving drinks since the 1700’s! Where can you get the original muffuletta? It’s at Central Grocery, a small Italian market selling specialty foods and the world-famous sandwich. Looking for the best-handcrafted cocktails? Local industry people flock to Bellocq at the Hotel Modern for amazing mixology, the blood red walls, and velvet furniture.

5 great adventures in the Big Easy - Lafittes Blacksmith Shop Bar

Street car shuffle

If you only have an hour and you’re on a super tight budget, but you want to do something truly authentic and fun, hop aboard the oldest and longest continuously operating streetcar network in the world! There are three different lines, the oldest being the St Charles Line, operating for over 150 years. The St. Charles Line will take you through a number of residential neighbourhoods. The Canal Street Line will take you all the way to the giant city park and to the above ground cemeteries. It’s the best $1.25 you’ll ever spend.

5 great adventures in the Big Easy - Street Cars

Swamp tours

Louisiana is famous for its swamplands. A quick 35-minute drive from the French Quarter and you can be out on an airboat, whizzing through the secluded bayous where you could see wild boar, alligators, snakes, hawks, owls, crawfish, and other swamp animals. If you’re lucky, you might event get to hold a baby alligator!

5 great adventures in the Big Easy - Swamp Tour

Looking for more things to do in New Orleans? You can #FollowYourNOLA or get more ideas from Tourism New Orleans.


Hold onto your pantyhose… here’s a sexy new fetish you need to check out!

Men wearing sheer socks and hosieryCMQNWtXUEAAn2nvImagine your muscle daddy husband getting home from work after a long day at the office. He drops his briefcase, takes off his silk tie, and carefully places his watch and cufflinks onto the silver tray by the door. He says hello and asks for a scotch on the rocks, so he can relax before dinner. As he walks into the living room, he takes off his dress shoes to reveal he’s wearing your favourite pair of black sheer socks. It drives you wild. You’re so glad daddy is home and you’re ready to play.

This fantasy has been played out time and time again. Men wearing sheer socks and hosiery is an erotic fetish that is quickly growing. No, wearing hosiery doesn’t make you feminine at all. It can be extremely masculine and it’s incredibly sexy. It’s about the pure enjoyment.

It’s easy to see why. The feeling of soft silk brushing against your bare skin can send shivers up your spine. It’s erotic, sensual, and feels unbelievable. Sheer hosiery can show off your sexy legs, especially if you have thick calves and massive thighs.

Many men enjoy wearing hosiery because of the texture and sensation. Men can easily wear them under their slacks to the office, dinners, and special events, worn comfortably under a pair of slacks. They also make a great alternative for sport and athletic enthusiasts as an alternative to compression socks.

Sheer socks and hosiery come in a variety of styles and colours, from the traditional black, nude, and tan, to blue, purple, fishnet, and spider web. There are also accessories like garter belts that can used too.

If you are into wearing men’s sheer socks and hosiery, or are curious about this fetish, check out Gentleman’s Closet, a fetish website with photos and videos of men who enjoy other men wearing sheer stockings, pantyhose, and leggings.

CM-RfLBWoAAyd6N.jpg-large


The Algonquin Cocktail

The Algonquin Cocktail

The Algonquin Hotel first opened its doors in 1902. Originally it was a long-term residential hotel, it was quickly converted into a traditional hotel. Located just two blocks off the world-famous Times Square, The Algonquin Hotel is a historic landmark in Manhattan. The property is best known for time-honoured traditions, including a resident cat named Matilda, a daily luncheon of writers at The Algonquin Round Table, and of course, The Algonquin Cocktail.

You can experience the famous Algonquin Cocktail in the lobby bar, called the Blue Bar, or you can re-create the classic cocktail experience in your own home using this simple recipe.

  • 1 ½ oz Rye Whiskey
  • ¾ oz Dry Vermouth
  • ¾ oz Pineapple Juice

In a cocktail shaker half filled with ice, pour in all three ingredients. Stir gently. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


New rainbow crosswalk causes a colourful controversy in Kelowna, BC

New rainbow crosswalk causes a colourful controversy in Kelowna, BC

The City of Kelowna, located in the Okanagan Valley, just a short four-hour drive east of Vancouver, British Columbia, has recently completed a revitalization of a area of the city’s downtown core. Just in time for last week’s Okanagan Pride, the City of Kelowna agreed to follow what many other leading cities around North America have done, the City of Kelowna works crew painted a prominent crosswalk the colours of a rainbow.

When the rainbow crosswalk was unveiled, the residents of Kelowna were pleasantly surprised with the new crosswalk, commenting how great it was for the City of Kelowna to be so liberal and supportive of Pride. It was a great step forward for the city, which over a decade ago faced huge criticism because a previous mayor refused to sign a Pride Week proclamation. With time comes change, and for the past five years, the City of Kelowna has proudly proclaimed the second week of August, Pride Week.

However, this week, one central Okanagan woman, Nancy Enns, has stepped forward to publically voice her strong, and very negative opinions of the new, fabulous rainbow crosswalk.

In a radio interview this week with News 1150AM, Nancy Enns’ opinion is that the rainbow crosswalk discriminates against others and the City of Kelowna has no right to use public property to shove political messages down the throats of local residents. She’s gone as far to say that she will ask the City of Kelowna to have the rainbow sidewalk at Pandosy Street and Lawrence Avenue removed, and if they won’t remove it, she has vowed to take it to the Supreme Court.

“I’m not supporting a gay lifestyle and I would hope this whole valley doesn’t support it, so I guess were about to find out,” Nancy Enns said on News 1150am. “These are my taxpayer dollars, these are taxpayers that don’t have a voice in this. This is something forced on us. This is something that you took it out of my pocket, now you crossed the line,”

Poor Nancy Enns, you have a lot to learn. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that while the rainbow flag represents the diversity of the LGBT community, it symbolizes openness, and teaches tolerance, inclusiveness, and acceptance.

So while you may have your opinion that the rainbow coloured crosswalk discriminates against others, in reality, it is quite the opposite, it welcomes and embraces people of all cultures, creeds, races, and religious beliefs, to come, celebrate, as one.

Nancy Enns, it’s time you stepped out of that dark, ignorant, discriminating closet and joined the rainbow of colour in this world. Join the 21st century and the movement of equal rights, for everyone. We don’t fault you for your current views, but we welcome you to learn, love, respect, and appreciate others!

The City of Kelowna is standing by its decision and will not be removing the rainbow coloured sidewalk.

New rainbow crosswalk causes a colourful controversy in Kelowna, BC


Let’s talk about meth

Meth Addiction

This is not an article about a song that anyone should start singing, at all. But there is a real issue with the nasty drug, meth, and its sick relationship with the LGBT community. The crystal meth mayhem started years ago, but it’s not a joke. If you haven’t met a homo tweaker then you’ve been living in a shoebox under your bed for at least the last 20 years.

There are a number of areas the gay community needs to focus on to prevent the many issues meth has on harming individuals. It’s to the point that it can be compared to the crack epidemic of the late 80’s.

People doing meth are paranoid, jittery, and usually on some kind of delusional rampage of some kind. It’s not sexy at all, and it’s not healthy either.

Meth makes your skin look like it’s hanging off your face, ruins your teeth, and makes you sweat chemicals from your pores. No one wants to date, hire, or even be around a dirty, stinky, and skittish drug addict, unless they are drug addicts too. Then you just end up with two tweakers living happily ever after… I guess.

Crystal meth is also illegal so your drug addict ass could get arrested and you’ll end up in jail. The food in jail isn’t good and if you think you like to bottom now, then you’re in luck, because if you go to prison your ass will be torn the fuck up. Not such a good thing, right?

Young men need to know and understand to stay away from this kind off stuff. Guys that do usually wind up on Grindr, getting into PnP (Party and Play), and into other risky behavior. “Let’s get high as fuck, get naked, watch porn, and fuck bareback!”. Boom! It’s just that easy to become HIV positive. It’s happened many times before.

Meth causes an incredible amount of harm, not only to the user, but to his friends and family. The stigma of gay meth addicts is seriously getting out of control. It’s time for the gay community to stick together and fix this shit, now.

You don’t need crystal meth to enjoy sex or life. Be a proud gay person, by all means. Sit back, enjoy a Stoli cocktail, and don’t fuck with that disgusting ass shit that some of our fellow gays have fallen victim to. You don’t have to be a part of it, or a statistic.


The myth of gay privilege

The myth of gay privilege

Gay men have such an abundance of privilege that they must now be grouped together with white, heterosexual society. They are now lawyers and doctors with an abundance of wealth and political power. Furthermore, their struggle for social justice is now nearly complete since same sex marriage became legalized in the United States. This is all quite evident now. Just turn on the television to see well off, white, middle class gay characters. Look at a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser and rich white gay guys are rubbing shoulders with politicians.

Are you all smoking crack or something?

Let’s get something straight. Television is not reality. A handful of people from a minority group with money and power doesn’t equate to privilege, especially when that handful of people are doing nothing to advance social justice for the rest of the group besides themselves. Having a successful doctor of colour on television in the ’80s or a neurosurgeon run for the Republican nomination isn’t representative of a wider group.

Look at the facts rather than relying on Hollywood to paint an accurate picture. The poverty rate of gay men in the U.S. is 20.5%, a third higher than the rate of 15.3% for straight men. Gay men actually more closely match straight women and lesbians which have rates of 21.1% and 22.7% respectively. This is unsurprising considering gay men are close to 40% less likely to get a call back for an interview when compared to straight men. These are hardly statistics that scream wealth and power. Poverty is alive and well in the gay community. Even when they live in nice areas such as Soho or Chelsea, they’re often crammed together in tenuous, unstable rental situations in order to cluster as a community.

Violence against gay men continues at an alarming rate. In fact, the more gay men are open, the more abuse they face. Recent experiments around the world have shown the abuse gay men face if they show affection in public. Yes, it’s not shocking they face this in Moscow or Jerusalem. But the experiments have shown it continues in shocking amounts in places as such supposedly liberal hotbeds as London and New York. So it is no wonder that one study in the UK found that 3% of gay men had attempted suicide, compared to 0.4% of men in general. In addition, the study found 50% of gay men have experienced domestic abuse, compared to 17% of men in general.

Finally, and despite the fact that gay men represent over 50% of new HIV infections and rising, science is only beginning to understand why this particular virus spreads so fast between men, few were actually studying gay men and how our biology represents a perfect storm. This represents tens of thousands of gay men being infected each year in the U.S. alone.

But how can this be when gay men have now achieved equality? That, after all, is what the right to same-sex marriage was all about; however, now that two men can get married, gays are equal to straights. Since when was that the struggle for gay rights? It is a piece, a small piece, to be treated as equal under one aspect of the law. But equality and social justice has never been reached because a single law was passed. In fact, it’s a law that has barely affected gay men or lesbians.

In 2011, 6 years after same-sex marriage became the law of the land across all of Canada, there was a whopping 21,015 same-sex married couples. That’s right. Out of the estimated one million gays and lesbians in the country, 42,030, or 4%, are married. While equality in this area is a necessity, it signifies very little in the wider quest for justice or the right to live as gay men. If anything, this merely rewards the minority of gay men and women that are living up to a heteronormative ideal, though there is nothing wrong with that choice. Gay rights was fighting for the right to live freely as gay men, not merely to take up the institutions that will never be able to include the vast majority of gay men.

This breaks the myth of the privileged gay male. But why does this matter? Because the traditional allies of gay men are now pointing fingers saying we’re no longer part of the club, that we’ve crossed over to the other side. We’re being ostracized from queer events, being told we are not queer enough, even in drag. They claim we’ve achieved equality before everyone else, marriage, which extends to all queer groups, is not equality. Our counter cultural allies have somehow been taken in by some Hollywood version of the world.

Having fewer people hate us, does not give us a world where no oppression occurs. Lack of overt hatred does not equal no oppression. Certain gay men are rewarded when they manage to imitate majority culture, the same way many minorities are rewarded when they do this. But the very fact that gay men are rewarded for behaving a particular way shows just where power really lies. Those who reward others in fact hold that power and they can take away those rewards when they so choose. Those who follow traditional gay forms of relationships and familial bonds, those that continue to be a part of gay culture, those that continue to follow gay lifestyles continue to need to either conceal those facts from wider society or divorce themselves from the mainstream in large measures.

No, gay privilege does not exist. It likely never will. And all minority groups must continue to stick together as a block to face the true faces of power and stop excluding based on a faulty vision of the world.


5 ½ ways you’re (unintentionally) turning guys off

5 ½ ways your (unintentionally) turning guys off

We’ve all been there. A hot guys walks past, and… nothing. There’s something about him that makes your erection drop faster than a lead balloon. Here are 5 ½ ways you’re unintentionally turning guys off:

1. Bad Hygiene. While you may think you’re all clean and spiffy, you might not be according to other people. Always shower before you hook-up with a trick. Most guys don’t like the stench of guys who haven’t showered for days or who have really bad B.O. However, there is a time and place for some good man sweat. Know the difference! And remember that non-smokers hate the smell of cigarettes, so you need to shower, brush your teeth, and use mouth wash before you even consider jumping into bed.

1.5. Overzealous Hygiene. It’s great that you manscape, shave, exfoliate, and take care of all the other important maintenance routines. It’s also good that you took that shower (from #1 above). Just remember that cologne should be sprayed lightly, not bathed in. And some guys like guys that have public and armpit hair. Be responsible with your hygiene. Also be aware that there is never a suitable time or occasion to Axe body spray. Don’t do it!

2. Drugs. Just because you’re into drugs or alcohol, doesn’t mean your hook-up is. Drugs and alcohol can make it hard to get, well, hard. It can also make it really difficult to cum. It’s not just illegal drugs. Some prescription drugs can have adverse effects too. You don’t nee to give your entire history to your trick, but you should be aware of your situation to help make the best of it.

3. Lack of aggression. You know you like an aggressive, dominant partner in bed, but you struggle with balancing with what your partner wants and is into. If you’re too pushy, they could get turned off. If you’re not aggressive enough, well, two passive guys in bed may not turn out to be much fun either. Adapt to what the other guy wants and go with the flow.

4. You’re not a porn star. Unless you’re fucking in the Sean Cody house, you don’t need to narrate and direct every moment during sex. He knows you’re going to fuck him hard, so you don’t need to ask him to, unless that turns him on. Some guys get into that, which can be super hot.

5. Making assumptions. The twink you met at the bar that you thought was a submissive bottom was actually a dom top. The older guy you ignored on Grindr doesn’t even like being called ‘Daddy’. Don’t make assumptions on what the other guy is into. Talk to him. You could be surprised that the guy you thought was completely vanilla is actually a dirty pig!

 


The challenges gay men face, from young boys to gay men

The challenges gay men face, from young boys to gay men, and how it impacts their life

Everyone has different childhood experiences and upbringings. It’s what makes each person unique and different, and helps to sculpt their morals, ethics, beliefs, personalities, and more. However, many gay men often learn that their childhood has commonalities with other gay men. Understanding the challenges gay men face, from young boys through to gay men, can impact the rest of their lives.

It’s around the age of 5-10 years old that boys discover they are not like other boys. They do not understand how they are different, but they do know things are not the same. The reaction to this awareness is to try to fit it with the other boys, trying hard not to be the centre of attention. They will try hard to let people look at them too closely and discover their differences.

The emotional reaction includes fear, isolation, and confusion. Self-esteem starts to take its first big hit. They begin to self-monitor, checking if their behaviour is similar to other boys. This hyper self-monitoring leads to a loss of being able to feel comfortable and spontaneous. It’s a dangerous path, where the child spends more time focusing on what others expect them to act like rather than exploring who they really are.

When a boy realises that he is different, and that he prefers boys over girls, it can be extremely traumatic. Fears and questions begin to arise. Boys will ask themselves if other boys will find out, will they be bullied, how will his family react, will these feelings go away, and what will happen to him as he gets older.

This realization will also cause strong emotional reactions. These emotions and doubts often last into his adult life. Fitting in becomes the name of the game, requiring him to hide who he is and how he feels. Everything from appearance to gestures become very sensitive. This is when the boy will not be himself anymore. They doubt that their family and friends would accept them for who he really is, and he can become overwhelmed with feelings of isolation and loneliness. It’s about this same time that he will teach himself not to trust loving and caring relationships.

As the boy becomes a teenager, he will begin to have crushes on other guys but he is trapped because he cannot do anything about his feelings, other than to hide them. It’s extremely frustrating and lonely. There isn’t the opportunity to fall in love, go out on a date, or experience a relationship, unless it’s with a girl and under false pretences, which adds even more confusion. There are many hurt feelings seeing friends fall in love and not being able to have those same experiences. It’s a sensitive time when he will wonder if he will ever find love and acceptance.

Growing up in this environment isn’t fun; however, in spite of all these problems with self-esteem and lack of a strong sense of self-knowledge, gay youth train themselves to be alone and how to conform with the rest of the world, pleases others.

It’s not until he is in his 20’s or even 30’s that the gay man is able to explore dating and falling in love. This comes with consequence because he never experienced these feelings growing up, so it’s all new and often overwhelming. Relationships are overwhelmed with emotions. This is normal for teenangers, but because he never experienced that, he’s now battling these feelings much later in life, making him feel like a silly teenager all over again.

Gay men do survive their very difficult and trying childhoods. It’s now easy to see why early life experiences can lead to problems later in adult life. Anxiety and depression are common amongst gay men. Anxiety is an extension of the hyper monitoring, with large amounts of self-criticism. Relationships will almost always be difficult because of the lack of practice and not allowing others to get too close to him. Sexual experiences are also hampered because he wasn’t able to experiment with his sexuality and desires when he was at his sexual peak, making sex a quicker and easier way to connect with guys, rather than the long process of dating and building an emotional relationship.


Indulge in debauchery this Labour Day weekend at Southern Decadence

Indulge in debauchery this Labour Day weekend at Southern Decadence

The city of New Orleans loves a good tradition and the people who live there know how to throw a damn good party. While the city is best known for Mardi Gras, it’s an annual event called Southern Decadence that has the thousands of gay men flocking to the sin city of the south for a weekend of debauchery.

Southern Decadence started in 1972, when a small group of friends got together for a Labour Day weekend getaway. These 50 or so guys, like any good gays, decided to throw a theme into their event, that everyone needed to dress like a southern decadent. The weekend was so much fun that the friends agreed to come back the following year to do it again and again.

It’s important to remember, Southern Decadence is not a gay pride event, festival, or circuit party. It’s a massive group of guys that come to congregate in a city known for self-indulgence, fast-flowing liquor, and good times.

Throughout the weekend there are dance parties, parades, and the traditional bead tossing off the balconies.

For event information on events and tickets visit the official Southern Decadence website. If you’re looking for a place to stay and fun things to do in New Orleans, like swamp tours, ghost and history walking tours, and fantastic places to eat, go to the official Tourism New Orleans website.


8 tips that you need to know to put together a fabulous outfit

How to put together a fabulous outfit for your next event
Photo credit: HannesPhoto

There’s no secret about it, gay men know how to dress. Whether it’s a formal black-tie reception, a day on the boat, or a full weekend of circuit parties, having the right outfit doesn’t come as pure luck or coincidence. Most gay men take fashion seriously and they put in a lot of effort when selecting an outfit. Here are 8 tips that you need to know to put together a fabulous outfit for your next event:

  1. Do some research on the event. Find of what type of attire is suitable for the event. Often, events have themes, styles, motifs, or colour palettes. This should all be taken under consideration when planning your outfit. You can always contact the host of the event if you need additional information on attire.
  2. Consult with friends. If you’re going to the event with one or more friends, discuss your outfit options in advance so you can coordinate, to make sure everyone is dressed appropriately, and within the theme.
  3. Learn from the past. If it’s an annual event, like Pride, a circuit party, or fundraising gala, check the website for photo galleries from previous years to see what people where wearing. You may get some ideas for your own outfit. Also check for other similar events to see what would be appropriate.
  4. Take inventory. Consider what items you already own that can be repurposed for a fresh, new outfit. You can’t wear the same outfit over and over, so you may need to borrow pieces from a number out outfits to being creating a new one.
  5. Borrow. The best thing about friends is being able to share and borrow each others clothing, especially when it comes to special events. Sometimes something as simple as an accessory or slightly different cut of shirt can make all the different, without having to break the bank.
  6. Stock up. When you’re out shopping, look at sale racks for unusual and unique items. You might find a piece that really catches your eye. That one treasured piece could be the beginning of a whole new future outfit. In the meantime, get it and hang it in the closet until you have the perfect event to built a complete outfit out of it.
  7. Stand out. It’s fun to be bold and be a cause of conversation. Do it with style, elegance, and pride.
  8. Customize. Don’t settle for something off the rack. Grab the scissors, glue, needle and thread, and whatever else you have from your grandmothers sewing basket and start creating your own original clothing. There’s no right or wrong way of doing it. Just get creative and have fun!

Before you head out the door for your big night out, stop and take a look in front of a full length mirror. You may need to make some last minute adjustments, like changing an accessory, adding a scarf, or rolling up your sleeves. If you’re still in doubt, as a friend, or send a selfie to your peeps and get their opinion. When you walk out the door, you know you’ll be ready with an impressive outfit that people will admire and appreciate.


Classic Greyhound Cocktail

Classic Greyhound Cocktail

Prior to 1945, classic cocktails were made with gin, not vodka. The popular classic Greyhound cocktail got its name because it was served in the “Post House” restaurants, which were located beside the Greyhound bus terminals. You can turn this into a Salty Dog cocktail by simply rimming the glass with salt.

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 4 oz Grapefruit Juice

Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add gin. Pour in grapefruit juice. Give a light stir. Garnish with a lime wheel.


3 tips from Darius Ferdynand for new guys starting in gay porn

Darius FerdynandStarting off in the gay porn industry is tough. Most people who are interested in getting into a career go to a post-secondary school; however, if you take acting and dance classes, and go to the gym every day, you likely won’t be ready to get undresses and be comfortable having sex on camera right away. Award-winning international gay porn star, Darius Ferdyand, offers these three tips for new guys starting in gay porn:

  1. Choose the right studio:

“If you don’t have previous adult entertainment experience find companies who only work with beginners, so you get a better salary before you carry on with the larger companies,” recommends Darius Ferdynand. “Besides that, be creative, be passionate, be hot and horny, and pay attention to the porn world. Do not do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. You’ll hate it, you will look crappy, the studio will hate it, and you’ll lose your interest in porn.”

  1. Respect yourself

“Some people think if you are a porn star then you are willing to do all kinds of stuff for ridiculous money,” said Darius Ferdynand. “I think you have to draw your own line and not sell yourself for nothing. Don’t be cheap!”

  1. Learn about yourself

“You have to look good, and have good timing with your erection and cum shot,” explains Darius Ferdynand. “You have to learn what angles look good on you, and make real connections with your partner, director, and audience.”

 


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