Recently, it occurred to me that I don’t know anyone who is calm. I’m certainly not. When something feels odd inside — and I mean medically, I rarely have interesting epiphanies anymore — I mentally scroll through a list of diseases I found on WebMD. The grimmest conditions always rise to the forefront of my mind (sorry, indigestion). They’re like frenemies I’ve excommunicated but still find me when I’m at my most desperate for connection. They’ll slide into my DMs like, “What up? It’s heart attack. Man, it’s been sooooo long. Remember those nights we spent in the ER just…


Derek Nelson, a spiky-haired beefcake from rural Pennsylvania, had just lost his job at the Hollywood Wax Museum when he was approached by a Hollywood producer with an intriguing proposition: Go-go dancing for gay guys.

“Literally the next night, I’m on stage dancing in my underwear,” Nelson remembers. “The casting agent says, ‘You have a huge dick; you’re hired.’ That was the entire audition.”

Nelson wasn’t super well-acquainted with the LGBT community at the time. “I knew almost nothing,” he says. “I was pretty open as a teen, though. When gay marriage was proposed, I was like, ‘Yeah, gay people…


‘Good and cheap to get your kink on with your lover. Get the back view so you can enjoy the Mountain View in stand up dog position’

The aspiration of hotel sex is to try new and exciting things, like anal in the shower or a pegging session with your Shape of Water dildo.

Unfortunately, things don’t always go so smoothly. Sometimes you check yourself into a fluorescent hell that looks nothing like the relaxing spa you inferred from photos; other times you discover a bed bug mid-thrust. But what’s funniest — in a tragic sort of way — is how sexpectation and reality collide in hotel reviews on TripAdvisor.

I first came across the topic of sex on TripAdvisor while perusing reviews for Circus Circus, a…


Image Via Chris Coats

I’m at a health food cafe in L.A. and the actress Freckle is teaching me how to be more like her. Her secrets, she says, are tinted moisturizer, a blowout, smokey eye, a subtle lip and heels. Then she looks down at what she’s currently wearing. “Actually, I think we all know Freckle is basketball shorts, a sweatshirt and a real strong sense of B.O.”

Freckle, both the trash queen and the glamorous bon vivant, is the creation of Jason Greene, a Latino gender-fluid actress from East L.A. She first gained attention after appearing in the cult YouTube series, The…


A roundtable discussion with today’s modern families

When I came out to my mom in high school, she sat shiva for my future, barely bothering to shower or change out of her pajamas for a week. I escaped to a friend’s house and pretended his family was mine. “Are you over it?” I’d call and ask; she’d sob and I’d hang up. I’d never imagine that, 10 years later, she’d be pestering me to have kids, as if I was her straight son. “Do you think you might be ready?” she recently asked during a conversation about something completely unrelated. I groaned and changed the subject.

But…


A researcher discusses the first-ever large-scale study on Russian homophobia

In Russia, the “Gay Lobby” is seen as a social contagion — highly infectious and spreading fast. “Society believes we can multiply,” says Evgeny Osin, a professor at the National Research University in Moscow. This fear, stoked by politicians and kept aflame by the Russian media, has warped the public’s perception of sexual minorities and bolstered support for state policies that drive the community into the shadows.

That said, Russia wasn’t always a place where gay people feared for their lives. “In the Middle Ages, travelers from Europe were actually surprised by the liberal mores of Russian people,” says Osin…


Why it’s hot for the president to get fucked by Putin, dinosaurs and even his own tax returns

It’s been said that we’re having less sex since the election of Donald Trump. “After the Election, I Lost My Sex Drive,” an Elle headline revealed. “Donald Trump Is Destroying America’s Sex Life,” read another on Slate.

But there’s a certain breed of writer whose erotic imagination was sparked by the inauguration of our Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief. On sites like Archive of Our Own and Wattpad, pornographic tales featuring The Donald and a revolving cast of characters have flourished in the past few months. …


In a certain sense, Ai Weiwei’s new Oscar-shortlisted film, Human Flow, represents a departure from the artist’s usual incendiary style: It’s a sober look at the suffering of 65 million people forced to flee their homes due to conflict or persecution. To create it, Ai’s team visited 23 different countries and more than 40 camps, interviewing 600 refugees from camps in Macedonia, Gaza, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Italy.

But it’s also highly personal. As a Chinese artist and dissident, Ai WeiWei is a refugee too: he’s been beaten, surveilled and denied a passport by his own country. Ai’s name is…


© 2017 — Sony Pictures Classics

After seeing Call Me by Your Name three weeks ago, Ramone, a 20-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, began posting photos of its star, Timothée Chalamet, on his Twitter account. Today, he posts new galleries and videos of Chalamet almost every 10 minutes, and nearly all of those he follows have the actor’s face as their avatar.

“We talk about the film a lot,” he says of the CMBYN fandom. “We have a lot of ‘meltdowns’ talking about the love in the film.”

For those who found the romance featuring Armie Hammer and Chalamet (who play Oliver and Elio, respectively)…


‘Call Me by Your Name,’ Kevin Spacey and what counts as predatory behavior among gay men

There’s a part of the whole Kevin Spacey scandal I still can’t get over. In an interview with New York magazine, an anonymous gay man told reporter E. Alex Jung that whenever he would describe his sexual relationship with Spacey to friends, he would include a caveat. “Every time I’ve ever told the story, I am compelled to tell people how seductive I was,” he told the writer. At the time of the affair, he said, “I would’ve told you that relationship was completely consensual. I would have said, ‘Yeah, I’m 14, but I’m really smart. I’m really together. …

Steven Blum

Writer and editor in L.A. focused on sex, gender and LGBTQ+ issues. Vice, Mel, Slate, GQ, them., Out, Broadly, etc. | www.steven-blum.net | @stevenblum

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