Monday, October 30, 2006

Objectification 37 / Personality 4

When I first discovered Manhunt, it seemed like a great idea: you leaf through the pages; find something that looks appealing; and place your order. Simple as In the actual world, I've been surprised by the real heat generated by men I'd never pick out of a catalog. A sort of opposite corollary developed after a few transactions in the virtual venue - I discovered that even if what arrives is the exact size, shape, and color desired, matching in every way the description and depictions, that doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be satisfied with what shows up on the door step. Buyers remorse. It took a number of tries before I realized it, but the M.H. is just not my thing. But I'm still on it all the time. The site still seems to be in it's ascendancy - its always packed with guys online - and has become sort of an electronic gay home room in addition to the premiere hook up site. I use it now primarily for voyeuristic thrills and to spy on the efforts of my buddies. We write snarky comments back and forth regarding especially cringeworthy profiles and our own relative slattern-ness. It's fun. Unfortunately, all the other guys I've "met" on the site are still floating around in the Manhunt ether as well. They wanna chat - usually with salatious intentions - but honestly, at this post coital juncture in our relationships, I have nothing left to say to most of these guys.

My solution to too much visibility was to establish a stealth profile. My original M.H. profile is very Ed-like. The text conveys my personality, sense of humor, interests and outlook. It is replete with clear and current face and full length pictures of me smiling and happily engaged in wholesome, fully clothed pursuits. The stealth profile takes a different tack. There is no personality presented, no details other than height, weight, and age, no face picture and no text save for the instruction that applicants unlock all of their images before bothering me. The whole substance of the post is five photographs. Yes. Like many men having a digital camera, ample free time and a borderline-obsessive degree of narcissism, I've taken a lot of pictures particular aspect of male anatomy which is never far from the thoughts and concerns of gay men. Quite a number of pictures, and really good ones, it seems. I'm not sure if it's the camera angles, lighting, or my compositional skills as an artist/designer, but the response has been remarkable.

This doesn't make me happy at all. A number of men to whom I'm completely invisible in the streets and bars of Philadelphia and New York have noticed this other on line self. Some have been introduced to me a number of times, though retain no memory of this. Others assiduously avoid any and all eye contact with me when we cross paths in the establishments where we and our common acquaintances congregate. A few have not responded to (occasionally having deleted unread) the friendly and upbeat messages I've sent to them from my real profile. However, they find the stealth profile strangely compelling, expressing their delight in the images and expounding at length in all manner of graphic detail exactly how, where, and to what duration and degree they would like the pictured appendage applied. I don't of course reply to these men.

I was in San Francisco recently, and decided to perform an experiment. Both of my profiles were unknown there. I changed the address of each to The City by the Bay, and logged them on simultaneously during the heavily trafficked after work period, dutifully refreshing each regularly to keep both profiles right at the beginning of the list of candidates. I ran the test for an hour. The results: stealth profile received thirty seven contacts, while real profile garnered a paltry four - and one of those was from a previous Philadelphia contact who'd wondered if I'd moved to California. Ah, the commodities game! It's that old truism from advertising: don't reveal details that might give prospective buyers any reasons to say no.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Rustica makes the best pizza I've ever had. I've had quite a lot of it.

First course: roasted brussels sprouts and carmelized onions.

Second course: shredded chicken and salsa verde with cilantro.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

"I see it all around me, but it stops at my skin."

I went to see "Shortbus". It screened at the nice theater, the one with the concession in the lobby that sells lattes and biscotti and imported chocolates along side the popcorn and Rasinettes. The auditorium was nearly filled with homosexuals and hipsters, which is generally the case at this cinema but was most especially so this time. I found myself silently crying (though Yankees like me are loathe to do such things in public) once or twice - unseen, unheard. I'll see it again to try to figure out why. You should probably go see it yourself.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


When old silver is allowed to become this tarnished, you need to pull out the big guns.

Simichrome was invented by the Nazis to keep the brightwork on the Peoples' Car sparkling. Wear gloves - it's caustic.

But see? Shiny!

Monday, October 16, 2006


My buddy Sal is a car guy. He owns a gigantic 1958 Edsel Citation four door hardtop, a top of the line example of Ford Motor Company's ill fated marque from the 1958-60 model years. He's wanted one since puberty; he's had this one for less than a year. The car's colossal marketing failure is still taught in business programs throughout the western world, as an example of what not to do. It's an ungainly tank like hulk of a thing, and like most cars of its era nearly impossible to drive by modern standards, even with it's push-button-automatic-power-everything. To my designer's eye, the machine is not the most felicitous styling exercise from the once great but currently foundering automotive titan. Still, there's really nothing else like mid-century over powered Detroit rolling stock. Sal picked me up at the gallery and we tooled along the river drives and then finally across the Ben Franklin Bridge to the storage facility where his baby sleeps. Before he slipped her into its solo berth (the walls are padded to prevent door chips) his eyes caressed the glossy curves and glintingly reflected the sparklingly perfect chrome. For car a guy like Sal, there is nothing lovelier.

Friday, October 13, 2006


I guess one of the things I'm most happy about, is that
all these mean ass bitches are my "friends", so I dont have to worry about a blogger-gang beat down, unlike these poor "guys".

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Continuing Education

Late last night when I should have been sleeping, I instead watched one of the Psychology 101 courses the local P.B.S. affiliate broadcasts for a community college. The subject was personality disorders. I learned that there were a total of eight distinct personality disorders, of which my four favorites were covered: obsessive/compulsive; narcissistic; borderline; and anti-social. It was riveting. I find any video image irresistibly compelling, but am particularly captivated by pedantic talking heads with goggle size early nineties eyeglasses and giant sentry like shoulder pads hunched up assertively, like malevolent, wayward mastectomy prosthesis. My guide and teacher's droning discourse was broken up by interviews with sufferers of the various conditions. Mesmerizing. Gradually, I realized two things: one, that I manifest key indicators of the first three featured disorders; and two, during the interview segments, that I thought the guys with anti-social personality disorder were, well, kinda hot. None of this can be good. I really need to turn in earlier.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


I'd trade sex for love in a heart beat. I'm not sure I'd trade chocolate for either.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hipster Sighting

Check List

1.) "Ironic" thrift store t-shirt (actual)

2.) 1980's short fitted jacket

3.) Straight leg, snug dark jeans (high waists here, but worn low)

4.) Gola and Addidas sneakers (Pumas are so 2004)

5.) kitschy vintage bag (simulated)

6.) Beard (just on boys)

7.) Vintage scooter

I own/wear/ride almost all of these items (none of my kitschy vintage is simulated)

Oh dear.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Drive my Car

Because I don't want to run into the other cars, I feel compelled to watch the road when driving my own convertible around Philadelphia. It was great fun to be chauffeured by Blogdaddy, top down, around the City by the Bay. Plunging along the bayside roads of the Marin Headlands, I felt like I would topple over the windshield and drop right into the bay. It was actually thrilling. I'd show you the pics, but iPhoto is having seizures right now.


I have new sneakers. Like most things I wear which are not from thrift stores, I got them from a sale rack. Manufacturers have an inflated sense of the worth of their productions, egged on by consumers conditioned to pay too much for too little. Not me. I don't really need anything, so can bide my time stalking an item in wait for inevitable markdowns. The latest thing, the most modish and heavily marketed, sells out. Things of lasting value tend to linger on fashion's shelf. Which is great for me - It's like Priceline; they meet my bid or I just don't bother. I'm still particular though. This pair is extremely comfortable, as anything I wear must be - I won't suffer for style, ever. They are meticulously crafted; supple vamps tongues and counters fully lined with soft calf skin, then stitched to leather mid soles with hard rubber out soles stitched to that - no vinyl, no fabric, no plastic - like good dress shoes used to be cobbled before everything was moulded in vaccuum presses in Mexico and China. Whatever style they do have is minimal; they look just like any other old fashioned pair; like a cartoon drawing of 70's sneakers. In that they are like all of my favorite things; not seemingly worth a second glance - but if and when you do look further, a precision of craft and richness of materials presents itself. Each time I fish them out of the pile on the floor by the bed I can't help but admire them, marveling at the complexity and precision of the make and the resulting simplicity of the final effort. Practical, enduring and understated - pretty on the inside for no one else but me. I like 'em.
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