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The childhood habit doesn’t go away for everyone — and neither does the shame around it

Eric, a 45-year-old advertising executive with a major U.S. agency, was being upbraided by an angry client displeased by the lousy performance of a recent campaign when the conference room suddenly fell silent, and Eric realized all eyes were on him.

“Dude, what are you doing?” his colleague whispered.

It was at that moment that Eric realized he was sucking his thumb.

“Oh, sorry,” Eric said with a nervous laugh, withdrawing his thumb to a loud shlop. “I’ve just got this piece of loose skin on my thumb. I’ll take care of it later.”

Eric, of course, was lying. In truth, he’s an adult thumbsucker, who takes to the habit whenever he’s under stress — like when he’s being berated by an angry client. …


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I had Swedish designers turn my dick measurements into a ‘Penis Poster’ — and learned a ton about the history of dick sculptures, paintings and pics in the process

I’m debating whether or not to frame the life-size artistic rendering of my erect penis that’s just arrived in the mail. I commissioned it a couple months ago from a group of designers in Gothenburg, Sweden, to whom I sent the basic specs of my dick (i.e., length, girth, grower v. shower, intact vs. circumcised, etc.); desired state (erect vs. flaccid); and preferred design (watercolor, line art or sketch). As I’m a huge fan of both M.C. Escher and my own boner, I opt for a circumcised pencil sketch of what a Swedish stranger imagines my hard-on looks like.


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In fact, it was an all-male pursuit as recently as the end of World War II

Jesse Hernandez, Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies made history last month when they became the the first male cheerleaders in the NFL (for the Saints and Rams, respectively). The Ravens and Colts have had men who perform stunts with female cheerleaders, but this marked the first time men performed the same routines as their female counterparts. While cheerleading remains a female-dominated sport in the NFL — as well as in middle school and high school — at the collegiate level, considered the “pros” for cheerleading, males make up more than half of all rosters. Not to mention, back in the day, there was nothing but male cheerleaders — including five U.S. presidents (FDR, Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush Sr. …


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‘I’m going to talk about sex and cumming and fingering myself and shaving my asshole. I’m going to own that, and I’m going to put it out there, because fuck you.’

Cakeboy is a gay men’s magazine that isn’t “gay” or “male,” according to its founder Sean Santiago, who chooses not to use those words to describe himself either. Rather, he considers Cakeboy’s identity, like his own, to be more of an ever-evolving conversation — a collaborative gesture toward something better. Or in more provocative terms, a “breeding ground for disruptive faggotry,” according to Cakeboy’s About page, that’s “like the liner notes from an imagined Amanda Bynes album dedicated to queer love.”

The seventh issue of the now three-year-old print magazine debuted this month, featuring stories about a queer photographer traveling throughout Europe taking decidedly strange portraits; four trans men competing in a bodybuilding competition in Atlanta; edible “rump scrubs” that transform ass eating into French vanilla lattes; and a conversation about beauty, coolness and sex appeal with Lady Gaga’s stylist and the reigning champ of RuPaul’s Drag Race. …


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It’s called ‘stature lengthening,’ and it aims to help short kings tower over all their insecurities

At 5-foot-3, Sam was shorter than most guys entering freshman year of high school. Still, it didn’t bother him. He was a late bloomer and knew teens went through growth spurts at different times. I’ll grow, he reassured himself. I’ll catch up. Years went by, though, and Sam wasn’t getting any taller. He accepted his fate at first, figuring it wasn’t something he could ever change. But what remained of his self-confidence disappeared when, as a summer camp counselor, many of the middle-school campers towered over him.

And so, before bed every night, Sam would yearn to be taller, often scouring the internet for information on stature lengthening. He learned the procedure was based on a principle known as “distraction osteogenesis,” in which the femur bone is broken in two and slowly stretched apart. Then, four times a day, the external fixator — a scaffold on the outside of the leg holding the broken bones in place with pins — would be used to slowly pull the bone segments apart, allowing new bone tissue to regrow within the gap and lengthening the leg by one millimeter per day. …


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Donald Trump Jr. is only the latest in a long line of males to wear his initials on his sleeve

In a recent, since-deleted Instagram photo taken at Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landy’s annual gator hunt, Donald Trump Jr. made a strong sartorial choice by underlining his man boob sweat with his monogram.


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Dave is a 40-year-old full-time stay-at-home dad in L.A. with two sons, Bradley and Ernie, ages three and eight months. Prior to fatherhood Dave was a full-time social media manager bringing home $55,000 a year before taxes. His wife Beth, on the other hand, owns a production company and makes $200,000 a year. After Bradley was born, Dave realized his entire paycheck was being used for daycare so he quit to be a full-time dad. That meant, among other things, he became entirely dependent on Beth financially.


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The female-to-male ratio even in classes with names like Body Combat is 10:1

I’m one of three men and 30 women awaiting direction at the start of a Saturday morning Zumba class, the group fitness program that combines Latin and World music with hip-hop dance moves. Judging from the leg warmers and fuchsia halter tops, there are no straight men in the room, myself included. Like everyone else, I’m here to sweat; but I’ve also come to investigate a bigger question: Why are group fitness classes so gendered?

“Shimmy!” shrieks Chellie Thomas, our enthusiastic instructor, as Jennifer Lopez’s “Dance Again” erupts from the overhead speakers. On cue, the entire class leans back and shimmies their shoulders a la Hillary Clinton at a 2016 presidential debate, thereby answering the above question within the first 10 seconds: Because it’s really fucking emasculating to shimmy your shoulders like Hillary Clinton at a 2016 presidential debate.


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As a barely pubescent, closeted gay teen, I remember being confused by Disney fairy tales in which tall, dashing princes galloped to the side of maidens in distress. Were Gaston, Aladdin and Prince Charming really the men I was supposed to be pining for? Rather than, say, Jonathan Taylor Thomas in Home Improvement, Jonathan Taylor Thomas in Tom and Huck and Jonathan Taylor Thomas in Ally McBeal?

Alas, once a twink man, always a twink man.

Meanwhile, my straight friends had seemingly unending options of idealized female archetypes from which to choose. At least that’s what my older brother’s friends counseled: “Everbody loves blondes,” they’d say. Or: “Heroes want redheads.” …


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An activist, pastor, reality star and the Naked Cowboy on leading a ‘clothing-optional’ lifestyle

When police officers arrived at a Planet Fitness in Plaistow, New Hampshire, late last month, they found 34-year-old Eric Stagno naked in a downward dog yoga position. Gym-goers said they felt “disgusted,” “sick” and “unsafe.” For his part, Stagno explained he was under the impression that Planet Fitness was a “Judgment-Free Zone™.” And so, he stripped down, left his clothes at the front desk and did some separate leg stretching on a communal yoga mat.

Namaste, bitches.

Stagno was charged with indecent exposure, lewdness and disorderly conduct — the standard trifecta of charges in most U.S. states for donning one’s birthday suit in public. But there’s some variation depending on the state. Being topless in Seattle, for example, is legal. You can go naked at all public beaches in Miami. …

About

C. Brian Smith

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