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Jun 28 2016

Gay Ride: My Day With The Men Of The Adonis Lounge

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IMG_8236*Our float represented the Adonis Lounge, Fairytail Lounge & And sodomy. (All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund)

If you're a longtime reader of Boy Culture, you know I'm all about NYC's the Adonis Lounge, where go-go boys go-go that extra mile (give or take) to give or take all the pleasure you can manhandle. My first experience there was one of my fave blog posts.

READ: The Adonis Lounge at Stonewall, with Booty-ful Bryan Hawn

Two years ago, I spent the NYC Pride March with the Adonis Lounge float and had a blast with Duncan Black and all the other wriggling dancers. The video alone was worth the work. This year, I accepted the offer to come back and shoot the boys in their nearly au naturel habitat—and it wasn't disappointing. As long as you don't count spending three hours waiting to step off, only to find many people had gone home by the time we began our outer journey.

READ: 100+ Pics from My Last Raunchy Ride at Pride

After I spent hours shooting the beginning of the parade—check those fun and occasionally erotic pics here—I made IMG_4301*my way back to 40th and 6th, where we were allegedly supposed to meet. I was more high-maintenance than a dancer, bugging boss-man Tim about the details; I was just sure I wouldn't get through the police barriers or something else would go wrong, and my damn iPhone Negative-Four doesn't hold a charge.

READ: A Skin-Tastic Visit to The Adonis Lounge in Vegas

But I had no problem finding the crew, situated on the same block with Gloria Allred, some transgender defenders and—thank Christ—a place IMG_8177* that sold croissants. The truck was late but most of the dancers were on time. I heard Tim booked 18 and about 10 showed, which is stripper for “a big turn-out.”

Lucky for Tim and luckier for the crowds who eventually saw us, some of his hottest guys came out to support the Adonis Lounge by shaking their moneymakers without the possibility of anyone stuffing bills into their G-strings. (Mine is an H-string, but I'm working on it.)

IMG_8170*Get off my Hawn!

I spent a lot of bonding time with Bryan Hawn, whom I now know well enough that getting future lap dances or encountering his astral projection in a masturbatory fantasy would be awkward, as well as fellow dancer Matt, with whom I quickly developed a Moonlighting-esque rapport. (He's from the West Coast and said dancing at the parade was good business, even if nobody paid, I replied, Capitalism fail. Oregon, right?) We did have a legit-interesting convo about re-branding the word hustling, and he came up with sexual therapist after I rejected his more euphemistic healer.

IMG_8171*Bryan Hawn with Matt, who'd just as soon debate you as lap dance for you. (He'd win either.)

Though I'm sure his antics on the float had a lot of onlookers wishing they could get healed.

IMG_8163*Beautiful Santiago gets his Miley on.

IMG_8454*What would J.C. do?

IMG_8232*Carlos, from Ecuador, with one of his many fans

IMG_8294*Try these on for thighs: Adam has to be one of the best-looking guys in NYC.

We honest-to-God didn't step off until after 6 p.m., the march was so big this year, but we weren't the last float; JetBlue was behind us, executing amazing flash-mob-style numbers, but I'm afraid we pulled focus every time a dancer got frisky and decided to moon Fifth Ave. (One beautiful dude who wasn't a dancer but was with, a co-sponsor of the float, kept hauling out his enough-for-two tattooed booty, which was much nicer than receiving a VOTE FOR NADLER sticker.)

IMG_8244*There was a GOD MADE ME PERFECT sticker between his cheeks that stayed put all day.

One positive side effect of the delay was when I shot an adorable young bystander—shirtless, in rainbow suspenders—and then turned around and discovered they'd recruited him to dance on the float. By sheer luck, he was wearing nice undies. Watch for his debut at the Adonis Lounge in the near future.


IMG_8463*Ask yourself: Would you be prepared to become a go-go dancer with no notice? If not, why not?

Though many people had deserted us in Midtown (they were probably home preparing for next year's parade) when we finally got going, the reactions were priceless—the guys attracted clusters of looky-loos with thirsty iPhones and seemed to get big hoots even from dyed-in-the-wool dykes.

IMG_8212*Ladies never pay! These cute friends were all about star dancer Adam.

IMG_8535*Bryan was recognized by a fan. “That makes me want to keep going,” he told me sincerely.

IMG_8394*Causing a commotion wherever he gyrates

IMG_8323*Santiago, Fairytale bartender Josh & newcomer Anthony escort a fan to her happy place.

IMG_8507*Bryce Adonis has friends in high places—and plenty of free copies of Rushbox!

Who doesn't like a cute person reveling in their own cuteness in public?




IMG_8483*Looking-for-action shots

It was a whole other story when we got closer to the Village, where there were still plenty of extremely enthusiastic attendees. One mimicked CALL ME to a dancer, who made us all proud by pointing to the Adonis Lounge signage on the truck. Now that's a call to action.

IMG_8489*This truck holds the dreams of so many.

IMG_8555*Our fairy god-sister, Grim

IMG_8521*A reminder that some of the dancers are actually gay!
IMG_8400*... and a reminder that some of them are actually bottoms!

IMG_8718*He'll make you gay and proud at the same time.

IMG_8769*Remember when the Meatpacking District actually looked like this?

IMG_8771*We got a little slap-happy ...

IMG_8779*On ice

IMG_8788*Imagine being so young you look this good after dancing on a truck all day.

The end of the parade was a li'l messy, but I wound up on the flatbed truck—no sides, little to hold onto except for a bunch of dancers in their skivvies—as we were whizzed from downtown back up to the 40s. If we had gotten rear-ended by a semi, along with generating the best New York Post headline ever, whoever came up with that old adage about wearing nice underwear because hospital workers will see it would have been so very proud of all the rainbow-colored Andrew Christian and Pump selections on our dead bodies.


IMG_8801*A little love from Macy's and the Empire State Building on our way home

The rest of my sizzling Adonis Lounge pics are coming here, and come back soon for another installment of the Adonis Lounge's “Ask a Stripper” videos!

IMG_8784*Matt-itation, post-Pride


Final Word On Benghazi: No New Evidence Of Wrongdoing By Hillary Clinton

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The committee allegedly charged with seeking answers in the Benghazi attack has come up empty, failing to do what it was really trying to do all along—provide evidence that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asleep at the wheel and therefore somehow to blame. (Trump mouthpiece tweeted that Hillary quote unquote murdered an ambassador. Good to know.)

While they do use the report to claim Hillary should've realized the situation was dangerous (you mean as in ignoring a memo entitled BIN LADIN DETERMINED TO STRIKE IN U.S.?), there's nothing to see here, folks, except more evidence that this entire inquiry was a witch hunt.

And the “witch” escaped, so move on.

*widget boy cultureIn other news, Hillary's PUSH bio included a reference to Monica Lewinsky! It's being written off as a staffer's “brain freeze.” Don't cut-and-paste from Wikipedia.

*widget boy cultureSanders' backers are, by and large, rallying to Hillary. Maybe. Except in Texas.


HEAT INDEX — Eian Scully + Ryan Phillippe + Proud Marys + Tan-Line Fetish + Colby Keller + EVERYBODY WANTS SOME (And So Ye Shall Have It) + Harry Shum Jr. + Beefy Bystanders + Leigh Halfpenny + Brexxxit!

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Good morning from Cape Cod! On set 📸

A photo posted by Eian Scully (@eianscully) on

WAKE-UP CALL: Above, Eian Scully is quite a stretch.

MORNING MELONS: Ryan Phillippe's flashback backside. (Work Unfriendly)


AND THE TANNED PLAYED ON: Nothing hotter than tan lines.


WANT SOME?: The butts of the Everybody Wants Some cast. (Work Unfriendly)

WANT SHUM?: Harry Shum Jr. by Tyler Shields:


I'LL HAVE WHAT HE'S HAVING: Leigh Halfpenny's foot-long.

BRINGING BREXIT BACK: An erotic novel about Brexit. No, really.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 10.07.13 AMHave you been sterling-pounded lately? (Image via Chuck Tingle/NewNowNext)


Steve Grand Embraces The Thirst

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6-PACK — Sally Field On Hillary Clinton's Likability + Hotel To Condo + SHE SAID YES! + Running-Shorts Peek + The Pope's Sorry/Not Sorry, Gays + Mississippi Learning: You Can't Deny Same-Sex Marriage Licenses!

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*widget boy cultureAbove: Sally Field tells it like it is regarding Hillary's likability: “She's not running to be everybody's friend. She's running to be the President of the United States.”

*widget boy cultureNYC's landmark Waldorf Astoria will close in 2017 so it can be turned into condos.

*widget boy cultureFire Dept. EMT proposed to her GF at NYC Pride March; I later heard her exclaiming to everyone, She said yes!"

*widget boy cultureYou can almost see up this dude's running shorts. Sorry if you like shaved pits—don't click here.

*widget boy cultureThe Pope says Catholics oughtta apologize for how gays have been treated, but he's still anti-quality. Period.

*widget boy cultureFederal judge: Mississippi clerks may not deny people same-sex marriage licenses out of personal religious concerns.




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IMG_7078*(Image by Matthew Rettenmund) 

More just like it right here.


Calum McSwiggan Gay-Bashed For Pride

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Calum McSwiggan, a popular LGBT lifestyle vlogger, has written on Facebook of being singled out for being gay, beaten up by three men and then mistreated by the authorities. 

McSwiggan's latest YouTube upload, making fun of gay stereotypes, considered in light of his assault just underscores something I say all the time—doesn't matter how we behave vs. how we stereotypically behave, we're queer and the people who hate that will hate it no matter whether we're flamboyant queens or sweet vloggers or Bob the Builder.

Wishing him all the best for a speedy recovery, and I hope he will use his platform to shed more light on what happened in order to make sure it happens less in the future.


Finger On Pulse: NYC Pride March 2016 — With 100s Of Pictures!

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IMG_7509*All of the above! (All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund, unless noted)

My day at the NYC Pride March was a beautiful reminder of my experience in life and of the fact that I'm always having new experiences in life ... and proof that my little body's slowing breaking down. Oh, my aching gay back!

I was tapped to follow the stripper-drenched Adonis Lounge float, photographing the guys and the gays' reactions to them as we tooled through Manhattan, Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.43.40 PMbut was told the night before—at a nude party, which are great fun when only the strippers and not the patrons provide the nudity—that I wouldn't be meeting then until 3 p.m. That blew my mind, as anyone marching in the parade usually meets up in the morning. This year, organizers seemed to get more realistic about when groups should assemble on the side streets in the 30s and 40s along Fifth Avenue to cut down on congestion and fatigue, but there was no way I wanted to miss the parade itself just because I was going to be in it, toward the end. [Pictured: Me with Angel (Image by Angel Jimez), me with Edward (Image courtesy of Edward Thomas)]

So, I woke up early, fed myself, pulled on my beloved Mildred Fierce T-shirt and hauled camera over to W. 41st St., which I picked IMG_7475*
because I read that was where a group featuring teen trans star Jazz Jennings would be meeting up and thought she'd be fun to shoot again. I never found her, but did find my pal Edward Thomas and his sister.

It was a great block on which to hang out, filled with plenty of beauties, interesting faces and spirited coppers—I was mixing it up with the Gay Officers Action League, where I met a lesbian couple in love with Varla Jean Merman (my shirt provided the conversation-starter), was handed my first NO when asking to take someone's picture (an all-but-naked man in a leather jockstrap, who apparently wasn't seeking attention) and fell in love several times.

IMG_7495*Copping out!

I don't have official press I.D., which isn't technically needed to cover a public event, but I'm always worried I'll be stopped when walking from float to float. Once our group poured onto Fifth, there was no turning back and I was able to march forward pretty far, to within a few groups of the very beginning of the parade (I had fun with the Hillary marchers, unaware that had I just stuck with them a few more blocks, I would've encountered the woman herself—oh, well, I did get Chelsea last year).

IMG_7470*The first one I fell for: The adorable Zico boy and his hairy legs.

Once I'd gotten way down from the 40s to the teens, I simply turned around and began slowly moving back against the tide in order to see as many marchers as possible.



IMG_7555*Now cheer this!

It was a beautiful march—colorful, exuberant, and sunny—but it surprised me that it didn't feel as pregnant with purpose as I'd expected in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. To be sure, there were countless expressions of solidarity and sorrow over the event, most prominently in the inclusion of Pulse owner Barbara Poma and the many WE ARE ORLANDO signs, but the parade didn't have a different vibe—it was just much, much longer. Maybe that was the Pulse effect, a rush to be a part of the bigger picture, even if more than a few moms back home were wishing their LGBT kids were not going to be quite so LGBT, quite so out in the open; I guess a lot more people wanted to send the message that they were deeply affected by Orlando, but wouldn't let that stop them from being themselves in public.


IMG_7612*Many 49ers in the crowd

The other thing I noticed more so than ever, and that drives at least some people away from the otherwise energizing event, is the relentless corporatization of it. I have argued before, and it is still my belief, that big business marketing to us is not demonic, and that if we live in a capitalist society and are the target of marketers, that is a sign of respect for our importance, our power. Also, it's psychologically vastly important that everyday brands go out of their way to support the LGBT cause openly—even if I'm not sure whether Kiehl's is a top or a bottom (probably bottom), or in what stage of transitioning Facebook may be.


IMG_7606*Case in point: Delta Airlines had human billboards ... and yet these two pics were among my favorite due to the marcher's joy.

I appreciate that the captains of industry understand that LGBT people are there customers and are not afraid to have our back on our biggest day of the year. Frankly, we'd have to buy from them anyway.

IMG_8674*The only thing they were selling was love.

That said, it's more and more of a killjoy to see so many marchers who were casted to walk attractively alongside and while wearing a logo. This fatiguing omnipresence of big business first hit me when I heard a team leader giving what sounded like shareholders speech before his company group's step-off, was compounded by running into a young friend who was being paid to participate (would he have even gone otherwise?) and was hammered home when, at the end of the draining day I was handed three rainbow bracelets—and upon closer inspection, discovered they advertised Wyndham Rewards. Womp-womp.

IMG_7436*Whether the message is from MasterCard or Harvey Milk, it's true: Acceptance does matter.

It's not moving, this businessy side of the parade, but on the other hand, I suppose it's the biggest pie in the face of every Anita Bryant ever that Walmart's with us, and that MasterCard is telling the world #AcceptanceMatters. Because it does, but who knew MasterCard would one day care?

I think what would help me get over the $$$ aspect is if the march could somehow encourage much smaller groups to have floats (at a discounted rate?) that were being judged for creativity and messaging. That way, I think people would be less inundated with pitches (including political ones) and the parade itself would only be more fun.




IMG_7716*Their bodies are not your enemy.

In the past, I've also read a lot about people thinking the parade is too sexy, too about perfect bodies. I really don't get that at all. I hunted for those sexy IMG_7777*bodies, and while there were plenty on display, it sure didn't feel excessive. I recall other parades in decades past that felt far more decadent. (I later wound up on the dirtiest float in the entire procession, and it suck out like a sore thumb-job.) I also just unfriended a very intelligent but ridiculously politicized writer whose posts obsess over racism and sexism and homophobic in ways that are more self-parody than self-help. The straw that broke the homo's back was his declaration that he “hates” Gay Pride, partly due to a wrenching experience he had once (which I get) but mainly due to his feeling that all the lovely bodies are shaming him and telling him he isn't good enough.

I fully understand that twinge one can get when one sees a gaggle of ostentatiously sexy, mind-bogglingly muscled gay dudes in Speedos IMG_8111* acting like they were born that way, and there are definitely a lot of boys who, like too many girls have always done in order to seem less threatening to men, fake air-headedness and flash skin until it becomes who they are. But they are not the ones telling you you're not good enough by having great beauty, you're the one telling yourself that. Get over it, enjoy their beauty and—you know what?—enjoy what you've got, too. We are all born and we all die and any one of us can get shot in a club or get cancer or get gay-bashed or anything else you can imagine, so celebrating our fleeting sexiness should be an act of pleasure and defiance, not something to make us binge-eat a bag of doughnuts and declare our hatred for gay pride.

IMG_7754*Don't ever hate Pride.

All that said, I did have a blast playing photojournalist (surprising that I had about a half dozen people I asked for posed pictures decline), taking portraits, candids and landscapes of the gigantic, throbbing event from noon to 3. Ultimately, there is nothing else quite like a big-city LGBT parade, even if someone, somewhere is making a little cash off of it.

IMG_7543*See change!

By 3, I had made my way back to where the floats were waiting to make their way down Fifth, and found the Adonis Lounge's station. I spent several hours there—we didn't step off until something like 6!—and then spent another few slowly, ever so slowly, marching the entire route. But that's for another post.

IMG_7577*Looking at these women, who wouldn't wanna be a lesbian?

Enjoy some of my favorite photos, SHARE on social media and feel free to chime in if you see anyone you know ...

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