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L’Oreal Targets (My) Middle-Aged Male Anxiety

The huge French cosmetic company L’Oreal have been making a beardy push for the middle aged male consumer still holding out not very convincingly against metrosexuality this Christmas. Or perhaps his wife.

The above ad for their Men Expert Hydra Energetic moisturiser, so hysterically butch it seems to have been directed by Guy Ritchie, features a furry Gerard Butler (40) reassuring us that there’s absolutely nothing poofy or passive about moisturiser — with much the same success he had in convincing us there was nothing gay about 300.

On one level the ad suggests that moisturiser is something that men need in direct proportion their… manliness. That being a chap and playing rugby and boxing and gambling and jumping over cars on a motorbike, all in a really gruff Scottish accent, are just inconceivable without a really good moisturiser. But this is just the candy-coating. In fact, the central message of this ad is the same as a female cosmetic ad: that Men Expert Hydra Energetic will make you look and feel younger. Especially now that you’re getting too long in the tooth for most of the things Gerard is doing in the ad. As the strapline at the bottom of the screen tells you:

‘For skin that looks dull, feels dry, rough, tight & less firm.’

In other words: OLD.

But because this is a product marketed to men, anxiety about middle-age is cast as an action-packed adventure. So L’Oreal exhorts you to:

‘Fight five signs of fatigue’.

In other words: AGEING.

More generally, it’s always amusing to see moisturiser being sold by bearded men. After all, beards and moisturiser don’t really mix well – and one inexpensive way to look less ‘rough’ would be to shave the beard off. But instead we are supposed to tend our immaculate manly beards and the skin underneath them. Being a guy these days is sometimes twice as complicated as being a gal.

In the ad below a bristly Eric Cantona (44) promotes L’Oreal’s ’48 hour’ deodorant with a slightly lighter touch – and a play on his reputation as a hothead during his time at Manchester United Football Club (when the young David Beckham was observing and absorbing the Cantona cult close up). That said, ’48 hour’ deodorant is an odd concept, and not one I would instantly associate with L’Oreal – or Eric Cantona. After all, it does rather suggest you’re not showering or washing every day….

But again, it seems they’re giving middle-aged men (the ones, like me, old enough to remember Eric) permission to buy premium male cosmetics by pretending that the product has a special utility and vitality – it lasts twice as long as other deodorants, so it’s worth twice the money.

It’s even got an extra large ball.

Let’s face it. Stamina isn’t what it used to be for us over 40s. Even  Eric Ooh-La-La Cantona. Who here has his big virile bunch of flowers cruelly emasculated into a single stubby bloom.

One rejected scornfully even by an elderly woman with no teeth.

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78 thoughts on “L’Oreal Targets (My) Middle-Aged Male Anxiety”

  1. oh, Graham; another aspect of American insurance is that people are turned down if they have any “preexisting condition”.Most people can’t even get insurance unless they are in the peak of health.

  2. In America a large part of the population struggle to obtain some kind of medical insurance to no avail. Even when people have insurance the people contracted to arrange it do everything in their power to block paying for anything, often bringing about death to people because of technicalities.
    Most often people spend every cent theyve made-many thousands of dollars to pay for an illness and still don’t have enough.

    I have one friend who comes from Canada and is a corporate Manager for one of the 40 largest corporations in the country who’s insurance will pay for almost nothing: it just costs a lot to get and in the end he has to pay nmuc of the cost anyway. Coming from Canada he knows what a truly great system they have. However the insurance companies, drug companies and doctors pay off the legislators to do nothing. Even people who are thought to be “liberal’, like Hillary Clinton was one of the biggest recipients of medical lobby money when she was a senator.

    People here just die of a variety of diseases after they have spent every cent they have to fight it. Foreigners most certainly can’t get care.

    It’s really a tragic and ugly kind of selfishness by the doctors and medical companies. A large part of the expenses just go to paying the insurance companies for doing nothing but blocking your receiving care.

  3. Mark W: Here is an example of how our medical system works to the benefit of real life problems.

    My nephew was born with a metabolic disorder that prevents him from processing protein properly, which he will ultimately die from if he doesn’t regulate his protein intake. The formula required to do this, costs my sister $30 a month but it costs the government $3000 a month to import it from the UK. My sister doesn’t have private medical insurance either.

    I saw a doco on medical systems around the world and it looks like France and Canada have even better systems. Apparently as a citizen or visitor, it won’t cost you a cent for medical treatment, including dental.

  4. Mark W: Yes i have just been hopping around the net looking for references to Miss Rand, expecting to only find a scathing review in Wikipedia, and as you say “surprisingly” she was taken seriously and one of her pals was Alan Greenspan, and spookily… quite often you will find references to Susan Sontag on the same site.

  5. Surprisingly, Graham, because Right wing promoters of the system we suffer under now did take Rand under their wings even though no literary people did, partially just because she wasn’t regarded as being an exceptional writer. It’s, in a way he same as Hitler trying to gain “intellectual respectability by stealing great European Art and forcing respected musicians and philosophers to teach in his Universities.

    I remember when I went to college how Business students would invariably make mention of Rand , in attempts to establish that they were well read, even though they never touched anything else.

    America is a remarkably anti Intellectual culture-one of the really frightening things about the political landscape. People like Sarah Palin, who can barely speak the language, run for offices like Vice President.

    Europeans at least have a history of listening to the promptings of their intellectuals. In America, we are lucky that Universities even hire anyone with credentials.

  6. Mark W: In the beginning of this conversation i said i am NOT an advocate of Rands ideas. She came up in conversation so i continued that. At the end of this conversation i said i agree with YOUR proposed system “The best system is one of restricted Capitalism and Socialism: the only system which has allowed Democracy to prevail.” as it has worked well here.
    But i don’t see how you can blame Rands ideas for the problems in the US… no one ever took her seriously.

  7. Australia is far more regulated a “free market” economy than the U.S. To start with you have a very low level of poverty , You have Labor Unions, which hardly exist here. You have public Health care which is great our health care is controlled by insurance companies and most people have no heath care. If they do it is poor and very expensive. Your mean income is $38,OOO $ which on your scale is very good. Most people in America make so little relative to the cost of living that they need to work 2 jobs, and unemployment is around 20%. Free enterprise banking has assured most people of losing their homes. Our country looks more and more like a Banana Republic, due to the act that 1% own 90% of everything.1% also earn 85% 0f the income, something you are far from experiencing.

  8. The best place to start ids to follow the outcomes throughout the world of the implimentation of Milton Friednman’s ideas.
    He is the economist who put a practical edge to Rand’s unrefined Neoconservatism. In every case, the situation went from being Democratic to being crually dictatorial, costing millions of lives.
    See the details of this itemized in Naomi Klein’s book “Shock Doctrine”. The only way that people will allow this kind of system to exist is if they are tortured and murdered into submission.

  9. The U.S. has forced it in many other countries to disasterous outcomes. Corporations have taken enough freedom here to assure that America produces virtually nothing, as corps have taken their work to places where they can get cheap labor. Hence we have burgeoning unemployment. The Banks have swindled people left and right on loans so that most people are losing their homes. The elinmination of labor unions have assure that most people have no rights as workers. Even executives in large companies have extremely poor heath care.

    Indeed, the problem is always that of believing in a simplistic idea in circumstances that are not that simple.
    The only solution to America’s problems are the regulation of corporate greed.Insurance companies have assured that nearly no one gets decent medical care, the little people do get is at an horrendous cost.

    I can’t really continue to discuss this if you are not amenable to facts.We are seeing America & democracy dissolve, in the delusions the you purport. As I say read some pertinant political journalism.

    Simple ideas sometimes work in simple situations but the modern world is not simple. Hardly anyone takes the ideas Rand seriously -they are so destructive.

  10. Mark W: Laissez-Faire means “hands off, untouched, uncontrolled or unregulated, and in this case, by the government. In reality its a choice the US has never taken.
    Though… your proposed political system has worked wonderfully here in Australia.

  11. “if business and politics are in bed together (whatever position they’re in) it is not Laissez-Faire Capitalism” ; that’s an interestinhg definition, but inthe real world , they invarably are. That’s theonly way that busines manages to keep it’s proiveledged position, despite the working and middle classs people.. Not just in the U.S but throughout the world.

  12. and in her words “The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.”

  13. if business and politics are in bed together (whatever position they’re in) it is not Laissez-Faire Capitalism

  14. Actually Laissez-Faire Capitalism is the root of all the evil. It is what has allowed only a few people to benefit off the many.
    In more primative world systems it works, however given a variety of factors it has allowed only a few large corporations to grasp all of the power, to have their work done overseas at less cost, depriving everyone here of jobs and saleries, and has in fact allowed them to run the government.Now it is called NeoConservatism(or Neo liberalism) and has proven to be a curse all over the world. Something which is a good primer as far as that goes is “Naomi Kleins “Shock Doctrine” It documents the overthrow of democracies all over the world by U.S Corporations with the help of the CIA and the U.S. Armed Forces.
    The best system is one of restricted Capitalism and Socialism: the only system which has allowed Democracy to prevail.
    When Big companies run everything they ultimately–in every case–have killed everyone off who doesn’t want enslavement to the terms of the corporate domination.

  15. Mark W: I can see you’re angry over a very serious situation in your country and i don’t wish to antagonize you intentionally but Rand was not an advocate of fascism and was certainly opposed to any interference by government in business. She was a promoter of Laissez-Faire Capitalism and if alive today would look you straight in the eye and say “see, I told you this would happen”. She was always accused of being a fascist and always argued that if political systems are graded by how much freedom they allowed then fascism is on the extreme left not the extreme right. In her words “Fascism is Communism at the point of a gun”

  16. The bottom line is that there is a great distance , in reality betwwen her Philosophy and reality. In America, people just play magic chairs by working for the government and then going back around and working for industry. Obama just Appointed one of the most influential Bankers to a high position of State. Large companies have unlimited power to support the candidacy of their favorite senators. Lobbyists always pay Senators and House members for their votes. People are powerless to determine who they vote for and what they do, for the most part.
    The definition of fascism is the “cooperation of government and industry.
    We fight all of the foreign wars we do and have such a huge military to get resources for corporations.

  17. If the less powerful and middle class people had an avenue to express their self-interest: eg. labor unions and the wealthy didn’t have the threat of taking all their production overseas, everyone might have some degree of self interest6 invested. As i is only a few do.

  18. The critical issue revolves around the concept central to current right wing and even “moderate” politics where any amount of self interest is ok at any cost to other people. The deceptive theory being that if self interest by the wealthy and powerful goes unreined, the benfits will “tricle” down to the less fortunate. That has proven multiple time to never be the case.It ends up in the destruction of Democracy, an open society and misery for the many.
    Even people like Obama and the Democratic elite in America push this philosophy: Of course Obama lied to the public when he ran for office. Now we are reaping the fruit of his distorted vision: not much different than that of Bush.

  19. Mark W: Just to be clear, I am not an advocate of Rands ideas but i do find it amusing the way people arc up so easily over a simple word like selfishness. As i mellow with age I find extremism (left or right) counter productive. I do have sympathy for you in the US a little bit of socialism could have gone a long way I think, just as a bit of rational self interest can as well.

  20. Geo Bush is unpopular too; for the sam reasons but not all the more lovable. Popularized Neoconservatism is destroying not only the U,.. S. but ultimately the rest of the Western World. We will all in the greatest likelihood be run and owned by China, since they have been the most successful at “selfishness.

  21. I think that if you lived in america a nd saw how destructive that blind disreguard for others is and how it become possible for fascism to undermine freedom and democracy as seriously or worse than Communism and cerainly socialism, you would uderstand the position of “lefies”, which by the way we don’t really have here in the U.S.
    If you look at the history of the U.S imperialist degradation of democracies all over the world and the literal destruction of any real democratic state here; where 1% of the population owns 90% of the real property and makes 85% of the income, and pays off the government you would think twice about that blind hero worship of flacks like Rand who’s “philosophy” has destroyed the future of the country as anything but an oligarchy.
    It would be better now if we had never separated from England.

  22. Eat yourself Fitter? Ha.

    I have to admit, I never read Rand, she was so discredited by the counterculture. When I went to College, I wouldn’t have known who she was but for the few business students, who claimed her as their own.
    I don’t especially like admitting that sort of prejudice, but there ya are.

  23. Graham: You may be right that you don’t have to be overweight to be a bear – which makes it all the more thoughtful that most of them have gone to the trouble of being overweight nonetheless.

    I was referring to The Fall as in post-Edenic. Not the band who brought us ‘Eat Yourself Fitter’.

  24. Rand was never regarded as a novelit of any note deserving reviews or prizes etc; more like a pulp novelists that Republicans could read to claim that they were literate.

    Of course, their claim had pretty much the opposite effect of giving hem legitimacy as intellectuals. I don’t even think that Bill Buckley would claim her for his reading list.

  25. Freud would need to gain about 100 lbs to be a bear. I think Ayn Rand already runs her own charter; as I mentioned once before they have a distinct right wing proclivity, as a product of Mrs Sullivan.

    For notoriety ,I think Rand was one of the only novelists that Geo Bush read in school.

  26. Mark S: I agree The Fountainhead was trashy. I am sure it is where they got the idea for that film “Indecent Proposal”, but Atlas Shrugged was mammoth and brilliant I thought.

  27. Mark S: I read the Freud letter, what a nice man. The thing that astounds me is.. when Freud had such an OK attitude towards the subject and the intellectual world was listening and (I’m assuming) agreeing with much of his work, then why was(is) the world so F*%#ed up on the subject.

    I think arrested development is real aspect of Homosexuality but more a result than a cause. The lack of identity or some sort of role modeling on how to play out being gay can leave you in type of stasis.

    Yes Ayn Rand has written about Homosexuality but only in passing, the subject she was writing about demanded it. Her theory is that homosexuals have put women on a pedestal and feel too inadequate to function in a relationship with women so we escape into Homosexuality. I prefer her novels as well. Her non fiction is interesting but can be quite tedious as she obsesses about context and ends up reiterating everything she has written before to keep context. It also requires a commitment to her philosophy as she leaves no stone unturned.

  28. Did Rand write about the causes of homosexuality? I’ll admit I was never very interested in her non-fiction, just the trashy novels she wrote to make money and advertise her world-view.

    Here’s an example of a famous and respected anthropologist who gets the whole thing so much more backwards in the 21st Century than Freud did in that kind 1935 letter (dying, and with the Nazis on their way):

  29. Mark S: Thanks for the link, I will have read before I make any comments on arrested development. WOW you are an Ayn Rand fan, I find that very consistent with your writing though. Yes it has had to be a bigger secret than being gay ever was 🙂

    Have you ever read her reasoning for Homosexuality?

  30. The famous letter Freud wrote to an American mother of a homosexual is worth reading. It was written in 1935. A great man and, dare I say it, a good man:

    (…’a certain arrest of development’. Perhaps I’m just immature, but I don’t have a problem with that notion. Though nowadays it may be more pertinent to ask: development towards what, exactly?)

    PS: I’m a secret fan of Ayn Rand. Both Atlas Shrugged and, of course, The Foutainhead.

  31. People very often take for granted the fact that multi-dimensionality of personalities in literature and drama owes it’s oigins to Freud. If you consider that at the time of the Iliad and Odessy, people were moved by the prompting of Gods and not even their own consciousness, this reorientation is as remarkable as the alterations of perception in Physics. of the Earth’s movement.

  32. Mark S, well said. To describe circumstances surrounding a phenomenon is not to ascribe to them the origination of such. Homosexuality could be the result of events that occured in the womb or whatever.

    It is intriquing to see what patterns emerge as people develop. as Mark suggests, there is a far greater depth to personalities when we see their exegesis.

  33. It’s partly the fascination of working it out, Graham. I’m not really sure though that there ever is a ’cause’ of homosexuality as such, but the wonderful thing about Freud is he offers such rich interpretations and meanings. Someone once said that Freud is akin to a kind of poetry or great literature. And I think that’s true. Though while psychoanalysis isn’t really a science, Freud couldn’t have produced his insights without behaving and toiling as if it was.

  34. Mark S: Do you think Homosexuality is caused, or just is? Or is working that out, the fascination you have?

  35. The only part of this statement which I think is objectively questionable – at the turn of the century – is ‘conventional secretiveness and insincerity’. But then it was quite conventional for women, bourgeois women that Freud was analysing, to be secretive and insincere. They would be have been locked up if they weren’t.

    As for perversions – Freud thought homosexuality such a common perversion that it wasn’t really worth the name. Yes, he did come up with lots of theories about what caused it, but that’s because, like me, he was fascinated by it.

  36. S&M is not something i know much about but my initial thoughts are that it is about a thing called the “Fear Attractor”… that which we fear, we run towards. I know that sounds like it would apply only to masochists, but for sadists, “the best way to get punch in face is punch someone in the face”.

  37. Maybe his support of women being analysts is because he thought as a man he shouldn’t be the one to comment on women or maybe he was relying on.. “the words ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are essentially incoherent but also ultimately indispensable”

  38. Freud seems to have been quite interested in women’s sexuality: he’s certainly been raked over the coals for his positions regarding female sexuality.
    Foucault speaks very much from personal experience and I don’t think is apologetic about that–indeed, Foucault more than anyone is strictly adherant to the sensability that one should “live” philosophy, to the point where he was crawling around the same underground of sadomasochism that I knew and was in fact an active revolutionary, who died as he was delivering a bomb.

    Especially with gay men, who neither experience sex as women or explore sex in close proximity to he female experience, it is asking a whole lot to invest intellectual energy in a subjective modality which is as foreign as performing dolphin tricks at a zoo.

    Some homosexual identified males (like myself) have had sex to some significant degree and can speak to the matter with some empathy, but men who have only had sex with other men don’t even like to think about having the experience yet say anything about it.

  39. Freud is at lest a starting point. His genius is that of opening a discussion which had been closed off thruought prior history.
    Believe it or not men have been pretty s3ecretive about their limited knowledge of sexuality apart from knowing what produces babies and some degree of release.

    We shouldn’t be too quick to condemn Freud when he didn’t have much to work with at the time he wrote.

  40. Whatever. Using “fag” as a designation for a homosexual, is equivalent to calling women “bitches”, or black persons ‘niggers’, etc. Not very appropriate.We call people by those names as an insult, macho or not.

  41. I ‘m not sure about the macho fag bit, however, it is certain that Freud would be not judgemental about the course of development in starting out with “polymorphous perversity”.

    I’m unsure as to the context of the statement: “words ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are essentially incoherent but also ultimately indispensable” since words don’t necessarily have to be coherent to be fuctional. Of course he still lived at a time when ultimate logical coherency was thought important.

    Truth is that as long as words have explanatory power, they don’t need to be coherent in the whole scope of things.

    Now, even in Physics, there are more than one inconsistent theories that explain the universe.

  42. Thanks guys, looks like I’ve got some reading to do. I don’t put much stock in any theory that talks about homosexuality being the result of something being wrong with an individual either Mark W. I am pretty sure I have been gay since conception and any problems that may be caused by this is due to silence and/or disdain in our culture.
    The negative Oedipus complex makes sense I think Mark S. Can you maybe suggest a title of one of Freuds’ writings that might be a good starting point?

  43. Freud was also a firm believer in the so-called ‘negative Oedipus Complex’, in which the boy wishes to kill his mother and sleep with his father. He claimed to have found it as common as the ‘positive’ one, and not a sign of pathology, despite the ‘negative’ pre-fix. Because Freud subscribed to universal bi-responsiveness he would have to. Most of his followers however quietly dropped the negative Oedipus Complex and the universal bi-responsiveness. The recent BBC adaptation of ‘Toast’ was all about the negative Oedipus Complex (and also, because there are two mothers in ‘Toast’, Freud’s theory, one of several, that male homosexuality was caused by a desire to stay forever faithful to Mother). But I’m not entirely sure it quite realised it.

    As for Freud the ‘macho fag’, I’m very much with him when he said (paraphrasing because I’m far too tired to look up the exact quote) that the words ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are essentially incoherent but also ultimately indispensable.

  44. That explanation assumes that a classic heterosexual pattern is somehow the ideal outcome of rearing. E.i. that only one sort of family system works.

    To all of the above, it should be emphasized that it has been discovered, and should make sense that sibling relationships are often as important as parental influences.

  45. Thanks very much Mark W. That is very helpful. My initial thoughts on the concept of the complex aborting in homosexuals was that it wasn’t relevant to homosexuals. Some of the stuff I read on the net said that unsuccessful navigation of the complex could cause homosexuality, as well as other situations.

  46. I would have to reaserch to hunt a reference as to how the unexperesed Oedipus complex works with gay men. As I say, one absolutely has to understand that this story of Oedipus is not ment to be an example of how things work. Rather it was taken and used centuries later as a paradigm or generalization of how things happen most often.

    My sense for what happens in gay men is one of two things; either the mother is more potent than the father and the boy competes and competes with her for the fathers attention, or else the father is overwhelmingly dominant and won’t allow the boy to compete successfully with him, in which case he identifies with the passive mother, desiring the unavailable father. (a passive homosexual). I think you will find some version of one of these stereotypes in most gay men. The first of these applies with lesbians often, although Freud allows women the option of the Electra complex in the other case-penis envy.

    Mark is a Freudian and could probably say this more eloquently than I.

  47. I’ve had a quick look on the net regarding Oedipus complex, and there is quite a bit of talk about Oedipus complex being present in girls but I didn’t get into too much detail as it was Wikipedia and am hoping to read something a bit more legit.

  48. Graham:”Oedipaly complete”, is a Freudian reference to the process by which heterosexual men in an abstract sense relive the Oedipus complex: competing with their fathers for their mothers attentions-in reality finding a mother replacement,and not killing but successfully competing with their fathers.
    This process is aborted with homosexual men generally in several different ways(which I won’t go into here, but which you can find evident in family systems). This paradigm originates with the Athenian tragedy by Sophocles “Oedipus Rex”(Latin title).

  49. That’s not very politic; I don’t think he’s along the Mrs. line. We reserve that title for marrying sorts like Mrs. Sullivan.
    The Lesbians may or may not eat Mark up. Depends on the lesbians; nonetheless you have to admit that it would be a journalistic adventure for our friend. The audience could be Ms. P. type lesbians, who adore him.

  50. Wouldn’t it be remarkable if Mark turned tables on everyone and started writing in Ladies Journals, and Lesbian/feminist Advice columns?

    You have to admit it would give him a whole new image.

  51. That’s fair intellectual game; however Mark might agree with you just to be a gentleman!
    He’s not nasty like I am- in public at least.

  52. A gentleman named Scott Lively published a book about the prevalence of Homosexuality in the Nazi Party. Apparently the source of the stigma against gays was against those men who were effeminate and not “butch”. As I say there are even afficianados who enjoy acting out the role of Nazi’s. Of course personally I don’t think there is much difference between fascists like Franco or Geo. Bush and Hitler. I don’t think TonyBlair would count but Thather might surely count a a female facsist along with her friend Pinoche’.

  53. I’m fond of Plath particularly–actually a theme of some Sadomasochists is Nazi dress/strictness.
    I’d say that if someone gave me an erection, I would value him more highly than say a snowman or street sign.

    I think that the qualities that are associated more exclusively with manliness are athleticism etc. note that the women who do better at most athletics are those with a shot of testosterone or a similar substance.

    The thing which is sexually alluring to gay men and heterosexual women are often those qualities made possible by testosterone. In women it is androgen that reminds men who are Oedipaly complete of their mothers in the women they seek.

  54. One fact about that though is that conceptually masculinity and femininity develop to a large degree as foils to one another. So as one’s conception or acceptance of the value of one proceeds only at a cost to the other. This is not unlike one’s conceptions of any opposing notions, except that it involves actual occurances.

    One of the things that I am absolutely sure of is that traditional masculinity has fallen by the way as women have sought “liberation” from their traditional roles. \E.g the more like men they become in caring for themselves in the world physically, the less men are needed in the roles of protector, provider, etc. Also, i think that in fact their is some great likelihood of the mysteriousness surrounding the sexes falls apart and they become less attractive to one another as opposing but complimentory forces.

    I don’t think it’s posible to engage in any meaningful isolated dialogue about just one or the other, in other words.

  55. Men’s bodies, like women’s bodies are superior or less so in certain respects,e.g.musculature, hairiness or what ever standard aesthetic or functional qualification you want to apply. I suppose it would be nice for everyone if we could all stand on an equal footing, but we don’t; even as personalities. One cold even say that someone was more or less “manly’ relative to certain characteristics; e.g. the possession of body hair.

    That is not necessarily “fascist” or evaluation necessarily as it denotes visual discrimination. I think that claiming a lack of judgement might constitute a level of bad faith in the viewer, since we all,if even on a subconscious level, judge one another.

  56. I have had encounters with men in steam rooms (where having a shower is a prerequisite) that stink and I have had to call early last drinks. This is a stench that isn’t worthy of the Retrosexual title… it just stinks.

  57. We don’t worry so much about the tight cloths , since if you need to check anyone ‘s musculature out, you can end up in the shower with them. Good behavior, however, is emphasized.

  58. While I’ve heard of separate shower stalls, I’ve only been in showers where the whole gang showers together. It used to be torture in High School gym class. Lately the religious fanatics have been making their kids stay dirty rather than be endanger by lurking junior fags in their classes.

  59. Mark, Thanks: I’ve seen those gyms in many films about older cities. The Northern European Protestants in Minnesota are fanatical about cleanliness,and are always bathing, so even in the YMCA which is older; everyone takes showers if they do nothing else.

  60. Yes. I wish they cared about me. But I think the semiotics of the laundry has been overdone a little here. They go to the laundry so that the clothes they wear out in the club that night are fresh and clean, but most importantly: TIGHT.

  61. Mark: It’s an old-fashioned, privately-owned, lifting gym rather than a corporate ‘spa’. Until recently it didn’t have any showers, or hot water. Or a changing room. Now it has hot water and showers, and even a changing room – but no benches to sit on or hooks to hang your clothes on, so the showers go unused for now. There’s now a sign on the wall of the gym area which advises members to observe ‘basic hygiene’ and wash gym kit and reminds us that ‘deodorant is nice, BO isn’t’. It has very good equipment, friendly punters and some pleasant scenery… When Mr BO isn’t around.

  62. Mark, a gym seems a most peculiar place for stinky bodies to reside for long, with showers, pools and such. I can’t imagine anyone, no matter how retro, with having that kind of stench unless they had beamed over from the Dark ages.

    The only thing worse than that is being stuck on some form of public trasit with someone nasty smelling enough to kill off a tribe of Hotentots.
    Even chemical solutions would only make the stench ,while more exotic , all the worse. Sheep dip possibly?

  63. I was introduced to bathing and changing cloths at a very young age, and have never even owned deodorants. But there are fellows and women who are possessed of a significant pungency to drive hoards from a room even if they bathe.

    I suppose that if they smelled like a good brie or a lamb roast it might be OK. I always thought that the barn had a wonderful smell: but imagine an odor “maneur”, or “horse shit” which to my mind would be preferable to Some may natural human smells .
    The fact is, living in capitalist societies the needs are created by advertising agencies. After all what distinguishs a male from a feminine odor is identificaton as such.

  64. Fell in love with a fire fighter who resembled Howie Long today . . . he didn’t exactly come to my rescue, though he did come with his buddies (okay I don’t mean it the way it sounds) to address a sort of emergency — we had a busted water pipe and flood in my suite at work.

    Anyways, Mr. Perfect sort of ignored me, as he had work to do, and was married anyways (I noticed the ring as I was admiring every inch of him). The marriage bit is a plus, actually, in a guy like that. It was fun to watch him, and it almost made me forget the situation at hand. What a man.

  65. Ah telt ye these bloody newfangled ideas aboot boys wearin moisturizer wid come tae nae guid, bit naw, wid yese listen tae me? Nut. Noo you’ve got bloody manly weejies like Gerard ‘Hard Cunt oan Screen’ Butler poncin aboot like a brigader in a cape whinin on aboot the curse ay thir bloody leathery weatherbeaten fizzogs like some bloody dollybird. It’s jist beyond the pale. When’s it aw gonnae jist bloody stop, eh? It’s no even funny onymair…

  66. ML: Howie Long does look like the real deal. But then he’s been marketing that ‘real deal’ for quite a while now. He also looks remarkably… ageless.

  67. Who buys this stuff? . . . I get all my “products” at the Dollar Store.

    I don’t care for Mr. Butler, or Mr. Crowe — the list of actors I couldn’t care less about is getting longer. . .

    My dream man is Howie Long, he’s unimpeachable.

  68. I happen to also think that Eric’s beard suits him. Perhaps because it looks like a beard rather than an accessory. I glanced at a copy of the Xmas issue of ‘Men’s Health’ in the barbers last week. There was a a double page spread at the front of the MH staff having some kind of Xmas dinner. Colorful fruit and high-antioxidant vegetables. In the middle of the table and the group was the editor, unwittingly (?) posing as Jesus at the Last Supper with a shaved head and a very gay beard. I still have nightmares about it.

  69. Jesus. H. Christ. No, I hadn’t seen that. And I still haven’t – I ended up fast-forwarding most of it. So glacially, ridiculously, pompously DULL.

    The only light relief was Jude Law’s impersonation of Mad Joe from Eastenders.

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