icon: Twitter icon: facebook icon: flickr icon: rss icon: mailing list
TELUS Neighbourhood Fall 2015 Ad

5 incredibly important do’s and don’ts for up-and-coming models

5 incredibly important do’s and don’ts for up-and-coming modelsEvery photo shoot will be different. The day of the shoot always have an open mind and have fun. With every photo shoot there are rules to abide by. Be very clear with the communication between you and the photographer. Always make sure you discuss what you are comfortable with and what style of genre the shoot is. Communication is key to a great shoot. When arriving at the photo shoot do not worry about the other models, or you’ll be unfocused the entire time. Stay focused, be clear with communication, and always be ready for new and different experiences. With these incredibly important do’s and don’ts for up-and-coming models you will have a secret edge to use against the competition.

  1. Do show up on time. No one ever wants to be known as the late one. Give yourself enough time for traffic. A twenty-minute ride could easily become forty minutes with traffic. Expect the unexpected. When you show up early, get some food. Eat something light, nothing heavy for the shoot. The night before, get to bed early, double check your alarm is set, and get some great sleep. Do not rush your times. Most people get flustered and tend to forget something; it’s better to have everything packed and even better to have extra.
  2. Do expect long hours. Photo shoots can be very lengthy. On the day of the shoot expect to be there all day. Set aside enough time for the shoot. It is best to have a clear schedule and not having any prior engagements to attend. Be very clear on the time of your shoot. Waiting can be a pain. Bring materials to study posing before it’s your shoot. It’s a great opportunity to brush up on newest trends. On the upside, the longer the shoot there should be refreshment provided.
  3. 5 incredibly important do’s and don’ts for up-and-coming modelsDo not brag or talk about other shoots. No one likes the stuck up person. That can get annoying quick. This goes along with being professional. If you talk about past experiences that didn’t go so great that makes you look desperate and unprofessional. Stay fabulous, not cocky. In the modeling industry personality is key and complaining will get you nowhere. You need to dominate the shoot. Free your mind up from distractions. Always think your shoot as the most important one ever. Feel the moment and pose fiercely.
  4. Do follow up with your photo shoot. Most of the times shoots are made way in advance. Sometimes you forget but its best to stay on top of your photo shoots. If days or weeks go by you can expect to be replaced. It’s a cutthroat industry and unfortunately you can be replaced quickly, so make sure you stay organized. If contacted and you say yes, always follow up with details and questions and concerns you may have. If you don’t respond your reputation may be off to a rough start.
  5. 5 incredibly important do’s and don’ts for up-and-coming modelsDon’t tell the photographer what to do. The photographer’s time is very valuable. There is always a concept that is created. The lights and the backgrounds are set up for purpose. Let the photographer do all the changing. The first few photos that are taken are test shots; don’t be intimidated if the lights keep getting changed. The photographer is trying to get everything perfect.

Now that you have the do’s and don’ts of modeling, follow them all the time. These tops are trying to make you better. Who doesn’t want to have that edge over the competition? Do it with common sense and know your boundaries. Every photographer is different and every shoot will be different. Going into a shoot with these ideas will help each shoot be more successful.


Harvest Cosmo

Harvest Cosmo

American Thanksgiving is just around the corner. While the date is to commemorate the time when the Pilgrims and native Americans sat down together to enjoy the autumn harvest, today the holiday kicks off a six-week series of celebrations, festivities, and shopping.

The Harvest Cosmo pays tribute to the autumn harvest, and is the perfect cocktail for any American Thanksgiving celebration. The sweet-country harvest tastes are bundled up in a martini. Your party guests will love it.

  • 1 oz Stoli Premium Vodka
  • ¾ oz orange liqueur
  • ¾ oz cassis
  • 1 oz cranberry juice
  • ¾ oz fresh lime juice

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake. Strain into a sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a fresh orange slice and cranberries.

Brandon Jones to perform live at HustlaBall Las Vegas 2016

Brandon Jones to perform live at HustlaBall Las Vegas 2016With over 30 unforgettable events in world-class cities around the world, HustlaBall returns to Las Vegas, January 15-16, 2016. The two night world-famous dance party event will bring dozens of adult entertainers, hustlers, porn stars, and performers, creating an incredible weekend experience.

“Having my ass eaten on the pool table by my man while my bestie DJ Pornstar was playing in the room was quite hot,” said gay porn actor, director, and model, Brandon Jones, reflecting on his most memorable moment of HustlaBall Las Vegas 2015. “In second place was the threesome we shot with Trendon Ducati.”

Returning for his second year in a row, Brandon Jones will be one of the premier performers at HustlaBall 2016, who will be joined with his partner and adult entertainer, Samuel Stone, also performing at the event.

Brandon Jones to perform live at HustlaBall Las Vegas 2016“HustlaBall Las Vegas is getting bigger and bigger, and the performers that are lined up are even hotter than last year,” said Brandon Jones. “It’s a once in a lifetime sexual experience. It’s like a gay pride on steroids. It’s a great way for us porn actors to meet our fans, drink with them, dance with them, and perform for them.”

In addition to meeting and hanging out with the amazing people who are coming to HustlaBall Las Vegas, Brandon Jones is looking forward to the sexually-charged weekend.

“I’m looking forward to be there with my production crew. We will shoot a few scenes while we are there and I think it’s going to be epic! I also love to perform live sex; it’s the epiphany of exhibitionism. You can look, but you can’t touch. There’s something really erotic about it,” explained Brandon Jones.

If you’re going to HustlaBall Las Vegas, Brandon Jones has some recommendations if you’re struggling what to wear.

Brandon Jones to perform live at HustlaBall Las Vegas 2016“Leather gear is always exciting to wear, but it’s Vegas baby, so it’s fun to pimp it out or have it different colours or designs than the usual,” said Brandon Jones. “It’s the kind of place that no one will judge you and there’s a place for every fetish out there. Be bold and be ready!”

Tickets for HustlaBall Las Vegas 2016 are on sale now. The weekend kicks off with a show-stopping VIP pre-party event featuring celebrity DJ’s, guests, and live adult shows. The Saturday night main event includes a VIP red carpet experience, meet and greet, cocktail reception, and access to special areas throughout the host hotel.

HustlaBall Las Vegas Banner Ad

You’re DDF? Keep swiping please.

HIV Blood Test

It’s probably one of the most prolific acronyms on gay dating apps. “DDF,” sometimes followed by “u b 2.” It stands for “drug and disease free” and it’s both common and odious. If followed by “you be too,” it is very overtly stigmatizing towards HIV-positive guys. However, even alone, it’s very problematic so let’s break down why that is.

Firstly, it’s vague. What diseases is the person talking about? Does he just mean HIV? Does he mean all STIs? Or is he even talking about non-communicable diseases?

Now assuming it relates to STIs, it’s a relatively useless piece of information. For most of the minor infections, like gonorrhea, they are so easily transmitted that no one can actually be certain they don’t have one. When was your last test for those infections? How many partners did you have just before that test and how many have you had since? Are you DDF on Monday but not on Tuesday when you see the discharge coming out of your penis?

Since these minor infections are easily transmitted through both oral and anal sex and some, like syphilis, can still be easily transmitted when using condoms, all of your recent sexual activity counts. For some of the other infections, such as HPV or herpes, public health authorities do not suggest testing for these. So it’s unlikely this guy knows whether he has herpes or HPV. In other words, very few guys can be certain they’re without an STI at any point in time.

If the guy is mostly focused on HIV, what matters is transmissibility, not whether you are HIV-positive or not. Guys who know they are HIV-positive and are on treatment are not the guys who are transmitting HIV. In fact, the guys who think they are HIV-negative but have recently seroconverted account for the vast majority of transmissions. So the irony is it’s the guys who say they’re “DDF” that are spreading HIV, not the guys who know they have this “disease.” So unless the guy with the DDF profile is meaning that he’s dangerous for your health, it’s not a wise approach to sexual health. In fact, it shows the guy’s ignorance when it comes to sexual health and just how dangerous this guy may be. More troublesome is the fact that DDF perpetuates the idea that HIV-positive guys who know their status are transmitting HIV – this is an idea that is false, stigmatizing, contrary to science, and is helping to spread the epidemic.

Another problem is the fact that this acronym puts together drug use with what is a chronic health condition. Most people think that drug addiction is bad and this phrase makes a link between HIV-positive guys and drug addiction. It combines what is a behavioral issue with a health condition. It creates an environment in the gay dating world that not having HIV is good and the norm.

Which leads to how it reinforces HIV stigma. It focuses on their virus, not them as a whole person, and helps to mark them out as undesirable. This has a deeply negative effect on the mental health of poz guys, particularly those who have been recently diagnosed or are young. These guys are often in a fragile emotional state, feel that a disease has taken over their bodies and their lives, and this hammers home the idea that they are not welcome in the regular gay dating world anymore. These negative emotional burdens can often carry on for a life time. The acronym helps to reinforce the divisions in our community between poz and neg, a division whose time it up.

So drop it guys. Say you’re not into doing drugs with sex. Give your last testing date and that test’s results. But stop using the acronym DDF: it shows your ignorance around sexual health and acts as an attack on some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Commemorative bow tie celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance

Commemorative bow tie celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance is coming up on Friday, November 20. To celebrate this special day, designer Jack Jackson of Alljackedup has designed a special, commemorative bow tie celebrating the achievements of activists, pioneers and heroes of the transgender, gender variant and gender non-conforming communities.

Why bowties? Formerly Bowtie Friday’s, The Ties to Love campaign is an international movement of solidarity of love and support for the gender non-conforming and trans community. Wearing a bowtie is a sign of support for the campaign.

The limited edition bowtie designed by Jack Jackson features the names of current transgender role models like actress Laverne Cox, adult film producer and performer Buck Angel, musicians Rae Spoon and Lucas Silveira and model Andreja Pejic, along with historic pioneers such as activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

“These names are some of mine, but others may have different personal heroes,” said Jack Jackson, who founded Alljackedup for the queer, androgynous and transmasculine fashion conscious in 2014. “The important thing is that we start a conversation.”

According to research by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 41 per cent of trans people living in the U.S. have attempted or considered suicide, compared to 1.6 per cent of the general population.

“It’s not that trans people hate themselves. It’s that society makes it so difficult,” Jackson says. “The Ties to Love campaign is my way of encouraging people to wear a symbol showing their support and solidarity.”

Fifty per cent of the proceeds from the sale of the bow tie and all other Alljackedup products purchased during the week of Trans Day of Remembrance will go to Supporting Our Youth (SOY), a Toronto-based organization dedicated to improving the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and intersex youth.

The Trans Hero and other bowties designed by Jack Jackson can be purchased online at AllJackedUp.

Ties for Love bowtie celebration Transgender Day of Remembrance

A clean hole gets the pole

The Stockroom anal douche kit

Whether you’re a gay man, bisexual, or heterosexual, the key to having amazing anal adventures is ensuring you have a nice, clean hole. Anal douching is not a subject a lot of people are openly comfortable discussing, but it’s important. Nothing is better than eating and fucking a clean, fresh smelling ass.

The Stockroom anal douche kit

For bottoms and versatile guys, or even heterosexual women into anal sex, douching should be a mandatory part of getting ready for a sexual encounter. The Stockroom offers the best, high quality, all metal douche kit, which can be permanently installed in your home shower in just minutes.

The Stockroom anal douche kit

The six-inch nozzle attaches to a six-foot flexible metal hose, connected to a valve, which you install into your existing shower with just a few minutes. This set-up allows you to continue to use your showerhead normally, but with the flip of the switch, turn the water to flow to the nozzle tip.

The Stockroom anal douche kit

The Stockroom anal douche kitThe Stockroom anal douche kit comes with two different aluminum nozzle options. A narrow tip with one large opening, or a larger tip with five holes for a deep and thorough rectal cleaning. Also included in the kit is a wall-mount nozzle holder, to keep it nicely tucked away when not in use.

Investing in a top quality built-in anal douche kit in important. There are cheaper options, which are made from plastic or cheap chrome plated parts, have shorter, plastic hoses, and connections that leak. Besides, do you really want to risk sticking something inside you that you can’t trust?

It’s important to lower the water pressure and to adjust the temperature when switching from your normal showerhead to the douche nozzle, otherwise serious damage could be done.

Cleaning out before you go on a date, to the bathhouse, or to the club should be part of your regular routine. You never know if some hot guy, or guys, are going to pick you up and want to take you home.

Dinner date tip:

If you’re going out on a dinner / sex date, do it in the opposite order. Have sex first, and then go for dinner. You’ll work up an appetite while having sex, but more importantly, as soon as you start to eat, even if it’s just a light snack, your body begins digestion, which can reverse all the hard work you did getting ready before your date.

The historic Harrison Hot Spring Resort and Spa

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa

Tucked away in the shadows of the rugged British Columbia mountains, two hours east of downtown Vancouver natural hot mineral waters flow from deep inside the earth. These natural hot springs have been used for hundreds of years by the First Nations and for over a century by guests who have come to relax and enjoy the natural wonders. Today, Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa welcomes guests to unwind in the spectacular natural surroundings.

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa

Located on the shores of the glacial fed Harrison Lake, Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa has a long standing tradition as a rejuvenation destination. Since 1886, guests have visited the resort to soak in the natural spring waters. Originally opened as the St. Alice Hotel and Bath House, the property burned down in 1920. It was rebuilt and the resort reopened in 1925. During World War II the property was converted into a sanatorium for women returning from the war effort in Europe. The property was returned to its primary purpose, as a resort and spa, to which it continues today.

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa

The original hotel building is still in use today, and throughout the years, the resort has continued to grow. In the 1980’s there were multiple additions and renovations including three new buildings. In 2001 the dedicated spa building was added. Photographs throughout the resort showcase the rich history of the property throughout the decades.

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa

Today, guests come to enjoy the five natural hot spring water fed pools, each kept at its own temperature. The three outdoor and two indoor pools are open year-round. The outdoor pools are located in a central courtyard, on the back of the buildings, surrounded by manicured park grounds.

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa

The spa offers all the usual treatments including massage, facial, and body care treatments by trained resort spa professionals. The spa also offers the unique experience to be able to soak in a romantic, private natural hot spring mineral bath inside one of the treatment rooms.

Salmon fishing on Harrison River

Out front of the hotel is a marina, where guests can join an adventure tour to see the largest concentration of bald eagles each November on the Harrison River, or go fishing for mighty sturgeon or wild salmon. There are also plenty of hiking trails in the area. For people who are into myths and folklore, there are rumours of Sasquatch roaming in the nearby mountains.

Dining at the Cooper Room at Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa

At the end of the day get dressed up and head down to the Copper Dining Room for a three-course meal. The dining room is a traditional ballroom dinner club, with a large ballroom dance floor in the centre of the room, surrounded by tables, and a live band playing classic ballroom, jive, and swing music from days gone by. The property also features a breakfast/lunch restaurant, coffee shop serving Starbucks coffee, and a lounge which is open until late.

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa is a large property. Boasting 340 rooms throughout the property buildings, accommodations range from standard hotel rooms with murphy beds to kitchenette studios. There are also a handful of adorable cottages available. The resort also welcomes pets in designated rooms.

The Bald Eagle Festival on the Harrison River

Ideally suited for couples celebrating landmark anniversaries and special occasions, and especially seniors looking for a peaceful getaway, Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa is a great choice. Two night getaway packages including accommodation, breakfast, dinner, and use of the pools start at just $360!

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa

5 important tips for aspiring male models

blog2Modelling is waiting for you to break the mold. No one said modeling would be easy, there is so much pressure from agencies telling you to look a certain way be a certain height. Modeling happens in the strangest of ways. Not everyone can be a model, but everyone has the right too. Today, modeling is a huge part of culture. From the shoes you wear, to the fresh pair of jeans you put on, modelling has been extremely influential in day-to-day life. There are different types of modelling, from runway, to editorial, to commercial. Here are five important tips for aspiring male models to go from average Joe to male model in no time.

Be memorable and confident

Modelling is a diverse culture and the best way to stand out is to own your look and find models with similar attributes. When a photographer books for a photo shoot their first impression is appearance. For instance if you have facial hair, long hair or a unique bone structure pose in a way that defines you. Always highlight your features with a strong pose. When looking through your portfolio with your feature that’s what will make you memorable. First impressions are everything, so stay confident, be poised and always stay true to yourself.

Prepare and be ready

You have to be prepared for your photo shoot day. Make sure your travel bag is packed the night before with all the necessary items you and the photographer talked about. Always double-check the week of the shoot for correct address and the time of the shoot. It’s always best to do this ahead of time; it shows you being professional and responsible. Bring more than requested. If you have items that are unique or different, odds are those will be the highlight of the shoot. Confirm you are still attending the shoot. Not only are you giving your time, the photographer is as well. Arrive early to the shoot; never underestimate traffic or being in an area that’s unfamiliar. Lastly get an adequate amount of sleep. This will help you be refreshed, focused and energized for your photo shoot.

tips for aspiring male modelsGet inspired

Educating yourself and staying current on modeling is the most important tip you can follow. To get a jump-start before your shoot, head to your local bookstore and browse the magazine section. Men’s fashion has increased so much over the years that they have a whole section of magazines dedicated to it. Another great resource is blogs/social media. There are so many photos to help influence you.

Present yourself

Now that you have all of these images it is time to give yourself some exposure. A useful website for models can be on is a modeling portfolio website. It is like the Facebook of modeling. You can find all sorts of creative people from hair stylists, photographers to make up artists. The next best thing is an app where photos are shared. We all know this app. Always tag/give credit to all that are involved. It is truly disrespectful when credit isn’t given. Another great option for exposure is a portfolio book. Images to include are portraits, studio, and location images. Be sure to include different poses for each. When selecting images provide a solid 10 images. The famous saying is time is money. Agencies don’t have hours to go through your images. Keep your book sleek and clean with a solid color. Your photos should be the stars.

tips for aspiring male modelsYou gotta start somewhere

Start locally in your search for a modeling career. You don’t need to be in a big city to get noticed. Photographers are everywhere. If you are trying to get agency representation, look at their websites and see if they have casting dates or where to submit photos. Be sure to always read the guidelines for submissions. Remember first impressions are extremely important.

With these tips you can jumpstart your modeling career to new heights. Stay focused and driven for your goals of a model. This isn’t something that will happen over night. Stay persistent and have fun. Don’t let anything hold you back. It is ok if photographers and agencies don’t respond. You are good enough they are the ones missing out. Now grab your portfolio book and get out there and strut your stuff.

Banana Pudding Cocktail

Banana Pudding Cocktail

November is National Banana Pudding Lovers Month. The Banana Pudding Cocktail is a delicious dessert drink worth celebrating over. It’s quick and easy to make. You can even make it extra special by adding a dollop of whipped cream on top!

  • 1 oz Irish cream
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur
  • ½ oz crème de banane

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an old-fashioned glass.

3 divine tips to making your dining room dazzle

3 divine tips to making your dining room dazzle

Whether you’re having a big to-do or just making your regular evening dinner, the holiday’s are a great time to make your home feel special. The dining room is a great place to decorate because it is centralized and is used throughout the day. Here are some divine tips to making your dining room dazzle:


Set tone and aesthetics all at once. Candles provide a warm, wonderful ambiance. Real bees wax candles help purify the air in the room, while faux candles give the essence of room with convenience and safety in mind. Faux candles are a designers secret, because they can be put anywhere and quality ones can look and flicker like a real candle. These fake candles can be set to a timer, so when you come home from a long day at work and you can instantly be welcomed home to a soothing, glowing home.

Runnes and placemats:

Your table can be ready in a moments notice when it’s laid out with a beautiful runner and placemats. It makes a welcome and inviting touch to daily dining. Even in rooms which are only used for special occasion dining, it will lift the spirit in the room. It’s important to read the care instructions when deciding on the right runners and placemats. Avoid ones that can only be spot cleaned or dry cleaned, unless you absolutely love it and cannot live without it. Go for something that is easy to wash and care for, to keep them looking beautiful.

Serving pieces:

It’s a simple but important detail. Most people do not have matching serving pieces for their silverware. It adds a touch of elegance and sophistication, especially on special occasions. A mix mash of wood, silver, and plastic is never appreciated. Make an investment into a set that includes everything for a special dinner or your grand holiday gathering. It’ll help you keep your best foot forward.

While the holiday’s are the perfect time of year to show off your talents in entertaining, these tips on decorating your dining room will elevate your festive holiday meals. Always get the best quality you can afford and love what you buy!

Suicide: the new gay plague

Suicide: the new gay plagueThere’s an epidemic sweeping the gay community and it’s a disease that’s killing many of us. No, this is not HIV/AIDS or another STI. It’s suicide. Suicide is one of the biggest killers of men in Canada and the U.S., ranking in the top three causes of death for men ages 25 – 44. One British study found gay men to be seven times more likely to attempt suicide than straight men. Yet, they gay community doesn’t discuss it or provide resources to try to address the myriad of mental health problems within the community.

But you’re not powerless in this epidemic. There are things you can do to help. The first thing to do is to recognize when a friend or lover may be thinking or even planning to commit suicide. The second thing is to know what to do when you suspect a friend or lover may commit suicide.

Here are some of the warning signs that a loved one may commit suicide (from the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention):

  • Direct and indirect verbal expressions: “I don’t want to live anymore”, “there is nothing to live for ”, “people will be better off without me”;
  • Dramatic changes in mood;
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities;
  • Agitation;
  • Increase in drug and alcohol use;
  • Risk taking behavior;
  • Aggressive, impulsive and/or violent acts;
  • Expressions of hopelessness and helplessness;
  • Lack of self care/neglect of self;
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns;
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, and interests;
  • Giving away prize possessions and/or making a will;
  • Reconnecting with old friends and extended family as if to say goodbye; and
  • Previous unresolved or recent suicide attempts.

If someone you know is showing some of these warning signs, it’s important that you’re not afraid to take action and talk about it with that person. Usually, a person who is suicidal wants to talk about their thoughts and emotions with someone and is too scared to bring up the issue. Be a good listener – and really do listen and don’t dismiss anything they say. Some of the tips for good listening, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association, are:

  • Find a private place and let your loved one take as much time as they need;
  • Take your loved one seriously and listen without judgement—their feelings are very real;
  • Keep your word—don’t make promise you can’t keep or don’t intend to keep; and
  • Tell your loved one that they are important and that you care about them.

Come prepared with a list of resources such as the phone numbers of a crisis centre or some free mental health services. Offer to take them to a counsellor so that they know they are not in this alone. If you’re concerned that the threat is more imminent, get in contact immediately with your local crisis line or even 9-1-1.

Sometimes this can trigger some of your own emotions and thoughts around suicide. It’s important that you equally get support if you are going to be someone that can be leaned on. See a counsellor yourself if you feel that you need someone to talk with, helping to build your own resiliency so that you can be a strong support for your loved one.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an epidemic with a magic bullet and we certainly need more resources to address this as a community. However, if we keep an eye out and take action whenever we’re concerned, we may be able to prevent another suicide in our community.

Scruff Venture creates new way for gay men to plan and experience travel

Gay travel is now even more exciting thanks to Scruff Venture, the dynamic and new way gay men can plan and experience travel.Geo-location dating apps are constantly coming up with new ways to connect like minded people together, and one of the world’s biggest gay dating apps, Scruff, which just celebrated its five year anniversary, has just added a new feature creating an entirely new connection for gay men who travel. It’s called Scruff Venture.

Since the feature launched in late October, 20,000 trips have been created, dozens of events have been listed, and hundreds of listings have been added for Airbnb.

Unlike heterosexual travellers, gay men are extremely comfortable with meeting new people and becoming friends, quickly, and willing to share in their travel adventures together when visiting new destinations. Now, with the new Scruff Venture feature, members will be able to see, meet, and make plans with other members visiting the city before and during their trips.

Highlights of the new feature include:

  • Being able to see a list of guys who are currently traveling in a city or are planning to visit soon.
  • Locals can become volunteer ambassadors providing advice and recommendations to visitors.
  • Integration with Airbnb.
  • Local listings for local special events to keep visitors up-to-date on what’s fun and exciting during their visit.

Gay travel is now even more exciting thanks to Scruff Venture, the dynamic and new way gay men can plan and experience travel.

The top 7 Christmas gift ideas for the gay man in your life

The top 7 Christmas gift ideas for the gay man in your lifeChristmas is just around the corner and over the coming weeks Michael Buble’s holiday melodies will be played non-stop until the season is over. Shopping is a necessary evil at this time of year, whether it’s for gifts, food, or dinner party essentials. The true meaning of Christmas cannot be forgotten; giving. The message of love and caring is very much needed. Shopping local is strongly encouraged, to help small businesses, the backbone of our economies. Here is a list of the top 7 Christmas gift ideas for the gay man in your life:

  1. Gift cards to Nordstrom. Gay men love shopping, fashion, and style! It’s certainly an easy but very helpful gift for the man who loves fashion. If we don’t, his boyfriend will love it.
  2. Extraordinary wine accessories. BC Wines are an exceptional choice for world-class wine and are served at dinner parties and events throughout the holiday season. Wine accessories make great gifts. Items including aerators, wine club subscriptions, or beautiful wine glasses all make exceptional gifts for wine connoisseurs.
  3. T-shirts from the local bar. Gay men love to frequent their favourite watering holes. A t-shirt from the local bar is fun way to show community spirit and support local business.
  4. Hotel stay. The gay travel industry in Canada alone is valued at $8.7 billion dollars per year. Yes, it’s no secret that gay men love to travel and explore the world. An overnight stay at a hotel, ideally a higher-end property, would be amazing and a great way to explore unknown cities.
  5. Beard kits. Many men appreciate well-groomed facial hair. Everyone wins with a soft and groomed beard!
  6. Wooden watches. Super trendy right now for the man of style, wooden watches are versatile, inexpensive, and goes with almost any outfit.
  7. Essential oils. Aromatherapy goes a long way to heal the mind and soul. Make someone’s home smell amazing with innovative and natural scents. Just get something manly, like sandalwood, not lavender.

Christmas should be seen as a time of year focused on love and giving. While gifts are kind and lovely to give and receive, don’t forget what truly matters – spending time with your loved ones.


Higher education supports nondiscrimination protection for transgender individuals

Eric Gouvin, Dean at the Western New England University School of Law

While much work has been done in the United States over the years, including the landmark ruling of the Supreme Court this past June on marriage equality, there is still a long ways to go. Transgender rights and equality has been the theme of many organizations throughout 2015. Pending legislation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would expand nondiscrimination protection for transgender individuals in business and other facilities that are open to the public.

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been a pioneer in protecting and advancing the civil rights of LGBT people and this legislation affirms the state’s commitment to treat all of its citizens with equal dignity and respect,” said Eric Gouvin, Dean at the Western New England University School of Law.

On Friday, November 6, 2015, the Western New England University School of Law faculty voted unanimously in favor of a resolution of support for pending legislation, noting such exclusion has no place in higher education.

“The Law School strives to provide an inclusive educational environment for all our students,” said Professor Jennifer Levi. “We support statewide efforts to ensure that all public accommodations throughout the Commonwealth are open and accessible to all – including transgender residents.”

Advocates are pressing the state legislature to address the pending legislation, known as S.735 and H.1577, before it breaks for the holidays on November 19. Massachusetts nondiscrimination laws already protect transgender residents in other areas of state law, including areas such employment, public education, credit, and housing. No express law protects transgender patrons in restaurants and other places of public accommodation.

Other organizations in higher education have also expressed public support for pending legislation, including:

  • Boston College Lambda Law Students Association
  • Harvard Gender and Sexuality Caucus
  • Harvard Transgender Task Force
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design​ Student Government Association
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Northeastern University
  • Public Higher Education Network Of Massachusetts
  • Simmons College
  • Tufts University
  • UMass Dartmouth Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality

Harvey Wallbanger

Harvey Wallbanger

This Sunday, November 8 is National Harvey Wallbanger Day! Over the years the Harvey Wallbanger has been said to be:

  • Invented in 1952 by the three-time world-champion bartender, Donato “Duke” Antone.
  • Named after a California surfer who was a regular customer of Duke’s ‘Blackwatch’ Bar on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.
  • Received international acclaim by Galliano salesman, George Bednar.

The classic vodka cocktail received international attention in 1970 after being featured in the TWA in-flight menu.

  • 1 ½ oz Stoli Premium Vodka
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • ½ oz Galliano

Add Stoli Premium Vodka and orange juice into a collins glass filled with ice. Off the back of a spoon, float Galliano. Garnish with a fresh slice of orange.

Pillow talk: practical vs decorative pillows

Pillow talk: practical vs decorative pillows
It’s a luxurious feeling when you crawl into a bed with soft, fluffy pillows. The right kind of pillows are incredibly comfortable and can make a huge difference in the quality of sleep you’ll get. When redecorating a bedroom, pillows can make a really big impact and add great atmosphere to the room.

Practical pillows

These are the pillows you will go to sleep with at night. Choosing pillows is as equally as important as selecting the right bed for you. Investing in the quality pillows is key to helping you get a good night rest. Pillows should be replaced each year because:

  1. They don’t last. They lose structure and support from daily use.
  2. The fabric begins to wear and they can become unsanitary.
  3. You deserve to get a good night rest with the best pillows.

Thanks to a great rest from practical pillows, you can wake up each day with a positive attitude and feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready for the day ahead.

Decorative pillows

Simple for pleasing the eye, decorative pillows are rarely selected for comfort. From a line of your favourite Christmas song, to a beautiful pattern, or a simple inspirational quote, these pillows are there to make your day better. These pillows can be customized to fit and enhance your space, without going overboard.

Pillow talk: practical vs decorative pillowsDon’t over do it. A bed should have one or two decorative pillows. Five or more is just too much and more of a hassle to clear off at the end of a long, hard day.

Find balance with decorating with pillows. If you question things then you’re already thinking things aren’t right. Go with your gut and if you still need further thought then you’re probably going too far. Choose decorative pillows that add to your space and make it a personal touch, without a huge investment.

Have fun with your pillows, pick great ones that compliment you, and ones that can lead to even better pillow talk.

Bathhouse etiquette: 11 rules to follow

Gay porn star Casey Everett

Dim lighting, corridors lined with doors, dark alcoves from which groans emanate, sauna benches covered in nude male bodies, streams of men wearing nothing but a towel, staring, silent.

Ah the bathhouse. A cornerstone of gay culture. A remnant of a time when most homes didn’t have indoor plumbing, taken over by gay men living in rooming houses to which they couldn’t take their illicit affairs. This institution has proven remarkably resilient – police raids, AIDS, mainstreaming of gay culture, and dating apps have still not managed to lead to their demise. And yet for a young man, emerging into the gay community, these places can be a bit baffling at first. There seems to be a code, nothing written down but something that’s followed by bathhouse clientele. Here is some bathhouse etiquette advice.

Clothing. When you first check in to the bathhouse, the attendant will give you towel. Yep, this is for you to wear. However, it isn’t mandatory. You’re welcome to stroll around completely naked. You’re also welcome to wear your own clothing – but do not wear street clothes. Maybe it’s that jockstrap that shows off bubble butt, or a pair of short shorts barely covering your bulging cock, or maybe it’s some football shorts for those into the sporty fetish. Just make sure whatever you’re wearing looks sexy and can come off easily.

Footwear. Most men go around barefoot, depending on the cleanliness of the facility. However, some guys are a little squeamish about foot fungus, particularly in areas such as the sauna or in the darkened rooms where questionable fluids cover the ground. A pair of clean flip flops are acceptable. Street shoes are not – don’t be bringing the dirt from the sidewalk into what is supposed to be a bathing facility.

Condoms. Bathhouses usually have a plentiful supply of condoms located throughout the facility and you’ll usually be given a couple when you check in. Having said that, most facilities don’t require you to use them and many guys choose not to. Bathhouses are not usually the space to have conversations about HIV status, testing dates, and past behaviour. So if you’re concerned about acquiring an STI, you’ll be better off just insisting on condoms.

Scents. There are plenty of showers available if you smell a little funky. But please, don’t wear strong colognes or perfumes. Many people are sensitive to them and the smell can permeate the saunas, getting carried by the vapours and stinging people’s eyes and throats. So leave them at home and just have a good shower when you get there.

Talking. You will notice that people talk very little at the bathhouse. Occassionally there’ll be a group of friends hanging out together talking or two guys who have just fucked getting to know one another. But for the most part, the cruising is done in silence. It’s not exactly a social space, that’s what bars are for. And hearing someone speak can be a turn off when really all you’re interested in is a guy’s body. This makes other forms of communication essential – touching, looking, etc.

The look. Since no one’s talking, the other form of communication besides touching is facial expressions. If someone is interested, they’ll generally try to make eye contact and maybe even give a little smile, perhaps slowing down as they pass you. Similarly, if someone is avoiding eye contact with you, it generally means they aren’t interested. If a guy looks at you and you’re interested, slow your strut down and give the guy a little smile. Even if you keep on walking past one another, now you know he’s interested and you can be a little less coy next time you pass.

Touching. In most spaces, randomly touching someone is a big no no. However, due to the lack of oral communication, touch is usually how you signal interest. So don’t be offended if a guy touches your arm or butt or even your cock. Likewise, don’t be afraid to signal your interest in a similar fashion. However, take the hint – if a guy shakes his head at you that he’s not interested, leave it at that and don’t touch him any further. If a guy touches you and you’re not interested, simply shake your head or give a polite “no thank you.” If the guy doesn’t take the hint, don’t be afraid to be a bit more assertive.

Keys. You’ll get a set of keys upon checking in – either for your room or for your locker. Sometimes they’re on a safety pin you can attach to your towel, other times it’s on an elastic band to put on your wrist or arm. If you’re a bottom, put it on your right side. If you’re a top, put it on your left side. That’s not a strict rule though so don’t assume everyone is following that code.

Bottoming-topping. That’s the tricky part – figuring out who wants to top and who wants to bottom. Besides the keys, or perhaps a leather wrist band, it’s difficult to tell at first. Usually, if a guy grabs your butt, he’s looking to top you. If he grabs your cock, he’s looking for you to top him. If that’s not what you’re interested in, you can either signal it to him by touching what part of him you’re interested in. Or, you can break silence just a little and enquire.

Dark rooms. If you want some really anonymous sex, this is where you head to. There will usually be a group of guys in there, groping, sucking, and even fucking. This is where communication gets tricky and relies solely on touch. If someone is spreading their ass cheeks, you can be assured they want a fuck. And don’t expect guys to be using condoms in the dark room – nobody can even tell if someone is wearing one so you can be certain that most guys in there are doing it bare.

Watching. If you start getting touchy feely, or even more, in public, chances are people are going to watch. That’s their right, especially in the common areas. So if you get a little creeped out by that, make sure you have a room or find one of the little stalls to go into. Of course, some guys go because they like getting watched – so feel free to get your ass ploughed on a bench for everyone to see.


Happy National Sandwich Day

Happy National Sandwich Day

In recognition of National Sandwich Day, we’re put together a spotlight on some of the most popular sandwiches that should be on your personal menu. These are tried and true menu items found in most restaurants, prepared the traditional way, or sometimes with a local fusion flare.

  1. The hamburger. Traditionally ground chuck cooked on a flame grill, served on a toasted bun, usually with cheese, ketchup, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, and pickle. Tons of variations exist. Always a solid choice.
  2. Pulled Pork. There are many places across America that claim to have the best barbeque in the world, but in fact, the style ranges across the regions. In Kansas there are sweet honey-smoke sauces. The Carolina’s are known for vinegar and mustard based sauces. In Texas, where brisket in most popular, is a tangy sauce. Over in Memphis, well, barbeque is a way of life. No matter what style or flavour you prefer, nothing beats a pulled pork sandwich topped with come homemade ‘slaw.
  3. Philly Cheese Steak. Well cooked beef from the flattop grill, served up on a deli roll, and smothered with peppers, onions, oil, vinegar, and loads of cheese! The true debate is whether to go with melted provolone, cheddar, or with Cheese Whiz.
  4. Chicken Sandwhich. A crispy fried chicken breast topped with shredded lettuce, mayo, tomato, and ketchup, served on a toasted bun. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
  5. PB&J. The traditional peanut butter and jam sandwich goes back to the simple and fun days of being a kid. It never goes out of style. Today’s chef’s are taking the tradition to a whole new level by adding potato chips, pickles, honey, banana’s, and other great items to the timeless classic.

However you choose to celebrate National Sandwich Day, Bon Appetit!

What’s your favourite sandwich? Had anything crazy or something that makes your mouth water? We want to hear about it in the comments below!

Star-studded Christmas concert to raise funds for LGBT homeless youth

Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holiday’s

The 5th annual Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holiday’s benefit concert is scheduled for December 5 at New York’s Beacon Theatre to raise awareness of LGBT homeless youth with proceeds from the concert to support the True Colors Fund’s program.

A host of celebrities will be joining Cyndi Lauper including Boy George, Judy Gold, Sharon Osbourne, Valerie Simpson, and host Carson Kressley, to name just some of the many people involved.

“For the fifth year, ‘Home for the Holidays’ will feature an incredible night of performances in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth experiencing homelessness,” said Lauper, co-founder of the True Colors Fund. “I’m so grateful for the artists who will donate their time and talents this December in support of a cause that we can’t ignore. This concert will enable the True Colors Fund to continue our work to create a world in which all kids can be their true selves. I can’t wait.”

Grammy and Emmy award-winning artist and advocate Cyndi Lauper co-founded the True Colors Fund to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth through a broad continuum of community organizing, public engagement, public policy, research, and youth collaboration programs.

Each year in the United States, up to 40 per cent of the 1.6 million youth that are homeless identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, which is a significant jump from the estimated seven per cent of youth who identify as LGBT in the general population. Studies and research have shown that this disproportionate rate is due to family rejection of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

Tickets for the benefit concert will be available for the general public starting Friday, November 6 at 12:00pm through Ticketmaster.

Checklist: 4 things you need to do before leaving home on your next adventure

New York City skyline, things you need to do before leaving home

Going away usually takes a lot of planning. From arranging transportation and accommodation, to planned itineraries and necessary tickets and reservations. In some cases it is last minute and in others, it’s might be planned for months or years in advance. Regardless, there are always things that come up at the last minute and you don’t want to leave home and realized that you’ve forgot to do something.

Gone are the days when you needed to call the credit card company to let them know you’re travelling. Thanks to technology they no long require you to call in. If something does come up, the issuer will contact you and arrangements will be made to get you a new card.

Here is a quick and easy checklist of four things you need to do before leaving home:

  1. Travel insurance: Make sure your travel insurance is up-to-date, and that you have the right kind of insurance for your trip, especially if you are travelling internationally and for an extended period of time. It would be terrible to get into an expensive medical situation or have to cancel a portion of your trip and not have insurance to cover the expenses.
  2. Send your itinerary: It’s always good to give a copy of your itinerary to your family and/or friends. This should include travel dates, hotels (with confirmation numbers), flight details, and any special activities you have planned. This way if there is an emergency you can be contacted, or if you don’t show up, people know where to start looking for you.
  3. Turn off everything: Even if you’re just going away for a couple of days, turn off everything including water, gas, appliances, the coffee maker, curling iron, etc. The last thing you want to find out while away is that your home is flooded or burnt down.
  4. Create a packing checklist: As soon as you start planning your trip create a checklist of everything you’ll need to pack. Frequent travellers have a standard list of items that are always ready to go, but it’s things like medication, charging cables, sunglasses, sun screen, camera, dress shoes, and other accessories that get forgotten and can be expensive to replace on the road.

With these few tips you should be able to leave the house on your journey, worry free. Just make sure you’ve packed your bags correctly!

icon: Twitter icon: facebook icon: flickr icon: rss icon: mailing list