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Nov 08 2020
Boy Culture Turns 15: My 100 Favorite Posts Comments (0)

 Boy-Culture-blog-logo-underwear-Matthew-RettenmundYou need a little (Boy) Culture! (Image © BoyCulture.com)

It's time, once again, for my annual state-of-the-site essay, adapted to suit the occasion of my blogiversary. This time, I must say it is unfathomable to me that Boy Culture is now 15 years old.

That means I have spent well over a third of my life making time for this hobby. My dog Sash, who died last month, was born, lived, changed my existence and left me during the time this blog has been happening.

Matthew-rettenmund-italy-boycultureThe first blog I remember seeing was Page666 by Perez Hilton. I did not get it, meaning I had no idea how to even read it — top to bottom? — and I was repulsed by the mistakes and illiteracy. But still, I found it exciting. I think Pink Is the New Blog, Towleroad, Joe.My.God. and Kenneth in the (212) followed, and years later, I enjoyed (and was lapped by) Wicked Gay Blog, OMG. Blog! and many others, all influential.

I can still remember the joy I felt when I first figured out how to post, how to upload an image, and how to embed a video. I remember every time an early post blew up, bringing in hits and new viewers, and sometimes longtime readers. I remember the names of many of my most reliable commenters (there was a time when commenting was easier, and people actually took the time to chime in), the trolls, the stalkers, the haters looking to take me down a peg from the safety of their anonymity, the spam and the never-ending (and validating!) pitches and free tickets and photographers' snaps of half- or all-naked male models. 

I also remember being an influencer, and seeing my posts get linked by various gay sites, including corporate, funded ones, which was exciting — until they stopped crediting me. Hm.

Gay-pride-nycTwo of a kind! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Over time, I've used Boy Culture to express myself, to help others express themselves, to endorse messaging, to denounce terrible human beings and trends, to connect with likeminded people internationally, and to promote my photography OnlyFans, my side project Gr8erDays, my oral history of Playgirl for Esquire.com, my interview with late gay director James Sheldon, and my books Encyclopedia Madonnica 20, MLVC60, Boy Culture and Blind Items: A Love Story.

OtHldU8Do we want people to kiss our ass? Yeah, we do. (GIF via GIPHY)

I've also used it to show off my humor (both high and low), to flaunt my obsessions, to reality-test my sexual diversions and perversions, to laud the art I love, to broadcast my admiration for Madonna, and — probably — to procrastinate.

For many years, I have been grumbling about ending Boy Culture. I have resisted just focusing on social media, resenting the fact that my own entity was being shut out by Google and Facebook for being too gay, too risqué. I wanted, since I had started it, to maintain some independence. But then friends routinely send me images and stories asking if I've seen them, only to have them turn out to be items I already posted or even posted first, a sure sign they never check my site.

And it is an incredible amount of work to craft original posts, or even just to put together worthwhile aggregated ones, usurping time I could be spending writing novels and screenplays; I have finished a first draft of a screenplay, largely due to COVID-19 down time, and no thanks to this blog.

“Blog” — the word itself is so dated, I wonder if deciding to stop blogging is even a consideration anymore. Hasn't blogging already stopped, even if I have persisted?

There is also the Rupaul-boyculture-matthew-rettenmund problem of the title. I used to get away with interviewing women at events by saying, “I'm with Boy Culture — but we love girls, too!” The original purpose of the title was to denote a universe where it is okay to prioritize “gay,” which was radical 30 years ago (when I first wrote the short story, and eventually the novel, of the same title), but which I think sounds a bit antiquated in an increasingly nonbinary, inclusion-conscious world. It also doesn't much represent the content of my blog, which is not exclusively gay or male.

Coronavirus-covid19-boycultureWhat would I have made of this had I seen it in a crystal ball 15 years ago? (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

I want to thank you all for having read Boy Culture over the years. I'm still here (one fantasizes about a blogging-centric version of the Sondheim song, working in names like Ted Haggard and Kim Davis), and each time I get some positive or merely substantive feedback, each time my posts are shared on social media, each time something I've written elicits a response, it keeps me going a li'l longer, and it cancels out an attack or exasperating attention-grab by a gay right-winger. (If you know any, dump them. To have become a Republican under Trump, you have to start out as a truly terrible human being.)

Boyculture-matthew-rettenmund-shirtless-beefcake-physiqueThanks for having my back. This, for the record, is not my back. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Thank you!

Please enjoy my 100 or so favorite posts, please let me know if you're reading any old ones for the first time and are liking them, please let me know if any of the posts' photos or other components are out of whack and they're not very easy to enjoy anymore, and, most of all, please share this entire post far and wide to help get my work out there.

**2008 first one 6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54fdddbfd8833-800wiMy first “Guydar” post (remember those???) from 2008. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

As always, you can find me on Facebook (personal and blog), Twitter, Instagram (plus Encyclopedia Madonnica and Gr8erDays), and YouTube (here are my YouTube greatest hits).

KEEP READING FOR MY 100 FAVE POSTS — OR CLICK HERE ...

Jeffersons-trans-boycultureTake a good look, George! (Image via video still)

THE QUEENS' MESSENGER: A BRIEF HISTORY OF LGBTQ CHARACTERS, PEOPLE, MENTIONS & MOMENTS ON (MOSTLY PRIMETIME) U.S. TV — 1920S-2000 (2018)

This was one of my last truly momentous posts. A massive list of all the LGBTQ I could find on TV pre-2000, this wound up being book-length and taking as long as a proper book to write, but it's one of the posts of which I am most proud. It also afforded me a visit to The Adam Sank Show to talk about things like Robert Reed playing a trans woman and whether I Love Lucy featured the first gay joke on television.

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Jeff-Thomas-Dr-FuckoffskiDeath of the party — Jeff in high school, already halfway through life. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

BURNING MAN (2007)

This tribute to my late high school friend and first romance is often cited by readers as a favorite. It's probably because I felt every word of it, and wrote it while still in shock after discovering a person I'd long been out of touch with was actually already long in his grave. Within the past year, Jeff's emerging-adult daughter contacted me to thank me for the piece, which provided some insight into the dad she lost so young, and I was able to send her some photos she had never seen. That was one of the highlights of my career as a mad blogger.

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Ann-blyth-436Blyth spirit (GIF via GIPHY)

LAST STAR STANDING: A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST LIVING STARS 80 & OLDER (2013-present)

One of my most exhaustively researched lists, I add to it weekly in order to be sure I have listed every imaginable performer age 80+, and to keep track of all of those who have died. If you glance at the post, you'll see all the pink — which denotes those who have died in just the past seven years. It is a sea of pink, but I'm glad I was young enough to have experienced the talents of so many performers of yesteryear. Which, by the way, counts as pre-1990!

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DANCER FROM THE DANCE gay boycultureBook 'em! (Image via Bantam)

COVER TO COVER: FIRST & LAST SENTENCES OF GAY NOVELS & NOVELLAS (2014)

I'm in love with this post, which collects the first and last sentences of 120 gay novels and novellas, and also features their jacket art. I think it becomes a great gay reading list, even though I wasn't intending to gather only the best of the best so much as examples of the wide variety of novels correctly categorized as LGBTQ.

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Broadway-bares-boyculturFor a good cause (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

BARE ESSENTIALS (2008), EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ROTATION (BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK) (2009), IF YOU LIKED IT THEN YOU SHOULDA PUT A HOTEL ON IT: BROADWAY BARES XX — STRIP-OPOLY (2010), BOTTOMS UP: A REVIEW OF BROADWAY BARES XXII — HAPPY ENDINGS (2012), WINTER THRILLS: REVIEWING BROADWAY BARES — WINTER BURLESQUE @ XL (2013), STATES OF UNDRESS: A REVIEW OF BROADWAY BARES 23, UNITED STRIPS OF AMERICA (2013), SWITCHING IT UP: AN ILLUSTRATED REVIEW OF BROADWAY BARES 26 — ON DEMAND (2016)

I'll never forget my first, Matthew Morrison-dominated Broadway Bares. I was practically dragged to the event by my friend Jason, who promised I would like it. Instead, I became transfixed, vowing never to miss one. I also made sure to shoot them all, because the performers always seemed appreciative of this and hey, they only happen twice in a night and never again. Too many moments that shouldn't be missed. Above are some of the cream-of-the-crop evenings in my experience.

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Tumblr_5e8f48dd31586da1d380ffc6900b53f9_db778cbc_500Pop art (GIF via GIPHY)

GOLDEN OLDIES: 100 MOST MEMORABLE GOLDEN GIRLS GUEST SPOTS OF ALL TIME (2014)

I had more fun than Blanche during Fleet Week compiling this Golden oldie! I watched every episode — many, many times — and tried my best to make sure all the most classic performances were honored.

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Patrick-Duffy-shirtlessMan for Man from Atlantis (Image via CBS)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY HILTON... (2010), NOT FOR LADIES ONLY: IT'S HOLLYWOOD SHOWTIME! (2011), “AT MY AGE? ARE YOU KIDDING?”: HOLLYWOOD SHOW & TELL (2011), WARMING UP TO CHILLER: KILLER HEAT, SCORCHING CELEBS & S-S-S-S-SAMANTHA FOX (2012), ONE GAY AT A TIME: A HOLLYWOOD SHOW TO REMEMBER (2013), “ANYTHING CAN BE RENTED THESE DAYS”: INSIDE THE HOLLYWOOD SHOW (2017)

Visiting the Chiller Theatre Expo with Barbara Eden, the cast of Dallas and tons more OMG-listers kicked off a 9-year odyssey through the world of autograph shows. I'm including some of my favorites. They're my faves because I had the best time, the best stars and/or the gayest gets.

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Nell-Carter-Gimme-a-Break-boycultureNell Carter was family! (Image via NBC)

UNDER THE GAYDAR: 10 PEOPLE YOU MAY OR MAY NOT REALIZE WERE OR ARE QUEER (2012)

I got lots of feedback on this, mainly because nobody realized Nell Carter was with a woman at the time of her death. I think it's a fun list, perhaps inspired by one of my favorite books, The Gay Book of Days.

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Lizabeth-ScottGreat Scott!

IN & OUT: 25 STARS' FIRST & LAST PERFORMANCES IN FILM & ON TV (2013)

Being obsessed with nostalgia and with movies, this was fun — but so very taxing — to compile. I loved the randomness of it; not all of them counted Murder, She Wrote as their swan song.

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PSBI hate that music has been sleeveless for 20 years.

20 7" SINGLE SLEEVES FROM THE '80S THAT BELONG IN A GALLERY (2013)

Just 20 from my massive collection of 45s. I got rid of my 12" records, but I've kept these guys because they're just too much a part of my childhood.

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Lake-GenevaThe family home that haunted Jane and Bill's final years. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

A FIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (2007)

My late mentor's husband struggled to give away his family home on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin; the locals didn't like the idea of it becoming a house museum. I stayed there once and will never forget it.

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Boys-in-the-band-boycultureStellar lineup (Image by Mike Summers)

BOY CRAZY: INSIDE THE PARTY FOR THE BOYS IN THE BAND, (2018) MEAN BOYS: A REVIEW OF THE BOYS IN THE BAND ON BROADWAY (2018) & WHO DOES SHE HOPE TO BE?: NETFLIX'S THE BOYS IN THE BAND HAS COUNTER-CHARM (2020)

I'm obsessed with this show, so it was a pleasure to be able to see and review the Broadway version, which I loved. I didn't love the Netflix film of that version, but I still enjoyed the process of considering it. It still sickens me that so many younger gay men think this play is self-loathing; they're usually their group's Michael, whether or not they know it.

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John-McCainIf McCain calls, I'm not here. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

NEW YORK TO McCAIN: “DROP DEAD!” (2008)

Documenting the time I saw John McCain and showed him exactly how I felt. This was liberating back when it was McCain vs. Obama. Now, of course, McCain has been so venerated, I'd be surprised if his face didn't wind up on U.S. currency.

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Charles-hix-boycultureBeached tail (Image via Ken Haak/Simon & Schuster)

WORKING OUT OUR GAY FANTASIES: HOW CHARLES HIX & KEN HAAK PUMPED UP QUEER DESIRE (2019) & A MESSAGE FROM CHARLES HIX (2020)

I had so much fun re-living the so-gay-and-yet-so-unstated fabulousness of the work of Charles Hix (not to mention the sizzling photos of Ken Haak and Bruce Weber), and then was floored when he appeared out of nowhere to acknowledge my post. We have since corresponded, and I'm happy to report he is doing well. Must be all those push-ups and snazzy duds!

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Whoopi-Goldberg-Prop-8Meeting Whoopi (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

THE MARRYING KIND (2008)

That fabulously spontaneous anti-Prop 8 march in NYC after gay marriage became a national concern in the wake of Obama's election. Feels like 150 years ago.

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Madonna+Confessions+on+a+Dance+Floor+PMadonna gets it together. (Image via Warner Bros.)

CONFESSIONS ON A DANCE FLOOR BY MADONNA (2005)

This was my track-by-track review of Madonna's most recent indisputable masterpiece, and will serve as an example of my ability to do words about sounds.

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Lynda-CarterWas that Debra Winger on woodwinds? (Image via Feinstein's)

WONDER NEVER CEASES (2007)

I paid good money to hear Lynda Carter sing! And I loved every minute of it. This blends my love of things past with my appreciation for a good, old-fashioned NYC event.

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Debbie-Harry-topless-posterNervous titters as I asked her to sign a nipple-exposing poster. (Image via Chrysalis)

WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN?: PLATINUM BLONDIE IN THE FLESH (2010)

Meeting Debbie Harry for the third time was my favorite encounter, and I came away lousy with autographs. I think I take her for granted now, in no small part because of how spoiled I was by this access. My most recent meeting with her was a far more mixed bag, but my 2019 attendance of Debbie and Chris Stein's Town Hall appearance definitely made up for it.

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Eating-Out-2-Sloppy-Seconds-starring-Marco-Dapper-and-Brett-Chukerman-09This flick didn't have to be this finger-lickin' good, but it was. (Image via Ariztical)

EATING OUT 2: SLOPPY SECONDS (2006)

A review of an unlikely guilty treasure-trail. Eating Out's first sequel was riotously funny, and I got to see it at Outfest.

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Notes-on-a-scandal-cate-blanchettWoman in love (Image via Fox Searchlight)

NOTES ON A SCANDAL (2006)

A terrific film, and this review brought me to the attention of Joe Jervis from Joe.My.God. 

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Bill-Henson-gay-porn-starI'm offering a $500 reward for the real Bill Henson's death certificate or printed obit. (Image via Falcon)

HISTORY'S 125 HOTTEST GAY-PORN STARS: MY LIST (2013) & HISTORY'S 250 GREATEST GAY-PORN STARS: MY NEW LIST (2019)

I may have left off a few good ones, but these posts have generated more comments and more heated discussions than any other — inches! Good to see we always have our priorities straight.

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TenorYes, slur, that's my baby. (GIF via GIPHY)

SUPERFAG (2007)

Even though plenty of people though I was being P.C. to point this out, Superbad is super anti-gay. Even Seth Rogen has since acknowledged it is homophobic.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef012875d13eb0970cFirth and foremost (Image via The Weinstein Co.)

EVERY SINGLE, SOLITARY THING: A REVIEW OF A SINGLE MAN (2009)

A movie that really moved me was Tom Ford's debut. Some think it too stylish by half, but I would watch this over a Ryan Murphy joint any day.

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Madonna-we-movie-boycultureThey had style, they had fall from grace ... (Image via The Weinstein Co.)

WILL W.E. ROCK YOU?: A REVIEW OF THE FILM W.E., DIRECTED BY MADONNA (2012)

I finally get to have my say on Madonna's feature directoral debut (kinda)... and it wasn't all good, but wasn't all bad.

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Scotty-bowers-matthew-rettenmund-boycultureHe wrote the little black book on it! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

I DON'T VANT TO BE ALONE: A REVIEW OF FULL SERVICE BY SCOTTY BOWERS & LIONEL FRIEDBERG (2012), CONTRACT PLAYA: A REVIEW OF SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD (2017) & BUDDY, BUDDY: WILD Q&A WITH SCOTTY BOWERS & MATT TYRNAUER @ IFC (2018)

The controversial book — who-fucked-who tell-all that ruffled many a Hollywood feather — really brought out varying opinions in the comments. I, for one, believed almost every word. Video of the author speaking at an event is here. However, I must say that director Matt Tyrnauer's later documentary was even more believable, and gave Scotty a humanity that was lacking in his memoir. These posts cover the book and movie, and his obit — he died in 2019, a year after his wife Lois — is here.

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SANDRA-BERNHARDBern', baby, Bern'! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

BERNHARD: WITH A VENGEANCE (2009)

Seeing Sandra Bernhard's 20th-anniversary tour of Without You I'm Nothing was a riot. Hard to believe it's been so long that a 30th anniversary of that show has come and gone.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef014e881e4632970d-400wiThe late Larry Kramer's love note to reason. (Image via TheNormalHeartBroadway.com)

“WE'RE LIVING THROUGH WAR”: A REVIEW OF THE NORMAL HEART (2011)

My review of one of the best plays I've ever seen on Broadway, the 2011 adaptation of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart.

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Gay-boyculture--shirtless-Roxy one-sided copyEven Madonna couldn't save the Roxy. (Image by The Roxy)

MY ROXY HEART (2006)

Ruminating about the day The Roxy went bankrupt. Plus, we learn that bisexual French guys'll break your heart and have cruddy aim!

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Tumblr_mdkp5isvP41qdf43eo1_500Hate gay movies? (GIF via GIPHY)

SCREENING QUEENS (2007)

Are gay movies usually crappy? Or are gay people just crappy at supporting them? This is a good example of Boy Culture on a soapbox. I do like to take on issues that get under my skin, and that I feel should get under yours.

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CherChain-female (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

SAVE UP ALL YOUR PIERS: CHER SERENADES THE FAITHFUL (2013)

I was literally just a few feet from Cher at her Pier Dance NYC set during Pride, giving me access to great photos and video that went everywhere. I have friends who consistently urge me to simply enjoy events and be in the moment, but photographing is my way of enjoying something — documenting it. Oh, and the men at Cher's gig were fucking hot.

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Chace-CrawfordThe Chace is half the fun. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

WHAT HAPPENS AT MISS USA DOESN'T STAY AT MISS USA (2008)

Things can get pretty/ugly at beauty pageants, something I learned when my boss (at the time) invited me to Miss USA with my partner (at the time) José, a major fan of Miss Universe thanks to his Puerto Rican heritage.

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Boy-Culture-Marilyn-Monroe-shirtlessSomething had to give. (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

LOST ANGELES (2009)

My favorite photographic travelogue of L.A.; I used to post more stuff like this, but keeping up with news alerts has probably pulled me away from personal stuff on the site.

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Matthew-rettenmund-boycultureI thought this was sublime when I took it. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

“YOUR PICTURES SUCK” (2008)

An art critic attacked me, but not without sustaining some hits in return. I used to wear a REVENGE pin on my coat at college in the late '80s, and a woman once grabbed it and told me, in churchy tones, I didn't need that. I told her, “Lady, you don't know what you're talking about.”

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SourceSelling it like it is. (GIF via GIPHY)

BIRTH OF A SALESMAN (2006)

Did you know I'm a natural-born capitalist? A remembrance of my door-to-dooring around.

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Boyculture-Gay Times issue 58 1977 cover Jack Wrangler copyWrangler had a dangler. (Image via Gay Times)

THERE'S A LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND FASCINATION (2008)

A review of a screening of Wrangler, a documentary about the now-deceased porn legend Jack Wrangler. At the time of this screening, both Wrangler and his improbable wife, Margaret Whiting (whose daughter appeared at the event), were still living. More than 20 years Wrangler's senior and in failing health, Whiting nonetheless survived her golden boy.

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James-FrancoA little Franco side-eye. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

“I THINK THAT'S COOL, TOO”: MEETING JAMES FRANCO & A REVIEW OF MY OWN PRIVATE RIVER (2012)

I had a front-row seat to Franco's weirdly wonderful River Phoenix-centric cut of My Own Private Idaho. Covering his next queertastic flick was fun, too, and resulted in another pic-with.

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Madonna-The-Egg-1974-movieOmelet down your guard. (Image via video still)

MADONNA, OVER EASY (2006)

This simple post, calling attention to Madonna's infamous Super 8 movie debut from high school, the one in which an egg appears to fry on her nubile body, was what got me my first-ever Towleroad (and only Boing Boing) link! I also find this type of post nostalgic because back then, you could blow up by posting something on YouTube. People would link your post instead of just taking the embed from YouTube and running with it. It's also much, much harder to present something like this nowadays and be legit first with it. Simpler times!

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Marcus-patrick-rettenmund-boycultureHe was a male stripper in a go-go bar. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

“I'D MUCH RATHER BE CONSIDERED GAY THAN IGNORANT AND STRAIGHT!”: AN INTERVIEW WITH STRAIGHT SUPER-ALLEY MARCUS PATRICK (2013)

There's something about Marcus Patrick ... oh, wait, I know what it is. I recall posting scandalous pics of that asset early on, but later, doing this interview was almost as much fun as getting the opportunity to receive a crazy lapdance from him, proving you're not a committed straight ally unless you're willing to let me put my money where my mouth just was. 

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Zac-efron-gay-boycultureHandy man (Partial page via NE)

GOTTA HAND IT TO ZAC (2011)

The mere rumor of Zac Efron being gay got me 20,000 hits — which is a lot for me. I remember I saw my numbers exploding inexplicably while in an airport during a downpour while on a business trip to the WalMart HQ back in the days when I ran a teen magazine. It blew my mind that anyone cared since it was just a scan from a tabloid ... but care, they did.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef019b00bf77fe970c-550wiWhy are the right-wingers sometimes so tasty? (GIF via GIPHY)


DI-VINE, HARD AT TWERK, TRIMMING THE VINE & THE GIFS THAT KEEP ON GIVING (2013)

These related posts document the meteoric rise of athlete John Mangum, who became the Twerk King in two (or three) shakes. Even though some other blogs ignored hat-tipping me, I was way out ahead with Mangum, and that was enough to net the blog about 200,000 page views in the first couple of weeks. He was later shown to be anti-gay ... because of course.

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Gay-boyculture-magazine-Torso-11-83When you're not, you're not. (Image via Torso)

HARD TIMES (2009)

In this post, I documented the death of gay-porn magazines when the Mavety empire folded. I had worked for them for several years, so it was especially sad and strange to see this happen. Surprising? No. Mr. Mavety once pooh-poohed me when I urged him to digitize his millions of nudie slides in order to stake a claim on the Internet, telling me men would never adapt to jerking off on a computer as opposed to while holding a magazine. This wasn't Nostradamus we were dealing with.

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Best-of-the-WestSimply the Best of the West (Image via ABC) 

RE: RUNS (2011)

My list of gone-too-soon TV candidates is a wallow in nostalgia, and was one of my first mega-lists.

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Tumblr_mt1pb03QZn1sqovw8o2_500Dykes on bikes? Likes! Just Jack is just fine! (GIF via GIPHY)

ILL WILL & GRACELESS (2009)

Why it's wrong to think flamboyant homosexuality is damaging our movement. I was pretty annoyed that a creator of Will & Grace sounded so damn Republican.

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GagaShe's got “LoveGame” (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

LADY GAGA LIVE: PAPARAZZI DON'T PREACH (2009)

My first Gaga show, and I went Gaga for her. I wound up reviewing several of her concerts, and her bizarre Volantis event.

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Betty_WhiteI Rose to the occasion. (Image via Sony)

WHITE NIGHT (2009) & WHITE-HOT IN CLEVELAND: INSIDE A HOT IN CLEVELAND TAPING (2012)

The stories of how I got two of my favorite celebrity pic-withs ever. (I think I rank them as Madonna > Barack Obama > Betty White 1 & 2.)

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Mr-BrainwashI got Mr. Brainwashed. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

HE WENT POP (2010)

Freezing my ass off for some Mr. Brainwash freebies.

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Debbie-reynolds-boycultureRapping with Reynolds (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

DEBBIE REYNOLDS: SINGIN' THROUGH THE PAIN (2009) & AS OLD AS YOU REEL: A TRIP TO CINECON (2012)

José and I had so, so — too! — much fun at Debbie's cabaret show. It's just insanity to realize she was bopping around in 2009, and dead by the very end of 2016. My trip to the nostalgia-fest Cinecon was so long ago I'm already becoming nostalgic for it. Loved meet Baby Peggy, Debbie Reynolds and the openly gay Carleton Carpenter — he is still with us.

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Cyndi-Lauper-Matthew-RettenmundMatt & Cyndi: Then and then! (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

STAND TOGETHER AS ONE, YEAH-YEAH-YEAH-YEAH! NYC GAY PRIDE WITH CYNDI LAUPER (2012) & BURSTING WITH PRIDE: 150 IMAGES FROM GAY PRIDE (2015)

Marching with Cyndi Lauper at Pride is about as gay as it gets, but I also threw in one of my favorite experiences, photo-wise, at NYC Pride.

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Dick-Van-DykeDick, that's an interesting name ... (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

WEEKEND OF 100 STARS (2012)

One of my most star-soaked weekends, with an accent on famous faces of the past. I narrowly missed nabbing Carol Burnett, and have never caught up with her.

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Raquel-WelchPiss her off and this bitch will Rex Reed you! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

PRIVATE PARTS: RAQUEL WELCH VS. MYRA BRECKINRIDGE (2012)

Raquel wigged out on Mae West while reluctantly reminiscing about Myra Breckinridge. Still more of Raquel on Mae is here.

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Hilarious-mom-noteMy first — and only — car was a gray Chevette. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

PUKING IN THE HOUSE IS NOT PERMISSIBLE (THE DOG MIGHT EAT IT) (2013)

This hilarious note my mom left me when I was going to be home alone as a teenager is top dog among all her notes and letters from over the years that I've saved. You can't do this with e-mails, people!

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Manila-LuzonLady with an attitude (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

DRAGGED IN — RuPAUL'S DRAG RACE: SEASON THREE CLIMAXES IN NYC (2011) & ON THE DRAG: WERKIN' THE NYC SEASON 5 PREMIERE PARTY FOR RuPAUL'S DRAG RACE (2013)

Via my dozen or more RuPaul's Drag Race recaps, I always dressed you up, although more so in women's clothing than in my love. These were two of the more memorable excursions.

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MADONNA-MDNA-PHILLYThe Queen's throat (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

GLOCK A VIRGIN: A REVIEW OF MADONNA'S MDNA TOUR IN PHILADELPHIA (2012)

I don't know how I could have not liked “Like a Virgin” initially ... it became one of the most memorable moments of the tour. My best images from the tour are here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e5537b65588833-500wiWe all scream! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

PRIDE/A DEEPER LOVE (2008)

A journey home to Michigan, then a march in Manhattan.

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Shih-tzu-runningRun of the house (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

ARE YOU OUTTA CONTROL? IS THAT DOG WALKING YOU? (2008) & PUPPIES AS METAPHORS (2008)

Bringing my dogs home. It was a wonderful nightmare. I still break into a cold sweat remembering what it was like when I first realized Hyphen was a whiny barker. And I have cried some every day since Sash died October 11, 2020.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f5599878833-800wiJonathon Trent & Derek Magyar make an Allan Brocka sandwich. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

BOY ON FILM (2006)

An account of the NYC launch party that I threw on my own dime and in my own apartment for the movie version of Boy Culture when it played the TriBeCa Film Fest.

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Hot-gay-guyThe hottest human being in the universe. (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

THE HOTTEST MEN OF NORTHALSTED MARKET DAYS 2013 (2013)

I think I ran into more hot men here than at any other event in the history of my interest in peen.

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SHIRTLESS-hot-guys-Comic-ConI have spent many a sleepless night wondering if this hot pair was also a hot couple. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

CC ME: A TRIP TO NEW YORK COMIC CON (2012) & THE HOTTEST, CUTEST BOYS & MEN OF NEW YORK COMIC CON: PART 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5

If you show up to this event with a professional camera — or probably even a disposable one — people are happy to pause 'n' pose. It's so sad it didn't happen this year, but ... soon.

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Musclar-Reval-twin-physiqueBodies in motion. (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

YOUR FAVORITE MOST MUSCULAR: A TRIP TO THE NPC EASTERN USA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN BODYBUILDING & PHYSIQUE (2013)

I wouldn't go again (it's like watching paint dry!), but I sure soaked up a lot of beautiful, muscular bodies in this post, as well as here and here and here and here and here.

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Phyllis-DIllerI wigged out with Phyllis Diller. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

THE ART OF BEING PHYLLIS DILLER (2012)

I met with the comedy legend in her home just a few months before she died. “I'm Matt!” I told the hard-of-hearing icon. “I'm deaf!” she replied.

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Flushing-High-SchoolThe eyes had it. (Image by Rob Bruff)

ON THE FACE OF IT (2009)

My project to have all my high school classmates do simple self-portraits, revisited decades later.

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James tabeekJames Tabeek became a friend — sans benefits — only after I shot his pubes. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

THERE HE IS: A REVIEW OF THE FIFTH ANNUAL BROADWAY BEAUTY PAGEANT (2011) & STRAIGHT TO THE TOP: A REVIEW OF THE 7TH ANNUAL BROADWAY BEAUTY PAGEANT (2013)

So much talent, so few clothes. Here are two examples of my visits to this fine, for-a-good-cause tradition — one which the chorus boys took dead-seriously.

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Death-Life is short...and meaningful. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

PASSING BY (2008)

Mourning the loss of a sweet, thoughtful young man I only met once. This was at my grandmother's 90th birthday celebration — she made it to 100, and he didn't make it out of 2008.

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Nick-Adams-James-DeanIf fame were heroin, Bill Dakota would be shooting stars (Image of Nick Adams via family photo)

HOLLYWOOD STARFUCKER (2011)

Bill Dakota's life as a metaphor. This bizarre and wonderful book really does it for me.

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34pfHomo hummers for queer ears (GIF via GIPHY)

BEATING OFF TOGETHER: THE 150 GAYEST SONGS EVER (THE LIST) (2012)

God, I had a blast compiling this! So many great and so many just plain gay songs. All the links to the tunes are here, and they're queer .. .get used to it!

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Blanskys-BeautiesI'm a Nancy boy. (Image via video still)

HISTORY'S 150 BEST TV THEME SONGS: MY PERSONAL LIST (2013)

Another list, and one that was a total pleasure compiling, even if I had to edit out some obvious classics to squeeze in my personal faves.

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1983What a totally tubular year! (Images via record sleeves)

OLD WAVE: THE 125 ULTIMATE POP SINGLES OF 1983 (2013)

Thirty years on, it's clear that these were the songs that made 1983 a pop-music nirvana.

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Pet-Shop-Boys-Barry-Manilow-Tina-TurnerAmerican Flop 40

LAST HEARD: HOW LONG IT'S BEEN SINCE THESE ICONS WENT TOP 40 (2013 & 2020)

I was blown away by how long it's been since some of these icons have seen Top 40 action. I did manage an update!

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Brady-BunchRegistering on the Peter meter (Image via meme)

27 INDISPENSABLE MUSICAL PERFORMANCES IN NON-MUSICAL TV SHOWS (2013)

There's nothing more enjoyable than an out-of-nowhere musical spot in an old-timey TV show.

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Weather-GirlsI feel it...it's cumming.

BUBBLING UNDER: 50 '80S SONGS I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE DIDN'T HIT THE TOP 40 ON BILLBOARD'S HOT 100 (2013)

This list could have gone on forever, but some of the ones I spotlight on it are jaw-droppers.

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Dan-Routhier-FlushinWe were the Laurel & Hardy of Mr. Benson's class. (Image via Flushing Observer)

THE BROTHER I NEVER HAD: A TRIBUTE TO DAN ROUTHIER (2013)

I had occasionally Googled around to find out what had ever happened to Dan, a guy I was friends with in fifth and sixth grade, but it was my randomly noticing a Facebook post that told me he had died of cancer. I have a bad track record of going looking for people from my past — it always turns out they're dead!

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September-11-911Even then, New Yorkers feared 9/11 was the beginning of the end. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

ART IMITATES LIFE (2006)

My 9/11 experience, and my distaste for grief tourism. I've reposted this one each 9/11.

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Grant-GustinMr. Graaaant! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

ORANGE YOU GLAAD YOU CAME? (2010), SO TOTALLY GAY: THE 22ND ANNUAL GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS (2011), ON MY MARRY WAY: GLAAD'S PARTY FOR THE SUMMER OF LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME (2011), CARING IS CHERING: THE 23RD GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS TAKE L.A. (2012) & MADONNA IS SCOUT & PROUD @ GLAAD FOR ANDERSON COOPER (2013)

I've covered way too many GLAAD events to pick just one as a representative, so ... how about five?!

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Matthew-Rettenmund-inappropriate-short-story-schoolKiller assignment. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

EXPELLING BEE (2008)

The most inappropriate things I ever wrote in elementary and junior high school. I totally would have been reprimanded or expelled today ... and rightfully so! The guy I wrote the above murder mystery with is on this list separately — Dan passed away from cancer at a very early age.

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Mickey-Mouse-skullMouseoleum (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

BUTT PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (2007)

My trip with my now ex-partner to Gay Days at Walt Disney World with our still-together buddies. This was fun, against my better judgment.

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Fat-kid-on-tractor-Matthew-RettenmundThis was was my John Deere letter. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

MO MO MO (2007)

My journey to Missouri with my grandparents a fat kid. Stuckey's was involved.

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Barack-ObamaHello, Barry.

“YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE!”: HOW I MET PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (2012)

I didn't tell a living soul that I was about to meet President Obama because I just couldn't believe it would really happen. It did! 

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THIS WAS THE NIGHT (2010)

The one where I finally locate the long-lost video of my drag performance as Samantha Fox from high school! Now, if I could only find the only known video shot of my one and only turn as an actor, in a University of Chicago production of Torch Song Trilogy ... my life would be complete. (And I could then move on to focus on my many other obsessions.)

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Madonna-Desperately-Seeking-Susan-1985No, Madonna wasn't there. No, not even in spirit. (Image via Orion)

THE MOVIE-MAGIC CLUB (2010)

My surreal time at the Desperately Seeking Susan 25th-anniversary screening. It still makes me sick that Madonna wouldn't attend this. It was such an amazing, warmly nostalgic remembrance of and celebration of a movie that deserves to be called one of the best films of the '80s.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef019b00dc8ea8970c-550wiGod ... remember her?! (GIF via GIPHY)

THE DEATH OF “PEREZ HILTON” (2009)

My second and best stab at defending Perez Hilton ... but it goes way beyond exploring and defusing Mario-bashing. I think even if you hate Perez, you might like this piece. I remember being excited when it was shared on Twitter by Darren Hayes, though Perez late back-stabbed me as he does everyone.

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Vernon-Gray-gay-actor-CanadianBorrowed nostalgia. (Image via headshot)

THE PICTURES OF VERNON GRAY (2010)

Why materialism isn't always greedy. I later heard from one of this obscure actor's family members, which was satisfying. I still have all of his photos. I wish I could figure out what exactly happened to him and his partner.

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YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION: INSIDE MADONNA'S SECRETPROJECTREVOLUTION PARTY (2013)

I'm still pinching myself over how close I was to Madonna at this event, and I still can't believe we were allowed to run around and take pictures of her all night. It was what  my Make-A-Wish wish would be anyway, so when I'm about to die, I can just say that I'm good.

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DivineDivine's death just as he was making it big was another sign God was made up. (Image via clipping)

DIVINE INTERVENTION (2007)

My fascination with famous corpses. How many teenage boys save celebrity obituaries from the newspaper? Answer: How many teenage boys already know they're gay?

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Debralee-ScottGreat Scott! (Image via video still)

PRETEND IT'S 1978 AND YOU'RE STRAIGHT (2008)

Of Matt Dillon and the late, great Debralee Scott.

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Max-adonis-boycultureJust a little touch of porn-star quality (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, ADONIS: MEAT AND GREET THE DANCERS (2013) & A NIGHT AT THE ADONIS: NEW YORK'S HOTTEST GO-GO JOINT TURNS 8 (2017)

I spent a frustrating, nearly lap dance-free night, at the strip club's fourth birthday bash. But at least I got to shoot some of its beautiful moneymaker-shakers! At its eighth, I met and shot baby Max Adonis. It was utterly unsurprising when he became a gay-household-name porn star.

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Steve-grand-matthew-rettenmund-boyculture copySteve looked ... different ... then! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

COMING OUT OF SOMEWHERE: A Q&A WITH AND GAY POP CULTURAL OPINION OF STEVE GRAND (2013)

I was on the Steve Grandwagon from Day One, communicating with him enthusiastically about his talent and giving — unasked for! — my advice on how he should handle the avalanche of racy images surfacing from his past. He was a sweetheart, but also thoughtful and smart. I have been proud to watch his journey, and this interview was one of my favorite things I ever published. He has told me it's his favorite interview he's done, too, even if it opened a can of worms with some anti-Grandstanders, who felt he was too soft on ex-gay therapy. (For the record: He's against. Very against.) I was also proud of my response to a malevolent take-down piece Grand endured from a blogger who thought a drinker who falls in love with a straight guy was a bad image for the gay movement. (The writer's own personal résumé wasn't exactly playing against type.) I'm also fond of my coverage of Steve here and especially here (2013).

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AthletesThey had bases then. (Image via vintage fan photo)

WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS (2007)

Erotic memories of my brushes with the Big Leaguers.

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Matthew-Rettenmund-BoyCulture-Boy-Culture-gay-LGBT-blog-bloggerSelf-portrait of the artist as an old man. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

PARTYBOY (2008)

Turning 40. Sigh. And yet, I think — so far — my peak in life was at 40, when I had a dream job that paid well, I was blogging and being invited to great events, I had my dogs, I had a strong bond with a life partner, I was living in a palace, all my immediate family members were alive and doing well and I had never experienced any health issues. I was also thin, thin, thin. What the hell happened?!

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Shirtless-Sal-MineoJust Cause. (Image via Sal Mineo: A Biography)

CAUSE CELEBRE — A REVIEW OF SAL MINEO: A BIOGRAPHY AND INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR (2011) & THE TWINKIE DEFENSE: AN INTERVIEW WITH COURTNEY BURR (2011)

A book I couldn't down and a Q&A with a guy who's helped preserve a man's legacy.

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Parting-GlanceAdorable Adam Nathan ... I even met him later in life! (Image via Cinecom)

“IT WAS ALL AT ONCE...EVERY WHICH WAY!” (2007)

A review of Parting Glances and of Outfest's event celebrating its restoration.

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Richard-LamparskiI sent Lamparski this news photo to sign ... and he kept it! He promised a nude in return. (Image via headshot)

WHAT EVER BECAME OF ... RICHARD LAMPARSKI?: AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MR. YESTERDAY (2012)

I was finally able to track down the author of my favorite-ever book series ... and the stories he wound up telling me! Sadly, a mutual acquaintance turned him against me for no possible reason other than jealousy, so a lovely memory is somewhat poisoned.

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Madonna-promo-poster-Whos-That-Girl-rareHung up, hung up by me! (Image via Warner Bros.)

WALL TO WALL (2011)

I've had plenty of posts about my room and about pop culture in general, but this labor-intensive installment is more specifically about my obsession with posters ... and I show every one of my Madonna posters, including some I've never found anyone else to own.

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Madonna-BreathlessYes, I had hook-ups in the shadow of this thing/Miss Thing. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

ROOM WITH A VIEW: MY '80S WALLS (2013)

I never get sick of reminscing about my amazing '80s room. Even with my dog Cinnamon's pee stains on the carpet, it was bad-ass.

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Illinois-Death-Trip-BoyCulturePositive thoughts go out the window. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

ILLINOIS DEATH TRIP (2007)

Ruminations on death while revisiting a past home ... and revisiting the past itself.

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Jon-Erik-Hexum-shirtless-Making-of-a-Male-ModeJon-Erik Hexum and Madonna were my porn. Porn was also my porn. (Image via ABC)

AN OBSESSION IS BORN (2009)

One of my best posts about my obsession with ... obsession. I don't even own some of the Madonna stuff anymore, but it'll be a cold day in Hexum when the above TV-movie prop leaves my possession.

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Shirtless-selfie-hot-assWe're going through personalities like toilet paper. (Image via selfie)

IT'S IN THE iSTARS: IN 15 MINUTES, WE'LL ALL BE FAMOUS (2009)

One of my best essays, whose premise I stand behind — surreptitious photography will become moot once we begin approaching each other openly to take pictures as if we are all famous. Because we all will be.

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TastiEscapism is delish, but only if you're sure what you're seeking to escape. (Image via Tasti D-Lite)

GLACIAL PROFILING (2007)

In which I manage to relate Tasti D-Lite (RIP) to my '80s teen angst.

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VanHe's the Van. (Image via TV still)

HISTORY'S 50 HOTTEST TV ACTORS: MY LIST, HISTORY'S HOTTEST TV ACTORS: MY LIST — PART 2 (2012), HISTORY'S HOTTEST MOVIE ACTORS: MY LIST (#100-#51), HISTORY'S HOTTEST MOVIE ACTORS: MY LIST (#50-#26) & HISTORY'S HOTTEST MOVIE ACTORS: MY LIST (#50-#1) (2012)

A gaggle of lists with extensive research, and yet all still just my opinion. Deciding who is hot must be the most subjective quality ever, especially since whenever I post a perfect specimen, so many guys immediately comment that they hate guys without a ton of body hair, hate tattoos, require beards, prefer fat over lean ... the list goes on.

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Madonna-W-EI went head-to-head, and knee-to-knee, with my idol. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

“SORRY I'M LATE” — HOW I FINALLY MET MADONNA (2012)

My first true meeting with Madonna, and I did not do it passively — I sat next to her, knee-to-knee, and asked her a question before any of the other journalists had a chance.

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8 08Smile, you're on man-did camera! (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

GUYDAR (1/17/2008—2013ish) & ENDS OF THE WORLD (1/13/2008—2013ish)

Last, but not least: For many years, I ran countless photos — all taken surreptitiously — of sexy men I encountered on the streets of (mostly) NYC. I wound up expanding to include some memorable reader contributions, including serial posts from Italy, Iowa and Waikiki. At one point, I polled readers to ask who found it creepy, who found it hot and who found it creepy but hot. Overwhelmingly, hot and creepy but hot won the day.

To answer some oft-posed questions: I never get caught, I never aim and yes, I think they're art. Also, they're not illegal—I don't shoot where there is a reasonable expection of privacy. I also avoid anyone I think might be under 18. And no, I don't intentionally avoid men of color.

But I did mostly stop; the times changed when previously horny gay men would huffily tell me it was wrong to take photos without consent. (Which pretty much destroys the concept of ... any ... candid photography.) Anyway, since I quit, no links. These are enough to remind you.

THE END!

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01bb088bf2ee970d-200wi(GIF via GIPHY)

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