Hunk of the Day: Aarón Díaz

aaron diaz 101

Born in Puerto Vallarta, Mexican actor/model/singer Aarón Díaz is the multi-hyphenate Hunk of the Day. He’s been in a number of telenovelas, released a pair of music albums, and shot a couple of calendars. That’s more than I’ll ever do in an entire lifetime, and this guy is eight years my junior. And he’s so much nicer to look at… sigh.

Continue reading ...

Holiday Wish List 2015

gifty list 1501

In this period of relative ennui with worldly possessions, there’s not much that I’ve been hankering for of late, which makes a Christmas wish list, as requested by family, a bit of a dilemma. Not that I’ve ever been that hard-pressed to come up with things that I want. With that in mind, and for the ease of those wonderful people who are good enough to grant me gifts, here are a few items I wouldn’t kick out of bed.

I remain enraptured by the elusive  Jeremy Scott Adidas Wings 3.0 “Gold”, Size 10. This is one that would require an extensive eBay search, and since I’ve been asking for it for over a year it looks unlikely to happen now, but it will remain on the top of my list until it becomes available. (These are not to be mistaken for similar wing-tips that Mr. Scott has produced – these are the ADIDAS JEREMY SCOTT WINGS 3.0 GOLD SNEAKERS.)

Fragrance is always a welcome addition to my accessory roster, and while there is no new Tom Ford Private Blend available right now, there are several by Byredo Parfums that are worth a spritz. First up is the spicy Bal D’Afrique, which carries an incense-like accent that would keep things smoky and warm through the winter.

I also fell in love with Perfume 11 by BLK DNM the last time I was in New York. It’s a lighter, fresher scent than those I usually favor at this time of the year, but come January it will be a welcome change. It’s also proving difficult to find online, and may only be available in some New York City stores. (I found it in the gift shop at the Standard High Line.)

{Gift certificates to Barneys or Neiman Marcus would cover additional cologne desires.}

These Alexander McQueen floral loafers  - in Size 43 (US 10) – are dream-shoes that would take me to Oz and back.

Florals are big in my life right now, as evidenced by my infatuation with these floral sweatpants for lounging (and more) by Bonobos. Officially christened ‘Nomad French Terry Sweatpants’, their rose motif is a gorgeous twist for a pair of sweatpants. Size Medium, please.

When the rains come back in the spring, this beautiful blue Brooks Brothers Black Fleece raincoat would be ideal, in size BB1. (It’s on a big sale right now to boot.)

As for more practical concerns, the condo needs a new air conditioner,  a new set of bedding (Queen), and a new pillow or two (20 x 20 or 26 x 26).

{And if all else fails, there’s always Amazon.}

Continue reading ...

Hunk of the Day: Justin Clynes

justin clynes 101

Represented by Wilhelmina Models in NYC and Miami, this is Hunk of the Day Justin Clynes. He has taken his male modeling career and expanded it to include photography and creative directing. If a pretty face and rocking hard bod can get you in the door, his other talents will certainly keep him in the beautiful room. I’m always impressed with someone who takes his talents and skills and makes them into something more. Congrats to Mr. Clynes.

BTW, some of these shots give new meaning to VPL (Visible Penis Line). The Bulge Alert is set on high.

Continue reading ...

Simon Dunn Naked

simon dunn naked 01

Well here’s a Happy Monday surprise for some of us: Simon Dunn naked. He was just crowned as Hunk of the Day for a second time, but this bobsledder from Down Under is clearly making a serious bid for the elusive Triple Hunk glory. (Thus far only Ronnie Kroell has managed such a feat.) Since Mr. Dunn seems to have no issue with nudity, he looks to be the next contender. Thanks to Simon for brightening up a decidedly-dreary Monday. No better way to begin the week than with a nude Simon Dunn.

Continue reading ...

A Recap on the Verge of Everything

sexiest man of year 101

A jam-packed weekend that included the Beaujolais Wine Celebration and an evening of ‘Queen of the Night’ in NYC will, if all goes according to schedule, have come to a close last night, and this post is being programmed while I’m in the midst of a killer cold that knocked me way behind in everything that was going so smoothly. This is how life checks you when you’re doing a little too much. On with the recap of the previous week…

It began, as it usually does, with a Hunk of the Day: Brent Van Sant.

My week-long bout with sickness left a number of silly posts, such as this purely GIF-fueled one and this no-brainer that consisted solely of a new Adele song, When We Were Young. Not to mention this brief snippet of holiday times to come.

Luckily, I often write in advance of posting times, so I got to enjoy the fruits of this labor-of-love post on poet (and future Hunk of the Day) Ben Kline.

David Beckham was named the Sexiest Man Alive for 2015, probably ten years after the fact, but better late than never.

One of the most special Hunks of the Day was re-crowned, and teased with this look at other important HODs.

Zakh Michael was the first Hunk of the Day whose story was big enough to merit two parts.

NYC – what is is about you?

Getting nude in a hotel room.

The Delusional Grandeur Tour: Last Stand of a Rock Star concludes its incendiary ‘Rock Star Addict’ section, right before they cart me off to rehab.

More Hunks rounded out the week, including Charles Melton, Canelo Alvarez and Austin Victoria.

And capping off Sunday with a bulge-tastic flourish was this Speedo post.

Continue reading ...

Hunk of the Day: Austin Victoria

austin victoria 101

Is it enough to be beautiful? And is that all certain people ever have to offer? Even the most vapid and vain among us, the most beautiful and pretty, surely have more than their looks. Everyone has something else, even if it’s just enough room in their heart for a family member or friend or lover who makes them smile. I don’t know what the Hunk of the Day Austin Victoria hides in his heart, but I’ll bet it’s more than just beauty. For the purposes of this blog post, however, that beauty is all he needs right now – and sometimes beauty is its own balm.

Continue reading ...

Cold Speedo Sunday

chris mears 21500

The weather outside may be growing frightful, but this blog will hopefully keep things delightful as we serve up a Speedo Sunday post to warm the cockles of your budgie smuggler. Here is Chris Mears, who seems to be stealing some Tom Daley thunder of late, with photos shoots and calendar compilations that rival much of what Mr. Daley has done. It’s the sort of competition that can get fierce. Winner shows it all.

Previous Speedo shots have included this one of Luke Evans in bright blue, Tom Daley in burgundy, and Greg Louganis in black and white.

Also filling out their banana hammocks were James Magnussen, Jack Laugher, Ian Thorpe, and Ryan Lochte.

And for good measure, here is Michael Phelps completely without a Speedo, i.e. totally naked.

Continue reading ...

Hunk of the Day: Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán

Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán

Mexican boxer Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán, better-known as “Canelo” Alvarez, is our Hunk of the Day. An avid horseback rider (in addition to his impressive boxing career), he gained his ‘Canelo’ nickname for his ginger locks (‘canelo’ means ‘cinnamon’ in Spanish). As regular readers of this blog will attest, a ginger is a thing of beauty. Congrats to Mr. Cinnamon!

Continue reading ...

The DG Tour: Rock Star Addict ~ Pt. III

`15 grand delu add1001

Some stories require a million words to get across the simplest point. Others require the merest wisp of a whispered few to achieve the same breadth and effect. Still others tell their narrative with a single image. The Delusional Grandeur Tour Book, chronicling the Last Stand of a Rock Star, aims to tell its tale through a little of both. In this particular entry, however, the emphasis is decidedly on economy of expression, allowing a few choice photographs, and the slightest prayer, to expound upon a very dark story.

It’s a story that I’ll one day tell in far more chilling detail (perhaps), a story that touches on issues that run deeper than anything I’ve written about here (thus far), and a story that informs the very essence of this final tour (yes, it’s the last).

It’s also a story that can be interpreted in myriad ways, which is why I love this portion of the Tour Book so much. At first glance, it says something, but if you analyze further it says something else. Each version carries its own set of truths, but each has hidden aspects, and realities that are missing even from the most seemingly-blatant photographic evidence. There’s a phrase that people throw around when they want to sound mysterious and intriguing: nothing is what it seems.

I’ve rarely found that to be true. Most things are indeed as they appear, and the simplest and most stress-free way to live is to take those things to be true. Otherwise, we’d be doubtful of anything, suspicious of everything, and wary of the entire world. I wouldn’t ever want to live that way.

Yet sometimes things aren’t what they at first glance appear to be. Sometimes they’re not what they seem to be upon eight or nine glances. There is always room for the individual to change and grow, evolve and improve – and to count anyone out, especially a proven chameleon and exception to the rule, is foolishness that will always be exposed as such.

“And now I find I’ve changed my mind. This is my religion.

The Delusional Grandeur Tour: Last Stand of a Rock Star

Continue reading ...

Touring Existence

15 touring hotel01

A hotel in New York, the street sounds buffered and muted but always there. A comforting drone, white noise accented by horns and the occasional boom or crash. The messy bed, even when occupied by only one. A luxury when they have to change all the sheets for the next guest anyway. A life made up of hotel nights, a vagabond nomad existence. A world contained in a carry-all.

A tour transforms, much like a hotel, and in the same way it’s very temporary, fleeting. A tour exists on its own, as an entity. Like a hotel, it is a structure. A vehicle for transformation even if the concept itself is stationary, even if the blueprint never changes. It is the background and the atmosphere and the blank canvass for An Experience. The setting and the scenery for What Is About To Happen. The skeleton of The Show. And all the skin and sparkle we hang on it is no more than window-dressing and gauze.

Continue reading ...

Hunk of the Day: Charles Melton

Charles Melton 101

Ryan Murphy must have a thing for Hunk of the Day Charles Melton, having given him turns on ‘Glee’ and ‘American Horror Story’ – and from the looks of his portfolio who can blame him. Mr. Melton counts Korean and Cherokee heritage as part of his sultry visage, and he certainly lucked out in the DNA department.

Continue reading ...

Next Tour Stop: NYC

15 nyc tour 01

Tomorrow, The Delusional Grandeur Tour: Last Stand of a Rock Star hits its first New York City stop, with my friend Chris as Guest Manager. What he lacks in punctuality he makes up for in spirit, and he is one of the few people who consistently restores my faith in humanity when it’s faltering. This weekend we are spending an evening at ‘Queen of the Night’ (which requires ‘Gala Attire’ – fine for me, but often an issue for others, including the guy who wore the same blue t-shirt for at least two semesters of college). Following that, the night is wide open, and the Tour rolls on with the same piss and pizzazz we’ve employed since the first time we met two decades ago. Chris had long hair then, but the same wide-eyed exuberance for changing the world that he does now. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of the kid dressed head-to-toe in silver sequins (well, actually he did – he said I looked like a bug, which I’ll attribute to my wrap-around sunglasses and nothing else). I wasn’t sure what to make of the flannel-wearing, pony-tail dangling, baggy-jeaned visage before me either. I’m pretty sure neither of us foresaw any sort of friendship developing, certainly not one that has so richly informed my life over the years.

That’s the best part of life: those unexpected surprises that deliver the people we most need when we don’t even realize how much we were missing.

Our next adventure is about to begin… New York here we come.

Continue reading ...

Hunk of the Day: Zakh Michael – Part II

zakh m 2101

“If you’d be willing to talk about what happened in an honest and open manner,” I wrote to Zakh, “And if we can explain why you wanted it removed in the first place, I’d consider having you as Hunk of the Day again.” The whole thing had been confusing for me, as he had actually been the one to propose himself as a Hunk. To turn around once it was up and immediately ask that it be taken down seemed perplexing at best, rude at worst. When he explained it was his partner who didn’t like it, I understood a little better, but he didn’t elaborate until later.

“Honestly, once I allowed myself to cave about the first Hunk of the Day post, I opened the floodgates,” he begins. “I allowed him to continuously increase his level of control over me; which resulted in me becoming very weak and emotionally hollow. Everything became a weapon, in an effort to make me more dependent upon him. Whenever I’d push back and request more independence, he’d swing back…and hard. He’d demand a complete suffocation of social media and public events. But here are the key parts: I requested; he demanded. Neither of those are healthy. Instead of open communication, transparency and compromise, the relationship spawned lies, gas-lighting, and emotional abuse. The worst part, is you begin to mirror your partners attributes – both positive and negative.”

Suddenly, things started to make sense, even to the casual observer. There was a discernible shift in the tone and nature of his FaceBook posts at the time. Where once was hope and positivity was a series of cynical, almost bitter, and often defensive rhetoric. Some veiled, some explicit, and all of it indicative of a relationship that had turned toxic. That’s easier to see in hindsight, and looking back Zakh marvels at the power that rationalization can have over each of us.

“That was a moment I gave him full control for the first time,” he said. “I rationalized it in my head. I’m smirking a bit as I write this. If I were to read my own words and recollections, I’d think, ‘Wow, this kid is stupid.’ And I was. It’s always harder to see red flags with rose-colored glasses.”

Yet something gave him the wisdom and strength to end it. Some little voice deep within still managed to pull his sense of self back into focus, and realize the destructive turn his relationship had taken. There was terror in that moment, but there was something good too.

“At that moment, I had no means of transportation, no place to sleep, almost no money on my person,” Michael admits. “Normally, I would’ve felt paralyzed; but this time I felt something quite different. I felt free. I felt hopeful. And most importantly, I felt respected (towards myself). My ex’s actions had been a final attempt to tear me down, cripple me to the fullest extent. While he did a pretty solid job at the tangible (no car, no bed, minimal money), he didn’t as much make a scratch at the intangible (my confidence, my hope and elation of finally being free from the situation I’d allowed myself to be placed in). Those intangible “things” were worth more than any of the items he’d just taken from me. A mantra he frequently recited came into my head: “Do not love what is incapable of loving you back”. I looked down at the tattoo on my forearm, gently rolling my fingers over the part which reads “Love Thy Self.” So I took his advice and began loving myself again.

“NCR” (which stands for “No complaints or regrets”) is a philosophy I adopted in high school. I immediately regreted having the first article taken down. I’ve thought about that moment often , as I didn’t think I would ever have the opportunity to rectify that mistake. It’s become a growth moment that reminds me: you will never afford someone that level of control in the future. So to not only have the honor of being dubbed “Hunk of the Day”, but to right a wrong? It feels empowering. While I was nervous to share my story, I felt it was important. This interview wasn’t done to paint my ex poorly…it actually isn’t about him in the slightest. This interview was done in the hopes that someone else out there can be positively influenced. Whether it be a personal wakeup call, be referenced in their memory’s catalogue at a later date, or help identify unacceptable behavioral patterns, I hope my story can leave a positive message and assure that hope always exists, even when you feel at your weakest.”

Currently, Michael maintains a busy social schedule, and does so with a happy countenance and supportive exuberance that elevates those around him. His smile and his sass are back in FaceBook, and forging ground in Instagram and Twitter, and there are good things on the horizon. The upbeat focus and hopeful outlook has returned, and his words once again ring of revelry grounded in reality.

“I learned a wealth about many areas of my life – from relationships and love to what I want in my future; but most importantly, I learned to see things as they are, not how we wish them to be. It’s no one’s job to save someone . We are not Superman. If we truly wish to be present in someone’s life, the best thing we can do is to love them unconditionally and exactly as they are; not what they have the potential to be in the future or what they were in the past. You can certainly look to the past for some insight, and you can help build one another up for success in the future, but you must love the person who they are at that very moment.”

His smile has returned, and his attitude has shifted – back to a happier plane, but imbued with a greater wisdom, the kind that can only be culled from a great deal of hurt. He has taken the darkness of his past and used it to further evolve.

“Every moment has an opportunity for growth,” he concludes. “While I could’ve been an absolute mess when one of my worst fears (being abandoned without means to help myself), it wouldn’t have done me any good. Instead, I respected the moment and learned all I could. In doing so, I’ve emotionally rebounded very quickly. There’s never been a moment where I actually longed to be back with my ex. I did miss the “us” (the one  you paint in my mind) a few times, but that relationship I missed never truly existed. Plus, I’d much rather the split had happened at that moment instead of a year or two from now. Everything about that relationship was a learning moment and blessing in its own way.”


Continue reading ...

Hunk of the Day: Zakh Michael – Part I

zakh m 0101

Though the Hunk of the Day feature is one of the more popular categories of this website, it’s also one of the silliest. That said, there are certain rules, always subject to change, to which I strictly adhere. First and foremost among these is if a Hunk of the Day requests that his feature be taken down, I will instantly honor that. The second part to that, however, is that he never gets to be Hunk of the Day again. This isn’t something from which I make any money; it’s free publicity, and of the mostly-flattering sort, so the favor is not being done for me. But I understand that this site is not for the faint of heart, so if at any time a Hunk has requested his post be taken down, I will oblige. That happened a short time after Zakh Michael was featured here as a chosen Hunk of the Day.

He was originally chosen because of his fun FaceBook posts, these sexy photos, and his positive videos that were about bettering yourself while still having a good time. Coupled with his pup-dog status, and the growing myth of his Pup Polaris persona, Zakh Michael was a favorite Hunk of the Day, even if it had come at the cheeky request of the myth himself. (I’m all for well-earned and justifiable confidence.) Yet there were deeper issues at hand, including his own self-doubt.

“Being dubbed “Hunk of the day” is such an honor,” he began. “I’ve battled body image issues since age 8; and will likely continue to struggle with those elements for the rest of my life. However, as I stay strong, that battle gets a bit easier to fight every day. While a title is validating, validation must first come internally.”

The original post extolled his career in New York nightlife, and the ever-expanding influence of his popularity. He was also seeing someone at the time, and the only thing he asked was that I include him in some way. I allowed him to write his own entry, for the most part, which cleared up (or so I thought) any issues that his boyfriend might have. The pictures he submitted were as colorful and sexy as his work on FaceBook, and I thought the post was fantastic.

Initially, he felt the same: “I absolutely loved it! I felt the article was able to capture a 360-degree glimpse into who “Zakh” really is. I wasn’t just a face or body, I wasn’t just my different careers; I’m a person with philosophies and opinions. Overall, the piece had great energy and the writing was very upbeat. As I can be very critical of myself, it was a moment that forced me to be like, “Hey, you’ve worked hard and accomplished a lot…take a moment to pat yourself on the back.”

After it went up, he thanked me for the Hunk post, but a few days later sent a message asking me to take it down. He simply said his boyfriend didn’t like it, and apologized profusely for wasting my time and efforts. I didn’t mind, and I took it down immediately. I thought it was a harmless piece of promotional fun that fit in perfectly with the relatively benign Hunk of the Day feature. (This is not rocket science, and we are not saving the world with a few shirtless men here.)

I also told him I didn’t think it was right or fair for anyone to ask their partner, whom they purportedly loved and wanted to support – to feel bad or lessen their light in any way. I can see the arguments made against pornography, or even full-frontal nudity perhaps, but a few shirtless shots on this PG-13 blog? That sounded extremely controlling, and not healthy in the least, but it wasn’t my place to judge so I left it at that. The post came down and Zakh Michael was one of the lost Hunks of the Day for quite some time. We were both a little disappointed by it, but there are always more Hunks to fill this space, so while I felt bad for Mr. Michael and his situation, I understood that we never really know what goes in a couple’s private life together, and what works for one person may not work for another. Another thing I did not know at the time was the machinations of how he came to his decision, or what exactly had happened once he showed his partner the feature.

He explains: “I’d never swung so quickly from elation to angst; going from Cloud 9 to Dante’s ninth circle. I was at Crunch gym when [Hunk of the Day] was posted. I immediately sent [my ex] the link and phoned him in glee. My rambling excitement was at first met with silence, then disgust. “Why had I not made [him] a focal point?” “Why didn’t I discuss our relationship in detail?” “How could you put yourself out on display like that?” “What will [his] friends think?” Mind you, while we knew one another for almost two years, we’d only been dating for about a month. The negative reaction was purely rooted in narcissism. It doesn’t matter what your friends think; I’m a person, not a trophy. You’re with someone because you love them…the full person…not for what it says about them in an article. Therein lies the problem: the response was not birthed out of love; it was generated out of control.  His response completely caught me off guard. This was a positive moment – not just for Zakh, but for both of us – that’s what couples do: celebrate their achievements together.

I was to fly out to Chicago the following day and was given an ultimatum: keep the post up or continue to date. “Maybe you don’t love me,” he said dismissively. Those words stung. And that was the intention of his comment. You don’t use love as your trump card. That’s disrespectful to not only your partner and relationship, but “love” as a whole. My choice to accept the ultimatum was mine alone and solely done in an effort to diffuse tension. This was the first time I’d ever seen this blatant level of control and hostility. I validated the situation by telling myself, ‘He’s never acted like this before and I don’t want him to feel disrespected.’ However, by caving to his demands, I blindly opened the floodgates to all subsequent controlling behavior. I was a bit uneasy en route to Chicago, but upon landing, my hesitation quickly subsided. He acted normally and we had a great long weekend.”

Zakh Michael had been one of the quickest Hunks of the Day to be featured and then removed, his post taken down almost immediately upon going up. Since he had asked to be removed, I didn’t want to offer another feature post when I later discovered that he was no longer in that relationship, though he’d hinted he’d be open for it. The only way I’d entertain re-naming him a Hunk of the Day would be if he could be honest about what had transpired. I was just as curious as to what really happened…

{To be continued…}

Continue reading ...

A Very Special Hunk to Come…

hunk heart 100

Cue the dramatic after-school-special/Lifetime movie music: tomorrow I will be posting a very special Hunk of the Day post, one that goes a whole lot deeper than most Hunk of the Day posts. It’s actually a two-parter: the first-ever such format for this regular feature, because there’s a story in it that goes beyond your average Hunk stuff. (Of course, it’s still a Hunk of the Day post, so you’ll be treated to the sweaty man-candy you’ve come to expect.)

In anticipation of tomorrow’s two-parter, here are a few Hunks who have transcended the physical aspect of things, and whose attributes include more than a hot body and handsome visage. First and foremost among those is our only three-time Hunk of the Day, Ronnie Kroell. The King of Heart (and I’d say Mind, Soul and Body too) has proven his prowess not just as a gorgeous male model, but as a proponent of anti-bullying efforts and a champion of equality.

Hudson Taylor, who has made a career of championing equality in the sports arena, makes for an extra-special Hunk of the Day, who was also featured in one of our Straight Ally profiles. (He is seen here with another straight ally, the amazing Ben Cohen.)

Another Straight Ally, Scott Herman, made a splash in his Hunk of the Day feature, thanks to all that you’ll find at the link, and then some.

More than a few gay players have doffed their trousers and taken on the mantle of Hunk of the Day, such as the divinely decadent Adam Lambert, the raw yet vulnerable Gareth Thomas, the fit-as-fuck Olympian Matthew Mitcham, and another five-circle participant Simon Dunn.

To be a Hunk of the Day sometimes takes more than the good looks and perfect body that any number of men can display – it takes a little something extra, either in acts or courage or circumstance. Renaissance men have a better chance at getting the honor, as they exhibit the chameleonic nature of a shape-shifter and trickster that I so desire. Gentlemen such as Matthew Camp and  Tom Ford have both the body and the body of work to impress in a multitude of fields.

Last but not least, every once in a while a Hunk gets chosen based on his kindness and positivity, and the noble and happy way in which he chooses to live his life. Such Hunks have a contagious positivity that lifts those around them, and that’s what brought tomorrow’s guy back to the blog… stay tuned.

Continue reading ...