Category Archives: Life

Throwing a Glamourous Birthday Party with Kitchensurfing

Photographs by Sean Gin

matthew

Dear Gorgeous Interior Designer Matthew Lanphier,
You had a birthday recently and you didn’t know what to do about it. Birthdays are fun when you’re little because your mom throws you a huge party and invites all your friends and everyone gets candy. But once you hit your 30s birthdays start to get annoying. You can either get one of your friends to throw you a giant party at their glamour mansion, or you can force your friends to go out to fancy dinner somewhere and then everyone will secretly resent you while pretending they want to pay $250 to have the privilege of singing happy birthday in public, which, coincidentally, you also resent.

A few weeks ago, we ran into each other at the gym and we were going over birthday party plans [because I am *such* a good friend] and I had the genius idea to call Kitchensurfing. I’ve become familiar with Kitchensurfing through working with Homepolish because Kitchensurfing basically does the same thing we do but for personal chefs. Just as Homepolish is revolutionizing the interior design industry by making everything more streamlined and accessible, Kitchensurfing is doing the same thing for the personal chef/private catering industry.

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Kitchensurfing‘s Kyly, Matthew, and me.

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Being a designer, Matthew naturally has a beautiful home, so we decided to host the event there.

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Because most normal people living in urban apartments don’t have 16 chairs lying around, we mixed my 8 dining chairs with Matthew‘s 8 for an eclectic mix. We also mixed up the placemats and napkins so the whole setting felt playful and sophisticated.

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At some point in his life, Matthew figured out how to fold a napkin restaurant-style. This is probably the reason I can never stop being friends with him (what if I have a party and I need fancy napkins?).

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When setting up for a party, it’s very important to stop and take a minute to pose for a completely natural LOL shot. This will ensure you have happy memories of your party. You’re welcome.

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Kitchensurfing really impressed me with the chef they sent. Our chef, Laurent Katgely, specializes in French cuisine. Being that Matthew is a totally insane francophile who is learning to speak French and loves all things French and pines daily to move to Paris, we knew we needed a French chef.

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We had a lively group of gay guys (and two lovely ladies) at our party. Just a bunch of designers, models, actors,  entertainment executives, etc. You know, the kind of people who make you feel totally inadequate and scared.

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One of our lovely appetizers. Asparagus with truffle sauce and a tomato garnish. It was delicious, as was all the other food.

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A few of Matthew‘s Gay sculptures and some of his Gay wine. I don’t know why I think they’re so Gay, I just do.

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On top of the incredibly gifted chef, Kitchensurfing also provides servers and assistants to make sure you don’t lift a finger. They pretty much allow you to be the laziest possible human while you enjoy your delicious food.

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Our experience with Kitchensurfing  was amazing and I would recommend it highly to anyone who is looking to host a large dinner party and doesn’t want to deal with cooking or wants to provide their guests with a type of food they aren’t adept at cooking (which is, for me, most things). And it’s perfect for something like a birthday, where you don’t want to force your friends to spend a million dollars to eat with you but you also don’t want to pay a huge dinner bill.

Love,
Orlando

Full Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Kitchensurfing provided their services at a discount in exchange for an honest review. I truly recommend the service for anyone looking for a personal chef or event catering. 

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My Weekend in Instagramz: Miami

Dear Diary,

It’s been a crazy few weeks. Like crazy good. First, my very very close friend Erika (above) got married. Then, I installed at Gray Malin’s house and Rumi Neely’s house in one week and had back to back photo shoots for three days. Then, a brand new member of my family was born (a little handsome nephew named Celio) and I jaunted up to Sonoma County to check him out. I’ll be writing more about all that in the future, but for now I want to concentrate on Miami, because it’s one of the most incredible places on earth and I can’t think of a place that speaks more directly to my color sensibility or my love of all things tropical.

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If you’ve ever looked in my closet you know there’s probably no one on earth more well-equipped to go to the homeland of the Golden Girls. Above you’ll see the mess I made trying to figure out which pink, aqua, and tropical print clothing to bring with me.

The pool at the lovely house I stayed in. This is Erika’s parents house in Coral Gables. It’s kind of the prototypical South Florida home. Kinda mid-century, kinda contemporary, 100% awesome. Also, it’s the same color as my building in LA and I think all buildings should be this color.

Erika’s parents still have all the awesome 90s beach towels Erika grew up pooling with. I want all of them.

The library in the house. This house is filled with books and art and objects from the family’s travels around the world. It’s really an inspirational, wonderful place.

This is one of my favorite pieces by Erika (we studied art together at Cornell, once I called her a Barbie in the photo darkroom and she NEVER forgave me).

I am obsessed with this hat from Akomplice. I want to wear it all the time. Like to business meetings and weddings.

And onto some gratuitous beach pics…

If you’re not obsessed with these crazycolor lifeguard towers, you should kill yourself. Sorry.

All the deco architecture makes me want to rip my face off and replace it with the facade of this building so that I would be the most gorgeous thing that ever existed.

These were the wedding favors. A limited edition letterpress print by Erika. I love them.

Erika’s wedding flowers. I want to go back in time and stick my entire face in there and never ever come out.

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The wedding venue. The Fairchild Botanical Gardens. Except you’re not allowed to say “THE Fairchild.” It’s just “Fairchild.” This makes no sense to me as someone who lives in Southern California. We put “THE” in front of everything.

The Maid of Honor and me. Her glam suit kinda won the fashion component of the wedding. Well, aside from the bride of course.

The bride. She couldn’t have looked more lovely.

It was a great trip filled with love, family, tropical wildness, and the most beautiful colors on earth. I want to go back, like, right now.

Love,
Orlando

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My Week in Instagramz

Oh Weeks,
How you doth escape me! I began this week with a crazy-sexy-uncool feverthing that made me lay in bed all day long hallucinating that I was starving to death and then exclaiming at how soft the sheets felt against my starving, quivering feet. And then all the sudden the next day I was totally okay and it was way awesome. I don’t know what it was, probably food poisoning or something random, but it definitely felt like death. But it’s been a while since I’ve been that kind of sick. Like the kind of sick where you’re too weak to move and people call you and you can’t pick up the phone or you’re too weak to even return a text message. Strangely, there was something kind of nice about it. Like there’s something kind of weird about the universe forcing you to stay in bed and do absolutely nothing for a day. It causes you to stop freaking out a little bit. Like at first you’re all “Oh my god I have that presentation for One Kings Lane I need to finish!” and then you’re like “I can’t move my hands, hello ceiling, what’s the meaning of palm trees, do I only like Cards Against Humanity because it’s for stupid people, is someone knocking on the door, oh well…” I guess what I’m saying is that it’s nice to be yanked out of your routine every once in a while. For people like me who thrive on schedules and monotony, it’s good to give your system a little jolt. It frees you up too. Maybe you wont get everything done in time, but maybe you’ll do something unexpected that is 500% more brilliant. At least I hope that’s what happened. Otherwise all that hallucinating was a huge waste of time!

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Things are still going great at the beach house. I grabbed these stools from Wisteria and I love them. Now I want to buy them for my own beach house (that doesn’t exist).

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I also installed these awesome lamps from One Forty Three.

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This is one of the guest rooms at the beach house. Furnishings come from West Elm, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel.

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My painting DIY was on Refinery29… Did you see? If not check it out. Also, if you’re in the market for a giant seascape painting… Message me!

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I toured my new favorite store IN THE WORLD over the weekend and fell in love with this sweater. The store is in the Arts District downtown and it’s called 12345. And yes, that does mean they only carry sizes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. If you live in LA and you haven’t been to this store yet you’re a bad person. Just like I used to be.

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My La Habra Heights project has been photographed and ready to go for a while. Excited to share it with you soon!

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I found this genius key holder at American Way thrift in Burbank and had to buy it for Kelly Oxford. She plans on moving soon and she’s the only client who I could think of that would get as excited about a stupid unicorn key holder as I did…

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I found this cutlery at Poketo and I love it.

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This tie comes from the garbagestore of all garbagestores, St Vincent de Paul. Anyone in LA who thrifts has been to this store. And if you ask them about it you’ll hear their war stories. It is absolutely revolting. You need to wash your hands IMMEDIATELY upon leaving or risk infecting everyone with mouth scabies. After the last visit I forced my friends to drive me to nearby Little Tokyo so I could buy some Japanese facial wipes to clean my entire face and body. As for the tie itself, I’m obsessed with it. It’s hand-painted Italian silk. I’m going to have it taken in by SkinnyFatties, a tie alteration company my friend Justin suggested.

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I also found these Alessi mugs at St Vincent’s. My glassware/ceramics fetish is in full force. I do love myself some dishes. Which is weird because I haven’t been hosting as many dinner parties lately. Maybe I’m saving up for 2015, the year of the the dinner party. Or maybe I will never use them again. Either way, staring at them perched in my all-white dish collection, gives me a sense of control. Control over everything. Everything, that is, except my rampant homosexual OCD.

Love,
Orlando

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My Week in Instagramz

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Dear Diary,

I’ve had a renewed interest in exploring California lately and it’s kind of funny. Funny because it’s making me feel way more dumb than normal. Like I’ll drive to Malibu and be like “Oh wow I totally forgot this was here!” I have this weird thing with California where it feels like home but also whenever I go anywhere lately I’m like “Oh this is so magical” like a maniac and it makes me feel like I just moved here or something. There’s slightly too much wonder. Like I kind of want to slap myself for being so amazed.

Whenever I start to feel stressed/annoyed/like like is pointless, I know a trip to the beach will always make me feel more grounded. Thus, I woke up last Sunday itching to go to Malibu. So I dragged a few of my friends there and we took a hike and went to a place called Paradise Cove Cafe, which is in fact the most amazing place I have ever been in my life. It’s like a Disneyland on the beach. The food is terrible, they serve drinks in ridiculous containers (like pineapples and coconuts), and everyone who is there just wants to pretend they are in the tropics. It’s basically my idea of heaven. Also, any place that uses the word “paradise” in its name is my favorite. Or “coconut.”

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There was a weird optical illusion at the CB2 pickup zone in Santa Monica.

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I love this Yoshitomo Nara clock I got as a gift years ago. I stare at it every day and it makes me happy.

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Homepolish sent me to San Francisco this week. I drove up because I needed my car to visit with family in Sonoma County all weekend. It’s a super boring drive, but it’s gorgeous and filled with golden California hills.

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Every time I am on the Bay Bridge, I have this fear that there is going to be some sort of enormous earthquake and I’m going to fall into the ocean and die.

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Chrissy Field is my favorite place in San Francisco. It’s so peaceful and relaxing and it allows you to stare at the Golden Gate Bridge and think about the future.

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I ran into a dog walker who had a bunch of dogs and insisted on posing them with me, which is most exciting thing that has ever happened in my life.

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I also ogled the Golden Gate from Vista point, which was lovely because it was all foggy and beautiful.

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I forced my sister’s dog Olive to pose with me for a Valentine’s Day pic. Is it rude that I think she looks a little bit like Julia Roberts in this photo?

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This is me and my siblings on my first day of kindergarten. I kind of wish I had that outfit today in my size. Actually, I found a shirt the other day online that I wanted that kind of reminds me of the one I’m wearing…

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I had to document this wonderful drawing in the home of a friend-of-a-friend. It’s so simple but so good.

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A few more shots of good old San Francisco. I have a special place in my heart for this city because I grew up coming here all the time. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful city in the United States and I’m always happy to come here.

Love,
Orlando

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My Week in Instagramz

Dear Diary,

It’s been a crazy few weeks. Well it’s basically been nuts since I joined Homepolish in December. Like good crazy. Working seven days a week loving what I’m doing crazy. I hired an intern to help me do blog stuff, which is exciting. He’s a totally awesome, insanely talented photographer named Sean who I’m really happy to have found (I’ll be featuring his work next week, excited to share it with you). Everything in my life has been art and design lately, and that’s really exciting.

seascape-painting

I finished a giant painting based on a paint-by-numbers seascape and hung it over my bed. Even though I live in California, I have this fantasy about living in California. It’s weird, I think it has something to do with living away for so long. So I love anything coastal.

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This gold metallic Japanese screen had been hanging above my bed, but now that I moved the giant painting in there, the screen was homeless. So I brought it into my dining room to be friends with my Lindsay Adelman chandelier. So far they’re getting along great.

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Speaking of coastal, my beach house project in Venice is going extremely well. The style of the whole project is modern and minimal, which normally not my thing but I love it so much I want to totally redo my apartment to be modern and minimal now. I snagged this mid-century inspired side table from West Elm and kind of want to make out with it.

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The view from the beach house. Revolting, right?

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I went to a HelloLA party thrown by the editors of Hello Mr, a new publication for men who date men that is my new favorite magazine. It’s nice to finally have a magazine for gay dudes that isn’t cheesy and gross and full of steroid weirdos. The party was at the new Ace Hotel downtown, which is kind of like a cramped remix of the Palm Springs location, minus the large STD pool deck in they have in the desert.

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A spread from Issue 2 of Hello Mr. It’s such a beautifully done magazine.

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I went to the LA Art Contemporary at the Hangar in Santa Monica, which was totally amazing and fun and inspiring. Just lots of great galleries from around the world in one space, showing the best contemporary art. I’ll be doing a full write up on in it in the next few weeks.

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This piece is by Jung Lee. I feel like it came out of my brain.

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A David Shrigley piece The Thing Quarterly put out and had on sale at the LA Art Book Fair.

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A stupid/amazing t-shirt LA Art Book Fair.  I hate my body, so I had to have it.

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This zine I snatched at the LA Art Book Fair needs no further explanation.

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I went to the most ridiculous Super Bowl party ever. Well since last year’s ridiculous Super Bowl party. It was at the same glamourhouse that I wrote this iconic post about.

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The hosts of the Super Bowl party, who, concidentally both look like He-Man, are super sweet. You’d be super sweet too if this was what you woke up to every day…

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I was walking down the street near Commissary Coffee the other day when I noticed these disgustingly beautiful flowers. People always talk about how ugly this city is. And honestly they’re probably right. If you’re looking for the ugly you will definitely find it in our nasty strip malls and dead-tree sidewalks. But if you fixate on those things that are beautiful, you can have a pretty gorgeous experience of this city.

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My week ended back at the beach house, where I spent a few days primping for my clients first night’s stay. The only thing missing now are a few chandeliers and his art collection, which is totally crazy and amazing.

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Um, speaking of incredible art, these Sandra Chervier collages (on the wall) are just lovely.

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Finally, I had Sean take this awkward picture of me on the beach to tell everyone to go to the Hello Love party Hello Mr is throwing in New York. I’d totally be there if I was in town…

All in all, a crazy good week. Everything is happening at the exact same time, and I am thankful.

Love,
Orlando

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Have Hookup Apps Ruined Gay Romance?

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Dear Gays,

I’ve noticed a trend amongst my friends. Not necessarily a new trend, but one that is growing nonetheless. A lot of people are meeting new guys, new love interests, new hookups on hookup apps. It’s not like the old days when you had to put on a decent outfit, go to a bar, and use your in-person social skills to make a connection. Now you can just go on Grindr, shop for a guy, and hookup with the best one you can get. It’s a confusing world, because the more available everything becomes, the less satisfying every interaction becomes. I have no problem with people (safely) exploring their sexuality with strangers from the internet or mobile apps. What troubles me is the disconnect I see in the Gays I know – a strong desire for love and companionship combined with an emotional/sexual ADD. What is going on with us? Why did every single gay couple I know break up last year? Why does it seem like all the Gay guys I know are struggling to find romantic success when there are so many readily available, quality guys around? I have a few ideas…

The Grindrizing of, Like, Everything

About four years ago, a long time before I met my last boyfriend, I had Grindr installed on my phone. I met one dude on it, we hooked up, and then he never spoke to me again. He was super cute. Super smart. Had a sexy profession (architect). I really liked him. I wanted to date him. I contacted him a few times afterward, but never heard back and took the hint and moved on. Being the most overly sensitive homosexual in the world, was a little hurt by it. Not like crazy hurt, but hurt enough to be like “I’m never doing that again!” Clearly, I was on the wrong app. Like it’s kind of ridiculous to expect someone you meet on Grindr to be looking for his husband, it’s a sex app.

A few months ago, at the behest of my friends and family who were tired of my lovelorn post-breakup wallowing, I joined OKCupid. The site was described by one of my friends as “the only legit dating site.” OKCupid supposedly attracts the type of Gay that wants a long-term relationship. So you’d imagine my shock and horror when the first person to message me on the site was THE SAME DUDE WHO STOOD ME UP FROM GRINDR. What?!? Right? What was even better is that he didn’t even remember me, meaning that he had hooked up with so many dudes on Grindr that they all kind of blended together, creating one big bland boy soup.

I did what any self-respecting Gay would do. I told him that my name was Logan and that I was a street artist from Palos Verdes who came from a wealthy British family that owned the majority of stock in Virgin Galactic. We chatted for weeks without him remembering who I was. Until I met him at a party downtown and he asked for my number and “Orlando” came up when he entered it. It was my little way of passive aggressively messing with him for hurting my feelings three years ago. And it felt awesome. Yes, I am a crazy person.

For me, the most troublesome part of Grindr has always been its proximity to commerce. In the Grindr economy, your body is your currency. You use the app to shop the catalogue of headless, shirtless torsos, to find one that you can afford (meaning someone who is at a similar fitness level). For someone like me with notorious body issues, this clearly presents a problem. But there’s also something kind of gross about it. Like emotionless and clinical. Totally the antithesis of romantic.

I realized from that experience that I was too sensitive to deal with apps like Grindr. I know that if I used them enough, I’d desensitize myself to the rejection. Which sounds like a good thing but I like sensitivity. It helps you feel life. I like not being the kind of callous jerk that would sleep with someone then never talk to him again. But there’s something perhaps even worse than being desensitized to rejection is being desensitized to the excitement of sex. If sex is so easy to procure, has it lost some of its luster? Isn’t the excitement of sex that it’s kind of rare, that it’s kind of a secret? Maybe I have a closet fetish or something…

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Trading Pics

Another aspect of the selfie/me/me/me culture we live in is the readiness at which prospective dates send you, often unsolicited, totally explicit pictures of themselves. I have mixed feelings about this. I mean, who doesn’t want hot naked pictures of guys sent to your phone that you can look at from the comfort of your own home, procured with with zero effort? But getting dick pics is, perhaps, the least romantic thing that can happen to you. Also, it leaves no excitement for when you, like, actually hookup. It’s the opposite of mysterious. And mystery is sexy.

When I told one of my younger, more gay-app savvy friends that I was writing this post, he was like “Um, this is way old news.” Which I suppose is true, but think about the fact that I’ve been off the market, in a relationship, for a few years. Two years ago people weren’t really using Scruff. It was just Grindr, Adam4Adam, and Manhunt. Now it seems like there’s a gay hookup app for every single Gay subculture.  The last few years have seen a huge uptick in the ubiquity of Gay-sex-right-now apps. They went from novelty to necessity in the past two years.

Gays, and people in general, have and always will hookup. Meet people at parties, go home with them, and do stuff. (Sidenote: Have you ever been to a straight party before? They’re crazy. I once saw some Straights having sex outside, in the middle of the party. It was insane). But it seems now it is increasingly more convenient, because of the advent of systems like Grindr and Tinder to hook up with randos that you’re never going to see again. Perhaps I have particularly slutty friends, but the number of them on these apps, the number of them using them regularly, puts me in the minority of uptight dorks who do not use them.

I haven’t abstained from using them because I think they’re morally wrong. I am all for people enjoying their bodies, expressing their sexuality, being free, having as much sex as is humanly possible. I abstain mostly because I don’t want what they’re selling. I have little interest in hooking up with strangers because that feels weird to me. Perhaps because I lack emotional security and am a late bloomer. And because I enjoy how awesome it feels to have sex with someone you actually love. It’s an experience that can’t be replicated through casual random sex, at least not for me. For those of you who have the intellectual detachment to do that, I salute you. I’m too much of a baby for all that.

I have more than a few qualms with gay hookup apps/sites. Mainly that they fill one void while neglecting another. While they satisfy sexual needs, they leave us blank on the emotional ones. And, I’d argue they actually make us a little more callous towards one another, more rapidly judgmental about each other’s physical appearance. In real life, if someone approaches you and expresses interest, you have to use some tact to say no. Online, all you have to do is block them, or say something rude and dismissive. Or say something racist (anyone who has seen Grindr knows what I’m talking about). Men become totally disposable. If one doesn’t work out you can just move onto the next one. It seems like a rather meaningless way of going about searching for intimacy.

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Intimacy

Intimacy. That is kind of the crux of the conversation. There is something inherently intimate about sex. By definition, it’s impossible to detach sex from intimacy. In fact, “intimacy” is listed as a synonym for “sex.” This gets a little deep into semantics, but I think it’s important. It makes sense that sex, because of physical proximity and the nature of the act itself, is an inherently intimate experience.

But “intimacy” is also strongly associated with “love.” Of course sex can be intimate without connoting love, but how intimate? Are we missing out on some deeper form of connection by allowing ourselves to have less intimate, less love-oriented sex? Does having tons of sex make up for this loss of intimacy? This I’m asking as a genuine question. Is sex without love meaningless? And if not, why does it feel so empty to have sex with someone you don’t love? Or am I a huge puritanical freak for thinking that it feels empty? Have I been so culturally brainwashed that I no longer distinguish what is natural human behavior?

I have refrained from downloading any of these apps, so all my anecdotes come from observing my friends and their approach to their sex lives as well as my limited past Grindr-ing. A rash of strangely-timed breakups last year left me and many of my committed friends single (Side note: If you live in the metropolitan Los Angeles or New York regions, are Gay, and have a boyfriend, lock him in a cage until further notice. You will thank me later). My concern is not that these apps are turning everyone into sluts. Sluts are great. My concern is for the emotional well-being of our community. I notice the same friends that use these apps feeling down and lonely, frustrated that they are not finding lasting relationships.

And yes I know how troublesome a statement that is. Describing promiscuous Gays as sad and alone has a long history of homophobia and heterosexism attached to it. For me it’s not about how many guys these apps allow you to hook up with and the ease at which it happens. It’s more about how flippant it is. How little our culture in general talks about love and intimacy. How often we talk about sex and hookups instead. And this isn’t just a Gay thing. Watch any episode of New Girl and you’ll see countless hookup references.

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There’s An App for Everything. Except, Like, Actual Romance.

Basically what I’m saying is that I think everyone should be thoughtful about how they approach using technology to find sex, love, romance, intimacy, or all of the above. My biggest pet peeve are guys who run around whining about how no one in the Gay community wants a long term relationship and yet those same whiners are on Grindr all the time, trading pics. Yes, I know you can meet guys to date on Grindr. In fact, two of my favorite readers, a couple that have been together for a few years, met that way. But I don’t think that generally speaking, the app fosters a community of guys looking for true love and companionship. They’re looking for sex. If you want to date, look elsewhere. Maybe even the old fashioned way, meeting someone at a party, like, in real life. Which is annoying because you have to leave your house and stuff, but that’s good exercise anyway.

Finally, I recognize that I am totally hypocritical here. Some people reading this are going to think I am a Gay whore because I hooked up with a stranger from Grindr. Some people reading this are going to think I am totally puritanical and uptight and super boring. You have to keep to what you’re comfortable with, and don’t feel like you have to keep up with what everyone else is or is not doing. If you’re seeking intimacy, go about it in a tactful way. Don’t be like “here’s a picture of my genitals, let’s meet up!” It’s been my experience that you kind of have to become the type of guy you’re looking for in order to attract that guy. Meaning if you’re looking for someone who is really interested in creating an actual romantic bond, you have to shut off your boy ADD and really be open to pursuing a relationship, regardless of the fact that there is an endless stream of hot guys out there to hook up with.

But have Gay hookup apps destroyed Gay romance? A lot of people I interviewed about this subject said they thought Gay romance never existed. That due to our history of being ostracized by the mainstream we’ve never really developed a sense of open, positive love affairs. Instead, we’ve sought out sex in bars or other areas we knew we could find men interested in men, and those spaces function much the same way that these apps function, allowing us to efficiently get off and avoid actual emotional connections.

This kind of means we are at a cultural crossroads. For the first time ever we are feeling enough acceptance to move on from just having the freedom to have sex to actually having the freedom to ask for emotional fulfillment. As men, this is far more difficult a matter to discuss. Talking about sex makes you sound virile and cool, talking about the need for love and emotional satisfaction has been something traditionally associated with women. Which is in and of itself problematic, considering all the sexism and gender stereotyping that arises when you say love and emotional fulfillment are for women only.

I think it is time that we acknowledge our own need for love. These apps (Grindr, Tinder, Scruff, etc) are not helping us move forward. They are allowing us to passively seek out sexual encounters, brush each other aside, and create an environment in which partners seems disposable, replaceable. I think it’s time we asked for more of ourselves and of each other.

If you want to find love, if you truly want romance, like John Cusack holding up a boom box romance, don’t go looking to a sex app to find it.

Love,
Orlando

PS: Since I began writing this post (which took me some time because it’s a very confusing topic), I joined Tinder. I haven’t met anyone from it but I have used it to kill time while stuck in traffic…

Images Via: Cute Gay Couples [Except the one from James Franco’s Instagram]

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What Are People Thinking About You?

Photo via Filth & Wisdomtumblr_mx91nkIKHS1rs81xfo1_1280

Dear Reader,

A friend of mine shared this story with me recently that I like too much to keep to myself. It begins now.

I was dating this guy, this handsome, confident, outgoing guy who lives in Miami. He totally wined and dined me and flew me out to go to a wedding with him in Florida. He introduced me to his friends, doted on me, and made me feel really attractive. 

[Sidenote: Like me, the friend relaying this story has a warped self-image, is totally self-conscious, and has questionable self-esteem].

While I was in Florida, we went to a huge suburban mall.

[Another note: my friend is tall, well-manicured, and dresses impeccably… Doesn’t necessarily look like he fits in at a suburban South Florida mall].

At the mall I started to feel really self-conscious. Was I dressed to gay? Was my walk too effeminate, too swishy? Was everyone looking at how weird I was? How out-of-place? Was I sticking out too much? I started to get visibly nervous, at which point my boyfriend looked at me and asked me what was going on.

“Everyone is staring at how weird I am.”

“Everyone is staring at how gorgeous you are,” he replied.

“No, they think I look gay and out-of-place. Like I’m some weirdo the likes of which they’ve never seen.”

“Well you can choose to believe that. Or choose to believe they are looking at you because you are beautiful. It’s your choice. You’ll never know what they’re really thinking. So you can choose the option of feeling terrible about yourself, like you don’t fit in. Or you can choose to feel confident, like everyone is looking at you in admiration. Which one is going to get you the better result? Which one makes you happy?”

I thought about it, and something clicked for me. I have to change the way I think.

I love this story for a lot of reasons. Firstly, I love it because I love my friend and I love hearing about someone calling him beautiful. Second, I love it for the lesson it tells. Why go around feeling like everyone is judging you, thinking you’re weird? Why go around worrying that you’re out-of-place? You’ll never know what’s going on in everyone else’s heads. So why not assume the best? Why not assume everyone can see that you are as beautiful, intelligent, and worthy as you are.

Merry Christmas.

Love,
Orlando

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