Of the various group masturbation parties 30-year-old nudist Kyle Rudd has attended over the years, the biggest one drew a dozen-odd men, predominantly over 50. He was the third to arrive that night, and when he walked inside, the host and another guy were already naked. As the remainder of the guests sauntered in, conversation centered on things like work, how the week had been, and the bodies and penises on display. Rudd did most of his masturbating—a blend of group and solo—from the vantage point of the organizer’s couch and managed to ejaculate on himself three or four times in six hours. In the breaks between these bouts of industry, Rudd, a Melbourne-based arts-sector employee, spent his time socializing, drinking beer, and eating pizza.
While some men might prefer to spend their weekends watching the game or relaxing with the family, Rudd says he had a great time.
“I find genitals to be very erotic—ten out of ten,” he says. “For me, I think being exposed and on display is very erotic. It’s knowing that others are admiring your genitals as they mutually get off on it.”
For anybody entertaining the idea of attending a group masturbation party, the grassroots DIY scene is a fertile field of opportunity, according to Rudd.
How Friends Created a Generation of Neurotic, Self-Obsessed Idiots
Twenty years ago last month, a new sitcom debuted. Originally titled Insomnia Cafe, it was supposed to catch some of the heat that Seinfeld had generated, some of that post-Woody Allen, New York-y neurotic humor about relationships and everyday life. But the original pitch that was sent to NBC revealed it to be a very different kind of show:
"This show is about six people in their 20s who hang out at this coffee house. An after hours insomnia café. It’s about sex, love, relationship, careers… a time in your life when everything is possible, which is really exciting and really scary. It’s about searching for love and commitment and security… and a fear of love and commitment and security. And it’s about friendship, because when you’re young and single and in the city, your friends are your family."
Unlike Seinfeld and just about every other sitcom before it, with their misfit ensembles of slob dads, nagging moms, drunk priests, stoner sons, and pervert neighbors, Friends was to be the first aspirational sitcom. A comedy where the primary cast were young, good-looking metropolitans without drinking problems or STDs.
Playing on our desires to be just like those kinds of people, it was a resounding success. In the resulting years, Friends became an international phenomenon. The characters’ New York dating language entered the 90s pop-lexicon in a way that Bart Simpson’s “eat my shorts” never could. In fact, could the strange syntax of Chandler’s jokes BE any more subtly woven into the natural speech patterns of almost every Westerner aged 20 to 40? Everyone knew about “the Rachel,” and Matt LeBlanc was in a really great movie about abaseball-playing monkey. It’s ridiculous how much influence this decade-long romantic comedy had.
The Lords of Fun is an unfunded, unsolicited, and somewhat unintentional fraternity of folks thirsty for kicks who took a road trip from Richmond, Virginia to the Outer Banks using the FBM bikes tour bus and a dozen motorbikes. Our goal was to hit up a bunch of skateparks, campsites, dirt dragstrips, and what have you. But we ended up getting trapped in a tidewater suburban nightmare—the roads were flooded, rain and winds all but made moto travel impossible, the drags got canceled, and… Well, you get the idea. We still managed to make tuna fish out of tuna shit, just nothing like we initially pictured as we first rolled out of town… London-based filmmaker Fraser Byrne was there to film the haphazard cross-country journey. You can get a peek into our absurd odyssey in Fraser’s short documentary above, which is affectionately titled Beat Ass: On the Road with the Lords of Fun.
If you have any questions about things like love, drugs, sex, food, pets, psychological and physical disorders, friendship, enemies, revenge, reconciliation, family, suicide, pyrotechnics, working, working it, pets, babies, kids, college, moving, travel, transitions, modern dance, how not to be made a fool of, how to have the upper hand in any situation, how to keep cool under pressure, how to get any job, how to impress anyone, how to be taken seriously, how to assemble a perfect cheese plate, how to age appropriately, how to not give a fuck what other people think, how to do drugs without getting sick, how to transport drugs without getting caught, what to do in any emergency, how to be a woman who gets taken seriously, how to be a man who doesn’t suck, how to grow up, how to stay young, how to do most things on a budget, how to allow yourself to feel pleasure without feeling guilt, how to throw a perfect party, how to be alone, how to be in a relationship, how to be more independent, how to live well with others, how to finally get along with your mom, how to eliminate toxic people from your life forever, how to know when to quit your job, how to make money when you don’t have a job, how to know when to never forgive someone, how to work like a maniac for the thing you want most, how to relax, how to break up with an old friend, how to live in the woods, how to live in a penthouse, etc., email them firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday was Sweetest Day, a holiday you’re probably only familiar with if you grew up in the quietly desperate middle west of the United States like I did. In a nutsack, Sweetest Day is like a fall version of Valentine’s Day, except instead of it being celebrated for hundreds of years by millions of people all over the world, it was created by greedy Cleveland candy companies in the 20s and only people who live near the Great Lakes know what it is.
My girl is from Northeastern Ohio, so Sweetest Day is just as serious to her as an anniversary or a birthday. And that’s fine, because even though I enjoy dick and fart jokes, I’m a pretty romantic dude. I’ve served up some seriously smooth-daddy Sweetest Days in the past… with the exception of last year.
In 2012, I ruined our special day by drinking an entire bottle of Hennessy in front of VICE cameras under the behest of trap rappers Waka Flock Flam and Gucci Mane and ended up in the ER. Although the story is a source of humor to anyone with an internet connection, to the lady who loves me, it was scary. To make it up to her this year, I was determined to cop her some great gifts for Sweetest Day that scream, “I FUCKING LOVE YOU, GIRL. SORRY I RUINED SWEETEST DAY AND THANKS FOR VISITING ME IN THE HOSPITAL AT 5 AM WHEN I WAS IN A BOOZE COMA.”
Through my relentless search on the internet, I discovered three new amazing companies run by people with vaginas that make cool stuff for other people with vaginas. I was so inspired by their very different but awesome missions that I thought I’d share them with you those shopping for lady lovers. Maybe bookmark this article for Chrismukkah? Or, just buy some shit right now. Remember, anytime is the right time to compensate for your inability to express your feelings by buying things.
Check out these cool new companies!
Laura Kim (a project manager here at VICE) and Hally Erickson started Total Pleasure, an online vintage retailer that hit the internet earlier this year. The site is the perfect representation of the collision of style happening on New York’s streets, where ladies rock experimental masculine stuff with traditional garments and pair high-end brands with knock-offs—all to get at something unique, exciting, and new. I had a quick convo with Laura about the her site.
VICE: How’d this whole thing get started? Laura Kim: Hally and I started thrifting together more and more, getting really weird shit and egging each other on. And then we kind of combined styles and formed this hybrid identity. After awhile, we couldn’t find the pieces that we wanted, because we were looking for really specific things. So, it just made sense to start our own shop that has the stuff we were looking for because it’s not readily out there.
How would you describe the clothes on Total Pleasure? We buy birthday outfits. We’ll style something that was intended for sleepwear as something you’d wear out. Or put a hoodie over lingerie. Juxtaposition is really at the core of our aesthetic.
Can you give me some tips on buying for my special lady? If you do right, it’s so good. It’s part intuition and part risk-taking. Get weird with it. But not too weird. My ex-boyfriend once got me a bracelet and drew a bagel on it. It was a shitty drawing and I was really bummed about it. I wore it the first day and never wore it again. That’s the kind of stuff you want to avoid.
Some of our favorite lady artists are going to be in a group show tonight at Martos gallery in Chelsea. The show, titled Lonely Girl, got its name from the YouTube web seriesLonelyGirl15, which trolled the entire internet in 2006 by presenting a scripted show disguised as a teenage girl’s video diary. All of the girls in tonight’s show incorporate the internet into their work in some way, and many of the artists themselves have the sort of gargantuan digital footprint that the NSA dreams about in their sloppiest of wet dreams. According to the press release, “The artists in this show represent an unprecedented moment in cultural history—where the artist themselves can be equally or sometimes more visible than their artworks themselves.”
The show was organized by Asher Penn, the editor of Sex magazine, and features Al Baio, Petra Cortright, Maggie Lee, Greem Jellyfish, Bunny Rogers, Analisa Teachworth, and Amalia Ulman. You might recognize a couple of those names from this very website. Maggie Lee, for instance, has shot fourmagazinecoversfor us, which gives her the honor of Most VICE Covers Shot by a Single Photographer (probably…. we’ve never actually counted). And Petra is a crazy person who makes videos like thisand was once the object of Teen Laqueefa’s lust. We asked Maggie to send us some photos of the show, but it seems they are doing this thing the old fashioned way and keeping all images of it off the internet, which seems a tad hypocrytical for a show that is at least partially inspired by the internet, but whatever. Just show up at 540 West 29 Street IRL tonight anytime between 6:00 and 8:00 PM and have your brain scrambled.
Whenever a new social media platform becomes popular, the VICE Tumblr Team is frequently asked about our strategy for said platform. "How are you activating pix.fux?" "What are you doing on coolz-E?" Generally, our answer is “nothing,” because most social media sites are stupid and everyone forgets about them in like a month and it’s always easier (and often wiser) to just do nothing. But every once in a while one sticks and we’re obliged to create an account. And so, we’re proud to announce that we’ve finally decided upon our Snapchat strategy.
We’ve created an account, username: vicemag, and we want you to send us pictures. We will look at them, and if we like them we’ll take a screenshot. (Yes, we know that screenshotting Snapchats goes against the medium, but the VICE Tumblr Team hails from So-Cal, the DGAF capital of the world.) Then, assuming we’re sent cool photos, we’ll post a weekly round-up of our favorites on this here Tumblr. We won’t use your names. Also, we might send you some photos of our own. Cool?
Tom Bianchi Photographed His Gay Paradise Before It Disappeared Forever
Close your eyes for a second and imagine you are at the party of your dreams. Everyone you love and are infatuated with is around you, the music you loved in your teens is playing, and bad trips are not a concept. You dance and you love and you spin and you love some more, and then all of your friends die.
I know it’s harsh, but it’s also sort of what happened to Tom Bianchi in the early 1980s, with the onset of AIDS. It’s also the subject of his latest book, Fire Island Pines - Polaroids 1975-1983—a selection of photos taken in a small part of Long Island called the Pines, that functioned as a kind of IRL utopia for a large community of incredibly beautiful and charismatic gay men in the 1970s.
Tom’s name, by the way, is one of those you should know, because he’s been integral in making the world you live in a nicer place than how you found it. You see Bianchi—who, in the early 70s, also worked as a lawyer in New York and Washington, DC—has spent most of his life fighting AIDS and weird heterosexual attitudes toward gay culture. He is the co-founder of a biotech company researching AIDS medication and, if he feels like it, he can also boast a long catalogue of incredibly affectionate photography, poetry, and video work.
With the release of his new book as an excuse, I called Tom up to talk desire and grow up a little.
VICE: Hi Tom, how are you today? Tom Bianchi: I’m very good, I just had a lovely breakfast out by the swimming pool. I’m ready to go today.
OK, let’s do it. Shall we start by telling the story of how this book came to be? Growing up and coming out in Middle America, you had to imagine a world very different to the one you were living in. The world we were living in disregarded us and called us perverts. So the brilliance of Fire Island was that it was built by those people who imagined a different world and set out to create it. We carved out the tiniest little place just for ourselves, where we could be safe and laugh and play with one another on the beach, and not have any negative judgement surrounding us. What that did was attract the best and the brightest gays from all over America—particularly because of its proximity to New York, which was the centre of so much culture, fashion, style, and even film. It was a very glamorous time.
Was the creation of this neighborhood planned or circumstantial? The island is a 36 mile-long barrier a few miles off the Long Island coast, separated into small communities by extended open sand dunes. The Pines, which is one of these little villages, is a mile-long grid of boardwalks connecting about 600 houses built on telephone pole stilts sunk into the sand. Back then, some real-estate guys got to building on this virgin terrace, and it just so happened that the place began to attract bohemian New Yorkers; writers and artists would come out and live in little shacks. It wasn’t intended for the gay community, but it made sense when it formed to be a home for it.
And you happened to be there with a fancy, new Polaroid camera, too. I was a lawyer at Columbia Pictures at the time. At an executive conference in Miami, we were given an SX-70 Polaroid camera. It was this little plastic thing, which I took to Fire Island a little while later and started taking pictures of my friends. At the time, a lot of people were still in the closet so, as you can understand, they were extremely wary of having their picture taken. So, the important thing about this camera was that it allowed me to take the picture and a few minutes later put it out on the table for people to take a look. It made everyone immediately more comfortable and I very quickly formed the intention to show the world what a cool, amazing place the capital of Queerdom was. Or the provincial part of it [laughs].
I pushed him into a snow bank on the way home from the bar. He was drunk and had to pee and went down, soft like a wool mitten, and then got up, and then I pushed him down again. I hadn’t—this should be “haven’t”—seen this dude in, like, three years, but that—the “pfooo” of a grown-up man falling slow and landing facedown in the fresh snow, the 2 AM winter-empty side-street echo of us scream-laughing, hard—repeats, for me, as something like an advertisement, not for friendship exactly, but more specifically for the corny, syrupy-sweet juvenilia that is what I liked so much about how and who we were when we were together.
Friendship is a constantly self-renewing frontier of human relationships, a Wild West of emotional and temporal adventure times. Without the common and commonly necessary strictures that the lamer side of biology and collective culture and whoever else is set up to dictate sexual, romantic relationships, and without the near-eternal nature of literal families, friendship is expansive and truly wild. It’s the only type of relationship that can run steadily for months or years or ever-afters, without sliding down an emotional valley or being punctured by another person’s need or someone else’s betrayal. Of all the ways for two people to be together, and be in some kind of love, it’s the way that is most defined by genuine, wanted, cohesive closeness—the kind that can only be created by making a choice that isn’t required by law or money or blood or boners, and least of all by obligation. The stuff of great friendships applies to shy kindergarteners sharing a snack as much as it does to Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks watching movies together after dinner.