Best. Gay. Week. Ever! What Makes a Man Sexy?

This week AE reader Miz Liz started a forum topic titled What’s Your Idea of Sexy? Since our readers are not at all interested in matters of the flesh, hardly anyone had any thoughts on the subject.

Right, and John McCain is actually a decent human being.

Actually folks had a lot of thoughtful things to say and got me thinking about what I find sexy. Basically, it’s a number of different things that can be combined in a multitude of ways to get all sorts of various kinds of sexy. But what are those “things?” I’ve broken them down into the five categories that matter the most for me.

Let’s face it, us men we are pretty visual creatures, and for most of us sexy starts at the surface. Which isn’t to say it’s all about looks, of course! More than once, I’ve met someone I thought was perfectly nice looking, but who didn’t particularly send my crank whirling around the compass. But after chatting with them for a while and finding out they are smart, funny, kind, and so forth, I suddenly find myself thinking “Wait a second! You’re much sexier than I realized!”

Of course, looks are also very arbitrary as what one person finds hot, might leave someone else baffled. (Case, in point: I find Jake Gyllenhaal to be smokin’ hot while my partner wouldn’t give him a second look if we passed him on the street. I know, I know! Cuckoo!)

Speaking of Jake, he pretty much typifies my ideal physically as I tend to go for the dark-haired, brown-eyed swarthy types who aren’t all buffed out. Which is probably why I’ve completely fallen for Darren Criss and have a longstanding crush on Wilson Cruz

Jake Gyllenhaal, Darren Criss, Wilson Cruz

Few things are sexier to me than a man comfortable in his own skin and at ease in the world. This kind of guy is secure enough in himself that he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone, especially not by putting other men down.  He’s also just as confident in a three piece suit as he is dressed as a ballerina for Halloween because his confidence is based on who is and not what he looks like.

Note: this is not to be confused with being cocky which IMHO often stems from a place of insecurity and is anything but sexy.

So who I do think exudes this kind of sexiness? Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson exuded exactly this sort of sexiness when I interviewed him, and both George Clooney and Jensen Atwood come across that way as well. (And yes, they are all smoking hot.)

Cheyenne Jackson, George Clooney, Jensen Atwood

Next page! Brains are sexy too!

This factor can’t be overstated. I once dated a guy who I thought was so out of my league, I couldn’t believe he agreed to go out with me. Alas, two months into the relationship, I was ready to scream because he had the intellectual curiosity of a possum, and I ended it. (To make it even worse, he told me guys kept dating him because he was so hot, and then suddenly leaving him for some reason. I felt awful when I ended it.)

So which smart guys do I find sexy?

Caprica’s Sasha Roiz very much embodies the smart man (he was so brainy when I interviewed him), but he’s also confident enough not to have show off how knowledgeable he is. Matt Damon also has that kind of intellect as does Anderson Cooper. 

Sasha Roiz, Matt Damon, Anderson Cooper 

Few things turn me off more than an arrogant jerk who has to be all macho. ick. Being sexy for me does not mean embracing all the supposedly “masculine” traits like being unemotional and “tough.” In fact, one of the blessings of being a gay man means being able to embrace the best  “feminine” qualities as well as the masculine ones. And I at least think I see those qualities in guys like Paul Rudd, Matthew Morrison and Luke Macfarlane.

Paul Rudd, Luke Macfarlane, Matthew Morrison

Hot on the heels of lacking brainpower in the turn-off department, comes missing a sense of humor. And who has a more developed sense of humor than John Barrowman, who is the king of the pranksters. Other funny guys who tickle more than my funny bone are Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Neil Patrick Harris.

Neil Patrick Harris, John Barrowman, Jesse Tyler Ferguson

While this might not be the most serious topic I’ve ever discussed in the column, I do think it’s actually kind of important. After all, it’s not like the rest of the world cares about about what us gay and bi guys find sexy. Or gives us many places to talk about it.

And finally, might I just add that I happen to have been lucky enough to have found all of these qualities in just right the proportions in my own partner Brent, who you might know better as the Flying Monkey or, the less sexy name, Pigeon Guts!

Smart, handsome, confident and even his acceptance speech was funny!

Next page! IMHOing the fall TV season!


With most of our fav shows done or soon to be done for the Fall season, I thought I’d IMHO a few shows for their overall performance. Let’s have a look, shall we?

90210: Let’s just pretend this is a spin-off called 90210 Teddy. That way I can forget I know anything about the Very Annoying Adrianna, Beekcake Liam or Token. Well, Token has to show up so he can spot Teddy and Ian kissing. While the show has made Teddy’s coming out move at the speed of an Arctic snail (which is what happens when you get five minutes screen time every other episode), what we have seen has been well handled if not terribly groundbreaking, and both Trevor Donovan and Kyle Riabko have done fine jobs. So…
GRADE 90210: C-
GRADE 90210 Teddy: B

THE A-LIST NEW YORK: First, let me start off by saying, I can’t tell my associate editor Dennis Ayers how much I appreciate his watching and hilariously recapping this show so I could preserve what little sanity I have left. As for the show itself, I’m offering free mindwipes for those who watched and want to forget the whole awful experience.

And while Ryan wasn’t the worst of these A-Listers, this picture of him from the reunion show somehow perfectly symbolizes so much that was wrong with the program.


GLEE: Oh, Glee, how schizophrenic you make me feel! While I recognize how truly groundbreaking you are in terms of gay visibility and acknowledge how incredibly powerful you can be with moments like “Teenage Dream,” too much of the time you just annoy the crap out of me. Take this week’s episode for instance — Sue goes all bad again, and then in the lamest retelling of the Grinch ever, becomes really really good again. How many times has this happened now? 135 times?

Meanwhile, I was praying Rachel got lost in the Xmas tree parking lot and froze to death because she’s so awful, and Brittany’s insane belief in Santa Claus makes it clear the girl should be getting some very special attention from mental experts. Or be attending a very different school. And I have to apologize for teasing Trevor Donovan for being too old for 90210 because Mark Salling looks as much like a high school student as I do.

Honestly, if not for Kurt and Blaine signing “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” —  which was absolutely wonderful —  then … oh, nevermind. If you love Glee, its bullet proof. If you don’t, you just want to pull your hair out and mutilate small stuffed animals.

GRADE: A for Kurt’s story. C- for the rest of the show. 

TOP CHEF JUST DESSERTS: This just might be the only reality show that could actually get the taste of the A-List out of my mouth. And it wasn’t only because it was the first Top Chef show to be won by an out gay man. Yay, Yigit Pura! Hosted by Gail Simmons —   the complete opposite of ice queen Padma Lakshmi —   Just Desserts duplicated what we love about Top Chef, and even improved on it by putting desserts front and center, which is exactly where they belong in my opinion!

Grade: A

MODERN FAMILY: What can you say about a show that not only brought the sitcom back from the verge of extinction, but did so with a gay couple front and center? And a show that actually got better in its second season. While Glee is getting all the attention for it’s legitimately “watercooler” moments, it is Modern Family that consistently delivers touching, funny, and hilarious episodes each week. If you ever doubt if there is at least occasionally justice in the world, keep in mind which show took home the Emmy this year.


THE WHOLE TRUTH: I admit the pilot was less
than stellar. And another legal drama? Bleah. But Alejo was a solid
addition to the lineup of gay characters and we hardly got to know him.
Verdict: That’s a shame.


BROTHERS & SISTERS: While not at its absolute best, this season of the Walkers has been a considerable step up from the last couple of ones. And how many other shows not named Modern Family or Glee actually give their gay characters something to do that isn’t the B storyline in one “very special episode.” Here is hoping the show gets another season —  and maybe loses a few more of the extraneous characters. Oh, heck, let’s just spin Kevin and Scotty off into their show. With Sally Field of course.


DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: I recently saw an article noting how hard it was for some folks to stop watching shows they used to love, but that might now be getting a little long in the tooth. And that pretty much sums up my feelings about the ladies of Wisteria Lane. After what is it now? —   Ten seasons? Twenty? — these characters are as frozen in place as Marcia Cross’ forehead. Lynette’s an emasculating bitch! No, wait, she’s really sensitive and wonderful! Gabby’s a selfish, self-absorbed bitch! No, wait, she’s really kind and considerate! Susan’s an overemotional klutz! No, wait, she’s … No, that’s all she is.

And that’s pretty much what these characters have been from the beginning. That was fine when the show’s campy sensibility was fresh and the shiny new toy. Alas, the shine is off.

At least this season we saw the gays a couple of times and we learned that Tom is hung like a horse, so that is at least some interesting character development.


Next page!Smile! It’s the week in pictures!

It was a very busy week out there in gay land —  and I’ve got the pictures to prove it!

The Trevor Project did a fundraiser at the Hollywood Palladium that had as nearly many stars as the Oscars. Trevor has become seriously big this year. And one of the biggest names there was Neil Patrick Harris who did something unexpected.

While Darren Criss hasn’t reached NPH heights just yet, he certainly streaked into the gay consciousness with a sonic boom we haven’t see in a long time. But it seems Darren still feels the need to establish his gay bona fides.

On the other side of the country, Senator Hollow Shell (R-AZ), better known as John McCain, was making his opposition known to Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell all over again. Little known fact: McCain asked to testify at night as direct sunlight apparently incinerates the flesh of the walking dead.

Dropping south of the U.S. border, we have Ricky Martin performing in Mexico City. Apparently Ricky must have read the forum thread about what people find sexy.

Switching continents, we find bisexual pop star Mika being commemorated in … wax.

Lastly, this European soccer team has what seems to be a rather odd warm-up routine.

Next page!Why, yes, there is more!

Sunday marks the mid- season finale of Desperate Housewives and you know how I said before the show is kind of in a rut? Well, this episode kind of proves the point as it ends with yet another cliff hanger that leaves some of the housewives’ lives hanging in the balance —   except not really, as the show only kills off housewives who get a little too, um, uppity.

So one year we had an earthquake, another year a plane crashed on the street, and then there was the year zombies attacked and ate half the neighbors. Well, this year, there is a riot on the lane (maybe because the Bush tax cuts are going to get extended?) and judging from this promo pic from ABC, the gheys are at least marginally involved as it appears Lee gets thumped on the head for his role in whazzhisfaces plot to bring a halfway house…zzzzzz….

It’s been a while since we had an asterisk puzzle, so let’s do one now! ****** **** is going to play *** **** of a *** ****** on an episode of  ****** ******* written specifically for him by ****** ******. The episode is supposed to air in January.

I reported more than two weeks ago that Kyle Riabko was going to be exiting stage right on 90210 and that Teddy was going to be getting a new love interest named Marco. Movieline is now reporting that an actor named Freddie Smith snagged the part and should join the show sometime in February.

I’ve continued poking around and ***SPOILER ALERT*** have a few more details about what’s in store for Teddy. We know that Dixon spotted him kissing Ian, but who else will find out his secret? I’ve already reported that Silver learns the truth and is going to be there for Teddy, but it turns out that Liam and Navid know as well.

And in an effort to prove that they are all okay with Teddy being a ’mo, an upcoming ep sees the three of them accompany Teddy to a gay club. But things are a little awkward with all the hot shirtless guys there, especially after Liam gets hit on by a hunky guy.

I have to confess, that like vast swaths of America, I stopped reading comics quite some time ago. (Comics were these things that appeared in something known as a newspaper. These died out around the time of the dinosaurs.) But back when I was still reading them, one of my favorites was 9 Chickweed Lane by Brooke McEldowney as not only was it funny and smart, one of the two leads is Seth, one of the few gay characters in the funny pages.

It’s been a long time since I visited Chickweed Lane and if not for AE reader Brenda467, I would’ve missed the fact that the strip has had a gay story going on for several weeks now. It turns out that Seth’s roommate Edda has an uncle who just might be gay and in denial. How in denial? He’s fathered eleven kids.

Here are just a few of the panels from the story.

9 Chickweed Lane

9 Chickweed Lane

9 Chickweed Lane

9 Chickweed Lane

We actually did an “interview” with Seth more than four years ago and to check out the rest of this particular storyline visit 9 Chickweed Lane at

Next page! Meet Cade who is trying to be happy in Australia!

As long as we are talking about comics, last Sunday’s Doonesbury (I found the actual funny pages working out at the gym) was rather … provocative. I can’t post the whole thing here, but you can see the entire panel over at

I confess this joke about that particular Afghan custom feels awfully close to the line.

AE reader PinkElephant wrote in to tell me about an Australian show called Making Australia Happy which is about “choosing to be happy” and features a gay man named Cade as one of its eight participants. PinkElephant especially appreciates that the show doesn’t focus on Cade’s sexuality, but simply treats him like it does the other participants. However, it doesn’t hide his sexuality either, which relates directly to an article I wrote this week about what makes the “best” gay character.

Now I’ll shut up so you can have the BEST.GAY.WEEK.EVER!