Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

poolside protocols

poolside protocols
By Alvin Tan
 
Fridae’s pool princess, Alvin Tan, plunges into the wet, wet world of gay swimming pools and offers readers some poolside protocols on how to attract and reel-in that hunk-in-trunks.
 
 
“Look at this trove Treasures untold
How many wonders can one cavern hold?”
– “Part Of Your World”, The Little Mermaid

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It has always been my belief that every gay man will undergo a trial-by-water into homohood by dipping his toes into the chlorinated waters of the local gay swimming pool. Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying through his teeth, afflicted with hydrophobia or suffering from the last stages of Alzheimer’s.

And it has also always been my belief that at the back of their minds, gay men have always fantasised about emerging from the pool looking dazzling and dripping wet a la Halle Berry in James Bond: Die Another Day, or for the older generation, Ursula Andress in Dr. No.

So one hot afternoon while I was watching my Surf Surf Revolution collection, I was seized by an urge to put on my Speedos, slap on sun block and swan around a pool with more style than those America’s Next Top Model (Season 7) contestants when they had to do the catwalk on a runway suspended on water.

It was there and then that I decided to revisit my favourite gay swimming pool at Yio Chu Kang and reclaim my place in the buffed and baked crowd – where gay men complete or pretend to complete a couple of lackluster laps around the pool but are really more concerned with checking out the hunks-in-trunks.

As I was walking towards an empty deck chair, I was greeted by shouts of “Casper! Casper!” from a group of excited children frolicking in the pool. I returned their compliments with my Windsor wave and must confess to being pleasantly surprised that my resemblance to Casper Van Dien of Starship Troopers was so apparent even to Oompa-Loompas.

(Editor’s Note: Oh please. They were probably referring to your striking resemblance to Casper The Friendly Ghost because of your alabaster-white skin.)

Settling down in my signature Mermaid side-prone position, I quenched my thirst with a few sips from my Disney Princess canteen bottle before peering over my issue of Cosmopolitan to discreetly survey the swim scene around me. As a testament to my phenomenal powers of observation, I immediately detected two discernible trends.

Firstly, gay men appeared to have a preference for trunks in shades of red (how hot!), white (how revealing!) and other neon colours (how blinding!) – all in kids’ sizes. Secondly, gay men appeared to have bladders the size of birdseeds – I lost count of the number of times they would leave the pool or deck chairs and head for the shower room.

Equally obvious to my well-trained (and mascara-ed) eyes, was the cock-teasing courtship happening all around me which brought to my mind a documentary I once caught entitled “Sex Lives of Birds”. Like the mating rituals of peafowls, cruising at pools likewise involves puffing out one’s chest, strutting around “cockily” and showing off your wares – except that the recipients in this case are not peahens but fellow peacocks.

Having said that, cruising at gay swimming pools is really no different than cruising at your favourite homosexual haunt – except that you can easily suss out the sizes of the packages on display. The most basic technique is to use eye contact to indicate interest and transmit a jolt of sexual desire to the swim stud your gaydar has locked onto.

A direct and lingering look (the operative word here is “lingering”) into his eyes will convey your interest almost immediately. If he holds your gaze, you may reward him with a coy smile and if he returns your smile, proceed to introduce yourself or if you are well prepared like yours truly, you can whip out your laminated name card at this point.

(Disclaimer: The “look-hold-and-smile” technique will only work if you do not have your goggles on [when you’re in the pool] and your Jackie O shades on [when you’re sunbathing on the deck chairs].)

For the more daring dudes who prefer to cruise while doing the breaststroke (or whatever swim strokes you prefer), it is common courtesy to wait until your tan target has completed his laps and is taking a breather. Trust me, you do not want to scare him off by chasing after him like a heat-seeking torpedo.

Swim up next to him only when he is resting by the side of the pool. Wait for a few minutes before slowly inching your way sideways towards him. You may then wish to “accidentally” brush against his arm or leg to initiate some skin-on-skin contact and observe his reaction.

If he flinches away as if he had been scalded by an industrial steam iron, then it’s time to swallow your pride and swim away. If he pretends not to notice or turns to smile at you, then you may ascend to new levels of boldness and proceed with “accidental” brushes against his more private appendages (blush!).

Yet however sexciting the idea of underwater groping may be, always remember that swimming pools are still public spaces so do behave with discretion and decorum. Keep your homo-hormones in check unless you wish to scandalise other pool users and get thrown out of the pool by homophobic lifeguards.

Having said that, it is common knowledge that the most stellar swim sexperiences occur not in the pool or by the poolside but in the shower room where men and more men walk around either in trunks (drools!), with a short sports towel wrapped around their waists (swoons!) or in the buff showing off distinct tan-lines (faints!).

Cruising in the shower room usually takes place at the urinals and in the shower cubicles. For instance, if the guy at the urinal beside you finishes his golden stream but doesn’t pack up his hose and leave, or better still, keeps looking down at your dripping dick, you know he’s definitely interested in an amorous adventure.

When showering in cubicles, watch out for the universal “I’m-interested-in-you” sign which involves foot-tapping. If the sexy swimmer in the shower cubicle next to yours slides his foot under the cubicle divider and starts tapping away, you can be pretty sure he’s looking to join you for some “lather-release-and-rinse” shower action.

However, always bear in mind that sex in public places – gay swimming pools included – is against the law. If you choose to play in public, exercise common sense, know what you can and cannot get away with, and know what your legal rights are. And if you think “It won’t happen to me,” well, I have just two words for you: George Michael.

Finally, remember that cruising at pools is ultimately a game of chance: you try your best to attract someone or someone tries his best to catch your eye (and hopefully, your cock too) but that doesn’t mean you’ll always go home with a prized catch.

And if you don’t, try not to get your wet trunks into a twist and hang out at the poolside for hours until you resemble a dehydrated sunburnt prune. Rather, console yourself with the knowledge that at least you manage to get a tan and work on your swim strokes.

(Editor’s Note: Fridae would like to remind all readers to practice safe sex and to share their most memorable sexperiences at your local gay swimming pools below.) ae

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September 26, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, Gay Issue & Rights-Overseas | Leave a comment

why we need more otto fongs

September 15, 2007
why we need more otto fongs
By Jireh Tan
 
“The sad fact is that boys’ schools are still hotbeds of rampant homophobia… boys are forced to swagger and pose in order to prove their masculinity,” says Jireh Tan – a former student of Otto Fong – as he reminisces his student days and argues how openly gay teachers can better provide a safer environment for all.
 
 
(Otto Fong, a Singapore teacher who posted a blog entry about his being gay on Saturday evening found himself having to remove it on Monday due to intense scrutiny and pressure from the Ministry of Education. Click here to read more.)

I have known Otto Fong – or as I call him, Mr Fong – for about six or seven years now. I first worked with him on a school production – a musical – in which I played a girl. Oh, the good old days. Back then I didn’t know about his sexuality. In fact, back then I knew very little about sexuality. Mr Fong was just a regular teacher: nice (if a bit bland), a wet blanket at times, and extremely quirky (what with his cartoons and his plays).

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But the things that you do when you’re a kid come back and haunt you. I remember feeling extremely scared – like that proverbial deer caught in headlights – in an all-male environment. I never fit the bill of that perfect Raffles boy: I was always a bit too skinny, a bit too anti-establishment, my wrists flopped around too much. (I would have fit the bill of a Raffles girl perfectly though: a real go-getter, ambitious in spite of gender/sexuality disadvantage, screams like a man and shouts like a girl.) Everything I did was just a little bit too left-of-centre. So I channelled my energies into becoming a perfect, straight-A student with a extra curricular activity record that the Ministry of Education would be proud of. (Yes, our ministry assigned grades to what we did outside of the classroom.)

And it was thanks to the safe environment created by the teachers in charge of the drama club (aptly called the Raffles Players) that I didn’t lose my mind in school. I would rush into the studios after classes ended to meet other like-minded individuals. Not all of them were gay – some just didn’t subscribe to that Raffles formula for success (TM), others had been kicked out of their original sports groups for underperformance, yet more couldn’t find places where they fit in. But in the rehearsal rooms we knew we were at home. There we explored alternative lifestyles. (No, not circle jerks. Those, I believe, were done in the locker rooms.) We did yoga. We tried out basic Grotowski exercises (Stanislavski was too mainstream). We tried African tribal dancing. We enacted mini-scenes about the sundry things that interested us: maids being abused, a Malay woman who fell to her death, the transvestite who served up nasi padang (Indonesian-style dishes served with rice) at the hawker centre near school.

We once tried to put up a play about a Catholic priest molesting his altar boy. I remember Mr Fong taking me aside and telling me: “Well, you’ll always have the authorities in your way. Learn to play by their rules sometimes.” And play by their rules we did. We put up a play called Banned instead, which was about a play getting banned. I don’t really think that the “authorities” really caught on to the fact that we were mocking them: bureaucrats often suffer from a lack of irony. But it’s okay, we still had fun.

The sad fact is that boys’ schools are still hotbeds of rampant homophobia. Without the tempering social influence of girls, boys are forced to swagger and pose in order to prove their masculinity. Refuse to join in and you run the risk of total social dismemberment. Walk past the rugby boys or the swimmers or the basketballers (some of whom I know today are gay) in the corridors and endure taunts of “faggot” or “gay.” Boys will, as they say, be boys.

Effeminate boys, boys clouded with suspicions of homosexuality, boys who don’t fit in – be they gay or straight – are not protected by schools. Without individual compassionate teachers – like Mr Fong – to look out for them, many get lost in the cracks. Some repress themselves and participate in witch-hunts to weed out the gayest of the lot. Others (like me at one point) go stark flaming mad, aggressively strutting it up so that no one – and I repeat no one (imagine I’m saying that and snapping my fingers at the same time) – dares to mess around with them. Others become increasingly withdrawn and lose that ability to socialise, becoming nervous wrecks in social situations.

Adolescence is a trying period for anyone. It’s tough enough without being told that your actions are criminal and/or immoral. Schools are supposed to be safe places for their students to develop, not only academically but personally and socially. But schools in Singapore don’t provide that safe environment. Homophobic bullying is left unpunished – dare I say even sanctioned – because the resultant peer pressure could force the fags to conform to a certain standard of manliness. Students who face such bullying are reluctant to go to their teachers, because they don’t think their teachers will understand or care. (I remember one teacher telling me that homosexuality was an abomination, and that God wanted homosexuals to change or they would go to hell. So much for secularity.) And, of course, which school wants to run the risk of being seen by parents and by the all-puissant ministry as (how predictably) “promoting an alternative lifestyle.”

But let’s ask ourselves tough questions: how many kids must be bullied before the schools – and the ministry – takes a stand against bullying based on sexual orientation, or even the questioning of sexual orientation? Or what will it take: scores of depressed misfits, a suicide? Everything else has been said by Mr Fong. Someone with his courage should be lauded. But seriously, we’re kidding ourselves if we think that he’s not going to be severely reprimanded.

Jireh Tan was a student at Raffles Institution from 1999-2002. He enjoyed his secondary school years despite a degree of homophobic bullying, and is grateful to the tons of friends – gay or straight – he made there. He is currently pursuing a degree in the United States.

Are you experiencing or have experienced homophobic bullying as a student? Do you think schools should address the issues of sexuality or homophobic bullying? Please post your comments below. ae

 
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September 26, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, Gay Issue & Rights-Overseas | Leave a comment

singapore PM: gay sex laws retained because ”that’s the way many singaporeans feel”

This is a wonderful indictment of rights in Sinapore.

 
September 24, 2007
singapore PM: gay sex laws retained because ”that’s the way many singaporeans feel”
By News Editor
 
PM Lee Hsien Loong reiterates that although “gayness is mostly something in-born” and “a personal matter,” Section 377A will be retained because “that’s the way many Singaporeans feel” it should be so.
 
 
A law undergraduate queried Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was speaking to university students at a Ministerial Forum on Friday night, about the government’s decision to retain current laws that criminalise “gross indecency” between men despite its promise to not use it against consenting adults.

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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

PM Lee explained that the government had to recognise that many people in Singapore were strongly against the decriminalisation of Section 377A which provides for a jail sentence for up to two years should a man is found to have committed “an act of gross indecency” with another man, either in public or private.

“If everybody felt like you in Singapore…we could change 377(A), and we would decriminalise gay sex.

“It’s a very divisive issue, our view or my view is that gayness is mostly something in-born; some people are like that and some people are not. How they live their own lives is really for them to decide, it’s a personal matter.

“But the tone of the society, the public, and society as a whole, should be really set by the heterosexuals and that’s the way many Singaporeans feel.

“Gay people exist. We respect them, and they have a place in our society. But (for) Section 377A, to change that, will be a very divisive argument. We will not reach consensus however much we discuss it.

“The views are passionately held on both sides. The more you discuss it, the angrier they become. The subject will not go away.

“Our view, as a government is, we will go with society. We will not push forward as society’s views shift. We just follow along. As of today, my judgement is: the society is comfortable with our position. Leave the clause (alone). What people do in private is their own business; in public, certain norms apply.”

In a report last week, Member of Parliament Sin Boon Ann, supported the retention of the laws when asked to comment about a survey conducted by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. The survey, which was done in January 2005, found that seven in 10 people held negative attitudes about gay men and lesbians.

The findings showed that 68.6 per cent of the respondents ‘generally held negative attitudes,’ 22.9 per cent had positive attitudes and 8.5 per cent were neutral.

Sin, who is head of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Community Development, Youth and Sports said: “We are a conservative society and will not be trailblazers in this regard.”

He added that the decision to keep the laws was a “statement of values” rather than a “statement of rights and obligations.”

This is despite the fact that Singapore is the only developed country to have laws criminalising sexual activity between men. Like Singapore, Malaysia and India inherited similar laws from its British colonial past while former colony Hong Kong had scrapped its laws criminalising gay sex in 1991.

Often quoted comments about homosexuality by top Singapore leaders

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, said during a dialogue session with the Young PAP held at St James Power Station on 21 April 2007:

“You take this business of homosexuality. It raises tempers all over the world, and even in America. If in fact it is true — and I have asked doctors this — that you are genetically born a homosexual because that’s the nature of the genetic random transmission of genes, you can’t help it. So why should we criminalise it? But there’s such a strong inhibition in all societies — Christianity, Islam, even the Hindu, Chinese societies, and we are now confronted with a persisting aberration. But is it an aberration? It’s a genetic variation. So what do we do? I think we pragmatically adjust, carry our people. Don’t upset them and suddenly upset their sense of propriety and right and wrong. But at the same time let’s not go around like this moral police do in Malaysia, barging into people’s rooms and say ‘khalwat’. That’s not our business. So you have to take a practical, pragmatic approach to what I see is an inevitable force of time and circumstance.”

Transcript of a portion of an interview that then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong gave to Time magazine journalist on Feb 2003:

“We would employ you so long as you declare yourself, I mean, in certain positions in government. In the past, if we know you’re gay, we would not employ you but we just changed this quietly. We know you are. We’ll employ you.

“No, in certain sensitive positions, you have to tell so that if you tell, you are open about this, you cannot be blackmailed. You follow what I mean? If you are working in a sensitive position and you’re trying to hide your sexual preferences and instinct, I mean, you are born that way and of course, if you’re discovered by somebody else, then he can blackmail you. You have to openly declare and people know you’re gay. Then, you can’t be blackmailed.

“So let it evolve and in time to come, the population will understand that some people are born that way. We are born this way and they are born that way but they are like you and me.”

Read extract of PM Goh Chok Tong’s interview with Time magazine ae

September 26, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, Gay Issue & Rights-Overseas | Leave a comment

MFI ‘Violent ad banned

A TV advert for MFI that ‘trivialised’ domestic violence has been banned after hundreds of viewers complained. The commercial showed a couple arguing after the man left the toilet seat up. The woman shouted ‘You’ve done it again,haven’t you? before hitting her parntner twice. It then emerged the scene took place in an MFI showroom. The company said the the advert was ‘humourous’ but 217 people complained-including a victim of domestic violence who described the clip as ‘offensive, shocking and disturbing’. the Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaints and said the ad was likely to cause ‘widespread offence’ and could be seen to ‘condone domestic violence’.

This was reported in the press this morning and my answer in reply is what a load of bollocks.

How many men have been nagged, slapped and abused over this issue ever since the bog seat was invented?

Women never lift the seat up for us when they have finished.

As for the 217 people who complained, they are the ones who probably sit in front of the TV all day with nothing else better to do in their sad petty lives than complain. 

As for ‘offensive, shocking and disturbing’ as cited by the victim of domestic violence it is not the TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE we are talking about but a tongue in cheek advert. 

I also dislike this type of news when someone who is supposedly a victim of domestic violence states that fact as the basis of their complaint.

I can only express my sympathy to any victim of this abuse. I do wonder how this individual put this fact forward as anybody can offer this as the basis of complaint without a single shred of evidence.

Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaints as listed above. they are another bunch of complete morons who will always pander to a miniscule minority.

Any complaints authority should be very careful when stating these so called allegations. 

Finally, I for one really enjoyed the MFI  showroom ads they show a very good observation of family life. 

Lawrence

September 26, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Download youtube videos

If you are thinking about actually taking the steps to download YouTube Videos, you may want to take a couple of things into consideration before you do. Since there are so many videos so YouTube you are going to want to make sure that you download the right videos. You will be able to find all different types of videos from comedies to educational videos and all of them are known to appeal to a wide variety of people in general. I know that there are some people that are not that familiar with how the internet works so I am going to take the time to tell you about some of the videos that you may find and some things that you may want to take into consideration before you start downloading.
The first thing that you are going to want to take into consideration is whether or not you are going to become a registered user or not because of the fact that there are some videos that are only available to those people that are registered users. However, if you want to have access to more videos, you are going to want to take the time to become a registered user. Another thing that you are going to want to take into consideration is whether or not you are going to have a certain type of video that you are going to download, there are some videos that you may feel that are inappropriate so you are going to make sure that you screen them before you put them on your computer. If you have children you are going to especially want to make sure that you take the time to screen through the videos so that they are not able to see something that they don’t need to see.
The third thing that you are going to want to ask yourself is what you are using the videos for. There are many different uses of the videos but in order to make sure that you get the videos that you need, you are going to want to make sure that you are able to get your hands on the ones that you need. Overall you should have no problem when you are about to download YouTube videos for your personal use or for others uses, it all depends on what you want to do.

Lawrence

September 26, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Youtube

In case you are unaware of what YouTube is, it is known as a very popular website that is used for video sharing. YouTube is a website that the visitors can go to and take the time to upload as well as view and also share the video clips. The videos can also be rated in which the average rating along with the actual number of times that a certain video has been watched is then published. YouTube was actually founded in the month of February of the year two thousand and five. YouTube was then founded by three of the former employees of the company PayPal. In all actuality this company uses Adobe Flash forms of technology to actual display the video and is also San Bruno based as well.
You will find that if you visit the YouTube website that the information that is on the website includes movie as well as TV clips and also videos of music. You will also be able to find amateur content known as video blogging as well as the short videos that are original. Overall, YouTube staffs about sixty seven employees overall. In the year of two thousand and six, the company was also named the invention of the year by Time Magazine. When it comes to the users of the site, if you are an unregistered user you will only be able to watch the videos that are on the site presently, whereas if you are a registered user you will actually be able to upload what is known as an unlimited amount of videos.
In the upper right hand area of the video you will also see a listing of the videos that are related to the one that you have chosen, this can be determined by the title as well as the tags. During the second year that YouTube was in operation they were able to add a feature where you can actually give them a post video response and you can also subscribe to the content feeds for an individual user or different users. The individuals that are behind this wonderful thought are known as Chad Hurley as well as Steve Chen and also Jawed Karim, which are indeed the founders of YouTube and are also the former employees of PayPal. You know it takes great minds to be able to develop something that is so creative.

lawrence

September 26, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment