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Import: My ‘Naked’ Confession

By Creativity, JournalismNo Comments

I’ve got a confession to make, but first let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m a gay man, twenty-seven year old and a professional. I’ve been single for the last 3 years following a bad breakup.

Here’s my confession: I don’t like to be naked.

Let me explain, it’s not that I mind being naked per se, just being naked in front of other gay men. A boyfriend is different – as long as he gives me the time to get comfortable being naked with him. But it hasn’t always been this way.

Like most teenagers I was body conscious, although it is probably better described as body paranoia. I remember hating PE at school, not just because of the sports but because of the changing rooms as well. I felt awkwardly self-conscious as I changed and had to be careful that the other boys didn’t catch my wondering eyes.

By the time I was in my late teens, I’d left school and attitude to my body and being naked had completely changed. At this time you could have almost described me as an exhibitionist. I enjoyed being naked, especially with other gay men.

As an adult I got into relationships with men, all of which for various reasons didn’t work out. I began to associate being naked with the feelings of emotional pain, heartbreak and vulnerability that inevitably followed. And I don’t handle vulnerability well – insert copious amounts of crying alone in private.

I’ve worked hard to get over these feelings and I thought I’d had some success. But I recently realised that I’ve regressed. I’m body conscious again and to make matters worse am still fearful of being naked because of my own associated feelings of vulnerability.

I’ve decided its time to take drastic action. I need to get naked around other gay men. I had a think about where it was going to be socially acceptable to get naked and where other gay men would be suitably naked. It won’t surprise you, when I tell you I struggled to think of a place. Most of the gay places I thought of are pubs or clubs and these tend to have a dress code that requires some form of clothing.

Until one day I had a eureka moment – how about a gay sauna? Yes, they may require towels but it is as close as I’m going to get. It’s certainly naked enough to bring those uncomfortable feelings to the surface. I’ve never been to a sauna of any description. So I’ve read up on other people’s experiences and sauna etiquette, but haven’t been brave enough to go into one yet.

However over the next month I’ve set myself the challenge to go into a gay sauna and will write about the experience in next month’s column entitled: ‘Getting Over Being Naked: My Sauna Experience.’ Wish me luck.

Published by: The Gay UK on Tuesday 27th August 2013.

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Up4aMeet? – An Evening of Naked, Gay, Laugh-Out-Loud Comedy

By Gay, Gigs & Shows, ReviewsNo Comments

Steve & I went to see Up4aMeet? this weekend. Here’s my review for The Gay UK:

Up4aMeet? – An Evening of Naked, Gay, Laugh-Out-Loud Comedy


It’s #NakedAugust month here at The Gay UK, so I decided to go along and see Up4aMeet? the hilarious naked gay play.

Grant (played by the brilliant and sexy Chris Wills) finds it difficult to talk to gay men in reality. But on his favourite app ‘The Cock Shop’ he can be himself and even find out how many metres away his nearest gay man is. ‘The Cock Shop’ is described as a gay man’s sweet shop; with a few clicks a man can be delivered to your door.

Carlos (played by the well-endowed Benedict Garrett) is Grant’s Spanish & naturist flatmate who also is a big fan of ‘The Cockshop.’ For Carlos life is all about the sex. Carlos has a strict eversion to clothes and stripped every time he walked onto the stage. He was practically naked throughout the entire show.

Caroline (played by the fantastic Penny Tasker) is a broke Celebrity Agent who is Grant’s best friend and lives in the apartment downstairs. She represents a number of reality-TV celebrities including Stacey Granger (Big Brother’s Nikki Grahame) but is failing to find work for any of them.

In the apartment next door is old queen Julian (played by the suitable Michael Blore). Julian is obsessed with Dame Shirley Bassey. His obsession extends to playing Gold Finger constantly, having a cardboard cut-out of her and a toilet seat that he’s made for her as a gift. Julian decides he’s getting a flatmate and ends up with Scott (X-Factor’s Lloyd Daniels).


(The Up4aMeet? Cast: Chris Wills, Penny Tasker, Lloyd Daniels, Nikki Grahame, Michael Blore & Benedict Garrett)

Up4aMeet? has nudity from the start with Grant being caught by Caroline taking a rude picture of himself for his ‘Cock Shop’ profile. Grant and Carlos accidently switch phones and the hilarity begins. The characters attempt to deal with their own problems throughout the more than two hour show, amusing the audience along the way.

The comedy that causes the audience’s incessant and side-splitting laughter is derived through gay stereotyping. Yet despite this stereotyping, the characters are believable and had a reasonable amount of depth – which is a tremendous credit to the writer.

All of the characters are a bit zany including Carlos who had a bit of a dodgy accent at times. But he made fun of it himself and managed to get a few chuckles from the audience. Caroline had some great, sharp one-liners and is a constant source of entertainment throughout. One particularly funny scene of Caroline’s that springs to mind involves an eye patch and a glory-hole.

Scott (Lloyd Daniels) was mostly eye candy and played a far too small role in the play. We don’t see Scott on stage until mid-way through and he barely has any dialogue. Scott (Lloyd Daniels) is the only male member of the cast who doesn’t get fully naked – sorry boys.

The cast’s acting was splendid and they all made good eye contact with the audience – despite the difficult layout of the venue.

The ending was dramatic, full of twists and turns with plenty of humour and a reminder that: you never really know whom you’re talking to online.

Up4aMeet? was even funnier than I had expected and I left with an aching belly from laughing-out-loud so often. If you want an evening of nudity coupled with gay humour – go and see Up4aMeet? you wont be disappointed. Up4aMeet is currently on a national tour, you can buy tickets here:


Blog soon,



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Import: Manchester Pride Fringe Festival: Must See Shows

By Creativity, Gay, Gigs & Shows, JournalismNo Comments

Manchester Pride Fringe Festival is a wide-range of events throughout August that are separate from main event: The Big Weekend. We’ve had a glance at the programme and chosen our five must see shows:


Ennio Marchetto

Ennio Marchetto
Date(s) & Time: Thursday 8th & Friday 9th August 2013, 19:30.
Venue: TBC.
Cost: £15 per ticket.
Ennio Marchetto is described as being a ‘living cartoon’. The Italian’s mime act, with its paper costumes is truly a spectacle to behold and is hugely popular wherever performed.

Ennio Marchetto has been performing for over twenty-one years and to date this is his only UK performance this year. This unique show is an absolute must see.
Booking: Tickets can be purchased through the Manchester Pride website.


If I Can Dream

If I Can Dream
Date(s) & Time: Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd August, 19:30.
Venue: The Lowry, Salford Quays. M50 3AZ.
Cost: £6-10 per ticket.
Young Liam’s world is full of violence and lies. Liam loved his father, who loved Elvis. The musical tells the story of how Liam uses Elvis songs to cope with a difficult time in his life. Expect this to be upbeat as well as emotionally touching.
Booking: Tickets can be purchased through The Lowry website.



Date(s) & Time: Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd August, 19:30.
Venue: AXM, Bloom Street. M1 3LY.
Cost: £16 per ticket.
When Grant and his flat-mate Carlos accidently pick up each other’s phones you know it can only lead to comedy. Add into the mix an App called The C*ck Shop and you can be forgiven for letting your imagination run away with you.

Up4aMeet? Dubbed the naked play, has Lloyd Daniels (XFactor) who recently admitted that he’s a ‘bit of a naturist,’ indicating that he might be getting naked for his role in the show.

We’ll be going along to see this, so expect a review after the showing. If you’re not in Manchester on these dates, don’t worry as Up4aMeet? is on a national tour.
Booking: Tickets can be purchased through the Up4aMeet? on tour website.


Someone Borrowed, Someone’s Blue – The Musical

Someone Borrowed, Someone’s Blue – The Musical
Date(s) & Time: Monday 19th – Thursday 22nd August, 19:30.
Venue: Afflecks Palace, 52 Church Street. M4 1PW.
Cost: £8 per ticket.
Drag Queen Sandy Beach has got her upcoming Wedding to organise. But she needs help, so she recruits her big-boned and walking disaster zone sister, Wendy. But with strictly no lip-syncing, can Sandy sing her way out of the inevitable disasters that follow?
Booking: Tickets can be purchased through the New Attitude Theatre Company website.


9 To 5 – The Musical

9 To 5 – The Musical
Date(s) & Time(s): Tuesday 20th – Saturday 24th August. Performance times vary: Tuesday’s 20:00, Wednesday-Saturday’s 19:30, Matinees Thursday-Saturday’s 14:30.
Venue: Opera House, 3 Quay Street. M3 3HP.
Cost: £17.90+
Based on Dolly Parton hits and the film comes a comedy story about friendship, gossip and revenge. Three women office workers take on their sexist, egotistical and bigoted boss to take control of the company.

9 to 5 is crammed with Dolly Parton songs which makes it a must see. If you’re not in Manchester on these dates, don’t worry as this is on a national tour.
Booking: Tickets can be purchased through the ATG Tickets website.

For other Manchester Pride Fringe Festival events see the Fringe Festival website. Find out more about Manchester in our Manchester Guide.

Published by: The Gay UK on Wednesday 31st July 2013.

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