STRIPPED: Personal Trainer Noe Espinosa

Graham Studios Inc.

Noe shows off his tightest black undies. Photo by Jim Graham.

My coming-out story is …
Sitting at dinner with my mother and suddenly telling her I was gay. She left the table, went to her bedroom, and I thought, She will never talk to me again. After a couple of hours she came out and said, “You are my son and I will love you no matter what.”

If I’m checking a guy out, chances are he has …
An athletic body, big arms, wide shoulders, thick legs, a nice butt, dark hair, big eyes, and a killer, mischievous smile.

I feel sexy wearing …
Briefs. The smaller the better.

I think love is …
Like a tree that you have to nurse and water every day if you want to keep it alive. When you stop watering the tree, it dies. You cannot expect to get love if you don’t give love.

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Mazzoni Center HIV-testing hub Washington West Project.

Mazzoni Center HIV-testing hub Washington West Project.

HIV TESTING: Washington West Project
Thanks to a $20,000 grant from Philly AIDS Thrift, Mazzoni Center’s HIV-testing hub recently spruced up its four-story digs to provide a more comfortable, streamlined experience, including rapid HIV testing, state-of-the-art STD screening and free treatment referrals. 1201 Locust St., 215-985-9206,

Personal trainer and Best Day Spa after the jump »

The Secret Lives of Sugar Babies

sugar babies

IT’S A SUNNY afternoon when he sees me, standing in the center of 30th Street Station. He gives me the once-over, barely says a word. He’s not quite what I’d hoped: Two muddied-white knee-high socks appear to mask a fluid build-up in his legs; he has a bald spot that’s surrounded by a bush of frizzy gray hair; his eyes strike me as uncannily cold and beady.

Stuart*, 61, from North Jersey, heaves his luggage over his shoulder and heads off to buy two tickets to Atlantic City, our first-date destination for the next two nights.

Meet the sugar babies after the jump »



HERO: GALAEI Executive Director Elicia Gonzales
As the matriatch of the only organization for Philly (and all of Pennsylvania)’s gay and lesbian Latino community, GALAEI’s executive director has worked this year to spearhead a host of educational campaigns that offer a unique, often provocative perspective on vital sexual issues, while also shining a light on a demographic that’s often overlooked. This year, she revived the 1992 campaign “SEXO,” an exhibit that promoted safe-sex via lusty images of men grabbing their junk with rubber gloves; she kicked of Philly’s first “Masturbate-a-Thon,” encouraging self-pleasure over risky sexual encounters; and an inspiring collection of personal stories in “Positivo” showed Philly’s poz Latino community that it’s okay to embrace your HIV status. She’s the sex-ed teacher we all wish we had (and should have had) in high school. GALAEI, 1207 Chestnut St., 215-851-1822,


Chancellor Dean (left) and James Ijames in a Mauckingbird Theater Company production.

Chancellor Dean (left) and James Ijames in a Mauckingbird Theater Company production.

THEATER TROUPE: Mauckingbird Theatre Company
There’s a lot of queer theater happening in Philly these days, but no company devotes itself to the art of gayness quite like Mauckingbird. Each production comes with a gay slant, most recently a gender-bending take on Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. In January, the company will take on Douglas Carter Beane’s Tony-nominated The Little Dog Laughed.

COMEDIAN: Alejandro Morales
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Stan. Stan who? Standup comedian Alejandro Morales is one funny son of a bitch. (Ba-dum-bum.) Catch the “comedian at large” in shows around the Gayborhood and beyond.

Drop everything and find out when Philly drag ditz Maddy Milan is performing next.

Drop everything and find out when Philly drag ditz Maddy Milan is performing next.

Part Kitty Wells, part Joan Collins on too much bubbly, you never know if this ditzy queen is going to dazzle you with a ditty or smack you upside the head with a pair of the lowest hanging titties this side of Shady Pines. If you’re extra lucky, she just might do both.

As gay Philadelphians, we’re blessed with an array of LGBT goings-on, but only one takes place right in the Gayborhood. This autumn block party continues to grow, this year bringing in more than 20,000 homos to rage in the name of being out and damn fabulous.

Matt McWilliams, TK and Steve Fala from Temple gay web series One of the Guys.

Matt McWilliams, Jeff Familetti and Stephen Fala from Temple gay web series One of the Guys.

WEB SERIES: One of the Guys
Out of the handful of Philly-based LGBT web series that popped up this year, nothing makes us smile as consistently as Michael Busza’s Emmy-nominated (!) One of the Guys. Shot on Temple’s campus, the show concerns three gay men and their straight roomie, tackling all kinds of millennial-focused shenanigans and doling out LOLs by the minute. The last two episodes of the series will air between now and next spring, with the finale promising to find the guys splashing around in … Rehoboth!

ART GALLERY: Bridgette Mayer
Housed in an airy 1799 Old City brownstone, the contemporary collections never get dull, thanks to the glamorous blonde curator, whose drive to showcase quixotic, under-the-radar artists is both passionate and laser sharp. And she’s the gallerist who truly gives back: A recent show turned over 20 percent of proceeds to BalletX, the city’s edgy ballet company. Now that’s creative inspiration. 709 Walnut St., 215-413-8893,


Our choice for Best Men's Boutique is the new Suitsupply in Rittenhouse.

Our choice for Best Men’s Boutique is the new Suitsupply in Rittenhouse. Photo by Jenna Stamm.

MEN’S BOUTIQUE: Suitsupply
You wouldn’t know it by the jersey-and-sweatpants-wearing slobs who meander among us (straight girls, please do something about your men!), but Philly is becoming a city for the stylish gent. Exhibit A: the opening earlier this year of this temple to male sartorial splendor — a dizzying, two-story repository of off-the-rack suits that look bespoke, elegant accessories, and the nattiest salesmen in town. 1601 Locust St., 215-383-1500,

More shopping picks after the jump »

HEY, CHIRL: Help, I’m Scared of My Boyfriend’s Sex Toys!

HeyChirl.1The holidays are here, which means it’s time for our annual fight over whose family we spend them with. Is there any fair formula to decide?
Chirl, first off, be happy that both of your families want you present, and, more important, that you want to be with them. (I’d rather endure a Gilbert Gottfried show than suffer Arthur’s aunt and her comments about “the gays.”) Easiest plan: Alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas every year (if one of you is Jewish, the other gets Christmas), then spend New Year’s away from both clans. You’ll need a drink by then anyway.

My new guy is awesome in every way—except his taste in music is that of a 12-year-old girl. Can you really date a man who loves Miley Cyrus?
Chirl, unless he’s playing “The Climb” during sex, what’s on his iPod is moot. You can always find friends to go to see Dropkick Murphys with. Finding true love? Not so easy. Invest in good earphones and be thankful his worst trait is that he listens to music from iCarly.

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U Bar takes our prize for Best Bar.

U Bar takes our prize for Best Bar for its amazingly diverse clientele (and extra-strong drinks.)

A mix of every type of guy, young to old, buff to not-so-buff. A no-’tude vibe. Efficient, friendly bartenders. A horseshoe layout that allows for eye contact everywhere. Is it any surprise this place has become the go-to default on Philly’s gay-bar hit parade? 1220 Locust St., 215-546-6660,

More of our bar picks after the jump »

THE PLAYER: The NFL’s (Almost) First Out Player

dorien bryant purdue football

Dorien at the Undine Barge Club, Boathouse Row. Photo by Chris Crisman.

It’s two months before Gaybowl XIII, when the seven-on-seven National Gay Flag Football League champion will be crowned in Phoenix, and the Philadelphia Revolution is bereft of its star. In the middle of an overgrown Little League field in East Passyunk, where a mucky dune marks the 50-yard line, a bespectacled, double-knee-brace-wearing team captain drills the squad on route-running. Then, 30 minutes into the two-hour practice, he arrives: arms muscled, pecs protruding from a pink-sleeved t-shirt. He moseys toward the bleachers wearing a camo-green hat and Versace Eros cologne. He has just left Voyeur three hours ago. “I know nothing right now,” he mumbles, pulling on his cleats, grabbing his receiver’s gloves, and jumping in line for some 10-yard hitch routes.

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A cappuccino and pastry at Shot Tower in Queen Village. Photo courtesy of Ian Watson.

A cappuccino and pastry at Shot Tower in Queen Village. Photo courtesy of Ian Watson.

It can sometimes seem like Counter Culture (North Carolina) and Stumptown (Oregon) have a bean-roasting lock on Philly’s new-wave coffee scene. But Tom and Chris Molieri roast their own at GreenStreet, which now boasts a post in the Gayborhood. The tiny space and fickle wireless signal limit its appeal as a workspace, but there’s ample sidewalk seating on both sides of the corner — and more-than-ample coffee options. Think three espresso varieties and a pour-over menu that hooked this Ethiopia lover with a choice between washed- and dry-processed crops from that country. 1101 Spruce St., 610-504-3934,

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