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Reading Time: 11 minutes

Having a dog is one of the greatest joys in the world. There is almost nothing like the feeling the love of a dog can bring to a home. If your home happens to be an apartment, enjoying life with little Sam Dogg is going to be a little more interesting and exciting. Part of this excitement will be going through potty training with your new puppy.

Potty training a dog is never easy. Even when you have the convenience of a yard, teaching an animal how to go potty can be a long and tedious chore, but when you live in an apartment, that chore can seem like a fight to the death of wills and waste. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. While there is no quick and easy way to ensure a simple time potty training your new puppy, we have put together some tips from the top dogs in the potty training biz to help make things go a little smoother for you and little Sam Dogg.

How to Potty Train Your Puppy in an Apartment

There are a whole host of new challenges that come with potty training a puppy in an apartment. Logistically, it seems like the world is against you, but with a little work and patience from everyone involved (including little Sam Dogg), things can be a little less stressful and you can enjoy that awesome feeling that can only come from the love of a dog.

Have a Little Patience

This cannot be emphasized enough. The one thing both you and your new puppy will need is some patience. Potty training is not an easy task and it is definitely not an overnight one. There will be ups and downs during this new adventure in puppy parenting, and there will be accidents.

It doesn’t matter how well behaved your new dog is, during the course of his potty training, he will have an accident or two… or ten. No matter how many, the key is to show your puppy the love and support you’d show your own child. Go into this experience with a smile on your face, a sense of humor in your heart, and a willingness to just shrug off the mishaps, and you will more than likely come out alive and in one piece on the other side.

Welcome to the Internet Age of Potty Training

The internet has been the superhero for many people looking to perform nearly any task you could possibly think of. Potty training a new puppy is no different. The first thing you should do before you even look at puppies is research the potty training and caring for a new puppy and dog. Remember, this little Sam Dogg will one day grow up and be an actual dog who will still require your love and care.

As you have likely seen by now, there is no shortage of information out there on how to potty train your pets. Much of this information is just general info aimed at pet owners with homes, but there is a lot of info to help those pet owners living in smaller spaces. While it may seem like the more information you have, the better off you are, too much information can actually be a bad thing sometimes. Making something as straightforward as potty training overly complicated will just confuse you and your puppy.

Look at joining groups on Facebook or other social media platforms. There is no end to the amount of dog and pet groups you will find on social media sites. Find some active ones that you enjoy or are local and see what tips they may have. Knowing you are not alone during the stressful periods can really go a long way to saving your sanity the next time there is an accident in your apartment.

Develop a Routine

This is a very important part of potty training a puppy in any type of home. As a puppy, your new family member is unsure of what the world has in store for him and what you expect of him. Giving him a routine can give him stability and confidence in knowing what he is supposed to do and when he is supposed to do it. This will help him develop strong habits early on.

This routine should not only cover potty breaks, but it should encompass everything that you and your pet do on a daily basis. Begin by feeding him at the same time every day. No matter how many times you feed your new puppy, be sure it is done at the same times every single day. This will ensure that your dog knows when it is time to eat, but it will also help you both know when it is going to be time to avoid an accident in your home.

Next, make sure you are taking your puppy out at the same times every day. This also means in the middle of the night, if you choose to not crate train your puppy. Again, this will help nail down those good habits, but it will also help your new dog know that if they do have to go, a trip around the block is not too far off.

Take Your Puppy Out Early and Often

Just like little kids, puppies always seem to have to go to the bathroom. To make things worse, they always seem to have to go at the worst possible times. Believe it or not, this is not being done on purpose. The truth is, puppies just really have to go to the bathroom often.

At first, neither of you will know what to think about this. Without proper guidance, your puppy’s first instinct will be to find a spot to make his bathroom in your home. This is obviously not a good idea, so show your new dog where they should be going by taking them out often. Start this routine right away after you get home.

Depending on the breed and other factors, your new puppy may need to go out as often as every twenty minutes or so. If you want to avoid accidents, this is the walk/outside schedule you should be keeping with your new puppy. As they become better potty trained and a little older, this can be reduced a little, but you want to ensure you are giving your puppy more than enough chances to go outside like they are supposed to.

Give Your Puppy Their Own Space

Puppies will have accidents when you’re potty training them. Nobody wants puddles of doggy pee and piles of poo all over their apartment. The easiest way to prevent this is by stopping your new dog from going all over your home.

At first, you may want to find a place where you can give your new dog his own space. He doesn’t need his own master bedroom or anything, but a bathroom or kitchen area that can be blocked off is ideal for a new puppy. Always use a baby gate or something similar that allows your new puppy to see and interact with you and the rest of the family. Never lock them inside a room with a closed door, especially for long periods of time. Locking them up inside a room alone will only make them anxious and bring about more accidents and possibly even cause more serious issues for them.

Giving your new puppy a little space like this ensures they are not running all over the apartment leaving little surprises for you. Choosing a room that has a tile or other hard floor will also make cleaning up much easier.

Learn the Potty Signs

It’s amazing how predictable puppies can be, even during their most unpredictable years. When you first bring your new dog home, you two will still have to get to know each other. There are some things you can know about your new puppy before you even bring him home that will definitely help you potty train your puppy in an apartment.

Learning the signs that your puppy has to use the bathroom will help you make sure you get them out when the time is right. There are plenty of signs that your dog may need to use the restroom. While not every dog will act in the same ways, these are some of the more common signs that a dog will have to be taken out:

  • Sniffing around the ground
  • Circling a particular area
  • Pacing back and forth
  • Whining or crying

If you see any of these signs, the safest bet is to take your puppy out as soon as possible. Even if it is a false alarm, the extra time outside together will only help your bonding. Build trust with your pet early for a lifetime of loyalty.

Prepare for the Worst

It has been said before and will be said again because it is important to remember that all puppies will have accidents. Remain calm and train on. Knowing this does not make things any easier to deal with every day, but it does help to prepare for these accidents ahead of time. You have already done that by giving them their own space and doing a bit of research on pet ownership and potty training.

To prepare for the actual accidents, use puppy pads, pee pads, or wee pads in the corner of their space. These potty pads are meant to catch and absorb moisture and wetness the same way a baby’s diaper would. These flat pads can be laid out wherever your puppy likes to go when he has accidents. The top layer is absorbent to catch the waste and the bottom layer is waterproof to avoid leakage. It is highly recommended that you be sure to place puppy potty pads wherever they are likely to go first thing in the morning to stop them from getting used to going potty anywhere else but the pad.

Turn Your Balcony Into a Lawn

Just because you aren’t lucky enough to have a yard of your own does not mean your dog doesn’t deserve their own yard. If you have a balcony, you can easily turn that little drab slab into something green and amazing for your pooch to enjoy each day with a dog porch potty or just a simple dog grass pad.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it is now as easy as can be to have a doggy litter box on your balcony. This handy gadget can be purchased in stores or made at home. In a nutshell, it is a patch of fake grass for dogs that they can use to relieve themselves, and you can easily clean. The dog would do their business on the fake grass and the liquid waste would make its way through a drain for easy disposal. Cleaning is as simple as hosing it down or pouring some hot water over the grass.

You can also choose to simply provide a grass patch for dogs. While not as elegant as a doggie porch potty, providing a realistic and safe alternative to your apartment flooring will help teach your new puppy where they should be going.

Catch Them Red Pawed

You know the signs that something is going to happen. That doesn’t mean you will always make it in time. In the chance that you catch them in the act of actually doing their business, make sure they know that you have seen them. Either clap or make a loud noise to signal your displeasure. Then immediately take your dog outside or to their doggie porch potty to show them where they should be doing their business at.

When you find a mess after the fact, do not punish them for it or rub their noses in it. Dogs do not understand why you are so upset as they cannot make the connection minutes or hours after they have gone to the bathroom. Pick up any poop that your dog has left for you and take it outside or to their porch potty. This can help them make the connection that this is where their poop is supposed to go.

Praise and Rewards Go a Long Way

Your dog can be looked at as a sort of sponge. They are eager to soak up everything that you want to teach them. You can use this to help reinforce the behaviors and habits that want to see more of. Whenever you see your dog go outside or on the grass pad, make sure you shower them with praise. This will reinforce the good behavior and make your puppy one happy camper.

This also goes for the times when you catch your puppy in the act. After they are brought out where they are meant to go potty and they actually do, praise them and offer them a reward. No matter if they just went inside your kitchen a few seconds ago, show them that going outside or on their pad is the right thing to do and make you very happy. They will remember this and want to see you happy again.

Plan for Those Long Work Days

Let’s face facts. There is no way you will be able to be home with your new puppy every minute of every day to ensure they are being taken out. Leaving them alone in a room can end up causing even more trouble for you and your dog. If you are going to be gone for a long time, think about investing in a training crate.

A training crate is a dog crate that you can keep your dog in for the time you are gone. Dogs do not like to go potty where they sleep, so leaving them in a crate for short times will help promote less bathroom activity. Over long periods of time, they will obviously go wherever they have to, which is why it is not recommended to keep your dog in a crate for too long. If you are going to be at work or out of the house longer than expected, have someone you can call to let your puppy out and clean up any mess.

Familiarity Is Always Helpful

When you do take your new dog outside, it can be helpful to find a spot you can always walk him. This is just another way to help little Sam Dogg remember when and where he is supposed to do his thing. Apartment life means you may not always have the chance to find a nice, spacious park for your dog to relax and go to the bathroom. You can look for a patch of grass nearby or set up a doggy porch potty on your balcony. Your dog doesn’t need much to be able to do his thing, but he does need someplace to do it. You could also add in a command gesture that will signal to your dog that this is where they are supposed to go to the bathroom.

It is good to remember that dog urine does not typically help plants and flowers grow. Make sure you are using a patch of grass or land that won’t land you and your pooch in hot water with neighbors or the city. Always check with local ordinances and pick up after your dog. Not only is it nasty and illegal, but it can also be harmful to the local plant life.

Extra Tools and Resources to Help Train Your Puppy

Nobody can do this alone. You and Sam Dogg are going to need some help from a few very useful tools and resources during this trying time.

Puppy Potty Pads

The most important item you will need to keep stocked while potty training a puppy or dog is puppy potty pads. These potty pads can go be a number of different names (pee pads, wee pads, puppy pads, etc), but they are the most useful tool in your potty training toolbelt. Using these pads will not only save you countless hours of frustration, but it will make cleaning up after the inevitable accident easier on you.

Find it here: Pet Training Potty Pee Pads

Training Treats

While it is not necessary that you rush out and buy treats specifically for training, training treats are designed to be small and easy for a quick reward. You can use any type of treat to reward your puppy after they go potty outside or on their doggie porch potty. You should not use full-size treats as rewards as they are too large and too many are not good for their health.

Find it here: Blue Buffalo BLUE Bits Natural Soft-Moist Training Dog Treats

Pet Urine Cleaner

You will also need to make sure you have a cleaner that is specially formulated to handle pet urine. There are a number of products available that can clean well enough, but for the most bang for your buck, you will want to invest in some enzymatic cleaner. An enzymatic cleaner has special enzymes in it that can bond with biological molecules like those in urine, making the urine easier to clean and less likely to cause smells or stains.

Find it here: Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator

Training Crate

A training crate may not be necessary for everyone, but if you are going to be working or gone for long hours, it is definitely an important tool. These crates are only to be used while potty training your new puppy and only while you are gone or at work. While you’re home, your puppy should feel like a part of the family and not locked away from everyone else whenever possible.

Find it here: MidWest iCrate Dog Crate

The post How to Potty Train a Puppy in an Apartment appeared first on The Authentic Gay.

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

This June marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the third anniversary of the Pulse shootings.  It’s the perfect time to re-examine our relationship with Pride. So often we take Pride for granted. Sure, it’s a time to day-drink, dodge your exes, and oggle at guys and girls in sequined, yet, theoretical underwear. But it is also a time for all of us under the LGBTQIA umbrella to get together, show up, and shine.

Let’s be honest – as queer people, we internalize a lot of trauma. It could be from bullies on the playground. Perhaps it’s rejection or abandonment by our parents.  We’re even hated by total strangers based on their hypocritical take on religious texts. We can brush it off all we want. But those negative feelings have to go somewhere. That alienation can often cause us to continue alienating ourselves from each other. As queer people, we have so much more in common with our LGBTQIA brothers, sisters, and genderless siblings but tend to focus on our differences.

Pride is a chance for us all to come together. We get to celebrate life, love, and being “gay.” While some may bristle at being labeled gay due to their particular identity politics. It does mean happy. What’s so wrong with being called happy. We can get so divisive because of our political differences, personal triggers, and problems in our lives.  But Pride is the perfect time to get back to basics and be happy again. It’s a time to reflect on what we are proud of and how far we have come.

It’s likely not a coincidence that the word gay is used to describe us. We have the biological imperative to keep our world from becoming basic, stagnant, and a fiery ball of trash. We are artists, innovators, and iconoclasts. We make people happier, make the world prettier and are a force for change. For some of us, our simple existence is an act of protest to the status quo. That elicits change and change inspires growth. We spread inspiration and healing through our art, humor, politics or a truly intuitive read. Our flag is a rainbow not just because we are made of so many colors but because like a rainbow we come together to bring light to the world.

To celebrate the full colors of our rainbow flag, here’s a shout out to, and a not-so-subtle reminder of, the amazing people who will be at Pride that you might miss if you’re in the thirst trap or had too much sauce. But if you open up, their presence just might cure what ails you.  

1. Couples & Families

You may not see them at the clubs, on the apps, or out and about. That’s because they’re busy living their best family lives. It’s easy to get a little teary-eyed when you see elderly couples with signs advertising relationships that have lasted decades. There was a time when having a partner was not a legal option, let alone being allowed to raise a family. Seeing long-term couples, and queer parents are inspirations for the next generation. But it’s also a reminder that we not only deserve love but can find it.

2. Newbies & Baby Gays

Whitney Houston believed our children were the future. It’s easy to forget that just by being our authentic selves we are paving the way for the next generation of queer youth. We can forget our first Pride. The excitement of being overwhelmed by throngs of people like you. The rush of the freedom to be yourself can dull as the years progress. But every year is someone’s first pride. It may be a preteen with their parents, a late-in-life lesbian, or a newly transitioned person ready to celebrate their new life. Heartbreak, drama, and jadedness can dull our excitement. But look to those fresh faces. Pride is a great time to reconnect with the baby gay in all of us and remember that joy. If you’re having trouble mustering the excitement, think of the people at their first Pride. Many of us were robbed of mentors because of the AIDS crisis. But now we can be those mentors. So muster up a smile or live your full fantasy because you just might be inspiring someone.

3. Supportive Parents

As far as we have come, there are still parents who throw out their LGBTQ children. Some cut off their kids financially, or worse use abuse and shame to suppress their children. A lot of people are walking around pride with their own Daddy or Mommy issues. But Pride is a chance to see all the supportive parents who show up for their kids. Some offer free hugs or support.  Some wear shirts to show their love of their queer children. Let’s not forget all the great work of PFLAG who is marching at a Pride near you. Seeing these supportive parents can be healing. We don’t all have the best relationships with our parents but seeing these parents lets us know it is possible. It may not heal all of your issues with your mom or dad but seeing that love can help your heart thaw a little.

4. Supportive Politicians & Celebrities
Taylor Swift - You Need To Calm Down - YouTube

Anyone who takes time out of their schedule to show up as an ally may just be worth your vote or attention. And if you’re a Jaded Judy who thinks politicians may just show up just for votes. You may be right. That’s why we all must do our research. Given our current “President” now is an important time to research our local politicians, their voting records, and hold them accountable. We can influence change by showing up to our voting booths, community meetings, or on the phone with our Congressional representatives to ensure we are heard. Pride is a great reminder we are powerful together.

5. Allies

Sure Pride attracts straight looky-loos but it’s also nice to think that we do have allies. It’s also important to remember, so much of our community association is about what we do behind closed doors. As frustrating as it can be to see Deborah and Jeff being messy at Pride. They may be card-carrying queers. It’s also important to realize when the chips are down they are likely to be by our side. We must check some of our past pain at feeling excluded and remember to let everyone join the party. There are more people showing up to Pride to party rather than to protest it. That’s a huge win for our community and a sign of our changing times.

6. Trans Women

Our trans sisters are getting murdered. We must honor them not just with social media posts. We must show up for them, spread the word, and respect them in real life. We must make conscious efforts to help them get employment, respect, and visibility. We must look out for them. Trans women of color were in the fight at Stonewall yet 50 years later they are the only community in America still being lynched. That is egregious. We are a community of people that span various races, ages, gender identities, sexual proclivities, economic backgrounds, and life experiences. But we all could stand to check our various privileges look for each other. So let Pride be a reminder of all the people who do not look like you that you can help. When we help others we help ourselves…spiritually.

7. Our Ancestors

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, there are people who have come before us. Marsha P. Johnson. Harvey Milk. Oscar Wilde.  James Baldwin. Frida Kahlo. Mathew Shepherd. The people we have lost to HIV, hate crimes, and police attacks. The people who died nameless and alone. Whether you believe they are there literally, energetically, or just in memory.  People have paved the way to let us walk down the street in rainbow regalia. On some level, their memory lives on with us. It’s a good moment to remember all the people who couldn’t and still can’t live as freely as we do. In those moments, we should put aside our petty problems and be Proud for them and of them. We can have gratitude for our freedom. Because you simply can’t be unhappy when you are grateful.  

Pride is a magical time where we all are nicer to each other and more outwardly happy. We get to reconnect with friends, hook up and be extra AF. But Pride is more than just a parade. It’s a rallying cry. It’s a privilege that was paved by and paid for by the lives of so many. So the least we can do is do our best to heal ourselves so we can help heal our community. We can learn to love ourselves more so we can help spread more love. And we can truly embody Pride all year round because we are here to make the world a better place. And if you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem. To quote singer Heather Small from a vintage Pride anthem, “What have you done today to make you feel proud?”

The post The Healing Powers of Pride appeared first on The Authentic Gay.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Over the years, I have met many secular Jews longing to reclaim their Jewish heritage. They often recall a grandparent who was particularly observant while their parents tended more toward the secular. This has led them to become more secular themselves. In fact, they become fully immersed and integrated into a society that knows little of Jewish heritage beyond what is shown to them in movies and on television.

Nonetheless, many of these secularly-minded Jews experience some sort of awakening. They realize through reading or talking with others that they may be missing out on something. A feeling of being adrift or without roots is not uncommon. They start to wonder, “How can I reclaim my Jewish heritage?”

That sounds like a daunting task, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Think of reclaiming your heritage as being more of a journey than a destination. Throughout the years of your study and exploration, you become increasingly knowledgeable and more connected to your ancestors and the lives they led.

As all journeys must begin, this one starts with a single step.

1. Interview Your Oldest Jewish Relatives

The earlier generations of your family may have vivid memories of celebrations and observances from their childhood or their years as a young adult. Sit down and have an in-depth interview with them now so that you can capture those memories. Be sure to get at least an audio recording so the interview, or series of interviews, can be preserved for future generations. The more you know about your family’s personal observances and traditions, the more you’ll feel connected to your Jewish heritage.

2. Create a Family Tree

Resources like websites Jewishgen.org and Ancestry.com provide marvelous resources to anyone who wants to connect with their heritage. Using them is incredibly easy, as both websites have plenty of tutorials and “how to” pages. If you are traveling to Europe on a heritage expedition, then make a point of visiting the Jewish Genealogy & Family Heritage Center in Warsaw. You’ll find a vast treasure trove of records that may provide even more insight into your Jewish heritage.

3. Purchase a DNA/Ancestry Kit

Now that you’re familiar with the branches of your family tree, take it a step further by purchasing a DNA kit from 23andme.com. The ancestry service will reveal amazing things to you about your family. Often, you’ll discover a few surprises along the way. Of particular interest is the “Ancestry Composition” factor, which tells you from which of the 31 major population groups around the world your DNA derives.

4. Create a Multigenerational Family Photo Album

Photographs are precious, and they only become more so as the years go by. Unfortunately, as older family members pass away, the stories told by the images become blurry. Now is the perfect time to start a multigenerational family photo album that is complete with in-depth captions. Remember to record who is in each photograph, where and when it was taken and any special events or observations that were occurring. This will become a treasured family heirloom that provides you with a pictorial history of your Jewish heritage.

5. Learn Hebrew at an Ulpan in Israel

“Ulpan” is a Hebrew word for “instruction,” which makes it a fitting moniker for a place to learn Hebrew. Several of these institutes are found in Israel. Mainly, the programs offered are aimed at helping new immigrants integrate into Israeli society. Learning Hebrew is the main focus, but other classes touch on Israeli history and culture. When you immerse yourself in one of these courses, you may gain an entirely new perspective on your family history.

6. Learn Yiddish

Devote yourself to a summer of learning Yiddish at one of the many excellent language programs in New York. You can choose from programs at well-regarded institutions such as the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, The Workmen’s Circle and the Yiddish Farm, which has particularly dynamic Yiddish-language immersion programming that is combined with Jewish education and sustainable farming. If you’d rather travel farther afield to find a Yiddish classroom, you’ll find similarly well-recommended programs at Tel Aviv, at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute in Lithuania or Lviv, Ukraine.

7. Become a Member of Your Local JCC

Jewish Community Centers are found in major cities across the U.S., with some of the largest cities boasting several different Centers. Each one is unique, but they all offer a wealth of educational, social and cultural services. You may attend lectures, observe or participate in theatrical performances or enjoy a few laps at an indoor pool. The offerings really are that diverse, and all the while, you’ll be associating with other Jewish community members who can enhance your understanding of and appreciation for your Jewish heritage.

The post 7 Ways to Reclaim Your Jewish Heritage appeared first on The Authentic Gay.

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

With the summer approaching and the possibility of your lifestyle changing, there’s no doubt it will be important to be conscious of your grooming habits as you spend more time outdoors, with friends, and doing other activities.

Whether you’re obsessive about your appearance or just looking to maintain your overall look, there are some simple ways you can keep yourself looking clean and sharp.

1. Keep your facial hair looking neat

Sculpting your facial hair to fit your appearance and personality is one way you can add a little extra flair, but keeping it under control can be a whole different story. A great way to stay on top of this is first figuring out and mastering what kind of look is best for you. As they say, practice makes perfect, so the amount of repetition and dedication you put into your facial hair routine will help improve the results.

It’s also important to take into account what you’re using to style your look. Choosing a razor blade that doesn’t irritate your skin and that delivers the results you’re looking for can save a lot of energy and experimenting.

Growing a beard is a great responsibility, and nurturing it is just as important as the hair on your head. Beard oils are great investments if you’re serious about your facial hair, and can help with the growing process of the hair and health of the skin underneath.

Not forgetting about an accompanying mustache and sideburns will be key to creating the perfect trim and look. It’s important to think of all your facial hair as one project, so be sure to give a little TLC to all parts.

2. Take care of your skin

Your skin, particularly the face, is one of the most important places on your body to take constant care of. Although this can be difficult to make time for, especially for those with busy lifestyles, cleaning and maintaining your skin is a great starting point to kick off all of your grooming habits.

Like anything in life, creating a daily routine surrounding your skincare will show results almost instantly, but where do you start? For clear and healthy skin, start your mornings by washing your face. Choosing a good cleanser may take some time, but you will be sure to find one that works best for you. Be careful how you dry your face as well; oftentimes towels or washcloths can have a rough impact on your face and can lead to irritation. Pat yourself dry gently with a towel after washing your face or showering.

Likewise, at night, it’s best to exfoliate your face and even use a bit of moisturizer. Many men think that laying off of moisturizer actually decreases their chances of breakouts, however sticking to a daily moisturizer will add “good” liquids to your face that will prevent dry skin and acne.

Other simple lifestyle changes can unknowingly improve your skin and appearance as well, like getting good rest every night and avoiding a sugary diet. If you’re a night owl or love your sweets, these habits may be hard to break at first. However, once you’re in the routine of your new lifestyle, they’re an easy first step in approving your overall skin appearance while doing minimal work.

3. Put thought and effort into your hair

A hairstyle should be important to you for keeping your look clean and fresh; this will help give you an overall groomed appearance. Much like your facial hair, be sure to master and understand what hairstyle and length look best for you, and be sure to communicate this with your barber. Developing this kind of relationship with your barber and setting routine haircut appointments (every 4 weeks, every 6 weeks, etc), can take the hesitation away from waiting too long to get it cut.

For your hair’s health, be sure to find products that best work for you. From gel to shampoo it’s important to be receptive to how your hair reacts to different products. Certain shampoos and conditioners can cause many men’s hair follicles to become dry, so try experimenting or asking a doctor about which option may be best for you.

If you have dandruff, test out special dandruff shampoos, deep exfoliate your scalp and don’t itch your head. It’s very common among men, and it can be handled, so patience and healthy habits will help you combat it over time.

4. Manscaping is important!

A heavily debated topic among men is how to approach body hair and its removal from your body. The most important tip when it comes to this is to find the perfect trimmer and tools that work for you. Especially around the pubic area, it will be important to take extreme caution and thought when it comes time to trim up these parts of your body.

Starting with your chest, it’s best to stick to trimming rather than shaving it all or waxing because of potential irritation. Plus a clean shave can be a bold look for most, so if you are aiming to trim, go for a just a few centimeters. However, if you want a bare chest, be sure to see a professional waxer or stick to a proper shaving technique to avoid any nicks, redness or scarring.

Moving on to the back, this is arguably the most important part to mastering the perfect manscaping plan. Your back should be shaved/waxed or if you can afford it, lasered. This will notably be the toughest part of your body to groom, so exploring outside options will probably be better in this case in order to stay looking good.

In terms of shaving your pubic area, extreme caution will have to be used when trimming the hair around the area. Start by trimming your pubic area with trimmers that will cut the length but will not clean shave it all. Using shaving cream around sensitive areas is essential and shaving with the grain of your hair will prevent cuts and rashes. As it comes to pubic shaving, be careful, shave and trim as you feel is right, and don’t overthink it or try too hard.

For more tips on shaving the area check out this great guide.

5. Allow daily time for personal hygiene

In terms of hygiene, this area of grooming will take a majority of your dedication to executing faithfully, however it can also be the easiest to keep track of. For starters, many men are constantly searching for a cologne that will make them stand out. It’s definitely not a bad choice to experiment with several fragrances until you find one that sticks.

However, it’s important to remember not to go over with the top with cologne. Don’t overapply and be cautious with the amount you spray because having too much on can be just as bad as body odor.

There are tons of other ways that you can take care of yourself on a daily basis. For men, showering is a huge part of maintaining your look, however, for your own safety, try showering with warm, or even cool, water because hot showers can burn and irritate your skin. Again, find shampoo and conditioner that nurture your hair and help keep it luscious, but similarly to cologne, be sure not to use too much. Finally, regularly cutting your nails and replacing your toothbrush are easy tasks that can make a huge difference in your overall look and wellbeing.

The post 5 Grooming Tips Everyone Needs To Know appeared first on The Authentic Gay.

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Reading Time: 12 minutes

Face masks aren’t just the province of women. Men’s skin has unique needs that must be met in order to maintain the smooth, supple skin that is an indicator of overall excellent health.

Whether your skin is oily or dry, prone to acne or sensitive to the slightest environmental changes, there’s a face mask for you. If you’ve never used a face mask, that’s ok. It’s never too late to start to address the issues that are making your skin red, inflamed, uncomfortable or even downright painful.

Exploring what face masks are and what they can do for your skin is an excellent place to start. Following this discussion is a list of recommended face masks for men, which are divided into categories based upon specific skin concerns.

What Do Face Masks Do?

Most guys were brought up just using plain soap and water to clean their faces. By now, you may have discovered that hand soap or the soap you use in the shower probably isn’t the best method for cleansing the more sensitive skin on your face. That’s because these soaps tend to strip the skin of essential oils, leaving it dried out, stressed and prone to numerous common skin complaints.

In addition to using a proper face cleanser, more men are becoming interested in using face masks. Think of these treatments as being like a deep cleaning for your skin. The active ingredients in these products work their way far into your pores to remove dirt, toxins and excess sebum. At the same time, they provide your skin with necessary vitamins, minerals and hydration, all things that it needs to be healthy, supple and glowing.

Generally, face masks are formulated to meet certain needs. Before choosing one that’s right for you, you’ll need to identify the kind of skin you have.

What Is Your Skin Type?

Use this reference guide to determine your skin type so that you can choose the best face mask to suit your needs.

1. Oily skin

Men who often see a glossy sheen on their face typically have oily skin. This means that their sebaceous glands are hyperactive, producing far more sebum than is necessary. A clay-based mask that helps to absorb excess oil and control shine is a good bet for this skin type.

2. Dry skin

Does your skin flake, itch or crack easily? If so, then you may have dry skin. Your skin effectively isn’t producing enough sebum to provide adequate hydration. You probably need a mask with plenty of moisturizers to correct this issue.

3. Normal skin

This middle-of-the-road skin type is partway between oily skin and dry skin. It’s already fairly well balanced, and you can use just about any mask to deep cleanse or to provide extra hydration.

4. Combination skin

If you have some oily patches and some dry patches on your face, then you probably have combination skin. You’ll likely have to balance your approach with face masks so that you get both the oil control and the hydration that your skin needs.

5. Sensitive skin

Does your skin get irritated from shaving or changes in the climate? Maybe it reacts poorly to certain laundry detergents, and you already know that you need to be careful which cleanser you use. If so, then you need a gentle yet effective face mask that will soothe and calm the skin. Look for one that avoids moisturizers that have an alcohol base.

6. Acne-Prone skin

Men everywhere are plagued by acne well into their adulthood. With the help of ingredients like salicylic acid, a face mask can help to get this complaint under control.

Once you have identified your skin type, you’re ready to choose a face mask that will help your skin to thrive. From oil control to essential moisture, there’s a mask that’s perfectly suited to your needs.

How Often Should You Use Face Masks?

The good news is that face masks don’t have to be a part of your daily routine. Most are suitable for use on a once-a-week basis. More frequent use may even have unintended consequences for your skin. That said, there typically is no harm in using a mask twice per week, especially if your skin is particularly oily or dry.

How Do You Apply Face Masks?

Applying a mask is easy, even if you’ve never done it before. Follow these steps as a general guideline, but always remember to read the specific instructions on the packaging for the mask you are using. Those instructions may differ from these and should be followed to achieve the best results.

1. Wash your hands with soap and water

2. Use your typical facial cleanser and water to wash your face

3. Dispense a portion of the mask onto your fingers, then spread it on your face and neck, taking care to avoid the area around the eyes

4. Use the recommendations for the time limit on the packaging for your mask. Generally, you’ll leave the mask in place for between 10 and 20 minutes.

5. Relax. Try to avoid moving your face too much.

6. Use a washcloth with warm water, then use it wipe away the mask using a circular motion. You may have to rinse out the cloth occasionally.

7. Splash a bit of extra water on your face to remove any remnants of the product

8. Pat your skin dry with a clean hand towel

9. Complete your usual skin care routine with toner, moisturizer and sunscreen

How Long Do Face Masks Last?

If the jar or tube of face mask is tightly sealed and stored in a cool, dry place, it should be viable for between one and two years, with 18 months being the general rule of thumb. Of course, if the consistency of the substance changes or it becomes dry and cracked, it should be thrown away. Changes in the face mask indicate that the ingredients in it are breaking down and may irritate the skin.

Best Face Mask for Acne 1. Asarai Earth Tones Face Mask

Acne-prone skin requires special care, and that’s precisely what this product from Asarai delivers. Its ingredients smooth and detoxify the skin while also alleviating dullness. Pores are unclogged and tightened, and less inflammation is evident with regular use.

Among the active ingredients are two clays. Australian red clay rids the skin of impurities while Australian white kaolin clay boosts circulation, which helps to combat redness.

Also included in the ingredients are aloe vera juice and sunflower seed oil for soothing irritation and rainforest lime fruit extract to provide gentle exfoliation.

Users who are fighting acne swear by this product. They state that their skin feels clean and refreshed after every use and that they are seeing fewer breakouts.

Buy it here: Asarai Earth Tones Face Mask

2. Perricone MD Chlorophyll Detox Mask

This is an innovative product that features microcapsules. These tiny particles burst as they are applied to the skin, releasing a chlorophyll-rich substance that controls oil while refining pores and minimizing lines.

Regular use provides smoother, brighter skin with less prominent pores. The skin is clarified to remove excess sebum and dead skin cells.

The secret-weapon ingredient is the chlorophyll microcapsules that clean and detoxify. Toxins are drawn out and absorbed to leave skin fresh and clean. A papaya enzyme exfoliates the skin’s surface to help with cell renewal while hydration is provided by a copper complex.

Users love the lightweight, non-greasy texture and the way the mask softens the skin. Smaller pores and reduced redness are frequently listed among the benefits of this mask.

Buy it here: Perricone MD Clorophyll Detox Mask

3. TreeActiv Four-in-One Acne Treatment

The name of this product really says it all. If you’re looking for a wash, scrub, spot treatment, and of course, face mask that will eradicate your acne and soothe your inflamed skin, this is probably what you’re looking for. Inside the jar, you’ll find all-natural ingredients like kaolin clay for absorbing oil from deep inside the pores. Bentonite clay is in the formula as well. This ingredient is capable of absorbing negatively charged toxins. Moreover, it forms a barrier that prevents your skin from picking up more environmental toxins.

With natural ingredients like sugar for sloughing away dead skin cells and unclogging pores, you’re likely to see fewer breakouts when you use this product.

Users love how this formula soothes their skin while reducing redness and irritation for cleaner, healthier skin.

Buy it here: TreeActive Four-in-One Acne Treatment

Best Face Mask for Dry Skin 4. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque

This mask works all night to provide intense hydration so you wake up in the morning with soft, supple skin. All you have to do is smooth a thin layer onto your face before retiring for the night.

What makes this product particularly effective is the ingredients. Perhaps the most essential ingredient comes from the fountain plant. This all-natural extract provides an immense amount of hydration while also promoting the skin’s natural barriers to help it retain even more moisture.

Other ingredients include a glycoprotein called Antarctine that hydrates and protects skin. A desert plant extract called Imperata cylindrical, which contains massive doses of potassium, further contributes to the ultra-hydrating results.

Many fans of this mask call it an absolute life-saver. Dry, thirsty skin can be remedied overnight.

Buy it here: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque

5. WODA European Skin Care Celebrity 24 Karat Gold Mask

If your skin is in serious need of hydration and you want to enjoy an indulgent, spa-like experience, this 24-karat gold mask is ideal.

Dermatologists say that few things are better than gold when it comes to soothing inflammation. The substance even reduces lines and dark spots.

Within the formulation, you’ll find organic aloe vera. This ingredient is like a miracle for skin that’s thirsty. It’s loaded with enzymes, vitamins and minerals, all things that are essential to healthy skin.

Most of the other ingredients in this product also are aimed at hydration. Coconut oil, sunflower oil and glycerin produce radiant, younger-looking skin.

Fans of this mask say that although it contains tons of moisturizers, there’s nothing greasy or heavy about this product.

Buy it here: WODA European Skin Care Celebrity 24 Karat Gold Mask

6. Juara Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask

This product will make your skin feel amazing. It’s a cooling gel mask, so you’ll feel it working immediately. This mask is recommended for combination skin that needs protection from over-drying in hot showers.

Key ingredients in the mask include turmeric extract, which is a known skin rejuvenator, and olive leaf extract and squalane to bring extra hydration. You may even notice less visible lines with regular use.

Many people say that this product hydrates, refreshes and tones skin in one step. They also say that their skin looks brighter and feels far less dry.

Buy it here: Juara Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask

Best Face Mask for Blackheads 7. Beau Brummel for Men Charcoal Facial Mask

This product from Beau Brummel contains kaolin clay, which draws impurities out of pores. The result is cleaner skin and noticeably fewer blackheads.

Another ingredient in this formula is charcoal. Like kaolin clay, charcoal is known for its powerful effect on acne and blackheads.

As toxins and dirt are drawn out of your pores and absorbed, your skin is left feeling suppler and looking more radiant. Faces that are regularly treated to this mask feel tighter and fresher.

Men who have tried this mask say that it leaves their skin feeling refreshed and clean. Skin that was once flaky, rough and prone to breakouts is now soothed and healed. With smaller pores and fewer lines, many men wouldn’t live without this mask being part of their weekly routine.

Buy it here: Beau Brummel for Men Charcoal Facial Mask

8. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

This natural formulation relies on bamboo charcoal to target and remove substances that clog pores, causing blackheads and acne. Another powerful ingredient is white China clay, an ingredient that absorbs environmental toxins. Working in tandem with these components is Lecithin for dissolving impurities. Guys who use this mask are left with purified skin and cleansed pores.

Fans of this mask say that their skin is always left feeling clean and fresh but never too tight. Moreover, some declare that it has the power to make blackheads disappear. If your skin is prone to being dry in some spots, use this product with care as it may over-dry your skin. Consider using this as a spot treatment on blackheads instead.

Buy it here: Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

9. Kyoku For Men Lava Masque Acne Treatment For Men

This mask is a winner for your skin and your budget. Despite costing less than $10, you’ll discover that your skin is incredibly clear with regular use of this mask.

With the ingredients in this mask, you’ll get everything you need to prevent blackheads. The components provide exfoliation and deep cleansing. Among the most remarkable ingredients are the nearly 75 sea minerals, which are rejuvenating for the skin.

However, it’s the Japanese volcanic mud complex that works to eradicate blackheads. It sinks deep into the pores to get rid of harmful bacteria and other toxins. Your pores will be visibly reduced with regular use.

Many guys who have used this mask have obtained miraculous, skin-clearing results. This product even prohibits excess oil and shine.

Buy it here: Kyoku for Men Lava Masque Acne Treatment for Men

Best Face Mask for Sensitive Skin 10. Biocellulose Restorative Mask

Admittedly, this is a pricey pick. However, men who are fighting..

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

On this season of Drag Race, we’ve seen more drama than we have of previous seasons, with Queens fighting over wigs, memes, feelings, truth, lies, justice, catchphrases, photographs, social media, transphobia, racism, freepasses and flat out being annoying. What will the show choose to focus on? Will the show finally acknowledge its race problem? Will the Queens make up?

Find out below. We’ll split it up by Queen.

Soju

Oh Soju. Why didn’t you stay on Youtube? Soju’s screentime this episode is dedicated to her barely being in the show. None of the drama Soju indicated she would be bringing was shown to us at this reunion. So, that was a bit of a bust. There’s not much to say.

Kahanna

Poor Kahanna attempts the Reading Challenge with some bizarre convoluted “jokes” and terrible delivery. Not even quite “so bad, it’s good” like her mother Coco’s All Stars 2 reads… Kahanna also attempts some bizarre drama with Mercedes Iman Diamond who looks bewildered. Apparently Kahanna took mortal offence of Mercedes posting their lip sync online. Mercedes took it down on Kahanna’s request thinking it was due to time delay, but posted it again a few weeks later. We’re Team Mercedes here. Of course if you are in a tv show, it makes sense to post clips of it. Opulence, you are everything. Mercedes handles it well and just brushes it off.

Honey Davenport

Honey receives a total one second of extra time than her entire appearance on this season bringing her grand total up to four seconds of screentime.

Mercedes Iman Diamond

Aside from the random Kahanna drama, Mercedes talks about her family and how some of them have come to accept drama. It’s one of the nicer moments from the show and really shows that Mercedes deserved a lot better on the show. 

Ariel Versace

We still don’t know what Wiggate is and we still don’t care. Ariel comes off as someone who is shit stirring behind backs but cracks when actually faced with confrontation. Her segment is of minimal interest, though Ra’Jah hilariously tumbleweed-throws the missing wig back to Ariel.

Scarlet Envy

Scarlet’s segment revolves around Brooke Lynn Hytes saying some rather nasty stuff at a viewing party – namely that everyone hated Scarlet and were happy she was eliminated. Brooke apologizes that she should have not spoken for everyone but that Scarlet really was feeling her oats hard. We suspect Scarlet really was more annoying in real life than the camera showed. All viewers should be aware of how the editing can really change perspectives.

Ra’Jah D. O’Hara

Ra’Jah is this year’s Vixen which means she gets blamed for nearly everything and RuPaul tries to box her into a corner for television drama. It is not pleasant to see, but Ra’Jah handles it incredibly well when she’s basically being told she’s an evil bitch with no heart. Ra’Jah honestly talks about how she was stressed and in her own head and learnt a lot seeing herself on the show. Ra’Jah seems better adjusted and we’re happy for her. There is an odd moment where Yvie cries that Ra’Jah got personal with the insults on the cameras, despite Yvie doing so to Ra’Jah’s face. But, we’ll get to that.

Plastique Tiara

Plastique stuns in the best outfit of the night in traditional Vietnamese attire. She perhaps has the best run of the night, she grandly forgives her foes like Ra’Jah talking about how she didn’t fight back with Ra’Jah because she could see how much Ra’Jah was hurting. The issue of Plastique’s accent is addressed, but whatever the case, it’s Plastique’s life and voice, let her live it.

Shuga Cain

This season continues to gaslight us into wondering whether Shuga Cain actually exists at all. Zero screentime aside from everyone making fun of her ugly Troll look (her other amazing looks are not mentioned). Shuga’s argument moment from the promotions is not featured in this episode. Hmm…

Nina West

The show continues its love for Nina West and there’s no drama here. Nina’s rather uncomfortable tweet where she took an unconsented photo of a random Asian person on a plane and tagged it as Manila and the fanning of the flames of Silky-hate by liking everything saying she was robbed and not speaking up is a bit suspicious.

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo

#Branjie gets a fair bit of screentime. The shocking relevation being that Branjie has been over for months (we been knew) and they were playing it up for the fans. Brooke doesn’t come off well here, though not being ready to commit while your partner isn’t, is a totally valid reason for a break-up, the whole “maybe in the future” hang-up line doesn’t seem fair on Vanessa. To all you readers out there, you don’t owe yourself to anyone, but don’t let people think you might in the future and give them false hope. That’s not cool.

Silky Nutmeg Ganache

Surprisingly demure today which makes us wonder whether she was putting all the extra-ness on during the season for a top 4 free pass. She seems on good terms with Yvie, her primarily source of contention, so the drama has sort of dried up. 

A’keria C. Davenport

Ru apparently does not like A’keria who is portrayed as the secret potstirrer of the season. Though A’keria had her finger in a few of the dramas, the pinning of a lot of it on her seems a bit unfair. These girls are tired and stressed. Miscommunication and talking without thinking runs rampant.

Yvie Oddly

In a cute bathrobe number, Yvie comes off with the best edit. RuPaul bends over backwards to justify her behavior and actions throughout the series to the point where it’s a little bit ridiculous. We like Yvie’s passion and honesty, but there’s a time and place and she frequently missed the mark and further upset people who were already upset for no real reason. It’s not cute, but the show praises it while chewing out the other girl (whatever happened to reading is fundamental?).

Brooke Lynn Hytes

Our presumed winner comes off bad in her Vanjie relationship and with little else to counteract that, Brooke comes off badly in the reunion. Cool hat though.

Review

For a drama-full season, this Reunion was light. It wasn’t the emotional-exploitation-carnival of season 10 or the cutthroat calamity of season 9, it was just a bit eh. None of the really big issues were properly address like Shuga’s robbery or the show’s race issues, social media hate and so forth. But we suppose it would undermine the show to do so.

It’s one to skip on future viewings.

5/10

The post RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 Reunited: Now with Kahanna, Mercedes & Ra’Jah appeared first on The Authentic Gay.

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

Over the past three years since we launched The Authentic Gay, we have done our best to uphold our mission of inspiring LGBTQ audiences to examine what it means to live truly authentic queer lives. To us, queer authenticity means a lot of things, but to be specific, the idea for our name was born out of a psychological theory known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Without getting too heady, the basic concept is that in order to live authentically (or experience self-actualization, meaning achieving one’s true potential), humans have certain basic needs that must first be met. These are stacked up in order of priority, such that if the basic needs are not met first, fulfilling the others is not possible. The structure is as follows:

  1. Physiological needs (basic needs such as rest, water, food, and warmth)
  2. Safety needs (security, safety from immediate harm)
  3. Belongingness (need for intimate relationships and friends)
  4. Esteem (feelings of accomplishment, prestige, and notoriety)
  5. Self actualization (self-fulfillment needs, or feeling of authenticity)

The impetus for our website was founded on the basic concept that due to the way our heteronormative society makes queer people inherently feel inadequate and different, our own personal hierarchies get really fucked over. Unfortunately for many gay people who get kicked out of their house for their sexuality, this means the deficiency of the most basic need for safety, security, food, and a roof over their head. I would extend to say that even for gays who are out, proud, and self-sufficient, poor self-esteem and belongingness are still ongoing struggles that ladder back to the queer experience.

On Shame

One of my favorite books for gay men is The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs. As a psychologist and a superbly relatable writer, he discusses the internalization of shame gay men experience as a byproduct of growing up in a straight world. Throughout his analysis, he discusses the idea that gay men often mask their shame by hiding behind severely fit bodies, material success, and why gays are more prone to substance abuse problems. One basic concept he continues to return to is that by overcoming shame, gay men (and all queer people, really) can break through to authenticity and self-actualization.

Here at TAG, our mission has always been to meet our queer audiences wherever they need help within the hierarchy of needs by sharing information, sparking conversation, and trying to make them laugh. However, one of our favorite things about running a gay blog is the opportunity to partner with other organization and individuals who share our same mission. Throw in some serious laughter, creativity, and superb storytelling, and we’re sold. Enter the Shame On You podcast.

Shame On You: The Unapologetic Guide for Giving Zero Fucks

The Shame On You podcast is run by two best friends, Jordan and Brad, who decided to start a podcast about gay shame. Their mission is ingenious and genuine – to examine the shame that gay men experience across the age and ethnicity spectrum, and use humor and relatable storytelling that helps the listener contextualize and recognize their own shame. Through extreme oversharing, surprising vulnerability, and a whole lot of laughing, these two are pushing gay men toward a place where they can comfortably overcome the barriers that are holding them in patterns of perpetual shame.

But what really makes this podcast so relatable is the way in which Brad and Jordan offer a truly hilarious stream-of-consciousness narrative. They talk to each other and their guests as if the listener is their next door neighbor, going out of their way to mask the identity of people they reference in rather funny banter. While both hosts are based in Toronto, much of their conversation touches on pretty typical gay drama that could really happen in any boystown. As a listener in West Hollywood, I feel like I know every guest they introduce and every character they reference. They touch on everything from dating closeted gays and porn addiction, to interviewing exes and replaying the lifecycle of a gay relationship. At nearly every turn I’m right there with them, in full recognition that I’ve gone through similar experiences.

Momma Ben

I’m not one to start books from the beginning or TV shows with the first episode, and podcasts are no exception. I started a few episodes in with Momma Ben – a conversation with an individual the boys describe as an icon, former party monster, and mother-bear of sorts in the Toronto gay scene. But before jumping into the episode, Jordan discusses how he was propositioned on Grindr by a trans man, how he reacted to the situation, and perhaps how it could have been handled differently. The listener quickly picks up the general format of the show, with the first segment dedicated to general topics or events that have happened to either Brad or Jordan that week, and then jumping into a loosely structured interview.

Again, taking a step back to contextualize as the listener, I have no idea who Ben is. In fact, I don’t have any gay connections in Toronto. However, as Ben begins to describe his experience as a maternal figure in the Toronto gay community while touching on what it means to be an Asian man in a Caucasian-obsessed culture, I immediately realized who he represented in my own West Hollywood life.

My favorite segment is when Ben describes his first entry into gay life in Toronto, comparing it to that scene in the first episode of Queer as Folk (ironically filmed in Toronto) in which Justin experiences his first night out in boystown. He spares no detail in recounting the energy, the imagery of shirtless men gyrating and making out, and the excitement he felt to finally feel at home. Jordan immediately chimes in, adding that alongside the novelty and exhilaration of experiencing gay culture for the first time comes the feeling of overwhelm, overstimulation, and anxiety. I was immediately reminded of my first experiences going out in the Castro in San Francisco when I moved to the bay area at age 19, and taking in a severe amount of stimulation, imagery, and intensity that I had never experienced before (the readily available ecstasy likely exacerbated these sensations, but you get my point). Over and over I find myself reminded of experiences that I’ve had and continue to have that routinely get brought up in every episode. And while this recall of memory is often enjoyable, many of the discussions Jordan and Brad provoke make me reexamine my own actions, thought patterns, and have even helped me to recognize my own forms of shame that I continue to work on.

 Do You Smell Poo?

Probably my favorite episode so far, even in spite of the fact that the boys take magic mushrooms before turning on the mic. In this episode, Jordan shares a letter he once wrote for a former boyfriend, and gets rather emotional while reading. Was I at the gym while listening to this episode? Yes. Did I start tearing up while doing squats? Yes, I did. Jordan talks about years he spent on an emotional bender following the end of a significant relationship, bettering himself and his own self esteem, and then meeting the person to whom the letter is addressed. He covers what essentially sounds like the experience of falling in love again after a long period of emotional unavailability, and having that love returned for a short amount of time. And while the overarching story the letter tells is unmistakably sad, it is at the same time genuinely heartfelt, beautiful, and in many ways uplifting.

One of the things that amazes me about this podcast is the hosts’ ability to touch on serious topics and expose the most vulnerable parts of themselves, and turn around and talk about Grandpa sending nudes. I’m hooked.

Dangling by A Thread

I’m going to start by saying I’m so excited this is going to be a thing! Toward the beginning of their episode entitled Guard That Feces with Your Life, Jordan introduces a new consistent segment that is grounded in the idea that all adults are really just children who are just barely making it by, but creating the illusion that everything’s fine.

I. Can. Relate.

They then discuss their first use case of a 60-year-old man who offered Jordan a substantial amount of money for his poop (over Grindr, of course). And when Jordan refused, the man suggested that he would still pay for the specimen if Jordan simply left it somewhere for him. At this point, I’m dying of laughter. THAT’S SOMEONE’S SON, godammit!

Liiive! Werrrrrk! Give Zero Fucks!

Yes, the conversation in Shame On You often gets crude. No, the hosts aren’t tiptoeing around like politically-correct Nazis. But the tone, entertainment value, and importance of the topics they cover and the delivery they employ is captivating and addicting. I am so excited to hear what they have in store.

You can find them here:

Shame On You podcast on Apple

@shameonyoupod on Instagram

@itchyprostate on Instagram

The post Shame On You: The Unapologetic Podcast with a Mission to Eradicate Gay Shame appeared first on The Authentic Gay.

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