South Africa's LGBTI newspaper since the 1980's

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Humping When A Hug Would Do

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Are you having sex when all you need is to be touched?

By Bruce J. Little


We all need to be touched. It’s well-documented that babies that were not touched and held after birth stopped developing and often died, even if they received all the nutrition that they needed. We may not be babies anymore, but we still need to be touched.

The problem is that society has somehow convinced many of us that men do not need to be touched or can’t be trusted to touch or be touched in a non-sexual way, and this has become even more complex for gay, bisexual or queer men to navigate. A man touching another man with affection has been labelled as ‘gay’ and now straight, and gay men alike suffer from this ignorant way of thinking because we are creating a society of men who are suffering from touch isolation.Mixedcouple

Homophobia has created many a society that frowns upon contact between men, for fear that this contact and intimacy could spark homosexual inclinations. This has left millions of straight men also starved for affection and intimacy from their fathers, brothers and male friends. With gay men, these interactions become even more sexually-loaded.
Touching someone means so much these days. Holding another man’s hand has a much more dramatic effect now than it did say 100 years ago. In rural areas around, South Africa it is still commonplace to see two men walking hand-in-hand, but in most urban or densely populated metro places in South Africa, this gesture has come to be seen as being synonymous with homosexuality. Holding another man’s hand means you are having sex with him. How did we get here? In a world were so many fathers are already holding back on showing their sons affection, gay boys are presumably receiving even less affirming touch from their dads.

As a gay guy, I am highly conscious of which men I touch and how I touch them, as well as super aware of the types of touch that I receive from other men. I’m very lucky. As a gay man with a fantastic relationship with my father and brother, I enjoy regular hugs and the odd hand on the back of my neck and shoulder. It means the world to me. I also have a group of gay men that I have platonic relationships with that I get to regularly embrace and spend time with intimately in a non-sexual way. The problem is that I am the exception and not the rule. A lot of men don’t have these opportunities to be touched in an affectionate platonic way.

There were times in my past where I also went for weeks without being touched by another person, and I could actually feel the lack of that intimacy. I knew that there was something significant missing from my life. It hurt, and I felt even more alone in the world.

With hookup apps as prevalent as they are these days, it’s easy to find someone in a 5 km radius to meet up for sex, but I wonder how many of these hookups are motivated by the regular need to get your rocks off, and how many are actually just triggered by a conscious or subconscious need to be touched.

Would we be as promiscuous as a community if we were touched more often?

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Men and #MeToo: What to do if it is #YouToo?

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The #MeToo movement has given survivors of sexual assault and harassment a voice to share their stories. The majority of those who have stepped forward are women, yet researchers estimate that at least one in six men have had unwanted sexual experiences, including abuse and assault, before age 18*.
“This figure is extremely concerning, yet still quite low. This is because men are less likely to disclose their experiences due to stigma, coupled with a lack of awareness around the support services available to them,” says Riaan Norval, Project Manager for Young Heroes - a campaign being run by Anova Health Institute and funded by the Elton John Aids Foundation to empower adolescent LGBTQ youth, specifically those who identify as gay or bisexual, as well as those questioning their sexuality.YoungHeroes
He continues: “According to the Human Rights Campaign, ‘as a community, LGBTQ people face higher rates of poverty, stigma and marginalisation, which put us at greater risk for sexual assault. We also face higher rates of hate-motivated violence, which can take the form of sexual assault’. This has been evidenced in a recent study - titled The Facts Behind the #MeToo Movement: A National Study on Sexual Harassment and Assault- which has revealed that 42% of men who have sex with men (MSM) have experienced physically aggressive sexual harassment, compared to 25% of straight men. In addition, 19% of MSM have suffered sexual assault, compared to 6% of straight men.”

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Mango Airlines announced as Official Partner in Mr Gay World 2018 at Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival

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The orange airline turns PINK for global contest

The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival has announced that local airline, Mango will be its official aviation partner for this year’s Mr Gay World competition. The airline is perfectly positioned to fly guests in and out the neighbouring village airport, in George on the picturesque coast of the Western Cape in South Africa. For a second time, Knysna will host the four-day long celebration enjoyed by the LGBTQ community. This is also a third opportunity for the Rainbow Nation to be the host
The festival now in its 18th year, will take place from Thursday 24 May to Sunday 27 May 2018, with the crowning moment of Mr Gay World 2018 to be held at the luxurious Villa Castollini in Knysna.
Benediction Zubane, Head of Marketing at Mango says he is excited at the prospect of hosting international delegates, contestants and judges on-board. “As an innovative airline, we are always looking for new ways to connect with our Guests. Since a lot of these travellers will be from countries around the world, we are keen to see how we compare to our global airline peers. We believe that Mango will stand out for a litany of reasons; topping the list are our various payment options, including a retail store card; as well as 20kgs of free checked baggage, and our perfectly positioned hotel and car hire partners. And above all our commitment to offering the best value for money on all our 8 routes, including Zanzibar.”

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Elska Magazine, the bi-monthly gay photography and culture publication, has travelled to Cape Town, South Africa to make its latest edition. Inside the Elska team introduces readers to fifteen local men who were photographed in their homes and throughout their city in a natural, unairbrushed style. Then each photospread is accompanied by a personal story written by each of the men to let you get to them at a most intimate level.
Each of Elska’s editions is made in a different city, and this is the first to be made in Africa. It’s a great first choice city for that great continent, as Cape Town serves as a beacon of safety and freedom for LGBTQ people throughout the region. Indeed although most of the men featured were born and bred in Cape Town, some of the men settled later, as adults, seeking a place where they could flourish, originating from places like Congo, Kenya, and Namibia, And beyond this multinational diversity, Cape Town is a very multiethnic place, blending around 50% mixed-race (‘coloured’ in local parlance), 30% black, and 20% white; this unique demography is reflected on the pages of Elska Cape Town.
ElskaCapeTown“In the beginning I worried that I wouldn’t like South Africa, that everything would be tainted with racism”, says editor and chief photographer Liam Campbell, “but after fifteen Elska editions, I knew it was time we finally went to Africa. The reality proved that things are not perfect, reiterating that it really wasn’t that long ago that apartheid ended. However there is a strong mood of hope and an effort to make a society that is fair and righteous. While you can easily see inequity in the society, you can also sense that people care for each other and want South Africa to be a better place for everyone. More than any place Elska has visited, it’s here that I saw how much we are all different and all the same.”

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Sleep your way around the world

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With our weak rand, travel, particularly international travel is a very costly pleasure. This is not so much because of the cost of the ticket, though a return trip to Cape Town in high season can cost over R4000 whereas a ticket on the same dates to Rome or Bangkok is around R7500. The bigger problem is once you are there, where are you going to stay as accommodation will cost a whole lot more? Because of this a lot of people are turning to groups like Queer Couchsurfers on Facebook, and they report that this is the way to travel. Where else can you find free places to stay when travelling around the world, or even at home in SA? You may even get a shag into the deal!Manonbed
There is which has over 10 000 hosts in 130 countries around the world, and .They arrange home swaps or sharing for the gay traveller and have 4000+ members around the world. On the homeswapping side there is ,which offers not only home swapping but also hospitality exchanges, room exchanges, house sitting, couch surfing and even vacation sharing, so you can avoid those single supplements that can make travel for single people so expensive. And has now apparently added an LGBT group to their site. Anyone out there with more info in this line, please send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can share it with others who may be interested.

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