Richard: I have no idea where to begin with this one, so, being the Southerner that I am, I’ll kick off with a compliment: I love the color of that armchair.

That said, I don’t know what the fuck it’s doing in this room.

The biggest problem here is texture: there’s too much of it. There are lots of materials in this room, and none of them get along. It reminds me of a battle scene in Lord of the Rings, but instead of dwarves and elves and hobbits and orcs, there’s wood and brick and linoleum and another kind of linoleum. It’s quieter than in Mordor, but not by much.

Weirdest of all, this looks like a beach home. Maybe it’s the floor that’s throwing me off, or maybe it’s the fact that I can’t stop watching Spring Breakers, but I’d be willing to bet a round of Alabama Slammers that this den/living room sits within 100 yards of a peaceful, sandy shore or a really loud water park somewhere between gardening zone 9a and 10b. I’m thinking Florida, possibly St. Pete. Which leads me to wonder why the hell there’s a fireplace (or at least fireplace accouterments).

On a related note: why is there so much fake “brick”, when there’s obviously real brick in abundance? Couldn’t the owner at least let them match? And what the hell is that odd, wicker-y thing on the bench-y brick thing? It looks like a cross between a Golden Girls hanging lamp and something you’d find on a quest in Skyrim.

The saving grace is that towel on the chair. You know how it can be at the beach: once sand gets in your crevices, it’s nearly impossible to get out.

Eric: There’s never a fainting couch on the landing when you need one nowadays. I fear that I may have a terminal case of the vapors. Fetch the salts at once!

It is an oft-quoted truth that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So what the hell is going on here, people? I did not suffer through the Reagan-era Victorian revival (much less the ’97 Edwardian craze) so that I could have flashbacks lo these many years later.

Dusted rose? Seriously? What’s next, teal? Mauve? Creige? Damn every one of you public television addicts!

You must be able to exercise a careful, rigorous and educated eye when curating a home in this style. It’s easy to go under- and overboard. You’ve also got to have plenty of real to mix in with the repro, or all you’ve created is Downton Shabby.

Pussy pink is inappropriate in a home inhabited by penises, even if those penises enjoy the discreet companionship of other penises. It isn’t just stereotypical, it’s creepy. Makes me want to ask where the abatoir is, and if that headboard is stuffed not with horsehair, but human.
Go for a nice light grey. It’ll butch things up a bit, calm them down, and frame all that frippery rather nicely.

Who knows, now that Derek Jacobi is back on PBS, maybe we can skip revisiting ’90s neoclassic and go straight back to the I, Claudius original.

Aaaaaah, those were the days…..

Richard: Most of the time, we write about rooms that have spun out of control. Like that uncle who was a studly quarterback in high school but subsequently got married, had kids, moved to the suburbs, and landed a sales gig at Sansabelt, the rooms we see have typically let themselves go.

This is not that. This is the opposite of that. This room has maintained an iron grip on everything that’s ever entered it. It has never let anything go.

The occupant of this well-ordered boudoir/mancave is so obsessive about organizing that he’s forsaken his own bed so that his sprawling collection of sex toys will have someplace to lay their molded mushroom heads. He shivers at the thought of shoving these plastic pleasure pylons into anything so mundane as a drawer. He’d rather they stay exactly as they are, arranged like a pigbottom’s game of Tetris. At night, he’ll just curl up on the floor, on the pristine dog bed, because that’s what messy pups do, isn’t it? I SAID, “ISN’T IT?!”

Things are similarly grouped and arranged on the wall, the nightstand, the dresser. With all the right angles and clean lines, it’s like a French gardener’s dream, but instead of boxwood parterres, we have collections of boots and baseball caps. It’s a rare day that we call anyone on Lurid Digs neat and clean, but whoever lives here is anal-retentive in the extreme. We recommend a healthy bout of anal-expulsiveness — so long as he does it outside, like a good dog.

*

Special thanks to Abeardedboy for his appearance in this post. You can see more on his website and follow him on Twitter.
 

Richard: Remember when dick pics were something new? When, to take one, you actually had to haul out a camera (maybe even one that used film), import the shot to your laptop (maybe even a desktop), crop it, and upload it to Gay.com or Manhunt or one of three other sites that horny gays used back in The Day?

We’ve come a long way, baby.

Nowadays, taking a cock shot is as easy as cracking open your phone’s texting app, embedding a photo, and tapping send. And because it’s so easy, and because current and former lovers always seem happy to share their partners’ junk with the rest of the world, the internet is now littered with naughty selfies. If we could convert them to energy, we could power the entire state of California for a month.

Alas, we can’t, so filmmaker Antonio da Silva has done the next best thing: he’s made all those images into a movie. Styled like a flipbook, it runs from soup to nuts (we mean that pretty literally). While the images are too small to critique the decor of the rooms where they’re taken, we can still clock a few important trends, including:

  • Internet guys are buff. Seriously, there are more six-packs in this short film than at Costco the day before St. Patrick’s.
  • Internet guys are headless. Or they’re terrible at cropping. Or they don’t know how to turn off the automatic flash. (Then again, ¿por qué no los tres?)
  • Internet guys have curious taste in clothing. They shop at Lerner Plus-Plus-Plus for their gym shorts and the children’s section of J.C. Penny for their underwear. (Also: they wear underwear. Honestly, I thought we were past that.)
  • Internet guys don’t spend a lot of time getting creative with their sex pics. Apart from one or two surprising — and laudable — closeups of cornholes, da Silva’s images tend to fall in a few specific categories: lifting the shirt, over the shoulder, grabbing the dick, and so on.

But it’s still better than Godzilla.

David: I’ve never understood curtains, unless you have one of those bathtubs that are also a shower and then it’s a necessity dictated by the laws of gravity and your desire to hold on to your apartment’s security deposit by not destroying the floor.

But here, where an entire section of a room has been partitioned off — no, no, no! It triggers creepy serial killer vibrations; reminiscent of a set, say, from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre or later a film like Silence of the Lambs. It’s just not a good thing.

What’s on the other side? And why does the homeowner need to prevent a visitor from seeing what’s on the other side? These are all questions our panel of design experts struggled with and eventually gave up on. None of us wanted to actually try to guess or imagine — the worst. And can you blame us?

So dear reader, we’ll leave it to you — in the comments section below — to reveal the truith. Give us your best shot! What is behind curtain Number One?

Eric: Before you reach that certain age, there are things every gay man needs to know. Take notes. This room demonstrates how brutal the results can be if you don’t start learning and applying.

Overhead fixtures in the bedroom? Only when necessary, and only using saturated, color-correcting soft white. Assignment: research 3-point glamour lighting, rimlight with bastard amber and fill with babyass pink.

Do not rely on the blue neon illuminating your collection of undersea cuteness, creepy dolls, extra linens and assorted crap. Especially when that light is bouncing off the bedwall mirror.

Speaking of that, it’s only fair to warn your guests that objects reflected are smaller than they appear. Better yet, run a curtain across it and only open as much as needed. Overnight companions can’t sneak away if you blind them with the sunrise.

Baskets are not an endangered species.

A beach towel? Really? Spend the extra $5 and buy a dedicated skeet blanket. It will also help with your too-perky aqua sheets.
Damn right you should cover your head. By that I mean paint the ceiling.

Displaying electronica as wealth is tacky (see: baskets). There is no reason at all to build the remote control an altar.

I hope you continue to study and learn. There will be a test. It’s called your Golden (or Silver) Years, and they can be a real bear.

Richard: As bonus rooms go, this could be a lot worse.

You see, no one really knows what to do with bonus rooms. Sometimes, we turn them into offices. Sometimes, they’re sad guest bedrooms. But mostly, they’re used for storage, because all those afghans crocheted by our dearly departed Aunt Doris have to go somewhere, and that somewhere damn sure isn’t going to be on a bed.

Using a bonus room for massage seems like a great idea at first. You work long hours at the cubicle farm, and by the end of the week, your arms, legs, and other appendages crave a little oil-based love. You find a twin futon at Goodwill, pick up a few cheap towels, and — poof — you’ve got the perfect place to sprawl out and let your husband/boyfriend/Scruff hookup of questionable means go to town on your deep tissue.

But what works in theory doesn’t always work in practice. Here, the mirror is a smart move, making the space feel larger and brighter than the bleak, light-sucking hole that it truly is. And though I hate rugs on carpet, I’m willing to overlook this one — at least it matches the vaguely oriental lamp. The totes rando tchotchke collection on the far wall, though, is beyond the pale. Either those shelves are meant to display Lalique crystal oyster dishes, or they hold the finest massage oils that Marshall’s has to offer. It can’t be both.

And one other thing: if you’re the kind of guy who likes massages to end happily, for fuck’s sake, keep black lights out of the room. If CNN has taught us nothing else, it’s taught us that.




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