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.
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:
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.
Richard: Technically speaking, beige is a color. Then again, technically speaking, sweatpants are acceptable attire in casual situations, so fuck “technically speaking”.
The problem with beige is that it’s now 2014, and none of us are building and selling spec houses, where dullness and monotony are de rigeur. So, forget what the assholes on HGTV tell you about creating a neutral backdrop for your tablescape, mancave, or other word they’ve created for things that already exist. Remember: there’s a reason Shelby Eatenton Latcherie never said “Beige is my signature color“. If beige is your signature color, please turn to the person on your right and wake her up, because I guarantee you have put that bitch to sleep.
Even if you didn’t sense all that — even if you’d landed here from Kepler-186f and didn’t know a thing about Motifs of Western Decor — I know in my blackest little heart of hearts that you would take one look at this photo and crave a double espresso. The bedspread decked out in the world’s saddest rainbow of taupe, ecru, beige, and sand; the pillows that magically match the microfiber headboard and the painted wall: this is what the inside of a Xanax looks like.
And FWIW, I was going to give this one a pass, assuming that it was some second-tier W Hotel flophouse on the outskirts of Elizabeth, New Jersey, but then I saw that caricature, and I knew this was someone’s personal living space. When a caricature is the most interesting thing in your bedroom, you’ve got no reason to get out of bed.
Eric: Listen to your dearest daddy or you will get a spanking. And not the good kind. Those gabardine slacks are gabar-done. Disappear them and the obscenity they rode in on.
There are a few solid pieces here to work with. The dresser and clock are not bad, but they’re beaten into submission by the crap surrounding them. Is that a dildo and a beercan hiding amongst all that clutter? I shoulda known you’d know where to hide the toys and the booze. If Uncle William Haines were still alive he would backhand your face. I’ll wait while you google him.
Clean up this mess! How? Figure it out. I’ll get you started:
Those mismatched fabrics cry out like an ungrateful stepchild. Coordinate. Do not try to sneak in those hats and quasi-southwest ’80s fabrics. This ain’t my first time at the rodeo. Tear down that bitch of a wallhanging and put a coat of beige where one ought to be.
And remember, I’m older and gayer and snarkier than you are and I will always win.