Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Put the Lotion in the Basket

It puts the lotion on its skin...

Dear Wingman,

My boyfriend works outdoors a lot and his hands are really rough. They feel like sandpaper on my tender lady parts. I've suggested that he use my lotion but he thinks it's too girlie. I'm about to cut him off from touching me. Can you talk some sense into him?

Yikes. Well, we certainly can't have you cutting him off, and we certainly can't have him running his belt sander paws over your genitalia.

Skin care is one of those touchy (pun intended) areas where men tend to ignore the issue, figuring that only sissies use lotions or sunscreen and that rough hands are the sign of a manly man who does manly work and other manly things with his manly man's hands.....besides, chicks dig that leathery Marlboro Man look, right?

Some chicks, but not all, and half the guys who played the Marlboro Man died from lung cancer so theirs is not exactly the example we should follow.

I myself work in an industrial environment around heavy machinery and with cold, wet conditions. My hands, however, remain soft as a baby's for the most part. Of course, I wear gloves most of the time and that goes a long way to helping keep your hands from getting nasty. However, gloves aren't always able to be used, and your skin encompasses more than just your hands.

FACT: your skin is the largest organ in your body.

While my hands are soft, they do often feel dry as paper, and the rest of me can get pretty ashy in the winter. My tattoos will often look dull and faded when my skin dries out, and that, friends, is not a good look. You didn't pay good money for body art only to have it look like something you got in 1942.

If your skin is in really rough shape, especially your hands, I have a couple recommendations. Two of the best, most serious lotions out there are Carmex Healing Lotion and Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion.

Gold Bond has always been the gold standard (pun intended) for serious lotion. This stuff, however, is even thicker and, well, lotiony. And I discovered Carmex in the Army, back before they made a lotion, and found their lip balm in the white and yellow jar (and later in a squeeze tube) to be nothing short of miraculous in healing chapped lips. Now they make a lotion too.

Drawback? Both lotions can leave you feeling like you just slathered yourself in either Crisco or bear fat, especially the Gold Bond. It's THICK. It can take some effort to get it worked all into your skin and your hands are going to feel a bit greasy at first afterwards. But both lotions are great if you have seriously damaged skin.

HANDY TIP: If your hands need fixing, get a pair of plastic gloves, like food service gloves or if the lady in your life colors her hair the gloves from the hair dye box. Before bed, lotion up your hands liberally and put the gloves on. The moisture will soak into your hands and the lotion will stay off your sheets. Do this for a few days and the results will be worth it.

Now, I recommend a lighter lotion for a daily (or less frequent) moisturizer. I do it every 4 or 5 days myself. I personally recommend Malibu Tan's Hemp Moisturizer for Men. It's light, works in fast, doesn't leave a greasy film, and it smells pleasant without a lingering after-smell.

 I came across the hemp oil lotions from Malibu Tan at Walmart, and was curious. The original lotion bottle had a label that looked like the sort of woven hemp Baja pullover all the stoners wore in high school and I expected it to stink but it was pleasant. I know what pot residue smells like, and the lotion smells nothing like that. They use THC-free hemp oil, and it works rather well. In addition to the original they have several other scents like Tropical Mojito, Cherry Almond, and Acai Berry if you want to smell more like a basket of fruit. Your call, bro.

Take care of your skin, and keep your hands soft. No one wants to be touched by cactus hands tougher than a rhino's ass, and once she cuts you off and you're stuck taking care of business on your own, you'll wish you'd heeded my sage advice when you start to cheese-grate your own junk.

Who's got your back? I do.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Mojosexual Haircut

Okay…Like I said before, it’s my intention to give a few lifestyle tips to you fellas out there, guys who may be a little more high-maintenance than the average schlub but don’t want to be a priss. You guys are, like me, Mojosexuals.

I’m a blue-collar guy with white-collar sensitivities. I like to take care of myself without being a fop, and definitely without spending oodles of cash. Take the haircut for example. I think if you pay more than 15 bucks for a haircut, you should be punched in the throat for being blatantly stupid, especially if you’re finicky about your hair (like I was when I had hair) and get it cut often, and by often I mean more than once a month. Perhaps we’ll start with hair, then.

Yes, John, you're still a douchebag.

The only people who pay more than 15 bucks for a haircut are Hollyweird types and Presidential-wannabe and adulterer John Edwards, who twice let the Democratic National Convention pick up the $400 tab for his haircuts while screwing his mistress as his wife died from cancer. New York “stylist” Orlando Pita charges $800.00. I'm not sure who's a bigger assclown: him for charging that much or the twunts who pay that much for a haircut.

Two words: Throat Punch

In Manhattan, a moderately-priced snip can be $125.00, but people there tend to be narcissistic and somewhat stupid with their money. I once read where the average price of a haircut in America is $45.00, according to the Professional Beauty Association. That’s freakin’ nuts. It’s HAIR, people. It grows, you cut it, end of story. I averaged a haircut every 5 weeks or so before I started shaving it bald, which on average would mean 10 haircuts a year. If I was a dolt who paid 45 skins for every snip, that’s $450 before tips. That’s just about one haircut shy of the cost of a season-ticket package to my local hockey team., or about the same cost retail of a Walther PK380 semi-auto pistol. See? There are better things to spend your ducats on than haircuts.

Now, I’m sure than not all of you keep your hair as short as I did. By personal choice, I generally kept mine at ¼ inch on the sides and ½ inch on top, well within military regs. Personally, the easiest way to accomplish that was to lean over the sink while my Mrs. Wingman shaved my head with a set of clippers. Total cost: free.Free is always the best. Now I shave it with a good old fashioned razor, right to the skin.

However, were I to be still paying for haircuts, I would certainly not be dropping 45 skins a trim. The Mojosexual Male doesn’t frequent mall salons like The Hair Cuttery or Fantastic Sams. I have nothing against those places, but face it, the real reason that you pay that much isn’t because you’re getting some extra-special haircut. There’s the Shampoo Girl, and a buxom stylist with a succulent ass and hair teased up to the rafters selling sex as well as a haircut, figuratively not literally. Then there’s Sports Clips, preying upon the idiot male psyche by advertising that you can get a haircut while you watch sports. Please…how fucking insecure in your own manhood must you be that you require a salon full of cheerleaders cutting your hair surrounded by sports paraphernalia on the walls and mountains of TV’s playing non-stop sports? Oh, plus they do steamed towels and a neck/shoulder massage too. Gee, how much for a Happy Ending? A trim and some trim? You’re there for a 15-minute haircut, not a 4-hour football game.

Located in Denver

There are also upscale men's salons in most cities that cut your hair, do your nails, rub your neck, wax your brows, trim your beard, and leave you with blue balls just like the mall salons, but they add brass fixtures, marble floors, plush leather couches, and Playboy Magazine in the waiting area. More like a Mad Men board room than a barber shop. In downtown Charleston, located inside one of the priciest pieces of real estate in the city on Vendue Range, we have Gent's Barber Spa.  There's a chain in other cities called American Male Salons. Sure, we're borderline high-maintenance, we Mojo Men, but the idea is to look good without pissing away the fundage or coming off as a misogynistic stereotype.

You’re getting a haircut, not getting your coif styled. No bangs, no feathers and wings, and sure as hell no mullets. Look in the phone book and find a good, old-fashioned barber shop, full of old-school professionals who were cutting hair when you were a tadpole. There’s a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from a conversation with a barber while you’re in the chair, kinda like a bartender but safe to drive home afterwards. For ten bucks, my last barber shop gave me a cut, razor-trimmed my neck, and put a little tee-tree oil on my scalp, all in under fifteen minutes.

Look, you don’t need some chick washing your hair before it gets cut. Wash it yourself, snapperhead. You’re paying for a haircut, not a feel-up with bewbz in your face. Go buy a lap-dance, you desperate perv. And if it’s still so long after being cut that it requires blow-drying afterwards, then you didn’t get it cut. Try again, Fabio.

As far as taking care of your hair goes, short Mojo hair requires very little maintenance other than a decent shampoo. I suggest using something with a built-in conditioner, but should you require the occasional extra dose of conditioner, Fructis makes a really good one that comes in what looks like a wee green baseball, called Fortifying Deep Conditioner. The shampoo line from AXE is really good.

Do I have suggestions for hair gels and goops and other such nonsense? Not really, since Mojosexual Males aren’t THAT high-maintenance, and my hair hasn’t been long enough to gel in about 10 years anyways. However, if you insist on spiking up whatever hair you have left after a manly inexpensive haircut, try Bedhead Manipulator, Abba Forming Polish, or Loreal Crystal Wax.The line of hair products from AXE work well, too. Back when I had hair I experimented with some trial sized samples and found them quite good.

Maintaining a good haircut shouldn’t break the bank. There’s more intelligent things to spend your dough on and you don’t wanna look like you just stepped out of a Winger video from 1990. That's not a good thing.

Who's got your back? I do.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Always Use Protection

As a kid, the notion of a cell phone or tablet computer was science fiction for me. It was the 1970s, and telephones were attached to the wall or sat on the table, had a cord and a corded handset, used a crappy bell as a ringer, and had a rotary dial instead of push buttons.And if you had to make a call while you were mobile, you hunted down a phone booth. Never seen a phone booth or payphone? Google it.

Now we take our phones everywhere we go and they do everything our desktop/laptop PC's can do, plus take pictures & movies...and they even make phone calls too. My iPhone has more technology in a box the size of a pack of smokes than what sent man to the moon the year I was born.

The cell phones of just a few years ago were, in my opinion, less fragile & more rugged than the shiny glass wonders we carry now. Back then, a phone case wasn't so much for protecting your phone but more rather a means of conveyance, something that attached to your belt or pocket and carried your phone till you needed it. Then along came the rubber sleeves for Blackberry and RAZR phones which offered a modicum of protection as they collected lint and got caught in your pocket. Belt clips, which broke non-stop, and faux leather pouches became passe, going the way of the fanny pack, and we just shoved our unprotected phones in our pockets again.

The game changed completely when the iPhones hit the stores. Yeah, they could do magical things but if you looked at them too hard they'd shatter and you were out five bills. Thusly, it has become necessary for a cocoon to protect your pretty toy.

The new redesigned RAZR/RAZR Maxx is pretty robust with its Kevlar and Gorilla Glass, but I'd still want to cover it. And there's no way I would ever even consider leaving an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy naked to the elements. Same with an iPad or a similar tablet. You've got better things to do with your hard-earned ducats than to waste them replacing your electronics.

Ooops...iPad fell down & went BOOM

So unless you have an unlimited supply of money to replace broken phones and tablets you're gonna need a cover/case. There are tons of them out there, mostly decorative and offering little in the way of true protection from the elements. And then you have what I call The Big Three.

The King of the Cases, the biggest name out there and the one most people seem to lean towards, is OtterBox. They were the first true protective cases I ever saw for smartphones, and they come in a wide variety of styles. Some look to be more stylish than protective but even the lowest rung on the OtterBox ladder gives a decent measure of protection from your clumsiness. I personally have never owned an OtterBox but Mrs. Wingman has had a plethora (she goes through phone cases like she goes through handbags) and swears by them. The Commuter series of cases is stylish while the Defender series is more burly.

OtterBox Defender case

OtterBox case for an iPad

Another good choice is Incipio. I tend to feel their cases lean more towards the stylish but a couple of them have a really neat feature; internal storage. Say you're headed out for an activity where you may not want to carry your full wallet, like fishing or a day at the beach, or maybe chillin' poolside. Or, in a big frikkin' crowd like Mardi Gras or a packed football stadium where you have a genuine chance of getting your pocket picked...Carry your phone in your FRONT pants pocket where a pickpocket has a much harder chance of lifting your goods, and if you have an Incipio case, you can piggyback your license, a credit card, and a few bucks inside it. They have two models, the Stowaway and the Stashback, that have flip-open compartments that covertly carry your bare essentials. Of course, Mrs. Wingman has a Stowaway, which she'll use in lieu of carrying one of her myriad handbags when we hit a hockey game or similar crowded event.

The Incipio Stowaway

The Incipio Stashback

As for me, I'm particularly hard on phones. I've replaced phones due to dumbness like dropping it next to the car in a pouring rainstorm and then running it over. I work in an industrial environment and had a phone fall out of my pocket and end up drowned in a puddle of hydraulic fluid, water, and other nastiness. Now that carry a glass wonder iPhone I have it firmly ensconced in a Griffin Survivor, which I purposely picked because it was tested by both the UK and US military and has actual MILSPEC numbers.

One seriously badass phone case.

A hard shatter-resistant polycarbonate frame, silicone shock absorber sleeve, built-in screen protector, and a belt clip.

Yes, they make them for iPads too.
Yes, it's chunky and a bit bulky. Yeah, it's hard sometimes to get it in and out of a pants pocket. The flap over the camera lens is a bitch. The belt clip is prone to snapping off which is why I stopped using it. But my precious glass iPhone has survived a drop into another shallow puddle of nasty after falling to the concrete, and survived a more than five foot drop off an inside loading dock to the concrete outside the building with no damage to either the cover or more importantly the phone. And THAT is why I use the Griffin Survivor.

Sure, if you're smart your phone has insurance from your carrier that's tacked onto your bill every month but the deductible on a super-phone is higher than that of the cheap-assed LG you used to carry three years ago. And then they'll probably send you a refurbished phone that someone else effed up first and sent back, so chances are your replacement phone will suck. Skip the hassles. Skip the higher cost. Invest in your investment and use protection. You'll thank me later.

Who's got your back? I do.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The MojoSexual Male Defined

This is not my first attempt at a blog for doling out advice to guys. I tried it unsuccessfully once before as a series on my other blog site but it garnered no real interest at the time and I just let it die. Here I am, six years later and six years wiser (or jaded if you will) and I decided to kick the can one more time.

Here is the resurrection of that original blog post from July of 2007...

About 4 years ago, after I kicked everyone’s ass in a game of Battle of the Sexes, my cousin’s boyfriend (now her husband) joked to me that I was “one sexual preference away from being a raging homosexual”. I wasn’t offended and took the comment in the spirit in which it was intended. I knew what he meant.

I’m an avowed, strict, devout heterosexual. Of that there’s never been a doubt in my mind. But there are a lot of habits and mannerisms I have that over the years have caused others to kinda wonder at times. I’m a little high-maintenance about my grooming and clothes at times. I like to shop, I’m a good cook on an eclectic experimental level and I watch FoodTV, I never played any sports in school, I don’t really like strip clubs, I know a bit about wines, I own a kilt, and as they said in the film Steel Magnolias, all gay men have track lighting and all gay men are named Mark, Rick, or Steve. Well…..I don’t have track lighting but I do like it, and we already know my name.

But then you look into my music collection. I’ve always been a huge fan of synth-pop and club music, basically the average playlist at most gay clubs. Bands like Erasure, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Morrissey, and The Cure don’t exactly conjure up images of manly hunters and Viking warriors. It gets especially bad when I start singing along to ABBA.

A couple years ago there was a term bandied about that was pretty trendy, the word “metrosexual”. Metrosexual is a word describing men who have a strong concern for their aesthetic appearance, and spend a substantial amount of time and money on their images and lifestyles. In an article at, writer Mark Simpson stated "The typical metrosexual is a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis – because that's where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are."

I looked at being “metro” as an interesting nomenclature. Straight guys in touch with the finer aesthetics in life, as opposed to knuckle-dragging uber-male assholes in tattered jeans & flip flops and their douchebag sidekicks. But there were just a few snags…

It’s hard to be a self-absorbed Metro when you’re: A) Not self-absorbed, and B) not possessing an unlimited supply of disposable income to pamper one’s self with. Instead, I offer you, the Modern Man of the Millennium, a new and improved social label with which to grace yourself. If you’re between 21 and 45, concerned about being stylish without looking like a total foppish douchebag, and want to take care of yourself without breaking the bank or seeming like Richard Simmons, I have your new label. Doesn’t matter whether you’re straight, bi, gay, or like to self-gratify using pats of nootrishus butter, I have your label. You, my friend, are the Mojosexual Male.

The Mojosexual is a guy who has flair without being ostentatious, is well-read and able to acclimate to any social situation, and takes care of himself without busting the bank. A Mojosexual Male looks good without looking high-maintenance, and more importantly, without truly acting or being high maintenance. Being labeled Metro died a couple years ago after Queer Eye For The Straight Guy crapped out and the newness of the word faded. The Mojosexual is a classically modern Renaissance Man unconcerned about trendy crap.

In homage to Glenn O’Brien, The Style Guy for GQ Magazine, I want to extend my services to my loyal readers. In the coming weeks I’ll teach you, my Mojo Minions, with tips on how to take care of your skin, how to shave without looking like you were raped by a cheese grater, how to tame that mop you call hair, how to accessorize your wardrobe on a working man’s budget, maybe learn ya’ a bit about wine and good food, and answer any style questions you might have. Feel free to email any lifestyle questions to me at . The Mojosexual Males demand to be heard, and I’m listening.