RobHeartsDH
February 1, 2012
Category: Wellness

We talk about hair on here quite a bit. And with good reason, as men we're either finding it in new places or losing it in others. As a hairy Hungarian/Russian mix, I've been dealing with my hairy roots since puberty. It wasn't until later on in high school when the pride I felt for being hairy in all the right places, quickly shifted to embarrassment. You see the hair I had come to know and love began to creep it's way down my back. To me this was something I could never be proud of, so from that point on I Naired, Shaved, Waxed and Veeted my back to baby bottom smoothness.

But as I've gotten older I've started to care less about manscaping, and handled my hirsuteness with a more hands off approach. For one, I've embraced the bear in me and come to accept that a heavily haired body is a beautiful one. Mostly though, I'm lazy. The upkeep on my facial hair alone was enough for me to accept a beard as an extension of my body. As for my back, the sizable difference in surface area and the fact that it's hard to reach, see, and treat it's just about enough for me to give up on it all together. At least in the Winter. When Summer comes, I usually rely on the kindness of other to help me keep it under control.

Of all the men, both friends and lovers, I've come across, most I know end up shaving, waxing, (or if they can afford it) get laser treatment. The latter of which I hope to someday partake in. I've seen the results and it seems like a hairless breeze. But then there a few men who fully embrace their hairy back. And I have to wonder, with chest hair coming...

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RobHeartsDH
January 3, 2012
Category: Wellness

The world's going to end this year. That's how I've chosen to live my life in 2012. So what if the Mayan calendar is a bunch of hooey? Wouldn't all our lives be richer if we really did live this year like it's our last on this earth? Think of all the things we could accomplish if we had a deadly fire lit under our asses? The positivity surrounding this year already seems to be overwhelming if Facebook and Twitter posts are any indication. So no more putting things off, no more taking my time to think about the outcome, it's time to do all the thing I always said I would and not fear what lies ahead. I want to be clear though, I'm not saying be reckless. There's a big difference between fearlessness and recklessness, but I just think it would benefit us all to take the time that we have and make things count.

Here's to the best year of our lives!

What are your goals for this year? If you write them in the comments below, they might be harder to ignore. I may even check in on you and see how things are going.

RobHeartsDH
December 21, 2011
Category: Wellness
christmas list

As I've gotten older my holiday wish list has slowly shifted from the material to the spiritual. I remember looking forward to the must have gifts during Chanukah and having a list of wants that far surpassed the standard 8 days of gifts. But as I've gotten older, there's not really many things I need to have, or rather, not many things I would want people to buy for me. Maybe it's because if there's something that I really want, I can get it myself, but I'd like to think that getting older has made me more about the gift of self improvement. And especially at the holiday time, I like to recognize the things I'm most thankful for.

This is not to say that I wouldn't love a new computer or 7 new pairs of jeans, a new winter coat, the $600 sweater I saw at Ralph Lauren, and fun new underwear. I still want all those things, but in a weird way, putting things like health and happiness on my list seem more realistic to me. Finding true love, that's on the list too, but whether that come this holiday season or the next, making myself good and ready for it is probably the best gift of all in the long run.

But you tell me fellas, as you've gotten older, have the things you've wanted most in life been more or less material?

Billy Kolber
November 10, 2011
Category: Wellness

No, I’m not talking about the Twilight series. I’m talking about the trickle of electricity that our cell phone chargers, televisions and other electronics continue to draw when they’re turned off, but still plugged in. Did you know it constitutes 5-22% of America’s total electricity usage? I’ve started using a Belkin Conserve Energy Saving Power Strip to fully power-down my media center when I’m not home. (It even has a remote control, so I don’t even have to get down on my knees or reach around to flip the switch.) I’ve shared a lot of green living tips on BillyKnowsBest.com, check them out and share some of yours in the comments below.

RobHeartsDH
September 14, 2011
Category: Wellness

No one wants to die alone. To think that we won't be surrounded by friends or family in our last years, days, or minutes, is a pretty unsettling thought for most. But for many elderly gays, this is exactly what they experience. With partners passing before them, little to no familial contact, and in a nursing home where friends are scarce, the fate of our gay golden years doesn't sound so heavenly. The New York Times posted a piece by gay geriatrician, Manuel A. Eskildsen, about a patient of his, a gay man in his late 90s, who recently passed away. For this man's generation, and to a degree the generations surrounding him, the luxury of coming out and leading a full, rich gay life was never really an option.

We've talked about growing older as a gay man on here before, but it's something that isn't really top of the list for many. What would be great is if there was a way for these older gentlemen to connect to each other, or better yet for us younger and able gentlemen to seek them out and visit when possible. But as Dr. Eskildsen notes, "The task is complicated by the fact that these men and women may be all but invisible to us. Even people who were able to come out may find themselves retreating into the closet when they are forced to move into...

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RobHeartsDH
August 12, 2011
Category: Wellness

There I was standing out on the balcony of the Belvedere hotel looking out onto a gorgeous Fire Island morning on the bay. Freshly showered and with my towel wrapped around my waist, I surveyed the scene around me, dropped my towel to my ankles and raised my hands to the sky. I was having my very own naked Evita moment and it was magical.

Fire Island has always had a very special place in my heart, but it's only been recently and with much reflection that I've realized how much I truly love the freedom that the island brings. In years past I've always stayed in the Pines, but through my roommates suggestion I decided to give Cherry Grove a try, specifically a lovely hotel called the Belvedere. I had heard stories through my roommate about the Belv and seen pictures of it's Venetian interiors in books, but the clothing optional hotel was even more exciting to see in person. It's been around for over 50 years, though recently renovated, and it's unlike any other structure on the island with plenty of charm to spare. The real excitement, though, lies in the simple fact that at any point in the day or night, you can roam around in all your naked glory. And while that may not be for everybody, there's a thrill that comes with being uninhibited in the presence of other men and allowing some of your voyeuristic/exhibitionist fantasies come to life.

I was doubly impressed with how friendly everyone at the hotel was - staff and guests alike. Even in Cherry Grove, which, for visual reference, is like a...

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RobHeartsDH
August 3, 2011
Category: Wellness

Several weeks ago I shared a revelation with a friend: that one day in the future, I won't have a beard. He asked me why not, and I told him that I couldn't have a beard forever. Since graduating high school I've had varying styles of facial hair ranging from finely groomed stubble to a poorly formed goatee. For me, having facial hair was born mostly out of laziness and an abhorrence for shaving. I suppose my Russian and Hungarian genes played a part in this as well, given that my family is made up of mostly hirsute men. When I'd begun experimenting with beard lengths a few years back, it seems I unknowingly entered into what some people are calling a "Postmillennial He-Man Beard Epoch." The writer in the aforelinked article worries about the trendiness of beards and thinks the death knell may be right around the corner. This frightens me for many reasons, the most pressing being, it's gotten to the point where I dislike the way I look without a beard. I've felt nakedly boyish the few times I've had to clean shave it these last few years and it's not something I particularly enjoy. Of course, it's all fleeting and it grows back, but one day it might have to be a full time thing.

I think for me it's less about being on trend or off, and more about the flexibility to change up my look every few years. That was never a problem before, but as my hairline recedes and the hair itself thins, there'll be less and less to work with...

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Billy Kolber
July 28, 2011
Category: Wellness

If living green were easy, everyone would do it. (Reminds me of that old ad Cher did for some gym chain – saying something like “if a good body came in a bottle, everyone would have one.” Could that have been a catalyst for the steroidal Gay ‘90s? Hmm. I digress...) Yes, living green can be difficult and not always pleasant. But if there were some easy things you could do that didn’t cost much, offered a significant reduction in your carbon impact, and didn’t impinge on your comfort… Wouldn’t you? Shouldn’t you? Here’s my list of five this summer:

1. Use solar power to dry your clothes.
It’s summer. The sun is shining. In huge parts of the US, it’s been like an oven outside. And while it may be amusing to cook an egg on the sidewalk, it’s not going to replace your stove. But a simple clothesline can replace your dryer. There’s video of me hanging laundry on mine at BillyKnowsBest (slightly more interesting than watching paint dry).

2. Get a programmable thermostat.
Personally, I don’t really like air conditioning, and I avoid it as much as possible. And I’m not going to judge you for how low you set your thermostat. But there’s an easy way to save while you’re at work (or a sleep over) and still have your home cool when you get home. Buy a programmable thermostat and you reduce your a/c bill two ways: Preset times to raise and lower your home’s temperature every day of the week (if you’re chronologically...

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RobHeartsDH
June 10, 2011
Category: Wellness

Nudity is in folks. Not that it was ever out, but it seems like naked outings are certainly gaining traction around the world. Today alone I've come across two articles about nudist activities: one toting nude hiking and the other nude biking. Add to that the nude beaches of Spain that I encountered last week and it's coming at me from all ends. Nude bathing has been around since forever, but these other, more sporty nudist options seem to be new and getting noticed.

With gay hiking becoming an exciting and popular adventure in Germany, Switzerland is now in the process of getting it approved by their Supreme Court. World Naked Bike Ride (which is this weekend in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere Northern Hemisphere for those who have their birthday suits and bikes ready), has cities from all over the world participating. I'm not sure either activity would be particular comfortable what with all the plants and bugs and bike seats up in your junk, but whether you like look or like to flaunt, there's something pretty exciting about this nekkid outdoorsy fun. With public nudity being so unfortunately alarming in our day to day lives, it's kind of refreshing to know that people are shedding their clothes and inhibitions in new and exciting ways.

What say you on the public and active nudity front? Do you wish there were more...

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RobHeartsDH
March 17, 2011
Category: Wellness
japan

It being St. Patrick's Day and all, it got me thinking about luck. Whether we realize it or not most of us out there are pretty lucky. So much so that we often take the lives we lead for granted. And in an effort to sober you up on this boozy holiday, I thought it best to get real for a moment and turn our attention to some of the work and charities that need our support and donations in Japan right now.

There's quite a few to navigate through, but The Chronicles of Philanthropy has a pretty thorough round up of all the charities out there, including a descriptor for each so know exactly where your money is going.

And as always, the Red Cross is accepting donation via text message. Just text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10. Super easy and then you've done your good deed.

I know many of you have probably already donated, but the more news we read the worse it seems to get over there, so double up on your donations if you're feeling generous. And if you haven't already consider this your reminder. Don't make me post a picture of abandoned puppy dogs that need saving, cause I will.

Help Japan Poster by Zac Neulieb: $22.50 printed on semi-gloss photo paper, 100% donated.