It's Hammer Time


by James Tuttle

Gentle reader,

Hello from the gentle winds of Palm Springs.  When I say “gentle winds,” I mean there should’ve been a fucking storm warning issued for the 92264 tonight but, otherwise, it’s been quite lovely here.  Even though the winter polo season is finished and I’m not hitting a little ball from a running horse up and down a big grassy field, I can still sit by the pool and have dinner at the Riviera Hotel with Scott and his mum.

I was on the fence about whether to write about this week’s Celebrity Apprentice or the action film Thor, which I’ve just seen at the Mary Pickford Multiplex in nearby Cathedral City.  Multiplexes and Mary Pickford seem to go together about as much as Cathedral City and me, which is to say we don’t.  The first time I remember being in Cathedral City —it was in the Target parking lot before we knew Target was chasing the gay dollar and then using it against us — I remarked how it seemed somehow different from Palm Springs.  Scott’s mum said, quite matter-of-factly, “Well, James, you know that Cathedral City is where the help lives.”  That made so much sense.

How do your nuts feel now, dude? Can you feel them at all? Hemsworth before (left) and after the Testosterone, Nandrolone Decanoate, Stanozolol, and Anastrozole, a.k.a. The Thunder Cocktail.

In the end, NeNe kind of scares me so I’m going to go with Thor.  Aren’t you glad?  I was, too, until I realized that, in a full two-hour movie, hunky Australian Chris Hemsworth only took his shirt off once.  ONCE!!  He looked great without the shirt but it was a little odd when he put it back on and you had time to focus on his hair, which was kind of jacked, and his eyelashes dyed black in a forest of blond.  As for his acting, he is pretty annoying before he gets beaten down and learns the lesson of humility.  Oh, spoiler alert!  Damn, too late.  Anyway, he’s quite genuine when he’s quiet and relaxed and we really start to feel for him.

The acting overall is quite even.  Natalie Portman is a nicely balanced character, even a bit funny at times.  The superhero types are mostly hammy and blustery but that’s to be expected.  Anthony Hopkins is amazingly restrained and human in his role, ironically, as Thor’s father, the Norse über-god Odin.  It’s the best I’ve seen from him in years.

In my eyes, director Kenneth Branagh scored the biggest coup by casting queeny Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir as Thor’s troubled brother Loki, who only does all those evil and nefarious things to win his father’s love.  He should have just gone to the gym and done a couple of cycles of steroids.  It even looks like he did his own costumes!  Wait, what’s that?  That wasn’t Johnny Weir?  Are you sure?  I could have sworn!

"I'm not gay, I just have this urge to show my tushka." Ice ballerina Johnny Weir (left) isn't really the actor who plays Loki, which in any case means "homos" in Spanglish.

A further note on the costuming:  Why do the government agents always have to wear blatantly inappropriate footwear?  These guys showed up in the dusty New Mexican desert at the site of what they believe to be a satellite crash in black Oxfords and black socks.  Do they wear hiking boots around their office building in Langely, Virginia?  I think not.

All in all, I’d recommend seeing Thor.  I’m aware of how odd that sounds coming from me but it’s a fun ride with some well-placed moments of humor and a story with some interesting twists.  The CGI is pretty fantastic, especially in Mr. Thor’s stunning home territory of Asgard, even if it looked less Norse mythology and more Flash Gordon than one would have expected.  Of course, you’ll need to suspend disbelief a bit more than usual due to some plot holes you could drive a truck through, but you just bought a ticket to a movie about a Norse god whose signature weapon is a big hammer.  I’d say it comes with the territory.

Also over these past sun-drenched days in lovely Palm Springs, I’ve experienced a sad realization about men and their swimwear choices.  They’re mostly terrible at it, especially the straight ones.  Normally, I would have given a pass because all the best designers would have been sold out by the beginning of February.  A few years ago, I wandered into Gucci to see about an amazing swimsuit I’d seen in their ad campaign.  Mark, my sales associate of many years, looked at me in surprise. “Are you kidding?  Those sold out at the trunk show.”  Do you think “trunk show” was a play on words?  Hmm.  At any rate, I should have known better.

Twinks ahoy! Don't even try these Orlebar Brown swim trunks if your waist is over 30".

Back in those days of I’ll-take-one-in-every-color, one of my clients had come in search of python jeans spotted on the runway.  When I told her that only two were being made and I could put her on the list for a hefty deposit, her boyfriend asked me, “So, since when did shopping become a blood sport?”  I had to agree.

These days, however, there are no excuses.  It’s an entirely different game after the Crash or whatever it was that made people stop spending money on important luxury goods.  I went into Louis Vuitton to check out some square-cut trunks that were featured in a Details editorial last season and they were still in stock!  In the end, I didn’t get them because they didn’t look nearly as good laying limp on the shelf as they did on that hot, skinny Brazilian guy in the wildly photoshopped magazine shoot.  Isn’t it weird how that happens over and over?

Let's face it, porn stars make the best swimsuit models. They feel they're wearing too much?

So, here are the main trends in men’s swimwear for 2011:

  • Shorter;
  • Less baggy;
  • Vintage Americana plaids.

That sounds pretty easy, right?  But when you add that you should take into consideration your height (shorter trunk for shorter people) and build (skinnier should wear baggier) it gets more complicated.  I do have some personal favorites:  Parke and Ronen make amazing swimwear for guys.  Dolce and Gabbana did some great classic square cuts this season.  On the edgier side, there’s a cool line called Rufskin that makes quite sexy swimsuits along with a little too sexy everything else.  My friend New York photographer Rick Day has been doing their sensational campaigns.  Finally, my friend Ethan Reynolds is involved an amazing new line of brief-type trunks called XWear.  If swimsuit connoisseur Ethan likes it, I’m going to give it a thumbs up, but you’d better be in damn good shape for those.

Just do me a favor and go to the gym or get lipo or whatever you need to do to make your life in a swimsuit easier.  In the end, just make sure you feel comfortable.  After all, you’re nearly naked.

And don’t forget, if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.

Much love,


Comments: 23

  • robert john taylor May 11, 201111:30 pm

    hey james,U can come up it some amazing stuff,it miracle how god is using ur thoughts to share with people,funny wisdom u say sometimes but it is so true so right about what u say and,appreciate u for everything u say and do.takecare,godbless.keep writing some awesome thoughts,interested to read sometimes.As for thor heard it was a great movie,alot of action in it.ur fan,friend,supporter,

  • James Tuttle May 11, 201111:35 pm

    Thanks, RJT, for always reading and being supportive! All the best to you.

    • Margot Montaigne May 12, 201112:03 am

      Another great article James!!
      You almost got me on the Johnny Weir bit–too funny!! I just don’t get that the actor did all those steroids and they didn’t show it off. What’s the point of that? I, too, wonder what his nuts felt like after all those injections. My guess is somewhat like too slightly overcooked lima beans.
      Enjoyed the swimsuit part, but REALLY wish you’d say something about women’s swimwear. I haven’t had a decent swimsuit since the Armani one you bought me in the 90’s for my trip to Spain!
      As always thanks once again for my #1 guilty pleasure.

      • James Tuttle May 12, 201111:24 pm

        Margot! Thank you! When/if you see the film, let me know how much you think that guy is like Johnny Weir. It’s amazing!
        We have to get you back out here and swimsuit shopping! I’ll get to women’s swim soon enough, I think.
        Thanks again, my dear!

  • oldancestor May 12, 201110:46 am

    Every time I read Tuttle I realize I should be spending more money on clothing than I do. Luckily, I’m saved by not being built like one of those waxed swimsuit models depicted above. Is there such a thing as PhotoShop: Beach Edition that I can take with me when I go for a swim?

    • James Tuttle May 12, 201111:29 pm

      You don’t have to spend a lot on clothes! You can get a perfectly good pair of trunks for $300 or $400, silly. And I don’t think one can Photoshop oneself but you can certainly track down everyone who took a picture of you and Photoshop those!

  • Jordy May 12, 201112:15 pm

    I made it in this time James. I rarely go to films these days because I have no one to go with, and don’t laugh, but the only one I’ve been anxious to see is “Something Borrowed” which is of course a chic flick, but a friend that doesn’t go in for those at all said it’s a must see. I figured I’d wait for Thor to come to pay preview since I do have the big LCD and surround, and you don’t have to groom yourself, get dressed and burn expensive gas. Oh, and you had me going with the Johnny Weir bit too! I thought to myself, no way.. you dawg!

    Swimwear, now that’s something I can always wrap my (he pauses to think) head around. Due to my age and body type, which doesn’t really fit into any known category, I go with the board short type (I’m 6’2″), and who knew, cause I sure didn’t, but I have two pairs of retro plaid, so I guess I done good? I love the Xwear Ethan’s involved with now, especially if he’s the one wearing them, but as you said, they’re not for everyone, but that style is a favorite and what I want to see on any sexy guy with a hot bod, which might be one reason I’ve fallen in love with Puerto Rico. You just don’t see many guys in the deep south that have the fashion sense or the bravery, even though there are plenty of jocks with the body for them.

    Here’s a photo taken from my condo balcony in Puerto Rico so you can see why I love it so much:

    So my comment isn’t longer than your blog I’ll end by saying, you have great taste because I’m luvin it that you picked Leo Giamani. Another well written entry worth reading James. Keep up the good work, and Thanks

  • Jordy May 12, 201112:20 pm
    • James Tuttle May 12, 201111:36 pm

      Thanks, Jordy! I love the X-wear that Ethan’s working with, too, but at 6’2″, the board short is probably a good choice for you. Just go a little above the knee and narrower these days.
      And thanks for the Puerto Rico beach photo! Great picture!

  • nrhatch May 12, 20113:46 pm

    Last time in Palm Springs, security got annoyed at me for “borrowing” a golf cart to visit some friends on the course.

    Golfers only?

    I also went for a hot air balloon ride over the desert . . . crash landing and all! Ouch!

    Haven’t decided about Thor yet. Thanks for the heads up that I shall have to suspend disbelief. ;)

    • James Tuttle May 12, 201111:42 pm

      Hi, Nancy! What’s up with security people these days? So touchy! You should have swung at them with the wine bottle you most likely had in your hand.
      I recommend Thor. I nearly said “highly recommend” but that’s going a bit far. I had fun watching it, let’s say that.
      Come back to Palm Springs soon! We will arrange for your own golf cart! And thanks for reading, my dear.

  • John Wood May 12, 20116:04 pm

    Well done, I do say.

    • James Killough May 12, 20116:12 pm

      Good to have you, John. And this is truly weird. I was just thinking about you while writing this evening’s post. You’ll see why.

      James x

    • James Tuttle May 12, 201111:42 pm

      Thank you, Mr. Wood! Lovely to have you along.

  • John Wood May 13, 20116:03 am

    The really big dick thing? I know. I’m super hung.

  • Patricia May 13, 201111:37 am

    I just liked looking at the pictures

    • James Tuttle May 13, 20118:52 pm

      Thanks, Pat! That’s how we lure the readers into our web. Thanks for always being there!

  • phillip bishop May 14, 20113:01 am

    HA JAMES….you had me at Johnny Weir !!!!!! Very clever…..Swimsuits? my new goal for next summer…LOL

    • James Tuttle May 15, 20111:28 am

      Go, PB! Of course, you’ll have to wear a swimsuit. It’s Summer!

  • John Wood May 14, 20116:09 am

    I’d tap Weir.

  • Angela May 19, 20113:55 am

    I really would not have considered Thor before reading this but absolutely shall do now. I never realised men’s swimwear was such a tricky business. I think I’d best get Mr S to read the article for some tips though have to say at 41 he looks pretty good on the beach. Maybe I will print out your words and hand them out to the much older, much rounder (with beach ball tums) chaps who walk up and down the beach in those budgie smuggler trunks whilst in Spain next month……x

    • James Tuttle May 19, 20119:42 pm

      I think you and the boys would have a great time at Thor.

      I’m sure Mr. S wouldn’t be worse for checking out a few of the new swimwear trends or, perhaps even better, you could just go shopping for him. Actually, nix that. It’s as awkward as men buying their women the lingerie they’d like to see them in.

      Ah, Spain. I know you’ll have an amazing time. I’ll try to write about Resort Wear before then, perhaps? It’s mad that I really should be writing about Autumn 2011.

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