25 Great Gay Sex Scenes Saga – Movie #13: Ciao (2008)

Ciao Cover Image

Title: Ciao


Adam Neal Smith… Jeff

Alessandro Calza… Andrea

Director: Yen Tan

The Backlot Rating:

Hotness – 10

Romance – 10

WTFactor – 0

Note: I’d like to point out that this movie officially takes us over the halfway point in our saga.

I’m going to start right off the bat by saying that I adored this movie. Ciao tells the story of two men who meet under tragic circumstances. When his best friend from college, Mark, dies in a car accident, Jeff learns of a secret online relationship that Mark had been having with an Italian named Andrea (the name “Andrew” in Italian). Though initially surprised at the discovery, and possibly a little hurt that Mark had kept it from him, Jeff decides to invite Andrea to keep a visit that both Andrea and Jeff had agreed upon previously. Though Jeff and Andrea only intended to bond over Mark during this trip, feelings develop between the two of them during the two-day visit.

My only real criticism of this movie is the admittance that the acting, though overall decent and endearing, unfortunately fell short of spectacular. It would, by no means, be fair to describe it as mediocre, but there were definitely moments of flat line delivery. I suppose it also didn’t help that certain areas of the script were a bit on the shaky side. It wasn’t so bad, however, that it detracted very much from the film in any significant way. The movie was also quite slow-paced, which I understand is something of a frustration to some people, but I quite enjoyed the pacing, as I felt it ultimately added to the build-up of emotion.

In the matter of emotion, Ciao delivered. Adam Neil Smith did an amazing job with his powerfully believable portrayal of grief. One of the aspects of this movie with which I was most impressed was the fact that, although we were spared witnessing the actual death of Mark, there was such a profound depiction of mourning by Jeff and Andrea that it was easy for us to feel it ourselves. The content of this movie was remarkably sensitive, as it dealt with a complex intermingling of love and romance. However, it was handled so beautifully that we end up rooting for Jeff and Andrea (who effectively really should only be together to mourn a mutual loved one) to wind up together.

I love the fact that this movie was on the list. The Backlot admits that there is no actual sex scene in this movie, despite the title of the list, but the kiss depicted was so long and passionate that it made up for it – and I definitely agree. Regardless, it was a lovely story that (despite its slight flaws in execution) should be enjoyed by all of us. You know what comes next…

Show me the GIFs, dammit!

Presenting the Official “50 Shades of Grey” Trailer


You know, despite everyone constantly making the comparison between Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight and Meyer’s stalker superfan E.L James’ 50 Shades of Grey, I’d never really understood it before. Looking at this trailer, though, I was half expecting Taylor Lautner a pack of werewolves to burst onto the scene at any moment.

The highly anticipated 50 Shades of Grey comes out next year, and the first official trailer has been released. Because it would be far too easy to point out how awful this story looks, I’m electing to focus on the positives.

Positive #1: this two and a half minute trailer looked far more appealing to me than the 2 paragraphs that I’ve read of the books.

Positive #2: Jamie Dornan and Dakatoa Johnson both look beautiful! There’s been so much vapid controversy surrounding the beauty (or lack, thereof) of the chosen cast, that I have no idea what the 50 Shades fans think at this point. There was a shit ton of superficial criticism that Charlie Dunnam was “too ugly” (in what Universe?!?!), that Dakota Johnson wasn’t “pretty enough” (get over yourselves), and that Jamie Dornan wasn’t Matt Bomer (Jamie Dornan’s goergeousness aside, though, I can’t fault anyone for that criticism). All this being said, I certainly hope that this could be put to rest now, because both Dornan and Johnson look pretty much like what I’m assuming they were meant to look like – young, pretty, and with bodies that won’t cause a moronic Lena Dunham-esque uproar. While there’s nothing wrong with appreciating the beauty of others, I pray for the day when we, as a society, aren’t so hung up on physical appearances.


Positive #3: The majority of the descriptions that I’ve read of the 50 Shades series lie somewhere in the vicinity of “filth”, “trash”, “porn”… you get the point. I’ve never read an entire page of the series, let alone an entire book, so I won’t pretend to be a qualified critique of this aspect. However, the movie’s producers have announced previously that they’d chosen to make it less risqué, and classen it up a bit. If they were successful, I think that they have a wonderful opportunity to educate a lot of people about a rarely spoken-of sexual community: BDSM. I don’t know a whole lot about the BDSM scene, but I’ve done enough reading over the years to believe that I have a fairly good working knowledge of it. Very many people, however, do not, and that’s because there’s this hush-hush taboo surrounding the topic. I’ve spoken more than once before about our society’s continual desire to eliminate any sexual practices which aren’t confined to the orthodox sphere of “normal”. I think that, considering all the buzz surrounding this movie, whether or not it is a critical success, there’s quite a good opportunity to showcase a sexual preference (no, I don’t mean orientation) that is very much alive, and apparently very much enjoyed in equal measure by both partners.

I Think I’m Obsessed With MAGIC!


I’m a big music fan, and even though I can’t sing a tune to save my life, that doesn’t stop me from belting along to my favourite songs for hours on end. I also usually scour the top 40 singles charts every few weeks to see if there’s any new song which might appeal to me. This is why I’m so stunned to realise that “Rude” by MAGIC! flew right under my radar. And, really, the only reason that I found out about it right now is because it’s now the number one song on the US charts, knocking Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” from the top spot after having spent a record 8 weeks there. It had to be quite a song to accomplish such a feat, so naturally I went off to YouTube to have a listen. By the end of the first chorus, I completely understood.


MAGIC! is a Canadian reggae fusion band that does an amazing job of combining a distinct reggae sound with unmistakeable elements of alternative rock. Creator and lead singer of the band, Nasri Atweh has apparently been on the music scene for a while, writing songs for some huge-name artists. He’s even had a few hits back in Canada, though evidently not big enough to garner the global recognition that he has now. It just goes to show you how one big break can change everything.

MAGIC!’s debut album, Don’t Kill the Magic, is out on iTunes, and you best believe that I wasted less than zero time in getting it. Every time I get a new album, there’s always this fear that only a couple of songs are going to be tolerable and the rest will suck major balls. Lemme tell you – not only is this not the case with Don’t Kill the Magic, I love every single song on the album. Obsession I tell you… I already feel it creeping up on me. I’m pretty interested to see what happens in this band’s future. Nasri is, undoubtedly, a triple threat – he’s an amazing songwriter, he sings beautifully, and let’s admit it… he’s got some sweet, sick-ass dance moves!


Bisexuality Doubles the Opportunity for Love, but Does it Also Double the Desire for Promiscuity?

Bisexual Symbol

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Anna Paquin lately. Yes, True Blood is always on my mind nowadays, that’s a given. But I’ve been thinking about Anna Paquin specifically – or rather, I’ve been thinking about recent comments that she’s made.

Since spontaneously coming out as bisexual in an unscripted move on video in 2010, Anna Paquin hasn’t been shy about expressing her pride. Speaking to HuffPost Live recently, Anna said,

“There’s people that are going to go to their grave thinking what they think about the LGBT community. That’s their problem not mine.”

One million times, this!!! If I could reach through my computer screen and high-five this amazing blonde mass of awesomeness, I’d do it til I lost all feeling in my hand. I think this resonated so deeply with me because I’ve been thinking something along this line for several months now. While I used to be so affected by the words and actions of homophobes, I’ve been finding myself caring less and less in rapid decline these days. However, the point of this post has more to do with what Anna continued to say.

“And there’s people that think that monogamy and bisexuality are mutually exclusive. Again, their problem not mine.”

Ah, bisexuality, the double-edged sword of the LGBT letter spectrum. Lesbians, gays and transgenders all get shit from the straight world. Switch on your television or log onto your computer and you’ll find a never-ending parade of homophobia and transphobia. For the most part, though – particularly within the LGBT community – there’s a sense of support and community for each other. Note that I said “for the most part”, because I’m all too aware that this isn’t always the case. However, it’s absolutely incredible to realise that bisexuals get shit thrown their way, not only from hateful heterosexuals, but right from within the LGBT community! Did you know that in this day and age, there are still people – gay and straight – who believe that bisexuality doesn’t really exist? Some of the most popular hate thrown at bisexuals include:

-          Bisexuality is just a cover up for those people who don’t want to admit that they’re gay

-          Bisexuals are sexually insatiable perverts who just want to have sex with anyone

-          Bisexuals just don’t know which side to pick so they “double dip”, and it’s disgusting

I just… I don’t know how to deal with this level of ignorance. I admit that when I was a lot younger – probably in my early teenage years – there was a time when I absolutely loathed bisexuals. After all, here I was, scared that I’d always be in the closet, afraid and unhappy because I could never love someone from the opposite sex like the whole world thought I should, and bisexuals were parading around, pretending that they understood this same struggle, when they could choose to be with someone from the opposite sex and live happily ever after. It took a bit of growing up on my part to realise how stupid I was being but, by the time I first came out to my family at 17, I had long shed this narrow-minded perception of bisexuals.

Just like homosexuals, the vast majority of bisexuals struggle at some point or another with their sexuality. A pretty good argument could even be made that it’s more difficult for them than it is for someone who’s gay. Wait, hear me out! While a sixteen year old lesbian might be struggling with the fact that she is in no way sexually attracted to any of the guys at her school, her realisation that she is exclusively into the females around her probably makes it easier for her to understand that she is gay. On the other hand, a young bisexual male who has always been and continues to be sexually attracted to girls, just like all his other friends are, will no doubt start freaking the hell out when feelings for other boys start developing. In this case, he cannot accept that he is gay, because Playboy still gives him a raging hard on, but he’d no doubt feel like a freak or pervert when the sight of his Hispanic History teacher in khaki pants also elicits a tightening down there. In both cases, it would be hard to come to terms with their sexuality, I don’t deny that… my point is merely that being bisexual doesn’t automatically exclude someone from the shame and struggle of their frowned-upon sexual orientation.

Where it does get a bit more complicated, especially in the eyes of Kinsey 6 homosexuals, is that bisexuals do have the ability to feel the sexual attraction, and fall in love with, someone from the opposite sex – a choice that, despite the claims of the wackjob fundamentalist Christians, we do not have. Why, then, if there exists this ability, which would automatically make life exponentially easier for you, would you even entertain the homo side of your bisexuality? Because this involves complex arguments of not being able to choose who you fall in love with, or the freedom to be with whomever you’re attracted to, not to mention the psychological devastations of suppressing and repressing a core component of your sexual identity. Most people choose, however, to ignore these factors, and go straight for the assumption that bisexuals just enjoy the ability to sleep with anyone.

Here’s the question, though. Does being bisexual automatically equate being sexually promiscuous? It’s easy to understand why someone would think that – I won’t begrudge anyone who subscribes to this belief, regardless of how inaccurate it may be. After all, logic would suggest that having the ability to be sexually attracted to someone of either sex theoretically broadens one’s sphere of sexual possibilities. However, theory and reality don’t always coexist. The argument that a bisexual would want to sleep with anyone they see is no more valid than the argument that a homosexual man would want to sleep with any male that he sees… it is also no less offensive, I might add. Why, then, is this belief still so heavily perpetuated?

I have a theory that the media has something to do with it, especially but not limited to pornography. In mainstream media, doesn’t it often appear that bisexual characters are inherently more sexually fluid or sexually adventurous than other characters? Take a look, for instance, at famous movie characters such as Alexander’s Alexander the Great (Colin Farrell) or Basic Instinct’s Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone)… in both instances, the character is portrayed as overly sexualised, especially in relation to their heterosexual counterparts. Even in television, this idea seems to be perpetuated. Quite recently, Chilean actor Pedro Pascal made quite the splash on Game of Thrones as Prince Oberyn Martell, an openly bisexual man, whose primary passion seems to be bedding whomever catches his eye. Grey’s Anatomy’s Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) was also openly bisexual, and had sexual relationships with two female colleagues and several male ones… though, to be fair, that’s less of an indictment of bisexual characters, and more so of Grey’s characters in general, because everyone seems to be promiscuous on that show. Let’s not even go into how pretty much every female pornstar has had at least one lesbian scene in their career, regardless of their sexual orientation. We may say “Oh, that’s just how porn works”, and brush this off, but it may have more far-reaching consequences than we might think. Imagine a heterosexual male who’s been watching porn from the time he was thirteen years old well into adulthood, with every single one of his favourite female pornstars engaging in lesbian intercourse as energetically and vocally as they would with a man to whom they genuinely are attracted. This guy isn’t going to bother to discern that this is just done for the camera and viewing fantasy; he’s going to grow up, subconsciously conditioned to the idea that the only instances of bisexuality to which he is exposed, involves a sexual voracity that is unparalleled in his personal heterosexual world.

The truth is, the average bisexual is no different from me or you, and craves monogamy as much as the next person. Mind you, all this being said, sometimes it just may be more difficult for them to find it, because there are very many persons (gay and straight) who adamantly refuse to date a bisexual. It’s hard enough to worry about the fact that your partner will fall in love with someone else of your sex and leave you for them… it’s that much more terrifying to know that this possibility is doubled with a bisexual partner. See that? Even in the realm of commitment, we fear the dreaded imaginary theoretical promiscuity of bisexuals.

Now, I don’t deny that there very well are those bisexuals for whom promiscuity remains the ideal, but can’t the same be said for some homosexuals, heterosexuals and transgenders alike? Sexual identity is not an indication of one’s level of sexual commitment, and it’s about time we understood this. With all the progress we’ve made over the years in terms of understanding the nature of sexual orientation, we are no closer to fully understanding the spectrum of human sexuality than we were a hundred years ago. This lack of awareness, however, should not equal deliberate ignorance. A homosexual who is bitter over the duality of bisexuality is no better a judge of all bisexuals than a raging homophobe is a judge of all homosexuals. Let’s stop lumping everyone into the same behavioural category simply because they share a sexual orientation. Let’s look at the individual, look to the individual, and learn from their specific story.

Pic via The Feminist Griote

25 Great Gay Sex Scenes Saga – Movie #12: Private Romeo (2011)

Private Romeo Cover Image

Title: Private Romeo


Seth Numrich… Sam/Romeo

Matt Doyle… Glenn/Juliet

Director: Alan Brown

Synopsis: Shakespeare’s original lines from Romeo & Juliet are almost exclusively spoken in a military academy setting of his tale at which gay love blooms between two cadets.

The Backlot Rating:

Hotness – 2

Romance – 10

WTFactor – 2

I know that this instalment of the saga has taken quite a bit longer than usual to be posted. Initially, it was because I found it difficult to move on from the previous movie. I knew that no matter how movie I chose, it would have paled in comparison. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong movie as a follow up.

Private Romeo is completely set in a military school, and revolves primarily around the blossoming love story between two cadets there. As the name of the film might suggest, the story is a gay retelling of Shakespeare’s Rome & Juliet. What’s interesting about it is that, despite its contemporary setting, the majority of the movie is spoken verbatim in Shakespeare’s original words.

I wasn’t really a fan of this movie. It took me almost an entire week to watch it from beginning to end, because I kept stopping throughout the film. It wasn’t a bad movie – I’ve certainly seen far worse. It just didn’t appeal to me. While the central story between the cadet “Romeo” and “Juliet” is sweet and endearing, for me personally, the blatant use of Shakespeare’s flowery and archaic language detracted from it. The movie also shifted between this Shakespearean concept, and a real-life setting, and this made the movie even more perplexing.

On the plus side, the movie was done in such a way that, despite using the play’s original wording, I was able to understand it far more than I did the play. Shakespeare’s works are incredibly difficult to understand, and although I’m a big fan of a few of his plays (Merchant of Venice, Macbeth), it’s quite the undertaking reading them through. Private Romeo was somehow able to use the same language, but make it a bit easier to follow, and I suppose that that’s a testament to the actors cast. The acting, itself, wasn’t always flawless but I believe it had less to do with the skill of the actors, and more to do with the fact that, as long as Shakespeare’s original words are used, there will always be a tendency for the actor portraying the given role to come off as a ham.

A combination of the use of Romeo & Juliet’s original script and a storyline that didn’t quite seem to match the original play made for a unique, yet bizarre, movie. I understand that it was also supposed to be a commentary on the then-enacted Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell military policy, but I’m left quite unsure as to how it applied. Overall, I’ll admit that Private Romeo was a brave and artistic endeavour, which fell short only in a slightly incohesive execution. After the jump…

Show me the GIFs, dammit!

Teen Wolf Season 4 Episode 5 “I.E.D”: My Unsolicited Review


I know I skipped out on a review of last week’s Teen Wolf. It wasn’t a bad episode, I just ultimately thought that I could have foregone the review. The episode, entitled “The Benefactor” was mostly about Scott and Stiles attempting to teach control on the full moon to Liam and Malia respectively. The most interesting aspects of the episode were 1) the revelation that there were assassins of supernatural creatures amongst the student population of Beacon Hills High, and 2) Lydia was able to decipher the code of the Mute, with the keyword “Allison” to reveal a hitlist of all the supernaturals in Beacon Hills.

This week’s episode was definitely a step up from last week’s. We find Liam still struggling with anger management issues, but it’s much easier for us to forgive him his douchebag behaviour now because he has readily accepted Scott as his alpha, and even looks up to him. A lacrosse match against his former prep school showed him struggling with his anger issues against the lessons that Scott has been teaching him.

Scott, for his part, on top of having to deal with the newfound responsibilities of being an alpha, is laden with the added task of trying to keep himself, Kira and Liam safe from the psychotic assassins. He confesses to Derek that he’d wanted this to be the semester that he once again focused on his classes, and this was a gentle but wonderful reminder why I think this show is special. Despite the all-out (sometimes farfetched and illogical) supernatural storylines that Teen Wolf comes up with, at the heart of the show, it really is just a story about teenagers often having to cope with real teenage problems.

There’s really no need to comment much on Stiles, because I think I have exhausted my reserve of ways to say that this character, and Dylan O’Brien by extension, are absolute perfection, and this week was no different. Still waiting on these writers to change the title of this show to Teen Wolf: The Chronicles of Stiles Stilinksi. Instead, I’ll move on to Lydia, who really tugged at my heartstrings this week. The writers of Teen Wolf tend to focus so much on the struggle of being a werewolf that it’s quite easy for us to forget that Lydia is every bit as supernatural as they are, and going through the same struggles to cope with her abilities. If anything, I’d argue that it’s worse for her, because she has no alpha to teach her how to handle her powers. This week, it was tough to watch her fight to tap into these powers in an attempt to decipher a second hitlist, and fail at it, as she still has pretty much no idea what she’s doing. However, Meredith – the Eichen House loon banshee from last season – heard Lydia calling out for her, and showed up to the police station, where she was ultimately able to lend her help, albeit in her typical difficult to understand way. Side note: shouldn’t they be worried that this isn’t the first time that someone has been able to break into or out of a supposedly dangerous mental institution?

Chris Argent is back! Happy dance! Having had suspected from last season that Kate was still alive, Chris teamed up with Derek to try to track her down. Towards the end of the episode, he is accosted by the Calaveras, who invoke the memory of his wife and Allison to coerce him into adhering to the strict code of the hunters. I’m sorry, but it’s about damn time these Calaveras are taken out… Derek, Peter, Kate, any one of you may have the honour.

This week’s shocking reveal was courtesy of the second hitlist which Meredith was able to help Lydia decipher. Unfortunately, it’s something that I’ve strongly suspected since the beginning of the third season, so it was really more of a confirmation than a revelation to me. It turns out that one of the names on the hitlist was Jordan Parrish (Ryan Kelley), indicating that he is some sort of supernatural. We don’t know what yet, but it’s sure to make for a nice arc.

Teen Wolf is doing it big this season, and I approve, but allow me to ask this: where THE HELL is Danny? We’re already almost halfway through this season and we still have yet to see the amazing Keahu Kahuanui! Liam’s attraction to Kira in last week’s episode made me realise that he wasn’t cast as Danny’s new boyfriend like I’d thought from the trailer. However, I did know from the trailer that Mason (Khylin Rhambo) was gay, and this was confirmed last night. The Teen Wolf writers need to get to work stat on pairing him up with Danny. He’s a bit young for my liking, but he’s super cute and really funny, and I would definitely ship him and Danny (Manny? Dason?) Get to work on that, writers! The season isn’t getting any younger!

Need I say what comes after the jump?

Show me the GIFs, dammit!

Alex Minsky Models Swimwear for Charlie By Matthew Zink

Alex Minsky Charlie Shoot 3

Ok, so I’m more than aware that my posts tend to get long-winded and possibly frustratingly tedious. It’s really a wonder that no one has asked me to cut that shit out. As a sign of my appreciation (and contrition), I’m going to keep the word limit on this one to a bare minimum.

Remember Alex Minsky, the war veteran-turned-underwear model? Well, he is the featured model in a new photo shoot for Charlie by Matthew Zink swimwear. The photographs, taken by Eric Pietrangolare, show Alex in nothing but a little gold swimsuit on the beach. In keeping with my earlier promise, I’ll now shut up and present the pictures.

Alex Minsky Charlie Shoot 2

Alex Minsky Charlie Shoot 1

Alex Minsky Charlie Shoot 4

Alex Minsky Charlie Shoot 5

This is where you enter my head… I apologize


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