If you’ve been living under a rock then it would be no surprise that you’re not aware of the tremendous influence the health and wellness industry has on our lives. Remember the days when going to the gym was dreadful, now it’s a past time that people do with friends and family as a way to stay connected. [Read more…] about How Gym+Coffee Can Help You With Your Busy Manhattan Lifestyle
Exercising has to be one of the hardest activities for people to keep up with, especially if you have so much going on like the typical New Yorker does. When people know it’s time to workout they don’t like to compare their training to a humdrum routine, they want an activity that is just as fast paced as their lifestyle. And fast paced is what you will get with ChaiseFitness. [Read more…] about Want a Beat Bumping, Leg Stretching Workout? Try ChaiseFitness!
Well, here we go again society. Another trending topic that will no doubt go away after a while for most people, however this particular issue comes up time and time again with no end in sight. This is the #dadbod, or dad bod, however you want to word it. A simple article written on a site called “The Odyssey” in which a woman discusses her roommate’s fondness for a particular type of body on a man which is described as- a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, “I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.” It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either.
Now, no shade here to the opposite sex, but this really isn’t news if you are in the gay or bear communities… or both. This type of body is one that has been desired for decades upon decades and is a lot of the reason why men fall into the bear community in the first place. Growing up, a lot of the bear inspirations had this particular bod, which I refer to as “Huskular”, and we identified with the sexiness these men carried that allowed us to then figure out the type of man we want to emulate and be with both in and out of bed. Men like Christopher Meloni, Chris Pratt, Jason Segal and so many others have had this type of body and have also developed a great juxtaposition with males and females alike for their physical attributes on top of so many other things.
Here is the problem though with this- it has opened up a forum where we as gays are once again judging each other on what type of body each individual should have. Some men that have posted about this said that trying to achieve having a dad bod is quote “lazy”, ‘uninspiring” and “pathetic” in many adjective type terms. Others have embraced this type of movement and stated that “you should ultimately be happy with the skin you are in”. Granted the former of this argument is a personal trainer, so no doubt they don’t ever want to tell their clients to achieve this sort of thing, however many people would look at the critiques and read “judgement”. It is kind of like that mother of three a couple of years back who did the “What’s Your Excuse” type of thing. Regardless if it is meant to come off in a positive light, there are people out there who are sensitive or read things the wrong way (I have before) who will see it as “body shaming”.
I recently asked my friends this- Is having a regular guy bod, or #dadbod, really that bad of a thing in the gay world? Do we feel we have to push ourselves to have a better body due to societal standards? Thoughts? These are the myriad of responses I received-
We definitely do! I’m not saying it’s right, but there is in reality an extremely high focus on what you look like as the initial attraction. That’s not to say given time personality won’t ultimately win over however initially there has to be a sexual attraction.
So to me, #dadbod is a guy that is balanced. likes the gym, but doesn’t obsess about macros. It just means that you have more time for other things. so my guess is #dadbod just str8 skinny/gay fat? Because I find that gay guys obsess more about carbs than anything. Why is that? Because gay media is still obsessed about the unrealistic ‘spornosexual’ image and I think #dadbod is a great counter stereotype, something people can realistically aspire to because let’s face it, once you’re over 30 most men can’t really have abs without eating salads all day and working out 2x a day. Who has all that time?
There’s someone out there for everyone. The trick is not over thinking it or worrying too much about it. You’ll drive yourself crazy and spiral.
I’d prefer a guy with a regular bod or dad bod over a guy that’s all muscled out. When I’m at the gym of course those guys make for great eye candy. The body that I want and the body that really makes me swoon on another guy would be a combination of a dad bod and muscle. I like a guy with a nice belly, big upper body and a nice set of legs to support it all. To each their own though.
I think that a majority of the gay world is very shallow and mistake skinny for attractive. They don’t think regular bodies ad normal bodies as attractive. And they don’t care about personality.
Clearly, it really is to each his own in so many different attributes. Granted my opinion is be happy with your own life and not focus on what other people say you should do or think of you in that sense. I relay a lot of it to that Kacey Musgraves song “Follow Your Arrow”. Just follow your arrow wherever it points. Want that muscular body that you desire to be and be with? Go for it. Happy to attain the huskular type of look that suits you and your suitors? Yay for you. Just be happy, and healthy and don’t overdo it. That’s all.
Fitness has been all the rage for years upon years now, and with the warm months right around the corner many of us New Yorkers are struggling to lose those last couple of pounds and look bathing suit ready when it becomes 70 degrees or hotter. Luckily we have found one program that works best for you, regardless of your time schedule, goals or any other adversaries.
This is Marissa’s Form Fitness, which is run by Brooklyn based Marissa Molloy. A fitness adventurist for most of her life, Marissa recently developed a fantastic health and fitness program that is designed to go at the speed that you like and get you to the finish line with amazing results. I have had personal friends do this and they recommend her program ten fold. I recently sat down with the trainer & new mommy to discuss her program, its benefits and routines, and where she hopefully sees it going in the future. Take a look.
What made you want to go into the fitness industry in the first place?
I guess you can say I just “fell into” the fitness industry. I had been working since I was 15 years old (or whatever the legal age for teens to work was 15 years ago)! So after getting married and having my first daughter at the age of 24, I became a stay-at-home mom. I basically went from working full-time for the previous 9 years of my life to sitting at home with a baby in what felt like two seconds. Next thing you know, I had a second daughter and I felt like I was completely losing myself. Yes, having children is an amazing blessing that I would never give up for anything. But, I was always the “working type”. (I’d skip class in college to pick up an extra shift at work!) I missed working, A LOT. So I applied for a local position to manage a women’s health club. I fell in love. The atmosphere was amazing, the members that were a part of that gym became like a second family, the co-workers I was around every day turned into best friends and the sense of happiness I felt when I walked through those gym doors couldn’t be contained. I found myself wanting to learn more and more about the fitness industry. Why your body needs to workout a certain way in order for results to be seen, why women had a tendency to “yo-yo” with their weight, how to properly convey the importance of working out and taking care of your body to someone who loathed going to the gym, I wanted to learn it all and I was a sponge. I was fascinated and I took advantage of having an amazing mentor at my fingertips and soaked up everything I could. When the gym I managed changed owners, I felt like someone punched me in the gut. The new owner had zero (and if there was a number less than zero, I would use that) knowledge of the health and fitness industry. She had no social graces and no clue how to interact with people. She was an all-around horrible business owner and person, let alone “boss”. I needed out. But I couldn’t bring myself to completely step away from the fitness industry and all the women I’ve grown so close to over the years. I knew I wanted to continue my journey in the fitness field, as I felt it was just beginning. So, I decided to take everything I learned from my previous boss and the amazing contacts I had made, and create a company of my own; Marissa’s Form Fitness!
Everyone gets inspiration when they are doing something they are passionate about. What is yours?
I get extremely happy knowing I’ve helped someone better himself or herself. I have been in a position where I needed help and someone showed me how to achieve everything I needed and wanted in order to live a healthy and happy lifestyle. That’s what motivates me today. I love having the opportunity to help someone achieve their goals and make positive changes in the way they live their life every day. It’s a great feeling to know that with your help, someone is healthier, happier and just in a better place physically, mentally and emotionally. And yes, exercise does affect all those aspects of your life! You will feel more energized and you will reduce your stress levels when you work out. You’ll be able to live a happier life once you become active and your self-esteem and confidence will sky rocket. It’s an amazing feeling and I recommend it to everyone!
Tell me about your brand and the mission objective.
Marissa’s Form Fitness is a mobile Personal Training company that literally brings the gym to you. We consist of a group of expert Personal Trainers that will come to your home, office, local park, etc. to give you an amazing workout and help you to reach your fitness goals. We want to make working out more accessible to the every day New Yorker who’s often too busy to make it to the gym. It takes a lot of dedication to get yourself to a gym for a workout after you’ve worked a long day, have a family you’d like to spend time with or finish running errands for everything else you need each day. Some people literally don’t have the time to go to a gym and in return, their health suffers. By creating a mobile fitness company, we’re making health and fitness more accessible to everyone. There are no more excuses now. We will come to you to give you a workout. We will create a personalized workout program based off your needs and what you’d like to achieve health-wise. The only thing you need to do is take the first step and call us for a consultation. We literally do everything else. Once we design a program specifically for you, the workouts begin!
Do you really find that we live such a hectic lifestyle that working out is often left on the back burner, or do you feel like it’s an excuse that people make often?
I can honestly tell you; people’s lives get so busy sometimes, that we often take care of ourselves last. Why is that? We make sure our husbands, wives, kids, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, etc. are fed and taken care of but we’re always the last one to sit down and eat. Between work, family and social life, the average New Yorker doesn’t have a minute to even think of fitness or going to the gym. We can’t add time to the day, but we can make working out more manageable so there are no more excuses. Did you know that only 14% of Americans are members of a gym? Why do you think that is? Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure plenty of people make the excuse that they’re “too busy” to workout. But a lot of the time, they’re just scared to start something new. It is hard to make changes in your life and stick with them. But if you do it with the right support system around you and it’s a fun and simple process, people will be more likely to stick with it. Form Fitness is that support system to it’s clients and we take pride in operating the company that way!
What is the experience like when a personal trainer comes to your home?
Before your initial training appointment where you begin your workouts, we will have a consultation. We need to learn what your goals are. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to gain muscle? Do you have any medical issues? Take any medications? These are extremely important questions that must be answered before we begin planning a program for you. After your consultation is complete and a training program is written up for you, we will set up your first couple of weeks of Personal Training appointments.
Once your training sessions begin, the trainer will come to wherever you choose to conduct a Functional Movement screening. This is to determine where you are fitness-wise. Something that makes us different than other training programs out there is that we test every single client to see where they are physically to ensure no ones time is wasted. For example, if you are a 35 year old who runs every day and is looking to build muscle, you will score a certain amount on this test and a program will be designed especially for you based on where you are in your life at that point in time. We don’t begin every client at the same starting point. It would be a waste of your time and money. We want to start you based off of where you are physically at this very moment. On the other hand, if you’re a 65-year-old woman who recently decided to get active again after years of inactivity, you will score a certain amount on these tests and we will start you where you need to be. Everyone is different and every workout should be different based on the client. It’s never beneficial for a gym to start each and every person at the same starting point. It’s not practical and it doesn’t benefit anyone involved.
Is there an allotted time frame or is it flexible depending on the client?
Each Personal Training session is 1 hour. We can book whatever time you’d like. For example, if you’d like to train at 6:15am before you have to get ready for work, that’s not a problem. Or 8:45pm after you’re kids are sleeping, great! One thing I learned from managing gyms is that Personal Training clients are often forced to book on the hour or on the half hour only. What happens when you get out of work at 5pm, can be at the gym by 5:45pm, but need to be home by 7pm to eat with your family. If you were training in the gym, booking a training session would be rather difficult because you’ve already missed their 5:30pm slot, and you’d be waiting around too long for their 6pm slot which would also make you late to have dinner with your family! If you can leave work at 5pm, get home by 5:30pm and start training with us in your living room at 5:45pm, you’ll be done by 6:45pm, already be home, and ready to eat right after your workout. We’ve just eliminated one extra place you needed to be during the day – the gym! No more extra stops before or after work. No more rushing to and from your workouts. Just go home and we will come to you! You don’t have to leave your house to get an amazing workout. To those that think you need those huge machines in the gym to have a Personal Trainer, did you realize that trainers barely touch those things? Every amazing trainer I’ve witnessed throughout my years in this industry steers clear of that type of equipment during a Personal Training session. They tend to work with stability balls, foam rollers, resistance bands, and other equipment we have on hand within our company!)
What do you find is the most common need for clients now that we are well into 2015 and summer is right around the corner?
The most common need among clients right now is to tone. Swimsuit season is quickly approaching and everyone is looking to tweak their bodies to see a noticeable difference not only in their everyday clothing, but also when they go on vacation or to the beach. Even the clients that don’t have to lose over 5lbs want to tone their arms for tank tops, legs for shorts, backs for amazing shoulders and stomachs for a smaller waistline. It’s all possible and it might be easier than you think (as long as you follow your program)!
Is this program affordable for the everyday New Yorker?
Yes! There are so many options available to get your health back. We have so many services available that are fully customizable, guaranteed and affordable it’s crazy to think someone would work out any other way! Gyms have so many upfront and hidden fees you could easily spend thousands of dollars over the course of a year working out in one! We’ve eliminated contract fees, annual fees, monthly membership fees, maintenance fees, locker fees, premium class fees, and basically every other fee a gym can come up with; they’re non-existent with us! The cost of your program depends directly upon the amount you’d like to train. If you still think Personal Training is too expensive for you, we have many other workout programs that you can follow in the comfort of your own home for such an affordable rate! Some even under $100! Aside from the workouts, we have amazing shakes and cleanses available for clients and they’re truly incredible. It’s a no-brainer to try Marissa’s Form Fitness to see the difference everywhere; from our customer service to our affordability, we’re a great company and we can’t wait to change the way people workout.
What is the ultimate difference between what you are doing and every other type of fitness program available in NYC?
To answer this I feel like I have to explain how I managed the health club I was in to get my point across correctly… I never felt like what I was doing was work. I always felt like the next woman that walked through those doors needed my help. Whether it was guidance throughout a workout program, help choosing which program would best suit their needs, or help figuring out how they can lose weight, I was helping each and every woman there and I loved it. And because of the fact that they looked to me for guidance, great relationships were formed and I still keep in contact with these women today. They became an extended part of my family. They knew my daughters and needed constant updated on them, they knew what my personal goals were and they genuinely cared for me just as much as I did them. It was a great feeling to have and I treasure that to this day. That’s what sets Marissa’s Form Fitness apart from any other “workout company”. We genuinely and truly care for each and every client we have. There is a huge difference between working out with us and working out in some mass-produced chain gym. And when you workout alongside people that encourage and support you the way we do, you’ll be more equipped to reach your goals and then some!
Aside from the extraordinary customer relations we have with clients, we’re looking to make working out more convenient for the everyday New Yorker. Let’s face it; we’re busy! We’re lucky if we get through one single day without the feeling of being pulled in different directions. If working out were made easier for you to do, would you still pass it up? Take advantage of working out using such a convenient and effective way of training that guarantees you results!
To put it simply, what sets us apart from other gyms in NYC is the fact that we will travel to you and we sincerely care about our clients; a commodity that’s often lost in the huge gyms where members are just viewed as a number or dollar sign instead of a person.
What are your hopes and dreams for this in 2015 and beyond?
I plan on working my a** off each and every day to ensure Marissa’s Form Fitness becomes a household name. I dream of making it easier for New Yorkers to reach their health and fitness goals by cutting costs, making trainers easily accessible and offering a constant support system to clients. I won’t stop! My 5-year goal will be to expand Form Fitness across America! I just see a company like this growing and growing. Fitness is everywhere so why shouldn’t we be?!
If this is something that interests you for 2015 and beyond, reach out to Marissa directly via the photo above. Official website is here.
I had the pleasure of running into a personal hero of mine, former Project Runway and Volttage co-founder Jack Mackenroth, at the gym we both go to. We got to talking and above being an amazing guy and inspiration he further introduced me to the work that he was doing in HIV awareness both locally and nationally. I was delighted when he invited me to his event called “HIV Equal”. This was part of the LGBT Health and Wellness event that took place specifically at the World Health Clinicians headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut. This event was designed to bring awareness to HIV and HIV testing, specifically in younger generations. During this event, we saw the “HIV Equal” photo campaign be launched, where several celebrities and gay icons had their photos on display in support of this amazing cause. Some of the celebrities in the photos included AIDS activist Peter Staley, legendary drag queen Bianca Del Rio and Tony Award winner Billy Porter from “Kinky Boots”.
You couldn’t have asked for a nicer day to have an event like this. I was fortunate enough to meet a ton of men and women from all sorts of backgrounds be it gay, bisexual, straight, transgender and so on and so forth who came together to help this fantastic cause. We were all photographed by legendary photographer Thomas Evans, holding up signs that give us a unique spin on what our status is. My status. Writer. You can be anything you want in this situation, but as long as it is something that describes your support for this cause, it makes it a great thing.
“Our goal is to photograph people from all walks of life who support ending HIV stigma, regardless of their personal HIV status. We launched the campaign with celebrities, politicians, artists and many recognizable faces in order to draw attention to our mission, but we plan to include everyone since HIV affects us all,” Mackenroth explains. “HIV Equal goes a step further to include testing so that everyone photographed knows their status. We need to take care of ourselves and each other, as well as to reignite the global conversation about HIV to stop the spread of misinformation, fear and judgment.”
I can’t forget about the amazing host for the day, drag superstar Titania and DJ T-Boy who kept playing some of my personal favorites on top of the great food that was provided. The whole mission of the day wasn’t about campy fun, food and drink and dancing though, it was about a cause for a disease that more people need to educate themselves about. We are living in a world today where this disease is treatable, and I hope that at the young age of 27 that we are able to conquer this disease and find a cure for this in my lifetime. For more information on this cause, hit up HIV Equal.
The ongoing attention that the media has granted to Hollywood’s finest post-baby bodies worries me. A lot. Our society has always held harsh criticism regarding women’s bodies, but the criticism of women’s bodies amid one of the most natural acts of life, demonstrates that we have now reached an all-time low.
Just about every other article written about pop-culture these days seems to focus not on the charitable work of celebrities, or more realistically on their careers (can you imagine focusing on those?!), but on “who wore it best”, who has the “best bikini body”, and how beautiful women like Kate Middleton, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, and Malin Akerman look mere weeks after giving birth.
As if this weren’t bad enough, celebrities are now often weight-shamed while pregnant with their offspring. Jessica Simpson and Kim Kardashian are both examples of famous mothers-to-be whose bodies were analyzed and criticized for their “with-child” figures, often called names such as “fat” and “disgusting.”
While we have almost always been a society vastly concerned with what is on the outside, often basing our values of ourselves and others on physical appearance, this unhealthy perception that flat tummies and full lips make us better people, has only grown more concerning in recent years. Open a magazine or turn on a television and you will be hard-pressed not to understand, or to even buy into these negative feelings yourself.
Some defend such critiques with the age-old notion that celebrities are “different,” that they “signed up” for such scrutiny, or that their bodies and their weight are their job; that we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to such unrealistic standards. Yet this extreme focus on our bodies is constantly in front of our faces.
We could blame the media outlets and the magazines for reporting on such insulting topics. It’s not as if the media has never been blamed before. And maybe the media is partially at fault for their exposes on cellulite. But it is also arguable that the media is a reflection of society; that the media is simply showing us what it is that we want to see. After all, the media would lack all power if we decided not to buy into what it is that we are being sold. Though it may be easier said than done, we have to figure it out soon, because we may be doing more damage than we realize.
While the adults in our society go about their normal routines, the effects of their behavior often unknowingly trickle down to our youth. Little girls are not only listening to what the magazines and television shows are saying about their idols, they are letting it affect their self-worth.
If you, like many, feel skeptical of the media’s harm to our kids’ self-image, take a good, hard look at these scary statistics. According to an article posted on September 11, 2013 on the The Daily Athenaeum, 50-70% of healthy 6-12 year old girls think that they are overweight, and 42% of first through third grade females want to lose weight. Even more alarming is the statistic that 81% of ten-year-old girls are afraid of gaining weight.
According to a 2005 Dove Global study, 92% of girls say that they wish they could change one thing about their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest. Not only do girls wish to change their appearance, they are avoiding certain activities including even going to school or giving an opinion, because they feel badly about their looks.
In the past, women have used their intelligence and creativity, innovation and strength to change the world. Florence Nightingale was instrumental in changing the nursing profession; Marie Curie helped to invent the first X-ray machine and won the Nobel peace prize – twice; Helen Keller campaigned for the blind and deaf; Rosa Park’s refusal to sit at the back of the bus led to some of the most important civil rights legislation of American history. Women are capable of achieving greatness, yet with a focus on the physical, our society is silencing tomorrow’s voices.
The question remains whether or not these ideals are what we wish for our daughters. It would be naïve to believe that this is something that we can change overnight; this alarming trend wasn’t something that came about instantaneously. But we can start with ourselves, and we can lead by example.
We can refuse to buy into the idea that our bodies define us. And we can love ourselves as we are. We can focus on the notion of health and intelligence, gratitude, and selflessness; Center our attention on our bodies of work and not simply our bodies. Skinny does not equal healthy, and beauty is subjective. We are hurting the greatest tool our society has to offer: our youth. And if we are going to have any chance of fixing it, we have to start by loving ourselves. After all, little eyes are watching.
Dear Sex Ed, I am a 34 year old, heterosexual male in a relationship with my girlfriend for 2 1/2 years. I’ve noticed lately that when I cum, hardly anything comes out anymore. Is there anything i can do about this?
Thanks, Drying Up in NYC.
Dear Drying Up,
Volume of ejaculate can be affected by various circumstances related to you or to the situation. Situational variables include how turned on you are by your partner, the “newness” of the encounter, or how much time is spent being aroused before orgasm. Volume and “vigor” of ejaculation can be affected by poor prostate health such as prostatitis, an inflammation of the gland which can be either very painful or asymptomatic. Testosterone levels have a big effect on the nature and sensation of orgasm in men and can be treated with prescription testosterone supplementation. Frequency of orgasms can also have an effect; the ideal interval between ejaculations to maximize sperm production is 3-5 days but waiting longer doesn’t necessarily mean more production and there can even be diminishing returns by waiting too long. Ejaculation can be significantly affected by drugs (prescription and recreational) and alcohol. Prescription medications that are associated with a negative effect on sex function include (but are not limited to) SSRIs (like Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, and others), opiate pain medications (Vicodin or Percocet), anti-histamines and decongestants (Benadryl, Sudafed), and Propecia. Recreational use of marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, or pretty much anything else can often have an effect in a bad way on both erections and orgasms. Sometimes medications like Cialis or Viagra can be of use by allowing a longer period of foreplay without fear of losing an erection.
If there is any concern about prostate health, negative effect of prescription medications, or to pursue the use of prescription medications, a visit with an internist or a urologist would be advised. Men often learn about sex through pornography and it is important to remember that actors in adult entertainment are not typically “average” when it comes to sexual function, so it’s a good idea not to compare yourself to what you see in the movies. The bottom line is that in order to maximize your semen volume you need to take your time during foreplay, consider changing things up with your partner to “spice it up” a bit, and take a break for a day or three between orgasms.
QUESTIONS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS, SEX, OR JUST ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE CAN BE SUBMITTED TO SEX ED BELOW, OR VIA EMAIL TO [email protected]