Your Kindness keeps us Mean!

Design Experts

Richard writes the infamous queer blog Sturtle.com. His turn-ons include wainscoting, ZZ Top, and sharp-dressed men. Turn-offs: sectionals, pleated trousers, and pina coladas.

David K. publishes Nightcharm, the only gay porn site ever to be featured on Oprah and regularly compared to Martha Stewart Living.

Eric B. does not Facebook, Tweet or blog. He uses the internet to cruise for sex, like god intended. He has leopard print in every room of his house, save one. And he does not apologize

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Eric: I'm reminded of my first attempt at self-employment. Seems I knew a lot of folks whose attempts at tasteful decor had gone too far, veered into 'piss-elegant' territory. "Trying too hard," I would whisper to myself. I figured I'd go in and, for a fee, tone things down, even them out, butch up. I was gonna call it Room's Too Gay?, and my fortune would be made. But it was 1975, I was nine years old, and the idea did not catch fire.

So here we are, peering in on a space teetering on the brink. Fortunately, it can be wrestled back in short order. The fix itself is easy and we'll knock it into order quickly. First, we must address not the room itself, but its current use.

Guys, if you're going to stage a Greco-Roman play-perv-you I mean pay-per-view event in the parlour, don't put the concession stand so close to the action. You want the audience to have to walk past the merch to get to the food.

Speaking of souvenirs, where are they? You need bumper stickers, key chains, tee shirts, edible jockstraps, ballsweat-scented candles....

I'm in favor of feeding guests (especially if they're paying extra for it), but there's a lot going on on that table, most of it unspeakable.

Serviceable design is available at any price point. At the discount store, one can find convertible trifle bowl/cake stands, serving pieces, platters and large bowls in glass and (shudder) pressed plastic. Invest in them.

Our host didn't even fold the bags down so the inner foil shows. We call that Redneck Fancy, and it's better than nothing, technically.

As to the room itself? Simple. Slap up a chair rail and paint everything between it and the crown molding 3 shades lighter than the window trim. While you're over there, rip down those frilly balloon shades and replace them with unpleated floor-length curtains in a simple ticking stripe.

Get your artwork anywhere other than Big Lots. And get some Scotchgard -- an antimacassar is not a skeet blanket. Trust me on that one.

Hang on a sec, the phone's ringing ...

... 1990s sleazy motel trying to go respectable called. They want their carpeting back. Give it to them. Some things aren't worth fighting for.

Richard: I know what you're thinking. It's the same thing I'm thinking, the same thing everyone thinks the moment they lay eyes on this photo:

"The fuck is up with that thermostat?"

Clearly, this house was decorated in the early 2000s with the help of Paige Davis, who, like the rest of America, tended to paint everything mustard at the time. I have a hunch that the trend stems from the country's obsession with yellowcake uranium rumored to be in Iraq, but it's only a hunch.

Davis arranged to have a young, heavily muscled, frequently shirtless carpenter build and stain (but weirdly, not seal) some custom cabinetry for the living room, but the cabinetmaker was lured away from his job by the promise of boy band stardom, leaving Paige's assistant, Edna Ann, to finish the job. Alas, Edna Ann was legally blind and failed to notice the thermostat on the wall, and Paige had 15 seconds to relocate it before the homeowner walked in the door to feign surprise and delight. To this day, the thermostat doesn't actually work, since Paige just hot glued the box to the cabinet. No one has noticed.

And just so we're clear: there's no excuse for microfiber sectionals. EVER.

David: No. No. No. Just no. What's more disturbing than a Pokémon stuffed animal propped on your bed's headboard? Your 4th-grade efforts to trace your favorite Pokémon illustration hanging from the wall.

Socioculturally speaking, it's fascinating to track the after effects of the 'world at large' on individual's personal space, and I'm afraid this bedroom is a good example of the fallout of a Donald Trump presidency. The shock of Hillary's defeat seems to have retrogressed hipsters across the nation into commencing their second childhoods decades early.

Practical design and therapeutic advice would be:

1. Call Hoarders Annonymous and find out their closest location and next meeting date. Do not talk in a little boy voice while conversing with the receptionist.

2. Invest in a bottle of Windex and do some deep cleaning on the lube-smeared mirror.

3. Remove the aforementioned illustrations/tracing/renderings/etchings.

4. Seek trauma counseling for the crippling aftereffects of the current presidency -- and attempt to get on with your life as an adult male.

5. Delete the Pokémon app from your smart phone.

6. Shoot new Scruff profile pics.

6. Start fucking and sucking again.

David: So, this is a semi-serious post, but it won't be boring. I promise.

For those of you that don't like to read, I'll just cut to the chase: After publishing Lurid Digs for twenty years I'm asking for your support. It's a simple equation: Is Lurid Digs one of your favorite sites? Awesome! Then please throw a dollar our way so we can keep the site pumpin'. You can do that here. Takes about one minute tops. And thank you!

After publishing Lurid for all these years, what continues to amaze me is that no matter where I go or who I meet -- a new acquaintance, a new boyfriend (or hookup) -- a new doctor or dentist (I only go to gay medical practitioners) -- everyone always tells me the same thing after I explain to them what I do: "You are kidding me! I love that site, it's one of my favorites!"

Not once has someone said, "Huh, Lurid what? ... What's that?" Everyone knows, because, well, you know, as Aunt Ida says to Gator in John Waters' Female Trouble -- "Queers are just better."

Inevitably whoever I'm talking to will start talking about their favorite posts (which always astounds me, that their memory is so good -- I mean -- we've been publishing the site for twenty fucking years now). And then, without fail, I'm asked about the Lurid Digs photo of the guy who is hanging upside down from a chandelier -- by his balls. And I always have the same secret reaction: "God almighty, should we really have published that interior?"

But then we always did and do -- publish those kinds of photos. It's why you love us and why you've been loyal fans for so many years.

In Lurid's early days, when net porn was exploding like a supernova all across the Internet, it was a breeze keeping Lurid Digs going.

Back in the day people actually purchased porn and by running banner ads on Lurid Digs we were able to pay the writers and the designers and the artists and the coders and cover our hosting fees -- all of the stuff that's part and parcel running a site that -- 24/7 -- you could count on to be there when you clicked in eager for a laugh. (Think about how many sites have disappeared over the past twenty years, that you used to like. And, then, well, we're still here bitches!)

But I'm not sure for how much longer.

I really -- and I mean this truly, I really loathe asking for money. But conditions have changed so radically online -- it's not feasible for me to keep the site going without funds to support the effort.

I don't mean for that to sound like a high drama threat, it's just common sense amidst tight economic times (for us) and the slow erosion that's happening to ad dollars all across the Internet. You've probably noticed, wherever you go online now the ads, if you see them at all, are tackier than ever.

Which leads me to John Waters, who, ever since I was a teenager has always been a hero of mine! It was during John's book tour, several years back, while I was sitting in the theater, tripping out on his trippy monologs, that I was smacked up alongside my head when, out of the blue, while addressing the audience he mentioned Lurid Digs!

I felt like turning to the guy next to me and declaring, "Hey, that's me he's talking about. That's the website I run!" (But then I'd have to hear about the old man who is hanging by his balls from the chandelier -- so I shut my mouth.

It's both cool and corny the way John mentioned Lurid, because he was explaining to the audience how, if they are in a movie theater and they are watching a movie that's really bad they should do what he does -- a trick he learned from visiting Lurid Digs: He tunes out the film and the bad acting and just starts studying all of the various interiors on the film's sets. And then he recommended that everyone visit Lurid Digs and see what he was talking about. Man, I was lit up with pride, like a Christmas tree.

So guys, we've got a couple months to get our Patreon page pumped up and healthy with pledges. Even if it's just a dollar a month that you can pledge, man, we'll love you forever.

Thanks for being such loyal fans. And I know what you're thinking. "Where's the fucking picture of the guy that's hanging by his balls from the chandelier." HA! well, stay tuned -- more on that crazy miracle later!

Love and dirty sheets!

David K.

PS: And thanks again for your Patreon pledge guys!

Eric: One of the joys of being a double Capricorn is the absolute certainty that everything has its proper place.
One of the agonies is when they're not in it. Like in this dump.

Let's just jump right in. The microwave cart? That's where your cheap pine breakfast counter with slide-under stools goes.

I don't know to where the coffee table has wandered. My recommendation is for a wheeled footlocker. That way you can toss your clothes into it before you answer the door and kick it out of the way before the fun starts. Cardboard behind the couch? Unless you often break out in break dance, don't keep it there.

Glad to see there's a skeet blanket, but it's out of position. Those chocolate starfish marks will never come out of the upholstery. On the other hand, that might be an improvement. There's no such thing as Granny Chic. Slipcover immediately in a nice nubby neutral.

The rest is an easy fix. I almost wish the entryway linoleum ran throughout, but we must work with the unfortunate carpet and its palette of grays. We're going with a light, warm version. The secret? Locate the color in the middle of a paint strip. That goes on the walls. Darkest tone goes on the chair rail and below. Lightest, the ceiling. Of the remaining, one's for the kitchen and the other on the accent wall.

Suddenly, you find that your place has an understated cottage theme. Don't get cutesy with it. And speaking of cutesy, that "whimsical" "artwork" behind the couch has got to go. Into the dustbin, hopefully.

In its stead hang up some modern art. Modern art goes with everything.

If you don't have modern art, make some. It's easy. Don't know how? Buy four blank canvases, four colors of acrylic paint, put the cardboard on the floor one last time and invite three Bohemian-type guys over for a naked spatter party. Everything will quickly fall into place.