Uni Lad Mag: The Closet Man's Crumpet?

In February my attention was drawn to a student site called Uni Lad when the BBC ran a story stating that Uni Lad were accused of trivialising and making jokes about rape. Charges dropped and apologies seemingly accepted, three months later Uni Lad remains a wasp nest, thick with contentious stories that drink in the degradation of women. But Uni Lad had me a little bit hooked...

Firstly the name appealed. Uni Lad. I collect rare gay books and "Uni Lad" sounds just like the kind of pulp fiction that the Gay Man's Press distributed in the late 70s. You can picture it can't you. "Uni Lad": A young man's first term at university, the shared bathroom, sitting on the end of the bed knocking a cricket bat in, receiving essay feedback from a beady-eyed professor called Greaves. "Place your hands on the desk please Coleman."

Secondly I was disgusted by how despicable Uni Lad finds women who don't fit a certain template. Uni Lad flits between treating women like a University Challenge topic, and treating them like a pest. Uni Lad seems to forget that women make up half of the population. Sometimes Uni Lad hates girls with the real frothing of a Parisien designer having a hissy fit. More often Uni Lad's anger fancies itself as being quick-witted and comical, painting women as hapless charladies in the way that Somerset Maughan might have (but instead the jokes are never funny and have absolutely no aplomb).

There was something distantly familiar about Uni Lad. Then it hit me. The closet! Uni Lad is the blog embodiment of a bad teenage closet.

Which goes like this. Shout about women whilst craving cock. Slag off women, big up men, and describe women doing inappropriate things that you long to do - chiefly sucking cock. With its thirst for penis talk and constant discourse over naked men, could Uni Lad operate as an online anti-depressant pill for closet-cases? Is Uni Lad's loud racketing of banter a method of off-setting inner sexual turmoil and confusion? Is Uni Lad's incessant sharing of photos of men in compromising poses a way of building up a guilt-free porn stash? Is Uni Lad's attack on women a thinly-veiled jealousy? "Oh my!" I thought. Is Uni Lad ran by a bunch of rancid closets? Or even worse than the closet - a group of completely unwittingly repressed gays?

I'm sure that many lovely heterosexual men look at Uni Lad, enjoy its volley of tits jokes and comment on its photos without ever considering homosexual activitiy, unaware that they are feeding the maggots of closet trickery, because those readers are actually straight. (And someone could write a thesis on how Uni Lad damages the reputation of those straight men, confining them to its own small screwy two-dimensional fake-tanned puppet of masculinity that is animalistic, pumping with inaptitude and suffocatingly patriarchal - *and breath*). But inbetween Uni Lad's central narrative of ear-splittingly low-intellect fraternity threads another - blatant gayness.
So I followed Uni Lad on Twitter for one month, May 2012, noting down the symptoms of the closet as and when they appeared. It is May 25th now, and I've had enough. The closet is such a poisonous and exhausting world. And remember - this is ONLY from May, and ONLY from Twitter. There's no time for the rest! For all I know Uni Lad's website might be an impressive exhibit of car crash editorial, flying high on some kind of inverted Warholian scale. Although I have my doubts.
Here's my Top 10 Symptoms of The Gay Closeteria, as exhibited on Twitter in May 2012 by he who goes by the cock-thumping name of UNII LADDDDDDDD:

1) Directly inciting gay sex:

On the 3rd of May Uni Lad shared this picture with the caption "When spotting turns gay"

I showed this to my straight friend James. He said: "What - is the guy famous? Is it from a hidden camera show?". "No James, this photo in itself is supposed to be funny". James: "Oh"

Men in the closet enjoy talking about homosexuality A LOT. They're not getting it, so they're talking it, whilst genuinely straight boys are usually non-plussed about gay sex. Personally I encourage everyone to talk about gay sex to their hearts content. So does Uni Lad.

On the 21st of May Uni Lad tweeted about Brighton saying: "Brighton is full of sluts, but be careful of the willy-loving men, they are well disguised". I read out this to my straight friend Tom. He said: "Does he mean gay sluts? Brighton is the gay capital of Europe right, or is that Bournemouth? My advice would be don't go to gay bars and you'll be fine." I love the jaunty wobbly image that Uni Lad paints of "willy-loving men", like a Mr. Men character called Mr. Willy or something. Closet madness.

2)  Dicking around

A good way to vent the closet's thirst is to channel your horniness through jokes and games. On the 23rd of May Uni Lad tweeted this photograph running with the caption "Brave soldier lads dicking around". Can you think of a more gay sequence of 5 words? I can, but I'm massively gay.

I quite like this photo. It's hot. It's very, er, laddish. "Now let's take another one naked, THAT WOULD BE FUNNY, har har, *stomach is melting, please let me kiss your nipple*, har."

3) Touching the penis

Uni Lad likes to publish content related to touching men's cocks. Their first tweet in May was a rather poetic one: "That horrible wank when, as you finish, the camera zooms in on the man's penis". A non-sensical and fascinating thought that appeared on their Twitter out of nowhere. A symptom.

Uni Lad then shared this photo of a human Twister outfit which has been comically skewed to ensure a 75% chance of the player getting to fondle the boy's genital area:

I showed this to my gay friend Paul, he said: "That's fucking amazing, I wanna play!" I then showed it to my straight friend Ben, who said: "I don't think many girls would play that? But it's a good idea, probably designed by a paedophile"

4) Analysing the sexual performance of men

Uni Lad kindly takes it upon itself to understand the male sexual performance thoroughly. On the 15th of May Uni Lad tweeted: "During intercourse the male thrusts an average of 60 to 120 times"
...painting a mental tableau of a man thrusting forwards and backwards with a hard-on, his face perhaps lost in the intensity of sex...

Uni Lad then followed this up with "How many thrusts do you manage?". Classic closet-fodder here. Getting other men to confide in sex, to talk about their bodies, to confide in their bodies, to talk about their bodies having sex...

5) Focusing on semen

Sticking to their healthy interest in science, Uni Lad tweeted: "At around 15 calories per serving, sperm contains the same protein as the white of a large egg."
- Wow, thanks?

Interestingly egg whites are what boys eat for breakfast when they're body-building. This tweet is basically gay porn delivered in the voice of Stephen Fry. I love it.

Which brings me swiftly onto...

6) Uni Lad's adoration for Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry is great, and I in no way seek to claim him as gay community property, but he is a gay man that closet-cases can openly revel in, because Stephen Fry is public property. Uni Lad  really indulges in Stephen Fry, even though if Stephen Fry ever saw Uni Lad he would be completely repulsed by it. During May there were two Stephen Fry based tweets from Uni Lad. One focused on Fry's witty retort in the face of homophobic abuse: http://twitpic.com/9jiaex

So to be clear, I'm not saying liking Stephen Fry means you're a closet-case. Stephen Fry is for everyone. But. It's interesting isn't it...

7) Things going into mens arses

Life doesn't get more homosexual than the male anus being penetrated. Male anal penetration, whilst not part of all gay men's lives, has definitely got a placecard on the top table. (Not that I want to deter straight women from surprising their boyfriend occasionally with an unannounced thumb. He's got a G-spot there, let him use it). Anyway, Uni Lad loves a good joke about an object going into a bloke's arse.

Like this:

HAR HAR HAR! Fancy that! A thing going into a man's arse! HAR HAR H, oh wait, my boyfriend's calling me... brb.

8) Employing a niche gay referential framework

At its best Uni Lad reveals gifted insight into gay culture. Now I might be wrong here, but aren't glory holes something more for the gay man's scrap book? They started off in toilets, a same-sex enviroment, and I'm sure since then they have made a cameo in the odd straight porno or wo, but basically, my father doesn't know what a glory hole is, and my gay friends who are my father's age definitely will know what a glory hole is. Uni Lad posted this on the 12th of May:

Adding the joke "And is that a glory hole beneath the sign?". No. No it isn't. There's a glory hole in your local MacDonalds, but you knew that already didn't you Uni Lad?

9) Hating Caitlin Moran

Uni Lad is based in Plymouth, and I don't know how things go down there. But in London Caitlin Moran goes down pretty well. Sure, she's not for everyone, but by and large people want to buy Caitlin Moran a pint and chat to her about Bjork. So why does Uni Lad dislike Caitlin Moran? Is it the same reason that closet-cases dislike intelligent inquisitive women? The closet is a scary place. Once out of it you realise that A) the men you get are a lot hotter, and B) Caitlin Moran isn't that scary after all, I think she just wants stupid men to shut the fuck up and give clever girls their turn at making the odd global decision.

The Uni Lad Vs. Caitlin Moran saga is ongoing...

10) Things that only gay men consider

Sometimes Uni Lad shows its gay achilles heel. I relished these moments when they sprang up on Twitter throughout May.

On the 3rd of May they tweeted: "In the FHM shoot I swear Tulisa has been airbrushed". It was as if Perez Hilton had taken over the Uni Lad account. My mind was thrown back to boarding school, boys in the dorm tent-poling over the Maxim 100 Sexiest Women, and then me there on my bed thinking "Wow, Jeniffer Ellison's skin is so perfect, I wonder if it's been airbrushed?"

You've got to love Uni Lad for these 'true colours' moments.

Uni Lad shared this bizarre image which combines Finding Nemo with Carly Rae Jepsen's song 'Call Me Maybe'. I've shown this to six straight boys and not one of them was remotely interested! I think Uni Lad might have misjudged this one. Sometimes you accidentally open a closet door:

But then Uni Lad tweeted someone saying "You're about as useful as Anne Frank's drum kit". And the closet door was slammed tightly shut again.

Anyway.That's enough about Uni Lad. You get the idea. One month following @UniLadMag on Twitter. Uni Lad is a website that thinking people loathe, but a website that for me was an intriguing uber-cult-gay masochistic journey, a horse hair vest of itchy closet nostalgia, and a learning curve too - like who knew Plymouth has a university? And not only that, a university fulls of UNI LADS.

Here's to Uni Lad! Like unicorns, but even more phallic, and harder to find.

Let's finish with Uni Lad's favourite song 'Call Me Maybe'. I love the gay twist in the video, I wonder if Uni Lad does too? And I wonder if Carly is airbrushed at all in this...

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