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Jeremy Helligar
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Jeremy Helligar is a journalist, author, pop culturist and world traveler from New York City, where he spent 15 years working as a writer and editor for People, Teen People, Us Weekly and Entertainment Weekly. In 2006, he moved to Buenos Aires, where he learned Spanish and launched his own blog, Theme for Great Cities, a travelogue, memoir, entertainment bible and Sex and the City rolled into one. He followed four and a half years in BA and two and a half years based back and forth between Melbourne and Bangkok with one month in Berlin, one month in Rome, and one month in Tel Aviv, before landing in Cape Town, where he’s currently completing his first book, Is It True What They Say About Black Men?: Tales of Love, Lust and Language Barriers on the Other Side of the World.

Entries by Jeremy Helligar

Why I Hope One Direction's Harry Styles Is Really Straight

(66) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 12:37 PM

Lately I've been thinking about One Direction a lot more than usual, which used to be almost never. Don't ring the alarm. No impure thoughts have been creeping into my head, nor has the boy band's music been stuck there. I still couldn't sing an entire line from any of...

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5 Things I've Learned From Dating Abroad

(7) Comments | Posted November 2, 2014 | 8:32 AM


Eight years, eight cities: Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Bangkok, Berlin, Rome, Tel Aviv, Cape Town and Sydney, where I just relocated for a new job. And what do I have to show for all that time spent living outside the U.S.? The list goes...

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Did 2015 Oscar Host Neil Patrick Harris Just Become the Most Powerful Gay Man in Hollywood?

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 3:44 AM


I'll never forget the night I saw Neil Patrick Harris blush. It was 2000, and I was an editor at Teen People magazine. Sebastian Bach's publicist had invited a couple of my colleagues and me to see the Skid Row frontman in the...

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We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off!

(18) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 4:26 PM

After several years of overexposure (mostly courtesy of topless Grindr profile photos), my body's going undercover: From now on, unless I'm in the shower or just getting out of it, I'm keeping my shirt on. I'm officially hiding my upper torso away. This should be a lot easier to do...

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Deal Breaker No. 1: Why I'll Never Again Date a Guy Who's in the Closet

(6) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 5:36 PM


I'll never forget the year when "discreet" became a dirty word. It started when I fell in love with a boy who had to sneak out of his house to see me. I say "boy" not because we were teenagers breaking curfew. Shane*...

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Am I Transphobic?: My History With Transgender Women and Effeminate Men

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 12:23 PM


The question posed in the title is one I'd been putting off answering for months. It first popped into my head when Jared Leto won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in February for playing a transgender woman in Dallas Buyer's Club, immediately making...

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Do Gay Men Really Have Terrible Taste in Music?

(4) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 5:56 PM


When it comes to musical taste, the only steadfast rule is that there's no accounting for it. Why Iggy Azalea and not Azealia Banks? Why Beyoncé and not Solange (her "Losing You" trumps everything on Beyoncé combined), or Kelly Rowland, for that matter?...

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The Pros and Cons of Straight Guys in Gay Bars

(81) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 3:53 PM


What a difference a gay guy can make.

Surely I wouldn't be the gay man I am today had it not been for the one who made coming out in New York City a little easier for me. He was the bartender who...

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Why I Prefer Side-by-Side to 'Top' or 'Bottom'

(10) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 12:39 PM

WARNING: This post contains sexually explicit language. Please read on at your own discretion.


It's not every day that a friend emails me a link to a video of two naked men getting physical, but there it was, daring me to look. What...

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'Sorry, I Don't Do Asians': The Dangers of Racial Discrimination in Dating

(78) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 2:23 PM


"I don't find Asian men attractive."

I didn't say it. He did: Nolan,* the guy from Amsterdam who had been living in Bangkok for 10 years. For some reason, he wanted to know if I was attracted to Asian men (my answer: when...

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8 Things Straight People Get Wrong About Gay Men

(133) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 3:31 PM

Acceptance of gay people doesn't end with acceptance. It also includes post-acceptance sensitivity and awareness. Unfortunately, just because someone's heart is in the right place, doesn't mean his or her foot will be, too. Here are eight common straights-on-gays misconceptions that can...
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What Does Jeremy Meeks' Viral Mugshot Say About Our Obsession With Bad Boys?

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 8:27 PM

South African TV has interesting timing. Just days before Jeremy Meeks' police mugshot seduced the Internet, DStv's Comedy Central in Cape Town aired an episode of Anger Management in which Jordan (Laura Bell Bundy) breaks the cardinal rule for therapists by making out with a patient, a prison inmate with...

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Sam Smith's Pop Rise: How a UK Soul Man Came Out and Still Became America's Next Top Idol

(10) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 5:47 PM

"It's the singer, not the song," the band Survivor declared on its 1984 album Vital Signs. But as anyone who's ever perused a Billboard chart knows by now, good singers and good songs often finish last. And if any of those singers of any of those songs happens to be...

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Would it Matter If We Weren't Born Gay?

(2) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 2:13 PM

I once had an interesting conversation with a friend who insisted that we're all blank slates when we enter the world. He wasn't the first person to run this theory by me. I objected then as I had before because it contradicted my own ideas about nature vs. nurture, that...

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Black and White in Gay Cape Town

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 3:12 PM



If there are two things I've come to realize about gay men during my eight-year, five-continent expat tour, the first is this: They're pretty much the same all over.

No matter where you call...

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How Five Days in Johannesburg Changed My Perception of Color

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 3:47 PM


I'd been on South African soil for only two days, and already I could feel the stirring of a profound evolution deep inside my soul. It was percolating, bubbling under, almost certain to eventually erupt in a big bang of mental...

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Why I Prefer to Have Sex on (or Before) the First Date

(38) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 5:31 PM

First off, in the interest of not giving the wrong impression, let me clarify something: I'm neither perpetually horny nor addicted to sex. It's been at least four months since I've gotten luckier than a hug hello/goodbye. But if I'm ever fortunate enough to enjoy another fantastic first date where...

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Living and Sleeping With the Enemies?

(15) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 1:24 PM

In the days after Alvaro, an Argentine suitor in Buenos Aires, called me a nigger for rejecting him, I sought mental solace in the more soothing prose of James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison. Unlike Baby Suggs -- the mother-in-law of Sethe, the heroine of Morrison's classic novel...

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What I've Learned Not to Expect From Morning-After Texts

(6) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 8:08 PM

New message: "I had a great time last night..."

That should be a sight for the sore eyes of a serial dater, especially when it arrives within 24 hours of goodbye. But now I hold off on the excitement: Just because he texts...

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The Importance of Being Born Black and Gay

(15) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 11:07 AM

We've all sat on our own lawn, touching the green green grass of home, then glanced over at the greener greener grass growing on the other side of the fence and wondered, Would I be happier...

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