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Your Host Derek Hartley

Derek Hartley, Derek lives in West Hollywood, CA. His interests include movies, books, getting into trouble, and playing around on PlanetOut. Check out other photos of him in the FantasyMan Island Library. Derek is your date every Thursday night at Midnight for FantasyMan Island, only on PlanetOut.

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FMI NEWS:
Listen to Derek SpoutOff!
Hello Island Natives!

Wow. If last week's mail was any indication, Martha Stewart is THE hot button issue among gay men. I got more fan mail... and hate mail for peeling the pastic veneer off of America's favorite homemaker. I think I will change my column to just be a weekly look at the evil doings of Ms. Stewart. On second thought... more hot guys.

REMEMBER: New FMI News here every Monday. Past FMI News can be found in the FMI News Archive.

Let's face facts. As much as I love the sound of my own keyboard keys clacking away, the real allure of FantasyMan Island are the photos of hunky men each week. Sure, Eric and I sit around debating the photos that will appear, with him breathlessly leaning over my shoulder as I crop them saying, "Make sure you keep the nipple in!," but I know it isn't the only reason I love this job.

My favorite thing is my interaction with you... my fans, my readers, my sternest critics. I love getting email from bickering queens who can't figure out how to be nice to each other in my chat room, so they plan elaborate tattle-tale emails to me about one another. Here's a hint: I'm not your mother. Just be glad MY mother is a chat room host. Then you'd ALL be sorry. She'd send you all to your rooms... without company!

I also love the criticism I get from members about the FantasyMen themselves. Now, we all know that beauty is in the eye of beholder. After all, my favorite FantasyMan has some of the lowest downloads of any of them. Meanwhile, the one I thought would be mildly popular generated the most mail. Who knew?

Lately, I have been getting complaints that the men are too attractive (which I addressed last week). Somehow I don't think anyone would come to AverageMan Island, do you? I also got into a scuffle last week about the ages of the FantasyMen. Apparently, even though at least a dozen of the 100 men profiled in the last year and half were over the age of 35, that isn't good enough.

Here are some choice selections from my weeklong email discussion with AHolden965:

ALLEN: none of the "Fantasy Men " I saw were over 35, and I looked and looked. How about a section just for that age group? Gay Men 40 Plus (Keyword to: http://www.gaymen40plus.com/) Like this one except AOLish?

DEREK: Actually we have had several FantasyMen over the age of 35, and two of them over the age of forty. FantasyMan Island depends on members to submit their own photos. Many members are reticent to admit their ages online, no matter how good they look, because there is often a feeling that they will be rejected simply because of their age and for no other reason. This is a sad situation and one that I would prefer didn't exist. However, I don't have any control over it.

ALLEN: Nothing will change until people make a stand against this sort of thing. However if there were fantasy men for each week in each age category, 20-30,30-40, and up, it would force the issue and you would get pics I assure you.

DEREK: The only segregating I plan to do on FMI is with local areas because I think it is important for guys online to meet other guys in their neighborhoods. I think age distinctions start getting into a bad area because the very nature of FantasyMan Island is that you never know who will be the next man of the week. He might be 40. He might be black. You never know.

I agree with you that ageism online is a problem and that FantasyMan Island shouldnt buy into it. At the same time, I think that segregating the men only reinforces the notion that they are different and less than... which I dont think is the ultimate message you are anxious to send.

ALLEN: Well, at the risk of offending, I see that you are not going to do anything about what amounts to a major problem in the gay community. That's what's wrong with everyone these days. No one's willing to take a stand and stand for values in our community. We will continue to allow the 25 year old "West Hollywood" guys to rule the roost, and not teach them anything.

We have a responsibility to role model when in a position of power as you are. Too bad you do not have the courage of your convictions. You obviously missed Stonewall and the 6o's. Unfortunately, we will "go with the flow" and "not judge" and continue weak and flacid until it is our turn to be rejected at 40 by idiots. Thanks for being a role model. You remind me of Bill Cllinton. Weak. I will find my "fantasy MEN" elsewhere as I am interested in men and not boys.

DEREK: First of all, as much as I love FantasyMan Island, I never created it with the intention of changing the gay male community. The gay community has a lot of problems and frankly, I don't think they are mine alone to solve. FantasyMan Island is purely for entertainment's sake. While there are photos of great looking men there, you will notice that there are more teachers and writers than there are bartenders and flight attendants.

Could the age of everyone on FantasyMan Island be higher? Certainly. Could more men over 35 be shown? Absolutely. Could more men over the age of 26 feel comfortable enough with themselves to send their photos? I wish they could. Frankly, I don't see you sending in your photo either.

You can complain all you want about FantasyMan Island, but why not just in your own photo for consideration, or encourage your friends who are over 35 to send in their photos? If no one sends in the photos, I don't have anyone to make the man of the week.

Instead of complaining, be part of the solution. Or visit another site.

Anyway, I don't think he will be back. He stopped emailing me after I suggested that since he is over the age of 35, he should send in his own photo. Maybe, he isn't willing to be a role model himself.

On to more important things. Thanks to everyone who sent in money for the Children's Hospital of Orange County last week. Eric and I were the top fundraisers at the event. Special thanks to Craig and Jake for their contributions. And the children of OC thank you too.

The FMI Telegram

I am most excited about the two messages in the FMI Telegram this week because they came from so far away. Take a look:

Subject: Special greetings to sean from Hamburg(Germany)
Date: Tue, Oct 20, 1998 12:18 PM
From: HH23suBody
Message-id: <19981020081817.05882.00003335@ng43.aol.com>

So i think germany is too far away from you...
but I wanna write you because...
well, you know youre looking great I think.
But there must be something more I think, goodlooking is
important but feelings are more important.
Especially when you become older.
Dont be afraid..Im 23 years old, blond haired with blue eyes
(darkblond)
but Ive made my party and now its time to love...
cu
maybe youll write me...

Subject: bonjour sean
Date: Mon, Oct 19, 1998 12:32 PM
From: Privacy2
Message-id: <19981019083201.13275.00002989@ng-fa1.aol.com>

you are very attractive
but it's not all ...
i'm sure you 'll find the man of your dream ... not me because i'm french and it's too far isn't it ... unless you have a private plane ... i invite you in france !
one word again : i'm sorry for my english ... it is not the better in the world !

so good bye !

bonne chance toi !

bisous
hugo

Got a comment about the FMI Telegram this week, of my news in general? Post a message for me on the FantasyMan Island Message Boards. Thanks for the fun messages this week. Hope you can top them next week!

Summer is over, but FantasyMan Island is still THE hottest place on AOL. Keep warm with the fun on FMI!

Do you love to find the best entertainment available online? Don't move your fingers. You're soaking in it. FantasyMan Island has everything you are looking for. Don't believe me? Check out the features page. It speaks for itself. All the great content you look for, with no oily residue!

Wanna get laid? Of course you do! Then cruise on into the great FMI Local areas. You will find SEVEN new FantasyMen of the Month in these local areas, but even more photos in the local photo libraries and message board folders. So, visit them all today... and get laid tonight!

Everybody Loves A Classic
You love me right? Of course you do!! You'd be crazy not to. So, naturally, you love the FMI News. Hot insights about hot guys. What more could you ask for, right? Okay, more pictures of hot guys. Well, after you have finished looking at the guys, why not towel off in the FMI News archive and see all of the past issues you missed? It's a great cool-down after a hard work out!

The FMI List
If you would like to be on the exclusive FMI e-mail list (which will only be used by me), e-mail me at fantasyman@planetout.com, and I will keep you informed of upcoming events and special deals, in addition to the news you will get every Monday here on FMI News.

The FMI News End Credits

Well, thanks again for joining me for another exciting edition of the FantasyMan Island News. As always, I till the freshest dirt here every Monday. You can find your own man of your dreams in the FMI Chat Room, or post a desperate message on the FMI Message Boards. You know, I have been dropping into the chat room, and it really is a lot of fun. If you havent been in a while, you should give it a try!

See you on Thursday night... or almost any night. Take a look. I might be there right now.

derek


 The Truth is Out There. X-Files Soundtrack on sale at MusicBlvd.com.


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