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Let's talk about sex. Let's talk about masculinity. Let's talk about masculine sexuality. Let's talk about mascuality. If that's not a thing, let's make it a thing. Let's break down barriers, let's cross borders, let's kick down doors, rip off duvets and expose the reality of life between the sheets in Britain today. (Duvets and sheets? Global warming, mate; can't be too careful.)
Let's do all that without our trousers on, because, really, in 2014, who needs trousers? Let's talk about lust, about desire, about positions, about performance, about porn and pain and pleasure.
Let's talk about our darkest, deepest, dirtiest imaginings. Let's open our hearts, as well as our flies. Let's be fearless and frank. Let's be adult. Let's not hide behind a smokescreen of schoolboy sniggering. Let's tell the world who and what and where we love and when and why and how often and in what order of preference. Let's share.
(Now let's put our trousers back on, in case anyone gets the wrong idea, and because they're actually really nice trousers. )
This is Esquire's Not Safe For Work Issue. Men, if we can't be honest with each other here, if we can't shout our sexual truths from the rooftops, or at least confess to having once Instagrammed our genitalia in a fit of drunken despair, we're really in trouble. But before all that, please allow me to introduce a couple of the other features in this issue. Then we'll get down to the nitty-gritty, the slap and tickle, the bump and grind. Promise.
Let's talk, then, about the Culture section. (Think of this as foreplay; yes, I know it's boring but if a job's worth doing… ) Boy, what a section the Culture section is this month! We've got eye-opening photographs of Britain's festival sites pre- and post-invasion. A McConaughey-inspired guide to Hollywood reinventions. The film-maker Richard Linklater — original discoverer of McConaughey — on his intriguing new project, Boyhood. A Tour de France drinking game. The science of tattoos. A band called Woman's Hour. An exhibition called "Disobedient Objects". A book by someone whose surname is Pancake.
But back to sex, and to my own sex life in particular. It's something I feel I haven't written enough about in this space in the past — I tend to get horribly bogged down in the contents of the month's magazine, and before I know it I've run out of space. That's something I would like to remedy right now.
In unsparing detail.
In just a moment.
Because first of all, there's the Style section to flag up. This month's is particularly strong. We've got sartorial inspiration from Humphrey Bogart to Tinie Tempah; fashion advice from Jeremy Langmead; travel tips from our globetrotting adventurer Tom Barber (actually spends most of the year at home in Norfolk, but keep that between us); health and fitness ministrations from our in-house instructor, Harry Jameson; summer pudding recipes from chef supreme Mark Hix; a guide to the best British ciders (I recommend Burrow Hill, which I just recently sampled, over ice, at Mark Hix's — where else?); a re-evaluation of the daiquiri; James Gurney on the stealthy appeal of Longines; pages on the best white shirts, the best running shoes, the best luxury skate shoes (oh, yes) and the best summer colognes on the market.
All that, and Esquire's art team, the filthy cads, undertook an experiment to find out how many Swedish girls they could fit in a souped-up Volvo estate. The results are disputed, but the picture's on page 44.
Good, that's out of the way. Back to the hot and heavy business of the Sex Issue. And time for a confession. I have an unusual predilection. Peccadillo, is maybe a better word for it. Perversion, even. It's something I usually keep quiet, for fear of frightening the children, the horses and the police. I'm a bit ashamed of it, to be honest. But we're among friends, here, aren't we? You won't judge me, will you? You see, it's just that… hang on a minute.
Did I neglect to mention the accessories shoot?
This month, we've gone all out for summer holiday style, by which we do not mean baggy board shorts, last year's flip-flops, stained singlets and knotted hankies on the head. Instead: six pages of the best in luxury poolside accoutrements, from handmade leather sandals to knitted cashmere polos to luxury tote bags. Job done.
And so, as the breakfast DJ said to the teenage competition winner, to business. It started a few years ago. I was away for work, totally alone, on a steaming hot night on the balmy backstreets of…
Hold on, hold on.
Bloody Justin Theroux. Totally forgot to direct you towards the multitalented star of the new HBO drama The Leftovers and of this month's blockbuster Esquire fashion shoot, in which he takes to the streets of Brooklyn to demonstrate how to pull off summer style in the city.
And so to bed.
Oh, wait. Nightmare. Forgot the Sex Issue stuff. Briefly, then: 54 pages of this special issue of Esquire are devoted to a discussion of sex: what we do, how and when and with whom we do it, and where we upload the pics to afterwards. I take no credit for any of this (though I share the blame, of course). Miranda Collinge, Esquire's fiercely talented features editor, commissioned almost all of it, wrote half of it, edited the rest. She's done a stand-up job of it, too. I take my hat off to her. Nothing else, though. That would be inappropriate.