MEDIA: Matt Alber’s “Handsome Man” video is a 4-minute primer on gay male intimacy

One of the paradoxes of gay male porn is that it shows all the juicy explicit details of sexual intimacy while rarely giving the slightest hint of emotional or social intimacy — such as what people say in order to get into sexual situations and what they say after everybody orgasms. So guys who watch a lot of porn, especially younger guys, guys who are in the closet, late bloomers, and the sexually inexperienced, can get lulled into thinking that’s all there is and forget or never learn how to conduct the simplest forms of interpersonal socializing.  Because if you’ve never seen it, how are you supposed to know what it looks like?

The new video by Texan gay singer-songwriter Matt Alber (which debuted today on represents a perfect antidote or companion to a steady diet of porn. In just 4 minutes and 44 seconds, it captures a multitude of glimpses of gay male intimacy that hardly ever show up even in full-length films and TV shows about gay life.

Two good-looking guys who aren’t kids, who have facial hair, geeky glasses, and imperfect bodies — 39-year-old Alber and his buddy Alan — wake up in bed together. They get up slowly, nuzzling and smooching. They have breakfast, they go back to bed, they take pictures of each other. They share a book. One writes a secret note on the back of a strip of photo-booth shots they’d obviously taken recently. The other one reads it after the guy leaves, and you see emotion surge into his eyes.

As these scenes play out, we hear the song “Handsome Man,” which kicks off Alber’s recently released EP Wind Sand Stars. The lyric conveys some of the simple thoughts and questions that emerge when you’re Getting to Know Someone:

Hey handsome man what’d ya do last night?
Did you have a good time? Was the music all right?
Did you wear that jacket with the deep blue jeans?
Bet the boys went crazy, bet you caused a scene.
Cuz everybody smiles when a handsome man walks by

Say handsome man, where you off to now?
Are you out in the garden or off to town?
Are there any new songs that you’re listening to?
I’m gonna take ya dancing when I come to see you

Handsome man, can I ask you this?
I know we’ve both been loved and we’ve both been kissed
But when the hounds are sleeping and the night is deep
Will you tell me the story of you and me?

I love that Matt Alber prizes these tiny mundane touches of gay male affection and interest and that he’s willing to model them, to be a kind of teacher of gay intimacy. Check out the video and let me know what you think. And if you haven’t ever seen it, be sure to check out the video that put Alber on the map, “End of the World,” an even more romantic four-minute fairy tale with the kind of happy ending you don’t see in porn.

One thought on “MEDIA: Matt Alber’s “Handsome Man” video is a 4-minute primer on gay male intimacy

  1. YESSS! that’s a pitch perfect portrayal of the complicity that’s present when the spark has turned the magical chemistry that exists between two people who get to know each other into a flame. Really envious of that genuine fleeting emotion…

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