Monday, July 19, 2010

Men & Nail Polish: Yay or Nay?

This topic was posted today on Michèle's blog. I wished to share my long response which turned out to be too long for the comments section so I published it here, happy reading ...

I admit I am impressed with the number of Yay responses to Michèle's topic, Wow that’s amazing.

I am a man in my early forties with liking for nail polish since my childhood. I use to play secretly with my mom’s polishes when I was a teen. In my twenties I was buying my own polishes and always had my toes polished. I went through the dilemma of the social acceptance of my passion; being straight to the bones I never viewed it as a furtive gay behavior but rather an innate love for polished nails, however I always feared social rejection being labeled as gay!

I shared my passion with my better half during our dating time, she was initially reluctant. It took her 10 years after our happy marriage to accept it, finding no harm in it, since it made me happy. Still, my painted toes were never exposed socially. In the late nineties, the Internet changed things completely, I found out I was not alone, neither gay, nor outside the norm; with Yahoo groups I discovered other males with a similar passion. There is no reason why society accepts males with long hair, earrings, tattoos, and not painted nails. However I do agree that it may be matching more particular males’ style than all males.

In the past few years I gained more confidence, I was able to meet in person female coworkers and on the internet female fellow polish addicts, and Jake, all equally passionate by nail polish and totally open to the idea of males with painted nails, that was awesome. I posted pictures on flickr and finally started my blog last May. My social comfort has risen to exhibiting my painted toes in sheer colors, and French pedicures, occasionally wearing bold colors at the beach. I do follow many blogs almost on regular basis, buy the latest collection of OPI, MISA, Essie, etc, my nail polish collection is way past 1000.

At present I share colors with my wife and greatly enjoy this passion. After self analysis I concluded it is in my DNA like the hundred of ladies blogging about it and unsurprisingly many have no passionate interest in other makeup as much as nail polish. I am perfectionist by nature and reflect it as well through the grooming and painting of my nails. Unfortunately I cannot keep up with the pace of fantastic daily nail bloggers. Whenever I have time I write my small piece of blog with pictures.

I am thrilled to be part of this unique community and hope time will make more people open minded about it. Thank you for reading being the only male commenting so far I thought worthwhile sharing my experience. Please scroll through other entries in my blog if you are interested to read more about my experience. I would be happy to read and reply to your comments.

Big thanks to Michèle for creating this topic J

65 comments:

  1. I loved your comment so much, you have no idea! I think it's GREAT you're being the person YOU want to be, even if society may think it's weird. I don't think it's weird, I think it's awesome!
    The nail blogging community can be such a warm place and I hope you like it here. And if I might add, your nails are absolutely perfect, I'll be following your blog for sure. Thanks so much for the great insight.

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    1. I love wearing polish some of my friends know. But my GF doesn't. I don't know how to tell her. She's old fashion. I've been polishing my toes since I was 10. And I can't stop. I just wish I could come out all the way and show them off. They r very sexy. I have them pink with white tip. Some day I'll come out.

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  2. It really bothers me that there are still limit put on a Man's masculinity or for that matter a Womans femininity!
    I see a Man with polished toes, I think "I know that color or I need that color" not any question of his sexual prefrence.
    Just as my dear friend who is an amazing Power Lifter, it would break my heat for anyone to question her femininity over that. She is a major girly girl.

    I was raised to not presume, assume or judge. I mean who am I to a stranger and what might they presume to know about me based on my pink hair, studds and not so demure appearance.

    I think you are fabulous and I am so happy to have the chance to get to know you as a fellow human who has a crazy love of polish!

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  3. Great post!
    Except for the bit about sharing the stash. I couldn't, I really couldn't... lol

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  4. Michèle, ... trying to grasp some air. I am sincerely touched by your response it is a super encouragement, I did not expect such positive comments 1) supporting my passion as a male 2) appreciating my mani/pedicures, particularly coming from you. I have always rated 10 your hands and your manicures, let alone the studio quality pictures. Thank you for following my blog. I hope you (will) have a life partner that shares your passion

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  5. Evil Angel the depth of your comment says it all ... you read my mind: Social boundaries defeat the meaning of beauty, personal likings & freedom of self expression. It also takes maturity, intelligence and self confidence to go through life without judging others.

    I reciprocate your compliment; you are as fabulous with many great (and rare) qualities. Glad we share many things in common including an unusual sense of humor and a crazy love for colors. I am also amazed by the length of your nails (I have a weakness for long nails) and the pain you go through to maintain long and pristine nails. Believe or not I felt very sad when you had many broken nails on April 1st ... is it normal doctor?

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  6. Kirsten thank you for your comment. Allow me to rephrase my sentence about "sharing"colors with my better half. As I am the crazy one about colors, the 1000+ nail polish stash is mine, and only mine, I am the one with lemming for new colors, no matter how many reds, blues, greens, yellows, neons, purples I have got, I am the one suffering from the urge to buy more.

    That qualifies me to be the one having hard time sharing my stash, particularly if you consider as well our teenage daughter who seem to have inherited my "color" genes. I have to visit her bathroom every week to take back the polishes she borrowed and place them back in the right drawer - does it sound familiar J . Who said life was simple .... so let's keep it colorful

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  7. Great post. I think it's a little silly of society to automatically view this as gay behavior. I think sexual preference really has no connection to nail polish or a man using makeup or dressing well for that matter.

    Thank you for sharing. I'm following you :)

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  8. Ashley, I am afraid society is all about norms. It often kills creativity and banishes imagination. My courage in using nail polish as a male is no different to the courage of female nail polish passionate daring unusual colors like greens & yellows when these colors were not yet the latest fad!

    I am following your blog as well :) Hope to read many reviews of yours on nail polishes

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  9. Hi! I wanted to say how cool it is that you like nail polish! I've never seen a guy before wearing nail polish so I think that it's really cool of you! Come by my blog whenever you get the chance!
    www.inbellesbubble.blogspot.com
    P.S.- Follow if you'd like! :)

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  10. It is a pleasure to read this blog. I have been wearing toenail polish for over 20 years, getting pedicures next to my wife of 40 years every two weeks. At first only clear but now any color that suits my fancy and I wear it proudly and in the open. The interesting thing is that I thought I would get negative responses but the opposite is true. First, many people who notice don't say anything or just smile or some guys just look strangely but a lot of women come over and ask me where I got them done and say that they wish they could convince their guys to do it also.
    I am now wearing a french manicure on my hands, using a pink then a less than white tip and then a clear pink on top; looks clean and pretty but not overtly white tips. Went for a job interview with these nails and nailed (ha a pun) the job. If the interviewer noticed he ignored it and hired me for my skills.

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  11. Kami, I have been an admirer of how meticulously you keep your nails for years. I wish mine could look that good! You are an inspiration to all of us who share this passion for polish.
    Interestingly, I have come to realize that developing this interest has not only served as an ice-breaker with others, but it is a common platform from which we began to share many other interesting views and interests together.
    And as others have stated, I enjoy pedicures with my wife just often enough so it is still considered a treat.
    I am glad that you started this blog and I look forward to many more intriguing entries (and comments)!

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  12. You know where my mind goes when I think of a man with immaculately painted long nails, and even beautiful makeup? I think of Egyptian Pharaohs and Emperors of China. Powerful beautiful men. I don't know. It just doesn't scream "Gay" to me. I appreciate a man who is fearless about how he wants to express himself.

    I'm new here, but I want to thank you for directing me back to that post on Michele's blog. I'm thrilled to find your blog and Pedicure Passion and add them both to my blogroll. I have a good friend who loves getting his nails did and doesn't hesitate to reach for the brights if that's what tickles his fancy. :)

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  13. I guess we're just not used to it. But it would be amazing if I could do my bf's nails (with flowers, glitter and all that stuff) and he woldn't feel emasculated :P

    I must say, you have some pretty mad skills at painting nails!

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  14. Thank you for following me and therefore letting me find your blog!
    At first I thought "hey...but...that's a dude..."
    And then I read your post and now I'm think it's really cool for a hetro male to be open about a passion that doesn't fit within the norm. I'm proud to be your follower.

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  15. I have been reading several blogs on the subject of men wearing nail polish. About two months ago I thought I would give it a try after my manicurist mentioned that she had several men geting pedicures with color. I have tried several colors from dark maroon, dark blue, metallic green, metallic purple, and several others and lately I have been getting palm trees with birds on my big toes. I must say that I am totally sold on colored polish on my toes and intend on continuing unstopped. I have been out in public to Wal Mart, K-Mart, several restaurants and fast food stores, and the mall in town and visited most of the stores there and received nothing but positive comments from all. Not one negative comment in two months that I have been polishing. I get excited about new colors that are released and I thoroughly enjoy the way my feet look after getting several pedicures. They are healthier, no callouses and with the polish I must say that look great (I hesitate to use the word "beautiful" but it may fit, I'll leave that description up to the ladies who view my feet). Overall, I am very pleased that I found out about this men with toe nail polish. I hope my experience will encourage other men who are thinking about painting their toes to do so and those who are not going out into public to get out their and feel confident about it because there is nothing waiting for you but positive comments.
    Oh! By the way, I am a 67 yr old straight Christian male.

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    1. I'm 55 and married for 28 years & enjoy having my nails painted. Would like to meet other guys that paint their nails. I live in Austin, TX.

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  16. Really? Are you a man?

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    1. Yep! I'm a guy. I would love to meet other guys in Austin, TX that paint thier nails as well.

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  18. Good morning, thanks for visiting my blog.
    you have amazing, super cute toes, they are delicate i do believe you really put passion on them, wonderful to have a man with neat toes.
    congrats.

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  19. Im a guy in my late twenties, and I have started wearing polish on my toe's in public and like most of the guys here I am getting nothing but positive feedback when out in public.

    I am by no means gay btw but I do picking different colour's to wear every few weeks.

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  20. Kami,
    I am so glad to hear such positive feedback. I have been painting my toes for 6 years now and wear them out in public. I am straight, married 30 years and I like the look. My wife likes it too and we get pedicures together twice a year. Keep it up. I'm too old to care what society says to do.

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  21. That is nothing better in the world like doing things u like!
    Actually when I fisrt saw ur toes on Flickr I never thought u're male because ur toes is just beautiful! And I would never have something near like urs!
    Please, keep doing ur wonderful painting and show it!
    YAY!!!

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  22. i dont think there is nothing wrong with men wearring nail polish i love to get nails polished

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  23. i would like to say the first time i had them polished my wife didnt like it but i told here i liked them done but know she dont say nothing about them she has even polished thim for me one of these day im goning to wear them in public.

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  24. I love my barefeet when my toes are painted with brightwhite whiteout color. Really looks great with a tan, shows off my toerings and sexy feet!!!

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  25. this is amazing im a teenager and i love nail polish! i paint try to paint my own nails and i get friends to paint them for me and it looks so pretty!unfortunately im too embarressed to be seen. but now that i know im not the only one, im planning to get a pedicure and show it off to the world!

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  26. Hello Girl,
    How are you?
    I'm Valeria,I'm brazilian girl, and I am writter of blog "contém 8ml"
    your blog is cool, I like it!
    I follow your blog.
    follow my blog too, www.contem8ml.blogspot.com
    Kisses
    See you!!!


    Valeria
    www.contem8ml.blogspot.com
    @contem8ml

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  27. I think it's great that you've come feel comfortable with your interest. It's really too bad that we live in a world where something that's actually so trivial could result in a lack of acceptance.

    Not long ago it hadn't even occurred to me that there would be a community of men (straight or otherwise) that share my interest in polish... But I think it's so coo!l And I really enjoyed reading your post!

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  28. I just found your blog and I look forward to reading much more! I had to laugh when I read the sentence below, because anyone who would question your masculinity would surely be corrected by this very male characteristic! (Well, in my mind, but of course that's generalizing too!)

    "...take back the polishes she borrowed and place them back in the right drawer."

    Thanks for a great read!

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  29. I too am a straight married man who keeps his toenails painted on a regular basis. I love the look and have vowed not to be polishless all summer. BTW, I love to wear flipflops and sandals all summer as well.

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  30. I have had color on my toes every now and then, usually just clear or faint pink hue. Recently one of my female friends suggested black and I went with a little different on the dark color with OPI Blk Cherry Chutney. It looked great! we went to art museum since she is an avid artist to see some new exhibits. I was wearing shorts and flip flops that day and the first time in public. I was surprised how many women came up to me and said how good it looks or what color it was..etc. I did get a few double looks by some guys but thats it. It was a confidence booster for sure.

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  31. I'm a straight college guy and I love nail polish. I am too shy to show anybody but my toes are always freshly painted, I also paint my fingers every night in a wide variety of colors. I got caught in physics class a few months ago and I was able to hide it without further comment but that experience was the first time I had finger polish on in public. I know if I had someone to do it with I'd be fine but since I'm all alone I'll just keep it hidden for now.

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  32. i say yay! my hubby is a terrible nail biter. i put black polish on him to keep him from biting his nails to oblivion lol. and it works!!!

    new follower here.

    i hope u get to visit my blog too

    http://www.nailsbykatevergara.com/

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  33. i think it's great, im 48 and love painting my toes. It really turns me on.

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  34. My wife took me for a pedicure last week. Now my toes are a pink-purple color! So far all the girls like it..lol. Fisrt for me but I am getting comfortable with it. Been wearing my flip flops.

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  35. I never went for a pedicure until I met my second wife. We have been married 5 years and have 5 kids 1 boy 4 girls. We usually go for couple pedis and as a joke I told her I would have my toes done in black to tease my 12 yo daughter. Long story short, she was embarassed at first, but now she is telling me what color to use! I like to see the look on people's faces when they see me in sandals holding my 3 yo girl wi my wife next to me. I am a great looking guy, totally straight, and very confident in myself. My wife actually is buying me colors when she goes to sr hora now! Currently I have a nice dark blue.

    Why do guys have to be embarrassed about this? I see most guys wi crappy feet it is sick. A girl about 4 saw mine in the post office and said mommy look that guys toes are painted. In replied to her yes honey they are and your mommy I bet wishes your daddy would take as good of care of his feet as I do. LOL. Nothing to be ashamed of, nothing gay. Just fun and expressive. I actually feel naked with out them painted. Kind of like not wearing a watch. And makes you feel super sexy when you make love to your wife!

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  36. you have amazing, super cute toes, they are delicate i do believe you really put passion on them, wonderful to have a man with neat toes.

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  37. I too am early 40's and I paint my toes and finger nails from time to time. I recently used a Turquoise on my nails and OMG, it just looked so cool! I am not gay at all. I am totally hetero, but it's kind of cool to add some color to yourself, and guess what it's not like a tattoo! It comes off really easy. I totally wish I could wear all the time, but I would be embarrassed if I wore color in public. So for now I will remain a closet painter.

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  38. I have painted my toes for 7 years now. I wear them out and proud of it. My wife loves them. I have real nice feet. Life is too short. have fun and enjoy.

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  39. I've been painting my nails for 40+ years and yes I wear them like that out in public. It started as a little boy with my older sister and cousins. Now I'm over 50 and my feet are well kept all the time and well polished 90 percent of the time and I have yet to get any negative comments in public. Some people stare, but ladies who are strangers seem to be very comfortable. My wife was a bit skeptical at first although she now seems to really like it. I normally stay with earth tones but every now and then orange or red is the color of the week. I can envision a day that it becomes more accepted by the majority of people.

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  40. Hi
    I went to the Nail Salon about a week ago for a manicure, When she was done, I gave her a bottle of light pink polish and asked if she would apply it on me? She smiled and said Yes, No Problem. I have been wearing it in public and no one has said a word about my finger nails.
    Times are changing. It may not be right for some Men, But it feels right for me.

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  41. Hi
    Just got back from Sally Beauty Supply.
    Found what I was looking for.
    Orly Brand polish, Naked Ivory.
    Just did my fingernails, One base coat, Two coats Naked Ivory, and then Top coat.
    My nails look like just one coat of Clear, but I know it is a full FOUR COATS.
    LOVE IT.

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  42. I just found your blog and kept on reading it. I found the story interesting and really impressive for promoting my site. It will really help you guys over there. Check out tips and products for your foots.

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  43. I have bitten my finger nails for over 30 years but now I have clear base and top coat on my finger nails. I dont bite them now I love them. my wife paints them, and as for my toe nails they have been painted for the last few years, my wonderful Mrs does them as well. Although in the summer I stick to the classic french manicure because I love to wear sandels

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  44. After having stumbled on your french manicure post (as I've already commented!) I hadn't even noticed that you were a man, and really I don't think it's as strange as you might think. My dad is a professional classical guitarist and probably spends way more time and money on his nails than me. And he quite often goes to the salon to get them done in emergencies before gigs! Some of my friends think it's a bit odd but I like that it's different. I love that you've made a blog about your love for polish and excited to be a new reader!

    Wig Wam xx

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  45. I started as a child too but after many years of wanting my toes polished, I've finally accepted that's how it will be!! Heck with what other people may think. My toes are always polished now!!! My favorite colors are hot pink or 'I'm Not Really A Waitress'!! I just love the way they look!!!

    I'm up to my 7th set of gel french manicure acrylic nails on my fingernails, some long, some short, once a darker shade of pink I absolutely loved, but mainly I keep them short and rather natural looking. Love the way they feel and look!! Nobody even pays attention but me!!!

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  46. Well this is a bit of fun and relief! I'm only a month into my own nail saga, and finding others in the same arena and sympathizers/fans is nice.

    I, too, am a long married hetero male (I think! :0 - lol!). I just discovered the fun of painted nails a month ago via a FaceBook prank with my wife.

    A very long story short - it involved a set of 6" heeled suede platforms that I found and thought brilliant for the wife, Upon briging them hoe and finding them far too big for her - she fit them upon my feet for a perfect fit! We decided to post pics on FB on her profile as a joke and thought that using some of her nail polish would seal the deal on the joke. The larger joke at hand is that they are shoes that she'd likely never wear.

    Suffice it to say that once I saw my tootsies properly painted in Revlon 570 "Vixen" - I was hooked! I can honestly say that I don't know that I'll travel back to the "unpainted side".

    Thank you to Kami and all that have posted here that have let a noob feel comfortable. I feel like a human peacock!

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  47. I'm a boy 11 years old I want to wear polish but cant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  48. I am a boy of 18 and love to paint my nails....I paint my nails secretly....I paint them pink, silver, purple, brown... I also put lip stick.... but till will be a problematic to be caught

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  49. I have been painting my toenails since I was ten years old.I love to paint them a sexy red. Then one day after being told by many woman that for a guy I had legs that a woman would die for I came home and shave creamed up my legs and with long strokes of the razor shaved them bare. I felt so femmie at this time that I raised up my arms shave creamed the pits and took them down bare. I now like to wear hose, panties,bra and sexy high heels. What started out for me as simple toenail painting has made me realize that I love all this so much that I am transgendered. I have a gift I get to live the best of both worlds. Not bad.

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    1. I'll dive in at greater length at another time, but I must agree. Although the syntax was a bit different for me.

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  50. I just started my own blog on here called 'It's ok for men to have painted nails in public' and am now looking up all the other guys with blogs who also paint their toes or fingers. So I was glad to find your blog and wanted to offer my support for your blog as well as to say thanks for posting your stories.

    And I also have a group on Flickr that I've run for several yrs with the exact same name.

    I too have been painting my toes for many years but have only been going out in public with them painted for about 3 yrs now. I go out in sandals with my toes painted most any color from pink to blue but have a preference for darker blues and darker reds. I get 99% positive comments and few negatives. The negatives are so minor it's no big deal, like 'I really can't understand why you would want to do that', so I no longer worry about it and just do what I feel like.

    Anyway, glad to find you, and I'll be following your blog and hope you'll do the same.

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  51. Well - I'm a total Nail Noob, but after seeing this over on Steve's FB page, I felt the need to return home.

    This was actually the very first blog that I made commentary on a few months ago when the Polish Pixies possessed me! Once I "polish up" my blog a bit - I shall share it on FB and Flickr.

    Great to come "back home".

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  52. Im a straight guy and i love to paint my toe nails and finger nails bright red i thought i was alone or there we something wrong with me but now i know there is others just like

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  53. I would like to meet other guys in Austin,Tx that paint thier nails. I'm married & my wife and I enjoy getting pedicures every two weeks or so. I've even gone by myself a few times. When away on vacation I love to show offf my nails in public. We're in our med 50's. Not sure that family nor friend would accept very well.

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  54. Painting fingernails is a guilty pleasure of mine, not one that I openly reveal to friends but I can at least do it in public when when I'm out by myself.

    My favourite colour is black, in fact it's really the only colour I wear. I suppose it strikes me as a more masculine colour, but I'm also fine with blues and purples. For me it's just a thing I like. I'm not gay or a cross dresser. I guess you're right, for many guys it's just an innate love of having nice looking polished nails.

    It started out when I was a teenager, I would secretly use my sister's top coat when nobody was home. I didn't have the nerve to go out and buy nail polish but I had plenty of black paint (from my model building hobby). So I would paint my nails with this then apply the top coat. I guess that's how it started!

    Eventually in my uni years I plucked up the courage to start buying my own polishes and start going out with polished nails. I thought "why the hell not, it's only nail polish, what's the worst that can happen?" Despite telling myself this, the first visit to Superdrug was nerve wracking as hell. As a 20 year old browsing the aisles and clutching a few colours in my hands, I was approached by one of the young girls who worked there. As professional and polite as she was, this must have been very amusing to her. My hands stood out like a beacon. I had been daring enough to come out with a glossy deep black manicure. She was so helpful, helping me pick out colours, all the while staring with a quiet fascination. I'm now 25 and more comfortable shopping for nail supplies. I've more than 2 dozen different polishes. How many different shades of black, blue and purple can someone have? A lot, it turns out.

    These days I'm a lot more comfortable out in public, at bookstores, buying clothes, eating at cafes. People don't expect the nails, they see a "regular" looking guy and a few seconds later they see black as night nails, then they can't stop staring and thinking "is he goth or is he gay?" Except for one occasion, I've not had a single negative comment and no one's said a thing to me.

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  55. i am 19 and love to paint my nails.... I also wear lips stick....

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  56. what is your mail id.... want a little help from u..... plz mail me at neha.facebook.co@gmail.com

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  57. I've nominated you for the Liebster award!!!Get more info here:
    http://redpolishorbadpolish.blogspot.com/2012/12/liebster-award-nominations-on-road.html
    Hope you enjoy it!!!

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  58. Hi, I came across your site and wasn’t able to get an email address to contact you about a broken link on your site. Please email me back and I would be happy to point them out to you.

    Thanks!

    Angela
    angelabrooks741@gmail.com

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  59. hi not sure how this will find you but i am a male and i as well have a passion for painted toes i offten do wear in piblic i am a gym go'er and it was hard at first but given the kind of person i am i dont care what othes think when they are negitive about it i a who i am. i wear more purple colors than any other i think i have over 40 purple colors and about 500 in total.. your blog is awsome i read it all the time.. any way just thought i would share a little and let you know there are males out there that are passionate about it too.. thank you.. blackdragonstang@yahoo.com

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  60. Hi Kami. Thanks for following my blog. I really appreciate it (: But i aint able to follow back you blog |: I will try agian shortly . I roamed around your blog and you are surely talented!

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