Rob Lowe was October’s 2010 cover guy for “Men’s Fitness”. The guy still looks hot at 46. I have been following his career ever since I spent a male-bonding men’s weekend with him, James Belushi and 498 other guys in the early 1990’s.
The decade began with me being newly married to my second wife. I was feeling unhappy and depressed with my life. At this point, I wasn’t yet “closeted” about my sexuality. Rather, I was in total denial about my interest in men. It would be another ten years before I would come out.
I had started seeing a male therapist and he suggested I look into doing this “Men’s Weekend” that claimed to offer the “freedom to be the man you always wanted to be.” In the 1980’s, I had done an est-like weekend that was popular part of the human potential movement. While I enjoyed the dynamics of the event, I never felt like I experienced “personal transformation and enhanced power.” But a weekend of just men strangely sounded very appealing. Maybe it could help explain my total lack of interest in sports but my visual appreciation of strong/fit athletic men.
I paid my $500 dollars and was interviewed or “processed” by previous attendees (aka “sponsors”). The “Weekend” was held at a Scottish Rite Temple in Oakland. When I showed up there was quite a buzz in the registration line as it became apparent there was a significant celebrity contingent in attendance for this weekend. Not only were there two Hollywood actors but also there were several other LA entertainment insiders as well as a couple of well-known musicians. The musicians’ names didn’t make much of an impression on me but I think one was from the band The Clash.
Lowe and Belushi had starred together several years earlier in the 1986 movie “About Last Night…” that was based on the David Mamet play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago”. By the early 90’s, Rob Lowe was in the midst of rehabilitating his career after being caught in one of the early celebrity sex-tape scandals in 1988. James Belushi was still looking for a career breakout from being best known as John Belushi’s younger brother.
The weekend included an entertaining assortment of macho and fierce rituals. “est” meets “Iron John” is one way to describe it. We were yelled at for trying to manage and feminizing our relationships with women; told we were jerks and should embrace our jerkhood; shared emotional but masculine stories; smoked cigars; drummed, chanted and danced naked around a smoking hibachi. Just the usual heterosexual male bonding stuff. But for me, I will never forget being in the auditorium filled with incense smoke and dancing in a circle behind a naked Rob Lowe at the climax of a 17-hour “rite of passage” on the last day.Celebrity EXTRA: I just came across this candid photo of Rob Lowe taken several years earlier in 2008. I love this photo too. It shows a relaxed (gut not sucked in) Rob Lowe looking like an average, happy 44-year old man. You don’t have to have hard, muscular physique to still be sexy.