Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lust List 2014: Steve Blanchard

Editor-in-chief, Watermark, 36, in a relationship.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 4:00 AM

You’re the newspaper editor most likely to take his shirt off and have nobody mind. Have you always looked like this?
I was a runner in high school, I ran the hurdles. But I was always very, very thin. I hated the gym, hated weightlifting. But about 11 years ago I finally decided to try it out.
click to enlarge “Every day's a different muscle group.” - TODD BATES
  • Todd Bates
  • “Every day's a different muscle group.”

How do you avoid the pitfalls of our profession — laptop stoop-shoulder, late-night fast food…?
It’s all about feeling better, and being active. It’s hard to unplug from work, but when I do, I don’t want to be the journalist Steve, I want to be the guy that somebody says, “Oh, dude goes to the gym once in a while.”

Could we define you as a muscle bear?
I think so.

What is a muscle bear?
Depends on who you ask. From what I’ve seen it’s a gay man who does not groom his body excessively, at least 215 pounds or heavier, and solid. {Steve is 6'3", 225.] For a long time I was told I was a muscle cub.

So do you ever get hit on when you’re doing a story?
I do.

How do you handle that?
It’s interesting. I’m always very nice. I can’t think of an example when I’ve been rude to somebody, it’s not in my nature. I thank them for the compliment.
click to enlarge TODD BATES
  • Todd Bates

On the other hand, it’s helpful, right? You can flirt your way to a good story, no?
There’s no doubt there. I have done that, I’m guilty. Regardless of all this craziness, like standing here shirtless in Creative Loafing, I still love my job as a journalist, and the first thing is getting the story and talking about whatever the issue might be.

Describe your fitness regimen.
Usually about an hour and a half, six days a week, seven if I can. Every day’s a different muscle group. And I get to work out with my boyfriend.

Who’s also a muscle bear.
Yes, he’s in incredible shape. He’s also a certified trainer. So that’s been very handy. Any part of my body I’m not happy with, he knows exactly what to do. I have goals to get to before St. Pete Pride — which is incredibly egotistical.

What’s your biggest turn-on about him?
I am a chest and arm man, and he’s got a great chest, his arms are huge. And he’s just such a gentle guy — he’s incredibly sweet.

What turns you on about journalism?
I thiink the most exciting thing is finding that story or that quote that nobody else has, of sharing news in a different way than it may have been shared before. A good example is the Charlie Crist story [Watermark publisher Tom Dyer’s interview with Crist, a big get for the paper because it was the former governor’s first interview with a gay publication], or the story that I did on bug-chasing [intentional self-infection with HIV]. It was a chance for me to educate people in a way that was not lecturing them.

Have there been any times, because of the way you look, people underestimate you?
As far as my career goes, I don’t think so. But one thing I get a lot is, “Wow, muscles and a brain?” Which they think is a compliment, but it kind of isn’t.

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