The Warwick Rowers are University of Warwick student athletes who began publishing a calendar in 2009 to raise funds for team rowing gear. Photos of the ripped fellows featured them nearly nude, and the project naturally gained a devout fandom of gay men. Since 2012, the Rowers have redirected the proceeds of the hot item to go to the United Kingdom-based Sport Allies, a group which works to fight homophobia and gender bias in team sports. Growing popularity of the calendar (sold in 77 countries), chockful of very fit male eye candy, has raised over $300,000.
Current themes of the calendar, catering to a gay audience, have been accurately described as “cheeky,” but the bods tastefully shine through the strategically placed grape bunches, fig leaves and competition trophies. You will be biting your knuckles, dropping your jaw, and playing Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September,” Disclosure’s “January,” or maybe “October Song” by Amy Winehouse in your head while enjoying the monthly displays of charitable virility.
On the calendar’s “playful” concept, rower Tristan Edwards explained the evolution from simple beefcake to suggestive matter-of-fact “male on male intimacy.”
“A lot of the problems around homophobia in sport come from the enforcement of gender norms…people saying what a man is or what a woman is,” Edwards told HuffPost in 2015. “We don’t want to be put into a box in terms of what a man ‘should be’ in sport. This is how we think you can act.”
Each month provides a sexy new fantasy, as photo-shoots of the scantily clad, top-form Warwick Rowers took place on lush estates in Britain and Spain, the latter showing the lads posed on rocky beaches like deities emerged from the sea. Even though you can get a sneak peek here (and take a gander at the promo video), buy the calendar—it’s cheaper than a vacay and for a noble cause.