During the summer of 2011, banished to my sofa with a carton of orange juice and a summer cold, a friend suggested I watch a little show called My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. I was vaguely aware of the show at the time, as it had been slowly popping up all over the internet, but it was only after blazing through the first season that I understood the appeal. It was well written and beautifully animated, yes. But more than that, the entire thing was just so unabashedly cheerful, good-natured and unrelentingly positive it was impossible not to like it.

I bring this up because, to the best of my knowledge, it’s the best way I can describe what Anteros Media is. The site had been gaining followers slowly on Twitter for a few months before releasing its beta version, but by the time it was out, I was curious enough to grab a membership and see exactly what was going on here.

Named after Anteros, the Greek god of requited love, Anteros Media’s main goal is to feature men who connect on a sexual and spiritual level. Yes, these guys are hot, and you’re watching them make hot, sweet, man-love on one another, but it’s the fact that they actually know and love each other (platonically or romantically) that makes it work.

The first thing I noticed when I logged in to Anteros is how it starts off with no-holds-barred happiness. If you’re the kind of person who needs things with an edge of cynicism or misanthropy, chances are this site will be like pouring holy water over a vampire. The models are all gay, healthy and pleasant, and they perform not merely for the sake of collecting paycheques, but because they actually love what they do and love the people they’re working with. I know, how weird is that?

Despite being a new site, still in its beta stage, I found that it is easy to navigate and operates well. The video streaming is smooth, and despite its age, the site has an impressive selection. It also features a library of essays and literature on porn and sex, which I thought was a nice testament to its brand of intelligent porn. Not only that, but its FAQ and support sections are informative and helpful. And the best part of all: the site is ad-free. Admittedly, it may not have the polish of some big sites, but the product speaks for itself.

If I had to summarize my experience with Anteros in one word, I’d say the whole thing is pleasant. Like My Little Pony, it balances strong artistic merit with such an earnest embracing of optimism that it becomes almost infectious. Yes, friendship and happiness and love and respect might not be the coolest things ever, but ultimately, there are worse things to believe in.
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