Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.


CP: What’s a gay guy to do, I ask?


RN: Wow, this query could go in all kinds of directions.


CP: On one extreme are the just-announced-on-Huffington-Post “gaybros” — gay guys so macho that they just cannot relate to most other gay people.


RN: Until the conversation turns to window treatments. Then all bets are off.


CP: Then you have the new Broadway show “The Nance,” about male actors from Broadway’s burlesque days who shamelessly simpered and went all butterfly-hands for cheap laughs.


RN: What a great subject for a play, and a great excuse to get to NYC. I love Nathan Lane, and playwright Douglas Carter Beane does witty the way Jason Statham does sexy. Effortlessly.


CP: While I consider myself to be sort of mid-spectrum, my sympathy remains with those in the nance camp.


RN: I’ve always admired how you bury your inner Cojo beneath that Marine Corps recruiter exterior. But you’re right. In our Abercrombie & Fitched world, the girly-man isn’t exactly in vogue these days.


CP: Unless you count Cam on “Modern Family,” or Isaac Mizrahi.


RN: They are fictional and real-life examples of an increasingly rare phenomenon. But I admire how both are unabashedly and unapologetically the opposite of butch. Hey, that could be the title of their memoirs.


CP: Speaking of designers, Marc Jacobs exemplifies the rocket ride from one end of the continuum to the other. His new gym-god persona is enough to make me feel sorry for his schlubby former self. I bet the inner Marc still craves a carb and a manskirt.


RN: He reminds me of a comment I overheard at the gym. In between sets on the bench press, a guy praised the chiseled torso of a formerly flabby fellow gym-goer but archly observed that Mr. Hottie “was probably still fat on the inside.”


CP: Nice. I’m all for bright, funny, charming. Even biting. But the mean, clubby and conspiratorial stuff, whether coming from a Muscle Mary or a Carson Kressley? Not so much. Maybe we should go all “gaybro” after all. Though I’m not sure the Glance would survive the makeover.


RN: Especially since the only time yours truly has ever come close to the word “macho” was when I was singing along to the Village People’s “Macho Man” on the Saloon’s dance floor. That hardly makes me bro-tastic material.


CP: Agreed, then. While we adhere to our independence, our slogan is “nearer, my God, to nance.”


E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib