Sex & Love

Shlubby Is Sexy: ‘Nice Jewish Guys’ Calendar Creator Adam Cohen

Last year, Los Angeleno Adam Cohen created the Nice Jewish Guys calendar. Now that the 2010 calendar is available, he found time to speak to Jewcy about Jewish stereotypes, international fanmail, and why you shouldn’t discount the nice guys. So, … Read More

By / November 18, 2009

Last year, Los Angeleno Adam Cohen created the Nice Jewish Guys calendar. Now that the 2010 calendar is available, he found time to speak to Jewcy about Jewish stereotypes, international fanmail, and why you shouldn’t discount the nice guys.

So, why did you decide to make this calendar?

I’ve had this idea in my head for ten years. Over beers with friends I’d say "why are there only calendars of, like, hot firemen? I should make a Jewish calendar." My friends said, "You have to do that." Finally last year I did the first one. It was really hard. It wasn’t my full time job – I work in TV production in L.A. It was a passion project. I got people from the office to help out – one of our employees was interested in photography, and I said, "Great. You’re the photographer."

How did you choose the guys?

A couple of ways. We did outreach through Craigslist – just wrote "Are you Jewish?" and let people click on it. We tapped into friend networks, asked around, "who would be perfect for this?"

This one guy came in for a meeting in my office, and I kept staring at him. He said, "why are you staring at me?" I asked him to be in the calendar. He agreed to be in it as long as I didn’t put him on the cover. I did it anyway.

I was looking for guys who wouldn’t be invited to be in a calendar – like me. I wanted these guys to be every guy who never gets credit, people don’t say "you’re hot." But put this guy in a calendar and show how hot he is. There were no players – we interviewed the guys.

Did you put any thought to demographics when you chose the men? What is the Ashkenazi/Sephardic breakdown, for example? Where are these guys from?

About the Ashkenazi/Sephardic thing – I don’t know. I didn’t ask. All the guys are in L.A., but L.A. is kind of a transient city, so they’re from all over. They’re mostly Reform. No tattoos.

Have any of the guys gotten fanmail?

Yes. I’ve gotten the most fanmail for Jordan – he’s a bartender. And Dave. Jordan is the hunk, Dave looks like a nice guy. For some reason [Dave] gets a lot of mail from women in Australia.

What do you think the impression of a Jewish man is? Is he seen as a sexual being?

People know that there are ‘bad’ Jews – Madoff – but the generalization of Jewish men is that they’re trustworthy and a good catch. That can’t be true for everyone, but the "Nice Jewish Boy" lives on. I knew Jewish Bad Boys. We can go to monster truck rallies too. We can drive monster trucks.

Are you aware of the furor that erupted over a similar calendar that featured Mormon missionaries in beefcake poses? Its creator, Chad Hardy, was kicked out of BYU and excommunicated from the Church. Did you ever worry about a backlash or negative response?

I could have made a "hunky Jewish men" calendar, but I didn’t. There are so many examples of Jewish women’s sexuality out there, "Girls of the IDF" stuff. I wanted to feature "Nice Jewish Boys." No glasses. No one rubbing their hands in front of piles of money. No stereotypes. I wouldn’t make a Mormon calendar – that’s not what I know. I might do a Jewish women calendar.

The response has been really positive. The calendars are selling really well in Canada and Australia. I’m getting orders from Ireland, England, Singapore, all over.