The Warwick Rowers are baring (almost) all once again for a steamy calendar they hope will further the “worldwide social movement” they launched nearly a decade ago.
The 2018 edition sees the Rowers, who are students at the University of Warwick in England, posing au naturel on the grounds of regal-looking estates in Spain and the U.K. The guys began stripping nude for the project in 2009 to raise funds for rowing gear, and though their earliest efforts were considerably less cheeky, their calendar quickly found an audience among gay men. (Watch a video trailer for the new calendar above.)
Once the Rowers caught on to who their most fervent admirers were, they opted to re-conceive their mission. Since 2012, proceeds from calendar sales have been donated to Sport Allies, a U.K. advocacy organization aimed at combating homophobia and gender bias in team sports. Recent editions of the calendar have raised more than $300,000 and are sold in 77 countries.
As in previous years, the 2018 calendar features many of the men sunbathing together and lounging around in various stages of undress. In a 2015 interview, rower Tristan Edwards explained that the photos are meant to be more playful than explicit, in hopes of normalizing male-on-male intimacy among both athletes and sports fans.
“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. “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.”
As for what would be considered “too hot” for the calendar, he continued, “We know our audience, we know our boundaries and we know what we’re trying to achieve. So we’d never do anything that would brand us as porn.”
Catch a sneak peek at the 2018 Warwick Rowers calendar below.