Interview w/ Colby Melvin: Life, Love, Underwear, Depression, & His New Gig w/ AdamMale.
“I love when a company lets me be me.”
That was the sentiment that resonated through Instinct’s recent interview with Colby Melvin. We had a chance to talk to Colby as he starts his very new venture as the brand ambassador for AdamMale. We’ll get to that a little later. But first we had to figure out how does a 29 year old 5’7” activist and social influencer get to this position in his life.
Colby, born and raised in Louisiana, came out in Mobile, Alabama when he was a frat boy (oh to be in that house). He stated his life has never really been planned out that he was going to be this or that, but instead things just happen as his life went along. “It’s been a rollercoaster, all over the place, and unbelievable,” he said. “The conversation just happened one day where I said wouldn’t it be funny to move to LA and become an underwear model … and then things just happened.” He said the men’s underwear industry wasn’t as big as it is now when he made the trek to California.
We’ve seen Colby in a couple of different waist bands over the years. I think my first recollection of Colby Melvin was back in 2012 when he was a part of the Andrew Christian clan and starred in the well-known videos “’Almost Naked’ Road Trip” and “The Newbie” which are easily found on the Internet. That year also found Colby in front of the camera telling us all about himself for another panties resource we love, The Underwear Expert. I asked him about the changes from one company to the next. “I think the underwear industry is a ladder to climb,” he said. “If you stay with one company your entire career you don’t grow as a model, you eventually plateau.”
We don’t see Colby plateauing at all. There’s been a lot of sharing and growth in the past year alone. In 2016, he used his platform to open about his struggle with depression (see his Facebook Live video ‘Keeping it 100’ embedded below). Also in 2016, Colby was invited to the white house to discuss men’s health in America and about reframing the way that we talk about health, mental health, and men’s mental well-being.
Colby is a great deal happier now and he credits that mainly to his change in his environment and the continued support of his friends. He shared that he was very unhappy in Los Angeles and has found a great new home in Denver. “There’s board game nights, movie nights with friends, I just love the environment.” He was realizing on work and vacation trips, especially when he traveled back home to Louisiana and visiting Chicago, those environments were so different than the LA environment and his mental health was better. “Other places, it didn’t take 45 minutes to drive 2 miles, the cost of living in LA was too much, and it never felt like home.” He knew what needed to change, so on February 1 of this year, he moved his life to Denver, Colorado.
“Do you miss anything from LA,” I asked. “The Fashion District,” was his response. “That was great to be near, especially if you’re into sewing and making your own clothes.
A change in environment is a great thing and seems to be working for Colby. We wondered if people would think Colby couldn’t handle it in Los Angeles. I asked Mr Melvin, “but what do you say to your critics? The ones that don’t approve of you doing modeling and now being the face for an adult toy company?”
“People forget that they see only the tip of the iceberg on social media,” said Colby. He elaborated that he runs into people that have the preconceived notion that having followers is what ‘someone like him' lives for and that he is a certain way. "Everything you do in life, people love or hate it. I do not do what I do for validation from others. About this next venture … having conversations about sex life, open and honest communication … I remember when I was younger, we didn’t really have sex ed. We were told that anal and masturbation would lead you to hell.”
Melvin’s partnership with AdamMale started in January of this year and once again it was something that just fell into place and was not sought out. But it did go along with what he was thinking he wanted to do more of, which was moving out in front of the camera and challenging himself to do more and become a spokesperson for a company.
“I’m excited about working with AdamMale,” said Melvin. “Much of my advocacy work is centered around empowering gay men to own their sexuality unapologetically. Whether you’re simply exploring or a bit more experienced, AdamMale has fun products that will satisfy anyone’s curiosity. The best part is that 20% of their profits go to HIV/AIDS organizations.”
In a press release AdamMale wrote: “Colby Melvin is the perfect fit,” stated Lee Grutman, media strategist at AdamMale. “He’s sexy, smart, outgoing and has a great sense of humor. Colby is a tireless advocate committed to helping gay men feel comfortable with their sexuality and does an incredible job reaffirming that sex is a natural and wonderful thing. Colby shares AdamMale’s commitment to giving back by donating his time and talent to charitable organizations. We could not have asked for a better brand ambassador.”
So what about sex? Colby perceives his partnership with AdamMale as a chance for him to once again show his fun and quirky personality and to use it to help start/carry on the discussions around sex, education, information, humanity, sexual exploration, so that gay men can be more comfortable with those topics. Bringing people’s sex life to the next level. Taking sex out of a static image.
If you’re going to be a spokesperson for a sex toy site, you’re going to have to know a thing or two yes? What does Colby know about this? He stated, “My tree has a lot of branches. I’m comfortable with my sexuality, trying new things. It’s always great to have a partner you are comfortable with, sex with a partner, and sex with someone you click (with).”
He talked about some of the emails and questions he’s already received covering a variety of topics. One was from one member of a monogamous couple of 5 years. The sex was vanilla in the relationship and never had sex toys and they were bored, but did not want to open up the relationship to another person. They did agree they wanted more from their sex life together, but not sure how to go about it.
“Adding sex toys to a relationship without scaring the other person away is a concern of many. I recommend Clone-A-Willy. It where you make a mold of one of the partner’s member, or you could order two, but it takes two to make this happen and it doesn’t leave anyone out or feeling inadequate or second guessing their ability to satisfy the other sexually.”
Making a mold of a penis, hmmm. “Will we see you launching your own sex toys matching your anatomy any time soon?” I asked. The answer to that was no, he did not have any desire to do so.
Since I did have his attention and he was talking sex toys, I asked Colby what he thought were some exciting sex toys to consider. He mentioned AdamMale's Super Sex Sling, the Ultimate Sex Machine, and an adapter that made any water bottle a douche.
I desired to know a little more about his playfulness and asked what sex toy he would find exciting. “A concept of a butt plug or anal beads that are on a wireless remote control. One person would wear them in public and the other sexual partner would have the remote control. It would be a very hot foreplay type of scene.” *looks for MasterCard, Kayak.com, flights to Denver, now*
So if you see Mr. Colby Melvin walking around Denver with a remote control, look for a happy camper nearby. Is there someone in Colby's life at this time? “I’m currently single,” he said. “Not looking for anything. I’m all about being in a relationship. I love sharing life with a partner.” FYI, he does prefer hairy men. *still searching for plane ticket*
We know he doesn’t make concrete plans when it comes to his long-term future employment plans and things just fall in his crotch, lap, hands, but I did ask what he thought would be fun, like he thought being an underwear model would be all those years ago. “COLBY MELVIN - lifestyle brand. Why not! Health info, workouts, diet, luggage. Who knows? I’m still all about being myself, working with people that allow me to be myself and rolling with whatever life throws my way.”
What a great outlook on life. Thank you for your time Colby and best of luck in this and other future endeavors.
Colby Melvin - Keeping it 100