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Gay and he has a tail...Meet Eric, 22, who lives life as a MERMAN swimming in Florida's springs wearing a latex tail

When Eric Ducharme slips into his handmade fin to explore the crystal clear waters of Florida’s natural springs as a merman, he says he’s mentally transported as well.

So is the unique, eye-catching life of this Florida man who says he eats, sleeps and breathes mermaids while physically looking and acting like one as often as time allows.

'It's a lifestyle. It's a path in life that I have chosen,' says the 22-year-old from Crystal River who’s one of the latest characters to appear on TLC's My Crazy Obsession.

Three times a week Ducharme drives more than an hour and a half to swim in one of his shimmering handmade suits at a natural spring.

'I came out here looking for some alligators and saw a tail that I've never seen before in a river,' a confused man sitting on the banks confesses on camera.

Passing before him, the ends of Ducharme's long orange tail flicker above the water's surface like a giant gold fish. It's a sight that keeps him and a few other men fixated.

'When I put on a tail I feel transformed,' Ducharme says while resting on the water's edge. 'I feel like I'm starting to enter into a different world when I hit the water.'

He calls it 'mermaiding,' his own style of costumed free-diving that he says allows him to escape the world up above.

Being under water I feel, I'm just totally away from the world,' he explains while able to hold his breath for up to four minutes at a time.

Though as bizarre of a 'lifestyle' activity as it is, it's one his family and even boyfriend have accepted - it not without initial astonishment.

'When I first met Eric, I was introduced to the subject of mermaids, on our first date,' Ducharme's boyfriend Matthew Quijano opens up on camera. 'Your jaw just kind of drops and you're just like, "wow."

'When we go swimming I don't even see him because he swims off to his own little corner, it's all about getting away from the rest of the world,' he says.

'Eric is obsessed with mermaids,' his mother Candy Ducharme shares on the program. 'We have our own passions. That's Eric's life.'

Since Ducharme was a child he says he's been fascinated with mermaids.

At the age of 16 he put on his first show while swimming as the mermaid prince in Weeki Wachee Springs Little Mermaid show in 2006.

But even before that he says he was hand making his own tails from everything from garbage bags to fabrics before eventually becoming good enough to sell and donate them to the park at the age of 13.

'It's taking me a really long time to kind of understand my place in life,' Ducharme says of his self-admitted obsession.

Today he has transformed his beloved hobby into a business, using silicone, urethanes, and latex rubbers to create shimmering wet suits featuring life-like colors and textures of scales and flowing fins.

'I have tails that are as real as fish you just caught on your boat, which are available to every aspiring mermaid and merman who dreams of life in the sea,' Ducharme's website, The Mertailor, reads.

No matter how you see it, he describes the tails as 'a fun and exciting physical activity.'

pics at link

by Anonymousreply 4904/08/2013

video

by Anonymousreply 104/04/2013

It's cute and harmless.

C'mon, you know a few of you liked those muscular, shirtless mermen in "The Little Mermaid."

by Anonymousreply 204/04/2013

I've already nicknamed him "Ethel"

by Anonymousreply 404/04/2013

He do charm ladies, he do charm.

by Anonymousreply 504/04/2013

"I'm pretty...I'm a pretty gill, Momma..."

by Anonymousreply 604/04/2013

MerMAN!

by Anonymousreply 704/04/2013

Okay, the boy's obviously nutty as a fruitcake... but I have to admit that the video at R1 looks like A LOT of FUN!

It's a harmless passion. Bizarre, but somewhat charming.

by Anonymousreply 804/04/2013

Good for him, he's seems happy. I hope no one is mean to him.

I would feel panicky though...I need to move my legs freely in the water.

by Anonymousreply 904/04/2013

I wonder how much is real and how much is just an act to promote his little mermaid costumes? I'm thinking he's crazy like a fox.

by Anonymousreply 1004/04/2013

I'm sure his parents are proud

by Anonymousreply 1104/04/2013

He's adorable.. Obvious overly obsessed, and a bit nutty, but still cute.

Extra points for taking his obsession and making a paying job out of it.

by Anonymousreply 1204/04/2013

He has channeled a harmless passion into a lucrative business as well. Clever and creative way to facilitate his obsession.

by Anonymousreply 1304/04/2013

OP here, second post, besides posting the thread. This guy has caught my interest. I don't think he is merely "crazy like a fox". Sounds like he has managed to become successful despite some issues. no wonder he liked to get away to his own little world.

From his FB

I've been under a tremendous amount of stress over the last couple of months with the purchase of my new home, moving my home, studio, etc. For those of you who do not know, I've got Tourette's Syndrome. This is a neurological disorder. As a child I was made fun of for twitching and spitting out verbal random phrases. When I'm extremely stressed, whether it be good or bad stress, my symptoms worsen, to the point of pain. Today at the gym I was made fun of, right in front of my face and felt extremely horrible. I'm not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me or others alike, I'm asking for people to understand what it's like to live with a disorder like this and how difficult it can be to operate normally on a daily basis. Instead of judging or making fun of someone, put your self in their shoes.

by Anonymousreply 1504/04/2013

Fish gotta swim...

I hope he doesn't get eaten by a big fish.

by Anonymousreply 1604/04/2013

The question before us is where's her clitoris?

by Anonymousreply 1704/04/2013

Good for him.

by Anonymousreply 1804/04/2013

Good way to build up your arms.

by Anonymousreply 1904/04/2013

LOL, R14!

It looks beautiful, but aren't there crocs and alligators in Florida? I'd be worried about running into one of those, or mistakenly getting harpooned. :-/

by Anonymousreply 2004/04/2013

R15, aww! The last time I was turned on by someone with Tourette's was cutiepie James Wolk in the movie FRONT OF THE CLASS about an aspiring teacher who suffers from the disorder.

by Anonymousreply 2104/04/2013

Amateur!

by Anonymousreply 2204/04/2013

Always Florida...always!!!

by Anonymousreply 2304/04/2013

Harmless and if it helps him with his Tourette's- more power to him. Escaping or isolating is not usually a good way to treat any kind of mental disorder however.

by Anonymousreply 2404/04/2013

Weirdo.

by Anonymousreply 2504/04/2013

The Only Way Is Florida

by Anonymousreply 2604/04/2013

This is the kind of person who renews my love for humanity.

by Anonymousreply 2704/04/2013

I posted this yesterday, OP -- where were you?

by Anonymousreply 2804/04/2013

Wonder what his ass smells like.

by Anonymousreply 2904/04/2013

[quote]It looks beautiful, but aren't there crocs and alligators in Florida?

Alligators only live in fresh water and crocodiles only live in the southern Florida. Alligators can't tolerate salt water and crocodiles require warm water. This guy lives in the northern half of the western side of the Florida peninsula.

by Anonymousreply 3004/04/2013

The gayest gay who ever gayed ...

by Anonymousreply 3104/04/2013

[quote]Today at the gym I was made fun of, right in front of my face and felt extremely horrible.

God, this is the perfect place he can shout out stuff like "your mother is a goat fucking cunt" loudly and blame it on the Tourette's. Boy needs to stand up for himself.

by Anonymousreply 3204/04/2013

Great way to stay in shape-good for him.

by Anonymousreply 3304/04/2013

Nice gifs

by Anonymousreply 3404/05/2013

Those merman tails look really cool. He's talented.

by Anonymousreply 3504/05/2013

Am I the only one who got turned-on watching him swim around?

by Anonymousreply 3604/07/2013

He'll get bit by a shark.

You in danger, fish!

by Anonymousreply 3704/07/2013

Moisture is the essence of wetness...and wetness is the essence of beauty.

by Anonymousreply 3804/07/2013

Add me to the list of people who find it pretty fucking awesome that he's managed to channel his passion into a lucrative business.

by Anonymousreply 3904/07/2013

Does he never smile? He has a cruel 'Zoolander' look to him.

by Anonymousreply 4004/07/2013

And quite possibly the same amount of intellect.

by Anonymousreply 4104/07/2013

That looks like so much fun!!

I am envious of him. I love being in the water, too. Swimming around like that all day and getting paid for it - damn, dude!

by Anonymousreply 4204/07/2013

[quote]Alligators only live in fresh water and crocodiles only live in the southern Florida. Alligators can't tolerate salt water and crocodiles require warm water. This guy lives in the northern half of the western side of the Florida peninsula.

Well someone should tell that to the man in the article:

[quote]'I came out here looking for some alligators and saw a tail that I've never seen before in a river,' a confused man sitting on the banks confesses on camera.

by Anonymousreply 4304/07/2013

A gay man doing fish drag *yawn*

by Anonymousreply 4404/07/2013

I expected his name to be "Eeee-Eeeee-Eeeeeeeee!"

by Anonymousreply 4504/07/2013

R43 hahahaha really

by Anonymousreply 4604/07/2013

And this is why they hate us!

by Anonymousreply 4704/07/2013

I can put up with the fishtail.

But ENYA?!

Dealbreaker!

by Anonymousreply 4804/08/2013

The story and video made me smile. Good for him.

by Anonymousreply 4904/08/2013
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