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7 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    First, well written piece. Thanks!

    I have never found the buff or overly masculine type attractive. Just the opposite if anything. The natural, trim/slim look gets me going—and always has.

    But I think that’s just DNA. We may attach too much importance to “society” and “media” when trying to explain what drives us. I know so many gay men who do find the huge buff types attractive but I doubt this attraction is driven by music video or commercial watching.

    After all, I’m in my 40s and have had precisely the same type for these 4 decades—-from well before the enormous media saturation we currently live in.

  2. James says:

    Masculinity has always been tied with the notion of vanity and doesn’t require a change, and that is exactly why gay men are more vain. It is man’s pride and worry about the perception of himself by other men that is at the core of women’s suppression through the concept of honour. How does the woman’s actions reflect upon me?

    Now that increasingly man’s vanity and desire to control through social norms has been ousted through political activism the locus is on personal appearance, and is reflected in the metrosexual movement among straights. Maybe.

  3. Will says:

    I would pick the money so I could pay for a masters and lessons to learn welsh and a massive black man to get me fit. X

  4. Kurt RexCooper says:

    I think there is nothing wrong with trying to look good for the sake of looking good. It does not matter whether hetro females find muscular men attractive or not, the human race will continue on. Life is a series of experiments some increase the ability of humans to thrive & grow some do not. It will all sort itself out in time, those which work the species usually adopts.

    For 2000 years the greeks workshipped health, beauty & philosophy we have lasted 1/10th that time. If the current trend of encouraging healthy bodies continues, even for what some see as the wrong reasons, I am for it. Eventually people may learn beauty & health are not the same but until then the impulse to better health seems positive.

  5. Zak says:

    Extremely well stated! I can definitely relate to this article. I have constantly struggled with body image because of constantly being teased as a kid and even as an adult because of my small frame. To me, working out at the gym has become the identity of masculinity and I never made this realization until you put it out there.

    It’s always irritated me when people use the phrase “straight-acting”. It’s just ridiculous. I don’t want to be “straight-acting”, I want to be “Zak-acting” and if that’s not good enough, move on.

    Our community can be very vain and that is another article entirely. Briefly, are we vain because of what the media puts out there and that’s what we see as a gay man so we feel we won’t be successful gay men unless we fit that stereotype?

    Many thought provoking sentences in this article!

  6. jacob says:

    Is it an oversimplification to call it vanity?

    As I struggled with self-acceptance, I directed all my anger and hatred at myself in self harm. It took a while to figure out what I was doing, how to love myself, how to accept myself and break free of the self destruction.

    Actually, running and cycling is what freed me from my emo-battle. Challenging myself through exercise became the best thing for me. I put a lot of my energy into only doing good things to my body.

    While I don’t pump iron, I am not about to criticize those that do. Maybe some of us are overcoming demons, and we’ve traded addictions? Maybe it’s not purely for aesthetic reasons, but someone’s way to cope? Maybe it’s something some of us have stumbled upon that we cling to rather than drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, self-harm or suicide?

    It’s important that the media bring the diversity of the gay community out a bit more. As a kid, I wish I’d seen the religious gay or the athletic gay role model. Believe me, it would have helped. Peace.

  7. Cam says:

    In my case yes i do go to the gym v often and try to keep in shape but i’m not sure this is to do with the stereotype that wants you to be muscly in order to be happy. Im more of a health freak and enjoy the adrenalin rush in exercise.
    Whilst on the other hand being fat isn’t good for your health and self esteem. Which is probably where sterotypes come into consideration: you feel bad about your self apearance.. Joining a gym might seem like the easiest way to change that.
    Then i think there’s also a big part of it that’s lead by one’s own taste when your gay: you’re bound to have some sort of narcissistic behaviour as you’re attracted by what you are (or something similar) which you might want to see in that significant other as/or in yourself..
    I know that in my case i don’t necessarily go for the leanest guys no matter how (very) much appreciative i may be of their physical appearance.. And i think most people still remain faithful to their own taste, acquired from whatever experience through the years.
    There is definitely an influence from the media, but I can’t see it being able to reach that far into people’s intimacy (just yet..?)

What do you think?