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Why Do Gay Men Want to Be Fit? Let’s Ask Evolution

Tell me, science, why does a gay man like me care so much about his fitness? “The drive among women and homosexual men to lose weight comes more from a competitive instinct than a personal one, new research suggests. The study, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, found that a natural competitive instinct forces people to compare themselves with those who are more successful than them. And in a society that equates thinness with youthfulness and attractiveness, competing against someone successful often means losing weight. Researcher Norman Li told New Scientist magazine that the effect is likely evolutionary since western civilizations tend to gain weight as they age.” Finally, we can stop blaming magazines.

By:           Ryan Tedder
On:           Sep 2, 2010
Tagged: , ,

  • 101 Comments
    • akn
      akn

      This is all pretty obvious, except that these days the way to be competitive is to gain weight, since it seems bears and freakishly muscled bodybuilders are the preferred body type of late.

      Sep 2, 2010 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      I thought everyone already knew. It’s all about getting laid.

      Of course, the research to verify common knowledge and state it in terms that can be published in a proper journal, is a major source of fuel for the research-grant machine at every university.

      Sep 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      Duh, every gay knows that if you have a few extra pounds/love handles that the rest of the gay community will treat you like you have scurvy or are covered in sh**. If you don’t have the body of a gay porn star then most gays see you as worthless. Says a lot about how far we need to improve in our community, no wonder STD’s in our community have a tendency of turning into pandemics with such body-image attitudes so prevalent.

      Sep 2, 2010 at 6:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • concernedcitizen
      concernedcitizen

      @Ian: I was with you until you made the leap from STD prevalence to body image. How are they correlated in your opinion? STD prevalence has to do with risky sexual behavior not body image.

      Sep 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      working out is not shallow..it just means you take care of yourself and you respect yourself……naturally the gay couch potatoes will censor me….

      Sep 2, 2010 at 8:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      @concernedcitizen: I respectfully disagree. It totally correlates. Good looks are seen as the ultimate commodity in the gay community, and the more “hot” guys that a fella can fuck that increases his own “currency” of desirability. That’s how I see how we in the gay community having messed up ideas about self-worth related primarily with body image/sexuality.

      Sep 2, 2010 at 8:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      @alan brickman: You make yourself SOUND shallow just by calling those who aren’t in the gym as regularly as you are “gay couch potatoes”.

      Sep 2, 2010 at 8:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SouLKid
      SouLKid

      Gee, @Ian, whats with the animosity towards working out? — “messed up ideas about self-worth”, really?

      U know what, never mind. Dont answer that.

      Sep 2, 2010 at 11:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      I’m the only guy at my school’s lgbt group with any fat on his body whatsoever. If I wasn’t bi I would probably feel a lot more pressure to lose weight.

      Sep 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      @Alex: I’m totally gay but can understand where you are coming from. My whole life I’ve simply been one of those types of bodies that has a couple extra pounds. I only eat 2 – 2 1/2 times per day, don’t have extra portions, etc. yet always the weight remains.

      Anyways, over the years I have had MORE than my fair share of straight women who did not know my orientation out & about and at bars when I was with friends who were attracted to me and flirted with me, as I assume they see the positives of my personality along w/taking looks into consideration, etc.

      But for most of my life in the gay community when I was in my 20’s and went to the bars etc., I would literally get looks of disgust like I wasn’t even worth a polite hello just because of a few extra pounds. I’m embarrased almost at 40 now watching men my age desperate to date guys who are 20-25 yrs old, as they seem to think that the younger guys looks are a status symbol. And that’s just SAD.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 12:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      @SouLKid: There’s NOTHING wrong with being healthy, of course not. But it’s a simple fact that body dysmorphism, eating disorders, self-esteem issues & shallowness are RAMPANT parts of the gay community. Gay men in America far too much define life success by what is on their outsides, THAT is what I do not like. This obsession with superficiality over inner-love and getting to working on improving the inner-self, which is anathema to far too many gym & circuit party type boys & men I have met over the years.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 12:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ronili
      Ronili

      Too thin is gross, which is where Im at right now, Im looking to pack on a few lbs in the right places..so No I dont think that all gays desire to be thin.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 2:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L.
      L.

      @concernedcitizen: I was at first wondering the same, since as you say, STD prevalence has to do with risky sexual behavior.

      Yet I’d say that risky sexual behavior can very well be influenced by body image. A, let’s say, “non-conforming” body image can lead to low self-esteem, and that in turn is thought to turn to risky sexual behavior.

      I am not, of course, suggesting that everyone taking risks has body image issues – but that Ian’s equivalence may have some truth to it, when you add that intermediate step.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 5:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Steve: You know it was once common knowledge that the world was flat.

      ….um…oops.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 7:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      Given that gay men can’t actually reproduce with each other, I don’t suppose we can quite blame evolution for anything.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 8:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bobby in Seattle
      Bobby in Seattle

      I’m one of those people that has to work really, really hard to keep the weight off. Basically, I tell people, I can just smell a Cinnabon and gain 2 lbs. Because of this, I find myself doing the Elliptical Machine 4 times per week.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 9:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • concernedcitizen
      concernedcitizen

      @L.: @Ian: I can see where you guys are somewhat coming from though I still disagree, if there was such a correlation between body image and STD prevalence wouldn’t we expect to find the same to be true for straight women? Both gay men and straight women have the same pressure and resulting skewed body image issues however women don’t seem to have the same STD prevalence as men. In my opinion, I still think there is more to it then simply poor body image = std prevalence.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 9:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      There’s a similar thread to this one on genderfork

      http://genderfork.com/2010/partly-because/

      It’s the butch/androgyne version of this thread.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 9:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adrian
      Adrian

      I HAD a friend, key word HAD, a friend who use to say “Adrian, don’t talk to ugly guys when they come up to you at a bar.” I understand the “game” but I simply love meeting individuals from all walks of life no matter what they look like. You never know how someone’s personality can enhance your life. Its silly to not talk to someone just because they don’t fit your definition of “physical beauty.”

      Sep 3, 2010 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @concernedcitizen:

      Straight women do have terribly high rates of compulsive eating disorders instead… anorexia, bulemia, and compulsive/emotional overeating. I’d also add that when addressing high-risk behavior, it’s usually only the men who get looked at, rarely women.

      It’s a shame. I have said it before and will say it again, the gay/bi male community needs to move past this adolescent stage of idolizing porn and porn-star bodies as the ultimate ideal for a partner and recognize that “fit” doesn’t mean “what’s featured in the morning goods photos”, but goes beyond that into body, mind and spirit…

      Sep 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael [Different person #1 using similar name]

      More “science”. I really hope no tax dollars were harmed in the making of this “study”.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • afrolito
      afrolito

      Hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but the desire to have the perfect body is shared by everyone. Straight men and boys are now just as susceptible to images of the perfect male body as gay men are.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • concernedcitizen
      concernedcitizen

      @DR: I understand that Dr and thank you for your input however I’m speaking specifically of the previous claim of STD Prevalence and body image…

      Sep 3, 2010 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Russell
      Russell

      There´re many factors:

      1.- competitiveness and self-esteem. Some guys think that the best body they have, the more guys they can sexually attract, so the better they feel to look down on the rest. The gay community repeats male chauvinist stereotypes. It´s not uncommon to find men boasting about how many guys they´ve gone to bed with.

      2.- narcissism. We live in a society based on image where aging is badly considered. People are terrified of getting in their 40-50-60´s, so they can´t pick up any more and have to give up sex. We can´t stop our body changing as we grow older, not even with botox or surgery.

      3.- Aids. When the disease appeared, many gay men thought that if they had a fit body, people wouldn´t think of them as HIV positive. This belief keeps working, associating wrongly health with muscles and good-looking physique.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tofer David
      Tofer David

      I think guys who are so thin you can see all their bones have gone too far. Not healthy….I’d rather see a guy with extra than not enough.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kiaba360
      kiaba360

      I’ve always been underweight, even before I discovered that I was Gay. Picky eater right out of the womb. I would love to gain some weight, and then tone my body from there. But, it’s like my mind was wired so that I wouldn’t overeat, but rather under-eat. Part of me envies thick people lol.

      I don’t understand why anyone would want to purposely be as skinny as I am, and the foolish obsession with being thin. If that’s the case, then can you donate some fat to me, because that would be greatly appreciated.

      Sep 3, 2010 at 9:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vern
      Vern

      What about the drive among lesbians to gain as much weight as possible. That’s the real problem. As gay men, I think we need to be doing more to help our lesbian sisters fight the Lesbian Health Crisis.

      Sep 4, 2010 at 1:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @concernedcitizen:

      You missed my point completely. Straight women engage in different types of behavior than gay men.

      A gay man will make himself more attractive by lowering his inhibitions and increasing his willingness to engage in unsafe behavior to validate his sense of self-worth, and if that means he’ll bareback to get laid, so be it.

      We don’t have enough studies on high-risk behavior and women, but what we do know is that women will engage in pathological eating behaviors to control their attractiveness. Hence the reason I mentioned anorexia, bulemia, and emotional overeating. It’s a response to her perceived inability to control things around her.

      Different genders, different sexual orientations, different pathological behaviors. We are still only in the “study” phase with female sexual compulsive behavior.

      Sep 4, 2010 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Ian: Apparently, your experience with the gay community has been bitter and jaded. Maybe you should try expanding your search for community outside of the gay “meat market” bars. I used to feel like you did then I started running with a different crowd of gay men. My crowd is pretty nice to me although I have a few extra pounds. I also like guys with a few extra pounds. Guys that are “anorexic” or “muscle freaks” just don’t look at all natural.

      Sep 4, 2010 at 10:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @alan brickman: This gay “couch potato” just gave you a thumbs up. Your viewpoint is valid for you. It doesn’t apply to everyone, but you didn’t attempt to make it apply to everyone. Let me assure you though that I respect myself and value myself. I just don’t feel the need to be at the gym every day in order to show that respect and value to myself. A man with a good brain is 1000x sexier than a man with a good set of pecs.

      Sep 4, 2010 at 10:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Russell: I would add upbringing to that list. For me, my problems with my weight all started when a trusted family member told me that because I was fat no one would ever be interested in me. Even though I know that is simply not true today, some 20 years later, I still have that thought in the back of my mind every single time I see someone I find interesting. Sometimes, it is all in how we see ourselves.

      Sep 4, 2010 at 10:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • concernedcitizen
      concernedcitizen

      @DR: That certainly is an interesting theory you propose (gay men lower inhibitions to get laid).If that is true and I haven’t seen any studies to suggest it so, I’m still not sure how that ties into body image. Are you saying because they have more negative body image perception they are willing to engage in sex they wouldn’t otherwise engage in had they not had negative body image?

      I guess more than anything I’m not negating what you’re saying about men more likely to participate in risky sex but how it is you feel that it is attributable to body image and not other factors.

      Sep 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @concernedcitizen:

      My answer is “yes” to your query “am I saying that because they have more negative body image perception they are engaging in sex they otherwise would not engage in had they not had negative body image?”

      It’s a control and acceptance thing. If a guy is made to feel (or inherently feels) unaccepted and unloved due to his negative perceptions about his body, I think there is a strong chance he will be willing to engage in riskier behaviors to make himself more “attractive” (read: “get laid more often and feel accepted by his gay peer group”) as a form of validation.

      That’s really what it’s about, “validation”. The gay and bi male community places a very heavy emphasis on youth and attractiveness, both of which are defined physically. We idolize attractive men and tend to demonize or put down not-so-attractive men or men who put forth an “outside the box” image. Those who can’t be validated based on their appearances alone and do not have a healthy self-image will engage in risky behavior to feel as though they fit in.

      Yes, men who do not fit the “mold” can have stable relationships and be happy without engaging in risky behavior. But those who can have a healthy self-image to start. That’s a big difference over the guy who doesn’t.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 7:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      you can go the gym and have a good brain you know…..why does everyone think they are exclusive of each other….

      Sep 5, 2010 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      too many extreme opinions on here….

      Sep 5, 2010 at 10:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      I read books too…..how scary for you…

      Sep 5, 2010 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adman
      adman

      One thing about being fit and having some muscle, that I never noticed when I was single. Now that I have a partner, and we both eat/live healthy, work out, etc. Is that you begin to notice more how you are involved in a community, and so as follows reason, you wish to get involved. When desiring and approaching others in the community whom we are interested in these days, we often are avoided! I think these men, career minded, accomplished, and therefore interesting, yet not as stereotypically attractive as the “average scene gay”, think we are full of issues and nothing else.
      Is working out some kind of class marker now? Like, should we do Yoga and forget the weights? It’s frankly a bit strange, but then suburban life is in general strange to us city guys anyway. One thing I can say for sure, is that life is always a two street, and the nerdier, less status minded gays have as many hangups as anyone else does.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW
      AndrewW

      “And in a society that equates thinness with youthfulness and attractiveness, competing against someone successful often means losing weight.”

      I think we equate FITNESS (not thinness) with being attractive and healthy.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      @adman: @AndrewW: One can be fit in body but have some serious issues in terms of personality and beliefs. I think that it is seen as a marker now that some (not all) of those who work out constantly are obsessed with their outer appearance, possibly have body dysmorphism issues (which is statistically common in the gay community), and due to their own fears and hang-ups about their OWN weight and sense of attractiveness make a point of attacking others who are skinnier, older, heavier, etc. than themselves to fill the void of a lack of inner-love and personal growth. I feel sorry for those types, as from my previous work in substance abuse counseling in San Francisco I can’t tell you the number of former ‘pretty boys’ who wound up with drug and alcohol addictions.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW
      AndrewW

      @Ian: Having a fit body is a good start and it’s healthy (and attractive). The reason many people are NOT fit is because it takes EFFORT. Lazy is easy.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Russell
      Russell

      - Many guys want to have the perfect body in order to feel superior to the rest. Who hasn´t ever noticed a glance of scorn meaning “you´re worthless” in a gay bar?

      – People who have a low self-esteem (non acceptance) try to compensate with a good physique, thinking it will solve their psychological problems; or that if they look more masculine, people won´t think of them as gay (typical comment from straights: “you don´t look gay”), specially in homophobic environments.

      – When gay men get obsessed with going to the gym every day and feel guilty if they don´t, that´s not healthy. It creates a dependency. Besides, it will be difficult for them to find a partner as they seek perfection and nobody fulfil their requirements.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      If it weren’t for the proposed connection between body image and risky sex, this would be an awesome thread. I think we can all agree that gay men and straight women have similar issues with body image. Since there are only men involved in the gay loop, it makes the whole element of self acceptance more important.

      @Ian: Having a fit body is a good start and it’s healthy (and attractive). The reason many people are NOT fit is because it takes EFFORT. Lazy is easy.

      That’s a bad idea. For many people, being thin is neither easy nor healthy. People that don’t fit the beauty ideal already feel bad about their bodies. We don’t need to attack their character as well.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @adman:

      It’s also possible that the “career minded, accomplished, and therefore interesting, yet not as stereotypically attractive as the “average scene gay”” men may not be interested in playing with a couple. Just a thought. I know I’m not. I want a guy to myself, not someone I have to share with a partner.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 2:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adman
      adman

      @DR: Well, maybe I should have spelled it out more clearly, we are monogomous. We are interested in our involvement in Courage Campaign, AIDS ride, and Pink Pistols, we are not interested in playing with third parties. I was trying to address community involvement in our new suburban setting, not sexual politics. Again, I think I could have been more clear on that.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      You can also ask the reverse question – why are many straight guys, particularly married ones, so fat? One popular theory is that, due to weight gain after pregnancy, it is in the women’s interest to make sure her husband does not leave her for a more attractive woman. So she fattens him up to keep a “bread winner” in the house – he may not be much to look at but that helps keep the other women from showing any interest in him.

      Another (for everyone’s amusement) is whether homophobia causes obesity. OK, I’m joking but interestingly, the most obese states seem to be the most homophobic ones: http://calorielab.com/news/2010/06/28/fattest-states-2010/ has a map, and Mississippi holds the record, with a lot of obesity centered around the Bible Belt. Colorado had the lowest levels (probably due to all the outdoor activities) but Massachusetts was just slightly higher. California was higher still at 24.4%, but http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/08/30/2059817/valley-counties-rank-high-in-new.html gives higher than California average values in the Central Valley (California’s Bible Belt). The gay-friendly (San Francisco) Bay Area has an obesity rate of 18.8%, better than Colorado’s 19.1%. Also, the obesity rate is pretty low in Utah (but http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_are_Mormons_so_homophobic claims that the Mormon church’s homophobic positions does not translate into personal hostility towards gays and lesbians on the part of the church’s members).

      Sep 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @adman:

      Yes, especially when you use turns of phrase such as “When desiring and approaching others in the community whom we are interested in these days, we often are avoided!” it makes it seem as though you’re trolling or a third.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pete
      pete

      @adman: I wish to god I could figure out what it is you are trying to say about living in suburbia. Are tou talking about approaching other gays, or just other members of your particular town?

      Sep 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      I’ll get some flack for this but, take Mario Lopez for example. It wouldn’t even occur to a straight man to have 6% body fat. It wouldn’t cross his mind, gosh, I must have no stomach and have tiny hips. Of course, this is not true 100% of the time, but often enough. Especially in older men. Charlie Crist, whom we know about, is a good example. Straight men just let nature take its course. So I’m getting older, fuck it. I don’t think it is all about getting laid, although that is a part of it, but I think it is about different standards of beauty and attractiveness. Take Elena Kagan… please. Many straight women have this body type, and can usually be seen on Dr. Phil or other psycho-babble shows, terribly ashamed, needing psychological advice and a medical regimen to lose weight. Whereas many lesbians would not only tolerate that extra weight, but appreciate it. This competitiveness theory seems pretty light weight, unless the researcher actually found a competitiveness gene.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Uppity
      Uppity

      Unfortunately the obsession with fit, lean bodies in Western culture is only going to skyrocket, and here’s why. The proportion of the population becoming obese is growing so quickly. And so what then becomes the Holy Grail in the land of the overweight? The fit, lean body, with perfect pecs and abs. Gay men feel this more acutely than straight men, but it’s swiftly becoming an ideal for heterosexuals as well. In 20 years’ time, the toned, taut adult body will be more idealised and fetishised than ever. And watch for an interesting twist on that trend; as the population ages, we’ll start to see mainstream media images of men aged 50+ with ripped, utterly perfect bodies, hawking everything from vitamins to hair colour products. So we won’t be able to escape it whatever our age. That which is so hard to attain, becomes more desirable and fantasised about than ever.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 10:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob
      Bob

      True story: Guy came up to me a in a bar and, trying to impress his friends watching, said to me: “You’re kinda cute. I’d fuck you if you weren’t so fat.” They giggled. So I said: “And I might have let you if you weren’t so fucking ugly.” They cracked up. He looked like I had slapped him. Seriously, though, why the extreme fat-phobia in the gay community? If you are 10 lbs overweight, you’re not only viewed as completely undesirable but also an easy target to harass and ridicule.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 12:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mile
      Mile

      A good quote on Joe.My.God I think was a comment from a friend to another friend who was obsessed with going to the gym: “You spend so damned much time trying to look good that no one actually SEES you.”

      Sep 6, 2010 at 12:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adman
      adman

      @pete: We moved to a suburb. We are active in our community, and in the City, (SF) there was never any question whether you were accepted or not. If you were willing to put “all hands on deck” that’s what got you in. Here in this frickin’ ‘burb, that is never the case. In fact, adolescent cliquishness, and group think are the norm, and I’m starting to think the only reason why our cause exists here in the first place. Suburban people have no “hustle”, they expect and demand everything be handed to them, and then they “forget” to involve you in the next fundraiser, when you are the person responsible for the last on ehappening in the first place. Is networking out of bounds in Silicon Valley gay circles, or isn’t it? I’d like to know. I’ve been at this since ActUp days, so I’m not naive, or “out of the loop”. BTW, if you’re going to say something snarky like DR, than don’t bother. I know I know, nobody is ever wrong online. I get it.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 1:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adman
      adman

      @DR: Fucking queens on the internet are so single minded. Damn, thanks for the reminder.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 1:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Russell
      Russell

      Bob, the gay community has internalized the same prejudices than heterosexuals. We complain about society discrimination but we copy the same discrimination stronger with ourselves. Instead of integration, exclusion. We don´t want effeminate, ugly, old, overweight, etc. It´s like living in a perfect bubble of eternal youth, beauty and consumption. We´ve been sold a stereotypical gay fashionable model, and we´ve accepted it. And it´s hard to escape when you watch it 24 hours a day. No wonder that many guys feel disappointed with gay circuit as they cant´t fit in. The gay community has been unable to create spaces of communication and socialization, but just “meat markets” as if we were competing for Mr. America. Sad but real.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 7:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @adman:

      I quoted your words, dude, don’t get pissy at me because it came across like a Manhunt ad. Maybe that’s why folks run the other way? Maybe you come on too strong with your own sense of expectations and entitlement? Or maybe they can tell you’re looking down your nose at the poor little suburbanites?

      Sep 6, 2010 at 8:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adman
      adman

      @DR: Whereas you, DR, on the other hand come across as humble and a gracious host for conversation. You’re a foolish little hothead, go away.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 8:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      @Bob: Whoa. If that’s a true story as you say, that is extremely rude and effed up. Good for you. What an ass.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 9:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      @B: Straight guys, mostly married ones are fat because they don’t care anymore. IMHO. They got the girl and are content and don’t feel they need to stay good-looking to keep her. The women in the relationship probably are more conscious of taking care of themselves because of the media and culture.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 9:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      personally, i would prefer a man with a nice hairy chest and a normal stomach (not a gut) over the anorexic, hairless twink that is in the picture accompanying this article.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @scott ny’er: I find there are a lot of gays who are rude and think of it as totally acceptable behavior. Maybe it’s no more prevalent among gays than it is among straights. You certainly hear the same kind of complaints made by straight women about straight men. If you spend any time on gay dating and/or social networking sites you would be amazed at how many men just don’t respond or even worse delete emails without ever even opening them to read them.

      I don’t see why there is ever a reason to just ignore another person. It doesn’t take anything to be pleasant and responsive. Actually, I think it takes more effort to be intentionally rude and dismissive of other people.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      @Uppity: One of the reasons I left San Francisco after I completed graduate school was because I was embarrassed by all the straight & gay 50 or so yr olds dressing and trying to look like they were in their early 20’s. There is nothing sexier in someone 40 & older to me who both accepts and OWNS their age gracefully.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      @Bob: “If you are 10 lbs overweight, you’re….an easy target to harass and ridicule.”

      Can’t tell you the number of thin & fit gay friends & acquaintences over the years who I have told just that and they feign ignorance that gay men simply don’t do that to other gay men. Then I have to point out all the mean comments they have made or laughed at in the past about another gay man’s weight, & I embarrass them sure enough (although I know they are still doing it).

      Our community needs to burst out of this group-think that only 18-25 yr old cute, thin, & fit men/twinks are worthwhile human beings to be around. We have convinced ourselves that these types of men must be possessed for other gay men to have a sense of self-worth. And this goes back to the start of this discussion as to how our warped standards of beauty and body-image contribute not only to cruelty to anyone with an “outside-the-box body” but also as to why gay men are at times desperate enough to have unsafe sex and contribute to STD outbreaks in communities to possess even for a fleating moment what the gay community says is the ONLY thing that is worthwhile to possess, a sense of youthful superficial/artificial beauty.

      Well I for one can say with a little pride that I do NOT turn away people at bars and community centers even if I am not sexually attracted to them. I’m still willing to have some conversation with them as who the hell am I, or anybody else for that matter, to have the right to treat another human being like sh** just because I don’t want to have sex or date them?

      Sep 6, 2010 at 11:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Ian:

      I think we also, and we’ve touched on this, need to go back and redefine what “fit” means. Does it mean only “physically fit in a specific modelesque sexual lusting after” way, or does it mean “well, I may not have the perfect six pack abs but I run four days a week, swim a couple of days a week, etc and am physically fit even if I don’t look like a porn star”?

      Also, “fitness” needs to imply that you have your s**t together. Can you carry on a conversation? Can you be a friend? Do you have things in your life which give you meaning beyond your pecs and getting laid? Goals? Dreams? A stable job and home?

      Sep 6, 2010 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      Exactly, Queen Latifah has said before that she is HEALTHY & works out but also has a bigger body. For some, it is practically impossible outside of developing BOTH an eating disorder and having to go to the gym non-stop to be able to achieve this holy-grail of porn star and/or twink body that the gay community puts on such a pedestal.

      And let’s not forget those, like myself, who simply physically are incapable of being in the gym all the time. I have a serious congenital heart condition (that I had to have open-heart surgery for when I was 29) along with blood pressure issues, but I take an exercise walk of two miles every other day. Maybe that’s not up to the standards of someone who works out all the time, but it’s pretty good for ME, & my doctor agrees for me to exercise but to NOT over-do it. Next year I’m looking into taking up Tai Chi, something slow but gets me moving.

      And to your second point what is the point of being gorgeous if you can’t hold a conversation? How can one expect to maintain a longterm relationship if all they have to offer is their body alone? Because we age, the sex-drive naturally declines as we get older & being able to enjoy someone’s personality becomes far more important as we progress through the decades of our lives.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 1:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J.
      J.

      @timncguy: You must be fat and ugly. Why does someone behind a computer screen miles away have to care about a perfect stranger? Maybe he has 1 million emails to respond to, maybe hes on the floor dying, maybe hes taking a dump. Who cares? Who made you the authority on internet manners? I’m pretty sure if he gave you the real reasons why he doesn’t want to hook up with you (your probably fat) you would still be mad. Just get over it. No big deal…

      Sep 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      @J.: You obviously skipped over the last part where he said, “I think it takes more effort to be intentionally rude and dismissive of other people.”

      Sep 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW
      AndrewW

      @Alex: Stop using the word “thin” to defend obesity. I said FIT is healthy and attractive. Thin can be unhealthy, too.

      To be fit means to be able to exert yourself and to have a healthy heart/body. We were never meant to have extra fat. A fit person typically has body fat of less than 15%. Athletes are less than 10%. Half of America is more than 30% body fat – it’s very unhealthy. Do the math.

      Obesity is our number one cause of healthcare costs and illness, after cigarette smoking. Both of those things are preventable.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @J.: well you are wrong on all counts. I’m not fat. I’m 5′ 10″ and 155 lbs. And, I’m not ugly either. Secondly, DELETING an email without opening it would exclude either him being on the floor dying or taking a dump.

      Finally, it may be standard behavior for you, but I’m not looking for a “hook-up” anyway. I have a little more pride and respect in myself than to engage in sex with random strangers as though it was a recreational activity.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pete
      pete

      @timncguy: Ignore him. He’s just a troll. You never know who’s behind a screen-name, or how old. That’s the crazy thing about the internet.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @AndrewW: say thanks to Queerty for conflating “Thin” with “Fit”. They have this article categorized under the caption “Thinspiration” on the home page. The Home page also titles it as losing weight, not staying fit. And, finally, the picture they have used is of an ultra thin boy who appears to have no muscle mass at all and appears as though he could be 13 years old instead of an adult male.

      Sep 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Swedish Fish
      Swedish Fish

      Holy crap that’s a lot of entries on body image. Ya’ll are obsessed.

      It comes down to this: Men value physical beauty more than almost anything. Straight women and gay men respond accordingly.

      Lesbians and straight guys don’t suffer from this problem.

      Sep 7, 2010 at 12:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • damon459
      damon459

      My doctor who knows I’m gay once told I should hit the gym more because then more men would hit on me I replied if they are only hitting on me because I have 6 pack abs bleach white teeth and a fake tan fuck’m I’m not interested I want someone who’s going to love me not just my body because no matter what I do I’m going to get old I’m going to get wrinkles and nothing I do will stop that. BTW I’m not fat my BMI is in the middle of the normal range and my body fat is within normal parameters I just don’t have ripped muscles and I happen to like thin to normal guy’s I find and I know I’m stereotyping here but I find the more muscle the less personality I’m sure not all buff guy’s are like that but enough of the ones I have met are so I’ll take health in body and mind over ripped abs and an empty head.

      Sep 7, 2010 at 2:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zaniell
      Zaniell

      You gays should hit the gym more! Men should use that testosterone, damn it… I’m genetic female and when I go to a gay club I realize I’ve got more muscle mass and tone than most dudes there, WTF? I always have a six pack. I don’t say do roids.. just work it.

      U don’t want to grow that pouch of fat on your belly and get flabby arms, YUKK! After age 25 it all goes downhill if one doesn’t exercise. Werk it

      Sep 7, 2010 at 2:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zaniell
      Zaniell

      PS: that dude in the pic… he’s got a swimmers build but he needs more pushups and bench press he’s got no pecs LOL he’s ok

      Sep 7, 2010 at 2:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zaniell
      Zaniell

      “A man with a good brain is 1000x sexier than a man with a good set of pecs.”
      Well, pecs may be overlooked.. but sorry u can’t beat the big, low-fat glutes! Brains just ain’t going to beat that.

      Gay have no excuse for letting themselves go… you’re got the balls, you’ve got the testosterone… it lets u burn fat off and build muscle way easier than female. If my body feels like steel against pretty much any dude in the gay club and I’m bio-female, I’m thinking these men really let themselves go! Do they inject estrogen?? Eatin’n’drinkin, laying on that coach sitting on that butt won’t burn the fat and build those pecs and glutes!

      Sep 7, 2010 at 3:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aplus
      Aplus

      You afraid of what the other person might think of you…obsession, obsession, obsession…

      Sep 7, 2010 at 6:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @Zaniell: that is NOT a “swimmers” build. Unless he’s a poor swimmer. Check out competitive swimmers. They all have massive upper body strength including pecs and shoulders. The model here is a twink.

      Sep 7, 2010 at 8:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      @timncguy: just dated a dude who swam in HS and swims 4x/wk now. He’s got a pretty big neck but everywhere else he’s pretty twinky.

      Sep 7, 2010 at 9:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      This thread is kinda sorta like in a time warp. Maybe once upon a time it was mostly the Gays who were obsessed with the perfect body……

      Now it seems every guy has to have a great body….Every day I am at the gym I see dudes in their early teens who are absolute fanatics about working on their body. They all try their best to look their best even whilst sweating big time at the gym…..Used to be a little easier to figger what team everyone was playin’ for………..

      Sep 7, 2010 at 12:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zaniell
      Zaniell

      “Swimmer’s build” refers to “fit but light, not too musclular” look usually…didn’t mean Olympic team swimmer exactly… Most swimmers though have pretty light upper body muscle development with exception of upper back and traps, especially compared to bodybuilder or average gym rat..

      Sep 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whiz
      whiz

      OR, like many heterosexual women, they have body image issues and feel ridiculous amounts of pressure to make themselves attractive pieces of meat with no substance. Just a thought.

      Sep 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 58 · scott ny’er wrote, “@B: Straight guys, mostly married ones are fat because they don’t care anymore. IMHO. They got the girl and are content and don’t feel they need to stay good-looking to keep her. The women in the relationship probably are more conscious of taking care of themselves because of the media and culture.”

      Unfortunately the data doesn’t fit Scott’s model. According to http://epirev.oxfordjournals.org/content/29/1/6.full.pdf#page=1&view=FitH (see Table 1 on Page 9) the obesity rates are higher for women than for men. Men, however, are more likely to be overweight but obese than women are. The data includes a variety of ethnic groups, with large differences between them.

      If it were a case of women taking care of themselves, as Scott suggested, then the obesity rates for women should be less than for men.

      Sep 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zaniell
      Zaniell

      @B: Sorry, you’re dead wrong; you’re not familiar with physiology.

      Women’s physiology is predominantly estrogen-based, which causes more fat/less muscle mass. Male physiology is less conductive to fat accumulation due to testosterone and higher muscle mass.

      On top of that, females tend to eat together with their male partners which causes them to eat larger portions than they’d be eating alone (since males eat more–testosterone causes more appetite and muscles need more nutrients to be maintained)–which females eat similar portions to males’ they can not burn off those calories as energy, hence more fat accumulation.

      Sep 9, 2010 at 1:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zaniell
      Zaniell

      I dunno why this discussion even ties physical activity with issues like looking good and thin…
      How about working out to be fast, powerful, strong and to be a better athlete, or working out to be healthier?

      Sep 9, 2010 at 1:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BlogShag
      BlogShag

      This is the stupidest question ever. It’s like, “Duh! Because it looks much better than being a blubber totin’ jabba-the-hut impressionist fat lard ass.”

      If FAT people only knew how gross they looked… Yuck…

      Sep 13, 2010 at 9:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BlogShag
      BlogShag

      @Zaniell: This sounds ridiculous. If what you say is true then why don’t I see a lot of muscle bound men running around. Too many land whales that need to be harpooned and processed and sold for cooking oil of both sexes inhabitant this country

      Sep 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nostromo
      Nostromo

      @Daez:

      First of all, there’s NOTHING shallow about wanting to date someone physically fit. Everyone has their preferences. Why is it that a gay man who isn’t attracted to overweight gay men is called “shallow” and “superficial”?

      Yet, a gay man who isn’t attracted to women is simply well…gay.

      The point I’m making is that everyone is attracted to different things. Are we shallow for not being attracted to women? Of course not. It’s just a preference. Then why are some of us labeled shallow for not being attracted to those with extra weight?

      No offense, but some overweight people really need to get rid of the sense of entitlement.

      Sep 15, 2010 at 8:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin
      Justin

      @Nostromo: Fit is attractive, lazy isn’t.

      Sep 15, 2010 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RICCO
      RICCO

      I THINK MOST GAY GUYS FIND BEING REALLY THIN ATTRACTIVE BUT I DONT, MOST OF THEM THAT ARE THINN IN THAT WAY ARE TWINKS AND REAL FEMININE IM NOT ABOUT THAT, IM 23YR GAY GUY BUT IM STRAIGHT ACTING-STRAIGHT LOOKING,I HAVE AN ATHLETIC BODY I BEEN TOLD THAT I LOOK LIKE A JOCK TYPE, TWINKS THAT ARE SKINNY OR FEMINEN GUYS ARE THINN, BUT MOST GAYS LOOK FOR THE STRAIGHT ACTING-STRAIGHT LOOKING JOCKS TYPES, I DISLIKE FEMINEN GUYS BCAUSE THEY ACT LIKE GIRLS EITHER BE A GUY OR A CHICK,IM A GUY AND IM GAY BUT I DONT ACT LIKE A FEMINEN CHICK CAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY IM STILL A GUY, I DONT LIKE SKINNY MEN,TWINKS OR FEMINEN GUYS I LIKE MEN THAT LOOK LIKE MEN STRAIGHT ACTING-STRAIGHT LOOKING GUYS, WITH NORMAL BODIES OR ATHLETIC, NOW THATS SEXY!!!!!!

      Sep 18, 2010 at 10:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FitGuy
      FitGuy

      @RICCO: The goal is FIT dildo, not thin. Wake up.

      Sep 18, 2010 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paulo
      Paulo

      @Ronili: Well, being thin means being thin on the waist, tight, with lean muscle, and with the right proportions. Nobody wants to look like a skeleton.

      Sep 20, 2010 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jayson
      Jayson

      @Kieran: You are quite clearly an idiot.

      Sep 28, 2010 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mecsportif
      mecsportif

      …it seems like some people have forgotten that we EVOLVED to walk, forage, run and hunt all day, and survive on half the caloric intake we have now.

      It’s not that some people ‘simply can’t’ lose weight – if you look at cultures outside of the western world (in which people still do physical labor regularly and consume less food) you don’t find weight epidemics. Excess weight shouldn’t be seen as ugly – but I don’t think being overweight to the point you cannot easily run a mile should be encouraged, or seen as normal, or as unavoidable.

      Now, we spend our days ‘working’ sitting in office chairs, or standing behind counters. And some Americans work too much. Yes, these things make it difficult to find the time, money, and energy to excercise. It IS a problem. But starving yourself causes depression, whereas physical excercise releases endorphins. Running one mile per day takes 5-15 minutes. That’s probably the amount of time anyone reading this spent on this blog today.

      I agree with the sentiments saying it’s not than THIN is the ideal shape – it’s that healthy is. We shouldn’t focus on physical appearance as what we should look like – we should focus on physical health and ability! If you are under 50 and you can’t run for 15 minutes straight without stopping or getting exhausted, you probably aren’t in shape and should probably fix that. If you eat lots of processed foods, instead of a lot of vegetables, fruit, and things we would eat naturally, that probably isn’t a healthy or natural diet.

      Oct 6, 2010 at 5:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael G
      Michael G

      AMEN!

      Dec 12, 2010 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael G
      Michael G

      Ricco go wash your foreskin it stinks like your mouth.

      Dec 12, 2010 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      @RICCO – you say you’re 23 but you appear to have the intellectual capabilities of a 16 year old moron.

      And turn off your fucking Caps Lock.

      Dec 12, 2010 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trent
      Trent

      I respect people can respect themselves with out a model body. I would love that of it was on the card for me. But What if you were one of those pathetic gay teens that find absolutly no value in his brain or personality or talent, and has to concentrate on the body as the only means of sharpening my self worth, like I am? Then what?

      I’m not saying I have a perfect body, but the more I improve it (I workout everyday at least once) the better I feel about myself. Would this count as an emotional issue?

      Dec 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vallin
      Vallin

      @Steve: Re: research grants–Ain’t it so, tho’?!

      Feb 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vallin
      Vallin

      @Steve: @Steve: Re: research grants–Ain’t it so, tho’?!

      Feb 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vallin
      Vallin

      @Steve: Re:@Vallin: Had some routing and ISP issues!

      Feb 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bobby
      Bobby

      If your not fit gay men have a tendency to judge and criticize those gay men openly to the person and others. It is something we we should address as a community. It is like bullying in school. We all have feelings, and whether or not we let people see them they are there. If people hold all that in and develop self hate of their own they can do some seriously unhealthy things or even commit suicide. With all that said, I will say that is not true for all men. I know many who feel comfortable with themselves and work out for other reasons such as competitiveness, or pure nostalgia. I just don’t think a majority of gay men do so. I would be interested to see how they did their sampling and if it was truly random in the study quoted.

      Jul 14, 2013 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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