Body Talk: Do Biceps Make The Man If The Man Can’t Make Biceps?


I’ve learned that physical attraction is much more complicated than I once thought and, for that matter, that it is much more fun to sleep with people who don’t look like they’ve just been unwrapped from packaging. A big part of growing up involves learning that — most of the time — your brain and your penis like two very different things and that, at a certain point, one of them is just going to have to learn how to compromise. As it turns out, the best romantic and sexual experiences tend to happen when both of them agree on something or someone. In my case, that doesn’t tend to happen when I’m having hateful sex with a proxy for the muscular douchebags who tortured me in high school.”

“In a way, I think this is a lesson that the gay community is learning, too. Over the past decade, as gay people have become more accepted and gay ghettoes have begun to empty out, I’ve noticed that the extremely muscled gay aesthetic has begun to fade away, especially among twenty-somethings. While enclaves like Chelsea are still synonymous with beefy, muscle-y men, most young gay people aren’t moving into them — instead they’re heading to Brooklyn, or the Mission, or Silver Lake, or other more mixed areas where diversity means there’s less pressure to get buff than in, say, West Hollywood. Larry Kramer told me in an interview a few years ago that he doesn’t see as many gay people on the street anymore, that they seem to have disappeared. It’s not that they went anywhere; it’s just that it’s harder to tell them from the straight ones. Hopefully, in coming generations, gay guys won’t have to feel any more anxious about their chest or bicep size than any other guy.”

From the Salon article, My Skinny Arm Complex, by Thomas Rogers