Do you even lift, bro?
The struggle is real. At any given moment you can find a gay man at church, or as straight people call it, the gym. — Like zombies in tank tops, we go through the motions with a craving for the perfect body. We squat for a bigger butt, crunch for better abs, and bench for perfect pecs. The goal is simple; to become a king amongst queens at the bars and beaches. We long to be desired. So we hit the gym, in hopes of quenching our thirst.
If insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting different results. Then gay men have reached peak crazy a million times over. While our muscles may get bigger, what we’re really consumed by goes beyond our bodies. For the older, it’s to stay young and the feminine to look masculine. It’s an obsession. After each trip, we recover and repeat, returning day in and day out to work a different muscle set.
Re-racking the numbers
I’m intrigued. Tell me more, please…
- 5–25%: A Realjock.com discussion board’s guesstimate of the percentage of gay men at any given gym (Source: Realjock.com)
- 43,246: The estimated number of social media users viewing the hashtag #GayFitness every hour (Source: Ritetag.com)
- One in seven: The number of gay men who admitted to using steroids (Source: Huffington Post)
- 10 Million: The predicted number of men who will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their life (Source: National Eating Disorders Association)
- 39%: Gay men who reported trying to hide one aspect of their bodies during sex (Source: Health.com)
A weight on our shoulders
Our attraction toward men is a vicious cycle. It’s exhausting. When we see a hot guy, not only do we want them, we also want to mirror their looks on ourselves. It’s a double whammy. This desire makes us workout even harder, striving to be noticed.
Along with complicated male on male attraction, comes the shame we experience for being gay. At an early age, many of us realize that we’re different from the rest. Growing up, we were bullied for our differences; we weren’t masculine or athletic enough. Later in life, we compensate for this shame by going after what we didn’t have. Many times this manifests in wanting the perfect body. To cope, we frequent the gym, as a way of saying “f**k you!” to our past.
Don’t sweat it: You’re not alone
The answers they received were on point:
“When I was younger I used to spend most of my time doing cardio at the gym. Now I do almost all weights…I am still waiting for my body to change. Has gay culture impacted me that much? Ugh.”
“I feel like being gay and obsessed with the gym is such a cliche. But I really love to workout, and now I’m the athlete I never was in high school.”
“The gym I go to is always a big gay scene. I wish I could work out in peace without all the competition. I’m gay too.”
“I got up the courage to try working out at the gym for the first time in my life. I’m gay and I think I just found heaven. Except most everyone is untouchable.”
Social media fatigue
Will the forced reps ever stop? Nope, outlook not-so-good. With social media consumption at its peak, it’s hard to escape the overwhelming urge for bodily change. Every minute our social feeds are being flooded with narcissistic, thirst baiting posts of half-naked men showing off their goods, adding to our constant need to hit the gym. #Gainz
While it may be hard to overcome, it seems the only way to get past these feelings is focus on ourselves and work on self-acceptance. However, the power of this Kryptonite is hard to ignore.
Don’t forget to meal prep!
Until next time, Supermen.