That Article About Gay Men And What They’re Still Learning To Love About Their Bodies

groupOriginally published on nightcharm.com

After centuries of religious oppression and decades of sexual shaming and second-class citizenship, gay men are finally achieving legal and social equality with the ability to confidently come out. But we still have a lot to work on when it comes to self-acceptance, especially within our own community and for our bodies. Here are ten things we often get hung up on:

  1. WE DON’T LOOK LIKE THE MEN IN GAY MAGAZINES

We don’t have that six-pack, shiny smooth skin or the chiseled muscles guys in the underwear ads do. But then again, if you caught those same guys on a random Tuesday night, you’d discover that neither do they.

It takes a very precise exercise program, special short-term diet planning and intentional dehydration to look “model-hot” on the specific day and hour of a photo shoot — those models don’t look that way on most days of the year.

Plus, professional photographers are making big bucks for knowing how to take the most flattering photos, and then everything goes through Photoshop.

Wouldn’t you rather show a little life and grit in the way you look every day?

  1. OUR HAIRLINES

Looking back at that photo from high school and realizing your hairline has crept up more than an inch since then might’ve been be the first clear sign you ever had that your body really is aging.

But by the time you’re 30, a fully-shaved head is just a “hairstyle” for a quarter of the gay guys your age. Is losing hair really the end of the world?

  1. HAVING A FLAT ASS

Why is it that some guys are just gifted with a perfect bubble butt and others have a flat ass. no matter how much weight they lift and squat?

Here’s the thing: while some people really, really like round asses (and you’re probably one of them, if you’re concerned about your own), there are plenty of people out there who prefer a smaller butt, or don’t even check out guys’ asses at all. You won’t hear them mention it — who wastes time listing any of the countless things they’re indifferent to? But they’re there.

The point is, while you’re worrying about what you think you lack in the back, other people are seeing your other (ahem) assets.

  1. FRECKLES, MOLES OR BIRTHMARKS

If you hear someone complaining about freckles and pimples, more often than not it’s someone who has them.

But to everyone else, they’re just something interesting that sets you apart.

  1. OUR STOMACHS

It seems that no matter how much of a gut we have, we wish we had just a little less (unless, of course, you’re someone who likes more).

We might be OK not having “six-pack;” we only wish our belly was a little bit leaner, maybe like it used to look six months ago. But six months ago we were wishing it was a little bit smaller than it was then. If only we’d realized how good we had it!

Eventually we figure out that bellies are the most variable, and fickle, part of the body — they just come and go like the tide.

  1. PUFFY NIPPLES OR CHESTS

Like with freckles, the person who’s the most bothered by puffy nipples is the person who has them, preoccupied with what people think, wondering if they look feminine or whether there’s a way to make them go away. How do we know this? Lots and lots of stories, articles, forums and plastic surgery websites geared towards guys worried about how puffy their nipples look.

Most people don’t even realize puffy nipples on guys are a thing — maybe saw them once or twice before, maybe found it hot or maybe didn’t put any thought into it at all since a guy’s nipples can be all sorts of different sizes and colors and shapes. Yet removing small amounts of male breast tissue is one of the top five plastic surgeries on men.

  1. ASYMMETRY

Nobody is perfectly symmetrical — and you actually don’t want to be — because while symmetry is sometimes associated with beauty, perfect symmetry is not. You know yourself more than anyone else does, so see those little things — that snaggletooth or crooked nose or odd patch in your beard that won’t grow hair. Or that muscle on your right arm that’s 30 percent bigger than that same muscle on your left? Yeah, you know what that muscle is for.

Those “flaws” make for the best romantic pillow talk, when you spend an hour pointing out your subtle physical quirks to each other the night after your first date.

  1. PENIS SIZE

A small number of guys have dicks as big as most porn stars do, and we know boys will lie about their own size. So if you don’t have a lot of in-person experience to go by, what you’re thinking of as “too small” might actually be average.

But regardless of what you’ve got, the biggest difference in confidence in penis size isn’t between guys with big dicks versus guys with small dicks — it’s between those who let other people see them naked versus those who are too afraid to.

We’ll be honest: there are size queens who want to be impressed by a big dick, and there’s no way to change whether you “measure up” in their eyes. But when it comes to being able to attract guys and make an amazing impression, it really isn’t size that counts. It’s about discovering and owning your particular sexual strength — whether it’s a big dick, your looks, your sensual massages, your wit or your amazing tongue.

  1. AGING

There’s a joke that a gay man’s 30th birthday is “gay death,” but that’s nowhere near as challenging as the days you actually see new signs that your body is getting older.

You might be very healthy or use a lot of tricks and supplements, but there’s nothing you can do to stop time. You will get wrinkles on your face, the texture of your skin will change, it will get harder and harder to keep your muscle tone, you stop being able to do things you once could, and whether you look your age or not, people will be able to see the difference between how you look now and how you looked 5 years ago. You can be handsome at any age, but it’s much harder to pull off handsome while trying to trick people into thinking you’re younger than you are, and eventually, if you stay alive, you will get “old.”

We’re not going to try to pretend like there aren’t aspects of aging that suck. But since you are going to get older and never younger, the only and best thing you can do about it is put all your focus and passion into loving and enjoying the age that you and your body are now, whether it’s 25, 30, 50 or 99.

  1. THE WAY OUR BODIES CHANGE

Yesterday when you stepped out of the shower and looked in the mirror, your body looked great. So what’s going on with it today?

“I feel fat today” is probably the worst thing we say to ourselves, missing opportunities for connection or for just living our lives because we don’t think we look as good as we did yesterday and will hold ourselves back until we feel confident again.

Whether it’s an hour after a workout, ten minutes after a meal, the night after a party or the morning after a good night’s sleep, your body responds to its environment in both long-term and very short-term ways, sometimes doing its own damn thing regardless of how careful you were.

The older you get the more unpredictable it can be — there’s no regard for your date tonight, your upcoming vacation or the fact that today’s the day that somebody took your picture. The very same times that you have fun and meet people, you’re body’s getting tired and showing signs. Or, you could be full from a good meal, have gotten bloated from drinking, or just ate too much salt. In any case, the things you enjoy don’t necessarily lead to seeing yourself as “sexy” in the mirror. Are you going to stop living your life to keep yourself looking perfect all the time?

Or maybe you’re just standing in unflattering light, and sometimes you think you look worse today but it’s completely in your head.

It’s a part of being human — our bodies are alive and full of surprises — and when we live, it shows. Besides, we aren’t objective observers of ourselves, usually holding ourselves to a higher standard. We just have to be confident enough to appreciate our bodies, any day and in any way they appear.

37 thoughts on “That Article About Gay Men And What They’re Still Learning To Love About Their Bodies

  1. I have a huge problem with no 2. I think 30 is gay death too(plenty pun intended). Getting old is the most dreadful thing ever. The time I won’t be able to smile when I look in the mirror… I so dread that day.

  2. Hmmmmmm, all these things I’m not worried about them at all……I really don’t care that much about my looks….but That pic tho…..ummmm orgy anyone?.

  3. I’m least bothered about all these… Old age is inevitable.
    I have decided to make peace with myself.. So whatever life throws at me.. (Through looks and whatnot at old age. I am ready) I am not the fittest person in the world but I still get what I want.. One way or the other. So old age and whatever issues I beleive will be sorted when the time comes.. I just take the day as it comes.
    Gay people are too looks conscious.. And it’s getting really annoying. There are ‘Real’ problems out there in the world other than you not having six packs or flat butt or that ‘chiseled’ jaw.

  4. I really don’t care about the content of the post, all I want is the contact of the third guy from the left, the one putting on neck chain….

  5. i’d like to be a sandwish between the 2nd and 3rd guy from the left ***clutches fluttering palpitating heart*** … i no go lie, aging scares the fuck outta me, i dread the day i’ll look in the mirror and not like what i see. But i realise that somehow father time will eventually do his unstoppable work, i just hope he shows me some mercy. I also know that no matter how much time energy and dieting i lavish on my body, its wayyyy better to develop my mind and personality which is what i’ll be left with long long after my body is swallowed up by age and time …
    You can look good well into your 40s, its all about understanding the basic rules of health and fitness, you can be in your late 30s and still eat and drink whatever comes your way just as you could in your teens and early 20s, nuh uh; wont work luv! your body just isnt as efficient at burning calories once you start to hit your late 20s/30s, recognise this fact and keep it firmly in mind, and you should do just fine …

    • You do know you have veeeerrrryyyyyy looooooonnnnnggg!! Way to go.. Wrking on your mind (Thinking) and personality.. Right?
      It stinks right up to were I am typing this.

      Work on that darling.. And you will do just fine!

  6. Emmm PP, Please feel free to give my details to the 1st 3guys from the left. I’m organising a special easter anointing service/Thanksgiving Party and I want them to be the special guests of honour.

    PLEASE NOTE!!!! Its a strictly birthday suit event, And @ Mercury, u are invited since you are the only one here that is thinking in the same direction that I’m thinking right now.

  7. HAHAHAHAHAHA! You guys just totally ignored the somewhat valuable content of the article (like wetin dis one dey yan) and started checking out the bodies of the very random guys in the pictures and planning orgies via the comment section? LMFAO!

    Typical!

    Anyway this is stuff u only really care about in your teens and young adult years. As you grow older, this article really gets pointless and no one could give a shit… we just want to keep looking and admiring hot muscled guys, their tight fat wiggly butts, beautiful pecs, super hung bulges and…

    …abeg don’t disturb us!

  8. Oh by the way,

    Your BF was probably banging the hell out of my fat tight bubble ass the other day and most definitely not my personality!

    Well written article but where we might fail is using it as an excuse to then age disgracefully. If you could work on something, anything, do it. The gym never hurt anyone. Know your killer parts and squat or bench press for it – whichever you are better at. If you can’t gym, dress better. Shave (or don’t shave) better as you deem fit. Get a better haircut. Visit the dentist, Get laser surgery and rid yourself off those moles ( I didnt say go and bleach or inject oil into your asses o!). Manscape. Eat better. Drink lots of water. Do stuff that relaxes you more. I don’t know man… just do something you know could improve your looks and your confidence overall.

    Age is no longer an excuse.

  9. I wish I’m older than Iam now. Maybe I’m strange but since childhood, I have always wished to be older than Iam. I love feeling old and acting old. One of the happiest days of my life was the day I received a walking stick as a gift. Old age is beautiful. Just age gracefully.

    • Why do I have to agree less to this? I always have a thing for old age -except that it’s increasing the frequency of occurrence of the M word

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