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LESTER BRATHWAITE for HUFFPOST: Sex has never been a particularly pleasant experience for me. It’s a fundamental part of being a gay man, of being a human being, but the “fun” part has always eluded me. Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoyed the bumping of proverbial uglies (I am a romantic at heart, after all) but the lead-up before and the fallout thereafter eclipsed that enjoyment. The hunt is exhausting. The encounter is fleeting. The loneliness seeps in. And then it begins anew. The cycle continues. Like all addictions, there’s a cycle.

For me, the process of hooking up has become an addiction. An addiction fueled by insecurity. The insecurity that comes with being a gay man. The insecurity that you’re not masculine enough when masculinity is demanded of you — absolutely demanded — as a matter of course from other gay men. “Masc musc” whimpers many a profile. Masculine. Muscular. Abs prominently on display. Face obscured or head completely decapitated. This is the faceless face of hooking up in the 21st century.

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This emphasis on anonymity and masculinity further engenders internal homophobia in the gay male community. Nevermind what sex between two (or more) men actually entails, we’re taught from a young age to embrace that which is manly and shun that which could be perceived as its antithesis. Femininity is weakness, is undesirable, is a boner-killer if there ever was one. From the ludicrously inflated pecs of Tom of Finland to the sculpted torsos on Grindr, gay men have always prized the hyper masculine, but this exaltation of all things manly forces those of us who don’t necessarily fit within those rigid gender constructs to make one of two choices: rebel or conform. I’ve tried both and I can say from experience — it takes a real man to be a queen.


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  1. I do agree with him also. I have never been “hunk” enough to the man and never “sissy” enough to be a fem; BUT I have met so many in my own shoes that I have plenty of contacts that are likewise and I enjoy the life style and am very happy.

  2. i totally agree with the article. it is the men that are so hung up on being the perfect “man” that are the insecure ones. anyone willing to be themselves instead of who they believe other people think they should be are the ones truly happy in their own skin.

  3. well said silver701 and looking hot…..totally agree. I work out and keep fit, for health reasons, if more happens then it happens, but I am just an average guy that seeks average men.

    BTW this guy is hot!!!

  4. awesome “masculine men” !! I don’t agree with the article. If I was attracted to “fems” I would be dating women. I decided I was more attracted to men, because they are masculine not feminine. Sorry but I think there is another stereotype about how “gay” men should be “different” to any other men. I don’t agree.

  5. I agree with ozzietop, and well said btw. I think the article refers to a segment of the gay/bi population, namely the Twink crowd which I can’t stand the sight of a plucked eyebrow sends me in the opposite direction as fast as I can go LOL. Interestingly enough, as the twinks grow older and become bearish, they have tried to bring this attitude into the bear community, I think its a shame myself.

  6. This is one of the best read article for me in a long time. It captures the gay life to a tee. However, no thanks to media and advertising that the masc musc bullshit prevails over anything else. It attempts to embed in our heads that this is the way to be and is the accepted norm. So far off the mark that is. A larger percentage of gay males don’t conform to that stereotype. Although some desperately try. What ever happened to just being yourself and happy with who you are. If anyone doesn’t see the good in you from the inside then frankly – they really aren’t worth knowing at all. So you can save yourself the effort of being accepted by that type of guy.

    Again great article. 🙂

    gayplaygay – it isn’t only queens that have attitude. I am sure you know that.

    I also think a few of you here should perhaps attempt a rethink on the masc and fem thing. You carry the narrow minded view of a small percentage of gay men.

  7. It’s funny to see most of you are drooling over the pics of the white torsos in this pic and thinking that the article was written by a supposedly handsome white guy. Even more funnier that the same guys are assuming anyone of those three white torsos wrote this article.
    Read the actual article, the pics depict a black man and I’m assuming that it’s him who wrote it. It might even have been written by a black man who does not bear any physical similarities to the guy in the pics.
    None the guys in the three pics on this page represent any aspect of what the actual writer thoughts on the matter.

  8. Ok, I will make a correction to a minor error of judgement on my part, because the article indeed was written by a black individual. So why show only torsos belonging to white men on this page?

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