Friday, November 23, 2012

Let's talk about gay men with abs

Over a cup of coffee, a friend of mine told me what his best friend told him: there is a ranking for gay men that is based purely on their looks. Basically, the "Top 25" is composed of gay men who look the same: properly groomed, fit clothing, big chest, strong arms, and a six-pack. (Apparently a flat tummy is not enough anymore) And those who look otherwise, and by that I mean a regular man with no bulging muscles--a man who, in the eyes of men who subscribe to this ridiculous ranking, look unremarkable--belong to the "Bottom 25." I almost spilled my coffee when I heard this.

I'm a regular guy. I don't have a six-pack, I don't have big arms and chest. In fact, I recently had my weight checked and I found out that I'm a pound over my ideal body weight. But what I can be proud of is that I can dress well. I'm a fan of button downs and polos that do not cling tightly to my entire upper body like a chameleon to a branch.

Despite my liking for comfortable collared shirts and casual long sleeves, it seems, from the requirements of this ranking, I am unremarkable still. In fact, all my friends, my good gay friends who are all doing so well in their chosen field, are also unremarkable because, like me, they do not have the body of a Greek god.

When I went to a bar in Malate to meet a friend at midnight (who forgot to meet me, unfortunately), I met an Indian-American man who just came from the States and he told me I was different from the rest of the men at the bar that night--a bar that was full of abs and testosterone. I indulged myself a little and asked what he meant by "different" and this was what he said: "You're the only guy here who can talk and make sense." That came from someone who owned several businesses in the States.

Me, a regular guy with no six-pack, can talk and make sense. Isn't that sexier? Isn't that more attractive? Isn't it more remarkable to be able to hold a conversation than maintain a group of abdominal muscles that have become society's basis of a "real" man? What is a real man anyway? If I were single, I wouldn't want to date a man who spends more time at the gym than living life. I would rather spend time with a man who I can talk with. But I have already met that man and we have been together for almost four years. Completely unremarkable.

It makes me wonder, where do we, regular gay men, belong? Where do we put ourselves in this world of abs and toned arms and bulging chests? Does being regular nowadays truly make us undesirable? And are we left to mingle with fellow unremarkably regular gay men too because some men with abs think that men with abs should only meet (or fuck) other men with abs?

Men with abs. Pfft. Where's the variety in that?

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