gay muscle as psychological armor

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 12:49 PM GMT
    armor in many cultures is molded to fit over a very strong, muscluar form. even if the body beneath isn't toned to the degree indicated by the shell, the casing still makes the fighter look more manly. look at greek/roman curiasses or modern day uniforms as an example.

    i don't remember where or when i read this concept first, but looking around at the profiles here and reading some of the flame wars (and contributing to several of them myself), i realized how obvious it is in some cases:

    many gay men seem to admire/desire a ripped body, not just because of a sexual attraction to "masculinity" and "maleness," but also out of fear. by putting on an external show of brute stength the inner self is safer from the world's cruelties? might this not explain (at least in part) some of the ridiculously hot people here contributing to ridiculously over-sensitive conversations in a hysterical tone of self-defense?

    aside from the aesthetic and health benefits, do you agree or disagree that many gay men also worship the jock bod and seek to attain it because it makes them feel less likely to be ostracized, attacked (verbally/emotionally/physically), or killed?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 12:53 PM GMT
    Yes I agree but I'm protecting myself from the evil twinks and queens that would rip me to shreds if I walked into a gay bar weighing 300lbs.... icon_eek.gif

    Them bitches is pure evil! *shudders* icon_cry.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 17, 2008 12:59 PM GMT
    dancerjack said

    aside from the aesthetic and health benefits, do you agree or disagree that many gay men also worship the jock bod and seek to attain it because it makes them feel less likely to be ostracized, attacked (verbally/emotionally/physically), or killed?






    Well Jack, I think thats the case in all of society, not just in the gay community. Look at criminals and how they will focus on the physically weak and helpless rather than those who are physically more challenging. I think most believe that to defend yourself starts with psychology and perception.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Mar 17, 2008 1:59 PM GMT
    I just posted something like this, about our pal Chucky, in the Chucky thread earlier to day.

    It's like someone is reading my mind icon_confused.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 3:38 PM GMT
    there are no coincidences in this life... i wonder if it explains anything about him? did he have small dog syndrome?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 3:45 PM GMT
    Being a psychology grad I always have to discipline myself when commenting on forums like this. Otherwise, I will go on for 10 pages and you will all expire from terminal boredom.

    I believe there are some gays that bulk up to counteract feelings they had when closeted about not being masculine enough. Gay = less than masculine, is a message that is sent out loud and clear in HS. Even today people will say things like "that is so gay" to express displeasure at something they think is weak or lame.

    I have said it before on RJ, all men have both masculine and feminine physical and psychological characteristics. I believe to be mentally healthy one should acknowledge that and live the life you are meant to live.

    As for ChuckyStud, well IDK, he is not around to defend himself so I do not feel comfortable trying to psychoanalyze him.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Mar 17, 2008 3:50 PM GMT
    I would argue that the image and persona we project is armor to some degree for everyone.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 4:05 PM GMT
    You are definitely onto something here, dancerjack.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 4:29 PM GMT
    I think you are right in many respects DancerJock.

    I don't know about everyone else on here, but when I first thought about working out, I thought "and I will be hot, YES" That was a major incentive for me to start. I do think that is the same with most people and not just gays. Being healthy and fit is attractive to look at. It is an image thing. Why else are all the models these beautiful, ripped guys. Maybe we naturally find it attractive because we realized how much work and discipline it takes to achieve that killer bod.

    I still do find working out makes me feel better about myself. I do not think I do it for a self confidence boost anymore. When I started I had no self confidence, and I thought I would after I worked out. Now I don't really care. I am still building and developing my body, but it is only for me. Inside, I feel like a stud so I want to portray that on the outside. I would not call it my armor. I would call it a part of me.
  • canuckdave

    Posts: 85

    Mar 17, 2008 5:03 PM GMT
    muscles, clothing, tatoos, haircuts, makeup, surgical augumentation, they all mask or change our appearance, to present an idealized image to the world. Its usually very conscious, seldom haphazard, to hide, accentuate, deminish, embelish who or what we think we are and how we want to present ourselves to others. Curiously a muscular body may be the epitome of bad health, honed with steriods, growth hormone and complimented by bad habits like excessive smoking, drinking and drugs. Muscles may help compensate for insecurity, lack-of self-confidance, self-loathing. Muscles can be a manifistation of Good health and caring for oneself. Armour..Yes, fitness yes...a facade yes and many other things
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 9:43 PM GMT
    muscles are not hot..thats all i have to say...there is a point where u just have to stop
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 17, 2008 9:46 PM GMT
    it's all in the price of admission guys...

    whether you want to ride the tea cups or the bumper cars is all up to you, right?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 9:57 PM GMT
    Well, while we are on the subject of psychological armor it would seem relevant to point out that obesity performs the same function (in fact obesity is absolutely neutering and desexualizing).

    Getting rid of barriers to personal authenticity, transparency, intimacy, or call it what you will is a life long battle (at least it has been for me).

    My own version is about tuning my goals to what is healthy in a holistic way (given that my genetic gifts are what they aren't that is all I can do anyway).

    Armor, psychological or physical is there for a reason, to defend us against harm and to give a jolt of fear to our enemies.

    Getting rid of that armor is (at least for me) more of a zen exercise - i.e. realizing that the defense is separating and not protective, that it is all the same matter (just organized differently), and so on.

    Of course, I would rather think like Lord Buddha than look like him.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 9:58 PM GMT
    some use it some dont some aspire to it some dont.

    I think if anything this thread is just looking for chinks in the armour that may or may not exist. From meeting up with a number of people from other sites I realise often those with the loudest voices and opinions are often in reality the quietest and shyest around.

    Alas I am on here as I am in real life I still have verbal diarrhea
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 10:01 PM GMT
    i'm sorry bfg, i don't understand your post... elaborate?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 10:03 PM GMT
    Isn't it a way for gay men to get attention? Just in the same way that women wear red lipstick
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 10:07 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidi'm sorry bfg, i don't understand your post... elaborate?


    by putting on an external show of brute stength the inner self is safer from the world's cruelties? might this not explain (at least in part) some of the ridiculously hot people here contributing to ridiculously over-sensitive conversations in a hysterical tone of self-defense?

    my point is some do some dont. At the end of the day they are all people and all have opinions are like arseh*les, everyone has one. If anything your post is seeking to do one thing we all aspire not to do and that is pigeon hole or stereotype.

    Or are you implying that a meathead cant be passionate about anything other than the gym?icon_lol.gif

    Just playing devils advocate btw
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 10:13 PM GMT
    i have to go back to my original posting for a moment - i didn't realize i'd implied the question highlighted my opinion so stridently....

    hmmm... i don't know how to repsond to you since i qualified my comments with "many," "in part," etc., so i purposefully avoided absolute terms. i'm not trying to pigeonhole anyone.

    i simply want to know if you agree or disagree with the assertion (not my assertion) made by the writer (whose name i can't remember) that big muscles on gay men can serve as emotional armor.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 10:22 PM GMT
    GQjock saidit's all in the price of admission guys...

    whether you want to ride the tea cups or the bumper cars is all up to you, right?


    you always have a way with words GQ, nicely put! LOL
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 10:38 PM GMT
    dancerjacki don't remember where or when i read this concept first....aside from the aesthetic and health benefits, do you agree or disagree that many gay men also worship the jock bod and seek to attain it because it makes them feel less likely to be ostracized, attacked (verbally/emotionally/physically), or killed?

    The question has been taken up extensively in queer writing. One of the best known, quickest reads that addresses the question is Samuel Wilson Fussell's memoir, "Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder." John Rechy took it up long ago.

    As I recall, it comes up in Mark Thompson's "Gay Body." Mike Signorile took it up in his book about the party circuit (I cain't remember the name of the book, but "muscles" is in the title). One of the strangest reads where it's addressed is "God's Gym" by Stephen D. Moore (whose "God's Beauty Parlor" is in the same vein).

    And of course, the question is an obsession of academic queer theory since it relates to the construction of masculinity and its cartoonish exaggeration, hypermasculinity. Kaja Silverman has looked at the issue, too, as have many others whose queer theorizing is grounded in film theory.

    I don't know anyone who looks at the subject with any depth and doesn't answer "yes" to the question.







  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Mar 17, 2008 10:50 PM GMT
    obscenewish said[quote][cite]dancerjack[/cite]i don't remember where or when i read this concept first....aside from the aesthetic and health benefits, do you agree or disagree that many gay men also worship the jock bod and seek to attain it because it makes them feel less likely to be ostracized, attacked (verbally/emotionally/physically), or killed?

    The question has been taken up extensively in queer writing. One of the best known, quickest reads that addresses the question is Samuel Wilson Fussell's memoir, "Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder." John Rechy took it up long ago.

    As I recall, it comes up in Mark Thompson's "Gay Body." Mike Signorile took it up in his book about the party circuit (I cain't remember the name of the book, but "muscles" is in the title). One of the strangest reads where it's addressed is "God's Gym" by Stephen D. Moore (whose "God's Beauty Parlor" is in the same vein).

    And of course, the question is an obsession of academic queer theory since it relates to the construction of masculinity and its cartoonish exaggeration, hypermasculinity. Kaja Silverman has looked at the issue, too, as have many others whose queer theorizing is grounded in film theory.

    I don't know anyone who looks at the subject with any depth and doesn't answer "yes" to the question.







    [/quote]

    I swear, you guys are just using that "Q" word, just to annoy me icon_mad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 10:51 PM GMT
    thanks o.w. - i was hoping you'd contribute an index... i'll check it out some more.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 10:59 PM GMT
    QueerMikePhilI swear, you guys are just using that "Q" word, just to annoy me

    Huh?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2008 11:03 PM GMT
    he doesn't like the word "queer"
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Mar 17, 2008 11:04 PM GMT
    obscenewish said[quote][cite]QueerMikePhil[/cite]I swear, you guys are just using that "Q" word, just to annoy me

    Huh?[/quote]

    Hey OW, stop that.