This is a topic that at this point I feel like I have exhausted over the course of several years regarding writing about the challenges that are present in the gay community. However, the eloquence of it for me is gone. I have tried writing it from a “glass half” full mentality a bunch of times, with some great feedback and debate.
An article that I did a couple of days ago showed the highlights of dating a man with a belly in a very comedic but true sort of way. It was not designed to insult other body types (I made that clear at the bottom), but more of a way to highlight that every kind of man in this community is awesome in their own way. For the most part, I received positive feedback. Then there was one that took my bullet points from the article and turned them around to being complete negatives (in other words, he referred to husky dudes as obese and disgusting).
Those sorts of words bring me back to something that happened a couple of years ago. Just as a heads up, this is in no way a “woe is me” situation as I am merely the messenger in sharing the experience. I have been an active member on a particular bear app for years. One time, I engaged in a conversation with an in-shape dude who was visiting my area. The chat was rather friendly, and when I asked if he wanted to meet up while he was there, he then followed up with this:
Him: “Ur handsome but how about the body?”
Now, before I even continued with what was next, I kind of had a feeling of what was to come. The main photo of me was simply one that highlighted my face, which was my choosing because quite frankly I looked good in it, and didn’t feel the need to show a full body in pic in order to get a guy to message me back. Normally, I wouldn’t even want to reply as I could feel the judgement wafting through my iPhone, but I sent him a shirtless photo just to see what he was going to say. This was his response.
Him: “A bear… lolol”
Me: “Why the lol?”
Him: “I see guys like u and say if u worked out and was a muscle bear then u would see how guys would be after u, and u would like that”.
Me: “I have guys after me all the time. Muscle doesn’t define attractiveness”.
Keep in mind a couple of things. One, this is how he really wrote all of this, so grammar and spelling really aren’t his forte, just like his manners aren’t as well. My comment on “guys after me all the time” sounds arrogant, however I wanted to be as blunt as possible to prove a point. Muscle is great to have, but it doesn’t equate the only time in your life where you will be the honey to the bee. Ignorance is bliss, especially in this case, and is rampant in a community that is hell bent on its “you can’t sit with us” mentality on how divisive it is, especially when it comes to weight.
The main question really is this- what is body shaming really doing for you in the long run? It is sort of the same question I would ask to people who don’t want gay marriage legalized- how does this affect you? The answer simply for both is that there is an element of power when you let someone know that you think less of them, based on your own insecurities. And it is wrong on so many levels that I don’t even know where to begin.
Aesthetics is a huge part of our community and has been since the beginning. As I have gotten older though, the craving for intimacy has gone beyond the big d**k/tight ass thought process and has developed into something so much more concrete and real in that I want someone who has traits like being kind, thoughtful, attentive, sweet, etc. That doesn’t necessarily mean they need to have a six pack with purchase (not that that is a bad thing), but no matter what your weight is, you shouldn’t body shame someone else because they aren’t your desired f**k for the night or a potential relationship. That isn’t fair.
You know how you can get your point across without being a major d**k? Get to know them still. They reached out to you, so at least entertain a conversation but let them know in a nice way that you aren’t interested. You might still make someone’s day in doing so, especially when so many of us (myself included) have been brutally rejected in this community which can lead to a lot of physical and mental damage. Stop thinking that you are above someone because of the way you look and realize that we need to be a little bit more accurate when it comes to calling ourselves a community, because these persisting issues make us the exact opposite.
This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.