Let’s face it, there is no shortage of hot, ripped bodied men in this world. Such aesthetics are often and unfairly assumed to be coupled with arrogance or disdain for those with an inferior stature. Ok, so yes, that kind of mean guy does exist and we’ve all likely ran into one or two, or three of them in our lives. And that’s what makes it so lovely when you meet a gorgeous, chiseled guy who is the antithesis of that negative stereotype.
Professional photographer and rising Instagram influencer, Christian Stanley, is that chiseled guy. I first discovered Christian on Instagram where he goes by the name @Soberwolfnyc. I stopped scrolling when I happened upon his account. His body is bananas and there was very little mystery as to the origin of his profile name —but I wanted to know more. He seemed playful, spiritual, and very positive as I read more of his instagram captions. I discovered there was much more to this man than just a bangin’ body. He had overcome serious addiction and today celebrates twelve years of sobriety.
Much like one of my previous Instinct Hottie discoveries, Kevin Ronald Davis, I felt strongly Christian had a similar magic. Not only would our audience perhaps enjoy looking at him, but more importantly, his message of thriving through sobriety could be a tangible inspiration to others.
Meet Instinct Hottie of the Week, Christian Stanley, age 45:
INSTINCT: Where were you born and where do you call home today?
CS: I was born in Venezuela but was raised all over the world because of my Father’s work. Home is now Jersey City, NJ.
INSTINCT: How long have you been sober and what role does fitness play in your recovery?
CS: Sometimes I feel I have been sober several lifetimes and there are days it feels like 2 hours! But I have been sober for 12 years, a true miracle! Like many heavy long term drug users, when I sobered up I was at the end of my mental and physical rope. I remember looking in the mirror and wondering how I had gotten to this place. Sobriety programs teach you to find a higher power, not necessarily a God or deity, but something outside yourself that could keep you grounded. That’s not an easy task when your spiritual well has run dry, and your brain is not all there, so my reason to stay sober for the first few months was simple —vanity. I wanted to look in the mirror and like what I saw. That changed in time, but fitness became my catalyst for self love. Today it has become a tool to inspire others and a gateway to very interesting conversations with fascinating people. Also it helps me with my social anxiety… going to the gym is my quiet time.
INSTINCT: What are the stigmas surrounding sobriety that you hope to break down?
CS: That a life of sobriety means a life of no fun, friends, love or sex. I have experienced all these things in a way that I never did high or drunk. When I used, my primary relationship was with drugs and alcohol. Now that I am sober I actually experience the things I want with meaning and depth. Even the silly shallow things in life have a deeper impact.
INSTINCT: What advice or wisdom can you share with others in recovery or living a sober lifestyle?
CS: Be kind to yourself, stop comparing yourself to anyone and everyone. Being sober doesn’t make the ups and downs of life go away. Be an example of kindness. What is the point of being sober if you are critical of others, if you lack compassion for people’s pain and empathy for their joy. Be kind.
INSTINCT: What inspired you to take up photography and is it more of a hobby or are you working as a photographer professionally?
CS: I am proud to say I am a professional photographer, something I never thought I would say given the fact that I picked up a camera in my late 30’s and am entirely self-taught. I always loved photography, it was a medium that felt magical to me. Think about it, you have a machine that in an instant captures feelings and memories and then reflects them either on a screen or paper for you to take with you. Instant and eternal. I would love to tell you I was inspired by incredible photographers like Mapplethorpe or Bruce Webber, but I wasn’t so cultured and artsy. I was inspired by the dogs in the park. I used to walk dogs, so I started photographing them.
INSTINCT: You have a very sexy Instagram, would you ever pose nude in photos?
CS: Hahaha! I love that question! And thank you for saying that but it was never my intention to have a sexy Instagram. If you scroll back, it’s a weird mash of stuff lol! I would pose nude but never really do full frontal, and before any of your loyal readers roll their eyes, let me state that I am no prude at all, but I find something beautiful in the mystery of wondering. I love fine art – erotic photography. The shadows, curved lines, the imperfections on skin, etc. The only way I would ever do a full frontal image is if it was fine art at its best. There are so many nude guys now, I feel like I missed the boat on that haha!
INSTINCT: What brings you joy?
CS: My husband Andrew and my dog Blu — my little family.
INSTINCT: What do you think is the most attractive? part about yourself?
CS: Mmm that sounds like a loaded question – but here are two answers for you. My authenticity and my chest — it holds a big heart. ☺
INSTINCT: What do you find you are complimented on the most?
CS: I would say I get a lot of nipple comments lol! So let’s go with that lol
INSTINCT: What, to you, defines sexy?
CS: Sexy is a feeling, kindness is sexy, feeling safe and valued is sexy. Sexy is kind.
INSTINCT: What is your proudest moment in your life thus far?
CS: Walking myself to rehab and checking in to the outpatient center in Boston. I look back and I have no idea how I managed to do that.
INSTINCT: What haven’t you accomplished, personally or professionally, that you want to do in the next 2-3 years?
CS: My husband and I started a creative agency called “8676”, and so the goal is to grow that business. I also want to continue to train others and work in Fashion as I do. I am a jack of all trades.
INSTINCT: What is the best part of your relationship and what do you love most about your husband?
CS: I am madly in love with my sexy husband Andrew and there are so many things about him that I love but his love for others is incredible. He is the kindest soul you have ever met packed in 190lbs of muscle — what can I say I hit the jackpot.
Rapid fire question time:
INSTINCT: What is your all-time favorite movie?
CS: Romancing the stone, a 1984 action comedy with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.
INSTINCT: Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
CS: Luke Evans
INSTINCT: What is your favorite cheat meal or snack?
CS: Oreos and milk
INSTINCT: Favorite position?
CS: I am a wolf so doggy style lol!!!!
INSTINCT: If you were stuck on an island for eternity, what music album would you want to have with you?
CS: Disco, and some Pop. Happy music, like the Greatest Showman, the Dear Evan Hanson soundtrack — which reminds me of my Hubby… and Celine Dion.
INSTINCT: What does it mean to be featured as our Instinct Hottie?
CS: It’s actually really cool! I have always loved instinct and when I moved to NYC I would see these magazines with these beautiful men. I could have never imagined I would get a little part in it. Thank you! Also at 45 it’s not everyday you get asked to be featured as a hottie.
INSTINCT: Anything else you’d like to share with the Instinct readers?
CS: I am a talker so we could be here all day! But if there is anything I can leave readers with is that all of the outside stuff that we strive so hard for (abs, money, jobs, etc…) will have very little effect on how you will feel about yourself in the long run. Work on your soul and mind, that will make the rest fall into place.