Among heterosexual men, there is one body type only because straight guys are not interested in men’s bodies, either their own or those of other males. They’re interested in female body types. In this post Romy and I are going to attempt explaining some of the subgroups in the gay male culture. If you ever heard your gay friends talking about twinks, bears or otters and you wondered what the fuck they were talking about… read this and you´ll be able to participate in the conversation next time 😉
Body Type: Thin, smooth, often blond, usually with longish bangs and often with highlights.
Description: This young breed of gays is never over 30 and tends to be on the queeny side and hews closely to the conventional stereotypes of gay man. Wild, ornery, and still getting over their coming out issues, the twink is the gay gone wild, and is bait to older men who are into trying to suck off their youthful energy.
Celebrity Example: Zac Efron
Body Type: Large, hairy, often with facial hair
Description: The bigger, generally older subset of the population is new but increasingly popular both in the community and pop culture. They have their own social calendar that is well populated with events to support the flannel-clad butch lifestyle of beards and beer guts.
Celebrity Example: Kevin Smith
Body Type: Athletic, muscular, possibly gone-to-seed
Description: This guy prides himself on the fact that no one thinks he is gay until he tells them. His love of sports is just about the only unaffected aspect of his masculinity. He wears T-shirts and ball caps with his favorite team logo, and likes guys who are “non-scene,” unless the scene is a gay sports team.
Celebrity Example: Esera Tualo
Body Type: Muscular, waxed, preened, most usually with tribal tattoos
Description: This subset rose to prominence in the ’90s around the drug-fueled, all-night dance parties that were in different cities around the country. While it has few new recruits, its core population is die-hard and aging quickly. Many of the parties have died off, but they’re still dancing to bad tribal house wherever they can.
Celebrity Example: This is such a specific type it doesn’t really exists in the world at large, but the Platonic ideal of a circuit boy is DJ Brett Henrichsen.
Body Type: Body toned by the personal trainer, hair done by celebrity stylist, wardrobe picked out at Barneys
Description: These are the uppity homos who live the good life, and are generally too good for you. They only like to talk to each other. They usually work in advertising, PR, marketing, or the entertainment industry and make a ton of cash which they use to have perfect apartments, fantastic wardrobes, and summer homes near all the other gay-listers. You can try to get invited to their parties, but you will never belong.
Subcategories: Power gays, the velvet mafia
Celebrity Example: Andy Cohen
Body Type: They come in all shapes and sizes, from the young, spry dancer to the balding, pudgy critic.
Description: These are the kids who are so gay they could never fit in during high school and sought refuge in the music department. They have devoted their lives to performing, show tunes, and learning all the words to very obscure songs. They often work in theater or the arts in one way or another, be it on the Great White Way or as a high school drama teacher.
Celebrity Example: Neil Patrick Harris
Body Type: Emaciated, tattooed, usually with some sort of ironic facial hair and an enormous coif.
Description: The art fag is cooler than you. He’s also cooler than all your friends, and he is not afraid to show it. He is usually an artist (duh), photographer, fashion designer, band member, or something that requires a degree from RISD, FIT, or some other art school that is an acronym. He dresses either in the most current prissy fashions or like a homo version of Terry Richardson, in big glasses, flannels, and jeans that looks so thrown together that it took him hours to put together. You’re more likely to find them at a gallery opening or model party, but every so often they’ll be at a gay bar to rub elbows, and other parts, with the other homos.
Celebrity Example: Marc Jacobs
Body Type: Either big, buxom Divine style or svelte and RuPaul-esque.
Description: This is a very small but very powerful contingent of the gay population. The drag queens are not only the court jesters of the gay community, dressing up like clowns for our entertainment, but they are also a bridge to the straight world. As much as gay men appreciate the queens for their looks, wit, and shade, straight people love a drag show even more than the queers do. Somehow they manage to be the most outrageous segment of the population and the most embraced, making the rest of us look positively boring by comparison.
Celebrity Example: RuPaul
In the gay world, an otter would be considered a thin gay male that is hairy and may or may not use a trimmer to shorten body hair. Some have beards, some do not. Otters are usually smaller in frame when compared to the heavier cub or bear. Otters look a lot like what you would see in a picture of an otter … they are hairy. A person can be an otter regardless of age. Otters are considered to be part of the larger bear community.
An example of an otter might be found in Scott Caan. Notice he is slightly hairy in the photograph, perhaps even trimming as a way of reducing hair on his chest and torso. You have seen Scott in a number of movies and TV Shows, including films like Into the Blue and Hawaii Five-0. He is 5ft 5 inches tall and was born in Los Angels.
Otters characteristically are not super built but can be athletic. Again, they are hairy (some think they are smooth and that would be incorrect). Think of otters being somewhere between cubs and bears …not as massive as bears and certainly smaller than cubs.
Characteristically, a wolf is gay male who is semi-hairy, muscular, lean, attractive and sexually aggressive. A wolf is sometimes considered to be part of the larger bear community or bear spectrum. Some also describe wolves as slimmer bears but there is a lot of disagreement on this.
Most all wolves have facial hair. Height or age is not assigned to wolves. Subgroups of wolves can be found in aging wolves, which are gay men with wolf like features that are starting to turn a bit gray.
And then there are full on silver or gray wolves, terms that describe an older wolf with gray or white facial/body hair.
A celebrity example of a younger wolf would be Joe Manganiello. He fits all of the requirements to be placed into this category. Interestingly enough, Maganiello plays the part of a wolf in the HBO hit series, True Blood.
Older wolves, particularly aging wolf types, might be found in the example of Hugh Jackman, the mid 40’s something hottie who you saw in the movies X-Men andThe Wolverine.
For gay men, the term cub is used to describe a younger (or younger looking) male, usually husky or heavier in body type and almost always hairy.
While many cubs have a beard, it is not a requirement to fit in this category. Body hair and huskiness are the dominant features for this gay descriptor.
Cubs are sometimes partnered with bears in passive relationships or with other cubs. Cubs can sometimes be considered an apprentice to a bear.
We have cub sub-types:
- Muscle Cubs : Body size is attributable to muscular composition as opposed to body fat.
- Sugar Cubs: Effeminate Cubs
An example of a cub body type mightbe found in the body of Santa Monica, California born Jack Black who has played in movies such asSchool of Rock and High Fidelity.
We don’t have a lot of male celebrity examples of cubs. Almost all cubs aspire to become bears within the larger bear community.
In the gay world, the term chub is used to describe an overweight or obese man. Chubs are a distinct sub-group within the gay male population and can be confused with bears. Many bears reject extremely large or obese chubs and do not consider them as part of their subgroup. Chubs have their own events, such as “Mr. Chub International”. An extremely large chub is referred to as a superchubaccording to the research.
An example of a chub/superchub might be found in the body type of actor John Goodman. You have seen him in a number of films and T.V. shows, most notably Roseanne.Another example can be found in John Candy (deceased), who was inPlanes, Trains & Automobiles.
It is important to note that there exists a group of people calledchasers. These individuals are attracted romantically and physically to chubs. Chasers are much smaller than chubs.
A pup typically is a gay male who is fairly young in age. Here we are talking late teens to early 20’s, give or take. Characteristically, pups have little experience in the gay world, are naïve, energetic and cute.
Pups are similar to cubs except pups are not involved in the bear community and likely do not even know this community exists within the larger gay spectrum.
You often hear more seasoned gay men tell very young gay men who are just coming out things like, “You are just a young pup- you have a lot to learn” or “You are just a pup – you are just a baby!”
An example of a pup body type can be found in early 20’s something Joe Jonas. Joe and his brother Nick starred in their own Disney Channel Original Series, Jonas.
Other pup type examples can be found in Taylor Lautner (Twilight series) and Sterling Beaumon (Astro Boy).
Pups may have similar body types to twinks (coming up soon) however, pups usually are super new to the gay world. Twinks however are not.
In the gay community, Bulls are considered to be super massive, muscular body builders that weigh somewhere in the 215-300 pound range.
Bulls are not necessarily part of the bear community and usually herd together as one might see them in their natural environment.
An example of a Bull body type can be found in Dwanyne Johson, the early 40’s something California born movie star who is also known as the “The Rock”. Johnson used to be a professional wrestler with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
Another potential bull body type might include 30 something Australian born actor Chris Hemsworth, using filmography from his appearance in the movie Thor.
Hemsworth stands at a whopping 6’4 and his weight has varied between 215 pounds to 195 pounds according to recent interviews.
Other Important Terms we think everyone should be familiar with…
These guys really throw a wrench in our Gaydar sometimes. A Metrosexual guy is one who may outwardly appear gay (expert grooming, fantastic style) but who is actually straight. Usually, these guys make pretty awesome friends (as long as you can keep your friends from molesting them anyway).
Learn this term well and put it into practice (unless you’re a Bear of course). Manscaping is the colloquial term for grooming… and as a gay man, I’m here to tell you- again, unless you’re a Bear- you should be manscaping.
Fag Hag technically means a straight girl who wants to have sex with gay men and contrary to popular belief, being called a Fag Hag isn’t a compliment. It means you’re creepy.
Although less popular- and not quite as easily rolled off the tongue- this term actually describes what most people think of when they think “Fag Hag”. Fruit Flies don’t want to have sex with us, they are just uber-fabulous girls who understand gay culture and love to hang out. The gay boys love them too and buzz around them… like flies,
This is code for a straight guy who hangs out with a lot of gay guys.
Water Sports / Golden Shower
This one is important. Water sports aren’t actually sports at all, and hopefully you can tell from the synonymous term what it’s really all about. That’s right kids. Pee.
Let’s be honest- this really means “I’ve slept with all your guy friends but don’t want to admit it”.
These are also new terms for me and I just had to include them. A Hasbian is a Lesbian who has chosen to live a heterosexual life. Conversely, a Yestergay is a gay man who has chosen to live a heterosexual life. I love a good play on words and these totally made me laugh.
Babies of gay men.
Gay or Straight, if you’re new to the gay community, you might come across a few phrases or labels that you don’t have a clue what they mean. For the gays, that lack of understanding might land you in an interesting situation… such as showing up at a guy’s house for the first time expecting to go play water polo and finding out that “water sports” is something else entirely.