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Gay brothers talk about the pressure of being muscular

Despite the societal push for body positivity, gay men can still be absolutely obsessed with the image, emphasizing the “ab”.

Yes, given our fixation on bulging biceps, bulging pecs, and thundering thighs, who among us hasn’t felt compelled to earn a few gains?

Well, some of us didn’t, it seems. On Reddit’s r/askgaybros forum, a user recently asked, “Do you feel pressure to be muscular?” And while most commenters said yes, a few said they didn’t or at least didn’t feel that pressure from others.

Related: What is bigorexia and do you have it?

The range of comments illustrates the physical, mental and emotional toll of being pumped up. Here is a selection of responses:

“Yes, and I fail.”

“I have muscular legs and that’s it. The rest of me is bod dad, although I’ve lost about 30 pounds recently, just eating a little better. I took the advice not to eat until I was full and to eat more slowly.

“Permanently! Especially as a top who looks gay…I have yet to find a guy who accepts me for who I am and finds that attractive.

“I was thin and lanky, in high school and college. Considering my height, it’s not pretty. I looked like an emaciated lamppost. Then my mid-20s came along, and I decided to take volume and having abs with a fit lifestyle But geezus christ… the amount of shit I had to consider putting in my body was truly mind-numbing, and it was so much that, most of the time, I I was grumpy and mentally exhausted. So before I turned 30, I chose to go on the “eat what I want in moderation” diet, then go to the gym, then work out. summer that my body got stocky but still muscular. I’m much happier now. Happy belly = happy me.

“When I was single, it was really like a pressure. However, after a few years of regular training, it was quite rewarding to see how different I looked compared to before I started training. I’m in a long-term monogamous relationship, but I like getting checked out and being stronger.

“I felt that pressure throughout my teenage years as a skeletal twink. When I met my boyfriend in his early twenties, he introduced me to working out, went to the gym with me, and showed me that it wasn’t scary. Now I’m almost 20 and working out is one of my main hobbies. I’m still with this same boyfriend, and we both enjoy to see me being examined, but also generally better treated. The nice privilege is real!

“Muscle and low enough body fat for visible abs. SO MUCH PRESSURE. Definitely body dysmorphia at work here.

Related: Men Name The Parts Of The Male Body They Find The Least Attractive

“Yes. A lot. I’m very attracted to muscular men and I want to look like that for myself too. It’s a constant pressure that I put on myself. I look good now, muscular but discernible. I see always where I need to improve and change There are times when it’s important not to eat or research steroid cycles thoroughly Social anxiety about other gays judging my body loops in my head every time I go out with friends. Therapy, weightlifting, a good nutrition plan and a very understanding trainer have helped me get the worst of it under control.

“No. But I feel pressure to be thin.

“I’m a gay man, so yes, I am.”

“No. I want to have the best body possible, so I choose to work on it. But I don’t feel any pressure. What else am I going to do? Taking care of my body is my responsibility and my obligation to myself. You did say ‘muscular’ and not ‘healthy’, which could be two different things – I would never risk my health to be more muscular than is naturally possible.”

“Not really. The gym is how I escape the voices in my head and help me vent my frustration on the world. I think if I hadn’t started working out, I would be doing my life now, lmao.

“Yeah, but it’s not like it’s an exclusively gay thing.”