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2011/04/06

Acquired Tastes, Chapter XI : Twinks

Part of the challenge I face when writing about a variety of different topics housed under the umbrella of a general subject I like is that, on occasion, I have to write about a taste I’ve never acquired. This week’s topic: Twinks, falls under that category. It’s not that I don’t find them attractive or appreciate the aesthetics that define them as Twinks; it’s just that I don’t salivate at the thought of them or seek them out. That said, I plan on doing the topic justice and in the course of celebrating what makes them so special, I also hope to shed some light on exactly why it is that I have never developed a taste for them. So, just for the record: I am not a Twink hater. I have certainly fucked and been fucked by my fair share. However, I don’t go out of my way to pursue them and find myself questioning the true motives of those who do – especially older dudes.

Twinks

Scope of Activity:

An appreciation for young, hairless men with slender builds. Having gay male sex with same.

The Official Line:

With information from Wikipedia:

Twink is a gay slang term describing a young or young-looking gay man (in his late teens or early twenties) with a slender build, little or no body hair, and no facial hair. Twinks are often clean-shaven to emphasize a youthful, fresh-faced appearance, although many are too young to actually grow a full beard, though most are able to produce some beard growth. A Twink is "memorable for his outer packaging", not his "inner depth". The junk food reference (Hostess Twinkie) has a number of connotations, including a perceived lack of substance or intelligence, and being ideal only in the short-term, lacking lasting qualities or being very healthy.

Psychological Aspects:

I think older men sleep with younger men in order to recapture their youth because they are afraid of getting old (or dying, as pointed out in the film “Moonstruck”). Some men entertain the notion that they are still a Twink long after the Twink train has left the station. I think that’s because they have issues with growing older. Being an aging gay male is difficult enough as it is, why make it more difficult by clinging to an image that you can’t possibly maintain? And there is some truth to thought that refusing to accept and act your age makes one seem ridiculous in the eyes of others.

The internet term ‘boi’ probably came about because 1/ anyone over the age of 21 who still considers themselves a boy is a ridiculous, delusional human being and 2/ anyone who wants to have sex with a boy is a sick, perverted fuck. So in order to distance themselves from both of these less than flattering personages; “boy” became “boi”.

Power imbalance: inherent in any relationship where one member is significantly older, more established, more knowledgeable, etc. That’s what I have always been taught, and my gut tells me that it’s true. It’s that imbalance that troubles me when older men seek out younger men on an exclusive basis. Is it insecurity on the part of the older man that makes him want only Twinks, as in: he isn’t capable of having a relationship with someone his own age? Those older men will tell me no, that their attraction to young men is simply a preference. That ‘preference’ makes me uncomfortable, because it immediately makes me think of pedophilia, NAMBLA, and all that boylove nonsense; dangerous, evil nonsense, however – AND THIS IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND – just as not all pedophiles are gay (and vice-a-versa), all men who appreciate Twinks are not pedophiles. Because Twinks who are of the age of consent can have sex with whomever they choose. So, while one can argue that there is a grey area there that borders on something obscene, the line is very clearly drawn: Over the age of 18? Cool. Under the age of 18 – so very, very, not cool.

Twinks also make me think of angels and innocence. Is innocence sexy? Not to me in any way; I find it hard to imagine that it’s sexy for anyone who isn’t into corrupting said innocence. Sex is not an act of innocence, but one of carnal knowledge. Innocence kind of goes hand in hand with inexperience – especially sexual inexperience, and while there is something charming about someone who is a bit tentative about diving into the sexual pool or a tad clumsy and awkward in the sack: if you’re going to grab my wiener, I want you to know what to do with it.

The purity of youth: do men sleep with Twinks in the hopes of some sort of redemption? Purity by association? Osmosis? Or is the relationship vampiric in nature? That would seem to circle back to the whole imbalance of power thing. And maybe it isn’t so much an imbalance of power as an imbalance of age. I’ve never actually sat down with a Twink to discuss any of this ‘older man thing’. I’m really curious as to what it is that drives them, psychologically. Is it a Daddy thing? Are they trying to fill some hole in their lives besides those in their ass and face? Is it a means of gaining access to places and possessions? Or are they just turned on by getting it on with an older dude? Of course, I seem to be forgetting that the majority of Twinks only sleep with young men their own age; young men who share similar values based on where they are in the development of their lives. It’s also important to keep in mind that not everyone under 25 is a Twink. That title, like the title ‘Cub’ in the Bear world, belongs only to a specific type of individual.

My Experience:

Slender builds generally do very little for me, unless it is a sort of white trash swimmer’s build, and that usually takes someone over the age of 25 to pull off. Boy bodies do very little for me; unless it’s an older dude (over 30) who is very short, in which case I just want to spank them and wrestle with them.

The facial hair/body hair is what lies at the heart of my lack of physical appreciation for Twinks. In my head, body hair equals manliness, and, even as a child, I was attracted to grown men; with mustaches, chest hair, pubes and yes, even back hair! I find that back hair is a really divisive issue among gay men which I find to be odd and humorous.

Are Twinks effeminate? No, not necessarily. Take skater bois, for example – many qualify as Twinks, but very few can be viewed as effeminate in any way. The Twinks that are effeminate make my dick go limp, pretty much in the same way that anyone on Manhunt who claims to be ‘straight acting’ makes me laugh aloud in a real derisive manner. You don’t have to be cute to be a Twink (but it helps, I suppose). Actually, I like my Twinks to veer toward the nerdy or white trash side of things – flaws keep them interesting, otherwise it’s like eating Wonder Bread.

I do have a thing for Twinks who shave their heads, definitely not something that most Twinks are willing to do in this hair-on-head-equals-power society we inhabit. A shaved head gives a Twink a skinhead type vibe, and while I loath what actual skinheads stand for, I do enjoy reversing that implied power imbalance (oppressing and oppressor), power slamming and really using the fuck out of a bald Twinks ass (provided they’re into that sort of thing – surprisingly, they usually are.)

Last year, out of the 388 sexual experiences I had, 53 were under the age of 30, with at least two of those being 19 years old. One of those 19 year olds was a ‘Cub’, a term applied to a young Bear, but the other was a total Twink. So I am not opposed to being with a Twink, at least not for 20 to 90 minutes or however long it takes to do the deed. But obviously, based on the small number in relation to the larger figure, I don’t go out of my way to seek them out.

There are so many things that bother me about the idea of labeling someone a Twink. It seems derogatory. It cheapens youth. It also feels vaguely slimy. It’s the ‘boy’ thing. Healthy adult gay males do not have sex with boys; they have sex with men. Personally, I want to relate intimately, emotionally and sexually with someone who is a peer. I don’t want to have to train them or deal with their inexperience or hold their hands. I don’t want to support them or house them or feed them. I want the person I have sex with to be a fully-actualized man - one in love with the idea of being gay and an adult male – even if that means being an older man. If I’m going to have sex with you, I want you love who you are; it makes things so much more fun.

I remember reading about the whole George Rekkers scandal. George is (was?) a Baptist minister, a former University of South Carolina professor, an advisor and officer with the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, and a founding board member of the anti-gay Family Research Council. He went on vacation overseas and took a rent boy with him… a real Twink, in fact he found his escort on a site called RentBoy. Rekers was 62 at the time of the scandal and, well, to be blunt, he is not exactly what one would call ‘hot’. He is however exactly the type of guy for whom sites like RentBoy exist. For some reason the Rekkers scandal bothered me a lot more than the whole Ted Haggard scandal. I mean, at least Ted was getting it on with someone his own age. Picturing Ted rolling around on a regular basis with a hunky, age-appropriate masseuse while doing crystal meth? Hot (except for the crystal meth thing). On the other hand, picturing Rekkers attempting anything naked with some pretty, young, hairless boy-wonder? Truly cringe-worthy.

Why?

It’s that whole man-boy-love thing. Icky, icky. Makes my skin crawl. I know that has something to do with my own experiences as a (once) young, naïve, very-blonde boy, but the bulk of healthy adult gay males (and the rest of the sane world) will agree with me that there’s something not-even-close-to-right about adults having sexual contact with children or anyone under the age of consent. If teen boys want to mess around with one another, hey – let ‘em enjoy each other, but the moment there exists an age gap, which usually also is indicative of a power gap, then, Houston, we have a problem.

I would like to go so far as to include those gay youth under the age of 21, because between the ages of 18 and 21 is when most young gay men come in contact with the rest of the gay male population. That’s a critical time in their development and being taken advantage of or used by a bunch of aging gay whores is not going to help them develop into healthy older gay men.

So why do I, at my age, sleep with the occasional 19 year old? And when I do, am I taking advantage of them in the same way that I just accused others of doing? Well, fact is, I’m pretty careful with anyone under the age of 25. Usually I ignore them or ask them so many questions they get bored with me and look elsewhere. I guess my question would be why are they hitting on me? And that IS always my first question to them. I’m very suspicious whenever someone under the age of 25 hits on me. What’s in it for them? What do they want? If they’re looking for a sugar daddy or a place to crash I tell them to look elsewhere. I will never pay for sex, I’d rather go without – and that type of relationship, where one is supplying something in order to begin or continue a sexual relationship, is nothing but a form of prostitution. I’m nobody’s john.

If they’re looking for a Daddy/Son role play scene, I will indulge them, but only if, after further questioning, they seem mature enough to understand what it is they are asking for. If they simply say they are attracted to older dudes or (for some odd reason) are attracted to me, then I’m game, given that I find them attractive as well and sense that they are mature enough to deal with what will likely be a one time thing. I’m very upfront with them, making sure that all they are looking for is a one-off deal; I don’t do long-term and would never consider a long-term with anyone under the age of 35. Why? Because I’m not under 35. They should be the ones enjoying their youth, not some older dude with an angle.

Given that, and this should come to no surprise to anyone who has read my blog, I really take issue with older dudes who ONLY hook-up with younger ones. Those thirty-five year olds who only want 21 and under guys? Creepy, but not nearly as creepy as those over 40 who seem to feel they are entitled to the same. Sorry – 36 is a magical age for all men – gay or straight; our metabolism changes drastically, as does our sexual abilities. To say that a guy aged 50 who only hooks up with guys younger than 25 is one desperate queen is an understatement. That type of behavior is truly indicative of someone with a maturity problem; self-centered, self-loathing aging men with delusions of grandeur and an oversized ego.

I find myself getting pissed off whenever I read an ad on Craigslist or a profile on Adam4Adam of what seems to be, initially, a fully realized, attractive, gay male within my age range, only to read the fine print and learn that he is only into smooth, young bois under the age of 25. This is irrational (but then, what about me is rational?). I always want to write them a nasty little note and remind them that they are over a certain age and they should play with dudes their own age. Given the predominance of this type of gay, I don’t take offense when I happen on an ad by someone under 30 who specifies that they do not want to hear from anyone over the age of 40. If I was 21, I wouldn’t want to be hit on by some overly-tan aging queen with maturity issues. I do, however get upset when someone 40 only wants to hear from someone under 40. Maybe it has something to do with them not wanting to get involved with someone with as much baggage as they have, I don’t know. My inkling there is to remind them that someday, God willing, they will be 50, and then 60, and then… and then what?

I went to a bar in downtown Minneapolis called the Saloon once. Only once. I was much younger then. It took me about 20 minutes to realize what kind of bar it was and another two to realize that I wasn’t going to find what I wanted there. The Saloon is a total Twink bar. And good for them - Twinks need places to play, too. Today, at my age, I would never consider going there, as I wouldn’t want to be confused with all the drooling ghoulies who haunt the perimeter of the dance floor. But hey, to each their own; I’m sure on occasion they must catch a fish there, otherwise they wouldn’t keep coming back. Yes, I am rather contentious when it comes to those creepy oldsters who prey on the young. Why? To be honest, probably because those older guys won’t sleep with me or don’t view me as sexually compatible, but more so due to the whole power balance thing.

You know what? For the longest time I thought I had an issue with Twinks. I don’t. I have an issue with their admirers, as in those older gay men who only seek the company of Twinks. Hmmm… good to know. It sure took a lot of declension these past few days to reach that conclusion, but sometimes to make a cake you have to break a lot of eggs, am I right?

Maybe Twinks should be viewed as a protected species. Let’s face it; the young are typically not that worldly; they get taken advantage of a lot. I’m not talking about those thirty-something, hairless dudes who think they still qualify as a Twink – they know better, and are sophisticated enough to know how to market themselves as something they are not. But the real deal – actual Twinks do need our protection… there are all sorts of evil sorts (like Rekkers) who prey on them. In a way, I view Twinks as a protected species… one that needs protection from old trolls.

In my dream world there exists this tropical island paradise where Twinks get to frolic naked with one another and ride unicorns. No one over the age of 25 would be allowed to set foot on the island and once a Twink hit the magic age of 25 they would have to surrender their passport to the island. Their time to be a Twink is relatively short, afterall, and they should be allowed to enjoy it unperturbed by the lusty advances of men who should really know better (and need to grow the fuck up.)

My Conclusion:

So, my issue with Twinks actually has little to do with Twinks. No, they are not a fetish of mine, but I also don’t find ageism very attractive either, and that’s at the heart of my problem with Twinks. Did I feel this way when I was 21? No, but then I was not the same person I am now – as in, I was not out and gay and older. Also, the internet was not there to help me identify the age specific bigots that mar our big homo landscape. So do I feel that way about people who advertise that they are only into black men, or Asians? The answer is yes. I find that sort of thing offensive because you are viewing someone strictly on the basis of the color of their skin, or in the case of a Twink – by the hairlessness of their bodies and youth. Is the reverse then true as well? Am I offended when people say what they are not into? Not into Twinks, not into Caucasians? Again, yes. I think if you want to swim in the waters of sexual freedom you have to swim with all the fishes. That said, no, you don’t have to be a big slut like me, but you might want to reconsider advertising your bigoted views in your profile.

Yes, there is a difference between prejudice and preference, but the line that separates them is pretty well defined.

Bottom line: Prejudice is never attractive.

If I have to cop to having prejudices, they would be against those who take advantage of others or situations for their own selfish purposes and those that define others in terms of their skin color, heritage, religious background, age, etc.

And I can live with that.

Next week: Spanking

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