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twink has become a non-specific word
July 12, 2013 4:59 PM   Subscribe

What Comes After The Twink?
"Somewhere along the way "twink" has stopped being just a cutesy, mildly negative stereotype and become something more malignant: An easy shorthand for a lot of vicious stereotypes about gay people, a way to covertly make fun not just of someone's mild gender variance but really their "gayness" as well."
posted by andoatnp (151 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
This term always confused me because, in my milieu, a "twink" is a power-gamed min/maxed D&D character, usually of the beefy fighter variety. Having gotten the vague idea that it was about acting "girly," I thus always sort of pictured huge burly muscular men who were also feminine and probably very closely shaved. So, like, Arnold from his Conan days but without the macho posturing, or something. I still have a hard time picturing a "twink" as thin or short, even looking at the allegedly explanatory pictures in the linked article.

When subcultures collide...
posted by Scattercat at 5:10 PM on July 12, 2013 [18 favorites]


Twink has nothing to do with being effeminate. It comes from someone being "blonde and smooth and full of white goo".

That's it's evolved into meaning something else is something I can't do anything about, but I do wish people would understand the origins of terms such as this.
posted by hippybear at 5:15 PM on July 12, 2013 [23 favorites]


I think the fixation that gay culture has not just on the term twink - but bears, otters, etc.... is the desire for a narrative that you can make sense of. It's really tough when there is absolutely have no storyline to follow. I am a chubby gay asian guy - but I will punch you in the face if you call me a Panda - a term which is so tinged with self loathing racism for me. But the flip side of this is that we get to make up our own stories - there is no template for us to fuck up.

Embrace that adventure! As for what someone would like to label me? My name is Helmutdog - Mr. Dog to you, Helmut to my friends.
posted by helmutdog at 5:16 PM on July 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


I was a twink once, but I've twunk.
posted by angerbot at 5:19 PM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know, if a term is going to turn into an insult, I really wish it'd be announced in the newsletter or something. I had no idea there was any really insulting tinge to it, aside from the ever-present slight resentment ancient withered mummies like myself have for the young.

(I've never met anyone who was insulted by the term, but then, I also haven't left the house for like seventy years.)
posted by mittens at 5:22 PM on July 12, 2013 [12 favorites]


guide to gay stereotypes
posted by halekon at 5:24 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have never heard the word twink applied to a human. I don't think I've heard of it, period.
posted by Halogenhat at 5:28 PM on July 12, 2013


Hooray! Now you can learn a new sense of a new word!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:32 PM on July 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


It's funny, because my son as a gay teenager had never heard the world twink until he played WoW - and there it means a toon that is vastly min/maxed out.

And then he got in with a GBLT guild....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:32 PM on July 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


I dunno about 'twink' (although the recent extinction of Hostess Twinkies may be an omen), but 'bears' is on to something. Everyone, gay, straight or whatever, should choose an animal to reflect their erotic persona. I, myself, am a wild boar.
posted by jonmc at 5:38 PM on July 12, 2013 [12 favorites]


I stopped being able to follow the exponentially growing rate of change in the language of various gay subcultures a long time ago. Every time I hear a new term, I don't even bother learning any more. It's usually just a new term for something old anyways, "twerk" is what we called "grinding" when I was a teen.
posted by mediocre at 5:38 PM on July 12, 2013


Lots of teeth and snorting, eh jonmc?
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:39 PM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Everyone, gay, straight or whatever, should choose an animal to reflect their erotic persona. I, myself, am a wild boar.

Sigh I'm probably a platypus.
posted by JHarris at 5:41 PM on July 12, 2013 [24 favorites]


It's usually just a new term for something old anyways, "twerk" is what we called "grinding" when I was a teen.

How wrong you are. 'Twerking' is simply a demonstration of what would happen if you stuck your ass out really far and then someone attached one marionette string to each of your ass cheeks and rhythmically jiggled and clapped them together. It's nothing like grinding! You don't even need another person to be present in order to twerk!
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:41 PM on July 12, 2013 [26 favorites]


And as far as I knew, twink was never an offensive term when I first learned of it. It was just a term for a young looking, pretty-boy (thin, typically blond, with a facial structure that would seem to indicate both David Bowie and a particularly majectic fawn somewhere in his direct genetic lineage), relatively effeminate gay man.
posted by mediocre at 5:41 PM on July 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


How wrong you are.

It's all the same to me. Really, the difference is negligible. Twerking is just grinding without a person in the front desperately trying to gain some friction.
posted by mediocre at 5:43 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lots of teeth and snorting, eh jonmc?

Plus poor hygeine and dangerous tusks.
posted by jonmc at 5:46 PM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Twink is what they used to call a WoW alt that was decked out with nice gear courtesy of the main.
posted by Mister_A at 5:48 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


As I recall, one of the characters in the Tales of the City books was nicknamed "Twink" waay back in the 1970's.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:49 PM on July 12, 2013


Rustic Etruscan: "Hooray! Now you can learn a new sense of a new word!"

Well, now I know otter and wolf too....
posted by Samizdata at 5:50 PM on July 12, 2013


Here's yet another use of the word "twink"
In the old net game netrek, a twink was a player who was awful at the game, and generally behaved in ways that would hurt their team. Being called a twink was probably the most serious pejorative in the game.
posted by tservo at 5:50 PM on July 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


I, myself, am a wild boar.

Bagsy the penguin.

Slide!
posted by Leon at 5:52 PM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think my sexual animavatar is the brown bear. I'm usually pretty chill, but every once in a while I just have to stick my nose in a beehive or eat a hiker.
posted by Mister_A at 5:54 PM on July 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah those are both sex terms, look 'em up.
posted by Mister_A at 5:55 PM on July 12, 2013 [10 favorites]


Fear of the sissy is deep-rooted in gay culture. Gay people tend to gender-police guys who are "femme", whether or not they are twinks. Twink (which means young, white, skinny and mainstream gay in outlook) can sometimes be a marker for femme, but it isn't necessarily. Several other key aspects of the twink identity, such as being white, young, skinny, and middle-class or consumerist, are most certainly not marginalised.

So colour me skeptical about twink oppression.

Seems to me like yet another "middle-class white cisgendered gay man in jeopardy" panic. Middle-class cis white gay men have a habit of pushing their own problems to the front of the queue, when (in my experience on Grindr at least) it is the non-white, non-young, non-middle-class, non-skinny, non-cisgendered people who are actually facing the problems.
posted by dontjumplarry at 5:56 PM on July 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


Twink has nothing to do with being effeminate.

Seriously, this. It's just a guy who's under 25 with a thin-to-athletic build. Period. (Nothing to do with class, race or outlook, either.)

And it's not an insult--though, like anything else, it can be thrown around that way.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:57 PM on July 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the fixation that gay culture has not just on the term twink - but bears, otters, etc.... is the desire for a narrative that you can make sense of. It's really tough when there is absolutely have no storyline to follow. ... But the flip side of this is that we get to make up our own stories - there is no template for us to fuck up.

Back in 1989 or so, I was really struggling with my sexuality. I had figured out by then that I was gay, but "being gay", for me, was something laden with everything that I was not interested in. The small town in which I grew up had no gay bars, no visible gay subculture, no gay bookstore or even really a gay section in the pathetic retail establishments which passed themselves off as porn stores. And all my life, I'd been handed this boogeyman version of the homosexual -- he wants to wear women's clothing, he wants to be a hairdresser, he wants to have sex with little boys...

How to reconcile that with who I was -- this skinny longhaired bearded sensitive artistic type who was seriously attracted to big hairy men with beards who did "traditionally masculine" things, like watching baseball and enjoying action movies and listening to rock and roll. Motorcycles and cars. Drinking beer or passing a bottle of Jack around a campfire. I didn't give a crap about dancing to Donna Summers or having the couch match the drapes or any of that other stuff which had been presented to me as "this is what it means to be gay".

In 1990, when I picked up Bear Magazine Issue #11 at Sisters & Brothers, the gay bookstore in Albuquerque, I bought it because the man on the cover was über-hot. But when I got it home and started actually reading it, I discovered there was this movement happening within gay culture. Men were tired of being assumed to be this list of things simply because they wanted to have sex with other men, and they were working to reclaim a masculine identity which would be recognized as being something other than that. Here was this group of men reaching out toward each other across the country (even the world) who wanted "gay" to mean something else than what the stereotypes surrounding them said it meant. (Literally reaching out through the magazine -- in this pre-internet world, at least 1/3 of the magazine was personal ad listings.)

I suddenly felt I had found my tribe. And on finding this, I had the handle I needed to grasp to actually step out of my closet and be known as gay, and to try to create an identity for myself which fell outside of the bounds of what was considered "normal" for being gay.

It was exhilarating. And greatly healing. And I came to make contact with many of the bears over the next few years. And I went to bear meetups in various places of various sizes and levels of organization, and they were all wonderful. Meeting men who were doubly damaged, both by society's rejection of them as homosexual, and by gay culture's rejection of them as "not playing the game"... who all had the same narrative, the same self-doubts, the same agony of feeling like they would NEVER find a home for their souls... and finding us all gathering together and sharing these stories and discovering that we were NOT, in fact, alone in the world... As a 20-something this was some of the most empowering years and adventures I had ever had. (They continue to be so, actually.)

As these things do, this scene began a bit underground and then started to gain momentum and then really EXPLODED. Suddenly the bears weren't a movement, they were a marketing niche. And the energy of the scene began to change. Big meetups became more, for lack of a better term, corporate. Suddenly you could buy "bear" merchandise easily rather than having to seek it out. Bear clubs were springing up all over the country, and then breaking up into smaller groups as the fights between the "we want to fuck" and the "we want to socialize" groups surfaced.

These were heady, fractious times, but they were still amazing. So many gay men were realizing that they could "hang out with the guys" and want to fuck them and not have to develop this other self to fit in with gay culture. So much self-acceptance and self-realization, if you could have bottled it, you would have powered a small city.

And then, the second change happened. "Bear porn stars" started to become more beefcake. Bear gatherings became more circuit-party-like. I stopped being able to attend the really big gatherings because, being skinny and hairless (despite having a great beard and being fairly cute [or so I'm told]) I didn't fit into the bear stereotype. As such, I was routinely shoved to the outside at such events. After the second weekend of sitting on the outside at weekends I'd previously been welcomed at, I just stopped going to any of them at all.

"Bear" had gone, within a decade, from being something encouraging and inviting to being something exclusive and filled with spit-shined idealized ego-driven insiders, just like mainstream gay culture had been before bear emerged. Go to most big bear events today (with a few exceptions which I won't name here because they need to avoid contamination), and you'll find basically a circuit party full of gym rats who have decided to stop shaving their chests and their faces, full of attitude for anyone who doesn't meet their standards, and a bunch of fanboys who slaver for their attention. Just like any other circuit party, only with fewer razors.

It was amazing to live through those years, and very educational.

At this point, there is a "new bear movement" taking place, where those marginalized by the mainstream bear movement are once again finding each other and working to build community. I've found the one here in my area, and meeting with these men has had the same healing power for me as meeting the first round of bears did 20-odd years ago. It's funny how life works like that.
posted by hippybear at 6:00 PM on July 12, 2013 [183 favorites]


Everyone, gay, straight or whatever, should choose an animal to reflect their erotic persona. I, myself, am a wild boar.

Hey, man. Welcome to the furry fandom! I'm ErgonWolf. Let me know if you need any help or guidance.
posted by hippybear at 6:00 PM on July 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


Really, the difference is negligible. Twerking is just grinding without a person in the front desperately trying to gain some friction.

You are fantastically incorrect and I don't even care if this is a derail because this wrong must be righted.
posted by elizardbits at 6:01 PM on July 12, 2013 [14 favorites]




Hippybear: at what point did all bears start working in I.T.?
posted by dontjumplarry at 6:07 PM on July 12, 2013


Hippybear: at what point did all bears start working in I.T.?

Most of them were already working in IT and either came out as gay or came out as bears once they discovered they could want to fuck men, have beard, be a bit heavy, not worry so much about their appearance, and still love computers.

Seriously. My partner of 20 years started working in CS in the mid70s.
posted by hippybear at 6:09 PM on July 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


I twink.
You twerk.
S/he twonks.
They twarnk.
We twunk.

We will have getwornken.
posted by yoink at 6:10 PM on July 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


Twit was good enough for Monty Python, it should be good enough for us.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:14 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Once again, I ask why in the blistering green fuck do we have to have all these damn categories? This is just begging and pleading for infighting and squabbling and hurtfulness.

Now, I must confess to a little bit of special snowflakeism myself. I identify as "non-judgemental." What I mean by that is if I want to have sexy fun times with you, it is because I want to have sexy fun times with YOU. Not because you are an innie or an outie or a bear or an otter or a wolf or genderqueer or anything else. It is because I desire YOU. So, let's stop devising new entries for UrbanDictionary.com or whatever and get on with the romancing and having fun already.
posted by Samizdata at 6:21 PM on July 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


Go reread hippybear's fourth paragraph, Samizdata.
posted by clavicle at 6:27 PM on July 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Samizdata: okay. Call me. I'm a lot of fun, I'm told. :P
posted by hippybear at 6:27 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


hippybear: I always though of bear as something people were turned on by, rather than something people identified as. So, you know, thanks for the perspective.
posted by Leon at 6:32 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had always heard "twink" in the sense of "give expensive gear to a lower level character" one way or another.

Beats me. I'm a unicorn.
posted by Foosnark at 6:33 PM on July 12, 2013


Some of the most tedious conversations I've had involved a 40-something guy who endlessly sought approval as an otter. This approval could apparently only come from "real bears," because otherwise it didn't count or he was doing it wrong or something. High school never ends.
posted by Nomyte at 6:52 PM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


If nothing else this thread proves that there is an audience for my rom-com script about an RPG nerd and a bear who face a huge crisis just before their wedding when they realize that they've been working off completely different definitions of the word "twink."
posted by No-sword at 7:04 PM on July 12, 2013 [10 favorites]


The actual definition of a WoW twink is much more than just a well geared, min/maxer. It is specifically a PvP term. The character levels are broken up into brackets for PvP team battles (level 15-19, 20-24, etc). A twink is max level in any of these brackets below the maximum possible level. His/Her character has extremely rare or expensive gear, and he/she spends a lot of gold on gear enhancements; gear and enhancements that were never really intended by the developers to be combined and used to dominate lower level brackets. These players often rotate between "flavor of the month" (overpowered) class types.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:18 PM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


The overall mood of this thread is not what I expected.
posted by jfuller at 7:31 PM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


twink vs. fag—u.k vs. u.s.

language rules!
posted by atomicmedia at 7:35 PM on July 12, 2013


clavicle: "Go reread hippybear's fourth paragraph, Samizdata."

I did. But once we agree on one tribe, we then agree on multiple sub-tribes.

And, that ends up a vale of tears.
posted by Samizdata at 7:45 PM on July 12, 2013


You know, if a term is going to turn into an insult, I really wish it'd be announced in the newsletter or something. I


Welcome to the dysphemism treadmill. Try not to fall off!
posted by deadmessenger at 7:47 PM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


OK, yoink, now do the subjunctive.

Seriously, when did Twink become an insult? I mean, I've heard it used in an insulting manner, but I didn't realize it was default insulting now. I haven't been getting my newsletters...should I have signed up for that email thing?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:49 PM on July 12, 2013


Talking about gaming usages of the word twink seems like a huge derail. This post is clearly not about that usage.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:52 PM on July 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


Well from my perspective it's a post telling me that my hair is brown when in fact my hair is curly.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:58 PM on July 12, 2013


Everyone, gay, straight or whatever, should choose an animal to reflect their erotic persona

I got a rock.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:06 PM on July 12, 2013 [21 favorites]


Seriously, this. It's just a guy who's under 25 with a thin-to-athletic build. Period. (Nothing to do with class, race or outlook, either.)

Huh. I was a twink 17 years ago. Learn something every day. Labels are fun.
posted by davejay at 8:18 PM on July 12, 2013


You're all wrong. Twink was the drummer in the Pink Fairies...
posted by chrisgregory at 8:36 PM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everyone, gay, straight or whatever, should choose an animal to reflect their erotic persona

i am one of those seahorses that make the dudes have the babies while i frolic about the ocean

sry not sry
posted by elizardbits at 8:47 PM on July 12, 2013 [20 favorites]


"You know, if a term is going to turn into an insult, I really wish it'd be announced in the newsletter or something."

Tell me about it. A year or so back, I saw something online where somebody was pitching a shit-fit about how awful and insulting the word "tranny" was. I've been calling myself a tranny for years; it's cute, slang-y and nicely non-specific, covering pretty much anybody who has a dong but wears a dress. It was widely used for years without pejorative intent, even in the mainstream cisgender culture. I've never been big on labels, and a catch-all term like that can be very handy.

So I thought the anti-tranny person was just one lone, over-sensitive griper, but I soon found plenty of other people acting as if tranny was the most vile insult imaginable. It seemed like overnight, the term had become taboo. I'm trying to retrain myself not to use the word, but it feels weird and unnatural, like trying to train yourself to never use the word October but to always refer to it as "the month that starts with O."

(A total derail, but reading this page got me wondering how disabled ever became the preferred term over handicapped. A "handicap" can slow you down, it's a challenge, but a "disability" sounds so much more limiting - you have lost an ability.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:47 PM on July 12, 2013 [13 favorites]


Everyone, gay, straight or whatever, should choose an animal to reflect their erotic persona.

I'm a bunny!

(\(\
(='.')

posted by byanyothername at 8:55 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I swear, I'm going to commission a furry artist to do fursona drawings of every single person who has claimed an animal identity in this thread.

Including octobersurprise.
posted by hippybear at 9:04 PM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well in that case I am a giraffe.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:05 PM on July 12, 2013


As I recall, one of the characters in the Tales of the City books was nicknamed "Twink" waay back in the 1970's.

No. Michael Tolliver was REFERRED to as a "twink" by some of Jon's pissy friends. It was never his nickname. His nickname was "Mouse."
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:20 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I never thought "twink" was an insult, probably because I would totally look like that if I could.
posted by jb at 9:21 PM on July 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Probably a sloth. Smiles a lot, easygoing, not gonna chase ya. Likes naps.
posted by emjaybee at 9:24 PM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Most likely an owl.

Observant, asks too many questions, doesn't sleep much, presumed to be wise, likes old barns, might steal your mouse before you can blink.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:26 PM on July 12, 2013


If the semi-appropriately named hippybear is going to get fursona drawings done, I am totally a Moose. Bullwinkle with a belly.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:28 PM on July 12, 2013


I came across the term in Fran Lebowitz's Metropolitan Live (1982), not that this is definitive any way. In her description, as I recall, there was the idea of a sugar daddy type relationship with the non-twink in a couple. I'm glad to have that impression corrected by this discussion.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 9:32 PM on July 12, 2013


I was...seriously attracted to big hairy men with beards who did "traditionally masculine" things, like watching baseball and enjoying action movies and listening to rock and roll. Motorcycles and cars. Drinking beer or passing a bottle of Jack around a campfire.

Wow, you pretty much just summarized exactly the idealization of asshole "masculinity" that pretty much turned me off the bear scene from day 1. My "bears" weren't yours, which sound like a bunch of rednecks from my nightmares, but rather the bearded, hirsute college professors who surrounded me at Reed, and what when I discovered bears was a subculture that wore daisy dukes and flannel shirts with the sleeves cut off while completely getting hard over some fucked-up idealised version of working class culture. I GREW UP among steel workers; my dad was an assembler at a Ford factory and I sure as hell didn't have this fetish that you and your buddies had.

I've read this same story from you on here several times and you keep talking about bears as this inclusive club that became exclusive because, oh no, men who actually used their bodies for things beside cruising alt.bears on usenet started to join in. I can't believe that you're so non-self-aware that you can't see what a ridiculously exclusive club it was from day one. You want to be a joiner, you can't have it both ways. You excluded anybody who didn't wear the stupid faux blue-collar uniform in 1990 and the musclebears are pushing you out now, or so you think. If you don't like it, do what I did and refuse to join in the first place.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:34 PM on July 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


the semi-appropriately named hippybear

Well, I've been hippybear online for decades now. Has to do with my leanings and my gay identity. But if we're going to talk the furry fandom, my fursona is Ergon, who is a wolf. I dressed like him a bit for gay pride this year.
posted by hippybear at 9:39 PM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know, ethnomethodoligist, we've engaged about this before, and you've gotten downright nasty with me about it in the past. It's not something I really want to do again in this thread. If you want to take it to memail, I'll be happy to quibble with you endlessly until we both tire of it.

But this I do have to respond to publicly: you keep talking about bears as this inclusive club that became exclusive because, oh no, men who actually used their bodies for things beside cruising alt.bears on usenet started to join in

What are you referring to here? You're making big leaps about who or what I am talking about with this group of men, and "actually use their bodies for things beside crusing alt.bears on usenet" has never been any part of what I've talked about and seems to be a giant leap about the sorts of men I'm talking about or what we were all doing, based on little or nothing that I've ever stated.

If you want to have this fight with me, take it private. You didn't experience what I did, but that doesn't invalidate either of our experiences.
posted by hippybear at 9:44 PM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


[Gentlemen, please do take that quarrel to MeMail. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 9:58 PM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I call honey badger
posted by town of cats at 9:59 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Wow, you pretty much just summarized exactly the idealization of asshole "masculinity" that pretty much turned me off the bear scene from day 1."

This sentence, and ethnomethodologist's comment in general, were far more harsh than I would've been... although I'll admit that Hippybear's line about the gay "boogeyman" being a crossdresser (and crossdressers and hairdressers being lumped in with pedophiles!) did raise my hackles a bit. I didn't take it as a deliberate slap, but in this life I have heard way too many "straight-acting" gay dudes get sneery about how they simply can't abide being lumped in with trans folks and other swishy sorts. I know, it must have sucked growing up, being bombarded with the message that people like you were expected to behave a certain way, a way that felt entirely unnatural to you. Growing up as a girl who looked just like a large, hairy dude, I got a fair amount of that, myself.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:22 PM on July 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well, I don't classify myself as straight acting. I'm way too into musicals and art and creative napkin folding and having the DJ save my life one night or another to ever put that label on myself. But seriously -- I grew up in a town with ZERO visible gay subculture, and everything I knew about homosexual men was handed to me by a culture which hated them and a religion which hated them, and they were basically painted as deviant men who were going to pretend to be women and who were going to snatch children from their cribs and subvert them and who could lure any man into a life of sin and damnation at any moment if those men weren't careful.

I can't help the background I grew up with. I can't help the sort of ideas which were planted in my mind in the years before I came out when I was 22. All I can do is claim that my own mind grew a lot over the years since then, and see that the culture around me has changed a lot (and I think I've constantly stayed ahead of it over the decades) in the years between 1990 and 2013.

None of what I had to say had anything to do with anyone or anything in reality, and had everything to do with the image I had planted in my mind by a hateful culture in which I was immersed before I came out in 1990.

If that was not clear by what I wrote, then I apologize for any misunderstanding.
posted by hippybear at 10:30 PM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


hippybear: "the semi-appropriately named hippybear

Well, I've been hippybear online for decades now. Has to do with my leanings and my gay identity. But if we're going to talk the furry fandom, my fursona is Ergon, who is a wolf. I dressed like him a bit for gay pride this year.
"

I didn't see you as being so thin. Interesting.

And for my animal self? Some giant kaiju monstrosity that pretty much clumps around, sowing chaos and destruction in my wake.

NO! NOT MOTHRA!

Nothing against Mothra or anything, but I just can't see rocking the Lepidoptera thing. Just not the way I roll, even if the tiny twins are oddly compelling...
posted by Samizdata at 10:32 PM on July 12, 2013


I'd like to thank Conspire for taking the time to show me how offensive the word "twink" has become recently. I have several gay friends who describe themselves as attracted to twinks and I've even had a couple of them introduce me to their partners as "my twink". And now I'll know to avoid using the phrase again in that context. Life and learning, shit man.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 10:35 PM on July 12, 2013


As I said, I didn't take it as a deliberate slap... and I've certainly had to overcome plenty of BS cultural programming myself, especially regarding effeminacy. There is a reason so many trannies (sic) are former cops and military personnel. I avoided those particular traps, but I did spend a portion of my teens as a snarling John Bender metalhead.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:43 PM on July 12, 2013


Talking about gaming usages of the word twink seems like a huge derail. This post is clearly not about that usage.

It's not a derail, it's just a bit of a side conversation. It's sort of pointless, though, because there are no more WoW twinks, not like there were when the term was coined, and haven't been in some time. The mechanics haven't permitted it since before I stopped playing, and it's been years upon years now. And the usage was always sort of an oddity if you knew the double meaning. The economics of twink gear and chants etc and the supply link there to raid loot was perhaps the most interesting aspect, and that had nothing to do with the term.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:19 PM on July 12, 2013


If 'twink' was not historically offensive, why allow it to become offensive?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:04 AM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


It seems pretty obvious that gays largely create and reenforce their own stereotypes / archetypes. And they do it so aggressively and judgmentally, too, making it hard for anyone who doesn't fit in neatly.

I can't honestly say that twinks are viewed any worse than bears, chubbies, chubby chasers, rice queens, etc. There are a lot of people in the gay community who would love to change shoes with them. For better or worse, twinks are the gay male equivalent of "model type"... with similar implications.

All I can say to twinks is this... more often than not, you're the fantasy. Deal with it.
posted by markkraft at 12:05 AM on July 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Squirrel.
posted by koeselitz at 1:04 AM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Twink has nothing to do with being effeminate.

I first came across it in an old, late, late night sex line ad on Australian TV in the early 1990s.
The V/O was something like this:
"Call now for bears (cartoon of a bear/leatherman), Daddies (cartoon of a businessman in a suit with cigar) and Twinks (picture of a thin, white, blond in a pink ballerina outfit)."

You might be fighting a losing (or lost) battle on that claim in wider straight society.

(Of course, today I have discovered Otters and Pandas. I'm not 100% sure what a panda is, but I think I can figure it out. And rice queens. So my experience is minimal.)
posted by Mezentian at 4:00 AM on July 13, 2013


Everyone, gay, straight or whatever, should choose an animal to reflect their erotic persona.

Xenomorph!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:29 AM on July 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


The actual definition of a WoW twink is much more than just a well geared, min/maxer.

It's sort of pointless, though, because there are no more WoW twinks, not like there were when the term was coined...

The term predates WoW. It was used fairly heavily in Diablo II to refer to passing items down to one's own lower level characters. It was also used in GemStone III.

WoW is not the alpha and omega of gaming.
posted by Foosnark at 5:46 AM on July 13, 2013


WoW is not the alpha and omega of gaming.

Certainly not, and I never meant to suggest that it was, but rather that WoW has made that sort of play largely impracticable and unrewarding for some time. I hadn't heard that the term it went back to Diablo, and beyond. GemStone?! Interesting.

Was the double meaning perhaps more prominent or intended in places like GEnie? Or was it the same happenstance?
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:55 AM on July 13, 2013


Little Kiwi is the twink in Ethan Mordden's stories. The narrator describes him with tolerant condescension.
posted by brujita at 6:31 AM on July 13, 2013


WoW at it's peak had 13 million subscribers, so it's probably safe to say that it redefined the term in the gaming sense of it.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:35 AM on July 13, 2013


Sigh I'm probably a platypus.

In Boy Scouts I created the "Purple Platypus Patrol" (which would probably be forbidden in the contemporary organization). I wish I was more organized so I could post a photo of the banner, it was a glorious purple beaked animal. And hey, alliteration.
posted by sammyo at 7:08 AM on July 13, 2013


I, myself, am a wild boar.

The following Kushiel's Dart quote immediately came to mind upon seeing that: "My lord makes love like he is hunting boar: it is a heroic act, but not one that is pleasurable for women."

Beats me. I'm a unicorn.

I've occasionally heard "unicorn" used as a term for a bisexual woman who is unattached and interested in NSA threesomes with strangers or people she doesn't know well. (Or sometimes some combination of the above things.) Because they are both supposed to be imaginary.

I find it interesting that "twink" hit that middle ground as sort of easily coinable because of both Twinkies and it just having a nice mouthfeel (so to speak) so it ended up meaning drastically different things in the gay community and the gaming community and had pretty dramatically different meanings in different games as well.

I swear, I'm going to commission a furry artist to do fursona drawings of every single person who has claimed an animal identity in this thread.

I call slightly fluffy medium-small mutt with floppy ears. That would totally be my fursona. Even though I think of crows as a spirit animal. But I don't think fursonas are necessarily sexual, really-- they seem to mean a lot of different things to different people.
posted by NoraReed at 7:14 AM on July 13, 2013


I've occasionally heard "unicorn" used as a term for a bisexual woman who is unattached and interested in NSA threesomes...

NSA?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 AM on July 13, 2013


no strings attached
posted by shelleycat at 7:43 AM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've heard the term used in a gaming context with a different nuance than just "an optimized character," referring to a character that gained its power by tagging along with a more powerful, existing character. For example, I might have a "main" character who I leveled up normally, and one or more "twinks" that I raised much faster by deliberately using my main to get them XP.

It's also a verb, "to twink." You might ask someone to twink your character so that you can play on the same level afterwards.
posted by 4th number at 7:44 AM on July 13, 2013


Xenomorph!

Aren't they mostly asexual drones?
posted by Artw at 7:46 AM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm a little late to the party but I've personally always heard twink defined as a young, skinny, gay boy who is either blond or extra skinny. It can be used as a derogative term, but it's not the point of the term.

As for my totem, the optimistic side of me would say I'm a caterpillar, about to metamorphosis into a sexy, sexy butterfly. The other half of me thinks that I'm perma-cockblocked until I move due to unfortunate geological circumstances. A less hopeless Lonely George or something.
posted by Strass at 7:54 AM on July 13, 2013


I'm going with pine marten.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:25 AM on July 13, 2013


Twink has nothing to do with being effeminate. It comes from someone being "blonde and smooth and full of white goo".

That's it's evolved into meaning something else is something I can't do anything about, but I do wish people would understand the origins of terms such as this.
So, a number of you have made statements similar to this, that whatever twink means now, it didn't originally refer to effeminate men. This is simply incorrect.

The first known usage of the word is from 1963, and it was collected and documented by the American Dialect Society. This was the definition (I'm quoting from the OED):

An effeminate young man, a sissy... Some of the less frequent, but more expressive, phrases are:..pansy-ass, petunia, punk, swish, twink, and weenie.

A bit later, you find the word "twinkie" meaning much the same, as in for instance this quote from the New York Times from 1982:

A business associate..testified that Mr. Williams had derogatorily referred to homosexuals as ‘twinkies’.

I take no position on the substantive issues, but claiming that using "twink" as a synonym for "effeminate man" is a new thing is an example of the recency illusion. It has always meant that.
posted by gkhan at 8:29 AM on July 13, 2013


I take no position on the substantive issues, but claiming that using "twink" as a synonym for "effeminate man" is a new thing is an example of the recency illusion. It has always meant that.

Except for recently, when it didn't?

The first known usage of the word is from 1963, and it was collected and documented by the American Dialect Society. This was the definition (I'm quoting from the OED):

An effeminate young man, a sissy... Some of the less frequent, but more expressive, phrases are:..pansy-ass, petunia, punk, swish, twink, and weenie.


1963 isn't really known for being very nuanced with regard to homosexuality. All of the above was applied across the board. "Gay" and "queer" also used to mean exactly those same things. To be homosexual in the first place was viewed as being "effeminate" in itself.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:38 AM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hallucigenia
posted by jfuller at 9:07 AM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seattle had a school for twinks.
posted by Tube at 9:35 AM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Seattle had a school for twinks.

Attended. Came out like this. Miskatonic got nothin'.
posted by jfuller at 9:48 AM on July 13, 2013


jfuller: "> Seattle had a school for twinks.

Attended. Came out like this. Miskatonic got nothin'.
"

Don't you be badmouthing my alma mater there, buddy.
posted by Samizdata at 9:51 AM on July 13, 2013




Huh. I think I've almost always encountered the term "twink" as somewhere between snarkily dismissive and kinda insulting, probably since about the time that Soloflex ads started redefining the trendy gay look and the mid 80's gay clone look (often celebrated/snarked in Donelan cartoons) was reaching its peak.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:38 AM on July 13, 2013


hippybear: "I swear, I'm going to commission a furry artist to do fursona drawings of every single person who has claimed an animal identity in this thread. "

Is it too late to call lemur? A sexy lemur.
posted by danny the boy at 11:24 AM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll have to go with a tarsier if that's still free.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:48 AM on July 13, 2013


I was a twink once, but I've twunk.

Actually, it's twought.
posted by falcon at 11:53 AM on July 13, 2013


Jesus, hippy, how much is this gonna cost?!

Also, rmd1023 said what I was thinking. Apologies to anyone I snarkily dismissed or insulted back in the day. Yeah, it's easy to dis someone within your subculture, and I did plenty of it. I don't feel good about that.
posted by wallabear at 12:35 PM on July 13, 2013


Sigh, too chunky to be a twink, not hairy enough to be a bear, too lazy to be Athletic, I think I'll stick to being a mollusk.
posted by The Whelk at 1:13 PM on July 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


( and if we're being honest I think the change in the so called " bear" community happened when a generation of out gay guys hit thier 40s and started abusing the androgel.)
posted by The Whelk at 1:15 PM on July 13, 2013


( and if we're being honest I think the change in the so called " bear" community happened when a generation of out gay guys hit thier 40s and started abusing the androgel.)

That, plus "twink" is a category one grows out of.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:46 PM on July 13, 2013


a duck.

not only because I have a long corkscrew penis. But also because I am highly gregarious outside of the breeding season, and form large flocks, which are known as sords.
posted by horsewithnoname at 2:16 PM on July 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have also only heard the word "Twink" within a gaming context. It seems though that this isn't an isolated thing, and nor is the other usage ... so I guess the question is, does the one relate to the other in any way? I've always heard it as a "combat twink" - someone who spends so much time min-maxing their character for combat that they miss out on any other development.
posted by corb at 3:09 PM on July 13, 2013


I suspect, although I do not know, that the gaming usage comes from the idea that it's a low-level (young) character with a sugar daddy. But in gaming that usage is only one aspect, and I don't know where it first arose.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:29 PM on July 13, 2013


corb, the answer to your question is no. Twink in gay culture has nothing to do with twink in the gaming culture.
posted by wallabear at 3:54 PM on July 13, 2013


The one and only Twink.
posted by kjh at 3:55 PM on July 13, 2013


Huh, I've heard the gaming usage more in my D&D playing, but I'd certainly read the term in books (I'm certain it was in the Donald Strachey books by Richard Stevenson, among others), but because I was hearing it is different context I never put them together in my mind as the same word. Contributing to that is that I never heard it used as 'twink' I always heard is used as 'twinked out' or such, and usually used to mean a power-gamed/optimized D&D character, pretty much the same as a 'cheese weasel'.

While I'm not a furry, I normally think of myself and (nonsexually) play around in chat as a fox (it is relaxing!). However, since this is sexual...hum. Um. What animal thinks and talks about sex but pretty much never has it? Also that hides what it is into when online? Like a sea turtle or something.
posted by Canageek at 4:02 PM on July 13, 2013


wallabear
posted by wallabear at 4:05 PM on July 13, 2013


But I got dibs on that one.
posted by wallabear at 4:08 PM on July 13, 2013


Jesus, hippy, how much is this gonna cost?!

I dunno. I have some quicksketch artist friends who like challenging practice and who might be wiling to make me a deal. I'll be getting in touch with them over the next few days and see if I can work something out.
posted by hippybear at 4:51 PM on July 13, 2013


Now I'm regretting going for the cheap Fight Club reference...
posted by Leon at 5:12 PM on July 13, 2013


I always heard is used as 'twinked out' or such, and usually used to mean a power-gamed/optimized D&D character, pretty much the same as a 'cheese weasel'.

Well obviously "cheese weasel" needs to mean something gay now.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:19 PM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who is going to pick "displacer beast"?
posted by Artw at 5:22 PM on July 13, 2013


I was a "twink"; now most people would classify me as a "bear". I consider myself neither/both/either/and/or/something else. Until our community can move past the pathetic stereotypes of yesteryear, we're simply living down to the stereotypes that others have imposed in the past. We need to discover our own paths, not tread the simplistic ideas of others.

The amusing thing is, I've been told I'm too thin and too fat; too tall, too short; too smooth; and any numerous things. The truth is, I'm just too much ME for most people.
posted by petrilli at 5:23 PM on July 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't believe I'm about to type this into MetaFilter... but okay...

Really, one of the things which appeals to me about the furry fandom (aside from the cute anthropomorphic animals and the amazing costumes) is that people care less about who *you* physically are and more about that *other* self you work to create. It's somehow rewarding to have people taking a look at your mind and your self-expression and finding that attractive rather than being hung up on physical attributes you can't do anything about.

I can't explain it better than that. I haven't left my bear brethren behind, but I've found something different and expansive in this other milieu which, as a relative newcomer, I'm really enjoying exploring.

posted by hippybear at 5:28 PM on July 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


hippybear, I don't know much about that fandom, but I want to say that what you typed was very, very brave. And I'm glad that you've found a place where people can care about your mind and the self you want to be.
posted by corb at 6:27 PM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of over being told that a word I'm using is suddenly an insult. Twink has a purely descriptive meaning (young, hairless man). Just because a lot of folks use liberal as an insult doesn't mean I'm going to accede to their redefinition of the word, or be happy when an insult is worked to be found in whatever I've said due to connotations I either am unaware of or disagree come with the word.

As for categorisation, some people work very hard to not be put in any boxes whatsoever - the 'special snowflake'. It's as if to them the idea of sharing similarities with anyone else on earth is anathema, denies them their special status. I think it's perfectly easy to remain your unique self even if you fit in various categories, and no matter what there's always a big enough box for you to fit into. I'm much more supportive of people who want to acknowledge their similarities rather than defiantly yell out their differences.
posted by gadge emeritus at 8:16 PM on July 13, 2013


Wait, hold on, there's already a Cheese Weasel and he brings the cheese on Cheese Weasel Day (April 3rd) and if you're really good he'll bring cheese to you!
posted by rmd1023 at 8:18 PM on July 13, 2013


The second photo in the article, of two twinks wearing nothing but paw-scarves and white panties with paws drawn in glitter on their asses, made me feel like the article was about to take a sudden left turn into furrydom. Especially since it was right above a long list of animal names for different clades of gayness.

I've been a dragon for the last I-don't-know-how-long.
posted by egypturnash at 8:46 PM on July 13, 2013


When I was young, I believed that words had the power we gave them. So I could use words like Twink in friendly way. Then I started reading things like Metafilter and now I am just always confused about what I might be saying that could be hurting somebody else. Dang!

I am totally a Sloth - Hedgehog hybrid!
posted by slothhog at 10:34 PM on July 13, 2013


Shetland pony. Short little legs, barrel-shaped body, unruly hair, fondness for Polo mints.
posted by subbes at 5:07 AM on July 14, 2013


Can I be Cthulhu? My muscular tentacles would rub suncream on every human on the planet, because seriously you shouldn't be barebacking with sunlight. And I'd have come-to-bed feelers.
posted by CyborgHag at 5:36 AM on July 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The National Lampoon Radio Hour had a frat rat describing a twink as a "guy who farts in the bathtub and sniffs the bubbles." That was in 73-74.
posted by gp_guy at 6:55 AM on July 14, 2013


Okay, the actual gag is that a "simp" is a twink, etc.
posted by gp_guy at 6:59 AM on July 14, 2013


A frog. Definitely a frog.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:33 PM on July 14, 2013


A frog. Definitely a frog.

Slimy, yet satisfying?

I'd be one of those obscure hipster mammals, like a tenrec, a hyrax, or an okapi. A sexy okapi.
posted by Nomyte at 5:54 PM on July 14, 2013


And super sexy.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:11 PM on July 14, 2013


Can we replace 'twink' with 'munchkin' or 'powergamer'?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:45 PM on July 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can't believe I missed this post in the mefimiasma, as it's particularly interesting to me in what has become a unexpected crash program for me in reëngineering my way out of a long, dull, dry season.

I am a person of a certain bulk, more at times than at others, after my youth of comparative eighties twink aspiration, and after emerging from a decade long relationship at the end of the nineties as what could be charitably described as a fat dude, I was radioactive in gayland, except in the chubby chaser scene. Dallied in that, largely with horrifying results, because there's just something squick to me in the whole wide-eyed worship of a single part or region of the anatomy, but it was a dead end for no smaller reason than that every dude I dated could not answer a simple question in a way that didn't make me seethe with anger.

"What if I lose some weight?"

"Uh, well, I'm really only into big guys."

Sigh.

Weirdly, as soon as I grew a scraggly mouth doughnut, I was suddenly in a whole other class, emerging in the ursine genus despite being primarily furry on legs and forearms.

Without it—ewww, faaaaaat. With it—woof.

What the fucking fuck is wrong with people?

The bear thing will get you laid if you're willing to put up with the inherent grossness of gay guys on the prowl (and yes, I will be challenged on this one, but c'mon—if I write a thoughtful three thousand word online profile talking mainly about typewriters, dogs, motorcycles, Czech science fiction, fancy mice, and my love of Rosalind Russell's machine-gun monologues and most of the responses come from dudes who write 'LOL TL DR COME WRECK MY SHITTER,' I'm going to call it as I see it), and weird cues will change the whole dynamic.

Mouth doughnut gets a smile and possibly a shrug, my porn star moustache and biker sideburns get a "woof," and going gray and growing out a full beard gets me all sorts of weird daddy stuff, which changes again when I find I need glasses and pick the ones like Atticus Finch wore. It's such a weird culture of looks-essentialism, in which every little cue sends you zinging into some other slot.

Of course, I missed what some consider the "good" period of beardom, because I was either in a relationship and thus completely disconnected from institutional gayness or unbearded and thus just a big gross fatty, so I missed out on what people claim was the utopian period, when it was all just about being yourself (as long as you were a bear or some related species). As I've slipped into the outskirts of the bear circle without managing to really insinuate myself into any of the cliques or firm categories, I hear a lot of the tiresome claim that bearness is about "reclaiming" "natural" masculinity, and a lot of the baggage that comes with that bullshit is the marginalization of the supposedly unmasculine, a judgment that wavers between your basic crass somatotyping and atavistic notions of gender performance, and yeah, that twink stuff as a dismissive is rooted in the tired old misogyny that's all over our cultures like stinking weeds.

Sadly, there's a whole resurgence of this crap, fed by the so-called masters of Socratic irony in the world of comedy. It's so discouraging to me to try to enjoy Futurama, for instance, when the twink characters are onscreen, because they're written not from the place of wry, tongue-in-cheek ironic detachment—they come from this sense of false entitlement through support. I get that Seth MacFarlane thinks it's okay to be gay, but every time I see that sort of ha-ha-we're-all-in-on-the-joke twink routine, it reminds me that there's still this deep-seated discomfort with anyone who doesn't toe the gender line. We can be cool with acceptable faggotry as long as it fits into a slot, and the willowy and fey just don't do that.

My riding buddy is a good foil for me largely because he entertains all those ridiculous lazy habits, and he rode down from Baltimore to my smalltown straight/gay/bluecollar/military/drag/trivia bar for bear night, and as the drag queens slipped through the crowd, he had to deliver one of his monologues about how he just didn't get why drag and being queer even belonged in the same category. He's a victim of Jack Malebranche's insipid bullshit that's popular with disaffected queers of a certain age or disposition, and is a fun friend in that he's a great riding buddy and, in arguments, a perfect cat toy.

"It's just, the confusion and wishy-washiness in their identity that gets me. I know what I am," he says, with that sort of smugness that makes me glad I keep my kitty claws nice and sharp.

"I don't think there are many people here tonight who know half as much about what they are as a drag queen. They're pretty clear."

"It's just...I don't know," he starts, and this is where the misogyny usually appears. "Why would they want to be like women if they're men?"

He will elaborate about the weakness of women, the gossipiness of women, the shallowness of women, and so on, and make some parallel between male effeminacy and all these claims of weakness, and I will point out something.

"Yeah, except that when you were being a big bad manly man in 1969, hiding in your closet, drag queens were storming the barricades and facing down the cops. Sissies are the shock troops, buddy boy, not you and your undetectable legions of 'androphiles' who are so painstakingly indistinguishable from everyone else."

Eyes will roll, but I am resolute.

When I was young and skinny and had a rockin' mullet and killer acid-washed jeans and a Datsun and a dream, when I was working as a stripper in a seedy DC club that's now buried under a stadium, I don't think I ever had a clue that there would be this multiplicity of identities in the world of the future, but back then, we were all at least nominally in it together against the stupidity of the masses, against AIDS, against Saint Reagan and his colossal shitbrigade, and we won the battles and are destined to win the war, and now we can be just like the rest of you folks, divided by an infinite number of details and resting on the smug satisfaction that at least we're better than those guys—you know the ones, the ones without stars upon thars.

Meanwhile, in the pursuit of a date, I'm caught in the need to be something other than just me.

Sad.
posted by sonascope at 6:46 PM on July 14, 2013 [33 favorites]


"Yeah, except that when you were being a big bad manly man in 1969, hiding in your closet, drag queens were storming the barricades and facing down the cops. Sissies are the shock troops, buddy boy, not you and your undetectable legions of 'androphiles' who are so painstakingly indistinguishable from everyone else."

Fucking preach it.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:34 PM on July 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think the fixation that gay culture has not just on the term twink - but bears, otters, etc.... is the desire for a narrative that you can make sense of. It's really tough when there is absolutely have no storyline to follow. I am a chubby gay asian guy - but I will punch you in the face if you call me a Panda - a term which is so tinged with self loathing racism for me. But the flip side of this is that we get to make up our own stories - there is no template for us to fuck up.

I'm an outsider to the gay culture, as I'm not gay, and this probably sounds horrible, but I sorta wish that straight culture objectified men in this way. I'm a chubby guy, and I'd probably think much better of myself if I could call myself a 'bear' instead of 'yet another fat guy'.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:09 PM on July 14, 2013


"(Furries) care less about who *you* physically are and more about that *other* self you work to create. It's somehow rewarding to have people taking a look at your mind and your self-expression and finding that attractive rather than being hung up on physical attributes you can't do anything about."

Wow. I never thought about furries like that before. That's kind of great, really.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:36 AM on July 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sonascope's transmissions are one of the few things that keep me on Metafilter.
posted by Nomyte at 1:40 AM on July 15, 2013


I'm an outsider to the gay culture, as I'm not gay, and this probably sounds horrible, but I sorta wish that straight culture objectified men in this way. I'm a chubby guy, and I'd probably think much better of myself if I could call myself a 'bear' instead of 'yet another fat guy'.

CiS, you could always just troll gay bars and get hit on by grody dudes who are into your beer belly chub and not anything else about you, including the fact that you're straight and are unlikely to reciprocate. Trust me, getting attention for one specific physical feature of your body is, uh, a special pleasure. I find it intensely creepy, your mileage may vary.
posted by Nomyte at 1:45 AM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is this the MeFi furry check-in thread? *waves*. Hippybear, some of your reasons for wanting to be part of the furry culture are very much mine as well, although I came to it from something vaguely like the therian side of things. I feel like I've just painted a target on my back by saying that, but eh, what the hell. I'm in good company, I hope. I'd chip in some for that commission too, if it's a thing that happens...

I really can't say much about the main article, but Artw's Frank Ocean article resonated a lot. As a bi guy who's mostly been in straight relationships, I feel pretty firmly excluded from gay culture. Attending GLBT things, I've always felt like a phony, as though I was going to be asked for my gay card and kicked out of the bar for not meeting the qualifications. I know how stupid that is, but some gay men I've interacted with had a pretty strong negative reaction to bisexual men.

These days, I mostly hang out with trans* people, genderqueers, furries, and other folks where being bi is almost a non-issue relative to all our other identities and issues and dysfunctions. I still feel like I don't quite belong a lot, but I don't feel like I have to hide anything, and that's pretty great.
posted by hackwolf at 12:42 AM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Facehugger. Definitely a facehugger.
posted by markkraft at 3:56 AM on July 17, 2013


So many buried ledes: Sarah Polley's bachelorette party! Chris Crocker is all grown up! "Wolves" and "trade" date back to the 19th Century?! Berlin is exactly like its stereotypes!

I want to read all of those stories. And I am totally an ostrich.

Thanks for sharing this, andoatnp. I'd fallen out of the habit of reading the Awl a while ago.

And seriously, enough with the damn gaming derail.

posted by psoas at 11:31 AM on July 17, 2013


Of course "trade" goes back to the 19th century, who do you think Wilde was getting to screw Sir Arthur?
posted by The Whelk at 11:38 AM on July 17, 2013


"Wolves" and "trade" date back to the 19th Century?!

That fact came from the book Gay New York, and if that little snippet excited you, then you have GOT to read it. It's amazing.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:37 PM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


esp. the horrified moralizing period descriptions of "pansy bars"
posted by The Whelk at 12:48 PM on July 17, 2013 [2 favorites]




I retract. I was incorrect. Hedgehog, not frog. All spikes and prickles but soft and furry underneath where it counts.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:18 PM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Raccoon. Opportunistic omnivore, little grabby paws, walks around the city all night, hates your cat.

I first heard "twink" applied to a low-level character given high-level gear by higher-level player. The connection between that and young attractive gay men seemed pretty straightforward.
posted by moonlet at 3:59 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


hippybear: "I swear, I'm going to commission a furry artist to do fursona drawings of every single person who has claimed an animal identity in this thread."

The rest of my household calls me the corgi, but I think I'm more of a vallhund.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:57 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]



I first heard "twink" applied to a low-level character given high-level gear by higher-level player. The connection between that and young attractive gay men seemed pretty straightforward.


Is it offensive to say a character is 'twinked out'?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:43 PM on July 21, 2013


It can be used derisively, but it's not inherently offensive.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:49 PM on July 21, 2013


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