Most gay men want more muscle. Harder abs, thicker thighs and veined biceps make our clothes hang better and have more men eying us. That hit home on my first trip to Laguna Beach with three friends one with a well defined physique years before Nautilus equipment. I was invisible on the beach.  In a dark bar I met the cameraman for the movie Shampoo who had real poppers, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.

Countless times if I just worked harder at the gym and ate properly my body would  muscle up.  I didn’t and it didn’t.  So why have muscles?  Appearance is part of it and overall health another. Most of us want love and think a perfect body makes us more desirable.  I work out at Gold’s gym in San Francisco full of muscular men, and I’ve been watching them. Most are steely faced, hard at work, determined.  Their friends are body builders, but they don’t strike me as a happy lot talking about protein intake. Once I saw two smiling and laughing. Others who have been at it as long as I’ve been going to gyms in San Francisco are starting to sag.  We all sag, but on a body once hard sags are vivid reminders that aging is not a pretty process, and they look all the more determined working out. I have to conclude a muscular body requires determination and focus without a lot of emotional pay off and being silly and having fun don’t come with the program.

My notions about muscles changed when I met a blond square cut American who grew up in Germany and practiced yoga every morning. After a night of sex while I’m sipping coffee his body is elongated beautifully poised on the rug in my living room. Watching him I was humbled.  His body had no muscles noticed under a t-shirt but his posture without being elegant carried him elegantly. Yoga is the one thing I regret.  I should have started early and kept with it.  As with muscles I didn’t and haven’t, but I am having fun.


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