Butch fagginess

The Daily Jocks ad for the 13th offers frank homowear from Barcode Berlin:


Some premium men’s underwear firms advertise to men in general (and women who buy clothes for men), though with a special pitch to gay men, but a few — among them, Barcode Berlin — aim themselves directly at a queer clientele. BB’s crop tees display attractive midriffs, and the models project muscular masculinity — solidly butch — but the tees also convey sociosexual messages in teasing and boastful ways that echo the open banter of queer men amongst themselves, acting faggy: faggy minus fem(me), butch fagginess).

The tee above advertises “I’m a slut, honey”, while the rest of the model’s presentation shouts “And I’m all man!” (Others are more outrageous). And if you ask me, that’s just as it should be: we’re men, and we should be comfortable with that; we desire men, so we should value (some forms of) masculinity in other men; however, we reject central aspects of heteronormative sexuality, and our behavior should reflect that (proudly and defiantly, if necessary); and we embrace means of establishing and reinforcing communities with one another, so we adopt (some) ways of behaving that both unite us and set us apart from other men.

The DJ sales pitch:


Don’t Get Naked or look Cheap & Easy, check out the latest collection from Barcode Berlin.

Whether you Love Boys or just want to treat yourself, you’ll look Fabulous in any of the 8 brand new Crop Tees we have in stock.

These are a party essential!

The t-shirt slogans:

Get Naked, Cheap and Easy, Bitch, Bear, Fetish, Bitch I’m Fabulous, Fuck Off, Love Boys

Two notable ones:

(#2) The popsicle as phallus, both offered and (especially) desired

(#3) Bitch is pretty in pink!

These garments scream “I’m queer! And butch! And that’s wonderful! You too?” They’re advertisements for one specifically gay style of masculinity. There are others: celebratorily fem(me)/sissy styles (about which I’ll have more to say in another posting); gender-fluid styles; “regular guy” homosexuality (attempting to adopt all the trappings of heteronormative masculinity except for the sex of one’s partner); MSM “just sex” configuration of male-male pairing (embracing mansex  as celebratory male bonding while rejecting gay as identity, community, or source of affectional partnership); and hypermasculine homosexuality (Berlin Barcode caters to this audience in many of its products).

About the garments: see my 8/2 posting “Male crop tops!”, on crop/cropped top/tee:

In an athletic context, such male garments are designed to allow freedom of movement while providing  fabric at the chest and underarms to soak up sweat; otherwise, they’re fashion statements, designed to show off the mid-section of their wearer as vulnerable or powerful (or, often, both).

A note on anatomy and sexuality. All the ad shots above use the same model, who projects masculinity through his stance, trim beard, short haircut, and hairy forearms and thighs. In underwear ads, you’d expect him also to display impressive abs and at least a modestly furry belly: the midsection of a muscle-hunk (a macho Dionysius figure). Instead we get the smooth hairless midsection of a beautiful boy (a twinkish Apollo figure). So his body is presented as both butch (the macho elements) and faggy (the twinkish elements).

It looks, in fact, as if the images have been shopped to smooth out the model’s belly — to achieve the desired composite of butch fagginess, presumably.

Remarkable abs (and serious pecs) are all over my underwear postings , but furry torsos seem to be something of a specialist thing: the stereotypical Hot Dude has at most a lightly furry torso; this is probably not a reflection of twink body standards (though twinks are smooth), but rather of body-builder standards, where smooth bodies are valued in displays of how developed specific muscles and muscle groups are.

I’m not an absthusiast myself — after faces, it’s chests for me — though I can still appreciate a six-pack that’s nicely developed but not obtrusive. As on this pair of bearded buddies (just barely in their sweatpants):

(#4) Abs, pecs, and light fur

(It’s left as an exercise for the viewer to list the ways in which the relationship between these two men is coded as t (more dominant) on the left, b (more subordinate) on the right.)

Now a series of male couples in underwear or swimwear, all displaying their abs (among other things) — from  a 3/31/18 feature on the OutBuzz site, “Hottest Gay Couples on Instagram”:

(#5) “Social-media-star bearded boyfriends Justin & Nick”

(#6) “Spanish heartthrobs Ignacio Pérez Rey & David Castilla”

(#7) “The most stylish and sexy Instacouple Mario Margelist & Jordan Carlyle”

(#8) “Atlanta Instastuds Rick & Griff”

A range of presentations, with Rick & Griff doing butch fagginess together: flamboyant bedroom decor, neon mini-briefs stuffed with sizable hard-ons, wild romance-novel pose, sturdy thighs and biceps, and of course those abs.

Meanwhile, facial hair is still very much a thing among us queers.

2 Responses to “Butch fagginess”

  1. Another monument of butch fagginess | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] from my 8/14/18 posting “Butch […]

  2. Assuming the position | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] models are performing versions of what I’ve called butch fagginess (see my 8/14/18 posting with that title, and others following it), in which a primarily high-masculinity (often […]

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