Archive for the tag - gay

I’m A Gay Man And I Eat Bread.

IMG_2101I’m a gay man, and I eat bread.

This isn’t a confession. This isn’t an admission of guilt. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I eat bread. I eat carbs. And so can you.

Years ago, I was getting dinner with some gay friends. Something went wrong with our order and the kitchen brought us a complimentary bowl of lo mein noodles. The gaggle of gay men laughed nervously, as though a Trojan horse had somehow made its way into our company.

“No one is going to eat that,” they told the confused waiter.

But they were wrong. I ate it. Because it was lo mein, and lo mein is fucking good.

And the only thing better than lo mein, is free lo mein.

Of course, this story isn’t unique. It has unfolded, in one variation or another, countless times at the tables – and in the minds – of gay men everywhere.

We all know that foods like bread, pasta and noodles contain carbohydrates. It’s a commonly held belief that carbs make you fat, and that being fat is a terrible thing. Both of these assumptions are inaccurate.

As it turns out, we need carbohydrates for proper bodily functions. The USDA recommends that 45% – 65% of our calories come from carbohydrates because:

  • Carbs are the body’s main fuel source.
  • Carbs are needed for the central nervous system, the kidneys, the brain and muscles (including your heart) to function properly.
  • Carbs are important to intestinal health and waste elimination.

When you go to the gym, it’s carbohydrates that allow you to power through your workout and that fuel your results. When you’re studying for a test, it’s carbohydrates that help you focus. Without carbs, fatigue, constipation and even ketosis can result.

In other words, carbohydrates are really, really important. Carbs don’t make you fat; they make you healthy (especially when you opt for complex carbohydrates).

Liberate yourself from the prison of carb-free life. Eat bread. Have an occasional bowl of lo mein noddles. Be healthy. Most importantly, enjoy life.

Why I’m A Gay Man Who Doesn’t Drink Alcohol.

bartender_161951Being gay and drinking alcohol go together like Mary Kate and Ashley. Or so most people think.

I’m a gay man and I’ve never had a drink. When I was a young boy, my father gave me a sip of his beer. But that’s it.

And when I share this information, other gay people are usually dumbfounded. And that’s because so much of gay culture – from brunch (which everyone knows is the gayest meal of the week) to pride and parties – centers around the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol has become a backbone of our community. In fact, the modern gay rights movement even started in a bar!

Of course, straight people drink, too. But gays out-drink our straight counterparts by some 16%.

And I get it. It’s easy to see how growing up in a homophobic or traumatic environment could increase the likelihood that someone might seek to reduce their stress through alcohol consumption or even alcohol abuse. The dots are easy to connect. But instead of being an opportunity for introspection and self growth, the conversation around alcohol consumption is often reserved for punchlines and jokes.

When I was around 14, my grandfather made me promise him that I wouldn’t drink. It had nothing to do with me being gay. Instead, it was because his father was alcoholic – and my grandfather didn’t want me to follow in his footsteps. Considering that genes are responsible for about half the risk of alcoholism, I understand my grandfather’s motivation. And for me, the decision not to drink was a simple as keeping a promise to someone that I love.

Many sober prides and festivities later, I’ve kept my promise. And though it was never my intent, I’ve stumbled into enjoying the benefits of sobriety. With the average American spending 1% of their income on alcohol, my wallet has benefited.  With alcohol hindering muscle growth and function, my body has benefited. And with excessive alcohol consumption leading to a whole slew of problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, colon cancer and many more, my health has benefited.

I know the benefits of sobriety because I live them. But from the outside looking in, I can see how the occasional drink during dinner might be nice. But I also can’t help but wonder if alcohol is really deserving of the throne we’ve placed it on? What has it really done for us as a community or as individuals? And are those benefits really worth the price we have paid (and continue to pay) for making it so central to our culture?

I don’t have those answers. But maybe you do. In the comments below, let me know.

 

 

I’m 11 And Want To Diet.

Hi Davey,

My name is Carter and I’m 11 years old. I think that I’m maybe gay or bi. I think that I’m overweight and want to have a boyfriend some day. I want people to like me. What can I do to diet and be more hot?

From,
Carter

article-2580812-1C49546200000578-160_634x408Carter,

Even as grown ups, it can be difficult to find the right words to answer a question like yours.

Discovering whether you like boys or girls or both (or neither!) is a real adventure. It’s going to be a journey that’s sometimes confusing, sometimes scary but always exciting. You have a very long time to figure out who you’re attracted to (many of us adults still don’t know!) so there’s no rush.

As an 11 year old, your body is still growing and developing. While that’s happening, you need a whole bunch of food to make sure it keeps growing properly. If you start skipping meals or eating only certain foods, you might actually hurt your body or your health.

If you really feel like you are overweight, you can ask the doctor about it during your next checkup. If the doctor is concerned, then he or she will help you gain weight more slowly or help you maintain your current weight by changing some of the foods you eat or recommending more time outside or playing sports.

When it comes to having a boyfriend (or girlfriend) down the road, the most important thing is finding someone who loves and celebrates you for who you are. And because you sound like a very special person, I have no doubt that you’ll always be surrounded in love.

I also think there’s an important lesson for us grown ups. When I read your question, I couldn’t help but ask myself if this is really the world that we’re leaving to the next generation? And it’s a reminder that we need to do our part to ensure that the world – and our community, in particular – values people for the awesome, unique and beautiful human beings that we all are.

Carter, thank you for your email and I hope this will give you some answers.

Love,
Davey

Help: I Get Hard In The Gym Shower!

Dear Davey,

I need your help with something really embarrassing. Because of my work schedule, I need to shower at the gym. My gym has one big open shower for all the men to use. The problem is, I often get hard taking a shower even if I’m not attracted to the other guys. I don’t know what to do!

 

From,
Luke

men94showerHey Luke,

Thank you for the very honest question.

Much like you, I have a penis. And also like you, that penis sometimes gets hard. The reasons for this vary, but it’s a pretty long list and it sometimes happens during inopportune moments. And yes, it’s definitely happened in a communal shower.

It’s interesting that the simple act of getting a boner can elicit such embarrassing and shameful feelings. Especially when getting a boner is often involuntary and a very standard part of the male experience. I sleep. I breathe. I eat. I shit. And sometimes I get hard. When you strip away the layers of guilt, there’s nothing really notable about a boner.

You’re not the first guy to get hard in a shower and you’re not the last. Because most of the people in the communal shower will likely have a functioning penis, they’ll probably understand your predicament. If not, that’s their issue and not yours; don’t take on their baggage.

When it comes to sexual orientation, I’m not sure how you identify. But being a gay man (like myself) in a communal shower with a raging boner adds another layer to the situation. But the truth is, boners don’t imply sexual attraction. Sometimes, they just happen. And even if you are sexually attracted to the other guys in the shower, most would probably be flattered. If they’re not flattered, hopefully they realize that boners aren’t dangerous – and that they’d probably be doing the exact same thing if women were around.

The bottom line is this: Boners just aren’t a big deal. No pun intended.

Love,
Davey

P.S. Of course, you can always avoid the shower altogether by working out at home with Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout! It includes three instructional videos that you can use without any gym equipment!

Gay Men & Aging: A Different Approach!

HIV-and-aging-717445-300x155On my 26th birthday, people around me started reminding me that I’m in my late 20s. Apparently, this is a bad thing. Because then you’re 30, and then 40 and then 50 and so on. It’s basically, “Happy 26th Birthday. You’re dead.”

I know that a lot of us (and gay men, in particular) fear getting old. In a society and culture that worships youth and wrinkle-free skin, the inevitable effects of aging can challenge us and make us feel less desirable. Sometimes even invisible.

But I think we have it all wrong. Growing old isn’t a disease to be fought. It’s not a plague or a poison.

On the contrary, growing old is a gift. And it’s a gift that too many people in our community haven’t been able to experience. I think back to the AIDS epidemic of the 80s and 90s, and how many gay men lost their battles so early in life. I think about the fact that gay, lesbian and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide and that nearly 50% of transgender people have seriously complemented suicide.

In this way, growing old is something to honor and celebrate. Sure, we might get grey hairs and saggy tits, but we’re here goddamn it.

Of course, this isn’t an excuse to stop taking care of ourselves. On the contrary, staying healthy and active helps keep these bodies in working condition. As we age, let’s do so with energy, good health and minimized risk for chronic disease and ailments. Let’s make sure we get the most out of our years.

Anyway, here’s to becoming a bunch of old farts.

5 Fitness Mistakes Gay Guys Make…

gay men gym working outNone of us are perfect. Not even gay guys. :-P

In my experience, there are a few mistakes that gay men, in particular, tend to make when it comes to the gym, fitness or nutrition. And before anyone throws a temper tantrum in the comments below, these mistakes are obviously total generalizations and don’t apply to all gay men everywhere.

So without further ado, these are the mistakes that gay men tend to make:

  1. Sleeping where they lift. Because a good hookup is easier to find than a good gym, don’t sleep where you lift. Unless you really don’t mind seeing a parade of one night stands each and every workout, source your sex life elsewhere. That is, of course, unless he’s worth switching gyms for.
  2. Skipping leg day. Though applicable to gay men in particular, it’s my humble opinion that leg and glute muscles don’t get enough loving from men of any sexual orientation. Because biceps and chest muscles are flashier, they receive a disproportionate amount of training. Beyond the aesthetics of a balanced physique with strong leg muscles and glutes, having a strong lower body provides benefits including improved performance and decreased injury risk.
  3. Not eating carbs. Somewhere at some point, people got the idea that carbohydrates are a bad thing. And for some gay men, a bread basket might as well be the Apocalypse. In reality, our bodies need carbohydrates to function properly; eliminating carbohydrates isn’t a smart idea. Instead, focus on cutting simple carbs (like those found in sodas, sugary drinks, white bread, pastries, etc.) in favor of complex carbohydrates like brown rice and whole wheat products.
  4. Hiring the “hot” trainer. How your trainer looks is less important than how he or she teaches. Sure, eye candy is enjoyable but it’s the connection that matters. You need a trainer that works will with you, and that helps you achieve your fitness goals. How he or she looks isn’t a factor in getting you from point A to point B.
  5. Starving yourself before bottoming. I’ve heard many gay men say that they starve themselves before bottoming in hopes of achieving “cleaner” intercourse. To them I say, no man is worth your health. And that communication, respect, patience and understanding are all far more important to being a good partner than unrealistic anal expectations.

We all make mistakes, but it’s through our mistakes that we are able to learn and grow. So if you’ve experienced any of the above, consider today an opportunity to evolve.

What other workout or nutrition mistakes do you see gay men make? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. If you’re looking for a workout program that you can do at home, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout and get started today!

Gay Pride For Your Body!

gaypridebodyJust last week, I had the pleasure of attending Vancouver Pride for a video about drag queens that I’m filming. Next week, I’m off to Montreal Pride where I’ll be interviewing members of the bear community. As such, it only seems fitting to talk about pride.

As someone who has created more than a few LGBT pride-themed videos, I’m always surprised by the number of comments asking for straight pride. “If gay people have pride,” they often write, “then straight people should have a pride, too. After all, equal is equal.” And therein is where these (hopefully) well-intentioned individuals miss the point.

Of course, straight people don’t need pride. When children get bullied for being straight, then we can have a straight pride. When family members get disowned for their straightness, then we can have a straight pride. When people kill themselves for being straight, I will be the first to march in a straight pride parade. Until then, shut up and sit down. Because, as it turns out, every day is straight pride.

In a nutshell, it’s worth honoring and celebrating the victories and histories of marginalized groups like the LGBT community.

And in extending that circle outward (but also inward), our bodies are deserving of celebration, too. Though in a very different way and capacity, our bodies are also often the recipients of shaming, repression and mistreatment. Many of us have wrestled with body image issues and eating disorders; for some the struggle continues. But whether it’s our own personal journey or, in the larger sense, the arc of society in overcoming stigma or stereotyping, every step is worth celebrating.

Our bodies and our sexual orientation are two different things. The history and struggle is different. But regardless of the form it takes, pride is a powerful thing. Celebrating the journey makes the challenges softer and the victories stronger. It creates community. It builds us up. And it pushes us forward, even when the road ahead isn’t easy.

There might not be a pride parade for your body (though maybe there ought to be one). There aren’t flags to wave or parties to attend. But there is a history to honor and victories to celebrate. So in the spirit of pride, happy body pride.

 

Is “Happy Fat” Real?

tumblr_m9y694AJqk1qiv9dfo1_500Hey Davey,

In the six  years of my relationship, I’ve put on what my friends call “happy fat.” Happy fat is the extra weight that a person gains during a relationship. Do you have any tips for reversing this trend or am I doomed to be happy fat forever?

From,
Duane

Hey Duane,

The idea of being “fat and happy” during a relationship is quite popular, but there’s a few points we need to clarify:

  • You don’t need a partner to be happy
  • Having a partner doesn’t need to result in fat gain
  • Having a partner doesn’t necessarily make you happy

Having said all of that, research does show that married individuals have a higher body mass index (BMI) than single people. All other variables held constant, a recent study found that the increased BMI for married men and women translates to about 4.5 pounds of extra fat. Another poll found that 62% of respondents reported gaining 14 pounds or more after starting a relationship.

We can certainly speculate at the causes. For one, the aforementioned study found that married individuals are less likely to engage in sport; decreased physical activity, especially as other family commitments increase, can certainly be a factor. In other instances, being “off the market” might decrease superficial motivations for staying trim.

Whatever the cause, the “happy fat” narrative doesn’t need to be your story. In fact, staying in shape as a couple can become a great bonding experience. During our current stay in Austin, for example, my boyfriend and I spend a half hour at a nearby playground doing a bodyweight workout each afternoon. For us, it’s a great way to connect while prioritizing our fitness goals.

To that end, here are a few tips to turn “happy fat” into “happy healthy”:

  1. Create opportunities for shared physical activity. Even if it’s small, commit to consistent physical activity. A few calories burned, when repeated over and over again, can result in transformative changes. Some ideas include going on a walk with your partner, doing yoga together, take a hike or have an outdoors bodyweight workout.
  2. Cook healthy food together. While exercise helps increase calories out, it’s important to be mindful of the calories going into your body. With your partner, go on a culinary adventure and explore healthy foods and recipes that you can enjoy together. Go to the market and get excited about fueling your body with the nutrients it needs.
  3. Take responsibility for your health. Your partner can not make you gain weight without your permission. You control what goes into your mouth. You control the amount of physical activity in which you engage. Having a partner isn’t a reason for gaining weight; it’s an excuse. At the end of the day, it all comes down to choices. If you’ve made choices that have resulted in fat gain, you can make choices that result it in coming off.

Having said all of that, it’s worth noting that BMI and body fat aren’t the only measures of health; overall, despite the fat gain, married individuals tend to enjoy better health when compared to their single counterparts. Indeed, married people live longer, eat better and drink less. So let’s keep it all in perspective.

P.S. If you’re looking for a fun bodyweight workout that you can do with a friend or partner, try Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout. As a free gift, you’ll also receive my Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. Both programs are great tools for getting on track!

Straight Skinny, But Gay Fat.

straight skinny gay fatHere’s something you’ve probably heard: Someone referred to as “straight skinny but gay fat.”

This statement, of course, refers to the differing standards in appearance for straight and gay men. In other words, a few extra pounds on a straight guy isn’t a big deal. But in the gay world, it’s a different story altogether.

Now here’s something you probably haven’t heard: Among men who have eating disorders, 42% identify as gay.

When we hear the term “gay fat” in reference to the double standard in body image, the tendency is to laugh. It’s often used as a punch line. But I’m not laughing. Maybe the idea of “gay fat” wouldn’t bother me so much if it wasn’t killing people.

Here’s something else you probably haven’t heard: Without treatment, up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders die. With treatment, that number is still 2% – 3%. Eating disorders are deadly.

Eating disorders are a real problem in our community, and we’re dismissing it as a joke.

As I’ve mentioned, I was anorexic in middle school. Growing up overweight, I tried to take control of my situation by starving myself. It was easy to outsmart the doctors when they asked about my weight loss, and even easier to deceive my own family. In fact, to this day, my mother refuses to acknowledge my eating disorder.

The reality is, it’s not easy to talk about eating disorders. And that’s especially true for men. In a world that sees eating disorders as a problem for teenage girls trying to fit into prom dresses, it’s all of our jobs to decrease the stigma and be constructive with our words and actions.

When someone is referred to as straight skinny but gay fat, I’m not laughing. Because what I really hear in that statement is the struggle that all gay men have of looking in the mirror and seeing someone they love. And to me, that’s not a joke. And if it is, it’s a punchline that some of us are paying for with our lives.

 

An Open Letter to Hot Straight Men at the Gym.

hot-gym-guy-liveliketomDear Straight Men,

I’m a gay guy. And because it’s basically a statistical certainty, there are probably other gay men like myself at your gym. We use the same weights, the same treadmills and, yes, even the same showers.

The truth is, I’m really not attracted to most of you. Just because I like men doesn’t mean that I like all men, and most straight guys are actually quite repulsive. No offense.

But every now and then, on a very rare occasion, a cute straight guy might catch my attention. I’m pretty good at not staring, but I might give him a quick glance or a one over. If I see him in the locker room, I just might muster up the courage to check him out shirtless.

Of course, most straight guys don’t care if a gay man checks them out at the gym. In fact, many might find it flattering. But there is a small but vocal minority of straight men that are deeply offended by a gay dude checking them out. These straight guys find it disgusting or upsetting or in poor taste.

To these deeply offended straight men, I would like to offer you a deal. This deal is being offered on behalf of myself and all gay men everywhere. We will stop checking you out. No glances. No looks. Nothing. Here’s the catch: That is, if you agree to stop checking out women. That’s right. We will stop if you agree to stop doing the very same thing to the women around you.

Because some women find your staring to be disgusting, upsetting and in poor taste.

Whether she’s doing a squat, running on the treadmill or stretching her legs, we won’t look at you if, and only if, you don’t look at her.

Fair is fair.

From,
Davey Wavey & Gay Men

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