Have you ever noticed how often images of hot guys are accompanied by messages touting the importance of hashtag hard work, hashtag dedication, hashtag motivation, hashtag discipline hashtag maximizing-performance, hashtag no-excuses, hashtag proving-the-haters-wrong, hashtag hard-work-pays-off, hashtag did-i-mention-hard-work-being-a-very-good-thing?
One of the easiest ways to find eye candy, especially if you don’t mind it being accompanied by moralistic homilies or even diatribes on the virtues of hard work and/or the satisfaction of overcoming legions of unspecified haters, is to scroll through the hashtag dedicated on Instagram. I just found a bunch of hot guys to follow.
But I have a confession to make. I’m following them because they’re hot, not because I think they offer a much-needed reminder of the importance of hard work. Actually, I think our culture is full of reminders of the importance of hard work. We’re obsessed with it. It’s ingrained in our Puritanical DNA. The fact that there are a lot more people than there is useful work to be done never seems to enter the discussion.
And in fitness and bodybuilding culture, in particular, there’s a feedback loop between constantly promoting the guilt-ridden fear that you’re not working hard enough and consumption. After all, you gotta eat more of the right food and use the right supplements and the right gear to support all that hard work that you’d better be doing or else you’ll miss out on the chance to hashtag work-even-harder-tomorrow.
I was watching Generation Iron 2 on Netflix the other night, and of course 90 percent of the dialog emphasizes the duress, discipline and regimentation of bodybuilding. But this turned hilarious when the topic of muscle worship came up and the bodybuilders’ reactions ranged from amusement to disgust to genuine bewilderment over why anyone would be turned on by all that muscle, which is merely the byproduct of hashtag hard work.
I got up in the middle of watching to film a flexing clip with a happy ending. Hashtag dedicated.
This even shows up in bed sometimes when guys muscle-worship me. A lot of them feel compelled to praise me for my hard work. Even in bed, flexing is often deemed acceptable as a presentation of the hashtag results of hashtag hard work, not, god forbid, as a direct expression of the eroticism of blood being pumped into muscle. We’ve come a long way from the hedonistic Muscle Beach lifestyle promoted by the original Pumping Iron film in the 70s, which showed Arnold bragging about the orgasmic feeling of the pump and celebrating by smoking a doobie.
For me, muscle worship is about enjoying the muscular body in and of itself, not as a signifier of some work ethic. I sculpt my body because I want men to touch it, run their hands along it, caress every inch of it, and get physical with it, not because I want them to think I’m a hard worker, fueled by the resentment of myriad, presumably lazy, haters.
I work out because it’s the easiest way, not the most arduous, to get laid on my own terms. I’ll be in Fort Lauderdale November 11 through the 14, and I’m hoping to shoot some videos there that really demonstrate what muscle worship means to me and present it with a sense of true, unabashed eroticism. Make sure you’re following this (click the folder icon at the top of your browser) as some of those clips will probably have to be unlisted on the YouTube channel. I’ll also meet up with some guys off-camera, in private. I’ll also be traveling to Dallas and Philadelphia next month, and I’m based in Houston.