Is it time to meet the post-metrosexual generation: spornosexuals?
For the metrosexual, the clothes made the man.
For the spornosexual, no clothes make the man.
The term—coined by Telegraph writer Mark Simpson, who gave us the term metrosexual—is not a reference to 300, though it could easily be, as spornosexuals probably jump at the chance to dress up as Spartans for Halloween. Or any occasion, for that matter.
Yes, any excuse to whip off their clothes and show off their bodies for ogling viewers is what a spornosexual is all about.
Simpson uses the term to describe the generation following metrosexuals, in which sport got into bed with porn. While metrosexuality was about men who could do it all, including being fashionable, he describes the hyperbuff spornosexuals as being preoccupied with self-objectification, particularly for online voyeurism.
It's the perfect storm in which the self-absorption of obsessive-compulsive musclebuilding, the narcissism of social media (selfies, in particular), and the rampant online promotion of male physical objectification all have one big, well, fuckfest.
Oh, and of course there's that other highly potent force—capitalism—also in the mix.
From Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister & Co. shopping bag porn and male underwear ads to the rise of male fitness softporn models and the profitable supplement market, it's all big business.
Zac Efron could be considered a poster boy for this breed, with his overchiseled body flaunted everywhere for Neighbors.
Where metrosexuals blurred gender and sexual orientation boundaries through their interests, spornosexuals could be mashing up boundaries of gendered voyeurism. Their bodies are as much a competition between both heterosexual and homosexual males, and a need to acquire as much admiration or as many likes or followers, regardless of the gender or sexual identity of the voyeur wanker.
Male fitness models often have a large male following, and, perhaps in the wake of men's fitness beefcake print magazines, are now appear to be all-too-ready to strike horny poses and achingly eager to strip it all off.
In other words, the products of their pursuits are as much for the male gaze, whether to incite jealousy or desire, as it is ostensibly for the female one. But in the end, the gaze that it's really for? Their own.
Needless to say, Vancouver's body-conscious and sport-oriented culture is a prime breeding ground for the soulless spornos and quite frankly, they've been around for a while. It's just that now we know how to diagnose them.
As if we need yet another transparent online test to find out about ourselves, here's one to figure out if you're a spornosexual or not.