Gay Gym Culture
Routledge – 2007 – 332 pages
What was once a lifestyle for a small number of gay men in big cities has become a way of life for many, and the gay gym is now a culture on its own. Muscle Boys: Gay Gym Culture explores the evolution and current structure of this gay subculture that surfaced in San Francisco, West Hollywood, and New York during the 1970s.
Covering ancient Greek gymnasium culture, modern bodybuilding practices, and homoerotic muscle-bound media, Muscles Boys examines the origins of the male athletic ideal. A sociological investigation on masculinity, fitness, HIV, steroids, and sex in the locker room, Muscle Boys dissects the gay gym experience, and celebrates gay body culture and its role in modern gay life.
Author Erick Alvarez offers a candid study of the gay gym from his perspective as a physical trainer in the San Francisco Bay area, and from his interviews and online surveys of nearly 6,000 gay men. Muscle Boys: Gay Gym Culture is an enlightening read for anyone interested in gay body culture, and a valuable resource for academics working in GLBT studies, human sexuality, psychology, or athletics.
List of Figures. Acknowledgments. 1. Gay Gym Culture. 2. Greek Gym Culture and the Greek Ideal. 3. The Fall and Rise of the Gym Built Body. 4. Muscle Media. 5. The Gay Gym. 6. Muscle Boys. 7. The Poz Jock. 8. The Gay Athlete. 9. The Circuit Boy. 10. The Muscle Bear. 11. The Older Male. 12. The Locker Room. Notes. Index.
Erick Alvarez is a freelance writer and independent scholar. He has a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from San Francisco State University, and has been a personal trainer in the San Francisco gym scene for over a decade.