Twink: The Other T-Slur

Comments

1
Thanks, Honkey!
2
Two words: "Internalized Twinkiphobia."
3
Now I've heard everything. Why does everyone suddenly feel the need to be insulted?
4
It’s not hard for me to imagine a petite man taking issue with being branded and objectified for his boyish / effeminate stature in a culture that equates femininity with weakness. This doesn’t make twink a hate term, it just means that some people are uncomfortable with it, even though others embrace it.
6
@3: Because it gives such neurotics a sense of empowerment.
7
Everyone's a victim.
8
While I can see that 'twink' is sometimes uttered dismissively, I had a very hard time suppressing my eye roll as I read the excerpt.

Then I got to the 'otter' bit. Oh brother, get a life.
9
"Flamboyancy" with a side of chip on shoulder. I've never considered twink to be offensive, and I would never use it that way.
10
I can't believe you posted this without a trigger warning.
11
As a non-gay, I've always been a bit confused by 'twink'. Does it apply to all young, in-shape gay guys? Or do you have to be, like, pale and smooth? Do you need to depilate? Is there a size component - for instance, can you be too tall to be a 'twink'? And what about flamboyancy - how femme do you have to act? Can you have a totally indistinguishable-from-default-straight masculine affect and still be a twink?
The term "bear," by contrast, seems more straightforward: overweight, bearded, and over thirty. Or am I wrong there? So many labels, so little time.
Actually, please, no one feel compelled to answer that. I just exhausted my own curiosity by writing all that down.

12
I refuse this one. There's such a thing as too sensitive, and this dude has jumped over that line.
13
@7: Existence is oppressive. Only in death does one find true equality and freedom.
14
Oh Jeethuth Chrith
15
As a former twink (middle-aged now), the phrase didn't bother me then and it doesn't now. I was not a victim, no one who thought I was a twink thought the lesser of me, it was just a term used to describe that I was (back in the day) skinny, cute and pretty. I will continue to use the term as I did before, because nothing describes a cute twink like the term "twink".
16
i call 'em 'snack cake', 'tenderoni's' and 'lunchables' . my girlfriend calls 'em 'cookies'.we likes 'em.
17
Are twinks marginalized in the gay community now?

I thought Bears were by the twinks so the Bears created their own community. Maybe bears are now the defining critics of gay culture, since Bears can use twink in a derisive manner.

If so, please let me know.
18
Calling someone a Bear is one step away from Fascism.
19
Wait- did he seriously just call someone a "geezer that looks like the penguin from batman returns" in a paragraph deriding name calling..? Does he not grasp the irony??

No bitch, we don't hate you for being a twink- we hate you for being a self-important, tone-deaf drama queen. I for one can't wait for the day that you fully transition into 'Twank', then 'Twunk', and finally 'Troll'... at which point you'll no doubt long for the days when people actually found you attractive and gave a shit about you at the bar.
20
If I can handle getting slapped with "bear" your ass can deal with "twink". When I was 18 I would have killed to be called a "twink". If someone didn't like your twinky ass, tough shit. I've had plenty of pretentious arrogant twinks look at me with disgust just because I wasn't a clone of them. They were assholes and just wrote them off and moved on with my life.

And never mind the twinks who like "old geezers who look like the penquin" and vice versa. They apparently don't exist in this dicks world.
21
Oh boohoo, I am joining the chorus. I have never thought twink was in any way pejorative. It's just a descriptor. Because I came out late, I missed out on being a twink. It was great fun shagging twinks in my 30s. I think I need a lie down....
22
Twinks are largely, but not exclusively, white. Asian twinks and Latino twinks are pretty common, but black twinks do, in fact, exist.
23
So:
"Twink" = Hate Crime!
"Otter" = Hate Crime!
"Geezer" = A-Okay!
About time... discrimination is so ugly (when the young and thin feel it).
24
When I was a young man, the offensive T word was Troll.

Hey, boy! You there! Get off of my lawn!
25
@19--I think I love you.
26
True, "twink" gets used sometimes as a dismissive term. But "otter"? Otters are HOT!!!
27
Most of middle-aged married closet cases who troll Craigslist looking for hookups all fantasize about a young, smooth twink. It's no mystery why these old cowards love twinks - they embody the youth and sense of opportunity that the closet case has lost. Plus, twinks are represented in porn way more than other types of men.

These men, living double lives, hiding in the closet, sneaking around behind their wives backs, feel that a young, hot twink should be their reward for a lifetime of cowardice and lying. The couldn't be more wrong.
28
@27
I think you may be overestimating the influence of middle-aged closet cases over the demand for twinks in the man flesh market.
29
@28 Amongst young gays with daddy issues, there will always be a demand for 'daddy' type guys (even if they're closet cases).
30
@27
That is to say... The twink brand seems to accomplish uniformly deep saturation in all market segments (including twinks). Though, admittedly, often as "mopeds" (fun to ride, now and then, but you don't want your friends to know you've been on one) in the more "respectable" segments of gay culture.
31
I made a little video tribute ("hidden" on YouTube but I'll give you Sloggers the link) to one of the most beloved twinks in "gay for pay" porn, Jason Matthews. At one time he headed his own production company called Twinkscape and also worked for Broke Straight Boys and College Dudes. In "real life" during this time, he was a Marine and attending an Ivy League college full time.

There isn't any porn or (frontal) nudity in this but NSFW anyway:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4UHXC_5…
32
@19
I'd love to see Richard Linklater give the Boyhood treatment to the whole Twink, Twank, Twunk, Troll life cycle.
33
"Otter" and "Bear" are adorable descriptors for the types of men I prefer. I wish straight men used them with the same regularity as gay dudes.

@19, yeah, eyeroll at the hypocrisy.
34
HATE CRIME GLITTER BOMB! (*・_・)ノ⌒*`*`*
35
@11, in my experience the term itself has morphed over time. Twink, of course, comes from Twinkie, and originally was applied to fair, blond, skinny, hairless guys. There was originally a derogatory aspect to it. Like a Twinkie a twink was pretty and golden on the outside, and full of fluff on the inside.

However, over time that has really changed. Twinks don't have to be blond or white. And they don't have to necessarily be skinny. Basically if you are fit to slim, young and reasonably clean cut you are a twink these days.

Even when I was a teen to early 20s I was pretty much considered a twink even though I have black hair and wasn't completely hairless. If you look up the porn maker Bel Ami the guys there are pretty much all considered twinks by today's standard even though most of them are fairly fit and muscled college jock types.

I could see someone in the 70s or even 80s considering twink to be an insult, but today it has lost the "filled with valueless fluff" aspect and just describes a general physical type that has grown to include a large number of guys.

As a former twink I don't find the term offensive. When I hear it I just feel a longing for days gone by.
36
Without its cream filling, a Twinkie is just flat and useless.
37
Unapologetically comparing someone to the Penguin is a blatant case of Joker erasure, Hitler.
38
As a straight woman, I've wondered about this. I actually love the term twink because of the imagery it brings up for me, which is of a young gay man that is comfortable in his skin and doesn't give a fuck if someone has a problem with who he is. But I've heard this before so I've avoided using the term out of fear of offending. I'm glad to see its not universally offensive!
39
I am a straight guy who is not so young anymore. Back in my youth, I attracted the fairly ardent attention of several older gay men, including professors and clients, who evidently thought I was a twink. Just the other day, I was jokingly mourning the fact that I've evidently aged or weighted out of that particular compliment.
40
There is a simple formula for whether a term is hate-speach.

1) Are you a member of an identifiable group, and has somebody outside that group used this term to refer to you?

2) Do you want to have sex with them?

Author was twink. Auther did not want to have sex with "geezer". Hate speech.

Now imagine rugger Ben Cohen wakled into a bar, said he wanted to fuck the shit out of a twink and suck some tranny stickpussy. Totally not hate-speech.

41
OK, I haven't read all the comments yet, but . . . in my 60-year-old mind and history, "twink" was a semi-pejorative not because the person was young, skinny, hairless, and generally) white, but because they were all those things and *brainless*. I'm talking truly vapid, and that was my opinion when I was in the mid-20s.
Being retrospectively charitable and taking in my own attraction to the exact opposite, I suppose that the twinks were/are really just naive. And not my type at all, ever.
42
Can't agree with you on this one, Dan. I'm not gay or hairless and I've been called a twink as an epithet. Its use as a slur is real, and the intent to diminish the person being called a twink using said word is just as real.
43
I don't see why young gay men should mind being objectified. Any more than anyone else should mind it.
44
Everyone should mind being objectified.
45
This namby-pamby PC world where everything is an insult! I thank Thor that I don't have to deal with this crap IRL. I am shortly going to have a shower and get into bed with my wonderful partner with our dogs snoring in the corner on their bed and thank fuck that I don't have to deal with this shit anymore. Bring on the Britcom (You rang M'lord) with it's un-pc jokes and a mug of delicious cocoa just before sleep. I wouldn't be 20 again if you could literally organise it. If I could survive another 15 or hopefully 20 more years of this bliss, I would be even more fortunate than I am. So, at 53, I say fuck it. Whilst I applaud those (including me) who have fought for civil rights, this world you are creating is stifling and nasty - particularly when you make enemies of your friends.

Goodnight and good luck to you. May you spend each minute stuttering and scouring your vocabulary for any and all implied insults whilst juggling a myriad of Venn diagrams in your head and some out at the end intact!
46
As a former twink myself (thirty years and thirty pounds ago) II enjoyed being objectified: Trips, gifts, meals, cocktails, flowers sent to work. It was fun! Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.....
47
Am I missing something or aren't otters generally thought of as the cutest things in the animal kingdom?
48
Total bullshit.
49
Honestly, I thought "twinks" were basically young and skinny, regardless of femininity/masculinity or race. I've referred to Adam Levine as a twink, and he isn't even gay. I'm female and straight, btw.
50
I find the Russian comparison to be a bit of cowardice on your part. Maybe the gays out in Seattle are much more evolved than we Midwestern queers, but I can tell you what my own personal experiences in the Midwest have been.

I'm a chubby, straight acting gay guy from Kansas. I had very little experience in the dating scene before I moved back here two years ago. Getting in to the dating scene I was shocked by how many guys I met insisted on preemptively telling me they weren't twinks. My grindr list is filled with comments of "Not Looking For a Twink" or "Twinks Need Not Apply."

The frustrating thing about these "everyone is a victim now" comments is the seer cowardice of them. Just say what you mean, guy: I like insulting other people. I would prefer not to be called out on it. It makes me feel uncomfortable about my actions when someone informs me of how those actions affect them on a personal level. Honestly, just say what you mean. Twink is a nice way of putting down someone you used to call faggy, and you'd rather not lose your new insult of choice.
51
Most of the twinks I know either embrace the label or don't see it as a slur even if they wished they could put on more muscle or look less twink-like. Does this mean that we also have to eschew "Bear" and similar labels, even when the bears and twinks themselves like those terms?

I agree with Ken Mehlmann. As with so many things (including the other T word), context is key. Is the term used affectionately, longingly, wistfully? Or with scorn and derision? So many things can sound complimentary or mean depending on tone and context.

Also, I know tons of Asian, Latino, and African American twinks. Labeling it as a white thing is both incorrect and racist.
52
Thanks to Ms Natasha for providing the most respectful of the comments from those of the straight persuasion.

I never had enough fun or non-serious conversation to be a twink myself, though I had the waistline, the legs and the bicycle shorts.
53
@19: "Wait- did he seriously just call someone a "geezer that looks like the penguin from batman returns" in a paragraph deriding name calling..? Does he not grasp the irony??"

"Ugh, don't they know how hard it is to be young and hot and taut and dealing with the slings and arrows of all these uggos?!"

I've also never heard of "twink" being tied to flamboyancy. Objectifying, mebbe, but doesn't really carry the stigma he's suggesting?
54
@51: "I agree with Ken Mehlmann. As with so many things (including the other T word), context is key. Is the term used affectionately, longingly, wistfully? Or with scorn and derision? So many things can sound complimentary or mean depending on tone and context.

Pretty much. It's also a word that has specific physical connotations, which gives rise to opinions over bodies, so definitely gives the option for it to be a negative association.

That said, how could someone be sad at being called an otter?
55
In reality, 99% of the time, "nigger" is in used in an "affection, irony, and longing far more often than it's used to put someone down". Would you argue that it's inappropriate to say that it's a hate-word?

From my straight, almsot all my friends are straight vantage point, I don't know if it's generally used in a affectionate, demeaning, or in a "asians are good at math" (pigeonholing stereotype disguised as a compliment) way. From your vantage point - older - you probably don't really know either. I think the best course of action is to defer to the person complaining. It's no loss to anyone to not say twink.