Scottie looks for “a guy who’s a bit of a bloke”, but what exactly does that mean … for him?
Some years ago, an acquaintance gave me a brilliant piece of gay dating advice: “become the man you want to attract.” It’s something that never left me, because I thought it was just so profound and it struck me that it only applied to gay dating (although maybe a straight person could contest this). Either way, my enlightenment left me with a dilemma of sorts – I was nowhere near the man I wanted to attract, especially not when it came to physicality.
When I’m ever asked by friends, and sometimes, even on dates, what kind of guy I go for, I usually reply with the general answer of “a guy who’s a bit of a bloke”. In other words, if you’re passionate about the history of Kylie’s concert tour costumes, kudos – but we’re not going to get on. If I were to realistically describe the kind of guy I’d like to be with, it’d be like this: masculine, tall (an easy enough ask, as I’m 5’7) and toned enough. This means that I don’t need a washboard stomach, because I’d love it and envy it in equal measures. My dream husband’s build would be one of a rugby player; strong enough to pick me up, carry me over the threshold and fling me onto the bed – and that would only be on the second date …! Still, if I wanted to bag a stud, I had to accept that I needed to up the ante on my own physique. It called for one thing only, something which I’ve not only actively avoided, but resented ever since I was a boy: exercise.
Now, I’d like to think that once I put my mind to something, I usually see it through. With that in mind, I think I should be very proud of myself. For seven years now, I’ve been relentlessly visualising my goal of getting buff. I just forgot to do the part where I’m supposed to regularly get up off my arse and do something. Everyone ignores that bit, though … right?
I look at myself in the mirror. No six-pack, no bulging biceps and no chiseled pecs. What I do have going for me is my arse and my legs – the result of years of daily long walks – so I’m not at the worst of starting points. Still, with my birthday coming up in a two weeks, I was aware that by 25, I basically still had the same body I had when I was 20, only with 25% added love handles. Something had to change. Queue one run, one workout and a bad cough (lasting almost three weeks) later, and not much progress had been made. I wondered if I needed to take the same attitude to fitness as I do to work; don’t do it at home, because you’ll jump at the first chance to procrastinate. If I did, then I’d have to become a gym bunny. Oh Christ, I thought to myself in a half-panic, have I about to become one of those gay guys?
There are different kinds of gyms, and just as gyms are like churches in gay culture, choosing one is like selecting which religion to follow. There’s the stylish gym that all the (wannabe) rich gays go to; the one where you forget what you’re supposed to be doing, because you’re drooling over that eastern European bodybuilder. Then there’s the trendy-but-cheap gym that students go to, which sounds like you’d suffer a similar reaction, but instead feel worse because the chiseled Adonis beside you was born in the nineties. Finally, there’s the pay-as-you-go gym, which is a decent place to start, if you can ignore the old men who try to talk to you in the changing area, or the women who look like they want to smack you with one of the smaller dumbbells. I’ve decided that this is the gym I’ll have to start off with, but then my bank balance laughs at me and reminds me that my bedroom floor might be a better place to do my squats for now.
In short, I have the right food plan and the ability to get the body I want if I want to get the man I want… so what’s stopping me?
‘Scottie’ Illustrations by Stephen Charlick