A “Thirst Trap” is created when an individual uploads a scantily clad photo of themselves online with the purpose of drawing attention to their face or body parts — but at the same time appearing to be oblivious to the actual surface intent of the post. Often times, the bait is laid before a large group of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat and tumblr users. Usually, the subject is standing half naked in their bathroom mirror beneath a pointless caption that reads, “God I’m glad you allowed me to see myself for who I truly am”. Clearly, the focus of the selfie is to show off one’s thick thighs, abs or barely covered bulge. However, pairing God and his “glory” into the upload is a calculated attempt to convince the viewing audience that they themselves should feel guilty for now staring at the subject’s body instead of embracing the ridiculous, non-related message. Those unaware of the key elements involved in luring the attention of internet voyeurs, often fall prey to the scheme by then liking or commenting the pic, and later following the person highlighted in the photograph. Male celebrities including, The Game, August Alsina, Lil Fizz and John Legend have all recently used the power of social media to trap the thirst of their adoring fans.
However, if you are going to follow in the footsteps of these studs, stars and heartthrobs, there are 5 things to keep in mind as you set your own, online thirst trap…
FRAME YOURSELF ENGAGED IN A NATURAL ACTIVITY – One of the best ways to capture the attention of onlookers, is to position yourself involved in a daily routine. One of the easiest and most conventional methods of framing yourself in a very common scene is to stand in the kitchen pretending to cook first thing in the morning. Everyone subconsciously pairs the act of preparing breakfast, with the cook still wearing the very skimpy loungewear that they slept in the night before. If you are standing in front of the stove, wearing nothing but a pair of thermal bottoms and holding a spatula over the skillet, the scene appears to be very natural. It then makes sense to the viewer why you would be photographed while adorned in these clingy, paper-thin long johns — revealing your personal, side order of pancakes and sausage links.
CREATE A QUICK, ONE-LINE CAPTION – In setting the perfect “thirst trap” it becomes your job to convince your viewers and followers that the focus of your photo is totally different than the obvious intent. If you’re going to post a photo where you’re turned to the side and wearing a tight pair of jeans, shorts, compression pants or even underwear, it’s obvious that the viewer is supposed to focus on the plump, round shape of your squat heavy cakes. Right? However, in your attempt to appear oblivious to the display of your backside, your one-line caption should comment on a different object or thought associated with the photo. Your caption could say something trivial like, “so glad I’m still able to fit into my favorite pair of jeans”, or… “did not think Id be able to stand up straight today after the terrible fall I experienced yesterday”. Somehow, your caption has to allude to the fact that “you have no idea” that people would actually be looking at or commenting upon your real, intended focus of the “thirst trap” photo — that backside.
HIGHLIGHT SHAPE OVER SKIN – One of the best ways to garner the surface attention of your intended target is to be sexy, without crossing that line of appearing sloshy. You want to place the attention of the social media voyeurs on the feature that you’re most proud of or the body part you’ve been focused on the hardest during your workouts. Instead of simply posing in the mirror wearing no shirt or no pants, select a clothing item that will cling around the form of your pecs or massive thighs. Sometimes, the allure of someone’s body is when the viewer is able to imagine the skin beneath the outer layers. Remember, the purpose of a thirst trap is to present an image or photo that isn’t blatantly sexual. If you choose the perfect garment or accessory to bring attention to your favorable parts, you’re able to show off those curves without appearing desperate for public praise.
LOOK AWAY FROM THE CAMERA – Thirst Traps are best achieved when the subject appears to be completely naive to the fact that their photo is being taken. Sure, you’re intentionally wearing light gray sweatpants to show off your eggplant and a pair of NIKE or ADDIDAS flip flops to highlight your recently pedicured toes. Of course you’re aware of the fact that meat lovers and others with foot fetishes are going to be sent into frenzy once the pic is uploaded to instagram or tumblr or facebook. However, it becomes your job to divert your visible eye line towards another subject. Be sure that you’re staring down at your dog that is hopping up onto your left leg or stare straight into the open refrigerator as if you’re really looking for something good to eat. Never actually be captured staring at the body part or object that is being used to seal the voyeurs gaze.
BE SPORADIC & SPARING — It becomes very important that your intended audience not become use to seeing you half dressed, half naked, barely covered or exposing yourself on a regular basis. The visual trapping loses its power and shine once your followers become use to seeing the same lame photo posted every other day. You have to be willing to switch up the order, style and routine of your postings in order for your trick to actually work. The sitting on the side of the bed with white sheets ever-so-slightly covering your frontal area photo, only works when it’s posted first thing in the morning alongside your regular quotes, memes, dinner plate pics, close-up selfies and fully clothed, active shots. Uploading and sharing the same, “look at me naked” pic everyday or even once each week can become overdone and tired.
The modern day selfie, avatar or default pic is designed to highlight an individuals more attractive, physical features. Often times, social media networks exist as the platform where people set the bait – featuring themselves in their most edited and filtered forms. Posting a photo online where one is clearly drawing attention to their skin and other surgically enhanced body parts has become a normal part of marketing and pop culture. Some people abstain from engaging in the strip, snap and upload activities, while others continue to successfully draw the attention of new and returning followers by setting their very own, social media “Thirst Traps”.
There is something very attractive and quite appealing about a guy who carries a little extra bulk in his upper body — obviously heavy below the waist as well. He’s not huge and blubbery or obese with triple chins and gigantic thighs that rub together when he walks. However, he may have chipmunk cheeks, a few extra flabs on the sides and a nice, rounded belly. His meaty physique matches his semi masculine bravado. He walks with dominant force and commands the attention of his lovers. The oak moss notes and herbaceous blends of his various colognes linger in your clothes hours after one of his teddy bear hugs. And while he is fully aware of the fact that his physical form is chunkier than some other men in your life, he doesn’t stress himself about dieting or working out religiously to fit the social mold. He’s proud to be a formidable, card-carrying member of #TeamThick.
He is considered to be chubby, but strong. His strength comes in the form of his ability to be comfortable with the extra skin he is in. He isn’t embarrassed about his weight and therefore exudes a confidence that contributes greatly to #TeamThick’s sex appeal. People are drawn to his self-assured personality, for it’s his optimism that encourages his friends, associates and dates to live a fuller life. Contrary to popular belief, thicker dudes are often happier and more confident in themselves than their svelte and more muscular counterparts. They aren’t overly concerned about maintaining chiseled pecs and hard biceps in order to garner public acceptance. As a result, the upbeat, positive energy that these men exude day to day seems to attract the attention of those who are looking for “more to love”. Being slightly overweight in this day and time no longer classifies an individual as being unwanted or undesirable.
More people are actually beginning to seek thicker men as potential boyfriends,
and here are FIVE reasons why…
THICK MEN LAST LONGER IN BED – Recent scientific studies have proven that overweight men who have plump tummies also maintain a female sex hormone that floats through their bodies called, Estradiol. The hormone actually works to slow down the process of reaching an orgasm. This means that when thick men are engaging in sexual intercourse, they are able to perform longer than slimmer men without reaching their climax as quickly. If your sex drive allows you to go non-stop rounds in the bedroom, your thick man will more than likely be able to keep up with you. However, you may simply need to climb on top midway through so he isn’t doing all of the HARD work. (pun intended)
MORE UNDERSTANDING & ACCEPTING – Dating a chubby or heavier man can work wonders for your self-esteem. Most often, a guy who has battled with his own weight and body issues isn’t going to criticize you or the other people around him for gaining a few extra pounds. Thick men aren’t necessarily monitoring your food portions or calorie intake if they aren’t measuring their own. You can feel free to eat your entire meal while out at dinner and then raid the cabinets for goodies and snacks while the two of you are lounging around the house after your night out. He is never going to question your cravings or make you feel bad for filling out in certain areas.
MENTALLY HEALTHIER & HAPPIER THAN MANY – While it is certainly true that bigger people suffer from bouts of sadness, insecurities or depression as it pertains to their physical body, a lot of thick men are rather confident in whom they are as a whole. Thicker men aren’t necessarily spending their days judging themselves or others for shallow reasons. They’ve more than likely experienced periods in life of being the one who was victimized, teased or taunted for surface reasons. As a result, their sense of happiness stems from now focusing on the more organic elements that create their every day. These men are as active and on the go as their more toned friends or muscular associates. Thicker guys are simply happy to be in the presence of others who love them and enjoy spending time tasting the pleasures that life has to offer.
HE’S A CUSHION – Both physically and emotionally, a thick man will bring layers of comfort to your life. Not only does his soft body provide the best comfy, cuddle moments, but a thicker dude is willing to open his heart to romance and other relationship opportunities with less force. He realizes that he doesn’t have the ideal, gym body and he knows that you have looked beyond that fact to truly connect with him. As a result, your teddy bear wants nothing more than to make you feel as special and chosen as you have done for him.
UNDENIABLE SEX APPEAL – Quite simply, the draw of a thick man is his plump, protective, physical shield. He isn’t toned, but his body shape is typically that of a traditional, alpha-male. Being in his presence can make his dates and other romantic partners feel safe, guarded and free. Over the years, his sex appeal has developed from his ability to highlight his most positive and attractive features. Aside from his handsome face and somewhat silly personality, a thick man is often dressed well, groomed appropriately and always dashed in an alluring scent. He does exercise once in a while, travels when he can afford to and volunteers his time to coach a community football team or to work in his church kitchen on Sunday afternoons. He can be spontaneous, humorous, seductive and in charge of the life he lives.
To have a bulkier, chubbier man on your arm is to exist in the company of someone who is going to take care of your emotional and physical needs, first. He isn’t going to make you feel insecure about your body, your interests or your unyielding desire to make the relationship last. A physically heavier man will embrace your desire to have him all to yourself, as he is just as committed to keeping you in his life for the long haul. Your attraction to him as a person will make you second guess why you ran after the conventional, tatted, bearded, gym bunny types for so long. And while your friends may taunt or tease you for now being a “chubby chaser”, I guarantee that seeing your happiness will have them all standing in line to secure a man of their own from the sexy roster that comprises, #TeamThick.
By now, everyone has been made aware of the nude selfies that have been spread across the World Wide Web. Various female celebrities including Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, Rihanna, Jill Scott and Kim Kardashian have fallen victim to a hackers sweep of Apple’s now infamous, iCloud. Apple iPhone users are able to snap photos using their iPhones and then back up those pics and other files to this now ‘glitchey’, operating system. Two weeks ago, nude selfie’s and other types of suggestive photos were stolen from actress, Jennifer Lawrence’s iCloud system and plastered across the internet. The pictures spread like wildfire across blogs, internet sites and other online forums. This then began a weekly cycle. Two or three nude photos of female celebrities posed in their bathrooms – using their iPhones to snap intimate photos of themselves have been shared for public viewing. Many of these actresses, singers and other starlets have come forward to either deny the validity of the stolen shots or to state that the photos were specifically taken for their husbands and boyfriends. While some of us truly feel that these photos violate the privacy of these hardworking women, many others have copied and pasted the uploads to their tumblr pages, Facebook walls, Twitter timelines and Instagram as well.
This onslaught of female celebrity photos posed naked in their home mirrors has made the rest of us wonder: WHERE ARE THE HACKED PHOTOS OF OUR FAVORITE MALE STARS? Many of the male celebrities own iPhones and willingly share their half-naked photos on social media regularly. I think I speak for my thousands of readers and viewers when I ask, “can we please hack into their iCloud accounts & upload the below the waist shots they’ve snapped, saved or deleted?”
So many of my supporters have been contacting me and asking for my thoughts regarding why the male celebs aren’t being attacked as heavily. Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that men aren’t as sexually objectified in society as the everyday female. A man isn’t necessarily measured as being only as powerful as the size or arousal factor of his bare chest, exposed buttocks or erect penis. Men are not seen as the object of sexual glare or voyeurism. Men are considered to be the subject. Therefore, what society creates in the form of visuals to sell or market products and ideas is the female form. Basically, it’s assumed that “no one really cares” to see a naked male body, and those who do don’t exist in the majority.
However, I am to believe that the contemporary man has grown to not only spend more time in the gym sculpting his body, but he also enjoys showing it off. Over the past few years, male celebrities have used social media as their stage to put their physiques at center stage for their adoring fans. Many of them flirt with their iPhones while standing in their bathroom mirrors and covered in nothing more than a towel or boxer briefs. These male stars are proud of their bodies and are waiting for an opportunity to unwrap them.
If these hackers would simply shift their interests a little to the left, I’m quite sure they would find great pics hidden in the iCloud accounts of this HIT LIST…
RL from “NEXT”
SAGE THE GEMINI
MICHAEL B. JORDAN
These fellas are proud of their pecs and satisfied with their overall, physical form. It is their pleasure to have fans fawning over their toned and chiseled physiques. Since they are celebrities, many of their publicists won’t allow them to simply “leak” their own uncensored, bathroom selfies.
So…lets do these handsome gentlemen a favor by hacking into their iCloud’s and showering the public with the goods. Let the male cycle begin NOW.
Guys are visual creatures by nature. We are stimulated more by what we see, as opposed to content we’ve read in a book or something we happen to have heard on the radio. Men may not remember everything you said while telling a story or expressing your feelings to him. However, he will never forget how you looked or the expressions you made while doing so. The details regarding the color of your shirt may become blurry over time, but once he stamps in his mind that you were physically attractive in that moment, the memory is forever sealed.
In this day and time, many of us establish casual and intimate relationships through various social media exchanges. The default Avi sparks initial interest and then offline contact information is exchanged. Depending on the type of guy you’ve attracted, he is more than likely going to ask that you send him a nudie pic within the first two or three text conversations. To make you feel comfortable in obliging his request, your new summer interest may forward his own racey photo first. For some people, receiving an unsolicited, nude pic from someone they’ve recently met can be a complete turn off. For others, the photo may intensify interest and actually encourage you to send one of your own.
Before you decide to hit the send button and share your private parts with this new man, there are seven key things that you must consider. After all, once you share this photo, the relationship between you and the new dude may not extend further than your casual, text conversation.
7. DONT SEND AN EXTREME CLOSE-UP SHOT – Yes, while many guys are turned on by having your body directly in their face behind-closed-doors, we prefer to gaze at photos where we aren’t confused by what we’re seeing. Often times, people will place the lens of their camera phones so close to the featured body part that the photo becomes distorted. It’s almost difficult to determine what has been captured. Aside from that, men enjoy looking at the lines and curves that surround specific private areas on your body. Don’t zero in on the tips, nips and holes.
6. USE NATURAL LIGHT & MINIMAL EDITING – Part of the thrill and excitement of receiving a racey pic from someone you’re already physically attracted to, is seeing their naked body photographed as close to how it will look in person. The worst thing you can do is create an unrealistic image of how you look in the flesh. While the guy you’re wanting to entice may fall in love with your edited form, he will be extremely disappointed once the two of you are undressed in front of one another for the first time. Photoshop, filters and other artificial lighting applications honestly detract from the allure of racey pic exchanges. If your guy wanted to see professional, polished photos, he’d log online and search one of the easily accessible, adult sites.
5. CLEAN YOUR BEDROOM/BATHROOM – The background of your ‘private pic’ will be examined once your guy stares at the racey pic long enough. Sometimes, we assume that no one pays attention to the pile of clothes sitting on the floor or the toothpaste stains on the mirror. However, if a man is truly interested in pursuing you, he’s going to take notice of the room you’re posed in. Remember, guys are visual creatures. To help him determine the type of person you are initially, he will focus on how you live. The ways in which you keep your home environment can say a lot about who you are as an individual. Additionally, you do not want to accidentally photograph medicine bottles, addressed envelopes or other personal items in your photo. In our day and time, people will enlarge and magnify pics in an effort to figure out private information about you. Be cautious of every product or piece of paper that is mistakenly captured in your pic.
4. USE ANGLES THAT DON’T FEATURE YOUR IDENTIFIABLE TATOOS, BIRTHMARKS & PIERCINGS – It is so important to keep in mind that a casual exchange of nude photos can lead to a permanent, online disaster. Even though you may crop your face out of a racey pic, please remember that our unique, body art can sometimes set us apart from the crowd. As people post ‘random pics’ of others on tumblr, instagram and other social media networks, you don’t want your personal, private pic to be easily identifiable in a public, online forum. Your face may not be attached to the body, but that one-of-a-kind tattoo that’s plastered across your chest can easily be matched to every other semi clothed photo you’ve shared on Facebook.
3. SHOW A CLOSE FRIEND BEFORE SENDING – Those of us who are close to our same sex friends usually engage in open discussions about our sex lives and relationships. We talk about our bodies, we workout together and even ask for opinions regarding improving certain physical features. Our friends sometimes notice flaws and/or progress that we rarely see when standing in the mirror. As a result, it really is a good idea to let your friends see the racey photo you want to send, maybe in comparison to another that you are considering. You’d be surprised just how many little things your BFF may notice about your body or the background that you totally didn’t see or want seen by someone else.
2. DELETE THE UNWANTS – Honestly, not too many of us can stand in a mirror or hold a camera in front of our face and capture the perfect body shot or selfie with one click. It often takes at least twenty different shots, poses and angles before we secure what can be considered, racey-ready. Most of us always take a series of photos with our phones or computers before deciding upon the perfect pic to post. As a result, please remember to DELETE the horrible nineteen pics that did not make the final cut. Imagine losing your cell phone or leaving your computer open at Barnes & Noble and having just anyone see those less than flattering nudie shots. THE HORROR!
1. ACCEPT THE FACT THAT HIS FRIENDS WILL SEE YOU NAKED – Though we’d like to think that guys have enough integrity and honor to not share our racey photos with other people, you must acknowledge the fact that many of them don’t. Guys not only love to ogle naked bodies, but they also love bragging to their friends about the naked bodies they’re sleeping with during the summer months. Even if a man begins to like you or care for you beyond the casual texts and racey photo exchanges, a lot of them show your pics to their friends when they first meet you. The friends may not ever mention it, of course. However, DONT SEND WHAT YOU DONT WANT SEEN BY OTHER PEOPLE.
There is nothing morally wrong with capturing and sharing photos of your private parts. However, once the image is sent in a text or forwarded online, the image is immediately sealed in time. Use your best judgements in deciding whether or not this new guy is even worth the effort in you taking naked photos of yourself. Then, if you do decide that he is worth the time, be sure to send a photo that is flattering and realistic to what he may get a chance to see face to face. Forwarding a racey or risqué pic through text messaging is a risk that you should take only if you’re completely confident and comfortable with what could be the end result.
Over the past thirteen years, I have witnessed some of my associates and other contemporaries wear their light skin as a public badge of honor. I’ve known guys to hand select their friends and associates solely based upon complexion, and other surface qualities as well. Each of us has also engaged with men who strictly date and involve themselves intimately with other black dudes who look to be biracial or ‘mixed with something’. Despite the fact that darker skinned men have become the premiere sex symbols of our generation, there still exists this preference for light-brights amongst the minority, LGBT community.
I was raised in a pan African household. This means that from a very early age, the values, principles and teachings of Marcus Garvey and Patrice Lumumba framed my upbringings. I was taught everyday of my young life that black people needed to unite socially, politically and economically in order to remain strong and reach our ultimate destiny. It was made very clear to me that my presence in this world did not begin with the slave trade, but instead as a descendent of royalty. I was made aware of Queen Hatshepsut and King Thutmose long before my preschool teacher would hail Dr. Martin Luther and Coretta as the mother and father of our Civil Rights movement. Having pride in my blackness and understanding the struggles I would face living in America framed the lessons I learned outside of the conventional classroom setting. I was never aware of the fact that my complexion, eye color or other physical attributes would cripple my credibility amongst the black community or somehow allow me to coast along within mainstream, American society. As a result, I didn’t grow up with a superiority complex pertaining to my physical attributes. All I knew was that I was one of only four other black boys in my class, and it was imperative that I master the principles of math and science. I did, however, come of age feeling as if I was better equipped to face the world when compared to my classmates and other peers. I was introduced to the dynamics of race, class, gender and sexuality long before I would sit in college level courses that were focused around such concepts.
When guys meet me, especially the ones who are unfamiliar with ‘Xem VanAdams’, they are often taken aback by my organic nature. Within our same gender loving community, light skin men are assumed to be arrogant, standoffish, consumed by their physical appearance and lacking any real, intellectual or cultural depth. Lighter skinned men are seen in our community as being soft, sexually submissive, and surface minded as it pertains to character and integrity. Until a lot of men listen to me speak or express myself otherwise, I am already tapped as another card-carrying member of the ‘PINK CREW’.
While I certainly don’t judge or chastise other individuals for their preferences, I refuse to allow myself to be added to a collection of types. If I can look through photos of every dude that a man has dated, and most of them could pass for my twin brother, I often lose interest in pursuing romantic possibilities. A lot of people say that they don’t want to be chosen for their physical appearance, but I am one of the few who genuinely means it.
When guys tell you that you are beautiful, I believe they are making reference to the framework of your mind, spirit, energy and overall aura. When dudes say that you’re sexy or hot, they are solely focused on the flesh; your face, body and dominate, physical appeal. Sure, as it pertains to too many light skin men in our community, the surface attractions that stem from others are enough to validate their position in the world. For me, contrary to the beliefs of some, I don’t seek that level of acceptance. There’s nothing cute or admirable about being added to a long line of others, simply based upon the fact that your look matches their prototype. In life, when you allow your physical characteristics to define your worth to another man, or a specific social group, you are devaluing your purpose and presence in the world at large.
I may ‘look the part’, but you will never catch me playing it.
Many of you at this very moment are having $29.99 drafted from your checking account on a monthly basis for a gym membership you never use. You may have signed up at the beginning of last summer or even at the dawn of this new year. The intent was either to lose weight, tone your stomach, build muscle or simply bulk up as to look great in a fitted, tank top. However, the first day you entered the facility, you became intimidated looking around at all of the equipment and all of the ‘fit’ individuals exercising on the weight room floor. As a newbie, you felt slightly embarrassed to be standing inside of the gym. Your mind began to filter thoughts that you were ‘too out-of-shape’ to even be standing inside of an athletic club. Your confidence was shot by your first gym experience, and therefore, you no longer attend.
It was October 2012 when I signed up for my first, adult, gym membership. Prior to that, I would accompany my father to Baltimore’s downtown YMCA facility to occasionally lift weights during my summers in college. Unlike a lot of guys in their twenties, building muscle and maintaining bulk weight was never a priority for me during those years. As a result, I worked out when I wanted to and cared less about my body frame. However, two years ago, I reached a point in my life where I did not like how my body looked in pictures or standing naked in my full length mirror. I was bombarded on a daily basis with photos of half dressed guys on Tumblr and Instagram who were obviously in great, physical shape. My metabolism had begun to slow down, and I was experiencing that ‘skinny-fat’ phase. My chest, arms and legs were still small, but didn’t have any tone. My stomach wasn’t hanging over my belt, but that entire midsection was flabby and thicker than the other areas on my body. Doing a series of sit ups and push ups twice each week was no longer combatting my poor eating habits or lazy lifestyle choices. Knowing that my metabolism would continue to decrease, I decided to take control of the way my body would develop.
When I first signed up for my gym membership with Merritt Athletic Club, the timing was perfect. I was mentally and emotionally drained by what I considered to be a lack of progress in my ‘online career’. Extremely frustrated by my inability to control my life circumstances, I knew that if I started working out consistently, I could control my physical build. Though I publicly announced that I was going to begin lifting weights and working out regularly in the fall of 2012, it was seven months later that I even began sharing my progress photos. Not only was I using this time away from my online platform to develop my body, but exercising regularly also helped me release a lot of the stress I felt regarding my lack of career success. The fact that I was now placing myself in a new environment on a regular basis, truly helped me ignore my feelings of sadness and frustration. I had developed a new focus that had absolutely nothing to do with my professional goals or romantic interests. This is how working out began to easily filter into my lifestyle. Going to the gym became a normal part of my daily routine.
THE SAME CAN HAPPEN FOR YOU…
When I started my journey to gain weight, build muscle and lose my stomach fat, I decided to also surrender my fears of judgment. I knew going into the gym for the first time in 8 years, I was going to have to start from the beginning. I did not have a lot of upper body strength at the time and I accepted that fact. I could only bench press 45 pounds. I curled maybe 50 pounds. I could only push 95 pounds on the leg press and it was almost impossible for me to successfully complete 4 sets of 10 reps for each of the exercises. While all of the black guys and white, fraternity-like boys were piled in the free weight section of the gym, I was working out on the same machines that the old men and housewives were using.I spent the first 6-7 months in the gym simply building my strength, getting comfortable with the gym equipment and becoming use to the routine of working out on a daily basis. I wasn’t embarrassed at all, as I realized that MOST of the guys who were on the heavy duty equipment had started out the same way when they were in high school and college. I simply put on my iPod and spent 60-90 minutes each day following my ‘workout schedule’.
YOU SHOULD NOT JOIN A GYM SIMPLY TO POST PICS ON INSTAGRAM CAPTIONED#GymFlow – You absolutely have to want to see real results…
1. Your first day at the gym should either be a Friday evening, Saturday night or a Sunday morning. Most gym facilities are extremely empty during these hours. You will have plenty of space and time to become comfortable using the different pieces of equipment, and trying out exercises that best fit your physical goals. I advise that you take an experienced individual with you for this first session. I brought my father along with me for my first, Sunday workout. Together, we created what would become my gym routine for the first 3 months of lifting weights regularly. We chose two pieces of equipment for each body part that I wanted to build; 2 chest exercises, 2 bicep exercises, 2 tricep exercises, 2 shoulder exercises, 2 back exercises, 2 ab exercises, 2 glute exercises, 2 quad exercises and 2 calf exercises.
Together, we also decided that I would perform the 2 chest, shoulder and back exercises on Mondays & Wednesdays. On Tuesdays & Thursdays I would complete my glute, quad and calf exercises. Fridays were dedicated to biceps and triceps, as Saturdays would be focused on abs and other cardio. On Sundays, I would stay home and rest. KEEP IN MIND that your biceps and triceps are automatically being worked when you’re lifting to build your chest, back and shoulders.
YOUR FIRST DAY AT THE GYM SHOULD NEVER BE A WEEKDAY BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 6am-10am OR 4pm-9pm.This is when the facilities are crowded with the regular, more experienced patrons. YOUR FIRST DAY AT THE GYM SHOULD ALSO NEVER BE A SATURDAY. Everyone who has skipped or missed their weekday hours will be piled on the weight room floor.
2. Keep in mind that even though it may feel as if ‘everyone is staring at you’, most people are too focused on getting in and getting out of the gym to be focused on how your body looks. Most people in the gym are just as insecure with their bodies as you are. Even individuals who look to be in great, physical shape are desperately trying to fix what they consider to be a problem area. NO ONE is looking and laughing at you. Believe me, most individuals inside of the gym are silently supportive of seeing someone else begin their exercise journey.
When I first started working out, I always kept my body covered in sweatshirts, compression pants underneath my hooping shorts, and anything else that would hide my skinny-fat frame. It made me feel comfortable. I knew the day would come when I too would simply wear a tank top or a sleeveless shirt the ways in which the more muscular guys were wearing on the gym floor.
3. DO NOT SKIP YOUR SCHEDULED WORKOUT DAYS. Consistency is the ONLY secret to seeing results. It does not matter how much weight you lift or how many miles you run on the treadmill if you aren’t repeating the routine on the same days each week. For me, it has always been easiest to hit the gym as soon as I wake up in the morning; especially during the weekends. You want to get into the gym before the weight of the world hits you each day. It can be extremely tough to find the energy to workout after sitting in a classroom or behind a cubicle for eight hours. If you absolutely CAN NOT fit an early morning workout into your schedule, I certainly do advise that you purchase a pre-workout drink or pre-workout pills. These supplements often send a surge of energy through your system. Use the supplement two hours prior to leaving work or school. By the time you get in your car, your body honestly does feel rejuvenated. For guys especially, the pre-workout supplements will make you feel slightly horny, a bit stronger and excited about releasing the tension on the weight floor.
4. While a lot of older guys will deter you from using protein shakes, creatine and other supplements to help build muscles and put on mass weight, I certainly encourage it. The faster you begin seeing results, the more encouraged you become to continue working out on a regular basis. To be honest, I hate the way protein shakes taste, and I hate the nauseating feeling I get 20-30 minutes after drinking them. However, most others that I have spoken to do not experience the nausea. I began using flavorless Creatine powder in July 2013. I would add 5g-10g each day in my water or cranberry juice each morning. It helped me appear thicker, and also aided in my muscles not feeling incredibly sore the morning after an intense workout.
I drink the GNC ‘BEYOND RAW’ RE-BUILT MASS SUPER ANABOLIC MASS GAINER protein shake. For those of us who simply want to gain weight, have a little chest, nice arms, round thighs and an overall ‘thick but not too muscular’ look, this product has certainly aided my journey. I also drink Vanilla-Creme MUSCLE MILK from GNC or regular Vanilla ENSUREfrom the grocery store during periods when my system simply can’t stomach and tolerate the protein shake.
5. USE THE SAUNA or STEAM ROOM. While some people are extremely uncomfortable sitting in their towel or compression shorts amongst strangers, the sauna and steam room truly do relax the muscles. A 10-15 minute session following heavy weight lifting exercises can make a lot of difference in how your body feels the next morning. Many individuals stop working out after the first few days because they can’t endure the soreness that affects their joints. The only way to avoid the pain is to either drink protein shakes of some sort, or to spend 10-15 minutes in a steam room following the workout. Even for me, when I increase my weight on the bench press, curl or any other exercise every 3 months, my body gets sore from the change. The pain is a signal to let you know that you have properly worked the muscle. If you aren’t experiencing initial pain after working out a new muscle or attempting a new exercise, you aren’t properly exercising.
6. YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST CHANGE YOUR DIET! Developing the ‘summer body’ you desire is 80% NUTRITION and only 20% EXERCISE. There is no point or purpose in you hitting the gym three or four times each week if you’re still going to eat anything your heart desires. Thankfully, in my case, fish has always been a huge part of my diet. I eat salmon, tilapia or whiting almost daily. Since fish and chicken are already HIGH in protein, it was very complimentary to my muscle building diet. I began eating oatmeal or boiled eggs for breakfast each morning. Oatmeal burns stomach fat and eggs are also HIGH in protein. As I would get extremely hungry before lunch, I snacked on greek yogurt of assorted flavors, unsalted almonds, apple slices or raisins. I stopped eating Doritos, chips, soft batch cookies and donuts altogether. My lunch consisted of grilled fish or chicken, steamed broccoli or asparagus, maybe some brown rice and an apple or grapes. Since I am most hungry after working out, I would have my protein shake after eating a full dinner, as to fill me up completely.
TO BUILD MUSCLE, THE GOAL IS TO TAKE IN THE SAME AMOUNT OF PROTEIN EACH DAY AS YOUR WEIGHT.Protein is ingested in GRAMS. I weighed 153 pounds when I started working out in October 2012. My shake already contained 60 grams of protein. This meant that I had to supplement the other 93 grams in the foods I ate; i.e. fish, chicken, eggs, greek yogurt and almonds. Some guys drink two protein shakes each day; therefore securing that they will exceed their protein gram intake.
YOU SHOULD ALSO NOT HAVE CHEAT DAYS MORE THAN ONCE PER WEEK. I only stray from my diet on Friday nights or Saturdays. I won’t treat myself to an entire pizza or a value meal from McDonalds, but I will do a quart of shrimp fried rice and two egg rolls from China Wok. I will also only drink a cocktail if Im attending a party or event. Alcohol is filled with sugar. Sugar creates tummy fat. I most recently started eating chicken cheesesteak subs again on my designated cheat day.
SNEAKING COOKIES, CUPCAKES, FRUIT JUICE, CHICKEN NUGGETS, A BAG OF CHIPS or SKITTLES in the middle of a busy day certainly does COUNT as cheating. If you become extremely hungry even after snacking on the almonds, greek yogurt, fruit or raisins, try drinking cups of green tea. I do it all of the time. Green tea also burns stomach fat quickly and will certainly curb your appetite.
7. REST YOUR BODY FOR 8 HOURS EACH NIGHT. Muscles do not grow while you are in the gym working out. Muscles only grow when they are resting. If you aren’t getting proper rest each day, your body isn’t going to recover from the heavy lifting or intense exercising that you’re doing on a regular basis. You will not receive your greatest gain potential until you are laying down and resting your body for the average 8 hours.
Overall, working out is a challenge. I don’t think I would have been consistent had I joined a gym in 2008 or 2010 when I was absolutely focused on blogging and creating youtube videos on a very regular basis. I began this journey during a period when I chose to isolate myself from the world. For seven months, I became so focused on building my body that I was able to ignore some of the other aspects of life that were not in my control. Going to the gym became as normal for me as waking up and brushing my teeth because I didn’t have other people or objectives acting as distractions. We all want to be in shape, but doing the work and making the sacrifice is extremely tough. If you simply have to start by consistently performing cardio exercises inside of your home, then do so. Only sign up for a gym membership once you know for a fact that you have the time, energy, focus and drive to remain consistent in exercising according to the initial schedule that you create.
During the first week in March, 2014, I was approached by Khary Steph to contribute an original written piece to the first volume of his team’s new publication, ‘The Tenth’. This particular magazine has been created by industry art directors, Khary Steph, Kyle Banks and Andre Verdun Jones to express queer, black identity through various forms of artistry. The project was released publicly on April 10, 2014 in New York City. Since many of you will not have direct access to the catalogue of work, Ive elected to share my written piece with you.
As I have previously shared via my Twitter HERE and both Facebook pages, HERE and HERE, ‘The Tenth’ has been reviewed by several top tier press platforms; including The Huffington Post, HERE, as well as BlackBook, HERE.
It was requested that the piece be a short, but analytical article that tackled the issue of gay black men and the contemporary role we play in media. Since I have spoken in great detail regarding that particular issue, I asked Khary if I could approach the piece from a ‘social media’ point of view. I wanted to dissect some of the reasons WHY this generation is so obsessed with their social media timelines. Specifically, I needed to focus on gay men of color and how the types of photos we post online are subconsciously used to give ourselves identity in a world that seems to ignore our presence. I was very surprised by my own interpretations as I began to analyze the tumblr photos & instagram pics; somehow having to create a parallel between similar visuals and the social atmosphere of present day.
The Tenth Promo Video (ABOVE)
THIS IS WHAT I CAME UP WITH…
A Brief Look At The Contemporary Gay Man Of Color In Social Media
The sun peers through the muddy frame of another mid-week morning. A 21 year old, gay black man is positioning himself between where he needs to be at 9 o’clock am and the place in the world he hopes to reach before his 30th birthday. Standing shirtless in front of his bathroom mirror, wearing bright colored boxer-briefs and holding an iphone to match, he snaps a series of photos of himself. Each shot is captured at the same side view angle. However, he distorts his facial expressions to exude a combination of silly, sad, and sensual emotions. He shifts through his photo library and selects the pic that best highlights his latest efforts in the gym. Now cropping out the background mess that is piled on the floor, the young man adds a filter and simultaneously uploads the shot to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It’s his first selfie of the day; punctuated by a subconscious desire for social validation.
The selfie is a clear representation of the present generation that is forced into heavy-duty moments of solitude. Rejected for being outspoken, abandoned for being attracted to the same sex, distrusted for unwrapping oneself from the fibers that categorize human nature, the selfie is taken to declare a sense of dominance. We all want to feel in control of how we are seen and judged by the outside world. As a result, selfie’s and other social media posts exist to dictate our positions in the world.
Every ‘like’ that the selfie receives over the next few hours somehow contributes to this young man’s mental journey towards achieving fame, fortune and inclusion into the American establishment of success.
We live in a culture that promotes division between people. Specifically, gay men of color are forced into a social dynamic where their images, ideas, and experiences are disconnected from others and everyday surroundings as well. As a result, the gay man of color tends to overcompensate for this mainstream divide by utilizing social media as his stage to say, ‘LOOK AT ME’. The ‘LOOK AT ME’, male performance is often labeled as being extra, over-the-top, flamboyant, conceited or even narcissistic. However, it’s important to realize that some of these verbal and visual routines aren’t as much self-obsessive, as they are self-empowering.
This generation has been taught to make things happen for themselves. Modern-day dreams no longer have to be postponed until after a casting agent falls in love with an audition or a network executive decides to green light a new pilot. Since gay men of color are seemingly absent from mainstream television, film, radio and other media outlets, this same gender-loving community has begun to create their own, online platforms. From the various scripted and non-scripted series that are distributed on youtube, to the weekly showcases that are broadcast via Blog Talk Radio, gay men of color are utilizing all available resources to publicly feature and market themselves. The tweets, blog stories, status messages and selfies that are posted between each media release, serve to promote a sense of identity in a world that doesn’t seem to celebrate the individual or collective gay, black experience.
As the sun sets and the dawn of a new day is on the horizon, an entire generation will capture new images of themselves to share throughout the night. Standing in front of their mirrors with an iphone in one hand and hopes of stardom clasped in the other, another series of selfies will make way onto various, social media timelines. For gay men of color who are often marginalized and disenfranchised from the mainstream ‘American Dream’, the silent pictures intentionally scream, LOOK AT ME! It’s a visual declaration of individuality where each person creates, contours and controls their spotlight.
38 year old soccer stud, DAVID BECKHAM, is preparing to launch his Spring 2014 body wear collection for H&M. The retailer has just featured the star having his underwear torn off in the recently aired Super Bowl commercial clip. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the minute and a half visual showcases David running through an industrial area and losing pieces of his underwear garments along the way.
David looks great in every frame and at every angle. For a man of his age, and father of four children, his body is in incredible shape. Those cakes alone are baked to fill out the highest quality of boxer briefs, trunks, compression shorts or any other male undergarments. David Beckham exists as one of the few, male celebrities who makes shopping for undies and choosing a great fitting brand, totally worth the effort.
Im actually never surprised these days by the types of things other people do publicly, privately or via social media. We live in a day and time where everyone craves attention and will behave however necessary in order to remain in the media limelight. Maybe this is Adrien playing things up for the cameras, or maybe this is him truly being himself…
Recently, three time world champion boxer, ADRIEN BRONER, allowed cameras to follow him as he prepared for a fight against Marcos Madaina. During the segment, we are given a peek into the public persona of Adrien Broner; athlete, professional boxer, ‘celebrity’. Cameras also followed the 24 year old Ohio native into his home. There, we see Adrien behaving as we would expect many young, newly wealthy, famous men to act out. He and his boys are physically engaged with several women in a hot tub; often flip flopping between the group.
I can’t honestly say that I enjoyed watching this behind-the-scenes segment; for the music, language and cliche activity is all so stereotypical of what society expects from young, African American men. However, I serve an audience that stems from various walks of life. I also cater to an audience that enjoys seeing male and female celebrities in that natural, everyday form.
Well, at the 7 minute and 24 second mark, Adrien Broner shares his naked form with a house filled with his male friends and female groupies. It’s a little funny, but weird at the same time. I often feel that straight, black men are too homophobic to actually parade around naked in front of their other, heterosexual boys. I suppose Adrien Broner is cut from a different cloth and doesn’t have any hangups with being naked in front of others. Im sure this was done in fun…
You do not have to sit through this entire 10 minute segment to see what it is you came here to see ladies and gentlemen. Slide the little bottom cursor over to the 7 minute and 24 second mark…
KELLAN LUTZ easily exists as one of the most attractive, young leading men in Hollywood. Only starring as the supporting character of Emmett Cullen in the cult Twilight series, Kellan has now stepped forward to prove that he’s worthy of the spotlight.
28 year old, Kellan Lutz is featured in the March 2014 issue of the MENS HEALTH UK Magazine. We not only get to see him photographed bare chested and bursting at the seams of his tiny, grey tee, but Kellan also reveals pieces of his workout regime. As someone who has been working out consistently over the past 15 months, I know how dedicated one has to be in order to build and reshape their body. It’s a lot of hard work, and certainly takes a great deal of dedication. Kellan gained a lot of weight and muscle to play this role.
Since Kellan was tapped to star as the alpha male character of Hercules, he had to beef up even larger than he was throughout the filming of the Twilight saga. The film sees Hercules destined to fight his evil father King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) who grows mad with power, conquering city-states and waging war.
In staying in shape to fill the demands of the role, Kellan stated…
‘Staying upright on a horse is hard on your abs, and swinging a sword really hits your core as well as your arms.’He adds that while he’s not a fan of running, he also burns fat with bodyweight moves as well as gym sets. In regards to his eating habits, Kellan has followed the Paleo Caveman diet, which eliminates refined sugar, dairy products, legumes and grains.
Even though HERCULES has been panned by critics everywhere, WATCH the trailer below to see what you have to look forward to once the movie hits DVD in a month or so…