Are You "Masc 4 Masc?"

Justin Singh

Are you Masc 4 Masc? Then we have a problem.

Masc 4 Masc is a term often used by gay men on dating apps to announce that a “straight-passing” male is also looking for another “straight-passing” male. Chances are that if you’ve encountered this, you’ve also likely seen “No fems” or “Discreet looking for same” (Discreet meaning, looking for someone who doesn’t outwardly show off their homosexuality in a flamboyant manner).

Using the term “Masc 4 Masc” or any iteration of its meaning stems from a deeper issue in male ideals and misogyny altogether. It disregards and excludes feminine and/or androgynous people, which goes beyond the gay community and shows issues with femininity and it’s broader worldwide acceptance. It also endorses toxic masculinity, as showing any sort of feminine quality is repulsive.

@auroramatrix in JJ Harness

Coming out as a teenager, many of my friends and family had their suspicions beforehand due to maybe the stark contrast between my brother and I: Avoiding discussion of hot girls, lack of interest in sports, and always choosing Jigglypuff in Super Smash Bros. (Although he chose Samus a lot, and she’s a girl). And that, inherently, is a huge part of the issue with Masc 4 Masc as well.

We’re ingrained with the idea to oppress our homosexuality while simultaneously prioritizing and giving privilege to masculinity over femininity. While the LGBTQ+ community is already oppressed and we continue to fight for our own rights in society, Masc 4 Masc gay men are actively oppressing their own kind within the community. The way in which you present your gender and sexuality within a community that is already marginalized can put those individuals within a more vulnerable state, and even higher risk of receiving hate, bullying, and abuse.

After becoming more comfortable with my sexuality, I would be less avoidant of it and casually bring up conversations of “that guy is cute,” or “I’m just going out with my boyfriend this weekend” to strangers, coworkers, family, and friends.

“Oh, you’re gay? I had no idea!” would be a common follow-up to whatever statement I used to refer to my sexuality. Something inside of me took this as a compliment. I inactively hid my gay-ness while also not exhibiting any sort of femininity. I even thought I had the world’s gayest voice, but I guess not – Success!

Wrong. I was a part of the problem.

Being okay with your sexuality is one thing, but being okay with the way you express yourself is another. I still hadn’t grown from my childhood self that was afraid that pink and picking girl characters was too gay. Could that be it? Masc 4 Masc gays really haven’t grown or evolved from their younger, repressed selves. They hide behind a wall of masculinity and heterosexual ideals.

@jaydenvictoor in JJ Shorts

But a common counter argument from Masc 4 Masc gays use is: “But it’s what I’m attracted to, I can’t help it.” Or “It’s just my preference. Everyone has their preferences.” While this may feed into Sexual/Dating Racism, dating someone because of their masculinity expression is ultimately reducing someone to a characteristic, and objectifying them to fulfill your own personal wishes and desires for the way a person should look or behave.

Should all men be muscular mongrels with deep voices, smelly armpits, sports enthusiasts who don’t cry when they’re faced with the toughest of tough challenges while ignoring every single one of your messages because replying in a decent time is most likely a feminine quality?

No, they shouldn’t.

@prettybigwoods in JJ Thong

In fact, actively forcing yourself to show those qualities and putting the more effeminate person down in the process, shows a lack of confidence in the seemingly masculine man. Interestingly enough, confidence is one of the most attractive features a person can have. It naturally attracts people to you, yet it’s ironic that those who are most confident in who they are, in their sexuality, and in their gender expression within the gay community are discriminated against within their own community. Feminine gays and those who identify as male who are proud to wear makeup, do their nails, wear bodysuits, and break their ankles while duck walking and death dropping are the most confident individuals.

@aleufit in JJ Bodysuit

When it comes to expressing myself, I found that the confidence to be more myself came from being surrounded by more feminine gays. It takes real courage to express yourself freely, and being proud of who you are when most of the world is against you. But you don’t need to be feminine to be a good gay, or a confident gay. Masc 4 Masc gays are trying to prove their masculinity, while excluding another characteristic because they think it’s unattractive and unappealing.

To all the Masc 4 Masc guys struggling with their own confidence, I hope you find it soon.

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