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What Is A Twink?


HooBoy
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For fear of hijacking Reed Parkers discussion in the Deli Conference, I'll start this one here. Skeptic has been accusing one of my favorite boy-toys, BillyBoy of being a twink. BillyBoy is NOT a twink. BillyBoy himself even says he is not a twink in the aforementioned conference.

 

So for the record, here is MY definition of a twink: Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys.

 

Not a twink: Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys.

 

Too cryptic for you?

 

Twink: Escort Brett in Boston

 

Not a twink: Escort Alek in San Francisco

 

By the way: Aaron Lawrence is Not a twink either.

 

--HooBoy - Also not a twink :-O

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Guest torjon

This is one of those questions I wanted to ask but feared it betrayed my ignorance a little too much.

So please, straight forward, someone...WHAT IS A TWINK? I note that it is always used here in derogatory tones, so it's obviously not a compliment! (Someone suggested it means effeminate(?).

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What is a twink? }>

 

I suspect there will be as many answers as there are those of us reading these forums!

 

For me, a twink is not an emaciated 18-year old.

 

Rather, I think of twinks as being hot, young guys who are usually in their early 20's, who are usually blond and look like the boy next door and usually have a wonderful "who, me??" devilish smile. With this definition, despite his protests, Billyboy might well qualify! :-)

 

I don't think of the term as a negative one at all -- it seems as if that connotation comes from disparaging remarks made by guys who are more into big muscle-builders, who are definitely NOT twinks!

 

But again, I think a twink is in the eye of the beholder.

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Guest Shooter

Thanks, BostonGuy! For a minute there, I thought all the more learned gentlemen here were going to keep YR, torjon, and me in the dark. :-( (You know how clients want everyone to be stupider than they are! That's called poetic license, BTW, I know it's not a word!)

 

I never thought 'TWINKS' was supposed to be derogatory, if that's what you're after, but the way it's used here, sure appeared it was. I mean, when I first started 'searching for something' on the web, I found it extremely easy to find sites that advertised 'young, barely legal, twinks' but few that advertise 'MEN'.

 

Since both Reed and Matt, who are apparently not twinks (don't even imply it to Matt! :-) ), are younger than Billy, does that mean age is really NOT a determining factor? Just looking for, dare I say it, 'A Clarification!' :D

 

Thanks, Shooter

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Guest Skeptic

I can't remember which Supreme Court justice said that, while he couldn't define 'twink,' he knew one when he saw one.

 

That wise jurist no doubt spent lots of time surfing the porn sites, where there are countless images of guys identified as 'twinks'. Sample any ten such galleries and you'll see that twinks are very young (as opposed to simply young), slight & slender (as opposed to rugged & muscular), bottoms rather than tops, and whatever they themselves consider the (least derogatory) opposite of macho.

 

If you want to define them by what they're NOT, reflect on the fact that you'll never find a website called, say, "Straight Twinks in Heat!" In other words, they embody a central aspect of the gay male stereotype--which, however you choose to verbalize it, sure ain't masculine.

 

BTW, having thought a bit about this word since yesterday, I now recall that its original form was 'TWINKIE' (exactly like the junk-food pastry from which the usage derived), and that it was applied (with mild scorn) to gay guys whom other other gay guys found insufficiently macho--i.e. unworthy of entering a leather bar, for instance. ("What's the shelf-life of a twinkie?" was a line that circulated at the time, as I remember.)

 

The truncation to "twink" (especially as diffused by the internet) was an attempt to rid it of its negative implications. And, as I suggested elsewhere, it quickly became a code word for something else, allowing porn peddlers to reach a certain subset of customers without resorting to such phrases as "Chicken Galore," "Young Stuff!" or other similar, and potentially dangerous, lures.

 

The negative aspect, however, hasn't completely disappeared, as witnessed by the many sites that promise they are "100% Twink-Free."

 

However, with regard to whom the word "twink" properly applies in present company, it seems to me that Hooboy's removing Billyboy and Aaron Lawrence from the category to which they clearly belong presupposes a negative connotation.

 

Methinks they're twinks. Get used to it.

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Guest WetDream

You are right on with the food analogy. Also, don't forget that Dan White's lawyers used the so called "twinkie" defense to get him a lesser charge after murdering Harvey Milk and Mayor Mosconie.

 

A further food thought: I was discussing a woman friend's new boyfriend with her. She said it was great looking, had a fabulous body, was terrific in bed BUT that he had a mind like a tv-dinner. "What!!!?>?!?!!! "You know," she replied, "after you eat a tv-dinner, you aren't hungry anymore, but you aren't satisfied..."

 

 

Maybe its the same with twinks.

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RE: Hello, FBI? I'd like to report a hijacked thread.

 

LAST EDITED ON Apr-17-00 AT 03:01AM (EST)[p]I've never really thought about this until now, but suddenly it occurs to me that the standard stereotypes of "twink" and "muscle stud" may actually reflect an ancient way of thinking about male sexual bonds. This is a way of thinking that one can easily trace from ancient Greece, through Latin civilization (both pagan and Christian), and the Italian Renaissance, right down to the emergence of self-consciously "gay" discourses in the nineteenth century and their unprecedented refinement in contemporary American English. (Such distinctions don't really exist in contemporary Italian, for example.) In ancient Greece, the traditional configuration for a serious homosexual relationship involved not only social class (the same for both partners) but also a conventional difference in the ages of the two partners. Indeed, this difference was understood to be essential, because the Greeks (the Athenians, anyway) taught that the purpose of such love relationships was to help the two lovers grow as moral agents. One partner was assumed to be young, which the Greeks handily understood as being post-pubescent but pre-adult. The other lover was expected to be fully adult, which meant that he wore a beard. There were actually terms -- I mean, words in the dictionary -- that described each of these types or roles. On Greek vases, and in some Greek sculptures, one can clearly see this distinction in the representations of same-sex fun and games.

 

More broadly, however, Mediterranean cultures tend to use various words to describe the degree of sexual and physical maturity associated with the major stages of a boy's passage to manhood. In Greece, a young, dewy-eyed youth of the type so dear to lovesick nineteenth-century Romantics was the "ephebe." In Renaissance Florence, the gradations were so complex that words translated simply as "youth" in English actually distinguish among boys just entering puberty, proper teenagers, young men in their twenties, and young men in their thirties. All of these were categories of youth, not of mature, adult manhood. In this nomenclature, signalling the traits characteristic of different ages of males, we might find some continuity (cultural continuity, I mean) from the remote past to the present-day twink. Boston Guy is certainly right that the term "twink" is extremely flexible and applicable by some to certain youths but not by others. I suggest that we just don't have a wide enough variety of terms, not that we don't know what we're talking about, generally. To my way of thinking, for instance, the perfect "portrait of a twink" is the face of Billy Brandt (is that the name of the wretched youth who has disappointed so many posters to these boards?). At all events, in none of the societies I know of was the term roughly cognate with "twink" used disparagingly. In fact, it was simply a term of description, not a term of preference. I hope that we can keep "twink" neutral in that sense, too.

 

As a historian, what's of keen interest to me here is my intuition that perhaps these extreme stereotypes of "twink" and "muscle hunk" may reflect in contemporary -- indeed, post-Stonewall -- terms the old north-south polarities of male/male desire. These big distinctions of type, one that features beautiful youth and the other beautiful adulthood, are constants in all Western societies whose cultural roots are nourished by ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Thus it seems that the word "twink" may carry messages from men in the remote past directly to us in the twenty-first century.

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RE: Hello, FBI? I'd like to report a hijacked thread.

 

There are more holdovers in our language, of course. And not just spoken language - male whores in the ancient Greek agora (market place) signaled their availability by scratching their heads with their middle finger. So that gesture has perhaps changed over the years from f... me to f... you.

Also, the male whores fell into two general categories. The exoleti were the older, hairier men who specialized in what we used to call Greek active and that word has been forgotten today. And we are just now reinventing the need for it by becoming almost as interested in that kind of escort as we are in twinks.

Unfortunately the word for a twink hewhore, pueri, has turned into a word with a fairly negative connotation, peurile, so perhaps the fight to keep it a positive idea is not so new either.

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RE: Hello, FBI? I'd like to report a hijacked thread.

 

Yes, you are right, Bilbo, about the negative connotations surrounding the Greek words for male prostitutes. What I was talking about, however, were as far from prostitution as one can imagine. They were purely voluntary relationships among absolute social equals, and they were public. Far from carrying shame, such relationships seem to have carried a great deal of honor, although not even the Greeks lacked a sense of humor about such matters. Plato's SYMPOSIUM is full of oscillations between bawdy and almost elegiac comments on men/men love.

 

Please, please, please forgive me for being insufferably pedantic, but: "puer" is the Latin, not Greek, for "youth" or "boy." And thus "puerile" just means "childish." If you want to slap me for being insolent, here's my cyber-cheek!

 

Cheers, Will

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RE: Hello, FBI? I'd like to report a hijacked thread.

 

Will, you are correct 'pueri' is latin for 'boys'.

Exoleti is 'latin' for 'abandoned youths of

ripe age' or 'dissolute men' derived from

'exolescere' - 'To grow out, to attain its full

size, grow up'. I doubt either was used in Agora

of ancient Greece by anyone who spoke Greek

anyway. Perhaps they were used in Latin slang,

they way Bilbo claims. Unfortunately most of

Latin swear words I have learned have been from

Colleen McCollough series on ancient Rome.

 

Fellatores consociare debemus (We, cocksuckers

have to stick together).

 

p.s. No doubt I got a grammar mistake the above

sentence.

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RE: Hello, FBI? I'd like to report a hijacked thread.

 

I bet I could find much more interesting uses for your cheek than slapping it. Kissing and stuffing come to mind.

You are so right. I didn't mean to imply that the hewhores were the main male=male relationship of the time.

And aside from god names (and I'm not so sure there sometimes) I often confuse the Greeks and Romans. From which society comes the novel "The Golden Ass"?

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RE: Hello, FBI? I'd like to report a hijacked thread.

 

Bilbo, you are so sweet. You can do whatever you like with my cheek. Or both of them. Or all four of them, if you prefer. And now that we have a genuine classicist on board with Damascene (and a very sophisticated handle that is, too), I am going to foreswear any further ventures into ancient tongues. In Italian, a modern tongue, I say, "Ti mando un'abbraccione d'orso!" or "I send you a great big bear hug!"

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RE: Hello, FBI? I'd like to report a hijacked thread.

 

Oh, no, Will - I really think it will be more fun if we show our occaisionally sinning classical tookuses and allow the big D to gently correct us.

By the way, I know I've been forcibly retired from selling it, but if you ever need a traveling companion ...? Just read your latest posting in "Why do I hire escorts?" and must say it makes you sound sexier than ever!

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For my two cents, having never been with either, and just judging them based on their websites, Aaron Lawrence and Billy Boy are about as close to a quintessential twink as a boy toy can get; and hence I haven't hired them. I'm afraid I'm with Skeptic on this one. In New York, Justin is not a twink, nor was Kirk. Later.

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Guest Matt In Vancouver

Ok I've been away for a while travelling, and I was recently asked about what a twink means. here is what I think.

From the latin Twinkie (from the clan of Hostess)

picture a twinkie, yellow soft full of creamy filling...mmmmmm sweet.

now picture a twink. Blonde sweet, suptle(sp?), full of creamy filling.... there you go: )

I AM NOT A TWINK.

Aaron would be in my definition of a twink, as would Billyboy, this is not an insult, it is just what it is...but first we have to define what the definition of 'is' is : )

ok I'm tired... sorry for being so silly.

Matt

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