The term “metrosexual” is dying out, according to many news sources including the Toronto Sun and The Telegraph, as the new groomed but muscular “spornosexual” man is on the rise.
Gender fluidity has been the main reason for these new words. Essentially these terms are used for straight men that are obsessed with their physical image. But they also illuminate a fear of being identified as homosexual.
Spornosexual, made up of a combination of sport and porn, is a new trend quickly developing for men. These men are not only obsessed with fashion and style, they are body-obsessed, according to The Telegraph.
Spornosexuals, like metrosexuals, take pride in the way they dress and spend large amounts of money on grooming. However, they are also toned with bulging muscles and fit into society’s image of the hyper-masculine man.
Men now want to be noticed for more than just their clothes and style. Many retail fashion companies exploited the metrosexual wave in the 90s, making millions on urban street fashion and now gyms will most likely see a boost in their profit margin as the spornosexual emerges.
This new phenomenon is no surprise. It is obvious how perfect everyone wants and hopes to be. But it’s unarguably vain, and not a little insecure, when people pose for full-body selfies just to flaunt what they’ve got. Many of us are guilty in this respect, including myself, because we all want to feel like we look aesthetically pleasing according to society’s standards.
But it’s very unfair for many men. Some levels of buffness are simply not attainable for certain body types. Timed transformations are simply not viable for some people. It is sad to see men who feel the need to look such a way, the same way many women struggle with their body image and have been influenced by unrealistic body types in the media. This up and coming spornosexual identity shows that men can suffer the same way many women do and could bring their struggles closer to the forefront.
Adding the suffix, “sexual,” to these terms is also problematic. I would not consider spornosexual its own type of sexuality. It seems like a body type with added fixations. The trend is more about physical appearance and fashion, not a sexual identity or practice. The lifestyle that comes with being spornosexual can be compared to any other lifestyle people choose for themselves.
What’s most problematic, for both the terms metrosexual and spornosexual, is that it allows straight men to term themselves so people understand they are actually straight. It illuminates the idea that men who primp and love fashion are afraid people will assume they’re homosexual. In doing so, it brings up an issue even bigger than unrealistic body types in men — a need for these men to identify as straight.
Admittedly, considering it is such a new term, many males who can be classified as spornosexual may not know they fit the new identity. I have a few straight male friends who work out and primp themselves, but have no idea what spornosexual is. They do their thing for the sake of being who they want to be, not because it is what everyone else is doing.
I hope men who are unable to attain a spornosexual body won’t be shamed in the same way many metrosexual men have been due to their “feminine” traits.
Any man can identify as being spornosexual, but they need to consider what is most important when satisfying or impressing one another. Like most of us, maybe they ultimately just want to be happy with themselves.