Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Join and support LGBT+ journalism

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Explainer

What is a twink? The most hyper-sexualised gay ‘tribe’

Danny Polaris April 27, 2018
Twink

Stock image of gay couple

To be a twink in today’s gay world is a double-edged sword of adoration and, occasionally, mockery. But actually, what is a twink? How does it feel to be a twink? How are twinks treated by other guys?

We’ve spoken to guys who self-define as a twink and we’ve spoken to guys who like twinks too, in order to draw fair conclusions about the gay tribe.

For a bit of background, here’s a very brief history.

As attitudes, policies and politics towards the LGBTQ+ community have become increasingly liberal in many parts of the world over the last 20 years (yes, we know there are lots of exceptions), the gay scene has grown and diversified.

Before, everyone would party together in the one gay club or bar in town. Many still do.

But where the scene has grown, it has also split. This has become magnified on social media and ‘dating’ apps like Grindr, which comes with a whole bunch of it’s own problems, for example, making users sad.

Now guys are more often than ever split into ‘tribes.’ One of the most desired and derided of which is, twinks.

What is the physical definition of a twink?

Obviously this varies depending on who you ask, but a broad definition a twink is thin, smaller-built, and pretty smooth with little or no body hair.

Twinks are often presented in porn as white/caucasian (we’ll come to how that is incredibly problematic later), and they range from about 16 to 25.

Related: Man arrested for having ‘twink’ images on his computer

Swimmer
(HTC)

This kind of definition is obviously extremely narrow, and leaves out people of colour, bigger guys and anyone over 25 that still looks much younger than they are (lucky them).

Some have called the whole twink ‘genre’ racist and ageist, and they have good cause.

We know guys who self-define as twinks and they’re 30. People can look way older or way younger than they are, so the twink age bracket is daft.

Stereotypes that come with being a twink

Often people also assign specific stereotypes to twinks. Here are some of them: Twinks are camp and effeminate, twinks are shy and insecure, twinks don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to sex.

These stereotypes are incredibly unfair, and also big misconceptions.

We’ve met twinks on all levels of the ‘fem to masc’ spectrum, so wherever you’re at on that scale, you’re fabulous. Just be yourself. Camp is awesome. Masc is awesome. Enough already.

Are twinks good in bed?

A gay couple in bed, possible twink
Twinks are stereotypically hairless or less hairy than their partners (rt69/flickr.com)

Going back to the stereotype that basically, they’re not, let’s analyse that rubbish generalisation, logically, for a second.

If you’re between 16 to 25, you’re probably not going to have had as much sexual experience as someone in their late 20s, or in their 30s or 40s.

It’s basic maths that a lot of twinks will be sexually inexperienced. Only a few years ago, it was hard to find information on how to be top, bottom, how to be versatile, what douching was, and how to practice safer sex.

Now there’s a lot more information around for younger gay guys to find out what’s what.

Luckily for everyone, we’ve written a whole bunch of explainer guides all about the most crucial elements of gay sex. Here are a few of them:

What is douching? Getting yourself ready for anal sex

How to be a bottom: A guide to being penetrated by your partner

How to be a top: A gay sex guide to penetrating your partner

But not all twinks are sexually inexperienced, and not all of them are bottoms – that’s another common misconception about being a twink.

Related: Founder of ‘Twinks for Trump’ campaign arrested at ‘It’s OK to be white’ speech

Is being a twink a good thing?

Tom Daley, known as a twink
Tom Daley is perceived to be a twink (BBC)

It’s a totally mixed bag. Twinks are hypersexualised, in the swathes of specific ‘twink porn’ and throughout gay advertising: in many ways they’re the most desired boys on the gay scene.

But then the media also problematically presents them as play-things and sexual objects which are not taken seriously.

Here’s what a twink says about being a twink

Related: Alleged serial killer ‘hunted twinks’ across twelve gay hook-up apps

Eduardo Almeida Medina, Community Manager for some of the biggest LGBTQ+ parties in Spain, told us:

“I think it’s kind of strange, ’cause I’m 26 and I still having this kinda “baby face,” no beard, childish smile… so I guess for some, being a twink, looking like this is cool.”

“I’m a grown man, but sometimes looking like this may lead people to treat me like a child.

“Sometimes that really pisses me off. That’s why I try to make my face more adult, shaving my head, and growing a moustache a bit.”

And lots of these “big strong masculine guys” like “big strong masculine guys” so it’s like a “f**k off” to twinks like me.”

“It’s not like I need guidance in sex, I’ve experienced a lot but I really like to f**k with people who really know what they’re doing. I want to f**k with people who are experienced.”

More: gay men, tribe, twink

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon