Helixaholics Opinion

a twink by any other name

Written by Raanan Rosenfeld

True to its namesake, the Twink is regarded as the skinny, golden, cream-filled snack cake of the gay world. Perpetually fresh, sugary and delicious, but essentially junk food; empty calories, devoid of nutrition or substance. On one hand: young and thin. On the other: effeminate and vapid. With its full range of positive and negative associations, there is now an open debate on whether the Twink label should be considered a benign designation, or a derogatory slur.

Casey TannerDylan Hall

Your first reaction to this controversy might be: Really, Twinks? You’re complaining about being called smooth, supple, and otherwise wrinkle, blemish, and fat-free? Last time I checked, these are all good things. They pretty much invented plastic surgery to make people look like you.

Corey Haynes

Alex Jordan

But stereotypes, even seemingly positive ones, can have demeaning implications. You may say with the best of intentions that all Asians are good at math, which has the unintended effect of emphasizing their perceived lack of social and physical prowess. Congratulate all black people on their collective athleticism and ample penises, and you’re reinforcing the old stereotype that they are unthinking, oversexed beasts. When you generalize what people are, you inadvertently imply what they are not.

The Twinks of Helix Academy

Matthew Keading

Consider the context of the gay universe, where “straight-acting” is the most celebrated and coveted virtue, and where “queenie” or “fem” is a common deal breaker on Grindr. Along with the sought-after Twink traits, often comes the perception that a Twink is not a real man.

Christian Collins

Blue Collar Boys

On the other end of the spectrum (or “rainbow” if you prefer), is the Bear. The massive, forested, ball-scratching, beer-guzzling, cheeseburger-devouring classical archetype of what an American male should be. Once you witness 200 of these sweaty, full-bearded, harness-clad “real men” doing what can only be described as queening out to “Like A Virgin” at a bar on Bear Night, it may shift your perspective.

Jacob Dixon

Scotty Clarke

I know Leather Daddies who enjoy posting pictures of adorable kittens on Facebook. I’ve met Scientist Twinks who follow football. Most people will defy our expectations, if we allow them to. If we must (and I suspect we must) continue to subdivide ourselves into these gay spirit animals, let’s agree to do it along the lines of objective, provable facts. Let’s leave behind the assumptions about how manly our labels should make us behave.

Matthew Keading

Kody Knight

Sure, we could launch a ban on using the term Twink, but chances are, it would quickly be replaced with something equivalent or worse. In the end it’s less about controlling the words we use, and more about the attitudes we harbor.

Evan Parker & Matthew Keading

Jacob Dixon & Andy Taylor

Now, who’s craving a Twinkie? —>

Bonus Video: The Gay Classification Kingdom

About the author

Raanan Rosenfeld

5 Comments

  • While the original use of Twinkie seemed derogatory, it was the best of a bad bargain. Chicken – a previously used term for any young gay male – was worse, in my opinion. Side note, if Twink models as a global group made anywhere near the amount of profit garnered by the original Hostess Twinkie, then the name is cool and they would be just fine with it. Of course, several sub-groups have been created, Twocks & Twunks being two notable ones that many models and their fans seem quite happy with.

  • Twock and Twunk had to evolve from Twink since the that term has become ubiquitous as a catchall porn tag. When you have sites that dont feature Twinks using the term to goose their Google stats you know the descriptor has been stretched beyond its intended meaning.

    You look above you have skinny models who are true twinks, then add the athletic lads Evan Parker,Christian Collins,Andy Taylor,Alex Jordan they are Twocks (Twink Jocks) Does Helix have any Twunks? (Twink Hunks) I would place Alex Greene,Aiden Summers,Jessie Montgomery and Kody Knight in that category but its all objective and debatable.

    What I do find as a blogger who tracks sales and interests, the hard to define models the ones who just wont drop into a box are the guys we all seem to discuss and fixate on the most.

    Oh BTW thank you the image of Bears dancing and lip synching to “Like a Virgin” is now permanently embedded!

  • How about g.d.-adorable? Those-who-haunt-my-dreams? (Waking, sleeping, wet and dry?)

    Sometimes language doesn’t suffice, or at least one language doesn’t. There are short words in other languages that require a phrase, sentence, or more in English.

    What I can tell you is, when I feel like giving up–I’m a political activist–it is often you guys that remind me why I fight. That’s surely something more than mere shallow appearance.

    PS: I’d like to be on record as a straight-acting bear who gets very turned on by fem. Ok, maybe TMI, but I can’t be alone in that. 😉

  • This is all fine and dandy don’t really care what they are called since they are all teens and maaaaybe early 20s. I am just wondering why there are no twinks of color on here. Adrian Rivers and Anderson lovell don’t count. If you didn’t tell anyone they were hispanic they would just assume more white kids on the site. So are there no true PoC twinks,twocks,twunks, or w/e else u want to subdivide them into? Because that answer i can tell you is yes there are a bunch of these kids of boys

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