Not As Hot As I Used to Be

Darren Stehle
Nov 3, 2017 · 4 min read

What happens when you’re not as hot as you once were?

I peaked in my 30s. My body was rocking hot. I had etched six-pack abdominals. My sex drive was through the roof. I couldn’t get enough but I never had a problem filling my calendar.

But I was also empty. After a dramatic break up in 1999 I went a little crazy. Crazy with the amount of sex I was having as a means to feel good about myself and pump up my self-worth.

My body does not define me.

For parts of the gay community your body is what defines you as a muscle Mary, a twink, a cub, a bear, and so on.

But not the kind of hairy that creeps up my shoulders and covers my back.

I remember when I was a boy visiting my grandparents in Sarnia. Two of my uncles, who were then teenagers, were literally covered in hair. I remember seeing my oldest uncle one time at church. The hairs were creeping up and out from his noose-tied, white collared dress shirt.

I was horrified. These were my mother’s brothers. Would I be as hairy as them?

In the late 80s when there was a paradigm shift in what was considered the perfect gay male physique and look. Until that time chest hair was fine. So were moustaches. Trimming? That was something you did to your sideburns.

Gay male pornography of the time is to blame. They needed to justify their existence at a time when sex killed. One day all all the models on the VHS covers were buff, probably on steroids, and waxed smooth to the point of shining. Body hair was out. Clean shaven and waxed from the neck down became the unspoken language of “not infected.”

For a while I became persona non grata. Dirty. No longer sexy. People even said to my face, “Sorry, I’m just not into hairy guys.” Around that time I bought my first body trimmer.

In early 2000 there was another paradigm shift.

Bears became a new sub-culture within the community. Gay men who didn’t shave and were unabashedly covered with body hair. Nair a trimmer in sight of their private or public parts. Muscles? No, they flaunted their full bellies and double chins. They didn’t care about their weight when others, just like them, worshiped that hairy Priapus.

Bears were gaining territory. They preyed on smooth shaven Twinks and Muscle Mary’s, creating a dichotomy of perfect versus less than ideal. They smoked cigars. They welcomed many a new sub-group, including the bug chasers.

One night I went out to the nightclub, Fly. As I walked up the stairs to the dance floor, a beautiful, muscled, handsome specimen stopped me. He looked me in the eyes, put his hand through the hairs on my chest and said, “Wow, what a sexy hairy chest.”

What? This demigod thought I was hot? Correction, he thought my body hair was hot? What the fuck for drugs is he taking? I was so taken aback I didn’t even ask for his number, even though he was someone I would’ve fucked in an instant.

He was a dime-a-dozen clone. He, like so many before him only a few years earlier, had looked at the hair on my body with disdain. I’d walk on past as they’d look the other way.

There’s a picture of me from Pride 2000. I love it and I hate it for the same reasons. I was a year or two away from my most perfect physique. But look at my face. Do I look happy? Content? Self-assured and comfortable with who I am?

Meh… it’s more of a smirk than a genuine smile.

Lessons learned. I was getting all the sex I wanted but I wasn’t getting what I needed.

I’ve learned I should wear my self-esteem like the most perfectly fitted outfit. The kind of clothing that turns heads. Your self-esteem precedes you. It’s part of your charisma and energy. Your empowered sense of self will attract others on whatever level of relationship.

If all you can do is wear you’re sculpted body like armour on the outside of your self-esteem, you will suffer. Complements from others are meaningless when you don’t believe in your own self-worth.

There’s nothing wrong with a sculpted, muscular body. If you have one you’re welcome to hold it against me. :-)

Work on you body in a loving way, for the love of yourself.

Sculpt and care for your body because it’s a fun activity that you enjoy. Don’t compare yourself to others. And by all means, don’t seek your self-esteem through the lusting eyes of those who only want to suck your cock.

Want to break out of the box that fucks with who you want to be? Get my free “Un-Box Your Greatness video course.

Darren Stehle

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🏳️‍🌈 The Living OUT Coach. Hear Queer Thought Leadership on The Living OUT Podcast. Editor of Th-Ink Queerly |