Twink and a twunk: the gay lexicon

I learned something at the weekend. I learned about a twink and a twunk, an otter, a cub, a bear, and a muscle bear.  This blog post isn’t going to be a life lesson shared or some inspirational quote for you all, but it might be good for a giggle. 

I went for a drink with my male gay friend.  We’ve been friends since university, which now means donkey’s years.  All of my other university friends have changed.  Their lives have moved on.  They’ve left London and moved out to the country.   They’ve got stable jobs, 2.4 children, a wine club subscription and a personal trainer. My gay friend hasn’t changed a bit.  He goes out drinking and dancing at least four times a week, re-tells stories if being dreadfully hungover at work.   After a couple of glasses of wine he also shares much too much information about his very active sex life. 

Anyway, he did tell me a bit about gay London lexicon which, as it is not too gratuitous, I thought I’d share.

Twink

A twink is a young gay man – over 18 but under 25.  Or at least he looks under 25 (my gay friend has a far more expansive collection of Clarins and Clinique potions than I do). A twink is hot property. Most gay men want one and most gay men want to be one.  The Oxford English Dictionary says the word twink means “a homosexual or effeminate, or a young man regarded as an object of homosexual desire.”  Apparently the term twink dates back to the 1970s.  I am clearly a bit behind the curve because for me the term dates back to Saturday night but hey ho.  

Twunk

A twunk has the face of a twink but the physique of a hunk.  A twunk is a hunky twink so to speak. Twunks are quite rare.  Most men under the age of 25 haven’t had enough years to have spent enough time at the gym be really muscly.  My friend likes twunks! 

twink

Otter

My friend was insulted when someone referred to him as an ‘otter’ the other day.  He still likes to believe that he is a twink.  He is clearly deluding himself because he is in his mid-30s. An ‘otter’ is a a gay man who is quite hairy all over his body, but is smaller in frame and weighs considerably less than a bear (see below).

Cub

A cub is used to describe a young bear (see below!).

Bear

A bear is very muscly and very hairy.  He is also slightly older.   My impression though is that once a gay man is no longer in the prized twink category age is less relevant. 

A muscle bear

A muscle bear is, as you might have guessed, like a bear but extra muscly. Having spent the other night in the gay bars of Soho in London I’d suggest that quite a lot of time and money is spent in the gym.  A muscle bear is muscly indeed!

It did strike me that there must be quite a few gay men who defy classification in this somewhat limited lexicon.  I asked what a slightly older, skinny, gay man might be called. 

My gay friend merely shrugged his quite muscly shoulders.   “Dunno, I don’t fancy older skinny men.”   

Right then, that told me!   

Reflections From Me
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
And then the fun began...

12 Comments

  1. May 17, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    Hilar!! I was totally not down with the Gay lingo!! Love it,,,Twink…am off to a gay club in a few weeks with our mate so shall try and find him a Twink!! xxx #fartglitter

    • thesingleswan
      May 25, 2016 / 8:58 pm

      ha ha, excellent. Yes, do it, go twink spotting. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 25, 2016 / 8:57 pm

      No, me neither sweetheart. It was an educational evening. Pen x

  2. May 18, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    I feel utterly educated! I had never heard these terms before but I love them and kind of feel like I want to use them now too! Especially liking the term “twunk” and I am so going to have to now engineer some conversations so that I can casually drop that one in. Love it!
    Thanks for sharing with #fartglitter x
    Rhyming with Wine recently posted…Eating out – Toddler style…My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 25, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      Love it! Yes, I might start using the term twunk with my colleagues at work. It might lighten the atmosphere a bit…or get me fired, it could go either way. Pen x

  3. May 20, 2016 / 9:48 pm

    It really is a different world isn’t it? Thanks for educating us on what’s what ‘over the rainbow’ as it were. It’s funny because at work we have to choose a monthly password for our system access which goes out across the organisation and the girl who makes the final decision always insists on running anything and everything through ‘urban dictionary’ just in case. Just as well that time they nearly chose ‘Teabag’. Lol! Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout this week Pen X
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #75My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 25, 2016 / 8:55 pm

      Hi Sam,

      I would love the job of running every possible password through the urban dictionary. You could learn so much. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 25, 2016 / 8:54 pm

      he he, yes, you do indeed. Enjoy. Pen x

  4. December 19, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    Great blog congratulations!

    • thesingleswan
      December 22, 2016 / 8:49 pm

      Thanks.

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