Celebs Get the Paychecks and the Press Attention for Their Fitness. Porn Stars Do the Same and Get Ignored.

Why is it considered more impressive that Chris Pratt lost weight and got ripped than when someone who has sex on camera for a living does it?

When I read Wisecracker, the excellent biography of silent film star (and out gay man) William Haines a decade or so ago, I was taken with both the writing and with the author’s photo. Being taken by William J. Mann is not difficult—but I do remember thinking, “He’s a writer who looks like that?” I thought being a writer exempted one from muscles, quite honestly. And from looking like a male model.

That’s an attitude that’s hard to fathom now, because everyone is swole. Even funny guys are sporting bulges and six packs. Chris Pratt led the way, but it was when Kumail Nanjiani went from handsome funny guy with a great movie in The Big Sick to superhero fit on the cover of Men’s Health that it truly felt like there was no turning back.

Contrast that with Brad Pitt’s ripped body in Fight Club: He was meant to be an idealized version of a man, one who could fuck the way Edward Norton only dreamed he could. Now, guys hit pause on real life — and embrace caloric deprivation — in order to look good in tights and capes. At some point in our post-300 world, having zero-percent body fat went from wishful thinking to a seemingly attainable goal for anyone with the money and time to dedicate to nothing else.

All these actors are upfront about the work that goes into looking like that: Matthew Morrison memorably appeared shirtless on the cover of Details and said that when he looks at the photos, all he sees is a guy who’s starving. But the sheer number of celebs with perfectly defined cum gutters and cannon ball shoulders sends a message that we can all do it if we put in the work. The work being a high-priced trainer and a rigid schedule that doesn’t take into account a dreary nine to five.

Would Lucky Vanous even be cast as the Diet Coke guy if those ads were filmed today? Maybe not, because aesthetic standards have changed. For every Timothee Chalamet there’s a Zac Efron. For every Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield there’s a Nick Jonas and Michael B. Jordan.

But what is the end goal of all these sessions in the gym? For many guys on social media doing the same, it’s to look and feel great. (And maybe get some lucrative sponsorship deals as influencers.) Actors on press tours typically minimize how great they feel to seem more relatable, but I suspect that’s not really part of it for them, because they’re doing it for roles where their bodies aren’t the (only) point of why we’re watching them. For porn stars, it’s very much part of the end goal. Looking hot as hell is part of the job, but they’re also filming for prolonged periods of time, and need that stamina to do it well. And they unabashedly invite us to revel in their hard work. When Logan Carter films a Raw Fuck Boys scene, we’re encouraged to whip our dicks out and imagine running our hands over his washboard abs. When Henry Cavill does it, he’s just a god with sex appeal and no sex.

And yet porn stars aren’t the go-to guys for fitness tips, even for gay editorial sites. Even though we probably spend more time looking at their naked bodies than any late-night talk show guest’s telling us how hungry they were for the whole thing.  And there’s not because of disingenuousness from porn stars. Guys in porn know that their fitness is integral to their jobs, and they take it seriously. They’re working out so they can get a bottom on their dick and bounce him up and down while standing on a staircase. But they’re not rewarded for it with the same lavish attention.

That’s because they work in porn, which automatically leaves them in the cold for media outlets. But in many ways, their bodies are far more attainable than those of the movie stars who get the coverage because they’re doing this for years, rather than as specific prep work. Creating a routine that you can maintain is something worth emulating even if you’re not going to have sex on camera.

So here’s to more stories on The Gay Goods and elsewhere detailing the work that goes into becoming the fantasy of thousands of men. Because these guys don’t just look good naked or Photoshopped in magazines. They fuck, too.

The Gay Goods is dedicated to engaging with a range of opinions and viewpoints. To share yours, email editor@thegaygoods.com.

4 Comments

  1. The production/marketing budget for one Marvel movie dwarfs that of all the porn produced in the last decade. So does the audience.

    Are you truly confused as to why mainstream stars get more attention, or just trolling for clicks?

    • I find it disappointing that gay outlets don’t offer them any coverage at all, and instead we get the same stories from every publication about the same people.

  2. I just find it so frustrating that so many outlets dabble in porn coverage—notice, its almost always straight porn—for clicks, but refuse to engage with a big part of gay culture in any meaningful way. Out and Instinct and Queerty would rather salivate over straight allies than celebrate men who have sex with other men for a living.

  3. The answer is in your question: because they had sex on camera. Porn may have become more mainstream, but it’s still porn.

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