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Category: sporno (page 1 of 13)

Gymder – The Spornosexual Social App

Finally! Spornosexuals no longer have to run the risk of socialising with people who don’t work out, own no Lycra, and think that whey isolate sounds absolutely vomitous.

Now, thanks to a Munich-based company, spornos have their very own ‘social’ app that will allow them to find, locate and interact with other spornos in their vicinity. Which of course is likely to be someone sweating on the machine next to them in the gym they spend their lives in.

Gymder, as it’s called, is billed as a free location-based app designed to help you find “mutually interested workout buddies nearby right when you need them”. Apparently it “uniquely connects people in a fitness context – thereby users can find each other and train together anytime, anywhere.”

It may seem a little silly that people who go to the gym every day need an app to find people who go to the gym, but hey that’s the kind of ‘social’ world we live in now. After all, everyone at the gym is now either staring at their phones between sets (sometimes during sets), or wearing huge, DON’T TALK TO ME earphones that look like they belong to 747 handlers.

Of course, phrases like “mutually interested”, “right when you need them”, and “anytime, anywhere” do rather suggest, like the name itself, that Gymder can serve as a Grindr for spornosexuals. That, like the Olivia Newton John song, it helps you get physical, in more ways than one.

The fact that the website states it isn’t a dating app is neither here nor there. To be successful even as a fitness dating app, Gymder probably needs to officially assert it’s not about dating but about fitness. And besides, because humans are human, everything social can be sexual – even something as desiccated as LinkedIn.

The potential for Gymder to be used for hunky hook ups sent Gizmodo and Mashable off the deep end of disapproval last week. They both worked themselves into a spectacularly prudish lather, ranting about how “creepy” and “nefarious” this app is.

Gizmodo went so far to described Gymder as a “terrifying development” – because an app for people interested in the cultivation of beautiful bodies might be used for getting to know people who cultivate beautiful bodies better?

Clutch the weighted pearls!

Gizmodo’s concern was partly directed at some of the app’s permissions, but the main offence here is sexualising something already sexualised. We are solemnly informed that “gyms are not appropriate places to find dates” and that “any normal person probably wants to be left alone and suffer through their workout without a stranger ogling at their beautiful body”.

Yeah, a ‘normal’ person just wants to suffer at the gym. A ‘normal’ person isn’t thinking about sex, at all. A ‘normal’ person would hate to think that someone found their honed and toned body attractive. And yeah, a ‘normal’ person treats the gym as a sacred place of solitary, miserable, Protestant penitence – which is why Gymder isn’t just creepy, it’s sacrilege!

Well, dude, you don’t have to download it.

But then, Mr Gizmodo and Ms Mashable do seem to be complaining about a spornosexual party they haven’t been invited to.

The ad for the app certainly presents a party vibe – an adamantly hetero one. Most of the ‘interactions’ presented are male/female: a prize, pumped sporno male takes a selfie with ladies literally hanging off him, his large tongue hanging out. Men are seen touching each other – but only through a punch, or a fist-bump.

There’s an implicit disavowal of anything ‘gay’ about Gymder in the ad, which is why we should treat with the same caution as the disavowal that it’s not a dating app. What better way to meet other male spornos on the down low than on a dating app that isn’t a dating app and isn’t gay?

Originally appeared in the Daily Telegraph 16/05/2017

Rio Sporno – When Male Stripping Became An Olympic Sport

Mark Simpson on some happy, warm – if scantily-dressed – memories of 2016

Last Summer in Brazil a tiny island in the South Pacific took on all the major sporting superpowers – and won the Olympics. Before a starting pistol was even fired.

When the flagbearer for Tonga, Pita Taukatofua, 32, made his sensational appearance at the opening ceremony in Rio, wearing just a grass skirt, a gallon of baby oil and a saucy grin – while gripping his massive flagpole with both hands – he melted Sugar Loaf Mountain and fused the internet. The Tongan’s torso glistening in a thousand spotlights. And billions of hot stares.

It was an historic moment. Finally, after all these years of hoping and praying, and all those letters I’ve written to my MP, male stripping had – at last! – been recognised as an Olympic sport.

Yes, the very nicely-put together Mr Taukatofua was nominally representing his country in the manly martial art of Taekwondo. But hardly anyone c ared about that. The slutty sexualisation of the sporting male body – what I have dubbed sporno – was the hottest, most popular game at the Rio Olympics.

And thanks to the wonders of modern telephoto lenses and HD widescreen technology – and the widespread use of lycra in modern sportswear – there was no end of money shots for the avid sporno fan. Wrestlers grappling each other’s groins.

Pole-vaulters poleaxed by their… poles.

Speed cyclists flashing their superhero thighs.

And decathletes like the Sweden’s (Christian?) Bjorn Barrefors going dramatically commando. The gaiety of the Games!

But it was men’s swimming and diving that proved to be the most spornographic event. Of course, Speedos are sporno anyway – not only because they’re skimpy but because they advertise the delicious versatility of the male body: offering us buns and lunchboxes at the same time. Decisions, decisions!

Spain’s men’s Olympic swim team/dance troupe

And if you think this is just down to my dirty mind, a meme widely circulating online mocked the placement of results banners on TV screens covering the swimmers’ swimsuits, claiming it made it look like they were porn stars. (And I wasn’t responsible for it – honestly.)

David BOUDIA/Steele JOHNSON in hot flip-flop scene (though it seems their studio can’t decide what size their Johnsons’ are)

Or perhaps the TV companies were providing an electronic fig-leaf for the almost starkers statuesque young men. After all, this was the year Team GB’s swimming trunks seemed to have been replaced by thongs. While it may have appeared like a salute to the host country’s famously brief beachwear – and pubewear – it turned out to be down to naughty Tom Daley’s doing. The British diver had advised Team GB designer Stella McCartney that the trunks he wore at the London Olympics in 2012 were ‘too big’.

His concern was entirely practical though. At least according to Tom: “They have to be small because everything has to stay in place,” he explained. “If you’re spinning around the last thing you want to do is have something come out of place!”

I’m not sure the viewing public entirely shared Tom’s concern here, but either way the ‘end’ result was that there was even less fabric to come between the voyeuring public and  the divers. And even more opportunity to admire Olympic ‘obliques’ – or ‘cum gutters’, to give them their medical, Latin name.

Tom Daley & Daniel Goodfellow watching the playback & realising just how brief their new swim briefs are.

Which brings me to the spornographic climax of the actual Rio Olympics as opposed to the opening ceremony – the synchronised 3M springboard men’s diving. British divers Jack Laugher, 21, and brunette Chris Mears, 23,  inseparable – and straight – best pals (they live together as well as train and compete together), were the hottest, loveliest diving pair to goggle at.

And since diving is perhaps the most aesthetic Olympic sport of all, it was a wonderful affirmation when they turned out to be a golden pair in every sense – making the best dives technically as well as aesthetically, becoming the first British divers ever to win Olympic gold.

Watching Jack and Chris’ bubble butts, v-backs, and curved thighs spin around in perfect, Speedo-synch was actually so sexy it was beyond sex. Compared to this perfection, actual shagging is just a big fat belly-flop. (Though I still would, mind.)

Likewise, their spontaneous shared happiness for one another on winning gold, Jack jumping into the arms of Chris – hams, quads and glutes agogo – looked as orgasmic as it was Platonic.

Stella McCartney personally painted on Jack Laugher’s Speedos. Wouldn’t you?

I should probably give a shout out here to the Olympic hot tub in Rio. It gave us viewers many hours of pleasure, in addition to keeping divers supple between dives. It’s a nice warm feeling to know that, thanks to anti-steam camera lens technology and also lowered inhibitions, we the viewers can nowadays join Olympic divers rinsing off in the showers after their splash and also sit with them in the steamy hot tub, relaxing and waiting for their next ‘go’. Much as you might at a gay sauna.

Gymnastics is the one sport that can give the aesthetics of diving a run and jump for its money. Whether on the pommel horse, flexing those triceps and tightening that butt, or doing ‘ringwork’ and flaring the lats, it offers viewer-voyeur a body-weight bodybuilding show that displays the form and balance of the perfectly-developed human frame – defying gravity. In much the same way erections do.

 

But gymnastics has a problem. Gymnasts wear too much. Way too much compared to today’s swimmers. In addition to over-modest singlets and criminally baggy shorts, they often have to wear full length pants/tights. And these are definitely not the kind of compression pants that the lads in my gym wear these days that leave nothing to the imagination while they do lunges.

Even the Rio skyline is aroused by the US male gymnastics team

No wonder the highly aestheticised Sam Mikulak captain of the US gymnastic team captain at Rio suggested just before the games began: ‘Maybe we should perform with our shirts off’ so that people could see ‘how yoked we are’.

Sam Mikulak showing Rio his bis, tris and jacked hair

Although he was ostensibly suggesting ways in which male gymnastics could become more popular in the US and step out of the shadow of women’s gymnastics, he was also expressing a timeless truth about his sport and the Olympics itself.

‘Gymnastics’ derives from the Ancient Greek for ‘exercise naked’. Greek gymnasia were full of naked male youths – being admired by Greek men. As were the Ancient Olympics at Delphi – though here the stitchless athletes could be gawped at by maiden women as well as men (though definitely not married women). Sport for the Greeks was starkers.

So in a sense US silver-medallist gymnast Danell Leyva was giving us a history lesson when he took his captain at his word. During the gymnastics gala towards the end of the Rio games he danced on the parallel bars and coquettishly peeled off his top, to loud audience whoops, and then performed half-naked, in a kind of aerial Magic Mike routine.

Or rather, an aerial version of the tarty flagbearer from Tonga.

This post is based on a piece by MS published in XY Magazine, Nov 2016

French Farms Now Equipped With Gyms & Waxing Salons

Horse: ‘Oh, MERDE! He’s got his tits out for the cameras again – I’m not going to get fed for HOURS!’

We’ve seen a great deal of male pin-up tit-ilation over the last decade or so, in which men in traditionally masculine occupations get their clothes off and their tarty on as they occupy the traditionally ‘feminine’ and ‘passive’ position of the glammed-up calendar girl.

And they’ve turned out to be naturals.

It started with the famous Dieux du Stade sporno calendars , spreading to firemen, Mormon missionaries, Catholic priests, rowers, Royal Marines and then pretty much to the entire male sex. The few men that haven’t already appeared in a tarty calendar by now have sexualised and published themselves via topless selfies and Instagram.

Not that I’m complaining. When it comes to male objectification too much is never enough.

Now French farmers are the latest traditionally blokey profession to get the full glamour model calendar boy treatment, in this instance from French fashion photographer Fred Goudon in his Le Calendrier des Agriculteurs 2017 

french-farmers-calendar-2017-fred-goudon-7

So we see the ‘agriculteurs‘ lovingly lensed while going about their daily, honest toil in field and farmyard, keeping La France fed – while their overalls keep slipping off them in the hot Gallic sun, leaving them casually nearly naked. Save for their full body make-up.

If this calendar is to be believed, the French peasantry are definitely no longer revolting – but nor are they eating any cake. Nor in fact any carbs at all after 6pm.

It’s easy to make fun – so I shall, with captions – but while the French farmers collected here do look rather more spornosexual than pastoral, at least they’re not lumbosexuals.

french-farmers-calendar-2017-fred-goudon-8

Plowing fields will give you abs for miles

 

French Farmer's Calendar piglet

Gaston searches the horizon for gainz while doing bicep curls with a piglet.

 

French Farmers Calendar cows

French cows no longer bat an eye at the fashion photographers crowding their sheds.

Sporno Italico

Mark Simpson visits Rome’s Foro Italico, home of Mussolini’s Olympic ‘gay gang-bang in Carrara marble’

Off the well-worn tourist track, on the North bank of the Tiber in the Eternal City, hidden away in the Foro Italico sports complex, is a vast, open-air shrine to the idealised male form that most visitors to Rome are unaware exists.

Which is rather odd, seeing as it is essentially a huge – if tastefully done – gay gang-bang in Carrara marble.

The Stadio dei Marmi (‘Stadium of the Marbles’) is an open-air sports stadium completed in 1928 as a training centre for the adjoining Academy Physical Education, as part of a plan for attracting the Olympics to Rome in 1944 – a project blown slightly off-course by the Second World War.

But the Stadio dei Marmi is not a sports stadium like you have ever seen before, outside of sport-themed gay porn.

Naked Parade by M Burns

Fifty-nine statues of classically-styled athletes surround and dominate the stadium with their various states of perfect nakedness – some with fig-leaves, some in jock-straps, many completely starkers except for the occasional boxing glove or cricket bat.

Baton by M Burns

The Foro Italico sports complex which contains Stadio dei Marmi was built during Italy’s fascist period and originally called the ‘Foro Mussolini’ – the Italian dictator took a close personal interest in the design. It was, you might say, a vanity project. The statues of the Stadio dei Marmi were of course meant to glorify Il Duce and Italian fascism and associate him and it with the strength, virility and triumphs of imperial Rome.

The swole glory that was Rome by M Burns

However, the sculptors involved seem to have got carried away. To the modern eye this celebration of firm male flesh looks like a spornographic scandal. It really has to be seen – to be experienced – to be believed. Standing in the middle of the stadium surrounded by all that virile marble it’s difficult not to feel you’re the centre of a neo-classical bukkake – the still-fresh white Carrara marble ejaculating against the blue Roman sky.

Looking heavenwards

But it’s when you go around the rear of these god-like chaps that the real fun begins. The bubble buttocks on display are simply divine in their detail. All that carefully symbolised furious activity suddenly becomes irresistible passivity. Not at all what Il Duce had in mind.

Rears Batman style by M Burns

One of the sculptors has even autographed one of the statues ‘A. Buttini’. A joke that doesn’t really work in Italian – but I like to think he knew I was coming.

 

If you squint your eyes against the Mediterranean sun it’s easy to imagine a young Dolce and Gabbana here with a packed lunch, furiously sketching away – getting inspiration for their famous underwear advertising campaigns in the Noughties. The ones starring the Italian rugby, soccer and swimming teams oiled up in the showers. Which were then followed in the Tweens by fellow-Italian Armani’s saucy underpants campaigns starring sporting heroes Beckham, Nadal and Ronaldo with their legs apart on the side of buses.

Come and have a go if you're hard enough

Perhaps it’s just a trick of the Mediterranean light. Perhaps it’s just an effect of hindsight. But whether or not the 20th Century martial-marble propaganda of Stadio dei Marmi anticipated 21st century hyper-sexualised depictions of male athletes, it’s well worth a visit.

And a really good gawp.

(Originally appeared on Out Traveller, June 2016)

Photos Copyright M. Burns.

An Anatomy of Sporno

The world’s finest athletes strip off, oil up and compare their ass-ets for photographer Howard Schatz.

I think wrestling is the sport for me.

These photos were published in 2002, before sporno really took off as a media phenomenon. The relative innocence and chastity of these photos illustrates how in just a decade sporting body shapes and the way they’re photographed for our visual pleasure has changed dramatically.

different-body-types-olympic-athletes-howard-schatz-10

different 3

Tip: DAKrolak

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