They are everywhere on television: dripping wet, heavy-breathing, half-naked men. No, this isn’t a gay-porn channel—it’s just the men’s swimming competition during the Summer Olympics.
Ripped, tanned men seemingly carved out of marble are making women and gay men happy—very happy—during these Olympics, spurring Internet memes and social-media buzz. It’s like the Channing Tatum male-stripper movie Magic Mike got a sequel—a very (thankfully) long sequel—one that’s also preciously short on plot but long on beefcake.
While women have long provided daydream fodder for men and lesbians—say hello to the field hockey team when not checking out the scantily clad ladies taking part in the beach volleyball competition—London’s Games seem to be drumming up a particularly focused interest in celebrating the fine male physique.
“Because of social media, the discussion of a topic—particularly one that appeals to anyone attracted to incredibly fit men—becomes buzzy to the point that it’s a dull roar.”
Thomas Onorato, who runs the publicity firm OW! in New York, agreed.
“I have seen it for years with the gay community being fans of swimmers, wrestlers, etc.,” said Onorato, who is gay. “It has just hit the mainstream in a more prominent way compared to four years ago, thanks to Twitter, Tumblr, and the media cycle.”
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