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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Is taking steroids a gay thing?

The other thing striking thing about that Men's Health article referred to in the previous post was the high percentage of the guys listed who are widely rumored to be gay.

At least eight are, and of those, at least four are juicing. I don't resent actors who take steroids: at least they're not cheating at a sport.

It does seem, however, that gay actors are more likely to juice, though straight actors like Nicholas Cage have done it as well. I've noticed that at masters swimming meets in NYC, the guys who are juiced are almost always the gay ones.

The gay swimmers seem to be doing it more to enhance their sex appeal than boost their athletic performances. Most of them aren't particularly competitive; some are even new to the sport. The few straight masters swimmers who are rumored to be juicing generally do it so they can swim faster; most of them are record-holders.

There is, of course, overlap. Everybody wants to look more buff, and everybody wants to perform better. But there is a difference in the percentage of each group who juice, and there does seem to be a difference in their motivations.

(A straight guy can't just walk up to a girl he's never met before, whip off his shirt, say, "Hey, let's do it," and realistically expect a positive response.)

In the long run, steroids can cause kidney, liver, and heart damage. They can also lead to impotence and sterility. I sometimes think that gay men -- especially the ones who might be HIV-positive -- are more likely to take steroids because they are less concerned about their old age.


Gilbert Ratchet said...

I dunno - have you asked Andrew Sullivan?

John Craig said...

Gilbert --
Actually he's a good example of another factor I didn't mention. A lot of HIV-positive patients are given testosterone as part of their cocktail of drugs, as a way to counteract the lower levels that HIV brings about. I think a lot of gays develop a "taste" for the extra hormones at that point, and end up supplementing themselves on their own, above and beyond the levels prescribed by their doctors.