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I know that twink is a slang term for hot young homosexual guys who do not have facial hair. This word is very common in the gay community (and their adult industry) and recently I've heard a debate about using the word twink for heterosexual guys who otherwise meet the criteria.

Can we use the word twink for heterosexual guys or does it always imply that the person is homosexual?

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There is no such thing as ‘correct’ with something like this. It's a matter of social mores, not grammar. Yes, you can call a straight guy a twink if he fits the type, but he may not appreciate it very much. Twink is a description of a particular type of body and looks (and to a lesser degree body language); that is not dependent on sexuality. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 4 at 21:28
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I'm wondering the same thing now. Is twink something that describes a particular stereotype of a group of gay men, or is it used by the gay community to describe a particular physical stereotype that some men are attracted to? –  KitFox Jul 4 at 21:45
    
@KitFox A twink has the physical characteristics of: thin, looks young(ish), and little to no body hair. Mannerisms and implication of being gay, I'm uncertain of, although I always understood it to be a gay-community-only thing (like Janus says, straight guys probably wouldn't appreciate it) –  Izkata Jul 5 at 2:49
    
@KitFox By the way, for an actual reference on physical characteristics: Gay Cliques Census –  Izkata Jul 5 at 2:54
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Good question. If it helps, I'm bi and I've been called a twink in the past. Even by people who thought I was straight. These days though, I'm just a little fat blob. –  jay_t55 Jul 5 at 4:19

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I think the best answer anyone can give here is: yes and no.

First off, I would say that twink is more or less always used either by gay men or about gay men (or both). I have never, in my life, heard a (straight) girl refer to a straight guy as a twink (except perhaps if particularly discussing the notion of twinkhood, like we are now).

I have heard plenty of gay guys refer to other gay guys as twinks (or otters, cubs, bears, etc.); I have heard lots of lesbians refer to gay guys as twinks; I have heard some straight girls (mostly falling into the fag hag category) refer to gay guys as twinks, in conversation with gay guys; and I have heard gay guys refer to straight guys as twinks.

A twink is really just a type: it invokes images of a particular type of physique, look, facial features, hair style, clothing style, etc., just like terms like hipster, goth, or yuppie do. The particular combination of associations invoked by twink most commonly fall together in gay men, and the term arose in the gay community to describe those gay men primarily.

But if a straight guy fits the bill, it is not at all uncommon especially for gay guys to tell him that he’s a real twink, or such a twink. This may or may not please the straight guy in question.

In such cases, there is usually a certain level of association with sexuality inherent in the term, and I’ve often heard straight guys say things like, “If I were gay, would I be a twink?”—or gay guys say things like, “You’d be such a twink if you were gay”—which implies that being the type is not enough: to be a twink, you have to be gay.

On the other hand, I’ve also heard gay guys say things along the lines of, “Look at that twink over there in the corner. So hot! Too bad he’s straight”, or (less enthusiastically) “Nah, Leo1 never did it for me—too much of a twink”, which implies that being the type is enough, and that sexuality is secondary.

Calling someone a twink implies, at least to some extent, that they ‘act gay’ (whatever exactly that means to the speaker), though it doesn’t necessarily imply that they identify as gay.

 


1 Meaning here of course the ultimate straight twink: Leonardo DiCaprio as he looked in the mid-1990s.

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