I Want to be Sexy, by Brandon Cook


All I want is to be the sexiest lad in all the lands.


It’s why my jockstrap collection is growing. It’s why every few months I pick up some weights in an attempt to look less like a twink, only to put them down again in a huffing sweat after a solid five minutes. It’s why my previous point was actually extremely generous.


It’s also why I’ve taken gay sex drugs.


I want it because it feels essential. I want it because in the discotheques with their smoky hazes and bass-laden beats thumping in sync with strobes, I see sweat and musculature and eyes winking, and I’ve learned – been encultured – to salivate. I want it because even in our progressive microcosm of the modern world, being #insta famous or fit or hunk or daddy is a fantastical dream. It’s all so beautiful that it feels a stark ludicrosity I ever deigned to want for more. Yet I’m without.


But when I’m buried deep in the inhaled fumes of a drug like meth – I am sexy. I am sexiness.


I writhe and twist and twirl and I’m that guy you wish you were and you’re in me and it’s painless and exciting and filthy and fun. You look up and your lids flutter because I’m that good and I’m that hot and I’m oscillating between pleasure and lust and wondering how I even got you naked in my bed.


For a brief period, I reclaim my sexiness. For a while, I am the Adonis, no matter how twink reality is. I have what I want.


I want it because you want it, pressed against your body in the early hours. I want it because I wonder if I’ll ever be lovable – be loved – without it. I want it because though we push back against the market of unattainability, the “porn star” with his body and biceps and backside is still the peak of the gay pecking order – and anything more, like our activism and intellectualism, is somehow novel.


And sometimes I want it because it was taken from me.


Sexiness robbed by blindly clawing hands, shredding humanity and empathy from mere fuckable object in the mist of a sauna. Or drained from the mind of a boy who gazed into the eyes of the man he is somehow supposed to be – only to be viciously one-starred by his leering goal leaning up on the bar. Or held down and stamped out by a creature in a bed who refuses to take no for an answer.


Sometimes I want it because it feels present in the man I once was: before I knew about body goals, fitspo, societal expectations and porn. Before strangers, friends and lovers-turned-monsters vanquished him.


And when life turns to tumult, I feel the gay-shame and the sorrow and my past innocence bleeding from my very skin. I feel how very far from the insta-fit beautiful-Adonis-bod I am. Not sexy; never was.


So I become feverishly scratching hands, tearing innocence from hollow physicality in the fog of a sauna. I become the asshole in the nightclub corner swiping left on a boy who just wants to hold my hand. If I am so horrible (and I can be, and I’m sorry) I become the terrible thing in a bed that cannot hear no – until I can, and I’m horrified of my own hands.


And when I’m drowning in shame, I take a few drops of fantasy.


I scroll and swipe and fear for my future, and I’m desperate and searching for connection, in a too-cruel vapid world that wants me ripped and toned and straight. You look down at me and I’m remorseful and pained and your eyes darken because I’m that close to your home, shaking dangerously on rotten stilts, and you’re wondering if you’ll ever be sexy – or just happy – without stimulants.


For a brief period, I wallow in my sorrow. I douse the flame of my pain in liquid ecstasy.


Because there is a skeleton of whom I once was lying dusty under my skin, and I’ve twisted my face to grotesque tears trying to rip it out. So hard that I never see the honest-to-God truth that my culture of sexiness ignores.


I (you) am (are) perfectly good enough.


Just the way we are.



Brandon Cook @brandycooklyn
Brandon Cook is a 25-year-old Melbourne resident.
He describes himself as “an opinionated nightlife-dwelling homosexual photographer with far too much time on my hands”.