Whatever Spornosexuality is, I'm all for it

If men want to wear tiny pants and spend an unhealthy amount of time in the gym, then we should probably leave them to it

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The Independent Online

You’ll have seen the picture by now, of the two TOWIE men, near-naked as the day they were born, their slender bodies a lurid and unconvincing shade of orange, their balls cupped tight by what look like tube socks flossing their buttocks.

These, The Telegraph would have you believe, are the "spornosexuals". They’re primped, tanned, tattooed and self-involved muscle-men, more interested in selfies and highlights than, presumably, The Queen or Margaret Thatcher, or whatever other subject deemed most fitting for the interest of a decent young man in this day and age. And they’re eminently worthy of our outrage.

"Spornosexual" is a grubby little portmanteau implying an unholy combination of "sportsman" and "porn star", apparently created by someone who’s witnessed neither. It describes, apparently, this new brand of neo-narcissist, descendants of the metrosexual but, like everything else in this world that’s new and therefore not as good as older things (see: the 1950s, the 1890s, the divine right of kings; Telegraphs passim), it is supposedly indicative of a crass new strain of particularly onanistic self-regard above all else.

And, well, so what? They do look a bit funny in their mirrored shades and post-structuralist haircuts. Yes, they are undoubtedly quite pleased with themselves and their cut lines, and it's hard to claim that choosing to wear nothing but a literal sack for your balls is on the unsophisticated end of the naffness spectrum, but what’s any of it to you?

Perhaps they do look like berks to your rarefied eye, but that is their right as autonomous humans. It isn’t any of our business if they prefer a weekly sunbed and some crossfit (that’s a gym thing, I think) to, say, an attic of model trains or a real ale convention.

No one’s forcing you to spend any time with them and their ridiculous little panties, so why not leave them in peace? If these people choose to self-actualise as leggier oompah-loompahs with lower air resistance, more power to them. And frankly, if you think this is a youth subculture somewhat lacking in aesthetic fibre, you’re going to be in for a shock if you ever encounter "normcore".

There isn’t a huge amount of point in overthinking what’s happening here. The fact is, kids have been making dressing decisions to irritate the older generation since loincloths were cool the first time around.

This is not a worrying new youth cult, nor the deathknell of traditional masculinity (and it wouldn’t matter if it were). They are not even now on their way to steal your wives or encourage your children to wax themselves more thoroughly. It’s nothing more than a daft fashion trend reaching its likely apex with dramatically poorly chosen beachwear.