Bergling, Tim. “Chasing Adonis: Gay Men and the Pursuit of Perfection”, The Haworth Press, 2007.
Desire and Attraction
Gay men all want to always look their best and this probably has something to do with the word desire. The word is powerful just as the emotion associated with it is. We al do some really silly things because of desire and many times desire can cause us to act irrationally. Many times we sees to want what we cannot have and will spare no expense to try to get it. Tim Bergling looks at desire in “Chasing Adonis” and tries to make sense of our quests for perfection.
Bergling looks at what he calls the mysteries of gay life—what we find attractive in other men and how much of it is nature and how much is nurture. He also looks at the world of marketing to se how much it plays in our everyday lives. He then examines many of the aspects of the way we go about obtaining what we consider to be perfection—steroids, body images, the culture of the gym, pornography, obsession and hook ups, web sites and everything else that makes “lose it” when we meets someone that mesmerizes us.
This is a frank book and it is both sexy and controversial yet it uses humor as it looks at a very serious subject. The study of the objectification of the gay body in the gay community is nothing to be taken lightly.
Many set up a standard for themselves which is based upon their own concepts of beauty and desire and that Adonis concept is not always attainable. We learn that what is on the outside in many cases outweighs what is on the interior of a person and our obsession with beauty is a major part of the way we live.
The final chapter contains the results of a survey dealing with the very issue of male beauty and some of what you read may knock your socks off. In the afterword, the author shows how our perception of beauty rules so much of what we do but the surprising thing here is that this really doesn’t only hold true during the chase. When we have achieved what we want we either return to the familiar or run away from it even faster. Even those who are happy with the man they have obtained, they restlessly pursue perfection for other reasons. The book surely gives one something to think about. Included is also a wonderful foreword by dynamic author Greg Herren.