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What is a Twunk?

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If you’re here, you must be asking: What is a twunk? But before we can fully dive into the definition of a twunk, a combination of a twink and a hunk, we have to lay some groundwork about the word that it is spun off from: the twink.

Twinks are a well defined subgenre in the gay community, and are perhaps one of the most recognizable gay body type subcultures alongside Bears. Twinks are best known for being young, thin, hairless, and often have an affinity for Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift

When one thinks of a twink, a fairly clear image comes to mind. There’s Troye Sivan, Timothée Chalamet, and the stars of Love Simon in all their hairless glory – perfectly exemplifying the image of a twink. However, sometimes a twink metamorphosizes into an entirely new entity: a twunk

Twinks are held in high regard in the gay world. Their youth and naivete make them ripe for Ryan Murphy and Drag Race castings alike. Take identical twin twink divas Sugar and Spice from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 for example, who are both pure twink energy with their perpetual whimsy and probable combined weight of 130 lbs.

Think of the twink as the first phase of a Pokemon evolution. The twink is Charmander, whereas the twunk is Charmeleon. Their final evolution of course being Anderson Cooper. How does one go from twink to twunk, though?

The key difference in the great twink vs twunk debate is muscle definition, and that lies in the definition of a twunk: the mix between a twink and a hunk. As a twink begins their journey into adulthood, and can no longer pass not knowing who Madonna is as an entire personality, they must find a new defining feature: muscle definition. The twunk’s transition from stick figure to stick figure in bold font signals the end of their baby gay era, and the beginning of their captioning Instagram posts as “wait, am I giving daddy?” era.

After a twink begins lifting weights and ingesting creatine, they see immediate muscle definition build upon their minimal body fat. What separates twunks from being a straight-up hunk (think Disney’s Hercules after the training montage, or any Hemsworth brother) is their leanness. Real hunks go for pure size, while these hunky twinks prioritize agility and litheness. A twunk looks more like a muscled soccer player or gymnast than a bulky powerlifter or a football player.

Heartstopper’s Kit Connor, for example, is the latest addition to the pantheon of celebrity twunks. Although the British actor was once a twink, he beefed up to reprise his role in season 2 of the Netflix original series. While the dusting of chest hair may throw you off the twink scent, he is the perfect example of the twink to twunk pipeline. 

Most gay men go through a twink or twunk phase, whether that means being one themselves or bedding lots of them. It’s a totally healthy and normal part of the gay life cycle, and nothing to be ashamed of. 

Next time you see a gorgeous, toned, 6-foot gay 20-something putting in over an hour on the weights at Equinox, you’ll know you’re witnessing a twunk-to-be.

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