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ABC's And LGBT Slang: Let's Talk About Twinks

Calling all cuties to the front!

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So, what's a twink?

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Good question! A twink is a young, slim, boyish looking gay person with little to no body hair. Much like other slang in the gay community, such as "bear" or "otter," the word "twink" is most often used as a term to categorize one's body type, or "tribe."

Where the hell did the word come from?

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"Twink" has a pretty interesting backstory. According to Wikipedia, the word may have actually originated from Europe during the 60's. In Britain, a gay slang term known as "twank" was used to refer to a gay male prostitute who was willing to become any dominant man's partner. Eventually the word evolved into what we know today as "twink."

On the other hand, other sources claim that the word originated during the 70's, coming from the popular snack cake, Twinkie. According to Paul Baker's "Polari - The Lost Language of Gay Men," Twinkies were the perfect word to describe this "tribe" of gay men since they provided, "little nutritional value," and were "sweet to the taste and crème-filled." Take that as you will.

Do you have to meet every requirement to be true twink?

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If you're super self-conscious about being able to figure out what kind of "tribe" you belong to (or if you're just curious), this question will definitely pop in your head. You may wonder if you're too old, too muscular, or too hairy.

But no need to worry! It turns out that there are plenty of variations of the word twink, and you don't necessarily have to hit every criteria. For example, if you have muscles and don't fit the slim build of a twink, but still have the boyish looks, you're a specific type of twink known as a "twunk" (Twink + hunk = go figure).

Other specific types of twinks include femme twinks, Euro twinks, masc twinks, the list goes on. Despite these many different types of twinks, the only criteria that has to be met to be considered in this tribe is a youthful/boyish appearance.

Ok that's cool, but like, what's a solid example of a twink?

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If you're looking for some quintessential twinks (try saying that 10 times fast), some examples include, but are not limited to: Justin Bieber, Harry Styles, Tyler Oakley, Tom Daley, and Troye Sivan.

And yes, if the person fits the bill they can be considered a twink regardless of their sexuality. It's a little tricky because some people believe that a twink has to be gay, but it's honestly up to how you and your friends want to go about scoping out and categorizing boys.

When you say "categorize," that kind of sounds like there's a negative connotation...

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Categorizing by body type isn't necessarily the main issue when it comes to the whole "tribe" thing in the gay community. The problem is when certain people within the community tend to associate and assume personality traits based on someone's body type or tribe.

Twink is sometimes used by gay men as a derogative term since there are negative stereotypes associated with the tribe. Stereotypes that are associated with twinks include: being feminine, air-headed, self-centered, shallow, and bottoms (the receptive partner during gay sex).

Of course, like most stereotypes, they aren't true! And if you are a feminine, or a bottom, so what? Embrace it, and be the best and nicest twink you can be!

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