View Full Version : Is tanning socially acceptable for dudes?

02-22-2004, 11:30 PM
My gym recently had an offer where if you let them take payment directly from your checking account, they'd give your choice of either: a free personal trainer session, book of coupons for restaurants, some other stuff I forgot, or 10 free tanning sessions on their beds. I went ahead and signed up, and took the 10 free tans. However, everytime I've baked, I feel like some vain nancy-boy. Is this something I should keep other guys from knowing, or is it pretty acceptable for us to tan?

(I know about the cancer risks and all that.)

02-22-2004, 11:44 PM
Don't sweat it. Do you get haircuts? Bathe? Until you're considering the pec implants, you're probably OK (IMHO, of course).

02-23-2004, 12:06 AM
Tanning is cool to give you a bit of colour. But when it gets to the point that you look like you've JUST come back from vacation, year-round, it looks pathetic. I think the same is true for men and women. My brother tans all the time ~ just keeps him from being a whiter shade of pale.

02-23-2004, 12:26 AM
FWIW, all the men I know who tan are gay. It's acceptable in the gay community, but I don't know any straight men who pay to be slowly roasted on a sun bed.

Bear in mind, however, I'm talking about Australia and (apparently) the sunniest city in the nation. The guys in the tanning salons aren't going there just for a bit of colour (heck, here it's easier to get a natural tan than it is to avoid one!)--they're going in for an even, all-over tan.*

So maybe it's more acceptable for straight men to tan in less sunny climes where it's difficult to maintain some colour. Here though, it's just for the vain and the fabulous. ;)

* Or alternatively, the increasingly popular "speedo tan", which involves crisping one's body to a nut brown colour, while maintaining blindingly white buttocks...

02-23-2004, 03:50 AM
* Or alternatively, the increasingly popular "speedo tan", which involves crisping one's body to a nut brown colour, while maintaining blindingly white buttocks...

Mmmm... speedo tan...

Skwerl, safe tanning provides many health benefits (Vitamin D production, increased sex drive, body clock adjustment, anti-depressant, relaxation) and can be a turn on for some (other) people to look at. The electric beach is just a practical way to achieve a tan in a fast and busy world (or Iceland).

You aren't gay but you might be a metrosexual. I mean, you're already going to a gym to change the shape of your body, what's the difference with changing the colour?

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
02-23-2004, 09:42 AM
It'd never occur to me that artificial tanning was against the Manly Code. True, I've never done it myself, or even thought about it, but ... jeez, it seems like every time you turn around there's another thing that some people think might be off limits to straight men.

Aside from that, I second Boofy Bloke's remarks, and CheesyMonkey's cautions.

02-23-2004, 09:55 AM
My ex-boss, who was president of a motorcycle club (and VEEERRRRY macho) tans. He doesn't think anything of it.

02-23-2004, 10:46 AM
It makes you wrinkly, and you look ridiculous if you do it too much, but most straight guys are vainer than they'd admit. As long as you don't have that over-baked look, you're fine. I know straight guys who do worse.

PS: Fake tanning products are actually pretty convincing nowadays, even though they used to look awful. Unlike the sun, or electric tanning, they won't make your skin all dry, nor will they make you get wrinkly, and there is always that pesky skin-cancer thing - no worries there with the chemical method. If you decide on this as a lifestyle, ask your lady friends if they can recommend a cream to do the job instead.

02-23-2004, 09:38 PM
I'm straight and tan year-round, granted we only have about 2 or so months of real outdoor tanning up here in Wisconsin, and I'd say about 25-30 percent of the clients at my salon are guys. My gaydar would indicate that probably a minority of the guys are gay, so there's a pretty significant number of straight guys tanning. I like to keep a pretty dark tan, so I'll get people asking if I just returned from a vacation somewhere. Most people don't find it strange that I tan, but once in awhile someone will say something like "Oh, I didn't know guys tanned." I'd say about 25-50% of my guy friends tan too, but I guess most of the guys I hang out with could be described as metrosexuals.

02-23-2004, 10:42 PM
In casual observation at my tanning salon, I'd say maybe a third or a fourth of the clients are guys, and the population dosen't seem to be gayer than your average man on the street (although they do all look like they work out, which makes sense). I wouldn't worry about it, just don't overdo it.

02-23-2004, 10:58 PM
Zonker Harris

Really Not All That Bright
02-23-2004, 11:24 PM
Yes, it makes you a big nancy-boy. I have one straight friend who does this (in Florida!) and I tell him the same thing.

On the other hand, I'm naturally dark, so if you have some kind of reverse-Malcolm-X-whitey-inferiority thing going, be my guest.

02-24-2004, 08:15 AM
Zonker Harris! That's classic - "I'm competing in the George Hamilton Greater Malibu Open and I've just wrapped up my tan - how do I look?"

Me? At the gym 4 or 5 days a week, married bisexual, vain as all get out, and I like to keep a dark tan all year.

Now, where are my peepers? :cool:

02-24-2004, 09:08 AM
This question sounds like it's from the 1950's. What does having a penis have to do with tanning or not tanning? If you wanna tan go do it. It's that simple and doing what you enjoy and not fearing what others think makes you a manly man IMHO.

02-24-2004, 04:08 PM
Gender should not be a barrier if one wants to be a slave to the fashionistas. To those youngsters wondering what careers to pursue, I'd recommend (for the college-bound) dermatology. You'll cash in on all the lesions the tanners bring you. If you don't think you can make it through med school, go for audiology. Oh, yeah. Hearing loss is the wave of the future. :rolleyes:

02-24-2004, 05:07 PM
I see guys at the tanning place I go to all of the time. But then again I am only there 1-2 times a week. I go so I can have my heliotherapy so I do not feel so depressed during the winter. I live in Las Vegas, but I work all day in an office without any windows and feel sun-deprived in the winter monthes when the days are so short. And in the summer, it is too freakin hot for me to be outside long enough to get any color.

02-24-2004, 07:17 PM
To those youngsters wondering what careers to pursue, I'd recommend (for the college-bound) dermatology. You'll cash in on all the lesions the tanners bring you.

Word! My old man beat back the dreded "P" cancer only to have melonoma (SP?) kill him within a month. My good buddy Jimbo from college, who used to bask in the southern California sun on the roof of the house, is now known as "Bitsy".

About every other month, like clockwork, he goes to the doctor to have bits cut off him.

Fie on thee, hideous life-giving Sun!

02-24-2004, 08:22 PM
1st, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES give anyone access to your checking account. You have ZERO protection when you do this. Itís not like a credit card where you have specific rights. They can raid your account and then fold up their tent and declare bankruptcy. There have been many Gyms that open and close in my area so the industry track record is ripe for failure. I'm not even going to discuss fraud.

2nd, if you are going to tan then don't bother going to a gym for health reasons. Cancer doesn't care how good you look or feel.

02-24-2004, 08:26 PM
Guys tanning isn't gay at all. The guy that does my hair tans all the time, and he's not...um...


Saintly Loser
02-25-2004, 09:04 AM
My ex-boss, who was president of a motorcycle club (and VEEERRRRY macho) tans. He doesn't think anything of it.

I'm just trying to keep a straight face while thinking of my motorcycle club's reaction to anyone who admitted going to a tanning parlor.

02-25-2004, 02:22 PM
Speaking as a male tanner (who doesn't go for the 'Aruba look') I agree with the majority opinion that men who slide into the electric coffin tanning is acceptable.

I got the tanning bed by default in the divorce. (The ex doesn't have the space or the 220V Electrical line).

As far as your nancy boy concerns go; don't sweat it. You only tanned 10 times, so I doubt the UV rays reached your endocrine system & lowered your testosterone levels. Fear not, you can still refer to guys as dudes as opposed to boyz even though you don't live in California.

As far as your vanity concerns go; Just remember, it's the least desructive of the seven deadly sins - and who leads a sinless life anyway?
Maybe the following quotes can help assuage your fears:

Yousef KarshIf there is a single quality that is shared by all great men, it is vanity.Louis KronenbergerNothing so soothes our vanity as a display of greater vanity in others...or Tom WolfThe surest cure for vanity is loneliness.

Hijack Question (for those who tan): What do you do for the 15-20 minutes while youíre in the tanning bed?
(TMI-For reasons I fail to understand, the artificial tanning rays have a spiking affect on libido. Several people I've asked have experienced the same affect and also admit to keeping their hands busy)

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