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#308279 - 10/27/09 03:22 AM The Adonis Complex: Male Body Image Obsession.
BigV Offline


Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 63
Has anyone here ever heard or read about the Adonis Complex, or male body dysmorphia? This is a condition where men and boys become obsessed with their bodies, and develop a distorted perception of their bodies. They begin to perceive themselves as being "to thin", and not big or muscular enough. They will continue feeling this way no matter how much they work out, how much muscle they gain, and fat they loose. It is essentially reverse anorexia.

What I'm really interested in hearing about is what you think might cause this debilitating, and sometimes lethal obsession? Is it childhood trauma, social and media influences, pressure from women, a combination of these, or something all together different?



Edited by BigV (10/27/09 03:23 AM)

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#308298 - 10/27/09 08:57 AM Re: The Adonis Complex: Male Body Image Obsession. [Re: BigV]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
oh yes bigV, you definitely nailed this one.

i have suffered from this all my life, and i am no 'adonis'. see, there i did it again, i compared myself to statues. unfortunately, doing so, i turn myself into a pillar of salt in many respects.

damn i hate when i do that, or that i ever did it in the first place.

Quote:
Is it childhood trauma, social and media influences, pressure from women, a combination of these, or something all together different?


taking a stab at it with my current understanding of myself, i think you are correct, it is a combination of all of these things, and most likely some other forces we have not yet discovered.

thanks for the topic, i needed to examine this at this point. very timely for me. further commentary is continued in my journal.

all the best,

ron



Edited by Sans Logos (10/27/09 09:53 AM)
Edit Reason: add link
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#308336 - 10/27/09 02:47 PM Re: The Adonis Complex: Male Body Image Obsession. [Re: Sans Logos]
BigV Offline


Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 63
Wow, shit man, that's heavy. I'm going to read more of it when I have a chance, and I'll probably have questions for you. Thank you for sharing.

At some point I think I almost went down this path, of obsession with my body. I use to hate and loath my body image, I was to thin, my stomach stuck out, I looked too young, even when I was twenty eight, people thought I was just a young up-start with no experience. My self-body-hatred was at it's peak when I was in my teens. In my early twenties, I didn't work out, as I don't have the patience to do this, but I did do landscaping, construction, trail building and a lot of outdoor activities. I worked my body to the point that I was slowly killing myself; I was lifting to much, working to much, climbing and hiking higher, steeper mountains, often alone, and with insufficient equipment. Basically, I was punishing myself, if I couldn't make satisfactory gains, I would work myself half to death. My nerves are still recovering.

Luckily, I've gotten to the point where I don't have to eat three protein shakes a day, and I couldn't care less if the opposite sex finds me attractive or not. I have enough on my plate right now with my own life, to go wasting my time worrying about women, about my attractiveness to them. Being with a women will never make me happy, and I seem to be happier without them. I am finally at ease with my body, I'm happy with being thin, and I no longer care what people think about it. Anyone who claims to love someone for having a "perfect" body is obviously suffering from major issues. I would rather avoid such women altogether.


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#308344 - 10/27/09 03:40 PM Re: The Adonis Complex: Male Body Image Obsession. [Re: BigV]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Quote:
Anyone who claims to love someone for having a "perfect" body is obviously suffering from major issues


that's a great place to begin a discussion about 'judging' who is worthy of our affection.

i suppose it's done more often than not in relationships: find ourselves attracted to characteristics about others which appeal to our own biases, resonating with our in-formed idea of what constitutes worthiness.

they say you marry a character and learn to live with a personality.

so very true in many cases.

all the best,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#352171 - 01/28/11 01:31 AM Re: The Adonis Complex: Male Body Image Obsession. [Re: Sans Logos]
Daniel_forgotten Offline


Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 479
in my whole family -which is mentally sick by the way- physical perfection is a big issue, and not only body perfection but also face features and acting classy all the time and stuff. since i was a toddler i remember coments like, some "ugly" kid is worth less than a beautiful kid. it was the same in the elementary school i attended in my birth comunity, we had different ranks to which you accessed after earning certain titles like kindness, intelligence, and one of them was beauty (it was a boys school)

so yea, i grew up thinking "ugly" meant not-worthy. i'm still struggling to get rid of all the teachings my sick family put into me, but since i am multiple (i have DID) i can't control the other personalities, and i know some of them work out like crazy every day, some of them even *trigger*
Click to reveal..
vomit or hurt themselves
when they think they have eaten much and are really obsessed with this whole thing.. it's really a huge deal for us as multiple, i will talk about it someday cuz its something we need to work on.

3 protein shakes a day sound familiar bro


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#352334 - 01/29/11 08:56 PM Re: The Adonis Complex: Male Body Image Obsession. [Re: Daniel_forgotten]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
I would love to be so muscular as to be an Adonis. NOT sure if this is what your saying.

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#451708 - 10/29/13 01:51 PM Re: The Adonis Complex: Male Body Image Obsession. [Re: BigV]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 743
Loc: Southeast USA
I may have flirted with this in the past. I say "flirted" because I never went to the extremes some guys do to attain the unobtainable.

As a kid I was pretty much right in the median. I was neither tall nor short, bulky or skinny, etc... I was active and played sports. When puberty hit I of course grew taller. I also "firmed" up. As a swimmer, I burned a lot of calories and began a weight program. By the time I was 15, I was lean, lean...LEAN. I was all muscle and no fat.

Outside of athletic conditioning, I felt a (post CSA) need to prove my maleness. I don't use the word "masculinity" because at the time I wasn't sure what that really meant other than trying to prove to myself and others that I wasn't subservient to that perp. I was not a 13 year old boy any longer.

Although I did drink protein shakes, (and still do) it was out of necessity because of the massive caloric requirements my body had at the time. During my sophomore year, the school's wrestling coach asked me if would be willing to wrestle in a particular weight class since that guy was out with a torn ACL. I agreed even though it overlapped swim season.

My short experience with wrestling showed me another world of male body image. The infatuation with weight and strength was 5X what I imposed on myself as a swimmer. To make weight, guys starved themselves. I even had to drop 2 pounds for a meet. It's damn hard for a teenage boy to do that.

What's more, at the weigh in, we had to line up in front of out coaches and the other team's coaches and take turns on the scale wearing just our tighty-whities. It was like a inspecting cattle. It was triggering and I didn't like it one bit.

I'm still not a huge guy. It's harder to stay as trim with a little more age and a lot more sedentary work, but I exercise for health. my wife says I've bulked up quite a bit in the past year, but you know, I just don't see it. Hmmmm...

Will
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My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-

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#451720 - 10/29/13 04:56 PM Re: The Adonis Complex: Male Body Image Obsession. [Re: BigV]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
I know for me, I was taught that I was an object only, to be used and abused. I was systematically conditioned to be submissive. If I didn't I would be hurt and maybe worse. I learned to be an object and to please. There was nothing in my upbringing that supported me being an integrated person that was more than a piece of meat. I was never seen or valued for who I am--only what I could provide for my abusers. It's no wonder my image of myself is fucked up. Don
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Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#454494 - 11/19/13 08:20 PM Re: The Adonis Complex: Male Body Image Obsession. [Re: BigV]
gettingstronger Offline


Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 186
Loc: Virginia
Good input, all.

Still working on this one. I'm happy with my body by and large, but mostly for the wrong reasons. Sounds weird, doesn't it? When I can love it unconditionally, with whatever faults it develops over time, I know I'll be really getting somewhere.

Amazing how complicated the bad people in our lives have made this. First, I was "taught" that I was ugly. Then, thanks to my perp and other kids I wanted to be like, I was "taught" that I had to look a certain way to be accepted, including by myself. Now that through lots of physical activity, running, etc., I've (more or less) achieved the look I basically want, that's bad too because one day I won't look like I do now. So the only option is to learn to love my body regardless of what it looks like.

Just when I thought I had it all figured out! smile Who knew it would be this complicated?
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Never worry about "three steps forward and two steps back." Thirty steps forward and twenty back are still ten steps in the right direction.

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#455287 - 11/27/13 08:55 PM Re: The Adonis Complex: Male Body Image Obsession. [Re: BigV]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 743
Loc: Southeast USA
Oh, it's complicated for sure.

The perp seemed to prefer my physique---a lean, but muscular swimmer. In many ways I tried to intentionally do things that would nullify what the perp found attractive, but in the case of physique, I for some reason redoubled my efforts to be as fit as possible to try to prove my manliness. WTF???

Will
_________________________
Cruel Summer
My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-

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