How do gay men respond to controlling notions of masculinity in society and stereotypes of gay sexuality? This book explores the ways in which gay men in the United States engage in, contest and modify these notions and develop a sense of masculine identity. The book examines the creation of identity through the everyday lives of gay men: their work; home; community; and relationships.

Masculinity in the Age of AIDS: HIV-Seropositive Gay Men and the “Buff Agenda”

Masculinity in the age of AIDS: HIV-seropositive gay men and the “buff agenda”
Perry N.Halkitis

Of course I think I'm masculine because of the way I look. I work hard at the gym five times a week…. I take care of my body … no one ever thinks I'm poz.

—Peter, 36 years old, New York City

On Friday nights, Steven, a 55-year-old HIV-positive gay man, practices his “12 steps to beauty.” This ritual undertaken in preparation for a night at the West Side Club, a commercial public sex environment in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, takes approximately 3 hours for Steven, as he dyes and trims his hair, shaves his chest and testicles, ...

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