The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, December 22, 2003  

Still No Peak in Steroid Abuse

Speaking of testosterone, and we were, I just saw a photograph of a man I haven’t seen for a couple of years, a 30-something New Yorker who lately has been commended for his “discipline,” “dedication,” and, most laughably of all, his “athleticism,” that as a result of his having “really bulked up” through a regular exercise regimen.

“It’s not steroids,” I was told. “It’s just a lot of hard work.”

The hell it is. I know steroids when I seem them.

The telltale giveaway: the suddenly rounded face.

This, the man in the photograph, is a man who, when I knew him, had dramatically sharp and angular facial features overlying impeccable bone structure from his Italian and German ancestors. That’s gone now, along with, from I understand from reading various warnings about steroid use, much else.

I see this every day.

I see it in my neighborhood. The guys in the bar: steroids. The guys leaving the gym: steroids.

I see it in my building. The guys above me: steroids. My next-door neighbor -- that laid-back gay guy, so laid-back he can’t summon a mere “hello” in the hallway, just a grunt similar to those issued by your typical 15-year-old skateboarder -- steroids.

Michelangelo Signorile tackled this issue years ago in Life Outside. Sadly, this trend -- this pathology -- among gay men, hasn’t improved one bit since then. Care to give it another go, Mike?

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |