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Spornosexual is a blend of sports and the clipping porno, compounded with sexual. The term was coined by Mark Simpson in 2014 to describe a man "who is influenced in his appearance by the stars of sport and pornography".[1][2][3] It recognises young men who use "their toned bodies on social media as a means of feeling valuable in society."[4] Jamie Hakim has described this as a "power-shift of a segment of society who have historically defined themselves through their mind, whilst at the same time defining those they have subordinated - such as women - through their bodies".[5]

Simpson also coined the term metrosexual in 1994.[6][7]


The term originated in an article by cultural commentator Mark Simpson in 2014;[8][9] Simpson's metrosexual is a portmanteau of metropolitan and heterosexual.[10] He describes spornosexuals as frequently working class men who exercise at a gym in order to share eroticised selfies of their toned bodies on social media.[8][11] Simpson considers spornosexuality as the second,[12] more extreme,[13] generation of metrosexuality, since the "uptake by men of products, practises and pleasures previously ring-fenced for women and gay men" has become normalised.[12] Instead, Simpson claims, spornosexual men want to be recognised for their bodies rather than their clothes.[12][14] Examples of such men include Dan Osborne, Thom Evans, David McIntosh[12][15][16] and Cristiano Ronaldo.[17][18][19]

Jamie Hakim's research, "The Spornosexual: the affective contradictions of male body-work in neoliberal digital culture", was published in the Journal of Gender Studies in 2016.[20] Hakim writes that young men defining their value through their body is a response to the effects of austerity on them since 2008, when the ability to create value through other means became harder.[8][21][22] "This is all the more surprising because this use of body-image to derive social value has long been associated with groups men tended to be viewed as inferior."[5] HuffPost said this research "went as far as blaming the financial crisis for the rise of the 'Spornosexual'".[4]

Greg Wolfman has written about a proliferation of men's "consumer lifestyles", or "marketed manhoods", that includes spornosexual with lumbersexual and hipster.[23]

See also[edit]

  • Body worship – Submissive act pertaining to BDSM
  • Narcissism – Personality trait of self-love of a perceived perfect self
  • Self-brand – Process in which consumers match their self-concept with that of a specific brand image


  1. ^ Bilmes, Alex (8 October 2014). "When did male body hair become a bad thing?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  2. ^ Phillip, Abby (10 June 2014). "Step aside, metrosexuals, and make way for … the spornosexual man?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Addio al metrosexual, è arrivato lo "spornosexual"". Corriere dello Sport – Stadio. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  4. ^ a b Baruchin, Uri (September 2016). "Marketing Should Promote A New Masculinity". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  5. ^ a b "Men post sexy gym pictures on social media to compensate for loss of power". International Business Times UK. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  6. ^ Pithers, Ellie (22 September 2014). "The Terrible Rise Of The 'Spornosexual'". Esquire. Archived from the original on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  7. ^ "Men: What's A Spornosexual And Are You One?". HuffPost UK. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  8. ^ a b c "Austerity has caused young men to turn into 'spornosexuals'". The Independent. 11 August 2016. Archived from the original on 2022-05-24. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  9. ^ "The rise of the spornosexual". Evening Standard. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  10. ^ "Mark Simpson: "La metrosexualidad es hoy lo normal, llega el spornosexual"". La Vanguardia. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  11. ^ "Is it time to meet the post-metrosexual generation: spornosexuals?". The Georgia Straight. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  12. ^ a b c d Simpson, Mark (10 June 2014). "The metrosexual is dead. Long live the 'spornosexual'". Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  13. ^ Olesker, Max (12 January 2015). "The Rise And Rise of the Spornosexual". Esquire. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  14. ^ "Spornosexuals: what is this new generation of men?". The Week. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  15. ^ "Is 'spornosexual' the new metrosexual?". New York Post. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  16. ^ "'Spornosexuals' the new metrosexuals". News.com.au. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  17. ^ Cutler, Teddy (20 February 2016). "Meet Generation Spornosexual, spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo". Newsweek. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  18. ^ "Forget metrosexuals, Cristiano Ronaldo is actually a spornosexual". Irish Examiner. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  19. ^ "Cristiano Ronaldo a spornosexual at Real Madrid, Van Gaal explains truth of Bastian Schweinsteiger move to Manchester United, Leeds United fans protest owner, Pep Guardiola Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham". FoxSports.com. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  20. ^ "Young men aged 16-25 striving for picture-perfect bodies". i. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  21. ^ "Quiz: Are you a 'spornosexual'?". Metro. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  22. ^ "The Spornosexual - UEA". University of East Anglia. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  23. ^ Wolfman, Greg. "Metrosexual, hipster, spornosexual: why do we keep redefining men?". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2020-07-25.

Further reading[edit]