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Subject: Requiring buffness for male sexiness: "James Bond and the New Sex Appeal" rss

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Lawson
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I happened across an opinion piece by Richard Cohen in the Washington Post entitled "James Bond and the New Sex Appeal".

In it, he bemoans the focus on buffness for men, giving Daniel Craig's James Bond as an example: "This Bond ripples with muscles. Craig is 44, but neither gravity nor age has done its evil work on him. Nothing about him looks natural, relaxed — a man in the prime of his life and enjoying it. Instead, I see a man chasing youth on a treadmill, performing sets and reps, a clean and press, a weighted knee raise, an incline pushup and, finally, something called an incline pec fly (don’t ask). I take these terms from the Daniel Craig Workout, which you can do, too, if your agent and publicist so insist. Otherwise, I recommend a book."

Mr. Cohen wants male sex appeal to be based on "experience and savoir-faire, not delts and pecs and other such things that any kid can have." (His positive, approved examples are middle aged male movie stars successfully bagging much-younger, super-hot women, which I find hilarious.)

But, overall: "This is all very sad news. Every rippling muscle is a book not read, a movie not seen or a conversation not held."

What do you think?
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Chad Ellis
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As Sheldon Cooper put it, "Payback. It truly is the b-word." The days of James Bond not showing his full torso because then we'd see that the actor was wearing a male girdle to hold his belly in are over.

It's funny for me, because in my actual relationships I typically care much more about someone's brain than their looks but when it comes to TV and movies I like the hot bodies. Richard Castle -- awesome character, but I wish he'd get back to his Malcom Reynolds weight. In the meantime, I'll pay more attention to two of the other characters.
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Sexiness should not have rules, we should find sexy what we find sexy regardless of what others think. As to male sexiness , I have to ad nit in finding it difficult to see what is sexy about the ugly Craig, but then I never got Kim Basinger wither.
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If body images in the media and marketing for women are so bizarrely unrealistic, why should one expect them to be realistic for men either?
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I think it's strange that the generally accepted view seems to be that certain parts of sexuality are concrete and unchanging (orientation, fetishes) while others are totally influenced by culture and trends (see above). In reality, I think the truth lies in between for all these things, though some things are less changeable than others. In any case, it seems to me there will always be people who prefer one body type over another. Does the latest James Bond star really hold so much sway over people's sexual desires that it overrules people's previously held preferences on a large scale? I just don't see it.
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corross wrote:
Mr. Cohen wants male sex appeal to be based on "experience and savoir-faire, not delts and pecs and other such things that any kid can have."

Yeah, I bet.

Look for my upcoming article in the Post on how I want male sex appeal to be based on toenail length, anecdotes about Dungeons & Dragons, and willingness to eat chili from a can.
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Next up, the return of the Bond bitch slap.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
As Sheldon Cooper put it, "Payback. It truly is the b-word."


Yeah. Part of what struck me about the piece was how ridiculous it would sound as applied to women. If a 44 year old woman is keeping it together physically (as opposed to relying on her, uh, sophistication or something), it's not considered sad, at least as far as I know.

Also, I couldn't help but think "Oooh, jealous?" Physical fitness and mental development are hardly mutually exclusive, after all – for all we know, Daniel Craig is plowing through Tolstoy while astride the treadmill. The piece tasted sour-grape-y to me.
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Just as the marketing world warped women's sense of the "ideal look," they are doing a great job now of warping men's sense of the ideal. There is money to be made and funneling people down into extreme caricatures of form helps sustain all sorts of products over the long haul. It's really just an issue of efficiency, instead of focusing on one half of the population you can profit from both genders.

That article is walking into all sorts of traps by putting movies stars from the 40s and 50s up on a pedestal. Most of the old movies had weird 50ish male leads paired up with 20-30 something women. It offered its own strange distortion of the dominant fatherly figure matched with someone who could be his daughter. You have to go back to the 30s to find more roles where ages of the genders of the leads were closer together.

I do find a lot of media suffocating today in that everyone in the cast tends to be 20-something perfectly symmetrical soap opera good looking regardless of how that makes sense for the character. It's like young people today are fed images of human interaction in which only good looking young people exist.

I miss 1970s films which were much more naturalistic, where you could see rather broad range of human forms. Imagine if Jaws was filmed today and they cast the role of the mother who's son was eaten at the beach. In the original she looked like someone's mom. Today she'd be this distractingly beautiful 20-something, maybe 30 at most. It's annoying how everything today is maximized for a lowest common denominator global audience. Make everyone young and beautiful so that no matter where it gets played on the earth people's reptilian part of their brain will be activated to get their eyes glued to the screen.

For men at least one hope I have is the reestablishment of the beards into pop culture. We went through a long spell where every guy needed to be perfectly shaved, but now more beards have sprung up. They still aren't worn by leads, but it isn't a wasteland of boyish faces anymore. Lincoln was sublime on many levels, including the ocean of facial hair as far as the eye could see.
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corross wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
As Sheldon Cooper put it, "Payback. It truly is the b-word."


Yeah. Part of what struck me about the piece was how ridiculous it would sound as applied to women. If a 44 year old woman is keeping it together physically (as opposed to relying on her, uh, sophistication or something), it's not considered sad, at least as far as I know.

Also, I couldn't help but think "Oooh, jealous?" Physical fitness and mental development are hardly mutually exclusive, after all – for all we know, Daniel Craig is plowing through Tolstoy while astride the treadmill. The piece tasted sour-grape-y to me.


Maybe it's more a reaction to this new machismo lifestyle around the Mixed Martial Art scene. You see it everywhere nowadays. You aren't a real man unless you can master the pseudo homoerotic dick punch. Daniel craig doesn't looked like a chiseled muscle model, no, he looks like he just got our of a wrestling match. He's now more ape than man. All they had to do to make him appealing to women is dress him up. You should check out his "over the years" style photo set.

His style is more for man crushes. We dig the beards and scruff, and looks that could kick a ninjas ass....Ask most women what they think of that scruffy look, and they'll probably say, "great eye candy, but I'd never date a guy with scruff"

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I'd be fine with a culture of sexual attraction to virtue. Experience, though--that great corruptor of men? Why is that any more worthy of desire than muscles? Work hard, help our your community, and the blowjobs will follow. This is the way to a better society.

Which would seem more original if Aristophanes hadn't scooped me by 2400 years.
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I have abs, I just keep them coated in an all-natural survivalist anti-starvation layer of nutrition.
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chaendlmaier wrote:
As I said above, who cares. Be fat, be erudite, have a beard, whatever. Why does it matter if your preferences are currently the society's ideal? You have to ask yourself this, before blaming everybody else.


I think there is more to it than just making a mental declaration that you don't care. I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't deep-seated instincts that increase anxiety if you are not considered sexually attractive by the majority. Our procreation hardware can really screw with our rational software.
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echoota wrote:
I miss 1970s films which were much more naturalistic, where you could see rather broad range of human forms. Imagine if Jaws was filmed today and they cast the role of the mother who's son was eaten at the beach. In the original she looked like someone's mom. Today she'd be this distractingly beautiful 20-something, maybe 30 at most. It's annoying how everything today is maximized for a lowest common denominator global audience. Make everyone young and beautiful so that no matter where it gets played on the earth people's reptilian part of their brain will be activated to get their eyes glued to the screen.
That's what always struck me about movies from the 70's: they had ugly people in them and that was okay. How many great actors and actresses from that period of time would be laughed out of a casting office now?
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corross wrote:
I happened across an opinion piece by Richard Cohen in the Washington Post entitled "James Bond and the New Sex Appeal".

In it, he bemoans the focus on buffness for men, giving Daniel Craig's James Bond as an example: "This Bond ripples with muscles. Craig is 44, but neither gravity nor age has done its evil work on him. Nothing about him looks natural, relaxed — a man in the prime of his life and enjoying it. Instead, I see a man chasing youth on a treadmill, performing sets and reps, a clean and press, a weighted knee raise, an incline pushup and, finally, something called an incline pec fly (don’t ask). I take these terms from the Daniel Craig Workout, which you can do, too, if your agent and publicist so insist. Otherwise, I recommend a book."

Mr. Cohen wants male sex appeal to be based on "experience and savoir-faire, not delts and pecs and other such things that any kid can have." (His positive, approved examples are middle aged male movie stars successfully bagging much-younger, super-hot women, which I find hilarious.)

But, overall: "This is all very sad news. Every rippling muscle is a book not read, a movie not seen or a conversation not held."

What do you think?


Sounds a bit judgy.

"To each their own", said mrs o'reilly, "as she kissed the cow".

And I do not see how an hour or two working out is going to exclude other activities.
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MWChapel wrote:
His style is more for man crushes. We dig the beards and scruff, and looks that could kick a ninjas ass....Ask most women what they think of that scruffy look, and they'll probably say, "great eye candy, but I'd never date a guy with scruff"


Yeah, I definitely buy that. Just as fashion is really about getting women to appeal to other women, now media is honing in on the weird things that are an ideal image for men to project to other men.

The "total package" is going to be a guy who's a bit weathered and experienced, but is fully capable of doing triathlons and winning in the MMA. A successful professional who can also dominate physically.

In the past you could project inherent superiority through class based imagery. Now in a more individualistic society, and one that is overwhelmingly visual, the easiest thing to do is get the hardened body to visually convey mastery of physical world.
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cold_fuzion wrote:
echoota wrote:
I miss 1970s films which were much more naturalistic, where you could see rather broad range of human forms. Imagine if Jaws was filmed today and they cast the role of the mother who's son was eaten at the beach. In the original she looked like someone's mom. Today she'd be this distractingly beautiful 20-something, maybe 30 at most. It's annoying how everything today is maximized for a lowest common denominator global audience. Make everyone young and beautiful so that no matter where it gets played on the earth people's reptilian part of their brain will be activated to get their eyes glued to the screen.
That's what always struck me about movies from the 70's: they had ugly people in them and that was okay. How many great actors and actresses from that period of time would be laughed out of a casting office now?


And to take it a step further, there were actually ugly movies worth watching in the seventies. Dark ones, melancholy ones, true dramas, play-based, etc. Nowadays everything (well, almost everything) is polished, paced, cleaned up, photoshopped, CGI'd into sterility. Even movies about gritty reality are too polished to make you think they could be happening in real life. There are exceptions of course (like Precious), but it is an ugly (or anti-ugly if you like) trend.
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MWChapel wrote:
corross wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
As Sheldon Cooper put it, "Payback. It truly is the b-word."


Yeah. Part of what struck me about the piece was how ridiculous it would sound as applied to women. If a 44 year old woman is keeping it together physically (as opposed to relying on her, uh, sophistication or something), it's not considered sad, at least as far as I know.

Also, I couldn't help but think "Oooh, jealous?" Physical fitness and mental development are hardly mutually exclusive, after all – for all we know, Daniel Craig is plowing through Tolstoy while astride the treadmill. The piece tasted sour-grape-y to me.


Maybe it's more a reaction to this new machismo lifestyle around the Mixed Martial Art scene. You see it everywhere nowadays. You aren't a real man unless you can master the pseudo homoerotic dick punch. Daniel craig doesn't looked like a chiseled muscle model, no, he looks like he just got our of a wrestling match. He's now more ape than man. All they had to do to make him appealing to women is dress him up. You should check out his "over the years" style photo set.

His style is more for man crushes. We dig the beards and scruff, and looks that could kick a ninjas ass....Ask most women what they think of that scruffy look, and they'll probably say, "great eye candy, but I'd never date a guy with scruff"



Oh... man... you had me at "pseudo homoerotic dick punch".
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I'd call it a natural trend. The market driven society wants you to buy. They spent years telling men they had to be skinny pale metro Johnny Deps, or hairless sleek brad pits(or Justin Timberlakes, or heaven forbid Tokyo Hotel). Now that people have that down it's time to swing the pendulum the other way so they all have to buy NEW things to rush to the opposite body ideal. Once people get that down, watch it swing back...
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cold_fuzion wrote:
echoota wrote:
I miss 1970s films which were much more naturalistic, where you could see rather broad range of human forms. Imagine if Jaws was filmed today and they cast the role of the mother who's son was eaten at the beach. In the original she looked like someone's mom. Today she'd be this distractingly beautiful 20-something, maybe 30 at most. It's annoying how everything today is maximized for a lowest common denominator global audience. Make everyone young and beautiful so that no matter where it gets played on the earth people's reptilian part of their brain will be activated to get their eyes glued to the screen.
That's what always struck me about movies from the 70's: they had ugly people in them and that was okay. How many great actors and actresses from that period of time would be laughed out of a casting office now?
I watch a few things from the BBC and can easily notice the difference between US versus UK shows. UK shows are much closer to reality.
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As usual, when this subject comes up we see the same old crap about how shallow physical attraction really is and how it ought to be based on intelligence or book reading or whatever trait that particular poster believes he or she possesses in quantity.

Bullshit.

People wanting to have sex with other people because of their physical looks isn't a creation of the media or advertising industry. Unless you seriously believe that before there was a media or Madison Avenue that ugly, wart-ridden women with saggy jugs were considered just as comely and desirable as a nubile young lass with symmetrical features, shiny hair and boobs that still stood up at attention. And if you actually think that then you're stupid

Evolution and survival instincts are what make the opposite sex attractive, not beer commercials. That's why plumage gets the egg baby. Or flashy, iridescent light displays bewitch the ladies. Even dances, properly done by a non-ugly male of the species will more often end up with coupling than a male who doesn't dance, preferring to hang out on along the wall snarking about how dancing is gay.

Men have it a bit easier because physical beauty isn't the major deciding factor on whether they will get laid. Daniel Craig and steroids aside, a handsome man will always have a starting advantage but they can be beaten to the prize by less physically attractive men who may exhibit traits that females are genetically coded to find appealing - confidence, humor, eye contact, concern, bravery, etc. And while women also have tools other than appearance to snag men, appearance is super critical to get first choice. Less attractive women have zero problems getting sex. Actually, even fat ugly women can always get sex but they'll almost never, never, ever, ever get it with someone on a Daniel Craig level. Fat ugly men, no matter how well-read or smart can only get sex if they build up other assets and lower their expectations to drafting rounds that come later in the second day. Unless, of course, they are wealthy, fat and ugly. Then they just buy sex with attractive women. Because money (abundance-security) is almost as appealing as Daniel Craig.

Over all, most discussions of this sort are just total crap and end up with a bunch of people who don't believe they are attractive lamenting that it's the fault of media or ad agencies. That their attributes would shine through if it just weren't for those Ax deodorant ads or that Red Hot Chili Peppers guy getting buff and performing shirtless*.

If sex is important then the intelligent approach is to observe who is getting sex and why they might be getting it. Then assess one's own assets and liabilities. Fix the liabilities that are fixable and hang nice drapes on the ones that are permanent. Develop and harness the assets and orient them towards what "trends" seem to be ending up with the most sex happening and then go get some fucking done.

What? Too shallow? Want something "deeper"... heh, heh... uh okay. I'll avoid suggesting that "deeper" is often code for "failure to get laid" unless you've already either had plenty of sex or have a weak libido or have just realized that you don't have the chops to be like Jarred and you need to focus on what you know you can achieve rather than what you'd prefer to achieve. That kind of "deeper" isn't bullshit.

Or, sex is not about just sex but is instead a part of something larger. Religion is the usual suspect here. I know hundreds of "holy shitski would ya check her out" Mormon gals who saved it for the one they married. And the same holds true for other brands of Christianity and males often refrain as well. So a lot of awesome sex with really attractive people is going on in places that you, or the media, never go. Because it's not marketable to them. If you don't believe me then just get to Provo, Utah and go stand in the SUB at BYU for a while. It's like a secret cult of genetically gifted overlords kidnapped all the choice fair-skinned and light haired humans and bred them in hidden enclaves so they could send them to the marketplace (BYU) to find their match. I had a permanent boner that lasted for days when I spent time there on business back in the 90's. Just looking at the sea of beautiful young things that were almost all virginal and literally exuding pherenomes that were visible was an amazing experience.

And, for you men out there, some advice - how you look as you age is actually more important than how you look in your 30's, 40's or even 20's. Being over 60 and having a trim build along with making sure most "old man" jokes (ear hair, eyebrow wings, stooping over when walking, etc.) don't become you will set you apart from the old guy crowd. Since the majority of you will be divorced and in a pathetic physical and emotional state by the time you hit your 40's or 50's it's vital you prep for that eventually by acquiring all the good habits of successful older men who score boucoup cooze despite their age. In fact, developing those things... getting trim, becoming as physically attractive as possible, teaching yourself to listen and have gentle eyes, learning to dance and so forth might just be the ticket to keep you married and up the chances your lovely bride won't see the grass on the other side and notice how brown and withered yours has become.






* I was watching TV with some game buddies back in the 90's and one of them complained when a RHCP video came on that it was the media's focus on shallow people like the lead singer and his tattoos and muscles that were ruining women and keeping them from being attracted to real men, like him. As he stuffed his 6th piece of pizza in his piehole and opened another 2 liter Mountain Dew.
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DWTripp wrote:

Evolution and survival instincts are what make the opposite sex attractive, not beer commercials. That's why plumage gets the egg baby. Or flashy, iridescent light displays bewitch the ladies. Even dances, properly done by a non-ugly male of the species will more often end up with coupling than a male who doesn't dance, preferring to hang out on along the wall snarking about how dancing is gay.


Man, I wish I would have worn an iridescent unitard to high school. In between beatings I would have gotten laid all the time.
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TheChin! wrote:
DWTripp wrote:

Evolution and survival instincts are what make the opposite sex attractive, not beer commercials. That's why plumage gets the egg baby. Or flashy, iridescent light displays bewitch the ladies. Even dances, properly done by a non-ugly male of the species will more often end up with coupling than a male who doesn't dance, preferring to hang out on along the wall snarking about how dancing is gay.


Man, I wish I would have worn an iridescent unitard to high school. In between beatings I would have gotten laid all the time.


Dude, you blew it. Getting your ass kicked in high school is the perfect way to angle for a sympathy fuck. No, I'm not joking either. I got my ass kicked in more than 50% of the fights I was forced into and on two occasions it led to sex later that evening with the girls who had beaten me up to begin with.
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chaendlmaier wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
And I do not see how an hour or two working out is going to exclude other activities.

Only if your day is pre-programmed in a way that you can't do anything meaningful in these one or two hours. Physical activity does spark the mind, but 5 minutes at a time are entirely sufficient, like a short walk.

Getting fat is entirely based on other vices like eating unhealthy or living a lazy lifestyle. I think it's deluded to spend more hours of ones day to remain fit just to be able to maintain these vices. It's better to treat the cause than the symptoms.


I disagree.

To feel happy, I need to have a certain amount of
a) impact (this can be rough sports, tapotement massage, sex with high physical contact, running into walls, etc.)
b) physical exertion (this can be running, weight lifting, isometrics)

If i do not get these, I start feeling anxious and unhappy. When I get these I feel relaxed and happy.

There are some recent studies showing that the calories at least some (and I think it was "many") people need to consume to feel good exceeds what they need unless they are engaging in some kind of calorie burning activity. I think the number was somewhere above 2200 calories.

A person will have to engage in hours of hard walking or at least an hour of sports or high intensity workout to burn the calories and prevent weight gain.

Everyone is different and I'm sure there are some monks who feel happy on a bowl of brown rice and a couple beans but for me, I feel happiest (joyful) when I engage in activities that have a high calorie burn rate. I've broken out laughing while bench pressing from the sheer joy of bench pressing.

It's like certain breeds of dogs are happier if you give them a load to pull or you run them or you let them swim. I'm a work dog. I need to be lifting and running and getting jostled. I like to read books but I need my body to be used too. All brain and no body seems unbalanced. The author above wasn't arguing against all physical activity- he just felt that muscular guys were all body and no brain. I think he's really mistaken about that when you consider the successful muscle guys in hollywood are often quite smart too.
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Yeah, double-oh seven my ass...

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