Petros, 32, discusses body image, why he posts pics on Instragam and pressures to look a certain way!
No matter how perfect we think someone looks, its more than likely that they lack confidence about their body. Each week, we chat to regular guys who open up about what they like and don’t like about their bodies and if they feel a pressure to look a certain way. This week, we meet 32 year old technical recruiter Petros Petri.
You’re a handsome guy, but have you ever worried about the way you look?
Haha definitely! I’ve had insecurities about my nose, my belly, my nipples! Lots of Cypriots have nose jobs cus we tend to have big noses. But I’ve learnt to love mine, and thankfully my boyfriend Rissi likes big noses, and a little bit of belly. And on Instagram, I’ve had some people say ‘oh my god I love your nipples’ haha.
I think whatever your insecurity, someone out there will really have a thing for it!
Amen. Do you spend a lot of time working out?
I try to work out four to five days a week. I’m sure if I did more days and ate better, I would look way better. But I love food so much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat CRAP, but I enjoy indulging! So gym keeps me in check!
Are you very conscious about the way you look?
I can be. But hey I’m getting older, it’s gonna be a downhill trip soon. But I hide my insecurities with confidence and humour! I think I am more conscious about the things I say or the way I act instead of the way I look. Sometimes I say the stupidest things, and Rissi tries to rescue me where possible.
Is there a pressure as a gay guy to look a certain way?
I did when I first moved to London. Imagine all those beautiful bodies. I even tried steroids but stopped shortly after starting because I didn’t feel I was being myself.
Is having a good body important to you?
I do actually enjoy working out, it’s a great stress reliever! But also it’s necessary to work out your core to minimise back injuries etc. Plus I wouldn’t want Rissi to have ‘the chat’ with me if I was starting to let myself go.
How much work do you put into it?
It’s really quite simple. I have one protein shake a day, after my work out in the evenings. I work out four to five days a week, working out two body parts each day. Food wise, we make all our food on Sunday for the whole working week, which usually consists of chicken, broccoli and sweet potato, and maybe quinoa. In the evenings we mix it up with pasta, steak etc. but nothing that’s too fattening. At the weekends we try to stay quite healthy but on one day we can cheat and have some fun!!
You seem very comfortable to show off your body on Instagram. What do you get from that?
Haha. I’ve always been a bit of an exhibisionist. Living in Brazil for three years has also taught me that swimwear is also considered formal clothing! It’s always nice to receive compliments and showing a bit of skin gets a lot of comments.
You have so many people admiring your body, do you pay attention to the positives?
I pay a lot of attention to the positives. I get messages from people who say nice things and I always try to thank them. Sometimes you get other people saying ‘send me a dick pic’ – I don’t respond to them. As for the negative ones, I just never react to them, because drawing attention to those, are just what those haters want!
Have people who follow you on Instagram crossed the line sent you obscene messages or come up to in real life and tried it on?
I receive obscene messages all the time. I try to ignore where possible. I’m a human man, I do like to be treated with respect and not be spoken to like a piece of meat. In person, I’ve only received compliments thankfully. I think because everyone knows I’m in a relationship, you’re dealing with two of us and not just me so I don’t get many come ons in person.
What do friends and family and workmates think of your posts?
My oldest brother loves it! He wants me to post more about his restaurant in South London to get more customers. As for my work friends, they like to chat about the pics I’ve posted over the weekends. One girl wanted to comment about my nipples, but thought that was crossing the line. I told her she can just tell me to my face. To which she said ‘Oh, well I love them!’
Why do you think gay guys like showing off their body so much?
I think with such high standards, gays love seeking validation! You show off more, you get complimented more. If you don’t get enough compliments, you show off even more!!
Are you happy with your body? What was it like before?
I wasn’t confident at all, with myself or my body. It grew after time! You learn to love yourself. Now I do love my body. I’ve always been a bit chunky! The man I love is attracted to it, so I try to maintain it.
What’s your favourite body part?
Probably my chest. Its not perfect but it comes out okay in photos. I love the back of my hands too, they are very soft. If you meet me, take a feel.
Which part are not happy with?
My shoulders! I have bad posture and always try not to slouch but I do.
What body part do you think other men like in you?
Probably that I’m hairy. Lots of guys like that. My chest and butt usually gets comments.
Would you consider yourself vain?
No and I hope I don’t come across as vain. I am concerned with the way I look but not obsessed. My other brother is super vain and me observing that has put me off the temptation of being too obsessed with how I look.
We can see you embrace your chest fuzz, but have you ever waxed or shaved?
I used to wax when I was young. That was just a disaster, my body just doesn’t look right without chest hair. I definitely embrace the chest hair, as its one of my strong points.
Hallelujah! Do you manscape?
I do indeed. But only trim not shave. I think if you’re hairy, try and keep it that way but tidy and furry.
What do you find attractive in a man’s body?
Their ASS. That’s very important for me. A guy could be beautiful and stunning, but if they don’t have a butt, it’s a put off. But a handsome face is important too, a great smile, teeth and eyes.
Do you believe in types?
I pigeon hole everything, so yes I believe in types. When I ask someone what their type is, and they say they don’t have one, I still try and track down what makes them tick! Usually getting them to eliminate what turns them off gets you to the right type.
Have you felt a pressure as a gay man to fit a certain category?
I don’t think so. Nowadays people try to steer away from categories. If you go to East London, the more different you are, the more popular you are. Which is something I love, however, must be exhausting to maintain!
How do you identify yourself?
I identify myself as the one at the party who won’t stop dancing or raiding the buffet.
Boxers, briefs or nothing and why?
Ah, all three at different times. Loose boxers to sleep in, as I like to feel a little restricted, briefs during the day to minimise any appearance of sudden arousal moments, and nothing while I’m at home. I love being naked at home.
What grooming product can you not live without
My L’Oreal, shine free moisturiser! I’ve been using the same product for 5 years now!
Although you are attached, if you were to write a lonely hearts article, how would you describe yourself to others?
Hmm, I would say: ‘Funny Sci-Fi Greek, loves to dance and overdose on Netflix’. That might work, but I think I’d get more response if I say ‘ONCE YOU GO GREEK YOU DONT WALK FOR A WEEK’
Oh yes, you most certainly would!
What a nice guy, eh? Follow Pietros on Instagram