What's With All The "Hot Dude" Instagrams?

In the beginning, there was "Hot Dudes Reading" and its wildly attractive French cousin, "Mecs Métro Paris." Today, I submit to you "Hot Dudes In Beds," the latest hot guy Instagram to make the rounds among the denizens of the Internet who are attracted to men. But why are all these "Hot Dude" Instagram accounts so popular? I mean, yes, they're full of (mostly conventionally) beautiful people who are generally pleasing to look at, but it's hard to ignore the growing trend of "hot people with whatever" and wonder what it says about us.

As a side note, Hot Dudes In Bed is also responsible for my tragically burned Pop-Tarts this morning. How am I supposed to concentrate on breakfast in the face of such temptation? I would eat burned Pop-Tarts every day for the chance to touch any of their six-packs.

Ahem. Moving on.

If you're into dudes, and quite possibly even if you're not, the Instagram is a veritable treasure trove of all your favorite things: Beds, beards, and buff men. Oh, sorry — I meant in the buff; a gloriously large proportion of the men featured on the Instagram account are mostly-to-totally naked, with all sorts of creative objects preserving their modesty. My personal favorite is the dude covering his man-bits with a tablet, because that shows serious commitment to the cause. Balancing an electronic device on his crotch while maintaining a sexy pout couldn't have been easy, but somehow, he pulled it off. Good job, Sexy Tablet Man. Call me.

Other strategically-placed items include tantalizingly unbuttoned jeans ...

Puppies, which is kinda weird but I'm not about to question the gift of shirtless men ...

And the ultimate classic: extremely tight briefs.

If you need to take a minute to calm down, feel free to do so now. I recommend a cold shower, or possibly a swim in a glacier-fed lake.

Hot Dudes In Beds is the latest example of what is quickly becoming somewhat of an online niche, the "hot dude" Instagram account. The aforementioned Hot Dudes Reading exploded the sexual organs of bookworms across the nation in February of this year, and the months since have seen a blossoming of Instagram accounts and hashtags devoted to attractive men with equally-attractive objects. Men and Wine, Men and Coffee, Cute Boys with Cats, and even #HotDudesEatingSalads are just a few of the accounts that appeared over the course of 2015, each gaining thousands of followers in a matter of mere months.

If you're a lady, chances are you're not surprised by their popularity. What's not to love about often-shirtless men smiling next to a fluffy cat, or reading Dostoevsky, or happily curled up with the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte? It's not exactly rocket science: Hot men + cute props = happy followers.

However, it should be noted that as innocuous as the Instagram accounts seem, they might also be indicative of something bigger. While women have been objectified in drawings, photography, videos, and any other type of media you can imagine for thousands of years, men are rarely seen as sexual beings — or at least, solely as sexual beings. As forward-thinking as modern society prides itself on being, it's still incredibly rare (although not unheard of) for men to be objectified for the female gaze, whereas a woman in 2015 still can't leave the house without being harassed.

Part of this stems from the entrenched belief that women don't have the same sexual appetites as men. For decades, female sexuality was assumed to be nonexistent or pathological, so there was simply no need for material catering to the female gaze. This cultural narrative of visual, sexually voracious men and pure, delicate women has persisted into the modern day, albeit in more subtle ways. If dating websites, think tanks, and sex education teachers are to be believed, women "need" emotional connection in order to enjoy sex, whereas men just want someone to satisfy their physical needs.

This is flat-out wrong, of course. Research has shown that women have similar drives toward casual sex as men, and are just as visually stimulated as well. Plus, anyone who identifies as a lady is likely to say the same thing. Unfortunately, attitudes don't change overnight. On the other hand, the explosion of Hot Dude Instagrams is indicative that maybe, just maybe, people are starting to recognize that hot men can be pretty freakin' appealing. Who knows?

With that in mind, why don't you head over to the Hot Dudes In Beds Instagram? You're doing feminism a favor, and it's full of attractive men. It's a win-win.

Images: Stuart Conner/Flickr; Hot Dudes In Beds (6), Hot Dudes Reading/Instagram