The male version of cheesecake
, either an attractively muscular
) member of the male
species, or a picture
of said male wearing little to no clothing. Also prominently featured on Weight Gain 4000
, episode #102 of South Park
Long before Abercrombie & Fitch catalogues, beefcake photography was a popular pre-Stonewall way to produce and distribute mild gay porn. The so-called muscle magazines of the 1950s and 1960s featured seemingly innocent photographs of muscular young men posing for the camera while wearing nothing but skimpy underwear, all under the guise of health and fitness. Unsuprisingly, when yesterday's subversion became today's quaint history, these magazines were nostalgically documented in Thom Fitzgerald's 1999 film Beefcake and F. Valentine Hooven's picture book Beefcake: The Muscle Magazines of America 1950-1970.
The term remains a staple of gay culture, also see: beefcake film/movie (pornographic movie), beefcake book (self explanatory), beefcake king (male model) and beefcakery (male nudity or semi-nudity in movies or photographs).