Orange Is The New Black star Matt McGorry put his body through so much while trying to lose weight for sex scenes that his sex drive plummeted and nothing came out when he orgasmed.
The actor opened up about his unhealthy dieting habits during a lengthy post online, detailing how he ‘rapidly lost weight’ two weeks before his first shirtless scene in the Netflix series, in which he starred as corrections officer John Bennett.
At the time, McGorry was moonlighting as a personal trainer and put his knowledge of the body to use by shifting his ‘normally restrictive diet’ to ‘something more severe’ in an effort to lose weight quickly.
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He doubled his time in the gym and put himself on a ‘dehydration plan’; something McGorry says is common for bodybuilders, fitness models and actors.
Though he succeeded in losing weight as planned, McGorry wrote on Human Parts that his unhealthy approach caused him to have little energy and become ‘constantly irritable and miserable’.
His mood put a strain on his relationship with his partner, as he added:
My free-falling energy levels made it impossible to focus on anything other than making it to the next meal, my obsession with food and losing weight, and my body, which I checked in the mirror many times a day.
Hear McGorry talk about his diet here:
The actor began working with a personal trainer when he was just 14 years old, and became one himself when he was 18. After being teased about his weight as a child, he became determined to change his body and went on to win a bodybuilding competition, which he achieved with ‘dangerously low body fat levels’.
McGorry’s determination to lose weight was spurred on as those around him offered him ‘validation’ for his transformation, though when recalling his bodybuilding win he remembers ‘deprivation, not success’.
McGorry, who also stars in How To Get Away With Murder, said he was so dehydrated he would dream about water, and his body was incapable of producing enough heat to stay warm.
My sex drive was nearly non-existent, with nothing coming out when I orgasmed. And I was proud of this, all of it.
Despite his efforts, McGorry berated himself for not being ‘leaner’ in his first shirtless scene as he felt this would ruin his opportunity to be cast as a ‘leading man’ in Hollywood productions.
Though he was ‘proud of some aspects of [his] physical achievements’, he explained:
No matter what “fitness” goal I reached, it never resulted in a real, deep sense of well-being, born of self-love and self-respect. More and more, it became difficult to confuse the high of external validation for a true sense of joy.
In the last couple of years, McGorry made the decision to walk away from diet culture and gain weight, committing himself to ‘unlearning the lifetime of fatphobic messaging etched into [his] psyche.’
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In choosing to gain weight and ‘become [his] own person, McGorry found he’s ‘no longer qualified to play a ‘leading man’ on-screen’, explaining: ‘The incredibly superficial industry of Hollywood tells me that, due to the changes in my body shape, I am not seen as physically worthy of an on-screen relationship — even at my relatively small size.’
As an actor, McGorry is ‘consistently seek[ing] to challenge all systems of oppression’ in the industry, though he knows it’s not a battle that can be won overnight.
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