Bromosexual relationships revealed
The existence of friendships between straight and gay men is nothing new. But in recent years, these types of relationships have been on the rise.
Moreover, old-school thinking about sexual orientation is falling to the wayside. In fact, so popular are these relationships that the New York Times style section ran a piece on the Rise of the bromosexual friendships.
So, what’s going on? Why are so many men who identify as hetero bonding with gays? Is there something straight guys receive from gays that’s unique? If so, what is it?
The answer to these questions and more can now be revealed. Here are 7 scientific reasons why bromosexual relationships are catching on.
1. Black and white thinking fading
In the not so distant past, most people were placed into neat little boxes with labels like: “straight”, “gay” and “bi”. However, those days are long gone according to new research.
Because millennials and Gen-“Z”ers don’t subscribe to ancient constructs, perceptions of masculinity have become less rigid.
In turn, this has allowed hetero guys to be more open about topics that were once taboo. Examples include romance, dating and sex.
Because gay men have historically been comfortable discussing these issues, straight guys tend to gravitate towards them magnetically.
2. Emotional bonding
Another evolution we have seen in recent years relates to straight guys being more open about their emotional bonds with other men.
A university study appearing in Men and Masculinities revealed that heterosexual guys find their same-sex relationships more satisfying than with females.
The reason? Nowadays (thanks mostly to millennials) men feel less judged when talking about deeply held feelings.
In this way, guy on guy bonding is empowered while affording the possibility for experimentation.
3. Premium on gay advice
For many years, having a gay best friend has been all the rage with straight women. The reasons are multifactorial but the biggies include:
- No worries about getting hit on,
- Insider advice on what men like when hooking up and;
- Shared dating/romance experiences.
Given cultural shifts in perceptions regarding sexual orientation, many straight guys now also want a gay “bestie”. When you think about it, doesn’t it make sense?
Who better than a gay man to talk with about male grooming, self-care, and the challenges of love.
4. Same sex hookups
New lines of research involving heterosexual rural men reveal that many of them have strong bromances with other guys. Often, they include a sexual component.
Researcher Tony Silva shared with GPB the findings of his study on “dude sex” (see interview).
In it, we learned that guys who identify as straight often turn to other men to get certain needs met. (Lannoye, 2016).
What’s important to recognize is that terms like “gay” aren’t used in this context. Instead, guys hook up with other guys and skip the “gay” label.
There have been multiple lines of scholarly research that suggests men who identify as straight are strongly open to same sex experiences.
We know from a 2016 General Social Survey (GSS) published by San Diego State University there’s been a significant uptick with gay experimentation on the part of straight men.
We need to point out that the surge seems to be happening mostly with men under 35. Investigators are still trying to understand “the why”.
Possibilities include changing cultural attitudes about gay men and new constructs involving sexual fluidity.
6. Changing definitions of sex
Fifteen years ago, the boilerplate definition of sex was anytime two people got together for oral, vaginal or anal intimacy. Today (depending on who you ask) this no longer applies.
For example, many millennials do not consider oral to be “sex”. Instead, insertive anal or vaginal must take place to qualify (Morris, 2014).
Because of this perceptual shift, we believe that when men who identify as straight engage in same sex oral, they may not consider it to be “sex” at all.
Are they fooling themselves? That’s up to you to decide.
As University of California professor Dr. Jane Ward reveals in her book “Not Gay”, homosexual contact among heterosexual men is hardly an accident (Ward, 2016).
7. Safe place to explore
The final reason bromances are on the rise is the simple recognition on the part of many straight guys that gays offer a “safe place” for exploration.
We know from a study released earlier this year in Sexualities that increasingly, heterosexual guys are curious about anal.
According to the data, twenty-five percent of men have engaged in some form of anal stimulation. The revelation suggests that a once “taboo” activity is now starting to gain momentum.
It is our belief that gay men offer a safe oasis for this exploration. This makes perfect sense upon reflection.
Ask yourself – Who would a heterosexual man initially approach to satisfy curious anal needs: his girlfriend or his bromantic buddy?
Perceptions about sexuality and gender continue to evolve. As decades-old thinking crumbles, new thoughts have started to emerge.
As a result, bromosexual friendships are starting to catch on. If not, there’s a good chance you will.
Are you ready?
Lannoye, J. (2016, December 23). Straight Men Having Sex With Straight Guys: “Dude Sex” Study Author Interview. Retrieved from Gay Pop Buzz: https://www.gaypopbuzz.com/dude-sex-study-author-interview/
Morris, A. (2014, March 31). Tales From the Millennials’ Sexual Revolution. Retrieved from Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/feature/millennial-sexual-revolution-relationships-marriage
Ward, J. (2016). Books. Retrieved from Jane Ward: http://www.janewardphd.com/books.html