‘Straight boys love each other. Don’t ever think they don’t.’
According to the supergay website, towleroad, a new app is due to be launched soon, called ‘bromance’ for straight dudes to hook up. Like blendr, the ‘hetero’ equivalent of ‘grindr’ it seems to be taking a while to develop, as I heard about it a while ago now.
Towleroad quote the bromance website:
‘Meet Bromance. The iPhone App that connects you to other guys nearby with the same likes/interests as you. Find yourself a workout buddy and get in shape. Organize some Ultimate Frisbee action with other guys around you. Want to meet up and play a game of hoops? Bored on a Friday night and want to grab a beer? Perhaps you want to organize a lan party with like-minded gamers?! Bromance. The location-based network for dudes that do. Coming soon to the iPhone.’
And then add a rather snippy line at the end:
‘Is anything in the universe sadder than a lonely bro?’
I can’t help but get the impression that Towleroad, and many gay men, are a bit put out by the way young straight men are increasingly encroaching on their ‘turf’.
There is a contradiction here. On one hand the gay internetz is full of ‘appreciations’ by gay men of young, fit, apparently straight men, like the website featuring the photo above – str8boyfanclub.com. But when straight men take it upon themselves to ‘appreciate’ each other and themselves, the gays seem a little bit lost and left out.
‘It seems generally younger people are becoming more and more open minded with each generation.’
This is a quote from Eric Anderson of Bath university, in relation to his research showing young men students to be much more affectionate with each other these days. Mark Simpson on reading about the research wrote:
‘Perhaps I’m hopelessly optimistic, but I would generally go with Mr Anderson here about what this metrosmooching signals. Though I’d add that it also probably also represents the spread of Continental habits, like croissant-munching. And I’m not entirely certain that men snogging other men on the pitch or nightclub ‘does not have a sexual connotation’. I mean, wouldn’t it depend on how hot they looked?’
Again, Eric Anderson is a gay man and I wonder if he is playing down the ‘sexual’ element of men’s metrosmooching because he is not ready for straight men’s identities to blur and merge with those carefully guarded gay ones.
As Simpson has stated in his latest book, Metrosexy:
‘ The rise of male behaviors and tastes that has been characterized as metrosexual has been made possible in large part by the decline in the stigma attached to male homosexuality. While this stigma made life rather difficult for homosexual men, it also had an instructive, not to say repressive, effect on all men.’
The bromance app looks like another example of the ‘decline of the stigma’ of homosexuality for straight men. But let’s not forget that fast on the heels of that decline in stigma, comes the destruction of sexual identity altogether.
In Simpson’s words, metrosexuality marks ‘the end of sexuality as we’ve known it.’
One of the many reasons I am so impressed by Simpson’s work is how he, even as a gay man who is not part of the ‘young generation’, has been so willing to embrace the idea of the demise of his own ‘type’, and the burgeoning of a new ‘breed’ of men, who are not straight, bi, or gay.
Bromance, if, and I grudgingly admit it’s a big if, it leads to actual ‘hook-ups’ between ‘straight’ men, could put the old-fashioned ‘straight chasers’ out of business! And, regardless of the fate of Bromance.com, I am sure websites like ‘str8boyfanclub.com’ will soon seem incredibly nostalgic and passe.
Vive la revolution!
Gawker’s take on Bromance.com is particularly anti-metro:
Consider the state of the pitiful American Man: beset on all sides by Spanx and fancy shampoo, tricked into doing crunches andgrooming eyebrows, bereft of any healthy masculine role models. Gone is the American Man; in his place, the American Bro. And he is desperate to commune with his own kind. Meet Bromance.
But at least it recognises metrosexuality when it sees it. Bros.