A Fine Bromance – Hook Ups for Straight Dudes?

Posted: November 28, 2011 in homosexuality, Identity, Masculinities, metrosexuality, Metrosexy, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

‘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.

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 has been documented:

‘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 other words, metrosexuality marks ‘the end of sexuality as we’ve known it.’

Bromance, if, and I grudginly 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.

  1. marc2020 says:

    Bare in mind I say this as a metro (not to mention retro) outsider but it would have been nice to see some non traditionally male activities listed in that peace you quote from the bromance site.

    Although as an avid gamer it was nice they mention lan parties.

  2. redpesto says:

    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 maybe it would stop Hollywood sniggering about it as well.

  3. marc2020 says:

    Lan party’s are when a group of gamers get together in a large room with their desk top PCs link them all together then play games with each other all night, it is the furthest thing away from kinky as you can get I’m afraid.

  4. redpesto says:

    Not ‘Ian’, but ‘Lan’ (Local Area Network)? It’s a geek/gamer/computer thing. Maybe the kink is a bonus.

  5. mousie762 says:

    This is reestablishment of a human norm. Straight men have been forming close friendships and enjoying each other’s company throughout recorded history. In Western culture, homosexuality has been deep underground and practically unknown for the past millennia, so friendships between men were never considered signs of homosexuality. In recent decades, homosexuality has been moving from unheard of through aversion fad; close friendships between men were considered signs of being gay, and gay was a bad thing. Now, homosexuality is becoming accepted, men aren’t too horrified by the idea someone might think they’re gay, so it is again possible to have close male friendships.

    It’s not something new, it’s the return of something utterly usual after a short weird hiatus that included our whole lives if we’re younger than 50 or so.

    • Hi mousie. great points. I agree to an extent but I think metrosexuality is different from anything that’s gone before. we can’t go back to a ‘pre gay’ or ‘pre sexuality’ time. This is a new(ish) epoch. I recommend Mark Simpson’s book: Metrosexy on the subject.


    • So the internet is going to bring back some male space? That would be nice.

      I do hate the word “Bromance” though, its called friendship to me.

      • yeah the name is silly but I think it hints at something ‘more’ than friendship (and ‘less’ than homosexuality) so in that sense for this app it’s kind of apt.

        • You have hit upon exactly why I dislike it. “Bromance” seems a judgement by people outside a friendship between men, and the word is designed to cast a certain light upon that relationship that is not necessarily true. I am sure that it makes sense in some cases, but the only way to be sure is to be a part of that relationship, in which case the label is useless. In short: its designed to mock straight guys for wanting to spend time with other guys. If we want to go drink some beer and shoot the shit without softening our language or worrying about offending women with some other guys we must actually have a different (and sexual) motive. Its bullshit.

      • mousie762 says:

        Thanks for the kind words, QRG!

        I don’t think it’s so much the internet or metrosexuality that’s bringing back male space and male friendship; I think it’s the disappearance of anti-gay sentiment that made male space ‘suspicious’.

        I’m not at all sure metrosexuality is a new thing, seems very like the easy blend of straight and gay you see in Plato’s “Symposium”. But then, I haven’t read Mark Simpson’s book, and I’m not sure I really even understand what metrosexuality is.

  6. Ginkgo says:

    “But when straight men take it upon themselves to ‘appreciate’ each other and themselves, the gays seem a little bit lost and left out.”

    Too fucking bad. We gay men can just suck it up. If you’ll pardon the expression.

    There is a very nasty patern of gay men allying with mean girl women against straight men. It has to stop.

  7. tu quoque says:

    I think the reason professionally gay men are wary of the gay/straight lines being blurred is that straight men will bring manhood into the gay sphere.

    “Gay” was never about homosexuality; it was always about being a safe haven for gender-atypical men and women. Now that it’s becoming harder for gay men to deny the “men” part of their title, all the requirements of masculinity are going to be less easily avoided.

    That makes them nervous, because, well, being a man is hard.

    • an interesting take, ajay. But I am not sure ‘manhood’ is so easily delineated even without the blurring of metrosexuality! some straight dudes are ‘well gay’ to quote Mr Simpson.

      • marc2020 says:

        From reading QRG and Mark Simpson it seems allot of gay men are obsessed with being seen as macho or “real men” so I’d say that its more this blurring of gender lines that makes gay men view metrosexuality with suspicion.

        • yes that and the fear that they won’t be ‘special’ anymore or ‘specially oppressed’ even.

          • Ginkgo says:

            This happens a lot. This was the core of the gay resistance to Andrew sullivan and others in the early phases of the push for marriage equality. It wasn’t enough for some people to be as queer and as possible, no, they had to have solidarity – because after all, what are other people’s lives but props in their ideological revels?

    • Ginkgo says:

      “I think the reason professionally gay men are wary of the gay/straight lines being blurred is that straight men will bring manhood into the gay sphere.’

      Actually we have been exporting manhood into the straight sphere for at least a couple of decades. Goatees and celebrating body hair – that came from us. And it’s only natural that it be this way; after all we aren’t the ones diluting our manhood with contact with females./ irony off.

      • mousie762 says:

        Ginkgo – “Goatees and celebrating body hair – that came from us.” Really? I don’t want to be rude, but I don’t actually remember a time when men shaved their bodies a lot until recent decades; and goatees come and go pretty regularly. Like, I’m pretty sure Custer didn’t get the idea from the gay sphere.

        • Ginkgo says:

          Both shaving and then full hairiness in reaction originated – this time around – originated in gay communiites. Of course there was full body shaving before, but that was only swinmmers and maybe some biking enthusiasts. not really what are talking about, so you have a pint there.

          As for goatees, of course I am talking about the style in the 90’s. Custer wore a goatee? – well, the Vikings wore their hair in long blond braids – neither one is very relevant to the discussion, is it?

  8. John says:

    None of the chaps who are featured on this posting had any trace of chest or body hair.
    Are full body “brazilian” make-overs now the in thing for gay men too?

    • hi John they are not ‘gay’ men apparently though one never knows.

      This waxing is popular with men but it’s not the whole story at all. The beard and chest hair look is also popular!

    • Ginkgo says:

      If so these wouldn’t be examples supporting that. For one thing all these guys are a little young for much body hair. And for another genetics come into it too. Of all four only the one in the lower left hand corner looks like he’ll ever have any body hair to speak of. I don’t recall ever seeing much body hair on men with faces like the others even in their 30s or 40s. And that is certainly something I tend to notice.

  9. I don’t think “straight chaser” is such a great term, mostly because it implies a binary that doesn’t really exist. It did make me laugh. In my lifetime of relationships with straight boys — romantic, sexual and quasi-sexual and all that — I was often chased myself. And so apps like Bromance aren’t threatening to me at all. There will always be straight boys who need what cocksuckers can give them regardless of their love for other bros.

    • Hi rick
      Well the word ‘bro’ isn’t exactly brilliant either – all these labels are cliched really.

      I quite like ‘straight chaser’ as I think it is old-fashioned and reminds us how desire is always about ‘chasing’ something we (think we) want.

      as for cocksuckers I think more and more men will be able to do a bit of that without having to become ‘gay’ and that means more freedom.

    • Ginkgo says:

      “There will always be straight boys who need what cocksuckers can give them regardless of their love for other bros.”

      And straight men. It probably wouldn’t amaze you but it surprises others how many married men in their 40s and 50s go looking. And they all respond like absolute virgins, like it’s the first time in thier lives they have ever been touched with any kind of desire behind the touch. So many married men have no real experience of being desired.

      • I am sure that is changing. Plenty of heterosexual people are much more sexually assertive these days – men and women.

        • Ginkgo says:

          I sure hope so. But it is not a question of being ssertive in what you if you are asserting it to someone who doesn’t give a shit and doesn’t have to. See also use of children as hostages and false accusations of DV, sexual abuse et al.

  10. I guess I can understand the desire for bro-sclusivity, or whatever, but the straights only thing… Rather than such a loud no-homo, wouldn’t it be a little less off putting to say ‘this service is not intended for sexual hook-ups and such activities will be frowned upon?’

  11. […] com­menters on gay blogs seemed to think the Bromance app would be only used by ‘clos­eted gay men’ seek­ing sex on the ‘down­low’ – while […]

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