James Dean, the writer of “Straight Men” in the “New Sexual Studies Book” defines heterosexual simply as opposite sex attraction (246). The stigma towards homosexuality is declining and it is becoming more and more common to see men interact with each other in affectionate ways, especially among those on sports teams according to “Science: Straight Athletes Love a Same-Sex Snuggle” by Luke Malone.
Malone claims his research is showing intimate contact is no longer a breech in masculinity. Bromance’s are considered normal around male athletes because they are so used to being around each other, showering together; spending majority of their time together. So, according to the article they are not seen as gay they are seen as comfortable around each other.
This could relate to the views of Nick, a man who was interviewed in Dean’s chapter. Nick stated, “ I do not think of myself as a male heterosexual. Like I am who I am. What I do with my life that is who I am, my actions not my sexual identity” (250).
These athletes are not letting their actions define their sexual identity, they know who they are and are comfortable acting how they feel.
The comments to this article are full of very mixed feelings. Some with an I do not care it is normal attitude
–“ When guys are young, we are very sexually charged. You don’t mess around with other guys because you’re attracted to guys, you mess around because he happens to be there” (Reed Wilson).
And some with an attitude of disgust
–“ Next week? New research shows that men who place their genitalia in other men’s rear are just bonding and are completely straight” (Carlosdanger).
On and off these athletes’ respective playing fields, you see a lot of butt slaps, hugging, and other intimate gestures. But, when it comes to them interacting with females it is a totally different intimacy. Yes, this article claims these athletes may cuddle, but it involves no sexual desire as it would a female. If you think about it, these college athletes are on the road majority of the time and are rarely ever around females, just their teammates and coaches; so where else are they going to find affection? Everyone needs it.
Next time you are around a male athlete on campus, just watch their interactions with their teammates. You can see that they are more than just teammates, they are family. They are willing to take care of each other and show love towards each other and not worry about what others think. It is not homosexual in any way.
Do you think their masculinized bodies play a role in their care free attitudes towards cuddling with other males?
Often you see females showing intimate affection to each other all the time. Why are their actions not made a big deal? Studies have shown that it is more acceptable to be viewed as lesbian in society than gay. What do you think has caused society to view it as this way?