Male friendships and homophobia

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Male friendships and homophobia

Postby jerome_bc » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:16 am UTC

Disclaimer: I live in Canada, and, as such, most of my experience comes from Canadian, and, more broadly, North American society. Whatever mention of "society" that follow refers to said society. Furthermore, I am aware that homophobia is also relevant in non-male friendships, but it seems more prevalent in male friendships, and, being male, my experience of same-sex non-male friendships is rather limited.

I consider myself quite close to my male friends, and homophobia is not an issue in my social circle, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. For instance, the other day, me and my buddies went to a pub for my friend's birthday. One guy gave him a bunch of coasters as a mock birthday gift. On a whim, I gave him a heart shape made of two oval coasters, which elicited the answer "I love you too, Jerome!". We also hug each other regularly, and indulge in group hugs.

I value my relationship with my male friends a lot, but it seems to me that guys tend not to get too close to each other for fear of being accused of homosexuality, and I think it's a shame. I used to think like that in high school, but I realize now that I was missing out by not getting close to my male friends (what we call "bromance"). It seems to me that male-male friendships could be a lot more than what they are for most people, and a lot of guys are missing out on this because of the homophobia in our society, which creates an unreasonable fear of being seen as gay.

In my experience, girl friends tend to be closer to each other, and a lot more comfortable getting close, physically and emotionally. I'm wondering if guys are not as comfortable only because of homophobia, or if there is some inherent difference between male-male and female-female friendships that I'm missing. Also, my perception could be completely wrong, screwed by stereotypes; maybe a lot of other guys are as close as me and my friends are, and I just don't see it.

What do y'all think?

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Save Point » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:20 am UTC

My brother's school went so far as to ban hugs.* It's an all boys school, and they banned it not because of any physical contact concerns but because one prospective student decided not to attend because it was "gay." My money's on concerns over looking gay.

*I'm told they're "bro hugs" that are a mix of a high five, a slap on the back, and a hug.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby |Erasmus| » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:22 am UTC

I hug one of my male friends pretty regularly. My other ones all seem to think it's weird, so part of the reason we do it is to make them uncomfortable... So I guess that kind of agrees with your point that a lot of guys are at least a bit homophobic.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Lord Aurora » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:23 am UTC

Join a fraternity.

Without fail, the most homoerotic group of straight men around.

(Edited for straight/gay mixup. Kinda important.)
Last edited by Lord Aurora on Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:44 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby lulzfish » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:32 am UTC

jerome_bc wrote:We also hug each other regularly, and indulge in group hugs.


For me, this is very unusual. I'm in the US here, so who knows.
I also think it's strange to hug a female friend. I'm just not a very physical person.

Ass-slaps are right out for either gender.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Gaydar2000SE » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:53 am UTC

Themis wrote:My brother's school went so far as to ban hugs.* It's an all boys school, and they banned it not because of any physical contact concerns but because one prospective student decided not to attend because it was "gay." My money's on concerns over looking gay.

*I'm told they're "bro hugs" that are a mix of a high five, a slap on the back, and a hug.
Those things as boys schools, girls schools et cetera, separated dressing rooms are a marvellous example of the 'straight-until-proven-otherwise' culture. For instance, say you have a child, and then it's quite normal to until a certain age only allow people from the same sex to sleep over. Without really realizing that perhaps your child is homosexual? Or at least not heterosexual, it's less black and white than often put.

Or the 'Yeah, you're just 14, how can you know you're gay.' thing, strangely no one says 'Yeah, you're just 14, how can you know if you're straight?', in fact, people seem to assume it. No one 'comes out of the closet' as a being straight.

I'd hug male friends in the same way as female friends, and I never 'came out of the closet', some people know, some don't, and I don't formally introduce it. The whole world in fact came out of the closet for me when I was 12-or-so and they finally explained the true nature of sexual orientation to me and I still think it's stupid and repulsive to put so much weight on people's gender. It's what's between your legs that's ultimately the decisive?
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Kewangji » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:00 am UTC

It's what between your ears, actually.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:11 am UTC

Tell that to the good 80% of frustratingly unenlightened yahoos (male and female) out there.

I live in a college bubble full of bleeding-heart liberals and feminist budding sociologists, and even I have encountered the fear of gayness thing among my friends. "No homo" is the stupidest phrase ever invented. Seriously, guys, nobody around you gives a shit about whether your behavior around your friends says something about your/their bedding preferences or not, all it's doing is revealing your own raging insecurities for the world to see. How ridiculous would it seem for gay guys to engage in back-slapping stereotypical "straight" behavior and quickly say "no hetero" afterwards just in case anyone thought they were straight, the horror. That's exactly how asinine the reverse is.

OP, lots of kudos to you for not being afraid, though in an ideal world you shouldn't have to be "not afraid." You should be normal and unquestioned.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby jerome_bc » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:44 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote:OP, lots of kudos to you for not being afraid, though in an ideal world you shouldn't have to be "not afraid."

Yes, I think a lot of the gender-related business in society is crap. Gaydar2000SE has made some good points, too.

[tangent]Strangely enough, I think I have my father's homophobic jokes to thank for that. Once I knew enough to understand the homophobia behind them, I started being revolted by his homophobia, and I set out to not become like him, so I ended up closer to the other extreme. [tangent]The girl I am currently dating has androgynous traits and is sometimes mistaken for a guy. My father has yet to meet her, but thinking of how he will react when (if) he does amuses me in a twisted way. I guess a part of me is still a rebellious teenager. Not that I'm dating her as a mean to rebel; she is the most awesome girl I know. [/tangent][/tangent]

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby eekmeep » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:51 am UTC

IMO, some people are "huggy," some aren't. Girls seem to be "huggier" than boys, so girl-girl friendships tend to be more physical.

But yes, there is also the homophobia nonsense.

But a fair amount of guys I know will hug their male friends, and not feel the need to declare their hetero-ness afterwards.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby GoodRudeFun » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:33 am UTC

I never really noticed. I give hugs based on the other person's level of comfort, but it never really bothers me. Hugs are awesome, no matter who you're hugging. If someone doesn't look like they want a hug I just assume they aren't the physical type and leave it be. They're missing out, but its their choice.

The gender roles do bother me, it honestly seems pretty pathetic that people have to rely on such things so much. I honestly don't want to try and fit some cookie cutter, I'd much rather just be me and see where that goes. I end up being more in touch my feelings, and more respecting towards people who don't follow gender roles as well. I also have the freedom to do what ever I please, which is pretty nice. I guess it makes me less of a man, being secure with me as myself, but fuck it, I'm better off.

I do wish this was the general feel of things in our society. It seems so many people are trying too hard to fit these roles and they end up hurting themselves and others. I think we should move away from raising kids with these roles in mind and just raise them to be themselves, I honestly don't see the harm that could come of it.

Also, last I checked I hugged my gay friends with out much thought. Honestly didn't really occur to me that I wasn't "supposed" to do that. Meh, hugs are still awesome.
Oh. Well that's alright then.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby thatblackguy » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:58 am UTC

It's an inherent thing in a lot of male relationships and I think it's a lot more than just fear of being called gay. I don't do hugs with guys, I would think the heart shaped coasters was werid but funny though I would think you're effiminate because of it. Bromance is almost as close to an abomination I can think of in your post, one because the idea is crazy, two because the word itself is so bad sounding.
HOWEVER, if a school or college or anyone else tried to ban hugs between guys and was clearly homophobic I would passionately embrace guy friends on a regular basis cause they need to get their head out of their arse and not tell me what to do. Incidentally, I have said that for all the Oh me yarm separate the guys from the girls shit we need to get some gays making out in front of them to show them how great their idea is.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Gaydar2000SE » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:04 am UTC

Interestingly enough this applies a lot less with girls though. Also, saying 'wow, she's so hot', of another girl is done quite a lot less shamelessly.

One on a forum had quite the interesting remark about it, she said that guys may think that girls dress nicely for them, but in reality they do it to make other girls jealous. Relative to which girl we speak but a lot it probably applies to.

Bromance is a fantastic word, I didn't know it yet.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby GoodRudeFun » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:13 am UTC

You clearly don't understand just how awesome hugs really are.


Also, you really don't explain why hugs are "wrong" or how showing love or affection to your friends makes you less of a man. Does being close to a friend somehow mean you lose your testicles or penis? Does it even really matter?
Oh. Well that's alright then.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby thatblackguy » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:29 am UTC

I don't need to explain why it's effiminate cause I'm not trying to convince you, it just is that way to me. I don't expect you to change your behaviour cause it seems like a harmless thing to me.
Hugs are awesome! From women. Yes showing affection that way seems effiminate to me. There are other ways to be close/show companionship.
Well, gay guys are clearly men with penises and what not yet some are also clearly effiminate. I'm not saying that's a bad thing btw.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby GoodRudeFun » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:35 am UTC

I still think you're missing out and severely limiting your experiences in life to fit some arbitrary set of rules that really hold no weight in life. But I guess that's your prerogative.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby thatblackguy » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:53 am UTC

I don't mean to liken hugs to the following stuff but it is just an example of other experiences you're missing out on. To demonstrate how there are many things that may be classified as "limiting your experiences in life to fit your arbitrary rules". The important part is that they're your rules, they are decided by you for you and you're not making the choice for anyone else.

You sure are missing out on a lot unless you're a bisexual monogamist/partner swapping, leather daddy/sub, cuckold who's never experienced what it's like to have just a penis/vagina which could be done with surgery. Point being, missing out on hugs is limiting experiences but that in itself, is not such a bad thing.

Note: All the things I mentioned above are great for some people and not for others and it's not bad to be one or the other, it's just who you are.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Gaydar2000SE » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:55 am UTC

I believe some research showed that intelligent women liked effeminate men though.

Also, what's with all this 'I must hold to my manliness' stuff? Essentially:

Spoiler:
Image


No? stereotype 'manly' qualities are quite limbic and 'primitive' things more associated with animals humans like to place under them than humans themselves.
^ :/

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Zohar » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:00 am UTC

Just throwing my thoughts here - I'm a gay guy and my two best friends are girls. I have good male friends and it's very common in Israeli culture to "man hug" people (something that develops during the military service I think). From my experience a lot of people don't mind close male relationships, including me (a gya guy) with other straight guys who know I'm gay.

When I was in the military I got to a base with a really, really close-knit group of people. It was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. I thought that maybe I could tell them I was gay, but I just couldn't. Like most other places, "gay" was used as a derogatory term and I didn't feel comfortable about this. I didn't feel comfortable about it in other places either, though. In general, Israeli culture can be very homophobic, but it really depends on the area you're in and right now, where I live, people are overall OK. I've only talked with one homophobic guy (that I know of, of course) around me.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Gaydar2000SE » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:05 am UTC

Zohar wrote:Just throwing my thoughts here - I'm a gay guy and my two best friends are girls. I have good male friends and it's very common in Israeli culture to "man hug" people (something that develops during the military service I think). From my experience a lot of people don't mind close male relationships, including me (a gya guy) with other straight guys who know I'm gay.
Interestingly enough, some guys with a gay friend fear the gay friend might start to like them a little too much. Though a gay guy with straight friends which are female is never really anxious of such it seems.

Also, didn't the Tanakh say some thing about surely be put to death, Israel is not a secular country like for instance totally unchristian US is it?

When I was in the military I got to a base with a really, really close-knit group of people. It was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. I thought that maybe I could tell them I was gay, but I just couldn't. Like most other places, "gay" was used as a derogatory term and I didn't feel comfortable about this. I didn't feel comfortable about it in other places either, though. In general, Israeli culture can be very homophobic, but it really depends on the area you're in and right now, where I live, people are overall OK. I've only talked with one homophobic guy (that I know of, of course) around me.
I heard that, that in tel abib people were quite open, and not in some other parts.

Also in the SPAARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAn army it was quite normal and encouraged to be quite gay and rooster those boys up. And all citizens of Sparta were in the military. As that is...
Spoiler:
nah too lame.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby GoodRudeFun » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:52 am UTC

Gaydar2000SE wrote:
Zohar wrote:Just throwing my thoughts here - I'm a gay guy and my two best friends are girls. I have good male friends and it's very common in Israeli culture to "man hug" people (something that develops during the military service I think). From my experience a lot of people don't mind close male relationships, including me (a gya guy) with other straight guys who know I'm gay.
Interestingly enough, some guys with a gay friend fear the gay friend might start to like them a little too much. Though a gay guy with straight friends which are female is never really anxious of such it seems.

Also, didn't the Tanakh say some thing about surely be put to death, Israel is not a secular country like for instance totally unchristian US is it?

When I was in the military I got to a base with a really, really close-knit group of people. It was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. I thought that maybe I could tell them I was gay, but I just couldn't. Like most other places, "gay" was used as a derogatory term and I didn't feel comfortable about this. I didn't feel comfortable about it in other places either, though. In general, Israeli culture can be very homophobic, but it really depends on the area you're in and right now, where I live, people are overall OK. I've only talked with one homophobic guy (that I know of, of course) around me.
I heard that, that in tel abib people were quite open, and not in some other parts.

Also in the SPAARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAn army it was quite normal and encouraged to be quite gay and rooster those boys up. And all citizens of Sparta were in the military. As that is...
Spoiler:
nah too lame.
I was wondering about that too. I'm not too knowledgeable on Israel, but I know that in some middle-eastern areas its really not safe to be openly gay.

Also, I really don't understand this fear that your gay friends will develop a crush on you. The only reason there would be anything to worry about is if the person is a psychotic stalker, and that's not really gender specific. If they're your friend you would probably know if they were the psychotic stalker type too.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Axman » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:54 am UTC

Your classics knowledge seems lacking...

I have a best friend I would die for, and him likewise. What do hugs have to do with love? I'm just throwing that out there, not ascribing to any dogma one way or the other.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Zohar » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:04 am UTC

It's not so simple to put Israel with the rest of the middle east (there's a reason we get to go to the Eurovision :P). It's much more modern and free than other places. At least, seems that way to me. While there is religious influence here, the country is modern and thriving. It feels weird even to need to defend it in this manner. :)

Some of the orthodox people here are very much against gays (I say some because I don't know them all, but I don't remember hearing support for gays). Every year they try to cancel the gay parades in the various cities (Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Eilat are the main ones). A few years ago one of them even tried to murder some homosexuals in the parade (stabbed them). But I don't remember seeing too many hate crimes (nothing springs to mind). And Tel Aviv is perfectly safe.

Then again, I'm a big guy and most people don't guess I'm gay. I'm also pretty assertive and never feel insecure on the streets, so maybe I'm missing some kind of vibe. But I doubt it.

BTW, Iran has the highest rate of sex change operations in the world because homosexual acts are illegal (and punishable by death). A M to F transsexual, though, is allowed to have a sexual relationship with a man.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Gaydar2000SE » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:24 am UTC

Axman wrote:Your classics knowledge seems lacking...
Do elaborate.

I have a best friend I would die for, and him likewise. What do hugs have to do with love? I'm just throwing that out there, not ascribing to any dogma one way or the other.
No idea, but I have some friends who sleep naked when I sleep over in the same bed and proceed to hug me. Though those are of the opposite sex I just remembered.

Zohar wrote:It's not so simple to put Israel with the rest of the middle east (there's a reason we get to go to the Eurovision :P). It's much more modern and free than other places. At least, seems that way to me. While there is religious influence here, the country is modern and thriving. It feels weird even to need to defend it in this manner. :)
It's hard to notice oppression of freedom if you do the oppression though. 'Freedom' is an illusion, but as long as you oppress another's freedom or at least agree with it, it will change to 'Getting rid of moral decay'. 'Parental advisory' is of course just the same as not allowing women to not cover themselves up. Free countries are yet to be invented.

Besides, too many people seem to think that Persian culture, Paki culture, Sudanese culture, Maroccan culture and Turkish culture is any where remotely related because they happen to all just be a 'Muslim' country. They're as much apart as Italy and Peru, both being overly Christian.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby ParanoidAndroid » Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:35 am UTC

All of my male friends from high school are at least mildly homophobic are really uncomfortable with any behavior that could be misconstrued as homoerotic. . It's not surprising, considering that we all went to an extremely conservative and fundamentalist school. This school had an official "six inch rule" regarding physical contact between the sexes. Eventually, a rather homophobic teacher voiced concern that overly affectionate girls might encourage homosexual behavior among the school's female population, so action was taken against girls hugging too much or sitting on each other's laps. :roll:

Suffice to say, I'm quite comfortable with physical contact with guys, be it playful or affectionate. I've actually been asked on several occasions how I managed to escape turning out like the rest of my class in this respect.

At the very least, no one tries to steal my seat if I have to get up.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Whelan » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:58 am UTC

Oddly enough, here in Britain it seems to be the exact opposite of what the OP describes. In a quite large group of friends, hugs are common, even with people you don't know brilliantly well, guys and girls. And this seems common to almost all the 'groups' I know of, although that might just be our particular youth subculture.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby the tree » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:09 pm UTC

Whelan wrote:I know of, although that might just be our particular youth subculture.
Yeah, it depends massively on subculture/friendship group/general context. I move in like, a gazillion different circles - all of which with a different hug frequency / persons present relation. Interestingly, the Internets groups seem to hug more than most - and a lot of other people have noticed that.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Blokey » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:09 pm UTC

Well, in our social circle, bromance is a pretty common thing. We hug quite regularly, daily even. Partly out of genuine heartfelt warmness towards them, and yes, partly to make homophobic people uncomfortable. Also, most if not all hugs are a good thing.
Oddly, our homoerotic underovertones make some of the girls in our group more uncomfortable than the guys. It's odd.
But huggable.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby jerome_bc » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:29 pm UTC

thatblackguy wrote:It's an inherent thing in a lot of male relationships and I think it's a lot more than just fear of being called gay. I don't do hugs with guys, I would think the heart shaped coasters was werid but funny though I would think you're effiminate because of it. Bromance is almost as close to an abomination I can think of in your post, one because the idea is crazy, two because the word itself is so bad sounding.
HOWEVER, if a school or college or anyone else tried to ban hugs between guys and was clearly homophobic I would passionately embrace guy friends on a regular basis cause they need to get their head out of their arse and not tell me what to do. Incidentally, I have said that for all the Oh me yarm separate the guys from the girls shit we need to get some gays making out in front of them to show them how great their idea is.

Yes, I'm probably "effeminate", but I fail to see how that's a problem. Maybe you're not afraid of looking gay, but you seem afraid of looking unmanly. The whole idea of effeminacy is a product of gender roles, which are, in my opinion, shit. In many respects, I am more "feminine" than my lady friend. She is a tomboy, while I shop at American Apparel, which has a great selection of unisex clothing. I spend more time than her in front of the mirror. This also absolutely fail to bother me.

I have no problem hugging my gay friend, although he's not as huggy as some other of my male friends. With my female friends, it depends on how huggy they are (as it does for males.. I don't hug all of my male friends either).
Blokey wrote:Partly out of genuine heartfelt warmness towards them, and yes, partly to make homophobic people uncomfortable. Also, most if not all hugs are a good thing.

Also, this. Making homophobic and other stuck-up people uncomfortable is fun. For instance, when certain relatively closed-minded friends of mine make sex-related, but socially acceptable, jokes, I've been known to give over-the-top answers to make them uncomfortable.
Friend: *bad joke about me performing self-fellatio*
Me: Do you have a problem with me putting my penis in my mouth?

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby steewi » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:12 am UTC

I have to admit to holding myself back for fear of homophobia.

It's for two main reasons. The one that's been primarily mentioned. I have been afraid that people would notice that I'm gay. I'm getting over that.

The other one was because I am, and for a couple of people there's been attachment issues. I know they're straight, and I don't want myself to fall for them, because worse (IMO) than having a crush on your female best friend is having a gay crush on your straight friend.

I'm horribly hypocritical on this, so I just make a show of being not touchy-feely with most people.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby TheAmazingRando » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:54 am UTC

I don't hug my male friends nearly as often as I do my female friends. Not out of homophobia (I've seen most of my male friends naked or nearly so and it doesn't bother me or them), just because I never initiate hugs (though I certainly don't mind them) and neither do my male friends, while my female friends do quite frequently. I'd say it has more to do with a fear of showing affection in general, not homosexual affection specifically.

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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby BMW787 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:03 am UTC

Just for reference: Im straight and my friend is straight.

Me and my best friend have been known to hug every so often and sometimes he grabs my ass and plays with my man breasts..... its kinda awkward but we are good friends so its just funny. I never saw anything wrong with hugging and I dont think any of my friends do either. Its just a way to express our friendship
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby sparks » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:22 pm UTC

I would think it's also because of social stereotypes and notions on how each gender should behave. Boys in our society are told to be "tough" and not to show any feelings. As children, if a boy (I'm not talking toddlers here, say about 8) falls down and scrapes his knee, he's more likely to hear his father tell him that he shouldn't cry because he is a boy. If a girl does something much less painful like breaking a nail, if she cries, she won't face social stigma (well, except maybe being told off for overreacting, but that's a different story). Boys are raised within the notion that they have to be strong and not display any feelings, whereas a girl is encouraged to be emotional and tender. So, naturally, in friendships men tend to bring in those ideas and so on. I also know that friendships between men can be just as deep as girls', but the way they show it is filtered through those notions and thus is different.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Sparthox » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:22 pm UTC

For the record, I am a straight male and the friends I am talking about here are also straight males.

My close friends and I have moved past this notion of male toughness and emotional apathy and can talk about our emotions, hopes, fears, or desires freely, but that just hasn't really manifested itself in more physical contact. I would say I'm not afraid to hug my friends, but doing so on an occasion that wasn't especially emotionally deep for both of us just seems unnecessary. I mean, I hug my female friends to say hello and goodbye or when they need a hug, but for my male friends and me, a hug is not required to relay our affection for each other; it's just understood. However, I also think it's pretty safe to say that we would all be labelled as gay, jokingly or not, if we hugged all the time, so maybe this outlook is a product of my environment (the midwest).
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby mastered » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

Bromance is awesome. Also, the military, with its gender imbalance and its "don't ask, don't tell" policy, probably involves a lot of homosexuality - for comfort in hard times?
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:06 pm UTC

My boyfriend, upon reading the OP, said his very first thought was, "Wow, that guy acts really gay."

Then he realized what the OP was talking about and the lightbulb went on. He agrees that limiting your actions out of homophobia is wrong and should change. But I thought it was kind of interesting to see just how deeply the attitude can get ingrained even in "enlightened" individuals.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Zohar » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:16 pm UTC

mastered wrote:Bromance is awesome. Also, the military, with its gender imbalance and its "don't ask, don't tell" policy, probably involves a lot of homosexuality - for comfort in hard times?

Not in Israel, anyway. It's a rare occasion when people are openly gay in the Israeli military. However, bromance is very common - man hugs etc.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Gaydar2000SE » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:03 pm UTC

Sexual orientation is ridicule any way, there's no scientific evidence to suggest it's any more than a taste, like any, subject to fashion and exceptions. 'Scientists' first being convinced of the existence of 'gay genes', ahaha, just because it sounds 'more scientific', like all tastes, it has a nature and a nurture part. And also, sexual identity is a subculture.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby Kewangji » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

(I'm male, for the record)

I hug and grope some of my male friends all the time, it's great fun :D
I'm a bit disappointed in myself for turning down the invitation to kiss one of them though, I couldn't tell if he was being serious or not and didn't want to look foolish or be rejected.
Some of my other male friends are extremely uncomfortable with hugs though, I think that has to do with OCD and the "it's manly to not show emotions"-thing more than homophobia.
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Re: Male friendships and homophobia

Postby GraphiteGirl » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:19 am UTC

A lot of my male friends at uni are heavily involved in student theatre, and they are the very opposite of homophobic. One guy - straight, and in a long term relationship, and a generally sweet lad all around - is fond of hugging people at random, and has been known to give male friends lapdances in the spirit of humour. He's pretty much universally beloved, and no one thinks less of him in any way because of it, nor do they question his sexuality. Maybe it's a function of the fact that there are plenty of non-straight (bi, gay, etc) people involved in student theatre, or maybe it attracts people who just like other people and spending time with different personalities, or maybe it's the fact that men regularly have to kiss onstage, but for some reason, there's very little homophobia related to male-male physical contact amongst this particular group of guys.
But there still seem to be not as many close male-male friendships in the "tell-each-other-everything" sense. (Some, but not many; or maybe they're just more subtle?) Most of the lads I know tend to seek out a close female friend when they want to talk about their emotions or really anything that makes them seem vulnerable. Maybe it's not about homophobia so much as a need to appear tough and in control when in the presence of male friends, and feeling more comfortable discussing feelings with women, who don't have as many hang-ups about openly expressing emotion?
(Ah, the joys of "manliness" equating to stoicness, and emotion being "womanly" and somehow, therefore, weak and embarrassing. There's one concept I'd love to see vanish overnight in a puff of smoke, preferably with accompanying pyrotechnics.)
Edit: So yes, essentially what sparks said.
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