In a nutshell, it’s when a straight guy gives another straight guy a blowie not in a meaningful sexual way but in a friendly, NSA, I’m-just-doing-you-a-little-favor, totally not gay sort of way. Or something.
Dr. Jane Ward writes about this not-so-new phenomenon in her book, Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men, published by NYU Press last month.
In the book, Ward poses the following question: “A straight white girl can kiss a girl, like it, and still call herself straight—her boyfriend may even encourage her. But can straight white guys experience the same easy sexual fluidity, or would kissing a guy just mean that they are really gay?”
The answer: It’s complicated.
From fraternity hazing rituals, where pledges are told to grab each other’s dongs and stick their fingers up fellow pledges’ butts, to online personal ads posted by “straight” men seeking other “straight” men to sack off with, Ward examines the fascinating world of “straight guy-on-guy action,” which she believes isn’t nearly as gay as people might think.
Ward argues that the real reason “straight” men behave in these ways is to “reaffirm rather than challenge their gender and racial identity” and “to leverage whiteness and masculinity to authenticate their heterosexuality in the context of sex with men.”
In other words: They do it to prove they’re not gay.
Kinda like how a blossoming homosexual might experiment with a girl in high school or college once or twice as a way of testing the waters. We all know how that story ends.
“By understanding their same-sex sexual practice as meaningless, accidental, or even necessary,” Ward says, “straight white men can perform homosexual contact in heterosexual ways. These sex acts are not slippages into a queer way of being or expressions of a desired but unarticulated gay identity. Instead … they reveal the fluidity and complexity that characterizes all human sexual desire.”
What do you think? Does Ward’s theory make sense, or does a guy giving another guy a “bro-job” make him gay, or at least bisexual? Sound off in the comments section below.