We Need to Talk About 'Bromances'

A couple kisses in front of graffiti depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on the walls of a bar in the old town in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, May 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

Attitude Magazine published an article on the research of the role masculinity plays in heterosexual friendships among men. The sample size is 30 men, so I can refute this with anecdotal references. So, let’s discuss it.


A new study, published in Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, asked a series of in-depth questions to 30 British undergraduate sport students to try and discover what straight men really get up to with their best friends.

They’re British… what else can be said?

The results were surprising, and suggested that when behind closed doors, heterosexual men don’t let masculinity get in the way of forming close bonds.

We most certainly do.

“Participants suggested, for example, that a bromantic friend was “someone who is literally there for you all the time” and “will always be there to back you up if you need it,” said researcher Adam White.

Look, if it is a bar fight or you need help moving, I’m down for the cause. But we are not cuddling and don’t bother me with your indecision about the color scheme in your dining room.

“A bromance is between friends whose mutual support is perceived as limitless and unwavering. All of the participants said they had at least one relationship they would class as a bromance.”

Zero. That’s how many guys I know that classify a friendship as a ‘bromance,’ and I know more than 30. In fact, that’s a good way to be excluded from poker night.

Even more interestingly, all but one of the men asked said that they regularly engaged in “non-sexual physical intimacy,” such as kissing, cuddling, and spooning with their best friend.


Nope. That’s an automatic friendship killer. Deal. Breaker. It is only acceptable to hug at Christmas and funerals. Even then, you risk your Man Card being pulled for hugging too long.

All but one of the men interviewed engaged in cuddling and spooning their bromances, and most had kissed their bromances,” said White. “They said things like: ‘You can lie in bed with your bromance, have a cuddle and just talk.’”

Thank God for one British undergrad who respects the firm boundaries of masculinity. Where to start with this last one… Who just lays in bed with their bro? We can share a foxhole if someone is shooting at us, or a tent during inclement weather — that is it. And at no time is there cuddling in these limited situations of slumbering coexistence. Laying back-to-back is the standard position.

These are basics of masculinity and, apparently, need to be restated from time to time.



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