A new book explores the prevalence of sex acts between self-identifying straight white men.
Dr Jane Ward discusses the phenomenon – which has been dubbed the “bro-job” – in her book, Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men.
“A straight white girl can kiss a girl, like it, and still call herself straight,” Ward writes.
“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?”
And, she argues, it is not as uncommon as many may think.
Ward looks at a host of common examples – from fraternity hazing, “where new recruits are made to grab each other’s penises and stick fingers up their fellow members’ anuses” – to online ads where straight guys search for buddies to masturbate with, in an attempt to define these relationships.
“These sex acts are not slippages into a queer way of being or expressions of a desired but unarticulated gay identity.
“They reveal the fluidity and complexity that characterises all human sexual desire,” the Professor of Women’s Studies states.
Furthermore, she argues that these men see these acts as the opposite of homosexual – as a way of proving their “straight-ness”.
“By understanding their same-sex sexual practice as meaningless, accidental, or even necessary, straight white men can perform homosexual contact in heterosexual ways.”