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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blimey! I Kissed a Bloke... And I Liked It! :: Brit Boys’ Same-Sex Face-Sucking Epidemic

By Kilian Melloy -

Straight boys in Britain have found a new way to bond with their male friends: a kiss here and there, none of which is seen by the boys as sexual.

A new study suggests that locking lips with same-sex friends is no longer viewed as "gay" among British lads. The study, carried out among British high schoolers and university students by Bath University researcher Eric Anderson, indicates that the British male is becoming "nicer," reported LiveScience on Oct. 27. All the participants in the study said they were heterosexual--but kissing their male pals didn’t present a conflict to them, because they didn’t think of kissing one another as a sexual act. "These men have lost their homophobia," Anderson told the press. "They’re no longer afraid to be thought gay by their behaviors, and they enjoy intimacy with their friends, just the same as women." Anderson’s study was published online with scholarly journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, which is published by the International Academy of Sex Research.

Anderson pinpointed the trend as starting in the sporting world. Soccer players began to kiss as part of their ecstatic celebrations after scoring; they carried the kissing into their off-field lives and into nightclubs and bars. Kissing male friends thus became something that macho straights do. "It’s like, ’John! Rawr!’ More exuberance," explained Anderson. To be sure, the report indicated that kissing among male friends was more prevalent among athletes than among those who did not play team sports.

The effect has been to make athletes ambassadors of unabashed male-male affection, with a beneficiary effect for those who do happen to be gay. Quite in contrast to athletes reinforcing homophobic attitudes, Anderson said, the trend has "opened up the same space for gay men to kiss. Sometimes you see two men kissing and you don’t know whether they’re straight or gay."

A less scholarly, but no less astonishing, investigation into the trend found its way to the airwaves. A report on British television called Rugby Generation Excess follows a team of rugby players to different nightspots and observes them drinking, kissing, and fondling one another. The program suggests that kissing may be just the beginning; add enough alcohol and music, and more daring behavior might emerge, including naked dancing and nipple biting.

"We’re all pretty much comfortable with our bodies, our sexuality," one young man said on film. "What does it matter if there are a few bits of male-to-male contact throughout the night?"

"It’s obvious we’re not gay," another young athlete told the camera. "But we have a laugh."

Upon being shown video records of their antics, the young men laughed and cheered, seeming not to be abashed at their conduct. "We were drunk," one young man exclaimed upon seeing footage of a kiss that included some exaggerated tongue-play.

"The camera never lies," another said, upon seeing footage of a gyrating young man whose trousers had been dropped.


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