We live in an age when sex is completely fluid. The barriers are coming down. Men sleep with men, women sleep with women, love triangles are common, and fuck buddies - well - fuck buddies are more common than you might think. But there's one area where people still feel uncomfortable: when straight guys fall into bed with other men.
This article explains how to tell when your bros are becoming more than just friends, and why it's no big deal if your relationship slips into another gear.
The first thing to realize if you are falling into a gay fling with a friend is that you aren't doing anything millions of guys haven't done in the past. Everywhere in the world, throughout history, men have slept with men.
Whether you look at ancient Greece, Persia or India, homosexuality has been part of life for thousands of years. So don't automatically feel you are doing something weird or strange: you're in history's mainstream, so embrace that.
Why do guys who 99 percent of the time identify (genuinely) as heterosexual, find themselves attracted to men? Here's the weird thing about it: It's not always a physical thing. Instead, guys seem to form close emotional bonds with their friends - feelings of empathy, camaraderie and support.
These bonds naturally slip (sometimes) into erotic relationships, as a recognition of how the two men feel about each other. It's not about looks, it's about how much you love each other, and we can feel that for anyone - man or woman.
Another thing to remember is that just because you have a "bro-job" with a man you esteem and love, doesn't mean that you can be identified as "bisexual". It could be the only time in your life that you feel this way. It could be something totally dependent upon circumstances, or something that you need to experience to be sure of yourself.
What's certain is that many guys who sleep with other guys love the experience, but never feel the urge to repeat it. Strange? Not really. It's all about finding someone you love, and that doesn't happen every day for most people.
So, now we've talked about some of the reasons for sleeping with men, and why you should never feel ashamed or unnatural if you do so. But what are the advantages of having a full-on kinky bro-job? Well, if you speak to some gay guys, they'll be open about it.
Straight guys meet them for no strings attached intimacy. Often, homosexual encounters are a way of having passionate sex, but without the burden of forging lasting relationships. They are easy to arrange and dip in and out of, without consequences or obligations.
Many guys are also simply unaware of who they are. They don't realize the full scope of their sexual being, or can't come to terms with parts of their libido that may seem shocking or shameful. In this sense, guys who have sex with other guys can explore parts of their psyche that are hidden away in conventional relationships.
They can experiment with dominance and submission, letting every aspect of their sexual natures free. It's something that often gets pushed to one side in heterosexual love, but when two guys connect on a deep level, you'll be amazed at what you discover.
There's another side to sexual bromances. Even though we live in a liberated age, there's still something thrilling about transgressing so-called moral boundaries that society draws. It might seem immature (or even selfish) but much of the time straight guys have sex with other guys to feel the adrenaline rush of doing a forbidden action.
Of course, no-one will stop you having oral sex with another man, or submitting to him, but it still feels rebellious and, because of this, more intense and meaningful. It's a powerful feeling, particularly for guys who haven't felt totally satisfied by heterosexual love.
We know there's nothing to be ashamed of when straight guys fuck men, and we know that there are plenty of reasons to do so. But here's the thing: it's still confusing and even distressing to take the plunge. You can feel as if you are losing your identity as a straight, masculine guy and for many people, this can be incredibly disorienting.
But it's an illusion. The fact is our sexual labels are out of date. What does it mean to be "straight" or "gay"? In one sense, you can confidently identify as straight but sleep with guys every now and then. It happens. It's cool. Just ditch the obsession with labels and embrace the complexity of modern sexual life.
This is a really interesting question, and there aren't any simple answers. In some cases, guys just can't admit they are more complex than they seem. For others, there are social taboos that cannot be breached. For instance, Latino and African-American communities are often hostile (but less so all the time) to homosexuality.
Then there's popular culture. Sports, movies, TV, the internet - hardly ever promote the idea of sexual fluidity. It's still a subterranean topic that happens in real life, but isn't easy to talk about.
So, to return to the topic of the article: what should you do as a straight guy, if you are starting to experience sexual feelings for another man? Should you ignore it and hope it goes away? You could. But let's face it, there's a better way.
Talk to your crush, sound him out. Find out if he feels the same way, and suppress your guilt. Your feelings are real, and you can't buy new ones. All you can do is be yourself and choose. Thankfully, we live in a time when you can sleep with whoever you want and, if you guys do fall into bed - no-one is going to think less of you if you do.