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Recently on r/AskReddit, u/Megapumpkin asked “Straight guys of Reddit, what’s the most intimate moment you had with another guy?” Many of the answers were heartfelt, but some had a serious tinge of sadness — we’re devastated that people felt some of these very real emotions had to be “hidden” lest they be seen as gay.
My mom attempted suicide years ago. She was hospitalized for a month. I thought I could handle it but a week or two after it happened, I got into a fight with my girlfriend at a party and started crying. I couldn’t stop. I totally unraveled in a friend’s kitchen. My best friend put me in his car and we drove around while I sobbed uncontrollably. I’ve never been more emotionally unstable. He didn’t talk, he just drove around. Then he dropped me off at home. I felt so much better. He never even brings it up to this day.
My fraternity brother/roommate was having a bad day. We were all drinking but he clearly had the most and texted an ex, so I brought him back to our room to keep an eye on him. He got real sad and started crying, except he was insecure about his masculinity so he would cry for a few minutes about how he felt around other guys, then deny that he felt like that and this cycle would repeat every five minutes.
Finally I broke through to him that feeling like this was completely fine and actually good (better acknowledging than hiding it). I held him in my arms while he weeped for about half an hour. He kept trying to push back because his every instinct was telling him that this wasn’t OK, but I just shushed him and rubbed his back as I held him. He eventually calmed down and went to bed. That happened two weeks ago and we haven’t talked about it yet, but I’m glad he trusted me, and hope he seeks me out if he’s feeling that way again.
Talking another guy out of suicide. He just needed someone to listen. We hugged for a solid 30 seconds and he sobbed into my chest. Awkward looking back, but in the moment he needed it.
Why should that be awkward? As he says, the guy needed it. It’s sad when sharing an intimate moment is awkward because of perceived masculinity issues. This is exactly what we talk about when we say that toxic masculinity hurts everyone. There is no shame in loving another person, helping another person or being there for another person, especially when they need you most.
Though that one was pretty heavy, one of the funnier stories was u/MonsieurMagnet‘s ‘most intimate moment’ story that happened on his way to Japan. He was playing a fighting game, while nearby was a man playing the same game and getting perfect scores. As MonsieurMagnet puts it:
I was struggling to even get past the first stage, and this guy notices. So he stops playing his game, takes his hands, gently put them over mine, and moves my hands and pushes my fingers so I can learn how to do combos with the characters. I look into his eyes, laughing out of the absurdity of what this man was doing. He smiles at me, and goes back to his game. I’m straight but gay for that guy.
Even the funnier, happier ‘most intimate moment’ stories feel the sting of toxic masculinity. The thread is peppered with “no homo” jokes. And while many of these Reddit writers intend it as a punchline, it just comes off as a sad, insecure button on an otherwise amusing story.
I had a girlfriend in 9th grade who, upon breaking up, told everyone I was gay. This one dude later on comes up and introduces himself under the pretense “I heard you were gay.” Explained he was mistaken but we could still be friends. I’m 27 now and he’s my best friend, lol. I got a divorce and bought a house and invited him to be my roommate.
Miatapasta, you and your BFF are awesome. We wish you years of (platonic) love.