Paradoxical Straightness?

New research has shined more light on a little talked about trend in rural America, straight White men having sex with other straight White men. In the interviews, the men identified as being a “manly” type of man, loving shooting, hunting, fishing, etc. The researcher explains that these men strongly associated with straight culture and identify as straight. They go on to say that the men’s sexual identity is not paradoxical and the disconnect may be motivated by a few different factors. One factor is that having sex with other men, bonds them in a masculine way Another factor is nonromantic same-sex behavior protects the men from emotional entanglements with women. A third factor and fourth factor are the sex is seen as an acceptable form of extramarital sex and their sexual urges are relieved in a way that reinforces their masculinity and heterosexuality.

The sexual situations can be regular or a one-time thing. They participate in the same types of sexual acts as gay men. The men usually choose other White, masculine, and straight men. The researcher explains “It is not the sexual practices themselves but individuals’ interpretations of them that are central to sexual identity and gender.” The men interviewed also said it was irrelevant which sex they had sex with for their sexual identities, the more important part of their sexual identity was their “romantic relationships with women, their masculinity and childrearing”. They feel “straight” referred to their identification with heterosexual things, like conventional marriage.

The researcher added that researcher need to focus on the distinctions between sexual orientation and sexual identity as the participants in his research varied widely in terms of sexual desires and history but all had sex with men and identified as straight.

Read More:
Study: Silva, T. (2021). Still Straight: Sexual Flexibility Among White Men in Rural America. New York: New York University Press

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