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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Study: Straight Men Love Spooning Other Men

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge GayborhoodBeat.jpg

Man-on-man spooning, long thought to be the gateway drug to sporking and other unseemly be-gay-vior, is back in the news with a shocking study on straight men.

According to research published in the Men and Masculinities journal, 93 percent of straight British men have spooned with another man, and 98 percent have shared a bed with one. Holy sheet, you might be saying to yourselves. It's an epidemic and NOM missed it due to their now constant struggle to remain even a little bit relevant.

We've long since suspected spooning was a nefarious activity, ever since Mary Poppins sang about a spoonful of sugar helping the "medicine" go down. Like we haven't heard that line before, Fairy Poppins!

We're kidding, of course. Straight men should be welcome to experience physical affection between other men, and not just the kind involving their fists (please interpret that sentence however you want).

According to researchers at Winchester and Durham Universities, who conducted the study, homosocial behaviors among heterosexuals like cuddling and spooning are nearly ubiquitous, at least in the 40 British college students who were surveyed.

Of course, we can't really deduce much from such a small sample size of white teenagers (get on that, science!), but it's encouraging to see straight men experiencing an outlet for physical touch outside of beating on each other or the occasional sports-related butt tap.

One participant, Max, described how cuddling helps his hangovers:

On the morning following a night out clubbing, the friends will congregate at one house, where they watch TV, play video games. ... These activities would include frequent cuddling, which Max described as ''feeling good,'' adding, ''If your mate has a headache you can like massage his head, or you just lie there together holding each other and laughing about how awful you feel.''

That other gold standard for scientific research, IsItNormal.com, also points to a resounding "yes, it's fine." The question posed by a dude, "Is it normal to Cuddle/Spoon and Sleep with same-sex best friend?" produced an 82 percent response rate in the affirmative. And if the Internet says it's true, then it must be true.

Homophobia is often blamed as to why two straight men aren't allowed to be physical with each other, though here in San Francisco, we think dude-on-dude affection is far more accepted than in other parts of the country. Half of our straight friends have made out with at least one guy and thought nothing of it. American psychiatrist Fritz Klein believed straight guys avoid being physical with other guys due to "a myth that such intimacies are inspired by sexual desire and are thus precursors to sexual intimacy."

Since homophobia also causes people to die sooner, this spooning study is one more reason to combat it by hugging a bro today.

Follow @annapulley on Twitter. She'll tweet you right.

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Anna Pulley

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