Thursday, February 03, 2005

What the Super Bowl can teach us about men touching men: "The rules are long and often make no sense, but they can be simplified into a male touching playbook.

1. It's less awkward to embrace when lots of men are around: Two uncivilized heterosexual guys alone in a room never know what to say to each other, and will almost never hug lest someone walk in and assume they're lovers. But as more people are watching, they're willing to experiment with arms around the shoulders, playful ruffling of hair and other friendly physical contact.

2. The manlier the activity, the more spontaneous touching is acceptable: This is something men experience when playing sports, drinking low-quality beer and engaging in other bonding rituals. I recall a recent Las Vegas bachelor party where no one got a lap dance, but a hotel-streaking incident turned into a weekend-long all-male group discussion on the tightness of each other's posteriors.

3. In moments of extreme happiness, stress and imminent peril, embracing another man is OK: In other words, while it may create an awkward situation to give another man a little sugar when he's departing for the supermarket, a hug is a wonderful thing if someone is leaving for an independent contracting job in Fallujah."

Football has to be a close second to professional wrestling when it comes to homoerotic overtones. Anyone want to turn this into a drinking game?

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