The year is 2743. Society as we know it has collapsed. We have seen the machines take over and experience their own downfall. There are no more countries. There are no more governments. Resources are at a dangerous low. Many have left the Earth in search of a new planet to inhabit. Only one thing is certain: There is a Java Update available.
Has anyone noticed that we don’t talk very much about queer relationships between asexual men?
Is that because we tend to think of nonsexual romances between men as “bromances” whose nonsexuality is motivated by a fear of queerness?
How can we acknowledge the homoantagonism of the “bromance” concept without denying that romance between men can threaten heterosexuality without itself being sexual?
How can we recognize the power of asexual relationships to challenge heteronormativity without denying that nonsexuality between men who love each other is often used to reaffirm and strengthen their heterosexuality?
I might be wrong about the common conceptualization of “bromance” and so I’m speaking about my own understanding of it, which, until reading your post, I thought was the general one. (Of course, I’m also in the boat that ‘what the hell does gender have to do with it’ which i know isn’t necessarily the typical case.)
I don’t think of nonsexual romances between men as “bromances”; at most I think of romantic friendships between men as bromances. The “bro” is the important part of the concept to me-that it’s ultimately a friendship despite any transgressions into what is commonly thought of as the realm of ‘signs of endearment exclusive to romantic partners.’
And as such I can’t actually accept that a sexless “bromance” between two men is motivated by ‘fear of queerness’ any more than I assume any other sexless friendship is motivated by a fear of sex with the other person. Admittedly my own aro and ace tendencies might make me wildly optimistic about what drives consexual and/or romantic people’s behaviors, but I tend to assume friendships are motivated by feelings of friendship, not repressed sexual longings. (Not even to mention that friendship + sexual relationship is a thing that already happens: friends with benefits, aro-sexual relationships, etc.)
And as such I can’t even really accept the concept of a bromance, at least in my way of defining it, as “homoantagonism”-certainly it’s used in that way all over the place (especially in queerbait-y media), but friendship is not inherently in opposition to romance or sexual relationships.
I think of romances between men as romances, fullstop. It does not matter to me whether they have sex in them or not. Romances between men always challenge heteronormativity-heterosexuality maybe not so much if we’re assuming a possibility of separation between romantic and sexual orientations. Likewise, sexual relationships between men always challenge heteronormativity-maybe not heteroromanticism.
As to your last question: by throwing out the bad and useless concept that nonsexual, loving relationships between men strengthen or reaffirm heterosexuality in the first place.
Possibly by not trying to define a positively defined orientation (heterosexuality: sexual attraction to people of a [sufficiently] different gender) with negatives (heterosexuality: lack of attraction to people of the same/a sufficiently similar gender)-saying what something is is always going to be stronger than saying what something isn’t.
Possibly by embracing things other than hetero- and homo- sexualities (/romanticisms).
Now that I’ve written all of this, I realize that you probably were asking rhetorical questions. *sigh*
It’s super weird to have bed shots be shot absolutely vertical.