How did the term bromance come about?

"Bromance" the new love among men

sr - 02/10/2018 - 7:00 a.m.

Real male friendships - don't be afraid of being too close

It is Max and Moritz. Schweini and Poldi too. And Barney and Ted anyway. Lots of men do it - they are Bros, a "brother from a different mother". These men are like brothers, although they are not biologically related to one another. Is this just a new trend or do bros really have a different and more intimate relationship with each other than the good old friendship between men that our grandfather already knew?

Johan and Sven are also Bros. Sven sleeps in bed with his bro when he is lovesick, kisses and hugs him in greeting and when saying goodbye, says “I love you!” (In a totally unromantic way, of course) and is disappointed when he is transferred by him because he has an appointment with other friends. Johan and Sven go on "Brocation" (derived from the English "Vacation"), have been best friends for many years, know both the good sides and the quirks of each other and give each other joint office pictures for "Bro's birthday". Johan and Sven run a “bromance” (suitcase word from “Brother” and “Romance”) and are also open to it. Boys are allowed to do that these days.

Everyone shapes their life according to their ideas and rules, which can also be called morality or norms. Consciously or unconsciously, a kind of code of conduct is deeply anchored in us, because we learn it from an early age. Some people orient their lives according to a religion or are guided by other patterns and models of socialization through our environment. In the western world everyone is keen to be as individual as possible, but basically we are pretty much the same generation in our generation. The TV show "How I Met Your Mother" gave us a Bible for men through the character Barney Stinson. “The Bro Code” is a collection of rules and guidelines that are intended to simplify life and interaction between men and even describe them for centuries. The idea of ​​the office also created a new intimacy among men.

In a figurative sense, the term “brother” has become a term for the friend of a male person in many cultures. The nickname "Brother", "Brudi" or "Bro" is intended to express the duration and depth of this relationship. Men are just different from women: the stronger sex must first reclassify a friend before a (heterosexual) man can establish an intimate connection with the same sex. The supposed close relationship between brothers is less reprehensible than a loving male friendship. The "bromance" is also a description for a non-sexual, very intimate relationship between two men. Meterosexuality has already prepared society for the fact that the image of men has changed. Men can go shopping together and they are also allowed to groom their appearance.

Not only on television (“Scrubs” - “How I met your mother”) do two unrelated men call themselves brothers, the “bromance” really does exist and that is extraordinary enough. Heterosexual men were always careful to match their male role as precisely as possible and not to deviate from the norm of heterosexuality in any way. The term "No Homo" preceded the new intimate connection between two gentlemen of creation and was always used when boys did or said something that was supposedly too gay for a "Hete". Always with the fear in the back of your mind that you could be considered homosexual yourself, the "No Homo" statement should nip any freedom of interpretation in the bud. Man (s) into women.

The man is exposed to strong and normative values ​​in his world. As Herbert Grönemeyer has already sung, a man is “tough on the outside” and is “already calibrated to man as a child”. But the question remains: do you always have to conform and “when is a man a man”? It is really difficult - for everyone - to break out of the mentioned code of conduct or gender roles. A new way of dealing with a society is always a long process, but the change can currently be observed. A whole generation takes a new attitude and a previously taboo closeness among men no longer knows any moral barriers.

The greatest oxymoron in the vicinity and simultaneous (sexual) distance between men is football (and at the same time most other sports as well). A stadium full of testosterone and all kinds of homophobia. But when things get hot on the pitch, they get up close and personal in a duel. If a goal is scored and the victory has been achieved, everyone is in each other's arms, people clap their asses lovingly when someone has done a good job or the fans hold hands to shout a football song. Our national players Schweini and Poldi are probably also Bros, because they post smooch pictures after the World Cup final, like to share the hotel room with each other and seem like a conspiratorial unit. There is hardly any other place where the contrasts between male affection and simultaneous parade clichés for male roles and their (heteronormative) interaction collide so much.

A UK study found that 98% of men surveyed have shared a bed with another man at some point. Cuddling, spooning, feeling the warmth - 93% also cuddled or fell asleep closely embraced. But why do straight boys like to cuddle with each other? The sociologist Mark McCormack, who accompanied the study, explains the results with the fact that the social behavior of heterosexual men has changed. In contemporary culture, homophobia is decreasing, which is why it is easier for young men to be softer, more open-minded and more intimate than before. In the study, it was not at all clear to the respondents that older generations of men perceive tender touch as a strong taboo.

Matt, one of the study participants, explains the cuddling behavior with his friend and teammate from the sports club Connor: “I feel good with him and we spend a lot of time together. I'm happy when I lean my head on his shoulder on the couch or when we hug in bed. But he's not the only one. I see us as a bunch of very good and close friends. ”Scientists emphasize that homophobia has not gone away, but men are no longer“ expected ”to be so strongly“ expected ”. McCormack explains that the history of “homosocial relationships among heterosexual men” is extremely complex and permeated with a multitude of social stigmata, myths, taboos and aggressions. So is there a kind of emancipation from traditional gender roles taking place?

The taboo that prevents tender body contact between men is based on the fact that men who were loving each other were traditionally considered gay. And the stronger sex avoids being labeled homosexual. Even gays very often avoid being identified as "gay" and straight people play the role of macho. The 80s generation still has the need to appear tough and non-gay, while the 90s boys are more open and free among each other. The liberal attitude towards homosexuality in society leads to a more relaxed approach to how one is judged by one's surroundings. The younger generation is allowed to cuddle, take care of their looks, and openly proclaim their love for their pals.

The vernacular has long said that true love only exists between men. The love between men, which is already taking on fraternal features, can finally be shown publicly. Nowadays a man is generally allowed to do a lot more than in the past - even show feelings. All the fuss about “bros” and brotherly love is externally affected and artificial, but it has a positive effect on the general community. Bro status creates the space and legality to have a close relationship with another man.

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