Everyone is gay on TikTok

Connor Robinson, A 17-year-old British Tittock star with rosy cheeks and a budding six-pack, has gained a large following, keeping his fans thirsty. Between daily drips of Shirtless dance routine And Thinks about his floppy hair, Mr. Robinson posts sexually suggestive curve balls, which he said “break some barriers.”

In an eight-second video at the end of the week, Led was set on a hip-hop track, featuring him and a fellow teenage boy, Eliza Finney calling herself Elijah Elliott, Filmed themselves in a hotel room in London, grinding against each other as if they are about to engage in a passionate makeup session. The video ends with Mr. Robinson being pushed against the tile tile.

But as the video goes, according to fans, no one pretends that the two are in the throes of gay puppy love. Mr. Robinson and Mr. Fannie have identified as heterosexual, but as some Tiktok influencers have discovered, human-on-human action is the surest way to generate traffic. Uploaded in February, the video has received over 2.2 million views and 31,000 comments (lots of fire and heart emoji).

“Normally, I act like jokie dance videos and stuff, but it seems things have changed now,” said Mr. Robinson from his bedroom in Cumbria, England, to stand outside on the teaktalk forest. Green is depicted. He estimates that 90 percent of his nearly one million followers are female. “Girls are attracted to two attractive male TikTokers, largely showing sexual favors with each other,” he said.

Gay and bi-curious male followers are also welcome. “If watching my videos gives you pleasure and stuff, that’s cool,” he said.

As devotees of the young male stars of Tickcock know, the video of the seduction of the Mr. Robinson Hotel is moving towards becoming a modern day. The youth-oriented social media platform is rife with videos showing heterosexual young men spooning In the Cuddle-Puddle Formation, Hovering over each other Walking on the street with my girlfriends, Sharing a bed, Going in for a kiss, Behold each other’s chiselled body And worked for humor and, ultimately, ideas by engaging in countless other homoerotic situations.

Gay Figing as a clickbait is not limited to small Tritok creators trying to develop their audience. Just look at hard-parties Boys dominated, Who made national headlines this summer for throwing Husky mating In violation of Los Angeles’ coronovirus guidelines on their 7,800-square-foot Bel Air estate.

Scrolling through the Tiktok feeds of the physically fond members of the group can feel like you’re watching if the boys of Tiger Beat spend a deserted summer at the Fire Island Pines. Is barrage of Sweaty bare workout, Sex joke, playful kiss And Lollipop sharing.

18-year-old Josh Richards, one of the group’s breakout stars, has posted videos of himself Drop your towel In front of his “boyfriend” Jaden Hausler and Bryce Hall; Pretend to lock lips With another friend, Anthony Reeves; And his roommate, Griffin Johnson, is giving a peak on the forehead to entertain his 22 million followers.

This has certainly not hurt their brand. In May, Mr. Richards announced that he was leaving the Sway Boys and Joining one of Tickcock’s rival app trillers, As its Chief Strategy Officer. He also hosts two new popular podcasts – “the rundown“With Noah Beck and”Fox“With Dest Portno, founder of Barstool Sports – and the first recording artist to sign TalentX Records, A label formed by the social media agency Warner Records and TalentX Entertainment.

“These boys feel like a sign of the times,” said Mel Ottenberg, creative director of Interview magazine. Some selfish boys For his September issue in his underwear. “There is no fear about, ‘If I am so close to my friend in this picture, do people think me gay?’ They are very hot and have trouble with any of them. “

As recently as a decade ago, the intimate touch between two young men would have led to social suicide. But for Gen Z, who grew up in a time when same-sex marriage was never illegal, being called “gay” was not once an insult.

Young people on TikTok feel free to push the envelope of homosexual behavior “because they have emerged in an era of diminishing cultural homophobia, even though they don’t recognize it that way,” Eric Anderson, of the Masculine Study A professor said Winchester University in England.

Embracing a “softer” side of masculinity, they name Mr. Anderson the “anti-feminist, anti-feminist model responsible for the young cultures of the previous generation”, rebelling against.

Mark McCormack, a sociologist at Rohampton University in London Studies the sexual behavior of young men, Thinks that the decline in homophobia is only one aspect. He believes that many of these ticktocks are not giving fun to the affected at the expense of queer identity. Rather, they are parodying the notion that “anyone would be uncomfortable with the idea of ​​them being gay.”

In other words, pretending to be gay is a form of teenage rebellion and non-equalization, a way for these young straight men to transmit how their generation differs from their parents, or even millennials before them.

Spinach van leer, A 16-year-old high school student from Atlanta with 500,000 followers, said the video showed him kissing Man on cheek or Accepting feelings For her “brother” she looks calm and dial-in.

“In the new generation everyone is liquid and therefore there has been less hesitation in showing physical goods or feelings to men,” he said. “It would be ridiculous if you weren’t okay with it.”

In fact, his father has called his videos “really weird” and “gay”. Her mother was also sacked because of her public displays of affection with male friends, but now appreciates the pressure that high school boys stand on the outside.

“If you’re just straight now, it’s not very interesting for these kids,” said her mother, Virginia Van Lair, 50, a general contractor. “If you’re straight, you want to throw something out that people go, ‘But, is that right?’ It’s more personal and attracts your attention. “

Parents are not only surprised; The video also confuses some older gay men.

Ms. van Laird said one of her gay male friends had come up with a Ticketock video in which her son joked about crushing a man and told him: “You know, if Foster ever wants to talk to me Whether he is gay… ”Good laugh. “People of my generation don’t get these boys directly,” she said. “It’s a whole new world there.”

But there is no confusion among most teenage fans who cannot get enough of the video for these gay views.

Whenever Mr. Robinson posts videos of himself being physical with another male friend, he is “Mim’s just a guy who thought it was hot”; “I dropped my phone”; “OMG, like I can’t stop watching.”

Ercan Boyraz, Head of Influential Management Yoke networkA social media marketing agency in London, said that the majority of the commentators are women. And instead of feeling threatened or confused by people who are fickle with other people, they find it sexy.

“Straight guys have always been attracted to girls flirting with each other,” said Mr. Boys, who worked with Mr. Robinson. “The girls are just taking the same idea and rolling it around.”

Call it equal opportunity itemization.

Meanwhile, straight male fans feel that they are joking. And while they cannot find these videos from the title, they want to emulate the kind of reckless male relationships that characterize these TikTok videos.

“Showing feelings with another man, especially when expressed as a joke, brings a smile to someone’s face or makes them laugh,” said Mr. Van Lair, who took from the highly popular Tickcock creators, such as Sorce House People of In addition, he said, it “increases the likelihood of high audience engagement.”

There is even a term to describe straight men who go beyond bromance and exhibit non-signicant signs of physical affection: “homiesexual. ” “search#homiesexualTikTok draws over 40 million results. there are also memes, YouTube Collection, And sweatshirts As the saying goes: “It is not gay. This is the analogy. “

Still, videos of straight men jumping into each other’s laps or staring each other’s back end for Ticketock’s thoughts can make viewers feel exploitative, especially gay.

Colton Haynes, 32, an openly gay actor from “Teen Wolf” Moved to TikTok In March to exclude homosexual trend. “All the straight people out there who keep those postings, the video is ‘Brothers Gay Kiss’, and laughing, and it’s making a joke: being gay is not a joke,” he said. “What a joke that you think you would have a follower or someone without you.”

“So stop being homophobic,” he added with an obscenity.

But some gay fans see it as progress.

Steven Dam, 40, a social media forecaster at Art & Commerce, a New York talent agency, said he initially believed the videos to be homophobic. But the more his tikkok feed was inhabited with young men. Calling each other “beautiful” He said, the more he began to recognize that there was “a new kind of definition of heterosexuality for young men”.

The popularity of these untouched videos, he said, is “less about homosexuality” and a “change” of some sort for an evolved form of masculinity that is no longer ashamed to show affection.

Still, some of them cannot stop watching, whether they call these videos homophobic or progressive.

for the past year, Nick Toteda, A 20-year-old gay YouTube personality from Canada, is posting videos on his channel, It’s just nick, Reacting to what he called “bromance ticatox”, usually with a mixture of sarcastic humor and briquette.

In A clip, Two teenage boys are seated next to each other in the classroom, when someone drops a small stuffed animal on the floor. As they both reach down to take it, they lock eyes and move in for a kiss. Mr. Toteda likes what he sees.

“When I was in high school four years ago, it was probably uncool to be gay, but maybe now it’s cool being gay,” Mr. Toteda says in the video. “Even straight boys are pretending to be gay for quiet acting. Just like when I was pretending to be straight to calm down, they are doing the opposite now. “

“You know what,” he says with a laugh, “it helps that they’re attractive.”

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