New Dating/Friendship App ‘Bro’ Transcends Stereotypes
When MTV’s Bromance came out in 2008, I was on board. I love seeing “traditionally alpha” men reveal their vulnerabilities and need for emotional connection. The emotional softness serves as a violation of the limits of toxic masculinity. And also, we’re all fucking human, so this should be normalized.
The new app Bro intends to help all men get in touch with their soft side. It’s not purely a sex app and is open to men who want to form friendships with other men, men who want to date, men who want casual sex, and all the variations in between. The app is particularly catered to men who may in many ways identify as straight, or feel they don’t fit into many of the molds of the gay community, but are seeking male intimacy. For this reason, its launch in 2015 received a variety of responses, with criticism from people who (rightfully) bemoan the instances in which men benefit from straight-passing privilege while engaging in sex with other men, to people lauding the app for creating another space in which identity can be fluid and not limited by hetero-masculine stereotypes.
The creator Scott Kutler explained that it was his intention for interactions within to exist in a grey area between friendship, sex, and dating. He wanted to create a safe space for men who felt that differing parts of their identity neither fit into binaries of gay or straight culture, and allow them to explore friendships and possibly sex without need for clear definitions.
Just as it’s been acceptable for female friendships to traverse lines of emotional and physical intimacy at varying levels, now men are finding more outlets to explore themselves and each other, and I think that’s wonderful.