Behold the splendor of the nude male form: sleek and powerful, a miracle of sculpted sinew, striding confidently across the sand or stretching out before you in ever-uncoiling glory. So say scientists at the frontiers of research on the eternal question of what women find erotic, the latest answer to which seems to be: not naked guys, or at least not simply naked guys. Chivers, a research fellow at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health at the University of Toronto, says she has data to support this assertion. She recently published results of a study in which she showed people video clips of naked men and women in various sexual and non-sexual situations and measured their genital arousal. Heterosexual women, Chivers and her colleagues found, were no more excited by athletic naked men doing yoga or tossing stones into the ocean than they were by the control footage: long pans of the snowcapped Himalayas. When straight women viewed a video of a naked woman doing calisthenics, on the other hand, their blood flow increased significantly. What really matters to women, Chivers said, at least in the somewhat artificial setting of watching movies while intimately hooked up to a device called a photoplethysmograph, is not the gender of the actor, but the degree of sensuality. Even more than the naked exercisers, they were aroused by videos of masturbation, and more still by graphic videos of couples making love. Women with women, men with men, men with women: It did not seem to matter much to her female subjects, Chivers said. They responded to the level of activity.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where a lot of people believe men must be either gay or straight. However, not all men who have a sexual experience with other men are gay or bisexual — even some straight men are at it. Enter the term brojob.
But who knows? When I tell people about my work, they often assume these men are joking, or that they are really closeted gays. The 40 young men I interviewed for my book would disagree. I like to think of myself as fluid. I have man crushes when a male is so cool … I like the idea of male fluidity.