American Culture

Okay guys, time to man up and admit your man crushes

Conservatives would paint President Obama as a metrosexual, especially in light of his endorsement of gay marriage. But to most, he’s a man’s man — in fact, with his drone wars, too much so for many of us. He’s proof, as much as anybody, that coming to terms with the LBGT world doesn’t threaten the well-adjusted straight man’s sexual identity.

In fact, the time has come for all us manly men to man up and admit our man crushes. Since it’s only natural to fear doing so will leave us subject to ridicule by less secure men, let’s try to zero in on what exactly a man crush is first. We’ll turn to Urban Dictionary.

When a straight man has a “crush” on another man, not sexual but kind of idolizing him. …

A strong and extremely complicated positive emotion that a straight male feels towards another male. …

Respect, admiration and idolization of another man. Non-sexual. Celebrities, athletes and rock stars are often the object of the man crush. [E.g.] I have a man crush on Sidney Crosby. I would likely sell my soul to be him and if he wanted to nail my girlfriend, I’d compliment him on his awesomeness and excuse myself.

Not sure how much help that was. But, you can see the last example used an athlete, kind of an entry-level, or comparatively safe, man crush. Of course, the objects of our crushes can come from any field, including the arts, even figures from the past.

In the interest of getting readers to submit the names men on whom they have crushes and why in the comments section, I’ll begin. We would ask women to save their woman crushes for a separate post, lest. Otherwise, us manly men are liable to become diverted by the girl-on-girl fantasies to which most manly men are all too prone. Anyway, mainstream entertainment figures are second only to athletes when it comes to the man crushes least dangerous to admit to. I’ll start with two:

1. Jason Statham, the British crime and action film star. What do I like about him? His proportion of action to words is higher than almost any other star today, a la Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Robert Mitchum, et al (all likely candidates for man crushes themselves). I like the way he looks, but most of all his hoarse whisper of a voice with what’s been called a Mockney accent.

2. Idries Elba. You may know the African-British deejay turned actor from The Wire, but he’ll soon reach his widest stardom in Riddley Scott’s Prometheus. I was introduced to him via the British TV series Luther, the first season of which was the most over-the-top crime series ever in either the United States or Great Britain. He plays Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, who’s equal parts genius crime-solver and rageaholic. By the second season, the character has gotten his demons marginally under control, but he still fails to play by the rules. What’s attractive about him is his accent — called Cockney on Luther, though I’ve heard he nailed America for The Wire — and, of course, his rugby-player looks. (Recent brief interview with him at New York magazine.)

Okay, your turn, men. Scholar & Rogues is as safe a forum as any to own up to your man crushes.


7 replies »

  1. Okay, let’s see. In the world of entertainment, how about Johnny Depp and Nathan Fillion. Talented guys who just seem to be enjoying the hell out of life. There are too many in the world of music to mention, probably, but Bono is god. E (Mark Everett) is god. Don Dixon is definitely god. Jeffrey Dean Foster is god. Of course, I count those last two as personal friends – does a man crush have to be somebody you don’t know? In sports, how about Didier Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Michael Essien….

  2. Peter Gabriel, David Bowie and yes, Nathan Fillion. We need to start a club or something.

  3. Idris Elba is about as cool as it gets, and Luther is one of my all time favorite TV series … i go all Pavlovian at the thought of Netflix posting new episodes.

    As for my own man crushes, i’m not sure. Maybe Neil Fallon.