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17 Things Straight Men Said They Were Told Not To Do Because It’s "Gay," And They're Equal Parts Weird And Hilarious

A reminder of just how archaic fragile masculinity is.

As the great philosopher Hilary Duff once said, "You really shouldn’t say that something is gay." But alas, men are being constantly told their whole lives about what things they shouldn’t say or do because they're perceived as unmasculine and "gay."

Well, recently, I stumbled upon an old viral Reddit thread where Reddit user u/The_WereArcticFox asked this question: "Straight men of Reddit, what is the strangest thing you have been told not to do because 'that's gay'?"

There were thousands of responses. Here are some of the top-voted and best comments:

1. "Putting on sunscreen."


"Somebody called me gay for doing that before too. I didn't realize as a hetero, I was supposed to die of skin cancer."


"My boss refuses to wear sunscreen because it is for gays."


"I'm gay, and I wear sunscreen because skin cancer is for straight men."


Man applying suntan lotion on his body poolside

2. "The strangest one I've heard is, 'Two guys can't drive around in a convertible with the top down.' And another one is, 'Two guys can't sit next to each other in a movie theater if it's not crowded.'


"Hell, if the theater isn’t crowded, you can bet I’m not gonna sit next to anyone because there’s no need to fight over an armrest."


"That movie theater thing was still prevalent a few years ago when I worked at one. Dudes seeing a movie together almost always left an empty seat between them. Even when the staff would watch something together after closing, guys would always leave an empty seat in between. So bizarre."


Two men sitting next to each other in a movie theater

3. "One time, a girl thought I was gay because I was attentive during sex. I'm not even joking."


"Fellas, is it gay to want to please your lady? Kinda sus."


"That’s the gay agenda you’ve heard so much about. We go around giving women the best sex of their lives in order to make straight men look bad! It’s a long-term project."


Two sets of legs peeking from under covers

4. "Eating at a sushi restaurant with another guy."


"Having close male friends = gay.

"Having close female friends = gay.

"Evidently, one can't win."


"The straightest thing in the world is to quietly spiral into depression alone, in the privacy of your own home."


Close-up of two friends eating sushi

5. "Carrying an umbrella."


"Real men get wet. They get wet when it's raining. They get wet on a fishing boat in a storm. They get wet in the shower after an all-male threesome."


Man wearing scarf carrying umbrella folded up in hand

6. "At work, I once complimented another man on his outfit. My male coworkers looked at me as if I had asked if he had naked photos of himself I could see."


"Man, if I got a compliment unprompted like that, from a man or woman, it would make my whole fucking month!"


"This is why we gotta start normalizing men giving each other compliments. I STILL hold on to compliments from years ago."

7. "Broke a guy’s jaw in high school, sent him a get-well card while he was in the hospital. He called me gay for sending the card."


"Beating the shit out of a bully and then sending him a get-well card is alpha as fuck."


Close-up of a hand holding a "Get well soon" card

8. "My girlfriend once seriously asked me if I was gay because I said that I liked her body."


"A girl I was dating once started crying and asked if I was gay because I was attentive to her and remembered specific things she had told me about herself. Apparently, caring about her and trying to be a good partner equals gay."


9. "Playing the saxophone. Honestly, what in the world?"


"As I straight woman, I find that shocking, as I find the saxophone a very sexy instrument, so if I met a guy who plays it, I will instantly find him more attractive."


"Played the saxophone from 6th to 12th grade. Can confirm that I was called gay."


Man playing the saxophone next to a car

10. "Washing my asshole. Friend of mine once said, 'Everyone knows that's gay; you can miss me with that.' Apparently, you are only allowed to wash your cheeks and let the suds run down your crack. Any direct contact with your own asshole and you will 'catch the gay.'"


"This is very much a thing. I’ve read articles about men who don’t even wipe after shitting because they think it’s gay. Women bitch about the bedsheets and underwear they have to deal with because their men don’t wipe their asses."


"I was fucking shocked when my sister told me she had to tell her boyfriend to wash his whole ass. The man had four kids, too!"


Electronic bidet close up

11. "Drinking any beverage out of a bottle rather than a cup."


"Well, that's just wrong. Everyone knows that pouring your beer from the bottle to a glass is the gayest way to drink it."


"A woman once called me out while I was drinking Bud from a bottle. Not because I was drinking Bud (I've upped my standards since then), but because apparently the bottle has a large lip on it, thus making it resemble a penis, so it's gay for a man to drink Bud from the bottle."


12. "Apparently, going out for Mexican and margaritas with your pal. No one said it directly, but the waiter gave us a complimentary dessert for two and said 'Happy anniversary' — free dessert is free dessert, I guess?"


"I also went to a Mexican restaurant with a friend, and the waiter treated us like a waiter would treat me and my girlfriend — she definitely thought we were gay. Guess I'm the top in the relationship, since the bill was placed in front of me."


"I mean, I'm already gay, but I'll be straight for free food."


Bartender serving margaritas in an open-air bar

13. "I was taking prescription-strength painkillers after surgery. My friend had come over to check on me. Her boyfriend (now ex) thought it was gay to take painkillers and told me to be a man."


"Oh yes, because feeling the pain of a surgery is so 'manly.'"


Man trying to step out of the bathroom on his crutches with his knee heavily bandaged after knee surgery

14. "My granddad once told me not to brush my hair because 'looking pretty is for women and the gays.' Fuck you, buddy. I want to look nice and not like I'm chasing hedgehogs through a fucking bush, you unwashed heathen."


"Remember when 'metrosexual' was a buzzword? As in, this man likes being well groomed and smelling nice — we can't lump him in with regular heterosexual men. Good times."


15. "My grandfather puts gin in his Bloody Marys because 'vodka is for women and homosexuals.' Guess James Bond is gay."


"Gotta love how 'women and homosexuals' are always mentioned together as if we’re some unified sociopolitical bloc dedicated to undermining hetero masculinity...I mean, some of us are, but still."


"I ordered a vodka cranberry at a bar once, and this guy next to me shouted at the bartender, 'He’s also wondering if that comes with a ride home! Haha!!!'

"First of all, I was buying that drink for a friend. Second of all, the least masculine thing I can think of for someone to do is to chill at a bar judging other random-ass people for what drink they're ordering."


16. "When I was 8, my older female cousin casually mentioned while we were at Red Robins that real men don't drink pop through straws. I didn't say anything at the time, but inside, I was absolutely mortified at my faux pas. Now, 29 years later and I still cannot bring myself to drink through a straw unless I'm driving. It triggers this male insecurity in a way nothing else does. Coming from a guy who once wore a fuzzy bunny banana hammock to a Playboy-themed party."


"If you are using a cup, no straw. I’ve been told straws are gay multiple times."


"I know a bunch of dudes who refuse to use straws 'cause 'sucking anything' is gay."


Man on a beach drink a cocktail with a straw

17. And lastly: "Touching feminine hygiene products."


"The bit about feminine hygiene products is what gets me. How does buying them for your girlfriend make you gay?

"In what way would a gay man use feminine hygiene products? They're probably the least likely to have a reason to be buying them, when you think about it.

"Real men are capable of buying their girlfriend period products without worrying about their own sexuality while doing so."


Man at the grocery checkout with a huge box of tampons

You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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