Homoerotic is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as: “marked by, revealing or portraying homosexual desires.” It is important to note that the concept of homoeroticism does not necessarily lead to acts of homosexuality. There is a very fine line between homoeroticism and homosexuality. Homoeroticism and homosexuality existed as far back as the ancient civilizations of mankind. They were well documented through paintings, sculptures, and scriptures from Ancient China 650 BCE, Ancient Persia, Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Greeks. Homoeroticism of the Ancient Greeks was introduced into mainstream media through shows as the television network STARS’ show Spartacus. For the purpose of this post, I will focus on the relevancy of homoeroticism as it is still as pertinent today as it was thousands of years ago.
Many would argue that there are many different concepts to homoeroticism. I will argue that the two most important core concepts of homoeroticism are masculinity and the presence of a heterosexual man. Without these two core concepts, there won’t be such a thing as homoeroticism. My argument is further supported by JD Samson & MEN’s music video “Make Him Pay.” In this music video, the homosexual rhetoric is prevalent but it never crosses over to an act of homosexuality. There are images and scenes of bombs, explosion, soldiers, guns, fire, cops, mechanic, fighting, blood, muscle men, and contact sport; which is everything that is associated with masculinity. It is also important to note that although this music video is very homosexually suggestive, it never showed any men kissing or engaging in any forms of homosexual intimacies with each other.
The presence, no matter how little or how obvious, of a heterosexual man is needed for it to be homoerotic. As mentioned earlier, homoerotic is defined as “marked by, revealing or portraying homosexual desires” thus never mentioning anything about the actual sexual act of homosexuality. Contact sports, such as wrestling, are prime examples of the homoeroticism because it does not portray acts of homosexuality nor the pertinent sexual desire to be with that person of the same sex.
The military is also a place where homoeroticism exists. The normative nature of the military is a very masculine environment that nurtures and bonds the camaraderie between men. That same nurturing and bonding might eventually lead to homoeroticism but NOT homosexuality. It is evident that the majority of men in the military are heterosexuals. As my time in the military, I can say that that same majority are the same ones expressing and involving themselves in more homoerotic situations than the actual gay men in the military themselves.
Homoeroticism existed for thousands of years and is still relevant in today’s culture and society. It is important that it is not to be confused with homosexuality because the two represent very different outcomes. In my opinion, the two core concepts that are important in homoeroticism are masculinity and the presence of a heterosexual figure. Homoeroticism will never disappear from society or human civilizations as it has lasted for over thousands of years. Though I do believe that the line between homoeroticism and homosexuality will eventually become thinner and thinner as we progress into the 21th Century.