Cuddling and Spooning: Heteromasculinity and Homosocial Tactility among Student-athletes

Eric Anderson, Mark McCormack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the prevalence of homosocial tactility and the contemporary status and meaning of heteromasculinity among British male youth. Drawing on in-depth interviews with forty student-athletes at a British university, we find that thirty-seven participants have cuddled with another male. In addition to this cuddling, participants also engage in “spooning” with their heterosexual male friends. Demonstrating the pleasurable aspects of being a man in this culture, we argue that the expansion of esteemed homosocial behaviors for heterosexual men is evidence of an expansion of changing conceptions of masculinity in contemporary culture. We call for the discussion of heteromasculinities and contextualize our findings using inclusive masculinity theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-230
Number of pages17
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number2
Early online date12 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2015


  • cuddling
  • heteromasculinity
  • homohysteria
  • homosocial tactility
  • spooning


Dive into the research topics of 'Cuddling and Spooning: Heteromasculinity and Homosocial Tactility among Student-athletes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this