The term “man crush”—which, like bromance, connotes a male relationship that resides somewhere between platonic and romantic—is already this year’s official media catchphrase. “Rams GM Devaney Has a Man Crush on Eugene Monroe” gossips manlier-than-thou NFLGridironGab.com. “Warren Buffett’s Chinese Man Crush” titters the headline on a Business Insider profile of CEO Wang Chuan-Fu. And while it’s not all that surprising to find Newsday’s music critic proclaiming his “man-crush renewed” after a Seal concert, it’s less expected in a Boston Globe story about President Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, or in an AOL News piece about the King of Saudi Arabia.
It’s an emerging version of male bisexuality that’s more pose than sincere. The celebrities who engage in it take pains to make it clear they’re straight—half-ironically goofing around, often as a blatant grab for attention. But the fact that they’re even taking it that far is something new.