Male Bonding

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.


  1. Loren A Olson says:

    Men who have previously been married and have children who either discover or accept their homosexuality after having lived as heterosexual men, on average, come out about 10 years later than men who have early identified as gay. These men have a great deal in common with each other, but in fact, may have less in common with the majority of the LGBT community.

    My first steps into the gay world occurred through a gay fathers support group. For gay fathers, children play a central role in their lives. I bonded immediately with those men. Not only did we have a same-sex sexual orientation in common but we also had similar concerns about divorce, custody, alimony and child support, time demands of children. We also face issues of dating and that includes dating men who may not understand the role of children in our lives.

    Gay fathers are a very diverse group. Recognizing the diversity of this group helped me to feel better about myself. All of the things that I thought were “different” for me, dissolved in this group.

    I met this group of men 25 years ago, and many of them remain my friends to this day.

    • Thanks for the info. It’s been quite helpful. I’m dad and ex married. Just too many problems to share pov with LGBTs. Need help. Pls let me know if you have specific advice.

  2. Thank you so much for asking this question! It needs to get asked and talked about lots. I must admit, however, how depressing it is to see how many responses that revolve around sports/athleticism and drinking. Some ways I bond with other men: talking politics, going to movies, talking about books, goofing off by making fun of everything in life, writing together…

  3. I’m a distance runner, and I’ve got to say long runs are where some of my best, deepest, conversations about life happen – especially the second haf or last third of a good long 16-20 miler. By then anything phony is long since left by the side of the road.

  4. I’ve had lots of different kinds of male-bonding experiences, ranging from deep discussions while passing back and forth a joint or drink, having sex with another guy or talking about faith with another guy in church and just about everything in between.
    What I find most disappointing among my brothers is that we need to find some kind of “excuse” to open up and “let our hair down” so to speak; be that drugs or alcohol, sex or religion. While all these scenes provide a certain “forum” that makes it condusive to talk from the heart, it’s a shame we just don’t often find that we can just meet-up and open-up. I guess that’s not the “guy way.” Consequently, I personally never feel like I have enough “male bonding” in my life, especially since I’m now in my mid 40′s, in 12step recovery (no no more booze or drugs), and don’t quite “hook up” sexually as often as I did when I was younger. I yearn for more male companionship and connection. It’s something I know I need in my life.

  5. In my opinion, what it ultimately boils down to is the near-total lack of judgment, pretentiousness, and dramatics that defines men’s roles with one another. Personally, I couldn’t care less what label is affixed to it; male bonding, man time, latent homosexuality, or just plain good friendship and fellowship…

    The bottom line is that for most of us, what clothes we wear, what shoes we wear, how we wear our hair, how many teeth we have or how much hair is on our heads never enters into the equation. You acquire good friends throughout life and those friends are either in our lives… or not, and it takes a great deal to break the bond between men.

    Among my friends, it’s always been about the camaraderie, fellowship, lending a helping hand or ear, and a firm handshake.

  6. In my experience, nothing gets a couple of straight dudes closer than touching tips. I kid. Most of the time I feel closest with my homies involves something that retards thinking too hard and you’re just reacting: hoops, hitting golf balls, tailgating or even just tossing back beers and throwing bean bags into a hole cut in a wooden box. Some great and memorable conversations start with a cool Budweiser in your hand.

    But my God do I remember shooting each other in the chest from 8 feet with a BB gun. Thank whatever powers that be that I never had any friends who thought hitting each other in the dick was funny.

    Great compilation of quotes.


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