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直男们,愿意来一场男男约会吗?

更新时间:2016-10-23 10:36:45 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Man Date
直男们,愿意来一场男男约会吗?

THE delicate posturing began with the phone call.

微妙的故作姿态始于一通电话。

The proposal was that two buddies back in New York City for a holiday break in December meet to visit the Museum of Modern Art after its major renovation.

两个在去年12月的假期回到纽约的朋友,决定约着一起去全面装修后重新开门的现代艺术博物馆(Museum of Modern Art)看看。

"He explicitly said, 'I know this is kind of weird, but we should probably go,"' said Matthew Speiser, 25, recalling his conversation with John Putman, 28, a former classmate from Williams College.

“他也说了,‘我知道这有点怪怪的,但是我们应该去看看,’”25岁的马修·斯潘塞(Matthew Speiser)谈到当时与28岁的约翰·普特曼(John Putman)通话时说道。两人在威廉姆斯大学(Williams College)念书的时候是同班同学。

The weirdness was apparent once they reached the museum, where they semi-avoided each other as they made their way through the galleries and eschewed any public displays of connoisseurship. "We definitely went out of our way to look at things separately," recalled Mr. Speiser, who has had art-history classes in his time.

来到博物馆,怪怪的气氛就变得很明显了。他们在展厅里走动时,有些特意避开对方,并且尽量避免让自己看上去很会欣赏的样子。“我们特地各看各的,”曾经上过艺术史课的斯潘塞说道。

"We shuffled. We probably both pretended to know less about the art than we did."

“我们拖着步子,假装自己并不太懂艺术。”

Eager to cut the tension following what they perceived to be a slightly unmanly excursion -- two guys looking at art together -- they headed directly to a bar. "We couldn't stop talking about the fact that it was ridiculous we had spent the whole day together one on one," said Mr. Speiser, who is straight, as is Mr. Putman. "We were purging ourselves of insecurity."

两个男人一起去看艺术展,这种行为让他们觉得有点不太爷们儿,因此急切地希望缓解那种紧张状态,于是他们又去了一家酒吧。“我们不停地说,我们俩黏在一起已经一整天了,这太扯了,”斯潘塞说道;他和普特曼都是直男。“我们这是在清除自己的不安全感。”

Anyone who finds a date with a potential romantic partner to be a minefield of unspoken rules should consider the man date, a rendezvous between two straight men that is even more socially perilous.

如果你觉得与潜在恋爱对象约会是一个充满了潜规则的雷区,那就想想男男约会,两个直男的约会在社交上的风险甚至更大一些。

Simply defined a man date is two heterosexual men socializing without the crutch of business or sports. It is two guys meeting for the kind of outing a straight man might reasonably arrange with a woman. Dining together across a table without the aid of a television is a man date; eating at a bar is not. Taking a walk in the park together is a man date; going for a jog is not. Attending the movie "Friday Night Lights" is a man date, but going to see the Jets play is definitely not.

你可以把男男约会简单地定义为两个异性恋男子,进行与生意和体育无关的社交活动。两个男性一起出去玩,做一些放到男女之间恐怕就显得合情合理的事情。比如在同一张桌子上面对面地吃饭,但又没有在看电视,这就是男男约会;在酒吧吃饭就不是。一起在公园里散步是男男约会;慢跑不是。去看电影《胜利之光》(Friday Night Lights)是,而一起去看航空展肯定不是。

"Sideways," the Oscar-winning film about two buddies touring the central California wine country on the eve of the wedding of one of them, is one long and boozy man date.

奥斯卡获奖影片《杯酒人生》(Sideways)讲述了一名即将结婚的男子与另一名男子前往加州中部的葡萄酒产地旅行,这就是一次漫长的、酒意袭人的男男约会。

Although "man date" is a coinage invented for this article, appearing nowhere in the literature of male bonding (or of homosexual panic), the 30 to 40 straight men interviewed, from their 20's to their 50's, living in cities across the country, instantly recognized the peculiar ritual even if they had not consciously examined its dos and don'ts. Depending on the activity and on the two men involved, an undercurrent of homoeroticism that may be present determines what feels comfortable or not on a man date, as Mr. Speiser and Mr. Putman discovered in their squeamishness at the Modern.

尽管“男男约会”的说法是为了写这篇文章生造出来的,从未出现在关于兄弟情谊(或者同性恋恐慌)的文献里,但受访的30至40名直男——年龄在20几岁至50几岁之间,居于全国各地的城市——立刻就辨别出了这种约会的特别礼仪,即便他们此前并未有意识地审视过参与者该做什么、不该做什么。就像在现代美术馆时刻小心翼翼的斯潘塞和普特曼所发现的那样,男男约会中可能出现的一股同性爱暗流,决定着在整个约会过程中什么是让人感到自在或不自在的,具体情况则视约会所牵涉的活动和两个男人而定。

Jim O'Donnell, a professor of business and economics at Huntington University in Indiana, who said his life had been changed by a male friend, urges men to get over their discomfort in socializing one on one because they have much to gain from the emotional support of male friendships. (Women understand this instinctively, which is why there is no female equivalent to the awkward man date; straight women have long met for dinner or a movie without a second thought.)

印第安纳州亨廷顿大学(Huntington University)商科和经济学教授吉姆·奥唐奈(Jim O'Donnell)说,一个男性友人改变了他的生活,他极力主张男人应该克服在一对一社交活动中产生的不适感,因为男性友谊所能带来的情感支持会让他们获益良多。(女人生来就明白这一点,因此女女约会从来都没有男男约会的那种尴尬;直女们总是不假思索地相约共进晚餐或者看电影。)

"A lot of quality time is lost as we fritter around with minor stuff like the Final Four scores," said Mr. O'Donnell, who was on the verge of divorce in the mid-1980's before a series of conversations over meals and walks with a friend 20 years his senior changed his thinking. "He was instrumental in turning me around in the vulnerability that he showed," said Mr. O'Donnell, who wrote about the friendship in a book, "Walking With Arthur." "I can remember times when he wanted to know why I was going to leave my wife. No guy had ever done that before."

“当我们把时间耗在四强赛分数等小事上的时候,大把一起相处的宝贵时光一去不返,”奥唐奈说。上世纪80年代中期,他处于离婚边缘,却在和一位比他年长20岁的友人多次进餐散步后改变了主意,当时二人聊了很多东西。“他向我袒露了自己的脆弱之处,帮助我改变了想法,”在《和亚瑟一起散步》(Walking With Arthur)一书中描写了这段友谊的奥唐奈说。“我记得当时他想要了解,为什么我打算离开我妻子。此前从没有男性朋友像他那样做。”

While some men explicitly seek man dates, and others flatly reject them as pointless, most seem to view them as an unavoidable form of socializing in an age when friends can often catch up only by planning in advance. The ritual comes particularly into play for many men after college, as they adjust to a more structured, less spontaneous social life. "You see kids in college talking to each other, bull sessions," said Peter Nardi, a sociology professor at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., who edited a book called "Men's Friendships." "But the opportunities to get close to another man, to share and talk about their feelings, are not available after a certain age."

尽管有些男人会毫不掩饰地寻求男男约会,有些则认为这毫无意义,会断然拒绝,但大多数人都觉得,在一个通常只有事先安排好,朋友们才会小聚一番的时代,男男约会是一种不可避免的社交形式。对许多从大学毕业后,学着适应更有规律、随意性更小的社会生活的男性而言,这种约会尤其难以避免。“你看大学里的年轻人会相互交谈,侃大山,”加利福尼亚州克莱蒙特市匹兹学院(Pitzer College)社会学教授、《兄弟情谊》(Men's Friendships)一书的编辑彼得·纳迪(Peter Nardi)说。“但到了一定年龄之后,就不太有机会与另一个男人亲近,分享和讨论各自的感受了。”

The concern about being perceived as gay is one of the major complications of socializing one on one, many straight men acknowledge. That is what Mr. Speiser, now a graduate student at the University of Virginia, recalled about another man date he set up at a highly praised Italian restaurant in a strip mall in Charlottesville. It seemed a comfortable choice to meet his roommate, Thomas Kim, a lawyer, but no sooner had they walked in than they were confronted by cello music, amber lights, white tablecloths and a wine list.

许多直男承认,担心被当成同性恋,是他们对一对一社交感到纠结的一个重要原因。目前在弗吉尼亚大学(University of Virginia)读研的斯潘塞记得,他在夏洛茨维尔某单排商业区内一家口碑极好意大利餐厅安排的另一场男男约会,就让他有这种担心。他约的是自己的室友、身为律师的托马斯·金(Thomas Kim),在那里见面本来看似会是一个舒适的选择。但他们刚走进餐厅,面对的便是以大提琴演奏的音乐、琥珀色的灯光、雪白的桌布以及一份酒单。

The two exchanged a look. "It was funny," Mr. Speiser said. "We just knew we couldn't do it." Within minutes they were eating fried chicken at a "down and dirty" place down the road.

两人交换了一下眼神。“很搞笑,”斯潘塞说。“我们立刻知道我们做不来这个。”没过几分钟,他们就在路边一个“不入流的脏兮兮的”地方吃起了炸鸡。

Mr. Kim, 28, who is now married, was flustered in part because he saw someone he knew at the Italian restaurant. "I was kind of worried that word might get out," he said. "This is weird, and now there is a witness maybe."

现年28岁的金目前已经结婚了,他当时之所以有些慌神,部分是因为在那家意大利餐厅里看到了自己认识的一个人。“我有点儿担心消息会传出去,”他说。“这很古怪,而且现在可能还有了一个目击者。”

Dinner with a friend has not always been so fraught. Before women were considered men's equals, some gender historians say, men routinely confided in and sought advice from one another in ways they did not do with women, even their wives. Then, these scholars say, two things changed during the last century: an increased public awareness of homosexuality created a stigma around male intimacy, and at the same time women began encroaching on traditionally male spheres, causing men to become more defensive about notions of masculinity.

和一位朋友共进晚餐并非一直都这么令人担忧。一些性别史研究者称,在女人被认为与男人平等以前,男人们常常相互吐露衷肠,并向彼此征询意见,但却不会这样与女人交流,就算是他们的妻子也不行。这些学者说,接着,在上个世纪,有两件事发生了改变:同性恋更多的进入了公共意识,让同性之间的亲密互动被打上了负面烙印;与此同时,女人开始蚕食传统上属于男人的领域,导致男人要更多地去捍卫自己男性气质的表达。

"If men become too close to other men, then they are always vulnerable to this accusation of, 'Oh, you must be gay,"' said Gregory Lehne, a medical psychologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who has studied gender issues. At the same time, he added, "When you have women in the same world and seeking equality with men, then all of a sudden issues emerge in the need to maintain the male sex role."

“如果男人和其他男人太过亲密,那他们常常很容易受到这样的指责:‘哦,你一定是同性恋,’”约翰·霍普金斯医学院(Johns Hopkins School of Medicine)研究性别问题的医学心理学家格雷戈里·莱内(Gregory Lehne)说。他还表示,同时,“在和你身处同一个世界的女人寻求男女平等之际,突然间就出现了需要维护男性性别角色的问题。”

And thus a simple meal turns into social Stratego. Some men avoid dinner altogether unless the friend is coming from out of town or has a specific problem that he wants advice about. Otherwise, grabbing beers at a bar will do just fine, thank you.

就这样,吃一顿意义单纯的饭在社会上变成了容易授人以柄的举动。一些男人会避免一同进餐,除非友人是从外地过来的,或者有特定的问题想要咨询。否则的话,在酒吧喝几杯啤酒就好,谢了。

Other men say dinners may be all right, but never brunch, although a post-hangover meal taking place during brunch hours is O.K. "The company at that point is purely secondary," explained Steven Carlson, 29, a public relations executive in Chicago.

另外一些男人则表示,共进晚餐或许可以,但绝不能是早午餐,尽管宿醉之后在午餐时间一起找补一顿还是可以接受的。“在那种时刻,陪伴完全是次要的,”现年29岁,在芝加哥当公关主管的史蒂芬·卡尔森(Steven Carlson)解释道。

Almost all men agree that beer and hard alcohol are acceptable man date beverages, but wine is risky. And sharing a bottle is out of the question. "If a guy wants to get a glass of wine, that's O.K.," said Rob Discher, 24, who moved to Washington from Dallas and has dinner regularly with his male roommate. "But there is something kind of odd about splitting a bottle of wine with a guy."

几乎所有男人都一致认为,啤酒和烈酒是进行男男约会时可以接受的饮料,但喝红酒就有点危险了。此外,绝不能共饮一瓶红酒。“如果一个人想要来一杯红酒,那没问题,”现年24岁,从达拉斯搬到了华盛顿、会经常和男性室友共进晚餐的罗布·迪舍尔(Rob Discher)说。“但要是和一个男人共饮一瓶红酒,总感觉有点儿怪。”

Other restaurant red flags include coat checks, busboys who ask, "Still or sparkling?" and candles, unless there is a power failure. All of those are fine, however, at a steakhouse. "Your one go-to is if you go and get some kind of meat product," explained James Halow, 28, who works for a leveraged buyout firm in San Francisco.

此外,得远离这样的餐厅:设有衣帽间的,服务生会问“带汽还是不带汽的矿泉水”的,以及点着蜡烛的——除非赶上停电。不过,如果是在一家牛排馆里,以上这些还是可以接受的。“要是想吃某种肉类产品,这会是一个很好的选择,”现年28岁,在旧金山一家杠杆收购公司工作的詹姆斯·哈洛(James Halow)解释道。

Cooking for a friend at home violates the man date comfort zone for almost everyone, with a possible exemption for grilling or deep-frying. "The grilling thing would take away the majority of the stigma because there is a masculine overtone to the grill," Mr. Discher said.

几乎对所有人而言,为朋友在家里做饭都打破了男男约会的舒适区,也许吃烧烤或者油炸食物可以是例外。“烧烤会让大部分不光彩的感觉烟消云散,因为烧烤架能彰显阳刚之气,”迪舍尔说。

And man dates should always be Dutch treat, men agree. Armen Myers, 28, a lawyer in New York who is an unabashed man dater, remembers when he tried to pay for dinner for a friend. "I just plopped out the money and didn't even think about it," Mr. Myers said. "He said, 'What are you doing?' And I'm like: 'I was going to pay. What's the big deal?' And he said something like, 'Guys don't pay for me,' or 'No one pays for me.' There was a certain slight power issue."

男人们一致认为,赴男男之约时一定要采取AA制。现年28岁、在纽约当律师的阿尔缅·迈尔斯(Armen Myers),是一个从不遮遮掩掩的男男约会者,他还记得自己试图为共进晚餐的一位友人买单时的情形。“我想都没想就把钱掏了出来,”迈尔斯说,“他问,‘你这是干嘛?’我回答:‘我要买单啊,有问题吗?’而他好像是这样说的:‘我不会让男人为我买单的’,或者‘谁也不许为我买单。’这其中显然会涉及某个小小的权力问题。”

When attending a movie together -- preferably with explosions or heavy special effects, never a romantic comedy -- guys prefer to put a nice big seat between each other. (This only sounds like an episode of "Seinfeld.") "Going to the movie with one other guy is sort of weird, but you can balance it out by having a seat space between you," explained Ames McArdle, a financial analyst in Washington.

一起去看电影时——电影里最好有爆炸场景或者大量特效镜头,绝不可以看浪漫喜剧片——男人们宁愿分开来坐,彼此之间隔着一个大大的空位。(就好像《宋飞传》(Seinfeld)中的一集那样。)“和另一个男人一起看电影有点儿怪,但如果你们之间隔着一个空位,就可以抵消一部分怪怪的感觉,”华盛顿的一名金融分析师埃姆斯·麦卡德尔(Ames McArdle)说。

Men who avoid man dates altogether are often puzzled by the suggestion that they might like to spend time with male friends. "If you're buddies with another guy, there shouldn't be any work involved," Mr. Halow of San Francisco said. Which is why many men say that a successful man dates requires a guy to demonstrate concern for his friend without ever letting on. "The amount of preparation that the other guy is making is directly proportional to how awkward it is," Mr. McArdle of Washington said.

会完全避开男男约会的男人,在面对他们或许想要和男性友人共度时光这一提示时,常常感到困惑。“如果你和另一个男人是好友,你们的交往就不应该那么麻烦,”旧金山的哈洛说。正因为如此,许多男人都说,男男约会取得成功的必要条件是:一个男人得表现出对朋友的关心,但又绝不能承认这一点。“另一个男人为约会所做准备的程度,直接关系到约会的尴尬程度,”华盛顿的麦卡德尔说。

When man daters socialize with non-man daters, the activities always fall to the lowest common denominator. Mr. Myers of New York remembers how he would ask his roommate Jonathan Freimann out for dinner by himself. But Mr. Freimann would instinctively pre-empt, by asking other guys along.

当男男约会者与非男男约会者交际时,其活动往往会牵扯到尽可能多的人。纽约的迈尔斯还记得自己当初想单独邀请室友乔纳森·弗赖曼(Jonathan Freimann)出去吃晚餐。但弗赖曼却会自然而然地抢先行动,叫上一堆人。

"If I had known he wanted to spend one-on-one time, I would have," Mr. Freimann explained, adding that group dinners had simply seemed "more fun." (The two had dinner in San Diego last week.)

“如果知道他想和我单独待在一起,我会照做的,”弗赖曼解释道,他还表示,之所以找一群人聚餐,只是因为那样似乎“更有趣”。(上周,两人在圣地亚哥共进了晚餐。)

Jeffrey Toohig, 27, is a more reliable bet for Mr. Myers. They regularly have dinner together to discuss women, jobs and whatever else is on their minds, because, as Mr. Toohig put it, "the conversation is more in-depth than you can have at a bar." Mr. Toohig, who is looking for a job helping underdeveloped countries, divides his male friends into two groups: "good friends who I go out one on one with, and guys I go out with and we have beers and wings." And, he pointed out, dinner with Mr. Myers has the advantage of not making his girlfriend jealous, the way dinners with his female friends do.

对迈尔斯来说,27岁的杰弗里·图西格(Jeffrey Toohig)是一个更为可靠的选择。他们会定期共进晚餐,讨论女人、工作以及内心的其他所有想法,因为正如图西格所言,“这种谈话比酒吧里能够展开的那种更有深度。”图西格正在寻找一份可以对欠发达国家有所帮助的工作,他把自己的男性朋友分成两类:“我会与之单独见面的好朋友,以及一群人一起出门喝啤酒吃鸡翅的哥们。”此外,他指出,和图西格共进晚餐的一大好处是不会让他女朋友心生妒忌,和女性朋友单独吃晚餐就不行了。

All men, however, agree that one rule of guy-meets-guy time is inviolable: if a woman enters the picture, a man can drop his buddies, last minute, no questions asked.

不过,所有男人一致认为,男男约会不得违反的规矩是:如果一个女人出现了,约会一方可以对好友爽约,哪怕是最后一分钟,并且无需解释。

A romantic date always trumps a man date.

浪漫约会的地位永远高于男男约会。

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