The following is an academic review of straight male friendships in The United States. Through thousands of surveys and oral interviews, a definitive hierarchy has been determined. The author has also included representative language used by straight males and inserted notes as needed to illustrate the nuance within each category.
Every straight male friendship begins with meeting Some Guy. Though brief, the initial interaction with Some Guy is categorically positive or endearing.
“Some Guy at the bar said ‘Go, [college alma mater mascot]!’ when he saw my [college alma mater] sweater. It's always cool to meet a fellow [college alma mater mascot] in [city far away from college alma mater].”
Note: Some Guy is so early in the developmental evolution of straight male friendship that it does not necessitate direct correspondence.
“Some Guy at the party last night said Chuck Klosterman is coming out with a new book soon. He seemed cool.”
Only after interacting with Some Guy at least once more through shared social circles (girlfriend’s friend’s boyfriend) or shared spaces (Crunch Fitness) will Some Guy become This Dude I Know.
This Dude I Know
This Dude I Know is the relationship between two straight males when one or both can recall that the other exists with relative ease. This Dude I Know is rarely referred to by name (likely because the dude who knows him is unsure what it is) and is typically reduced to one specific trait.
- “This Dude I Know is really good at investing in real estate.”
- “This Dude I Know just hiked the Appalachian Trail.”
- “This Dude I Know once met Bill Murray at a bar in Charleston, South Carolina.”
While familiar with This Dude I Know, it could take the straight male several months to decide if the dude is 1) A Good Dude, 2) A Pretty Good Dude, or 3) Not Really A Good Dude.
Only when determined to be A Good Dude or A Pretty Good Dude, will This Dude I Know become My Buddy.
The inflection point of straight male friendship, My Buddy is a casual but cordial relationship between two straight males who readily associate with one another. Socializing typically occurs when a decision is made to, “Get a few Buddies together”—an evolutionary echo of their ancestors, who hunted in packs.
My Buddy can be identified by name and a detailed answer provided when asked, “Hey, who is that over there?”
“That’s My Buddy James. We met through a Fantasy Football league last year. He grew up in Wisconsin and went to school at NYU. He’s definitely A Good Dude.”
Only when My Buddy has an inside joke with, clogs the toilet of, or throws up in front of a straight man can he become A Friend.
A Friend, to the straight male, is someone he will answer honestly when asked “How’s it going?” “What’s been going on?” or “How’s everything been going?”
However, these vulnerable conversations are typically paired with traditionally masculine activities such as: drinking Bud Light, watching the game, or drinking Bud Light while watching the game. This counterbalance is critical in straight male friendships for safeguarding against, “Getting all weird about it.”
“Not to get all weird about it, but Caroline and I might break up. Anyway, I hear the chicken wings here are really good.”
Note: Unlike This Dude I Know, where morality is key to becoming A Buddy, by the time A Friend becomes A Friend, a premium on personal character may be diminished or even disregarded.
“I know Brad is kind of an asshole, but he is also A Friend.”
A Good Buddy Of Mine
According to an overwhelming 86% of participants, A Good Buddy Of Mine is actually a fraudulent description of a straight male friendship.
A common misconception perpetuated by their own in-group, A Good Buddy Of Mine is a descriptor that a straight male will bestow upon another straight male while trying to impress a member of either biological sex.
This is evidenced by the fact that there is no record of a straight male ever introducing another as A Good Buddy Of Mine. Rather, the Good Buddy Of Mine is never present, only mentioned briefly, and with little detail—likely because he is in fact Some Guy or This Dude I Know.
- “A Good Buddy Of Mine plays in the NFL.”
- “A Good Buddy Of Mine bought one of the first Bitcoins.”
- “A Good Buddy Of Mine once met Bill Murray at a bar in Charleston, South Carolina.”
Author’s Note: Our research indicates that there may be higher echelons of straight male friendship that include My Dude, My Guy, and Best Friend. However, when asked to provide criteria for these categories, a statistically significant sample could not be collected on account of participants not wanting to “get all weird about it.”