Boyfriend twins are all too real, and a little unsettling. Why are gay dudes so into themselves?
Boyfriend twins. Dopplebangers. Clonefuckers. Whatever you call them, the concept remains the same: two gay men in a relationship who are, if not completely indistinguishable from one another, look at least so similar that they wouldn’t seem out of place at the same family reunion. The phenomenon isn’t exactly new, but has seen renewed attention recently. ‘Tis the season to see men who could be brothers making out at your local Pride parade.
Boyfriend twins are a uniquely gay occurrence. There are certainly plenty of straight couples who look like they belong to the same gene pool, but heterosexual couples have the inherent division of gender, and also, who pays attention to straight people? It’s much more uncanny to see two men who look extremely alike making out in front of you at a gay bar while Robyn’s unreleased “Honey” demo plays in the background — but it’s also an experience that most queer people are deeply familiar with. The boyfriend twin phenomenon is so pervasive that there are entire Tumblrs devoted to tracking it, collecting photos of these romantic lookalikes for posterity and entertainment.
The one thing no one seems to be doing is investigating why so many gay men are romantically and/or sexually interested in men who look exactly like them — but that’s mostly because the answer is fairly obvious: most gay men want to fuck themselves.
Rembrandt Duran, a New York City-based Twitter Gay™ who has been profiled for his extracurricular duties as a “sexual matchmaker” and has written about his progressive take on “top privilege,” thinks that boyfriend twins are a natural manifestation of the human need for familiarity. “I think we just feel more comfortable dating [people who seem] familiar to us,” he says. “Most groups of people are homophilous, so of course dating pools would be that way, too.” Personally, Duran thinks clonefuckers are “kinda gross but mostly hilarious, especially when people just aren’t aware of it.”
Which raises an interesting point: While boyfriend twins certainly aren’t hurting anyone, many of them seem to be remarkably unaware of their particular proclivities, which suggests something about their disinterest or unwillingness to examine their own desires. As boyfriend twins seem to be most prominent among white gay cisgender men, some would say that this desire is subconsciously racist — a step beyond men who state a racial preference on their Grindr bio and actively seek partners who are as ethnically close to them as possible.
“There is nothing that racism doesn’t touch, but to say it’s just that wouldn’t be digging deep enough into it,” says Duran. “I also feel like it’s conditioned into us that most ‘successful’ relationships are those with people who we have a lot in common with, which I think is more Disney romance false bullshit.”
I spoke with a close friend of mine — we’ll call him Todd — who is one-half of a boyfriend twin couple. He says that while he’s absolutely aware of how alike he and his partner look, he doesn’t mind at all — but his boyfriend definitely does. “He’s very upset by it. It makes him feel like a basic gay because people give us shit for it,” says Todd. “Every time we go out someone makes a comment about it, but I think it’s cute.” Todd also notes that as they’ve dated, he and his boyfriend have almost assimilated into each other, dressing more and more alike, which only exacerbates their resemblance. He also says that they have been regularly mistaken for one another, but to be honest, I think all white gay men in New York City look alike.
“I’ve had some people make comments that are kind of rude, asking why am I that shallow that I’m only going to date someone that looks like me, but I think that’s a very narrow view, because they’d probably also be mad at me for dating another attractive white guy [who didn’t look like me]. They think we’re part of the problem, which I think is kinda silly.”
“I’m always on the fence about forcing people to examine their desires too much,” adds Duran, who explains that he feels there are those who overcompensate by swinging too drastically in the opposite direction. “There are people who end up using others as a buffer for their guilt by filling a sort of quota — by going out and fucking different kinds of people — when honestly, the simpler fix for that is to stop valuing the gaze of white masculine men and saying ‘who cares if they want to fuck me’ and start accepting love and attraction from everyone else.”
The real tea about doppelbangers is this: Are you really all that surprised that hot gay men want to fuck other hot gay men? In other news, water is wet and Trinity Taylor was robbed in season nine of Drag Race.
Todd recalled that he’d been at a party where the other two other pairs of clonefuckers approached him and his partner. “‘Hey, we’re all boyfriend twins,’” he recounted, in a tone suggesting… well, you get it. He laughed. “Ok, that’s weird.”
The obvious question: Did that turn into a sixsome? Unfortunately not.
- Why Do Gay Men Insist On F*cking Themselves?, Them, 26 June 2018, by Rose Dommu https://www.them.us/story/the-boyfriend-twins-phenomenon