I’m Really Dating Myself Here …

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Jeffrey Bloomer considers what Boyfriend Twin, a tumblr dedicated to gay couples who look alike, tells us about human sexuality:

Straight couples who are confused for siblings have been ticklish fodder for lifestyle stories for years, but the boyfriend twins take that a step further, suggesting that what we’re really searching for is our own romantic clone.

This anxiety, of course, long predates the Tumblr, as its anonymous creator has acknowledged, telling BuzzFeed loftily that the photos are intended to spark a conversation about “narcissism, exhibitionism, and sexuality.” For every gay guy who laughs it off, the boyfriend twin is another one’s worst fear realized. One Slate colleague told me his partner will demand a wardrobe change if the two men so much as wear the same fabric on the same day. His fear? “It confirms the whole dumb Freudian model of homosexuality as a kind of narcissism.” Is that really it? Is the lookalike lover a symptom of excessive self-regard, or is it something more elusive?

The answer depends on whom you ask, and there’s plenty of disagreement, even among people who make a living studying such things. But two things are clear: This phenomenon is not particular to gay men, and people do tend to be drawn sexually to people who look similar to them. The real question is why and how that works.

(Image from Boyfriend Twin)