A useful neologism, but one that is frequently misunderstood and misused.
1. Most literal meaning -- tending to engage or arouse sexual interest, or imply an erotic connection, by one man for another.
2. Extended meaning, sometimes misused (see Example 2 below): a coded type of homosexual reference invisible to heterosexuals. This is fine as far as it goes, but it should not exclude heterosexuals.
3. Similarly, if used carelessly, "homoerotic" can be misused to imply an environment in which same-sex attraction exists simply because of same-sex affiliation. In other words, a judgment is made regarding sexuality where none should exist, allowing the speaker to practice psychology without a license.
4. Often the butt of malapropisms.
1. The "Calamus" section of Walt Whitman's book of poetry LEAVES OF GRASS is frankly homoerotic in message and in symbolism. (It was also one of the sections 'banned in Boston').
2. Saying that Marlon Brando has "unique homoerotic appeal" is literally true, but should not be used in a context that would exclude the legitimate experience of erotic appeal that so many straight women felt.
3. To say that eight straight men in an office constitute a "homoerotic environment" implies a judgment that simply may not be true. Where's the attraction? "Homoerotic" should not be used as a pretentious and wrong substitute for "same-sex" or "homosexual" used literally.
4. "Al's dabbling in those homoerotic medicines." Tim Allen, on HOME IMPROVEMENT; his character should have said "homeopathic."
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