Sex Roles

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An Ethnography of Breastaurant Masculinity: Themes of Objectification, Sexual Conquest, Male Control, and Masculine Toughness in a Sexually Objectifying Restaurant

  • Richard Baldwin
Original Article


The present study is based on a 2-year participant-observer ethnography of a group of men in a “breastaurant” to characterize the unique masculinity features that environment evokes. Currently, whereas some research examines sexually objectifying restaurant environments regarding their impacts upon women in those spaces, no known scholarly attention has been given to men and masculinities in these environments. Through thematic analysis of table dialogue supplemented by brief unstructured interviews, I identify four major and one minor theme of “breastaurant masculinity” as distinctive to that environment. These include sexual objectification, sexual conquest, male control of women, masculine toughness, and (as a minor theme) rationalizations for why men frequent breastaurants. Following recent trends in masculinities research, my study interprets the breastaurant as a type of male preserve that erects a local pastiche hegemony in which these themes gain protected status. It also theorizes that the unique interactive environment of the breastaurant between (mostly) male patrons and attractive female servers who provide heterosexual aesthetic labor to the patrons, primarily in the form of ersatz sexual availability, produces these masculinity features. Given their current rapid expansion and popularity within masculine subcultures, the breastaurant therefore becomes an important site for critical masculinities research. Practice implications are discussed for management and counseling professionals who aim to improve outcomes in social and professional situations for both women and men.


Masculinity Masculine identity Objectification Ethnography Male only environments 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments, including standard IRB approval which was obtained for this study.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by the author.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryGulf Coast State CollegePanama CityUSA

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