->"''Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash.''"
-->-- Misattributed to '''UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill''', and unwittingly inspiring a name for an album by Music/ThePogues.

It's a lonely life in the Navy. Outside {{prison|Rape}} or [[SchoolgirlLesbians single-gender schools]], probably the most well-known version of SituationalSexuality is in the naval service. For years, men would be left alone together on ships for weeks on end, as female sailors served in a very limited capacity if at all (this is slowly changing). Sexual needs had to be met somehow and that meant a lot of men turned to one another for comfort. This has led to sailors (or seamen of any stripe) becoming sex symbols among gay men. Definitely TruthInTelevision on occasion, and in fiction, a common subtrope of the ManlyGay and StraightGay types. Pretty much OlderThanSteam.

[[DeadHorseTrope A somewhat outdated trope nowadays]], however, as most military fetishists have been leaning towards the sweaty and {{permastubble}}d soldier or marine as of late.

Note that the Royal Navy abolished the practice of [[ATasteOfTheLash flogging]] in 1948, and that [[TheDrunkenSailor rum rations]] were discontinued in 1970 (but were temporarily reintroduced in 1982 [[INeedAFreakingDrink because of the Falklands War]]). [[CastFullOfGay The modern Navy runs on sodomy, and sodomy alone.]] [[InsaneTrollLogic QED.]]




[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]
* In the ''Manga/{{Area 88}}'' TV series, former US Navy pilot Mick Simon is seen reading a ''Playgirl''[[note]]Think ''Playboy'', but with photos of men; the two magazines are unrelated.[[/note]] magazine in the cafeteria.
* ''Manga/KuroganePukapukaTai'' fills the Indian Ocean with lesbian sailors during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* ''Anime/KantaiCollection'' has several SchoolgirlLesbians among the ship girls. Ooi and Kitakami are most prominent, along with Fubuki's crush on Akagi. The [[VideoGame/KantaiCollection game the series is based on]] goes a bit easier on the Les Yay.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* In the second volume of ''ComicBook/HeroesForHire'', the main characters [[ActionGirl Misty Knight]], [[{{Ninja}} Colleen Wing]], [[EverybodyWasKungFuFighting Shang-Chi]], and [[ClassyCatBurglar Black Cat]] find themselves in a stolen boat with the Coast Guard about to board them.
-->'''Misty: '''What do we do?
-->'''Colleen Wing: '''Relax, they're ''sailors''. Just look cute.
-->'''Shang-Chi: '''That might not work for all of us, Colleen.
-->'''Black Cat: '''They ''are'' sailors, Shang.
* SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}} accidentally invokes this trope by walking into a bar full of sailors in a [[FanDisservice tiny tank top and short shorts]]. In UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco. And then he comes up with his hairbrained scheme to join the ComicBook/XMen.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Circles}}'', Paulie's father appearently was subjected to this:
-->"Ach, son. I know how ye feel. I'v been oot on th' boats, son, and I know what it's like...[[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain But it isn't love, son]]!"

* The perception is not diminished at all by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjAXJaFydwM this Japanese recruiting ad.]]

* Captain Shakespeare of the ''Film/{{Stardust}}'' [[TheMovie film]] (though not the book) is a [[CampGay flamboyantly gay]] secret DragQueen. Technically not a Navy man, but a sky pirate. Played by RobertDeNiro, of all people! It's said [=DeNiro=] took the role of Shakespeare out of deep regret at having passed on playing [[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Jack Sparrow]]. Make of that what ye will.
* ''Film/TopGun'': They're pilots, but they're still Navy.
* In ''Film/ZorroTheGayBlade'', Don Diego gets injured and asks his brother Ramon to take his place. Only Ramon is now Bunny Wigglesworth.
-->'''Ramon[=/=]Bunny:''' They say the Navy makes men. I'm living proof - they made ''me''!
* Referenced in ''Film/KidsInTheHallBrainCandy''. Wally Terzinsky is shown {{cosplay}}ing as a sailor after coming out and just before collapsing from the side effects of [=GLeeMONEX=].
* Subverted in ''Purple Hearts''. LTCDR Don Jardian meets LTJG Deborah Solomon while they're both serving in [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar Vietnam]] and there's instant attraction between the two and [[BattleCouple they fall in love with each other]]. He's a doctor and she's a [[HospitalHottie nurse]] and they meet at the Naval support activity station in Da Nang, but the two are still in the Navy.

* Jean Genet's ''Querelle De Brest'', later made into a film by Creator/RainerWernerFassbinder.
* Referenced vaguely a few times in the ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' series, when Laurence reflects on some of the hazards of the Navy, while musing he was lucky to escape that part of it himself.
* Herman Melville's unfinished novella ''Literature/BillyBudd''. It's all about homosexuality among sailors on ships in the age before steamships.
* ''Literature/MobyDick'' is stuffed full of it. Including Ishmael and Queequeg's status as HeterosexualLifePartners and Ishmael wading, nay, [[HaveAGayOldTime wallowing in sperm]][[note]]Spermaceti, an oil found in the head of the sperm whale, which was originally thought to be whale sperm[[/note]] along with the rest of the crew.
* Referenced on a number of occasions in Patrick O'Brian's ''Literature/AubreyMaturin'' series. While sodomy is technically a hanging offense in the Royal Navy, the more liberal sort of officer - such as Jack Aubrey - tends to turn a blind eye to it unless it's excessively blatant, or is coupled with some other breach of the Articles of War that can't be ignored. The main problem that Jack has with gays in command positions is not so much their sexuality as that the favoritism they show their partners has a very bad effect on their ships' order and discipline.
** Aubrey himself is the subject of an inferred crush by an older man, the Sailing Master on his first command. Nothing specific happens but it is remarked upon by certain crew members who know the Sailing Master from previous service.

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]
* Homosexuality in the Royal Navy was the subject of one episode of the Channel 4 parody news show ''Series/BrassEye''. Sailors did ridiculous things like marching in pairs pressed right up against each other and devoting over 90% of their medical training to treating "penis wounds." It also showed footage of a naval officer fellating a gun.
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' has its own parody on the subject, exchanging "homosexuality" for "cannibalism", and making countless of jokes of navy men casually eating one another, or discussing nonchalantly of who should get eaten. This comes right after a sketch with a letter from a member of the Royal Navy who is ''outraged'' that the show would demean Her Majesty's naval forces... that soon descended into describing the "perfect little buttocks" of the sailors, and Michael Palin saying, [[TakeOurWordForIt "And we can't show you the rest of that letter."]]
* ''Series/VeronicaMars'' first season episode "M.A.D.":
-->''"The Navy? Cover my back, wingman. The rear admiral wants us to pound away with the 10-inch gun. [[LogicBomb I mean, isn't just joining the Navy alone gay enough to get you thrown out of the Navy?]]"''
* Used in ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', of all shows, in the [[http://youtu.be/VucFQe_vhmI?t=4m final host segment]] of ''Film/TeenagersFromOuterSpace''. Tom Servo has a rather...spirited reaction to the sight of Joel in a homemade Navy-style uniform.
-->"Well, you can swab my deck anytime, sailor."
* In one round of the ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' game "If you Know what I Mean," which involves speaking in nothing but sexual innuendos, one of the players reminisces, "When I was in the Navy, I was surrounded by seamen!"
* ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' had a continuing serial Dickens parody with guest Michael Palin, who as the youthful hero gets initiated to the manly life on the sea with manly men on the "Raging Queen".
* The second-season ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' episode "Potato" is full of gay sailor jokes since it revolves around explorers and sea voyages. The next episode has Baldrick suggest making money down at the docks by exploiting this trope.
* In the UK comedy ''Brass'', the CampGay son borrows his mother's perfume, "[[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench Bonsoir Matelot]]."
* Season 6, Episode 11 of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' ("The Mermaid Theory") notes this in TheStinger. It's hard to explain how.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{QI}}'', Creator/StephenFry asks the question, "Do you know how they separate the men from the boys in the Navy?". Answer: with a crowbar.
** Giving Alan Davies an embarrassing buzzer is a RunningGag on the show. The trope title has been used for this purpose more than once.
* In the ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' episode "The Bon Voyage Reaction", Sheldon, in an effort to convince Penny to join him in objecting to Leonard's planned North Sea expedition, suggests that Leonard will cheat on Penny with other men during the expedition because he'll be at sea.

* The subtext of the Music/VillagePeople song "In the Navy". Just remember what "subtext" is an anagram for! Hilariously, this song was originally recorded as the theme for a US Navy recruitment spot. The deal fell through when conservative activists complained about the Village People's association with the gay community. While the Navy yielded, they took umbrage to the implication there was anything at all gay about the Village People or the song "In The Navy" in any way promoted homosexuality. Or on a less insulting note, people questioned the legitimacy of the government using taxpayer money to fund a music video.
** Also, given one of the members is dressed as a soldier, at times the fatigues were the Navy's (particularly in Village People imitators).
* Martin Mull sang a rousing sea shanty about being on a 'ship all filled with men' - he does note "But none of us are sissies/And so we sleep in sep'rate beds/and blow each other kissies!"
* This trope has been immortalized in song for well over a century at the very least. [[http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/drinkingsongs/mp3s/1950s/1955ca-bawdy-songs-vol-5-bawdy-sea-shanties-%28LP%29/09-backside-rules-the-navy.htm "Backside rules the Navy; backside rules the sea...."]]
** Memorably recorded by Music/IggyPop as "Asshole Rules the Navy" on the modern sea shanty covers album ''Son of Rogues Gallery''.
* The Frogs' song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iliwt9h6-a0 Sailors Board Me Now]] is one big ode to seaside sodomy.
* Damon Albarn, while working on the Music/{{Gorillaz}} album ''Plastic Beach'', apparently worried that the nautical theme would come across this way, according to [[http://www.digitalspy.com/music/news/a280059/albarn-worried-gorillaz-would-look-too-gay.html this interview]].
* Subverted in Cosmo Jarvis' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dysG12QCdTA&feature=feedlik Gay Pirates]], which has nothing to do with SituationalSexuality and everything to do with ThePowerOfLove.
* Music/ThePogues album ''Rum Sodomy and the Lash'' used the painting ''Wreck Of The Medusa'' as a sleeve design. This refers to a wreck involving a French troopship, so has no relevance to the title.
* The infamous BawdySong "So What", originally by British punk band The Anti-Nowhere League, and one of a tiny number of sound recordings ever declared criminally obscene by the British courts, later covered by Music/{{Metallica}}, has two guys performing SerialEscalation telling the nasty stuff they did. The first one is "Well, Ive been to Hastings, and Ive been to Brighton, I've been to Eastbourne too". All are coastal cities, and the same guy later says "I've even sucked an old man's cock", so that might be an allusion to the Navy's habits...

[[folder: Radio]]
* [[Radio/TheGoonShow Bend over for the Golden Rivet!]] - the punchline to a specifically Royal Navy joke not about rum or the lash. something of a catch-phrase on ''The Goon Show'' until the BBC MoralGuardians realised the inference.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In the video game ''VideoGame/{{Tradewinds}}: Legends'', the burly Berber swordsman Hasan Tazere is a StraightGay with occasional CampGay ("Does this tattoo complement my eyes?") and ManlyGay ("Visit meat market. Find bear.") concerns--and he's out! E.g., when he makes a particularly large deposit, the Banker is likely to ask if Hasan has met his or her son, and the other playable characters inquire if he's had any success searching for his . . . brother.
* The trope name is actually a recurring CatchPhrase in the old ''VideoGame/{{Zork}}'' games.
* Played for laughs in Website/NationStates. An issue about gays in the military has four options: Ban gays from serving at all (suggested by an army chaplain), allow gays to serve openly (suggested by an air force pilot), allow gays to serve, but not openly (suggested by a marine in your personal bodyguard), and allow only gays to serve (suggested by the captain of a destroyer).
* In ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'', a general may pick up the homosexual trait if he is left on a transport ship for too long.
* In ''VideoGame/GrimFandango'', Manny Calavera can say this to dockmaster Velasco, who is, apparently, an old salty bag of rope (you should see his wife!). He just answers "Quit foolin' around!"

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* Apparently referenced in [[http://www.thecrewdogs.com/2009_11_13 this]] WebComic/CrewDogs strip by an Air Force member.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Used in an episode with the Sea Captain, where he was shown purchasing lots of pornography before a long voyage to keep himself and his men straight ... for about five minutes.
--->'''Sea Captain''': I don't swing that way ... on land!
** "Simpson Tide" had the Village People sing on the submarine with Smithers dancing along.
* In some ''WesternAnimation/{{Popeye}}'' cartoons from WWII era (such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qfcPJS5IBc "Seeing Red, White and Blue"]]), Navy sailors (except Popeye of course) were portrayed as "funny", groping, mincing and occasionally cross-dressing.
* A rather odd version would be Mirage of ''Anime/TransformersEnergon'' who is most of the Decepticon navy by virtue of being ''a boat''. He's also completely gay for Megatron.
* Shore Leave a [[CampGay walking stereotype]] from ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', a parody of Shipwreck from the ''GIJoe'' cartoons.
* [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar Used]] in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo''. After being told that women like a guy who's "InTouchWithHisFeminineSide", the not-very-bright Johnny ends dressing in drag to impress a girl and gets hit on by a couple of AmbiguouslyGay sailors who tell him suggestively that they're "on shore leave."
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'':
** A naval school described by an instructor:
--->'''Instructor:''' ...Our curriculum consists of being on boats for long periods of time with men, just men, for many days at a time. Up on the deck with lots of men, or down in the galley with lots of men.
--->'''Chris:''' Is this some kind of pirate school?
--->'''Instructor:''' Well... a certain kind of pirate. Yes, we've been called that.
--->'''[[AmbiguouslyGay Stewie]]:''' Is there some kind of preschool program?
** This short of Stewie as an old British Navy Captain
--->'''Stewie:''' I'm the greatest captain of the queen's navy
--->'''Sailors:''' And your record will stand as proof.
--->'''Stewie:''' Be it galleon or freighter, I'm an expert navigator.
--->'''Sailors:''' And you're also a world class poof.
--->'''Stewie:''' My manner quite effete/Is mistaken on the street For a sailor who can pirouette on cue.
--->Well despite your point of view, I can thrill a girl or two...
--->But I'd rather get it on with you!
--->'''Sailors:''' Ha Ha Ha!
* ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'''s advertisement [[http://robotchicken.wikia.com/wiki/More_Don%27t_Ask_Then_Ever_Before More Don't Ask Than Ever Before ]]
* Openly gay Gus from ''WesternAnimation/MissionHill'' quite enjoyed his navy days.
-->'''Gus:''' Three squares a day and all the gay sex you could handle.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* Many sailors have no problem making fun of this trope themselves as evidenced by the jokes "It's only queer at the pier!" and "It's not gay underway!"
** Also, if a [[NewMeat new enlistee]] comes onboard and exhibits homophobic behavior, many crews have have been known to turn this trope UpToEleven and have the entire crew trolling the newcomer until they either get over the homophobia or break under the strain of being tormented by the entire crew acting as camp as possible.
* Everyone knows submariners are ''all'' this way, everyone of them, just ask anyone else in the Navy "100 men go down, 50 couples come up!" The submarine service of the US Navy especially, since women have long been allowed on most surface ships, but were not permitted on submarines until 2010 and owing to training time would not actually serve until 2013. See also: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9uoC6z8LNI this video.]]
* Referenced often by Army personnel in most nations who wish to start a fight with their navy comrades -- "Backs to the wall boys, here come the Navy!" is a favorite in the UK. "How do they separate the men from the boys in the Navy? With a crowbar and a bucket of cold water!"
* Also referenced in England's old anti-sodomy laws, which had one exception: it was legal "after ninety days at sea." Though bear in mind that, by 1750, even crossing the Atlantic didn't take 90 days, and fooling around- or even trying to- with another man, at least in the Navy, would be punished by being strung from the yardarm if anyone reported it. Court-martial records show that a lot of men were actually let off, if it was a first offence. (In fact, the letter of the sodomy law was to outlaw oral or anal penetration- of ''anyone'', man or woman- and there had to be two independent witnesses to both penetration and ejaculation. So if you didn't have sex in front of two onlookers- or found some other activity to perform- there wasn't much the law could do, although some men were convicted of the lesser crime of 'assault with sodomical intent'. The more general law on 'gross indecency'- which could cover more or less any sexual activity- was passed in 1886, after this period ended. On the other hand, it's quite hard to get privacy on a tallship...)
* Strangely this might be less TruthInTelevision the further back one goes. In the days of WoodenShipsAndIronMen it was common for sailors' wives, girlfriends, and whores to slip aboard ship whenever the ship was in port for an extended period of time. Leaving port always called for an attempt to run the women off the ship, which was rarely 100% successful.
** Some women even had licence to be there: it's uncertain how many, as they don't appear in ships' lists, but contemporary artistic representations of shipboard life often show women dressed like servants among the sailors, probably to do that sort of labour aboard. Captains often sailed with their wives (unlike everyone else, they had their own cabin, and the alternative could be to be parted from her for years), and many vessels openly carried such a thing as 'loblolly girls'- ships' prostitutes, in so many words.
* Discussed in depth in the book ''[[http://www.amazon.com/Sodomy-Pirate-Tradition-Seventeenth-Century-Caribbean/dp/0814712363/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308254551&sr=8-1 Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition]]'' (which Creator/JohnnyDepp read in preparation to play Captain Jack Sparrow): the argument is basically that gay sex actually wasn't nearly as taboo and shocking in the seventeenth century as it is today, and that those who lived as pirates had little regard for societal norms and "rules" anyway, so it wouldn't really have been a big deal for men stuck onboard a ship for months at a time to turn to one another for sex and/or love. There was even a term for a more permanent arrangement: matelotage. Two sailors who were matelots would often share possessions and have some of the commitments of a married couple (sometimes indicated by 'matelot marks', a significant tattoo.) This wouldn't necessarily include sexual exclusivity, however- the 'possessions' shared would sometimes include having a three-way marriage to a woman as well. Tolerance probably varied between cultures and vessels, however. (On the other hand, deep-sea sailors were pretty much a self-selecting group anyway- they might have been men who were less bothered than others about spending a long time in a male-only environment...)
* The [[http://cruiselinehistory.com/?p=538 UK Merchant Navy]]/US Merchant Marine were well known for being (in practice) accepting of homosexuals compared to the permanent branches of the military and even to most of civilian society prior the gay rights movements improving treatment across the board. This meant homosexuals were far overrepresented in the merchant fleets at those times.
* Gay men were tolerated in the Royal Navy as they made natural nurses and sickbay attendants (known as ''tiffies'') as they were thought of as the nearest thing to a woman's touch for a sick or wounded man.
* The Royal Navy officially legalised homosexuality (subject to general rules against sexual connections of any type within the chain of command) along with the other British armed forces in 2000.
* The U.S. Navy once engaged in a somewhat suspicious effort to sniff out this sort of behavior, involving sending out strapping young lads to have sex with men. [[http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3787467?uid=3739776&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21102133116657]]
-->''"In the spring of 1919, officers at the Newport (Rhode Island) Naval Training Station dispatched a squad of young enlisted men into the community to investigate the “immoral conditions” obtaining there. The decoys sought out and associated with suspected “sexual perverts,” had sex with them, and learned all they could about homosexual activity in Newport. On the basis of the evidence they gathered, naval and municipal authorities arrested more than 20 sailors in April and 16 civilians in July, and the decoys testified against them at a naval court of inquiry and several civilian trials."''
* [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]] by Youtuber [[https://www.youtube.com/user/BohemianEagle The Mighty Jingles]] (ex-Royal Navy) when this trope was brought up in viewer mail, pointing out that a modern warship doesn't take that much time to transit between ports and that you should ''never, ever'' underestimate a sailor's ability to find a brothel or [[ADateWithRosiePalms hard pornography]].
* Wiki/TheOtherWiki's page on "Sex in the American Civil War" notes that while no Union army soldiers were disciplined for homosexual activity, "three pairs of Union Navy sailors" were.


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