Answered on Queera.
The best definition of an androgynous man is a man who has strong masculine and strong feminine characteristics going at the same time. Remember glam rock back in the 1970’s? Many of those male rockers were quite androgynous, and most of them were very heterosexual or at least leaned straight.
Another definition of androgynous means a man who looks and acts so much like a woman that you can’t tell if he is a man or a woman. Or the opposite in a woman. Most if not all such cases of extremely feminine men who appear to be women and extremely masculine women who seem to be men that I have studied are in fact homosexuals. In fact they are very gay.
Now if you include men like Prince as androgynes, there are indeed some straight men like this, as Prince was completely heterosexual. Honestly we straight men had a lot more leeway in terms of true androgyny back in the 70’s.
A straight man could wear scarves, velvet pants, silk shirts, short kimonos, smoking jackets, tight jeans, dancing shoes, and four inch blue platform heels without most people suggesting you were gay. I wore all of these things on a regular basis! People would just say you were “styling it.” You could act a lot softer, gentler, or more androgynous. You could have a strong feminine side, especially if you matched it with a strong masculine side.
Back then, people were assumed straight until proven otherwise, and there were not many out gays anyways. Accusing a man of being gay was a very serious matter, as this was seen as a horrible insult if he was straight. So most men were simply assumed, correctly, to be straight until proven otherwise. If you wanted to accuse a man of being gay, you had better have had some pretty damn good evidence to back it up.
I am actually nostalgic for those days. I had so much more freedom back then in terms of both clothing and behavior. Now that gays are so out, we straight men can no longer wear those wild clothes I talked about above nor can we act the way I did back then. If I tried to wear any of that stuff now that I wore back then, people would automatically assume that I was gay or bi. If I told them I was straight, no one would believe me, and they would all accuse me of lying. Compared to back then, acceptable behavior and garb for straight men has become dramatically restricted.
It’s not been a positive change. We have gone backwards in a huge way.