Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you the illusion of friendship for one weekend with four twentysomething guys from Sydney.

It’s been the talk of the town all week: the eBay auction in which four mates from Lilyfield are selling their company for a weekend, along with some snags, some beers, and the presence of a mystery international guest star, to the highest bidder. The last time I looked, those bids had surpassed $55,000.

The guys are passingly cute, in that passingly cute kind of way, with boybandy first names like Zac, Corey, Lachie and Mark. It’s not clear whether they have girlfriends -“ their media spokesperson snapped that the issue wasn’t relevant when The Daily Telegraph made enquiries -“ but they look like a bunch of moisturiser-loving metros if you ask me.

Let’s look at the evidence. One: they’re from Lilyfield. Strike. Two: they’re office workers (three of them are in marketing -“ ewww -“ and one’s a lawyer). Strike. And three: only the very model of a modern metrosexual could conceive of the idea of selling off the camaraderie of a boys’ own bonding session. An old-fashioned, un-reconstructed bloke would be too busy lighting his farts and getting pissed-as to even think of it. Strike.

Like a lot of gay men I know, I’ve always been intrigued by the funny rituals that take place when straight men bond with one another. It comes down to horseplay: that very sexy and physical activity that only straight guys seem to excel at.

Gay men can fondle and fellate and fuck one another senseless, but when was the last time you saw a gay bloke successfully flick another guy on the arse with a wet towel?

Horseplay is the unspoken promise at the heart of the Balmain Boys’ eBay auction. Forget the snags and the special guest star -“ the real value of this weekend for the winning bidder is to be there when the inhibitions come down and the boys start behaving badly. (If they start behaving badly: although the boys’ advert promises fun and a hell of a lot of laughs, they’ve made no reference to homoerotic hi-jinks at all.)

But for $55,000, I’d be looking for a cast iron guarantee of bad behaviour. I’d be wanting the full gamut of homoerotic horseplay: nudie dashes, strip poker, dick-measuring contests and everything.

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