When people ask why I chose to study ‘gay masculinities’ for my PhD, I think back to the time my car broke down on the A23, and the rescue service sent along this good-looking, thirty-something man to help: a knight in fluorescent armour. The car was fixed promptly, but as I headed home, I couldn’t stop thinking about my interaction with this guy. Why had my voice dropped by an octave as I described to him what had happened? Why had I talked about the names of car parts that I knew nothing about? And what was with that feeling of blind panic when he’d asked me to “try and turn her over”?