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TV star Matt Agnew ‘comfortable’ enough as a straight man to ‘cuddle’ and ‘hold hands’ with gay friend Khanh Ong

"Physical comfort is inherently human," says the ex-Bachelor star

By Emily Maskell

Matt Agnew and Khanh Ong deny romance. (Image: Instagram/@drmattagnew and @khanhong)
Matt Agnew and Khanh Ong have denied claims of a romance (Images: Instagram/@drmattagnew and @khanhong)

Matt Agnew has set the record straight on his relationship with Khanh Ong and simultaneously called out toxic straight masculinity. 

Fans have noticed 2019 The Bachelor Australia contestant, who identifies as straight, and the 2018 MasterChef Australia contestant, who identifies as gay, have grown particularly close, with the pair’s pictures of their vacation together in Vietnam leading to speculation they were dating.

However, the 35-year-old reality star and 30-year-old celebrity chef have denied there is any sexual element of their bond on Khanh’s Feast podcast.

Speaking about their relationship, Matt theorised the lack of affection straight men show has led to assumptions their relationship is sexual.

“Being affectionate and tactile with your friends, I think blokes especially need to do more of this,” Matt said. “Everyone should be comfortable enough in their sexuality that they don’t feel uncomfortable showing affection, men or women.”

“There’s that random line in the sand that people are like ‘nah blokes can’t show affection.’ That’s stupid!” he added. Furthermore, he emphasised that a straight man and a gay man can be in a secure and healthy platonic friendship.

“Everyone should be comfortable enough in their sexuality that they don’t feel uncomfortable showing affection”

“We were friends and it got to a point where we were like: ‘Do you just want to come on the couch and watch a movie and sit and hold hands?’” Khanh shared.

“I was missing the companionship,” he also added. “The sex is easy but the company was the hard thing to find, so it kind of just worked.”

Khanh described that they were both “missing” that simple affection from each of their lives.

Matt went on to talk about the importance of companionship for humans, outlining that both of them are single so enjoying a platonic cuddle is really important. 

“Humans are very social creatures. Cuddles and embraces, that releases dopamine and makes you feel good,” he said. 

“For everyone, women and men, cuddling is important,” Matt also added. “That physical comfort and being able to feel safe. It’s something inherently human.”