I’m sure this is a pretty common caveat when a straight man completes the sentence with “…hot/good looking/etc.” Not universal certainly, since straight guys can evaluate other guys and not feel weird about it, but.
In some settings, it’s probably used as an indicator that the person may very well be gay. Why, some may reason, would a guy 1) even say ‘I’m not gay’, and 2) even comment on another guy’s looks?
But here’s an odd twist on it: Was having drinks with a mixed group not too long ago, and one guy said, several times “Look, I’m not gay, but that’s one ugly man!”
Um, what? So odd, to have to qualify your sexuality in order to call someone ugly. I even made a joke with the dude that you don’t have to do that, we’re not going to think you’re gay for saying someone isn’t good looking.
His explanation was that the way he grew up, you didn’t want there to be any doubt that you weren’t gay. Which may very well be the case, but it’s not like the group that evening was a bunch of 50 year-old rednecks.
Look, I’m not straight but in my experience, it doesn’t line up that well. A group of straight guys I worked with asked which of them I thought was the hottest. They were shocked by my pick. They assumed I would pick the tallest one.