TV & Movies

Challengers Is 131 Minutes Of Bisexual Innuendo

Art and Patrick are the real OTP.

Patrick and Art in 'Challengers'

Ever since the first trailer for Luca Guadagnino’s sports romance Challengers hit the internet last June, fans have been riveted by the promise of a steamy love triangle between Zendaya, Mike Faist, and Josh O’Connor. The promos hinted heavily at a MMF threesome, effectively drawing in movie buffs, tennis lovers, and horny people alike. Spoilers for Challengers ahead.

As it turns out, the film — released in theaters April 26 — features exactly zero sex scenes, instead relying on potent sexual tension to hit its thirst quota. Although the main source of this comes from a years-long battle between Art Donaldson (Faist) and Patrick Zweig (O’Connor) for the affection of Tashi Duncan (Zendaya), there’s another love story within the trio that’s equally compelling.

Best friends since boarding school, Art and Patrick have a natural chemistry that’s as delectable as the churros they devour. The sexual tension is obvious and ever-present, especially during their most tense scenes — which are usually shirtless, FYI. And although Patrick is the only character whose queerness is addressed, Challengers is being hailed online as the bisexual film of the year.

From Patrick and Art’s phallic snack choices to their passionate makeout scene, this movie is 131 nonstop minutes of bisexual innuendo (as two Very Bisexual editors, we would know). Here are all the moments that prove they’re the couple worth rooting for.

The Extremely Horny Body Language

Even though Tashi is supposedly the center of this plot, the film starts with an incredibly homoerotic tennis match between Art and Patrick, complete with sweat droplets and plenty of grunting.

The movie then flashes back to a doubles match from their youth, in which they claim victory and celebrate the way any totally platonic friends would: by jumping into each other’s arms and falling to the ground. They finish this intimate moment with a forehead kiss — and then more kisses for their resulting trophies — before heading off to watch Tashi play for the first time.

Even after Tashi’s character is introduced, the boys’ interactions with her often center each other. During her match, Patrick grabs Art’s upper thigh in excitement and apparent arousal. And when Patrick later visits Stanford to see her, he seems to delight in Art’s jealousy, pulling his chair closer, asking, “You realize this makes it hotter for me?” as they eat phallic snacks out of each other’s hands.

Their Phallic Foods-Only Diet

If there are three things Art and Patrick are passionate about, it’s tennis, Tashi Duncan, and consuming vaguely penis-shaped food. Hot dogs, churros, bananas, Coke bottles, electrolyte packets, cigarettes — the list goes on. If it looks like male genitalia, these boys are going to eat it while making direct eye contact with one another.


This feels especially pronounced during the aforementioned Stanford scene, which finds the two boys sucking down churros not 6 inches from each other’s face. It’s also prevalent during their final showdown, as Patrick chomps a banana smugly on the sidelines, shooting an all-knowing smirk to his former best friend. He hasn’t yet told Art he slept with Tashi the night before, a detail he’ll reveal only when their one-on-one match reaches its climax.

“It’s An Open Relationship”

Patrick and Art are surprisingly open with each other about their sexualities, usually under the guise of friendship. (As the saying goes, “and they were roommates.”)

“I’d let her f*ck me with a racket,” Patrick tells Art at one point as they watch Tashi dance. Later that night, they both ask for her number at the same time, seemingly unbothered that she’ll eventually have to choose one of them over the other. Art jokingly refers to their dynamic as an “open relationship.” Tashi catches on to their chemistry pretty quickly, asking, “How often does this happen? Going after the same girl?”


In the hotel, she presses them about whether they’ve hooked up, and after a bashful look from Patrick, the boys confess he taught Art “how to jack off.” Their mutual masturbation story is one that many queer people will recognize as a canon event.

Their Incredibly Bisexual Kiss

This inevitably leads to the moment we’ve been waiting for: a steamy guy-on-guy makeout, which Tashi orchestrates and watches, before immediately fleeing the scene. (Her reasoning? “I’m not a home-wrecker.”)

Art is left with a raging boner, which, naturally, he puts in his bestie’s face. Patrick smacks it aside gleefully, while joking about who’ll win the match and get her number. He wins this battle, but not the war.

They’re *Always* Shirtless

Although the movie is supposedly about their shared love for Tashi, these two spend an absurd amount of time shirtless together. One of these occasions finds them sweating it out in a sauna, during which Art accuses Patrick of “swinging your dick around like I’m supposed to be afraid of it.”


Patrick’s Heavily Implied Queerness

Although these scenes are taut with bisexual tension, Challengers never fully explores Art and Patrick’s romantic relationship. But the gays did come away with one win: confirmation that Patrick is queer.

Years after their friendship ends, he’s seen sitting in a locker room, surrounded by naked men, swiping on Tinder. Profiles of women flash by before he briefly pauses on the photo of a bearded man. It’s not much, but it’s enough to set the scene for a sequel — one that could give Art and Patrick the happy ending they deserve.