'Straight acting' is a category that has become increasingly prominent as a means of describing men who have sex with other men but are not considered effeminate. It may even suggest a form of disidentification with 'gay.' This paper looks at the significance of this term in relation to an intensified social self-consciousness of gender, especially in relation to sexuality, by focusing on the reality TV series, Playing It Straight. While straight acting should mostly be regarded as socially conservative, even nostalgic, in its appeal to various norms, it may also be critical of the kinds of 'postmodern' understandings of gender promoted under neoliberal conditions. The article concludes by discussing the cultural political dynamics of masculinity and effeminacy in relation to increasing inequality, precarity and austerity.