How to Become a Stay-at-Home Boyfriend

Somewhere up north, in a snowy area just outside of Toronto, your 25-year-old boyfriend is making you brunch. It’s crispy hash browns with a dill-and-mint cream sauce, he softly explains, plating some soft-scrambled eggs, salad, and grapefruit alongside them, and hand-delivering the meal to you on a wooden tray.

This is a point-of-view skit performed by TikTok stay-at-home boyfriend William Conrad, but is also the real life of actual stay-at-home boyfriend, William Conrad. The creator began going viral on TikTok this year for his soothing roleplay—“lobotomy-core,” one viewer’s comment described it—and has since built an entire brand (over 420,000 TikTok followers and 240,000 on Instagram) around the softer side of masculinity and what the “ideal boyfriend” can be.

Behind this stay-at-home-boyfriend there is, of course, a romantic partner venturing out for work. Her name is Levi Coralynn, and she’s self-employed as an adult-content creator. Conrad used to work in computer science, but when the pair got together, he left his job to assist her with her business. When he’s not bookkeeping, he’s cooking, cleaning, hemming, repairing, and fulfilling whatever other household duties. And no, it’s not a sex thing.

“What I present on the internet is just snippets of our real life,” Conrad says over Zoom. “Things that I was already doing.”

The stay-at-home mom has been a fixture in nuclear families (and perhaps more so, the American popular imagination) for decades. One of the recent concepts to roll off the TikTok assembly line of controversy-stoking coinages is the “stay-at-home girlfriend”—not a parent, but a partner who gives up working. This move is typically viewed as at best risky and at worst detrimental to feminism. It’s only natural that TikTok would spawn the stay-at-home boyfriend, but this role flips what is to many the regressive idea of the stay-at-home girlfriend. After all, rigid ideas about gender roles haven’t gone away, they’ve just been repackaged into terms like “cuck” and “simp.”

“We want to present gentle, not overt, masculinity,” Conrad says. “A man can be both masculine and feminine, and that’s okay.”

Here, Conrad shares the ins and outs of his lifestyle and advice for aspiring stay-at-home boyfriends.

GQ: First thing’s first, how did you become such a good cook?

William Conrad: I’ve always loved food and I’ve always had a passion for it. I’ve never had any professional training or went to school for it or worked in a kitchen. Everything I’ve learned has been from YouTube and reading books.

How would you describe your cooking style?

Classic French. My go-to cookbooks are The French Laundry Cookbook by Michael Ruhlman, Susie Heller, and Thomas Keller, and Larousse Gastronomique, which is actually this old encyclopedia of cooking. And then also Jacques Pépin. His YouTube I loved. He was very inspirational to me when I was first getting into cooking and the techniques and everything. And also I find cooking to be both a therapeutic thing, where I can divert all my attention to one singular thing and be very in the moment with it, as well as a form of creative expression of love towards Levi.

People also are very soothed by your presence. It’s almost ASMR-adjacent. Is that a conscious choice?

It was never a conscious thought. I would say that I’m a pretty mild-mannered, calm, soft-spoken person to begin with. And yes, there is a slight bit of like, Okay, let’s play into it. But this is just how I speak. And we also saw how a lot of food content, and just content in general, is very in-your-face and loud, to try to grab your attention. And Levi was like, “There’s this space missing.” You’re scrolling, and then it’s just me talking softly, serving you dinner.

Viewers are either talking about how soothing and amazing it is, or they are accusing you of hiding bodies in your basement. Are there any bodies in your basement?

No bodies in my basement, but we do have a creepy basement.

You’re like, “I have the basement part, but nothing’s in there.” Which is, I’ll say, more suspicious. Do you have a sense of who your audience is? Is it mostly women or men?

It is, I would say, a strong majority of female followers, ’cause the content that we’re presenting to people is “idealistic boyfriend.” Your girlfriend can watch and send this to her boyfriend [and say], “Oh, can you do this for me?” Like, “Why haven’t you done that?” We want to present the kinder acts of service—gentle, not overt, masculinity. And there’s gonna be a transition point of more men starting to watch this. In the LGBTQ community, especially, I have a lot of male followers, which, it’s great. I love them all.

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