Silent Movie Blog has an interesting post on The Collegians, a series of silent movie shorts (1926-1929) directed by Wesley Ruggles, about buddy-competitors at Calford College, Ed Benson (George Lewis) and Don Trent (Eddie Philips). They spend their time playing sports, stripping down in the shower, and finding excuses to grab and fondle each other, while generally ignoring girls.
Supple vertebrae, right.
There is occasionally a hetero-romance, or a scene of boys mooning over girls at the Hula-Hula Hut, but merely as film conventions, secondary to the plots that require the boys to get as naked as possible, as often as possible.
About a third of the 44 films survive. The Relay is available on Amazon.
See also: The Four Devils: Lost Beefcake of the Silent Era; and Buster Keaton