It was then that I realized why my dating life has been as mysterious as the Bermuda Triangle since I arrived in Washington. This city, unlike any other place I've lived, is a haven for the metrosexual. A metrosexual, in case you didn't catch any of several newspaper articles about this developing phenomenon (or the recent "South Park" episode on Comedy Central), is a straight man who styles his hair using three different products (and actually calls them "products"), loves clothes and the very act of shopping for them, and describes himself as sensitive and romantic. In other words, he is a man who seems stereotypically gay except when it comes to sexual orientation.
Alexa Hackbarth, "Vanity, Thy Name Is Metrosexual," The Washington Post, November 17, 2003
Mark Simpson, "Meet the metrosexual," Salon.com, July 22, 2002
Some people said unkind things. American GQ, for example, was popularly dubbed ''Gay Quarterly''. Little wonder that all these magazines with the possible exception of The Face address their metrosexual readership as if none of them were homosexual or even bisexual.
Mark Simpson, "Here come the mirror men," The Independent, November 15, 1994
Mark Simpson invented this term in 1994 (see the earliest citation), and it drifted slowly from one media source to another throughout the rest of 1990s and early 2000s. Then Simpson wrote another article about metrosexuals in the online magazine Salon.com on July 22, 2002, and the term took off. Since then it has been picked up by thousands of media outlets, has made numerous TV appearances, has spawned at least a couple of books, and has been dropped in untold numbers of cocktail party conversations. There is no escaping the metrosexual.
The second example citation gives Simpson's succinct description of the metrosexual type from his Salon.com article.