Dialoguing across national borders and specifically global North–South centres and margins has increasingly been viewed as a way to enhance critical and feminist studies and engagement with men and masculinities. This article draws on narratives generated by a group of researchers in South Africa and Finland who have been engaged in a transnational research project that included a strong focus on young men, masculinities and gender and sexual justice. The piece provides an account of the nuanced and complex experiences and dynamics involved in transnational research collaboration, particularly within the framework on historical and continued inequalities between the global North and South. While obvious benefits are raised, this experience also foregrounds a range of challenges and constraints involved in transnational research collaboration within this field and possibly many others. Key learnings gleaned from this analysis of reported experiences and thoughts include the importance of careful, considered and critical reflexivity at all moments and at all levels, both in interpersonal and intergroup relations, as well as in public representation of collaborative work.