goalposts

So I was browsing this afternoon on Fetlife and found a link to this article, called “Should I Work in Fetish Modeling?” As it was written by SLEPhotography, one of the loudest voices against this project, and as it was written a bit after this project began, I thought I would see what he said.

 Fetish modeling, like regular modeling, is heavily skewed (based on the buying market) towards females.  In some respects it’s more female-centric than the mainstream market.  A lot of straight men who approach this (as dominants or submissives) seem to have the idea there’s a huge need for them.  Much as in porn, they’re mistaken.  Unless they’re willing to do gay work (for which there is a much larger male market) the chances of becoming a regular well known fetish model are vanishingly small.  The same is true for the huge number of transsexual, transgendered, and gender queer models, all most all of whom (in my experience) are genetic males, who want to push in here.*  The small niche and limited opportunity factors both apply.  This is also true for genetic females in those groups, but their numbers are smaller (again, in my experience) and there are other factors that might get them a bit more work.  Race also falls in here.  While fetish people like to think of themselves as egalitarian, the vast number of successful fetish models are Caucasian (including Hispanics) or Asian.  Black fetish models are becoming somewhat more prominent, but it’s a slow process.  The straight market overwhelmingly favors Asian or Caucasian women (with a big preference there for traditionally pretty Playboy style looks) and the gay market white men.

The idea that people can just somehow magically “make” the markets change thru the force of their own personalities is no more realistic in fetish than it is in mainstream modeling.  Insisting it’s the photographers or producers enforcing their own standards is untrue, and is far less true in this market since it’s much easier for people to produce their own material than in mainstream modeling.  The truth is borne out by where the market votes with their money.

(emphasis mine)

*also AAAAAAAAAAAtransphobicbullshit!

So there we have it. There’s no images because there’s no market, and there’s no market because there’s no images. Same with people of colour, or fat bodies. I know Filament’s struggled with issues of diversity because people just tend to send in shoots with one particular type of man (granted, a type that did very well in our poll!):

I’ve certainly never declined a photoshoot on the basis of the fact that a model was fat or non-white, on the contrary — there have been a number of shoots that would have been published if the model hadn’t been a skinny, hairless white guy in his 20s with tattoos, piercings and unusual hair — for the sake of diversity. But we’re also currently at the point of publishing about 70% of the shoots we receive, so we don’t exactly have masses of choice. I highlight the issue of diversity in models to photographers who express an interest in contributing to Filament, and it’s been in our photography guidelines since ever.

I’ll be honest. I don’t know if this is a project that will “make money”. This is a social justice, gender awareness project instead of a “strike it rich” thing. I want to make change. And one of the first ways to do that is to make people conscious.

That said, SLEPhoto has promised me a bottle of Hendrick’s if this project is successful. He hasn’t yet told me what “successful” means, though, so I have no goalpost from him. I’ve thought a bit about what this project being successful means to me, though, so here’s what I’m going to try to accomplish in a year- Pride Weekend SF to Pride Weekend SF.

My goals:

-I want to have a logo created (possibility shown on this post, what do you think?) and make badges/teeshirts.

-I want to have at least 20 shoots put together, with a variety of male-identified models shown, in a variety of erotic ways, specifically *by and for female consumers*.

-I want to network between photographers taking pictures of erotic male nudes and forums where they can display/sell these images. I want us to band together to throw this “women aren’t visual” shite out the window where it belongs.

-I want to get to a point where male models can be safely compensated *at least* with $50 an hour because photographers working on this project know they have a market for the images.

-I want to create a situation where Filament can pick and choose shoots for publication because they have enough material.

-I want no less than 3 galleries displaying the work I’ve curated. Preferably, I want them to be kink/sex community spaces in particular.

Can we do it, you think? We’ll find out!

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Poll Results So Far: 242 Votes

<—See this guy here?

Well, the results so far suggest that the #1 LEAST popular type of male body type among the sample we’ve gotten so far is the one almost exclusively pushed towards heterosexual women as what a sexy man looks like (sorry dude).

Look carefully, ladies- this is what we want, so get wet now or deny your very nature.

Obviously.

If you haven’t voted yet, are female-identified and enjoy looking at male-identified bodies, vote here! I have some hope that I can send this post to prospective photographers so encourage them to broaden their horizons.

Next week, let’s talk to men about the body types THEY most prefer in other men! And possibly about types of male nudes women like to see…

I like a variety of body types, from lean to thick, hairless to hairy. 69 26%
Give me a slender pretty boy and I’ll be happy. 52 20%
Mmm, give me a swimmer’s body type anyday… 45 17%
I prefer non-cismale male bodies, personally. 28 11%
I give a second look to the slightly chubby guy, with a bit of hair. 26 10%
Other (see below) 19 7%
Hairy bears are up my street, yum! 10 4%
I like something different from the above! 8 3%
Super buff, waxed men do it for me! 4 2%
Other Answer Votes
Long hair is very important! 1
hair is good! 1
Bodies that look kinda rough: tattooed, scarred, dirty, with easy muscle 1
I really dislike the overdeveloped muscle look, particularly the lower stomach. 1
Guys with a belly who also have big arms and shoulders 1
you need to find a way to create a poll with pictures of body types! 1
Not the body that makes him sexy–it’s attitude. 1
Rugby boys for me, good legs 1
Big frames with muscle under a little fat start MY engine. 1
lanky, scruffy guys 1
Short men (under 5’7″) 1
Lean, neck/throat, thick thighs, stubble, gentle fingers, where chest/tummy meet 1
I like all sorts of bodies! 1
tall with broad shoulders; relatively clean-cut 1
average dudes, hooray 1
Tall and stocky! 1
I love the angularity of men’s bodies. Long legs and angullar shoulders, mm 1
I like a slight variety from slender pretty boys to lightly built men, also tall 1
i ❤ fat boys! 1
Posted in Polls | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Link Love: Erotica Cover Watch

Ryan Kwanten

I wanted to take a moment of silence (during which, please, check out this man, or another more to your taste) in recognition of Erotica Cover Watch. They were a project that really made me aware how quickly and easily one can become blind to “naked women everywhere” syndrome. Their “about” post says it all:

Erotica publishers, editors, designers: we are watching you. And we want to ask you one tricky little question – why only women on the covers of erotica books?

Really, why do you think that only women’s bodies can be used to signify the erotic. On erotic books these days men are only displayed on covers that are for gay titles or erotic romance. (Even erotica aimed at womenstill features women on the covers.) So, what? Only men are allowed to look at men with pure lust? Women are only allowed to enjoy hot men when love enters the equation?

Men can be sex symbols too. For everyone – not just gay guys.

I picked this image in particular as Ryan there is in True Blood, which is a TV show known for it’s fantastic writing. KIDDING, it’s full of eye candy for every orientation, that’s why people love it, duh! And women have really gotten hot for other vampires, too.

So maybe women do respond to hot images of men. Who’d have thought?

As sweetiris says in this post:

“Publications, on their covers, cater visually to straight men, gay men, bisexual women, and lesbian women. The only orientation that is treated as though it is visually blind, is heterosexual women. Apparently, we can only be visually stimulated by looking at ourselves? No wonder why the female libido has been shown in studies, even in young women, to be on the decline. That is particularly the case here in America.

While women are being denied any opportunity to gaze at men, men are being drenched with erotic images of women, on a day to day basis. It is prevelant in ways never before seen in our media. And it is highly disproportionate. Women are being indoctrinated to what I see as an almost perverse loss of visual appreciation toward male erotic images.”

With my new job, seeing books all around me with many women on the cover (women who, by the way, do not often reflect much of a queer or even varied gaze- they are almost always white, slender but with rounded breasts, and femme), I realize how this is a multi-step project, and this is going to be more than a summer thing I do to keep busy.

And it’s not going to be easy. But it’s worth fighting for- Filament fought to show erect cock in their magazine and won, after all-

“While some questioned whether women would even buy visual erotica, Filament’s readers soon put them straight. Not only were women buying it, they were asking for more explicit pictures.

That demand brought Filament smack up against the biggest problem in providing visual erotica for straight women: the pervasive nervousness about depictions of aroused men. Previous attempts to offer erotic imagery to women flopped when publications such as For Women and Playgirl offered only photography that many believed fell short of what women wanted from an adult mag.

Filament, responding to reader feedback, had planned to include a photo set of an aroused man in their second (September) issue. It’s not illegal to print images of erections but the Obscene Publications Act is notoriously vague. After taking legal advice, Filament intended to make a test case of sorts. Its printers, however, refused, citing potential objections from “the women’s/religious sectors”. As a new, independent publisher, Filament can’t yet afford more liberal-minded printers willing to tackle the taboo on tumescence.

It’s the second major hurdle for Filament, which has already been turned down by numerous UK distributors refusing to handle a women’s magazine with a man on the cover. When set against the plethora of men’s lifestyle and top-shelf magazines featuring scantily clad and open-legged women, the struggles faced by Filament highlight a deeply entrenched sexism: men can look at women but women cannot look at men.”

As a final couple of thoughts before I go to a much-deserved bed, the first from the last post at Erotica Cover Watch:

“We hope, with this campaign, we’ve raised awareness and set something in motion within the erotica publishing industry. Please help us to carry this forward. Please keep the energy of Erotica Cover Watch alive. Keep the links and Man Candies coming, complain about sexism, celebrate sexy men and support publishers who are trying to break the mould.”

And, of course, maymay, who summed up what I hope for here:

“I think Filament’s success, along with the response to sites like this one that acknowledge a female gaze, are stepping stones to more than just access to quality erotica for women, but also to a healthier and happier sexual self-expression for men.”

I salute you, Mat and Kristina, for saying something the “sex positive” community wasn’t ready to hear but needed to. May I carry the banner half as well in the erotic photography world.

Posted in Links of Interest | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

who’s looking?

A man with eyeliner, fine cheekbones, and a cowboy hat lounges in a bubble bath.First off, I want to say that I’m about to embark on reading both “Metrosexy” (which has been recommended by Quiet Riot Girl relating, I think, to disposing of the ideas of a male/female gaze in preference for a queer gaze) and “Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture” in order to understand a little bit more about various arguments against this idea of a female, male-objectifying gaze, from two (I’ll assume) very different standpoints. I’ll update later about each book and my response to it.. but before I take that journey I wanted to say a little something as my stance prior to investigating this whole thing from other viewpoints.

One of the things that I’ve found really interesting on announcing this project is the number of straight male photographers who are staunchly against this being an idea with any merit. Most of the opposition so far has been from them. Not all, but most. Sometimes it’s because they think that women aren’t visual, or because they think there’s enough cock on the web to please women, but also sometimes because they think a project focused on investigating, discoursing, and exploring a female gaze is ignoring or discrediting the male gaze on other men (a point that QRG also brought up).

To which I want to say “whoa nelly”.

I am ALL ABOUT men gazing at other men through whatever lens they like. And I think the gay male subculture should equally be taken to task for body image, but I also know, as I’m not a male looking at other men, that I’m not the best person to do it. It’s a worthy project though, and I think it should be done! But frankly, gay men are a lot better at making some sort of space (and visual points of reference) for various male beauties, even if that can often be able-bodied, cissexist, and racist. It’s still a lot better than what’s offered to women.

But I have some issue with the idea that a project about male beauty *must* involve men as the gazers in some way. Why? There’s been some great stuff created for women who enjoy looking erotically at other women (“On Our Backs” comes to mind as a great example, sadly no longer with us, though Cyberdyke, No Fauxxx, The Woman’s POV, and Pink and White are also excellent). I wonder, sometimes, if straight male photographers scolded these women, asking them why they felt the need to start queer porn sites for women, considering there was PLENTY of girl on girl for them to enjoy!

Sounds ridiculous? It does to me too. So why not something focused on women who like looking at men?

That said, if you want a site that’s simply about male beauty for all gazes, check out Heavenly Spire:

HeavenlySpire is a Shine Louise Houston creation for the purpose of masculine appreciation. HeavenlySpire focuses on masculine beauty and sexuality and how it manifests on different bodies.

Following the same vision as Houston’s previous projects HeavelySpire focuses on capturing genuine pleasure with a unique cinematic style.

One of the photographers there emailed me to say they’re a fan of what I’m trying to do, and fingers crossed I’ll be able to give you all a review of what they’re doing at Heavenly Spire.

The fact that there’s a bunch of projects popping up around this idea of a change in how the erotic male nude is displayed and offered out to consumers says to me that not only is there a market for this, there’s a desire for it, a change of market, and a shift in consciousness.

Hopefully I’m right, cause then there’s a straight male photographer out there that owes me a bottle of Hendrick’s.

(I want to note that the image on this post is from a thread all about women commenting on sexy men in music… so… obviously women think about this stuff all on their own)

Posted in Discussion | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Let’s get an idea of what y’all like!

I’d like to request that people who identify as women who like male bodies be the ones to fill this out- I’ll do one for men who like male bodies soon. 🙂

Posted in Polls | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

“isn’t there enough cock online?”

So already I’ve had the response that if I’m upset about the lack of male photos for the female gaze I’m just not looking hard enough! and I decided that before we go any further I wanted to address this.

Discussing this project, particularly on Fetlife, has led to an amusing game of how many “Derailing for Dummies” techniques can we throw out there in one thread. I’ve enjoyed watching maymay play this game, but it’s still frustrating that the game exists. To date, some of the responses we’ve gotten have hit these ones:

Unless you can prove that your experience is widespread I won’t believe it

You’re being overly intellectual

Don’t you have more important issues to think about

But it’s true!

I’m just saying what other people believe, I never said I agree

And, of course, “You have an agenda“. To which I can only respond yes, I do; please read the mission statement to get an idea of what it is. 😛

But of course, it only took a day to get the response, which is basically summed up by:

“Haha, you really can’t find enough dick on the internet to make you happy?”

So here. I want to give you an example of what I found when I did 4 searches- “sexy man“, “sexy man for women“, “sexy guy“, and “sexy dick for women“. As a bonus, I also looked up “sexy women“, results of that at the end of the post. Top 3 results in each category.

Apologies for how image-heavy this will be!

Sexy Man:

Sexy Man for Women:

Sexy Guy:

Sexy Dick for Women:

Ok then! So, what has this experiment taught us?

-That fat or hairy male bodies aren’t sexy, but humourous (both images came from humour sites)

-That if you’re looking for a sexy man, he’s probably going to be white, chiseled, and hairless

-That if you’re looking at a sex act, the only time it won’t focus on the woman is if the woman isn’t there

-That the #1 image when you look for “sexy dick for women” comes from a gay porn site, and the #1 image when you look up “sexy man for women” is of a woman. WTF?

So when I say, “not dick presented in a way that’s appealing to me, no,” this is what I mean. It isn’t so easy to find what I like, and really hard to find things that weren’t presented to a gay market first and foremost. And sometimes I’ve run into that even with places that are marketed for women- the second image under “sexy man” came from a female erotic author’s website, and while I don’t know what else is there, but I worry that For the Girls has gone down a similarly buff, mostly white path.

So yeah. That’s why I feel so strongly about this. And I find it fascinating that as a fat woman, being in erotic photos that aren’t degrading, where I’m having fun, is often seen as a positive thing… but when guys get involved there’s an uproar of “think of teh menz!”

I mean, hey, with all these images of women out there, why bother supporting queer porn, right? I should be satisfied by the mass media produced concept of “sexy women“, cause if I find women hot, these should do it for me! And really, who needs diversity?

Sexy Women:

 

 

 

Posted in Discussion | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Link Love: Inspirations

A woman's clothed leg with a gold, high heeled stiletto show, presses her foot into a naked man's back in a wet shower.

Images borrowed from the Naked Men, Happy Women blog.

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge some projects who have been doing/have done some fantastic work or saying some fabulous, thought-provoking things in regards to discussing the female gaze and male objectification.

And the best way to start this off is with a very important PSA.

Onto the projects!

Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze: I’m really sad to only have found out about this today, as the artist call ended May 20th! But the California Arts Council is curating an exhibition which will be shown at the SOMA Cultural Arts Center November 4th-26th. From their website:

The exhibition will examine the visibility of men and masculinity from female/feminist/transgender perspectives. In so doing it necessarily problematizes notions of “men,” “male,” “masculinity,” “women” and “female” while exploring new possibilities for the gaze. This is an inclusive show, and we welcome women and transgender artists to challenge what it means for “women” to look at “men.”

Not only will the male figure be taking on the historically “female” or passive role as object of the gaze, but the surveyor is now positioned as active  and critical of traditional gender roles, thus creating a truly feminist stance. The male body and its gender expression become spectacle for a woman’s viewing and contemplation. Surveying the ways men are represented in contemporary art by women, this exhibition will open new dialogues regarding the myriad of ways how women view men in today’s culture and society.

I’ll be checking this out, and hope you do too!

Filament Magazine: I talk about them a lot because I am really, really fond of what they do. Also, I write for them sometimes, so I’m biased! But they have taken this issue of creating an erotic magazine featuring the female gaze and they do it very well. From their site:

Kinsey popularised the idea that women aren’t visual in his 1953 book Sexual behaviour in the human female. The idea is still widely believed today, even though his research methods are no long considered reliable and more recent research using better methods has refuted his findings.

If only something else Kinsey said had been so influential: ‘There are almost no male or female nudes which are produced for the consumption of females’. In fact, many people believe that even though the vast majority of erotic imagery is produced by men for men, this material will ‘do’ for women.

Many women’s erotic magazines of the past used mainly photography created for and by gay men, sometimes even selected solely by men. In Filament, we only publish photography made for or by women. We call this process ‘female gaze’.

If this sounds like it might be up your street, you can pick up a copy from their site, or at one of their stockists (which include Good Vibrations and some Barnes and Noble stores).

Candy Rain: I haven’t gotten to flip through this yet, but if Filament is the filthy but elegant tea party, Candy Rain seems like the all-out kegger of the female gaze world. Which is kind of awesome. They’ve got a blog, too. Here’s a bit from a review of one of their launch parties:

Last night I attended the launch party for the second issue of Candy Rain Magazine, a glossy little treasure trove of cock shots geared towards “ladies who love the D.” (For those playing along at home, that stands for “dick.”) There were scantily clad people gettin’ it on all over the place. There were water guns. There was burlesque. There was booty rap. And yes, there were dicks, and lots of them. In a jarring reversal of spring break culture, guys could show their dicks to get in for free. Wooooo!

I also appreciated this bit of the article, which, I think, really sums up the difference between objectification of men by women vs women by men:

None of the guys who pose for Candy Rain get paid; it’s all strictly “pro boner.” They are not doing it for money, approval, or because society tells them to. (In fact, I’d venture to guess society tells them not to.) They are doing it because they want a bunch of girls to look at their dicks. In a world where women are supposed to get looked at and men are supposed to do the looking, I think it can be subversive to reverse the direction of the gaze. Contrary to popular belief, women are not solely attracted to men based on their income, accomplishments, or ability to care for children. We’re also into guys who look good naked! And, things being as they are, it’s a lot easier for a man to tell he’s doing it “because he really wants to” than because he’s oppressed by the matriarchy. I’m almost kind of jealous of men for how wonderfully un-complicated that must feel.

Read previous blog entry on here for some of the shit I’ve already heard on that front. It’s kind of a relief to read someone mirroring my thoughts. Order a copy of Candy Rain here.

A naked, wet man stands, head down, in a shower. He holds his penis. A woman in a sports bra looks off to the side, not quite at him.

Images borrowed from the Naked Men, Happy Women blog.

For the Girls: This website is devoted to creating porn from a female gaze, for a female gaze. I particularly appreciate their standpoint on what women might like to see, which is to say, giving space for variety:

We do our best to ensure the female point of view is given priority. Everything is geared towards female pleasure and female fantasy. In a practical sense it means we create our own content that reflects that female viewpoint, and it also means that we present existing photos, videos and movies according to what turns us on and what we feel our members would enjoy. We’re always looking for something different, something that depicts the spectrum of human sexuality in a positive way.

It’s often considered that “porn for women” is all about complicated storylines, soft focus and no real sex. While we quite like the soft focus, sensual stuff, we’re also not afraid of offering serious hardcore content. We aim to offer a full range of adult material, from cute guys in briefs to slow, kissy lovemaking to full-on hardcore sex acts, including orgies and anal sex. There’s enough material in the members area to satisfy you, no matter how far you want to go.

I’ll be looking into getting an inside scoop on what they offer in their members area- from the images I’ve seen, there’s a lot of white, traditionally fit male bodies, but I’m curious to see what sort of diversity is expressed behind the wall.

A clothed bohemian woman stands, smoking a cigarette, looking down at a sitting, naked man who is holding her hand and gazing into her eyes.

Images borrowed from the Naked Men, Happy Women blog.

Naked Men, Happy Women: This blog, also a website, has some great galleries to peruse with tasteful male nudity and some clothed female/naked male work as well. I’m hoping we can create on some collaboration! From their site:

Nowadays images of naked women are commonly shown everywhere; in advertisements, commercials, games and movies, art, on billboards and on TV. A naked female body is pleasant to look at, so no complaints here. But something is missing, isn’t there?

Have you, like me, been wondering why there is so little male nudity in every day life for us hetero sexual women to enjoy? Do you agree it is unfair to say the least, and do you want to see more? Then this blog is the perfect blog for you. Naked men, happy women, aka NMHW, is created to discuss various related topics with you, to post examples of how things could/should be, and to find ways to change the current situation to our advantage. It is about time men catch up with us when it comes to showing their goodies, and even more for us women to tell them what we want.

Definitely check out their galleries- I particularly enjoyed seeing the various advertisements that showed clothed women and naked men- a nice change from the norm.

Male Submission Art: I love this project. It’s one of my go-to places to find hot images of male submission that really turn me on and that doesn’t have incredibly stereotyped femininities. And that’s in part because it’s basically one of the ONLY places to go. From the founder’s blog:

But the problem is actually two fold. One problem is, of course, that there’s simply an insanely disturbing general lack of the stuff. In fact, it’s so bad that if you Google for the three words “male submission art,” you actually get female submission links littering the first page of results.

This is actually even worse if you go actively hunting for porn with the hopes of finding erotica depicting men who are submissive. Instead, you’re much, much more likely to find erotica depicting womenwho are dominant. This is actually a major nuisance for a lot of people—including many submissive men, I might add.

Arguably even more frustrating than that, however, is that what male submissive porn is out there is total shit relative to the porn available for other sorts of orientations. In such erotica (unless it’s gay imagery, of course) men are portrayed as impotent, ugly creatures. That is not sexy. It’s also insulting.

My proposed solution? I launch MaleSubmissionArt.com and have people send me hot pics of men being submissive. I figure there just has to be enough people out there as fed up with this situation as I am, and if I can get some of them to send me contributions from their personal stashes of erotica or while they are browsing the Internet hunting for more, I’ll be able to crowd-source the content for a shared porn collection full of the kind of stuff we actually like.

maymay himself is a treasure trove of thought-provoking, hard-hitting, angry and accurate observations about sex-positivity, that being a woman doesn’t necessarily mean offering a female gaze, and how erotic satisfaction relates to the gaze generally. He links to a lot of great stuff, and while you may not always agree with him, you will think one hell of a lot. His commentary and Male Submission Art are huge inspirations for this project.

Bitchy Jones: On the other, dominant female side of maymay’s submissive male (in the theoretical sense at least) is Bitchy Jones. Sadly she is no longer updating her hilarious and often provocative blog, and not all of her posts are up anymore, which is a sad, sad loss, but there’s a still some great entries to read through, like this one about submissive male attractiveness:

If you’re a female supremacist – well one, you’re a fucking arsehole because deifying a culturally disempowered group is just as damaging as demonising them – but, hey, I’m not going to change your mind, because you are an idiot. But look, if you really do think you are inferior to all women, if you really do think that it is your role to enhance the lives of all women everywhere, why not take a tip from me. Here’s a way you can do that without having to dial down the ultra creepiness ten thousand notches so a woman who isn’t charging fee for being in the same room as you can speak to you without vomiting her own human dignity out of her eyeballs. Look hot. Work out and eat right and get an expensive haircut…

Look, I know you’re going to accuse me of all sorts. Of being shallow. Of buying into lamecore body-fascistic ideas. And I’d answer those points myself but I pretty much agree with (and was, in all honesty, partly inspired by) this essay on 1585 dot com. It’s not about kink, but the point he’s making applies so strongly to submissive men. And the overall point about how men feel they can’t be hot because it doesn’t work with some other image they have going, applies to submissive men as much as anyone. I can’t be buff ‘cause I’m a gimpyboy and who’d ever heard of a buff gimpyboy? Hey, honey, start a trend – and I’ll start saving up for a dungeon.

Sometimes I shake my head at the things she says (we don’t share a taste for buff boys, and her stance on pro-dommes pissed me off sometimes), but often I nod right along because I think she says some of the stuff the BDSM community is really, really uncomfortable with. And that pleases me.

A woman dressed in a short, shiny red leather dress, has one hand in her pocket and one reaching out to run her fingers through a naked male's hair. She stares directly at the camera- he clutches her, eyes facing her but closed, head tilted down.

Images borrowed from the Naked Men, Happy Women blog.

The Mammoth Book of Gorgeous Guys: Ok, so it’s 94 days til the publication, but it’s a really exciting book. Why in particular? Because out of 46 photographers, 16 are women. And that’s a refreshing change. From “The Female Gaze” Livejournal community:

I was concerned that the list of proposed photographers she had included so few women. However, I was too scared to ask her why: I really have got enough bruises on my head from bashing it against the wall after being told “Men are just better at photography than women” or “Nobody will be able to tell the difference” so many times. So I simply gave the editor a list of about 20 photographers to look up, most of whom were women.

I followed up with the editor today and she sent me a list of all the names confirmed to appear in The Mammoth Book of Gorgeous Guys….At least one of the female photographers on that list I know to be mainly seeking a gay audience, and it’s possible that some of the men are aiming their photography at women. However, that’s still 16 women out of 46, or almost 35%. It sounds like small numbers for a book aimed at women, but this is actually a massive leap forward: I have several male erotic photo anthologies that are either aimed at women or at least, don’t state an intended gay audience, and the highest proportion of female photographers there is a pitiful 7%.

This is yet another example of the fact that challenging these “truths” about the female gaze and the audience for erotic male nudes IS STARTING TO WORK.

Sociological Images: This blog talks about a lot of things, and I recommend checking in with it at least once a week! I can follow links there for hours. But relating to this project, they’ve particularly talked about the objectification of teenage boys, and how that’s seemingly ok, but we’re very concerned socially about the sexualization of girls:

Justin Bieber is 16 years old — just a year older than Miley Cyrus was when there was a scandal about her photoshoot for Vanity Fair, such that it appeared to potentially threaten her career at Disney by ruining her safe, clean-cut image. I think it’s safe to say that if Miley Cyrus, or another female teen star, posed in photos that showed evidence of being kissed or grabbed by male fans, people would be up in arms about the sexualization of girls. But as we often see, there’s a double-standard, based on the idea that boys are naturally sexual at earlier ages and that boys are sexually invincible. While we might see a teen girl surrounded by men as being in danger, we don’t think of girls as being sexually threatening to boys, or of male teen celebrities’ sexuality being as open to exploitation by publicists, photographers, or other members of the media. And thus, these types of images of Justin Bieber don’t lead to the same outcry as similar images of female teen stars, and don’t cause concern that his career as a teen idol is over.

I also really enjoyed reading their post about Munich’s Oktoberfestlast year, and the images that ended up at Boston.com. What I really liked, though, was the response that came from Boston.com’s editor of that slide show, which means that people ARE trying to pay attention on some level. And annoying as it can be, he makes a good point (and I know Filament’s gotten this too)- “we can only work with the images we receive”. Now if THAT’S not a call to arms I don’t know what is!

Not really a project per se, but I also really appreciate what ValleyMichael is doing on Fetlife- he’s keeping track of the number of images in the section labelled “Kinky and Popular” (where images with the most comments are listed) are of “scantily clad white skinny bottom women”. It’s an eye-opener! Well done. I hope he keeps it up, it’d be nice to compare multiple weeks.

Got other projects or people I should be aware of, cause I know I’m missing some? Please comment below and I’ll update this page! We need to band together and rock this goddamn boat.

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