Third Time’s a Charm

This is the third time I’ve tried to write this post, as Elizabeth alluded to earlier. It’s turning out to be very difficult, both because there’s a whole series of related topics that are involved and because the emotions surrounding it are rather strong.

So let me try to list the issues.

1) Boys’ bodies are not sexy.
2) Boys are assumed to have good relationships with their own sexuality.
3) Society is geared toward “male sexuality.”
4) That “male sexuality” is one dimensional and threatening.

At the very least those are the ones I’ve been able to isolate. And I’m not sure how to address these systematically, or even how to draw the lines from one to the next, but they bring up the same set of responses in me and thus are intrinsically linked in my experience.

Let me tell you about some of the things that have me thinking about this. First is my general desire for exhibition and the related desire to be found hot. But other things I’ve been reading have helped me to keep processing this.

Amber Rhea quoted from and linked to this

And for christ’s sake don’t you even dare talk about taking pole dancing classes and how that’s personally empowering for you given your working class, Southern, conservative, Christian upbringing. There are more important things in the world and obviously poverty supercedes that.

I can totally get this. It’s like Elizabeth and I were talking about with the attacks on porn focusing on how it damages women, how it leads them to be pressured to be like porn stars. But what about when porn is a tool of liberation? It has been for her. It has been for me. That’s why we started making porn. That’s why we started this website. Things that we’ve experienced like others have with the pole dancing classes have been the pictures and video we’ve released here, Bourbon Street flashing during Mardi Gras, being open and writing and talking about our sexual experiences. Each of those serves as an affirmation of our bodies and of our sexualities. We reclaim the sexuality we were told not to have, not to develop, not to relish, and we put it back in the central place that we feel it deserves in our lives.

And it makes me happy to look around and see more and more venues where people can be seen. What’s been especially nice has been what I’ve perceived as a move toward creating more room for people of varying body types to present themselves as sexual beings, especially for those who have been treated as though their bodies preclude them from being sexual. I’m thinking specifically of online forums like Chubby Parade and of the endless variations of folks in the BDSM scene. But it’s not just that. It’s the pole dancing classes, or strip aerobics, or even fucking Girls Gone Wild. While there are plenty of limitations there seem to be more and more arenas in which sexuality is seen as a central factor of human existence. And this is fantastic for people like us. We find healing in embracing our sexualities and making them public.

But do you notice that the vast majority of these opportunities are geared toward women? If I lift my kilt on Bourbon Street I’m much more likely to get arrested than if Elizabeth takes off her top. Penises are a threat. They’re obscene. No one wants to see that. Some would likely even take issue with my statement that I am told not to have, develop or relish my sexuality. I am a man after all, and all sexuality in the public arena is male centered. But the sexuality I’m allowed to have is predatory, uncaring, based on conquest, selfish. Or else it’s based in my own bumbling idiocy because I start to drool and stop thinking every time I see a tit. But to work on a sexuality that is centered in my body and the way I relate to other bodies? There’s not even a dialogue around that. Men are assumed by the culture at large to have only one kind of sexuality and anything else is a joke or a lie.

Over at Feministe there’s been a discussion going on about Feminist Porn, whether it exists, what it looks like, what it’s effects are. It’s been remarkably civil. One part of the original post was a list of links to feminist porn sites. The focus of most of these is women producing the porn they want to be in, which is great, but it led some to question who was producing the porn that (hetero or bi) feminist women want to see. In short, where are the naked men?

shy says:

What about men expressing their desire to sexually please others? What about men reveling in their own beautiful, natural bodies for the enjoyment of others?

But for some reason, hetero men don’t seem to get the same enjoyment out of taking it off for women that many of the feminist porn producers espouse. I believe they have not been trained to see themselves this way, as women have been trained since birth. An no matter how progressive and gloriously un-photoshopped feminist porn is, it’s still women seducing the camera, not men.

And And Sungold says:

Like Friction and Shy and a few others here, I too went looking for the guys. I don’t have a problem with the sites KaeLyn listed featuring mostly women. But where are the men?

And I mean *men,* not boys. A couple of these sites do show men. They’re quite young. No Fauxxx, for instance, is specifically soliciting male models, but they’re calling for “boys.”

This might cater to a very small subset of hetero women, but it looks much more like they’re following certain conventions in gay porn.

So where, please, is the porn featuring attractive *men*? I don’t think we can speak of real feminist porn until there’s serious turnabout, with women authorized to enjoy the visual pleasures of adult male bodies on our own terms – to look, as well as be looked at.

These are issues I’ve been wondering about lately as well, as I’ve mentioned. I’m one of those guys who does enjoy “taking it off for women,” but when I actually try to find ways to do that, then I’m often left feeling stuck, with no models to turn to that actually reflect my sexual reality. What images there are of men for women are of ripped abs, chiseled jaws, eternal five o’clock shadows… Or it’s guys taking up close pics of their cocks. (And if you look for images of men for men, then it seems to be most often young, hairless, small guys in horrendously ugly underwear.) So figuring out what to take pictures of and how to present them can be a challenge. And more than that, seeing as we’re working from a relatively non-commercial porno model here, once the pictures are taken, how do we find an audience? Are there women out there looking for sex blogs with naked men? Where are they talking about this? Where can I learn about what their drives are and what they want to see.

Because yes, I blog for myself, but if I didn’t want to share something of myself with others then I’d just keep a journal and a photo album. And if I didn’t want responses I wouldn’t allow (or, more accurately, beg for) comments.

Shy comments on “seducing the camera,” and I think of the ways that I have been taught to be seductive from this body that I have. They’re not about my body. They’re about money (expensive dinners, jewelry). They’re about wearing, not removing, nice clothes (everyone loves a man in a suit, right?). Sometimes they’re about artistic attempts (songs and poems). They’re about signifiers surrounding me. As much as women may be reduced to only the sexual uses and desirability of their bodies, men’s desirability is so often removed from their bodies. No, I’m not wanting to get into a “who’s more damaged” competition. I’m just sharing from my experience.

So where are the men? I think we’re wanting to find out what works for us in the expression of our own sexuality, and in communicating that to an appreciative audience. But we can’t do it by ourselves. We need to hear from our audience. We need to hear that there is an audience. From the comments I’ve gotten here, and those I’ve gotten from friends, the audience is there. If you’re part of that audience I’m asking you to chip in, telling us what you find sexy and what you want to see. If you’re a guy who wants to be the subject of some boyporn, then tell us about yourself. Put yourself out there to be found.

And to those ends, I’m calling for a monthly (or so) sexy naked nerd boy roundup. And I know I wrote this from the point of view of a hetero guy appealing to women, but that’s who I am. This isn’t limited to just straight boys, though. I want to see variety. I want to see new ways of being sexy. Anyone male-identified is invited to participate. Post your sexy self all over your blogs, let me know about it (iamthegabe at gmail dot com being the easiest), and I’ll gather links to all the posts for the month in one place. If people want to see us, we’ll give them an easy way to find us.

Now we just need a catchy name.

43 Responses to “Third Time’s a Charm”

  1. LesaMay Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I love this. There is not nearly enough focus on men and sexuality and their relationships with their bodies in the mainstream. I’m guilty of it myself for not focusing more on male topics on my own show, but not for lack of trying. Men appear to associate these things with a lack of prowess or skill instead of simply seeking knowledge or guidance. Seen a single diet commercial that doesn’t predominantly feature women? How about a sex education series for men by men that isn’t for gay men? Simply put… More stuff for guys please! The possibilities are endless.

    LesaMay
    http://www.ThisIsDeadAir.TV

  2. blisterious Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Great post. I can relate to a lot of what you say. Like you, I have a desire to display my body to women in a way that is sexy but not threatening. I’ve finally started blogging so I can be more open about how I feel about sex. It so often seems that in our culture women who are open about sex, who write about it or take pictures of themselves, are seen as edgy or daring. Guys who do it just seem creepy. Or at least that’s how I feel about myself sometimes. Nevertheless, I’d be thrilled to be in your monthly feature.

  3. Nelson... Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Ear, ear!

    Oh man, I LOVE this post!

    men’s desirability is so often removed from their bodies.

    Unless you have the ripped abs, chiseled jaw, etc…my issue is that there seems to be only ONE type of attractive male as far as the mainstream world is concerned (I you don’t look like Brad Pitt, thou art ugly). Obviously this is a big issue for women too, but there is a growing appreciation for those women who don’t fit into the size 0, D-cup demographic.

    I too have wanted to feel, if not specifically wanted, then at least desirable. I posted some pictures on LJ a couple of months back, but I have no idea if anyone liked them or even looked at them (no response). I try to avoid close-up cock pics because I don’t think that’s attractive at all. Blah.

  4. PantheraPardus Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    As a female, I would truly appreciate a sexy naked nerd boy roundup! While I like the chiseled-abs look, that’s not _all_ I like. I also like androgynous guys. I like big bearlike guys. I like geeks (I really like geeks). I just like guys (I’m not even mentioning the range of female attractiveness I like). 🙂

    So yes! I’d like to hear more about this sexy naked nerd boy roundup you speak of…*grin*

  5. Trin Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Gabe,

    I really like this post (though, FTR, I disagree vehemently about Girls Gone Wild. The guy is a rapist. And I don’t mean that in some “my theory says he harms young women, sobbity sob” way, I mean he’s actually a rapist.) I think you have a lot of good things to say here about the way the standard narrative of male sexuality doesn’t make any bloody sense EITHER.

    Would you consider being brave enough to link it in this lion’s den here?

  6. Trin Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Also: BRING ON THE NEKKID NERDBOYS OMG

  7. Being Amber Rhea » Blog Archive » links for 2008-07-29 Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    […] Pornocracy / Third Time’s a Charm “We reclaim the sexuality we were told not to have, not to develop, not to relish, and we put it back in the central place that we feel it deserves in our lives.” (tags: sexuality sex masculinity porn gender) […]

  8. Match Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Oh man. Sign me up! I’ve been working with twitter, tumblr and flickr to exhibition my sex and sexuality. Would love to be apart of the gathering of nekkid geek boys – sorry I identify more with geek culture than nerd culture 🙂

    Great post!

  9. Gabe Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    LesaMay – It’s not just “more stuff for guys.” It’s more more stuff that understands that guys are diverse and gives them more room to figure themselves out and then be themselves. And yeah, there are a lot of possibilities.

    blisterious – I’m glad you found something with which you resonated! Yeah, I worry about coming off as creepy a lot too. I wonder if that’s one of the understood (if not approved) roles in the story of males sexualities.

    Nelson – I hoped you’d appreciate this one! More importantly, I hope you’ll join in the posting for the naked boys fest.

    PantheraPardus – Thanks for the encouragement. It looks like this could actually happen!

    Trin – I’m not really all that familiar with the GGW folks. That… well, that sucks royally. There’s no way in HELL I’m jumping into that fray with this. What the hell kind of person invites people into a conversation with “Well, most of you are stupid, but…” Certainly not someone who would show any respect for the effort and vulnerability that went into writing and posting this.

    Match – Hey. I just started listening to your podcast last week. Nice to see you commenting here. Geeks, nerds, music majors, whoever really. Just anyone outside the generally approved boundaries of “sexy.” Thanks for the kind words.

  10. links for 2008-07-30 | Ellie Lumpesse: Pretentious Pervert Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    […] Pornocracy / Third Time’s a Charm “And to those ends, I’m calling for a monthly (or so) sexy naked nerd boy roundup. Post your sexy self all over your blogs, let me know about it, and I’ll gather links to all the posts for the month in one place.” (tags: masculinity porn sexblogs) […]

  11. Trin Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Understood, Gabe. 🙂 No problem. I just thought maybe some undecided people might think a bit if they saw this.

    On Joe Francis, well, here are the original allegations: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0331041ggone1.html

  12. Trin Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Also, since that’s only an accusation: http://www.latimes.com/features/printedition/magazine/la-tm-gonewild32aug06,0,5620406.story?page=1&track=mostviewed-homepage Just read the beginning, where he’s like… attacking the reporter. The guy’s a creep.

    Which is not to say that I don’t think something *like* GGW could be done well (though it would REALLY be tough, if the bar scene is where you’re recruiting, IMO.) It’s not the idea that bugs me, it’s the person.

  13. Match Says:
    July 30th, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Gabe, I didn’t see an email address for you anywhere. How are we to send you our links?

    BTW. Ellie suggested I submit these recent shots to the list.

    http://playwithmatch.tumblr.com/post/44016395/got-new-erotica-in-the-mail-perfect-time-for-an

    http://playwithmatch.tumblr.com/post/44016444/picture-2-of-2-got-new-erotica-in-the-mail

  14. Gabe Says:
    July 30th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Trin – Thanks for the links. I haven’t ever bought a GGW product, and this just makes me want to continue that trend.

    Match – Sorry about that. I edited the post to add my email address (iamthegabe at gmail dot com). And those are great shots! Thanks.

  15. blessed_harlot Says:
    July 30th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Match! Awesome photos, thank yooooo! 😀

    Nelson, I know I’m guilty of not giving feedback even when I’ve really enjoyed something. I suspect it’s related to just not being used to having boy pictures to look at, but I do promise I’ll try harder from now on. I always really enjoy your pictures.

    Blisterious and Gabe: You’ve really got me thinking now about that “creepiness” and how convenient it is. There’s certain populations that are considered freakish or laughable if they dare to be sexual at all – populations where the emphasis is on silliness or foolishness or lack of power (I’m thinking of the elderly as one example). Then there are populations that are considered “too dangerous” or “too powerful” to be allowed to be sexual in unique ways (guys being “creepy” if they’re “too sexual”, for example). That’s a great way to keep people in their place, while still pretending that they’re a “privileged” group.

  16. Pornocracy / Naked Boy Roundup target date - Aug. 14 Says:
    August 4th, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    […] iamthegabe at gmail dot com. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then I’ll quote myself. So where are the men? I think we’re wanting to find out what works for us in the expression of […]

  17. comfydildo Says:
    August 4th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I really agree. Men have the same body issues as women but somehow they’re expected to just deal with it on their own and never tell anyone. Male or female, I think what makes a person sexy is their attitude and men have their confident, sexy egos stripped of them at an early age so as not to seem “perverts,” “rapists,” or “chauvinists.” We need a female Carson Kressley for all the men out there who think the only thing going for them is their wallet.

  18. Sugasm #143 Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

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  19. Radical Vixen » Blog Archive » Sugasm #143 Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 9:06 pm

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  20. Pornocracy / Sugasm #143 Says:
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  21. Sugasm #143 | Ellie Lumpesse: Pretentious Pervert Says:
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  22. Spanked on Sugasm « Says:
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  23. The Week’s Sexy Sugasm (#143) | The Femmeinist Fucktoy Says:
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  24. Will Says:
    August 6th, 2008 at 1:08 am

    This post was an excellent pick for top three. (Hey!, it may have taken 3 months to write, but I have a feeling you’re going to receive more than 3 months of photos.)

    Congrats, and keep
    on smiling!

    Will.
    “bottomsUp!”

  25. Catalina Loves » Blog Archive » Catalina loves An Especially Good Sugasm (#143) Says:
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  26. The Best Sex Bloggers » Congrats to Pornocracy - In The Top 3 In This Week’s Sugasm! Says:
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  28. mollyren Says:
    August 6th, 2008 at 7:33 am

    I’m coming back for the naked nerd boys!

  29. what happened on sexblogs this week (sugasm 143) Says:
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  30. Sugasm 143 « The Eclectic Hedonist Says:
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  31. Porn For Women, By Women » Blog Archive » Sugasm #143 Says:
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  33. Sugasm #143 |SEXhobbyist Says:
    August 9th, 2008 at 5:49 am

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  34. Sugasm 143, better late than never « Sapphire J Says:
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  35. Bad Bad Girl » Post Topic » The Week in Sugasm Says:
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  36. The Best Sex Bloggers » Nekkid Blog Boy Roundup Says:
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  37. Catalina Loves » Blog Archive » Catalina loves Masculinity Says:
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    […] a series started by Ellie on Lumpesse.com on Masculinity and the similar musings of Gabe, from Pornocracy.org, who has just started the Naked Blog Boy Roundup.  He wrote his own post about […]

  38. Lady Johanna Says:
    August 20th, 2008 at 4:08 am

    Personally, what I want to see is a hot man on his knees with his hand cuffed behind him. I’m bi, so I like pretty similar imagery as with women.

    It’s not all about exactly what I want to see in though. There’s a “feeling” to pornographic imagery based on the production values, and it’s not about the gender of who is in the shot, but if there’s a focus on fantasy and on lighting, if there’s a story, decent sound, etc.

    Most of the time, I prefer textual porn over images simply because images and video are so poorly done.

  39. alpha Says:
    August 21st, 2008 at 9:54 am

    It’s been long waiting to be said, I myself have had this on my mind for so damn long! It mostly started when I took up drawing lessons many years back. It doesn’t take too long to realize how beautiful the body is, and at the start you draw women because if your learning you still have this stupid thing inside of you that says “If I look at a naked man it makes me gay”, who or what put that in my head??? Product of porn? Product of society?

    Penis should not be shown? Then at some point you get used to drawing the female body and you happen to exposed to drawing a male. At first you say… what is this? It’s amazing, all the differences, why didn’t I ever notice? And you realize how both are wonderful to look at in their own ways. Mostly how each has it’s function and yet it’s intermingled with sexuality.

    Anyways won’t babble too much but the point is: If I take off my clothes, I feel like I’m saying: Hey I’m ready for sex! Ponder on that, why? Other cultures don’t have this necessarily. A body is a body, be it clothed or naked, it’s there and functions. Just because you take the clothing off doesn’t mean it’s a sexual act.

    I feel better now after reading what you said. It’s sort of an awakening our society needs. Actually I wrote this naked… well with a bow tie… no just kidding. 😛

  40. wickedsilk21 Says:
    August 21st, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Oh man, I was thinking about this the other day while thinking about the Abby Winters phenom as well as I Love Myself. While I’m not the most knowledgable on feminism, one would think that a push for male-centric porn would be out there, especially – one would hope – since women seem to be more comfortable with being open about sexuality and porn. I for one would love to see more sexy naked men rather than the run-of-the mill hairless twinks that you usually see doing solo scenes on Xtube, you know?

    I know I’ve had my problems with looking/dealing with penises but if, and this is just my opinion, women were more exposed to them the problem wouldn’t be there. I am beginning to get more comfortable with the penis but you know, I could use some help.

    I guess until we make enough stink about it, nothing will happen but I’m happy that the discussion is out there. It’s a first step. And I will definitely be on the lookout for Naked Nerd Boys.

  41. Erotic Librarian Says:
    August 23rd, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Excellent post. It was very refreshing to read a male’s perspective, esp. on male sex/sen-suality.

    Porn has been flooded with lesbian-sheik and it’s quite the thing for a girl to be at least bisexual and have sexual relationships with other women. I agree with wickedsilk21 about exposure to penises being limited. Not to mention when it comes to the aggressive mainstream porn, the penis ends up being the enemy for those of us who don’t appreciate the way some porn has gone.

    I think I would want to see an honest, unposed man, who is happy. Sincerely. Not doing the macho pose or the deep glare that is more intimidating than sexy. Naked Nerd Boys? Sign me up!

  42. uunter Says:
    August 24th, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I apologize if I’m repeating comments–they’re a lot to read–but hear hear. I am a Kinsey-1or2 male, and I heartily agree on all counts, especially the “creepy/predatory” stigma attached to guys who try to actively display their sexuality (if I ask a girl for sex, I can take no for an answer without stalking or raping her, so why should the asking be frowned upon?). I have long felt the same way, and will gladly send in some naked nerd boy pics when I have time and space to do so.

    I would add, riffing off of Erotic Librarian above, that the dichotomy of socially acceptable sexualities for males and females makes it a lot harder for males to experiment with bisexuality. It seems that if you’re high on the Kinsey scale, you live with painful repression until you finally let loose and become a queen, and if you’re low, then any sexual encounter with another guy better have a hot naked woman sandwiched in between. We get pushed to these extremes, without much recourse for a guy who generally feels “straight”, but occasionally feels strong sexual desire for men (that’s me), or any other shade of gray.

  43. Smut & Steff » Just Another Manic Monday — And the Sugasm Says:
    October 12th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    […] Third Time’s a Charm “If I lift my kilt on Bourbon Street I’m much more likely to get arrested than if Elizabeth takes off her top.” […]

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