Heavenly Spire: An Interview with Shine Louise Houston

My interview with Shine Louise Houston is up on CarnalNation!

Filmmaker Shine Louise Houston, who brought you the queer porn Crash Pad Series web episodes and the feature-length films Champion, Wild Kingdom, and Superfreak, has started a new online web project depicting masculine sexualities in a visual medium. Heavenly Spire began in late July. I gladly sat down for a long-distance chat with her about the new site, masculinity, the personal things that had to happen in order for her to embark on this project, and what’s next for her and her growing companies.

Read the whole thing over on Carnal Nation

Radical Masculinity: Masculinity & Dominance

My latest Radical Masculinity column is up over at CarnalNation:

Masculinity is not essential to the recipe of being a dominant sexual partner. And yet, this identity alignment assumption, the assumption that masculinity and dominance go together and are always aligned, prevails in nearly all aspects of contemporary Western culture, and is a key part of what defines the stereotypical male gender role. But what about all of those men and masculine people of all genders who like to be submissive? Should they be made to feel ashamed of their desires, their power identity and orientation? What about the ways that submission and bottoming can be physically, emotionally, or even spiritually pleasurable? Should we deny that experience to someone because of their gender identity or gender expression?

Of course not. Men, butches, genderqueer-masculine-leaning folks, and all sorts of others in the masculine quadrants of the gender galaxy should be able to be dominant, submissive, top, bottom, switch—or however they feel best expresses themselves in the bedroom. And yet, that is not a common understanding of the ways masculinity and dominance work.

Read the entire thing over at CarnalNation.com

New to You: A Review of Good Porn

My review of the Seal Press book Good Porn is up on CarnalNation!

It’s difficult for me to critique this book: Lust consumes porn in similar ways that I do, and we have a similar history with viewing porn, so most of my responses to this consist of, “yeah, so what?” It’s not new information to me, nor would it be to anyone who is aware of the ways that the porn industry is rapidly changing to include more female directors, more perspectives from and by and about women, and more woman-oriented pornography.

Really we’re talking about films here. Porno films, from kink and gonzo to erotic documentaries: Lust writes about ‘em all.

If you’re a woman who doesn’t like porn, or who has seen some porn and thinks that it is all the same, icky, unrealistic, performance-y, useless, and not even sexy, this is a great guide to finding directors, stars, and content that you may enjoy.

Read the entire review over on CarnalNation.com

Grim Consequences: When Young People Get Laid

My review of Laid: Young People’s Experiences with Sex in an Easy-Access Culture is up on CarnalNation:

Perhaps I had unrealistically high expectations for this book. “The basement smelled like sex,” the book starts. “That thick, musty scent that sits in the air and clings to everything it touches. I inhaled deep and hard, thinking about the heated moments that had just passed. The moments when I was too busy creating the odor to even notice its sticky presence.” Maybe I thought it’d be a bit more upbeat, positive. I have a skewed perspective of sex education and what’s going on with sexually active youth, after all, consuming places like Scarleteen and attending queer and kinky events occasionally open to young people.

Laid is separated into five different chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of sex: hookups, positive experiences, physical consequences, date rape, and abstinence. I expected “consequences” and “date rape” to be harder chapters to read, but in truth they were all hard. I kept cringing from the negative, stereotypical information being given out at every turn. But because these stories are full of people’s real experiences and opinions, they can’t exactly be “wrong” but I cannot recommend this book as any representation of sexual education, as it sells itself as being. The honest, real experiences expressed are valuable to read, but I clearly do not agree with these contributor’s value systems, and many of them I would disagree as plain old bad information.

Read the entire review on CarnalNation.com.

Radical Sex: What’s In It For Men?

Clipped from: Carnal Nation by clp.ly


Consuming sex and pornography have been seen as men’s domain for hundreds of years, if not more. I have my own theories as to why women have been denied sexual agency, such as the fear of the power behind women’s sexualities and thus the patriarchal need to control and confine such power, but that is perhaps for another column.

In the past four decades since major advances in sex and liberation, such as the sexual revolution, the rise of the pill, free love, and feminism, women have pioneered a new era of sexual education and sexuality. Woman-owned, woman- and queer-positive sex toy shops are all the rage. As they should be! They can at best completely transform your relationship to your sexuality, as I fully credit Babeland with doing so for me, and at least totally transform your bachelor/ette party.

Continue reading Radical Sex: What’s In It For Men? at Carnal Nation

Radical Masculinity #2: How to Make Masculinity Stop Hurting

How to Make Masculinity Stop Hurting
Radical Masculinity column at Carnal Nation
November 11, 2009

My dad’s best friend died last week. Heart attack. He was 60, barely older than my dad, not old enough for his heart to give way. They’ve been friends for 35 years, longer than I’ve been alive. I got a heartbreaking email from my father about how they met, where they’d traveled together, and his favorite joke (What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything).

In his eulogy, his son wrote that he was “a devoted family man, one who extended the term to cover a great many individuals, supporting and caring for those who needed him.”

And I thought, that’s radical masculinity.

How does one learn how to be that? How do you grow up into a masculinity, a maleness, an adult manhood, despite this culture’s obsession with bad boys and lunkheads, to be a caring protective provider, to make effective, positive changes in this world, to build something that will last, to be generous with your heart and mind and love and time?

Traditional, limitational masculinity says don’t talk about your feelings. That masculinity says be strong all the time. It says a “real” man is tough, and the worst thing you can be is a sissy, a pussy, a girl, feminine, weak.

Radical masculinity says: I am listening. Who do you want to be?

Read the entire thing over at Carnal Nation.

Radical Masculinity #1: A Manifesto for Radical Masculinity

A Manifesto for Radical Masculinity
Radical Masculinity column at Carnal Nation
September 30, 2009

Remember back in the Spring of 2009 when two young boys committed suicide within a week of each other, both eleven years old? Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover of Massachusetts and Jaheem Herrera of Georgia were both being subjected to unbearable anti-gay bullying at school. Whether or not these boys were actually gay, using homophobia to police masculinity is practically the oldest trick in the book. In the aftermath of these suicides, and in the discussions that ensued on the Web and in print, there was extensive lip service given to gender and the inevitable complaint that boys have it so hard, that feminism has stripped men of their manliness, that men don’t know how to be men anymore, that we’ve got a Crisis In Masculinity.

That might seem like anti-feminist rhetoric, but I agree with it—at least in part. I agree that masculinity is changing, for some in dramatic, drastic ways. I have witnessed and observed cultural changes around the masculine and male gender roles which are shifting, yes, as a direct result of the recent feminist and other gendered social change movements.

Read the piece in its entirety over at Carnal Nation.