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Shooting M/M

A little while ago there was a multi-blog conversation - well, more like a debate, really - about the invisibility of M/M material in the international spanking scene online. It centred around SpankingTube, the crowd-sourced spanking clips site.

Paul at North Gare uncovered a bias in their search algorithms designed to reduce the visibility of M/M clips on the homepage and in search, in favour of /F content. Mija picked up on the topic and called this out as deliberate policy and blatant homophobia, likening it to racism in the suburban California of her childhood:

My cousins don't have a white mother to temper their skin tone and that color's effect on the neighborhood. When they moved into a white part of town, a "welcome wagon" met them with a chicken casserole and a request that they keep their children in the backyard for fear the sight of these brown children would lower property values.

No-one in the scene can ban M/M, and they don't want to make anyone feel unwelcome, but go on one of the big spanking sites or blogs and look for it, and you'll quickly realise the extent to which it's hidden away. Not only blogs and sites where the owner's selections are arguably a matter of personal taste - even open, user-based clips sites, which enable anyone to upload content, have a deliberate policy that M/M clips won't show up in public search unless someone is explicitly looking for them. I hear of play parties and scene events where M/M players are unwelcome, or segregated into their own play room.

We don’t have anything against you M/M folks, we just don’t want to scare other people away. Do what you want to do, they say in effect, but make sure you don’t do it where you could make someone uncomfortable.

All too many otherwise progressive, enlightened individuals have nothing against M/M, but it's, well, not their thing, and they'd rather not watch it ... or, you know, be on a website where they might accidentally brush against it.

The thing is that the people saying this, most of the time, are male. It is considered normal, not prejudiced at all, for a man to be put off by M/M. But just mentally reverse the genders for a second. Imagine a female kinkster who was squicked by F/F spanking play, and refused to visit any site, gathering or party where she might stumble across it accidentally. Imagine if she found the idea of women disrobing offputting, and refused to stick around to watch a female bottom enjoy a scene. She'd be massively limited in the websites she could visit, she'd ostracise herself socially, and chances are, people would find her taste a little weird and overly restrictive.

This is how many men's reaction to M/M seems to me.

And this is where female gaze porn comes in.

Historically, the porn industry has tended to be maintained by men, for an audience which was predominantly male. Social anxiety about homosexuality has also, historically, affected far more men in our culture than wome. Tie this in with a cultural image of male submissives as worthless, pathetic, and unsexy, and it all adds up to a massive collective hang-up.

Recently, however, more and more women have started not only to watch porn, but to make porn. And women, on average, love M/M. Look at the fanfiction community, which is predominantly made up of female authors and readers, and which emphasises male/male pairings above any other orientation. Indy speaks eloquently about the appeal, as a woman, of M/M spanking fantasies (and her comment threads are full of women who agree):

M/m spanking scenes in books and films generally have a dignity that is often lacking in F/f or especially M/f spanking scenes. The boy is supposed to take his punishment manfully if it’s fair and stoically even if it’s not. He’s in control of his emotions, and even if he’s breaking inside, he doesn’t let the bastards see it. (Women who like M/M: punishment, triumph or libido?)
I guess another reason I like M/M is that there’s something more egalitarian about it than a lot of M/F or even F/M spanking erotica, even though the roles of top and bottom are clearly established. (More on girls, boys and tears)

In my opinion, the more women there are making and watching spanking porn, the more visible - and acceptable - M/M scenes will become.

In the wake of the revelations about SpankingTube, Mija exhorted politically progressive readers to boycott any sites and events which made M/M unwelcome. I supported her stance and had - still have - a great amount of respect for her principles in this. I was also in the difficult position of knowing that I would find it much harder to market my - already risky - female gaze, fairtrade, inclusive porn site without promotion on SpankingTube. I had a couple of conversations in which I tried to weigh the relative value of successfully selling radical porn versus boycotting homophobic web hosts. And when it came down to it, it seemed to me that my energies were better spent making the good stuff, creating porn without prejudice, without homophobia, than joining the (valuable, necessary) outcry against the people doing it wrong.

I made a decision that week to include M/M material on Dreams of Spanking from the outset. Not to do it later, as a risky extra once I'm already up and running. But build it into the fabric of my philosophy from the start: make it clear that this is a site which welcomes women who fantasise about male/male spankings; welcomes male bottoms, tops and switches who enjoy the idea; welcomes bisexual and open-minded male players.

I credit my heterosexual male viewers with the broadness of mind to be able to tolerate clicking past the odd M/M scene on my webpage. No-one has to watch anything they don't want to. I have plans in my first-six-months budget to develop a sophisticated search feature on the site which permits users to only be shown the orientations that interest them, but in the meantime, I believe that you, my companions in dream, will be able to cope.

That week, I put a casting call out for male performers on my blog. I waited. And at the end of August, thanks to some social networking, some hasty planning and the last of my savings, I spent a day shooting tasteful, psychologically interesting M/M spanking films with an all-female crew and two beautiful male actors in their twenties.

We had a blast. I've rarely had quite that much fun on a shoot. And I'll tell you all about it in my next post.

Comments

What's frustrating from a purely pragmatic point of view is that, quite apart from their own preferences, so few producers and publishers seem to consider that treating M/M as just another orientation would be a net benefit to them financially. Perhaps they *would* lose some homophobic custom, but the possibility of breaking into a whole new audience seems beyond their imagination. It's a bit like the Vegas casinos that refuse to consider banning smoking - and therefore losing some regulars - despite the fact that a smoke-free environment would be a huge draw to a different group.

It's unfortunately naive to expect most producers to support M/M on principle alone, but it's not crazy to expect them to go where the money is, even if it's not quite their thing. Getting them to see that M/M has a much wider appeal than they've assumed is a good start. This is especially true of operations like SpankingTube.com, where they're just conduits for other people's content. For them, supporting M/M isn't about *doing* anything. It's about not actively discriminating.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing more M/M around, both here and on other sites you inspire.

I believe there's a market too, although I think it might be easier to sell M/M to male switches/bottoms initially, as on average men tend to be more willing to pay for porn than women. But that's something else that we (people making porn for women) are trying to shift.

It's mostly habitual. If people are used to an industry providing nothing they want, they won't get into the habit of buying products from that industry. Once products they are interested in start to become available, that will probably change - but it'll take a while to shift, as it's difficult to reach an audience who have already dismissed what you have to offer. Add in the ideological arguments surrounding porn and you have some customers who might really benefit from your products who will never buy them. Some whose minds you might change (that's what the female gaze campaign is partly about); others who you simply have to communicate with and they'll be relieved that someone is finally offering what they're after.

I think the kink community is a bit more awareness of trends and options within porn than the average person, so in creating kinky porn for women I think I perhaps have an easier job of reaching/persuading the people who will most appreciate it than someone creating mainstream porn for women. But we'll see.

M/M - M/TV ?

Forgive my intrusion into this debate as I am new to this particular site. Where might the topic of M / TV spanking be raised. TV being transvestite.
I'm not referring to hairy panty wearers, but genuine TV's who perhaps like me are a minority, but love to take on the feminine dress sense and be fully in situ as the submissive female role. It is so hard to find authentic and creative spanking sites or photo shoots that don't have other more graphic representations. In my case I have been a lover of spanking art, photography, videos and literature for many years, and also as a submissive TV have a mind that wants to be in the place of the female, and appreciates the vulnerability and obedience of being spanked by men. I have been fortunate enough to meet with some men who will oblige, however it would be so nice to have dedicated photo stories and videos starring men as the spanker and a TV as the spankee. I for one would love to properly model in such roles. Apologies if this is off topic, I felt there was a slight connection, and my desire may be isolated, however it is not, how may it be remedied.

Hi, thanks for the comment!

I'm interested in gender-bending in all its forms. In one film I've shot I have a female performer playing a character disguised as a boy, who undergoes a military M/M caning as a boy before her gender is revealed. So a male in a similar situation is absolutely within scope.

In fact, my writer friend Penny Docherty gave me an idea for a Victorian story in which two young friends, a boy and a girl, swap clothes for a laugh and have great fun prancing about in each other's outfits (and looking very hot, I might add) before their nanny/governess catches them at it and punishes them both.

In general I think I'm more interested in scenarios in which the drag is part of the story/character - even if there's no "reveal" - rather than simply having a girl play a boy (or a boy a girl) without explanation.

Hope that answers your question and thanks very much for the input!

Hooray!

Just wanted to give my thorough approval for this. Looking forward to the site launch even more now. :-)

Also, wrt your comment above, hooray for gender-bending! Finding myself contemplating Shakespearean gender-bending scenes now. Not least because Viola and Sebastian joining forces to top Olivia and Orsino? Would be very hot. And if ever a character were in need of a good spanking, it's Orsino. ;-)

Viola and Sebastian are tricky to cast, unless you go down the comedy route and cast two people who look completely unlike (a technique made famous by Northern Spanking in their excellent film "Twins")!

Shakespeare's an interesting one, because on the one hand the gender-bending is always part of the plot, much in the way I want it to be, but on the other hand all his women were played by men. In spanking we have the opposite - it's just about acceptable for a female actor to play the role of a male bottom in a spanking film, but heaven forbid you should cast an *actual boy*! Which is one of the reasons I'm so keen to do it, of course ;)

Depends on your sample, really

One point that caught my eye was your remark that "the average woman" was excited at the prospect of seeing more M/M spanking. This is, of course, not true: the average woman doesn't want to see any kind of spanking at all. Obviously, we know what you meant: the average woman _who is interested in spanking erotica on-line_ is more excited.

So you have pared down the global population with certain qualifiers; another individual might use different criteria to define their target audience, and come up with very different answers.

This is not to support active discrimination against M/M material, but simply to point out that (a) the value proposition for consumers is based on their own preferences, and therefore a site that offers 80% material they like and 20% that they don't like will be less attractive than one that offers 100% material that they like; and (b) content producers aren't automata, and if they don't "get" what makes a particular scene hot, any material they produce will likely be unimpressive.

Which all boils down to the observation that there may be a whole host of reasons why some of the symptoms you describe exist, and only one of them is the homophobia issue.

It's also, perhaps, worth distinguishing between M/M spanking and *gay* M/M spanking, because I think there is a difference in acceptance, strangely enough. Possibly this is an echo of the ruling in a California case that determined that one cannot consent to assault, in which boxing and (American) football were exempted from the consequences of such a ban by means of the inexplicable assertion that those were "manly activities", which apparently makes it all OK.

[ In the UK: the contrast is striking between the Spanner case and the Doncaster Bottom Branding case; the former were gay guys, therefore presumed to be perverting the public morals, while the latter were a happily married couple who just happened to be filthy-minded! ]

Actually I think you'd be surprised by the number of women who are interested in M/M. I'm not just talking about spanking - as I said in the post, you only have to look at the world of fanfiction to see and healthy and thriving interest in M/M interactions of all flavours written for and by women.

Is "straight" M/M or "gay" M/M more acceptable, do you think? I'm assuming the former from your comments, but actually I've seen far more of the latter ... it's hard to find asexual M/M spanking scenes, and much easier to find kinky sexy violent M/M BDSM scenes that include some spanking.

Turning Japanese

This is, of course, not true: the average woman doesn't want to see any kind of spanking at all. Obviously, we know what you meant: the average woman _who is interested in spanking erotica on-line_ is more excited.

I may be wrong, but I think your analysis here is generationally limited.

Ime, the free access to beautiful, emotionally invested M/M (and, indeed, M/M D/s) via Japanese art, comics and animation has revealed a huge number of straight young women, many of whom are not personally kinky, to really really enjoy seeing well represented male love, and sex. The spectacularly open-minded constructions of sex, love and unusual masculinity that were simply missing from the extelligence of post-Puritan, Anglo-Saxon cultures makes the conclusion you draw a dangerous one.

My First Attempt

I have written my first short story involving M/m corporal punishment ( http://spankingdiscussion.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/a-barn-burner-1st-attempt-at-mm/ ). I'm curious to know what you think. I felt like I really wanted to meet the personal challenge of writing it, even though I'm not into it... maybe because I'm not into. Artistically and philosophically, I'm always interested in expanding my horizons.

This is a non-erotic one. I may get up the nerve to attempt to write an erotic one one day. I suppose that would be the next phase of my challenge. That'll be a strenuous workout for the old imagination and I'll really be curious about reactions then :-)

Again, thank you for your enlightenment. One of my definitions of a true friend is one that won't let you stagnate.

Best Regards,
Quai

Wow :) I think this has to be the most instantly validating response to something I've written.

I don't think it's compulsory to write erotica which you wouldn't personally find hot... but I don't think whether or not one finds a particular orientation of spanking fantasy hot has anything to do with your sexuality. I identify with the male bottom in M/M but that doesn't mean I identify as male.

When I first started becoming aware of the invisibility of male bottoms (and male tops actually, the camera and scripts rarely care about showing them to best advantage) in the mainstream spanking industry I started to campaign for equality simply on principle. Male bottom spanking wasn't my kink, but damnit, it wasn't fair. I started decided to make this sort of fantasy simply to cater to the women and men who wrote to me asking for it - without thinking I'd get a personal enjoyment out of it.

Turns out that I don't need to want to spank male bottoms in my private life to get an erotic kick out of watching it on screen. In exploring this I've uncovered a new facet of my sexual interest which has given me new pleasure.

So... congratulations on expanding your horizons. I hope you discover new sides of your interest in spanking which bring you joy. But if you don't, don't feel pressured to force it. We can't help what we're into... but if we don't examine and explore our boundaries, we might never know what we *could* be into.

M/M spanking

Why is it that if I happen to know what turns me on I get called names and insulted? It just so happens that when it comes to sex I like women. I have watched M/M spanking, it does nothing for me. I don't run from it or think it should be banned or any of that, it just does not push my buttons. I only have so much money for things like porn and I want to spend it where I get the most out of it.

I only like F/M spanking if the main focus is on the woman. I want her to be physically fit and enticingly dressed. (cleavage) I like her doninance more than the act she is doing or something like that, I'm probably not expressing myself too well. One of my dislikes about F/M spanking is that too many producers have the spankers standing around giggeling like school girls. I don't get it.

None of this means I am not interested in this site or that I won't join, but if too much of the content becomes things that don't interest me then I will move on. There are many more sites I have never joined than that I have.

It sounds like you may not be my target audience, Eric - and that's absolutely fine! It's not possible to appeal to everyone, and I'm not trying to. But I am trying to meet some of the needs which are not being met by the sites that are already out there.

There are already a lot of F/M sites that focus on the woman. There's nothing wrong with liking that, but it's a shame if people who want to see scenes focussing on the man can't find any. So I'm trying to offer alternatives... and not everyone has to like them.

I didn't mean to insult the taste of anyone who prefers traditional F/M or who does not like M/M. Instead I wanted to criticise a culture and an industry where traditional F/M is the only option and M/M (especially M/M made for and by women) is largely unavailable.

If I like strawberry icecream and all I can buy is chocolate, I might complain and decide to start selling a shop that sells both. That doesn't mean I'm insulting the people who like chocolate, just that I'm trying to make sure people who like strawberry can have icecream, too :)

Loaded terminology...

I think Eric has a valid point: the discussion about whether the absence of much visible M/M material has tended to leap straight to words like "homophobia"!

I think we all are aware that the world is not really binary, split into attraction/repulsion, love/hate, with us/against us categories. The vast majority of people lie somewhere in the middle "don't care" area.

Unfortunately, it seems a lot of activists start at the "if you're not with us, you're against us" position, which can hurt their mission more than a nuanced, inclusive recognition of the ternary world filled with shades of grey. Or gray, come to that!

If my position has come across as unnuanced, I genuinely apologise. My mission is to break binaries, not enforce them.

I at no point meant to imply that happening to not find M/M hot was homophobic; but I also don't think there's any harm in challenging a culture which makes a particular group unwelcome on the basis of gender/sexuality, and asking /why/ those trends "just happen" to exist, /why/ the people who "just happen" not to enjoy watching M/M are the ones running all the porn sites and all the parties. Individuals get defensive if you ask questions about any prejudice, but that doesn't mean the questions aren't worth asking ... or that the cultural patterns that emerge aren't worth improving with a little positive effort.

The very gist of my post was not "M/M haters are bad", but "some people, like me, want to watch M/M and it's really hard to find - let's make more!" As an activist I'm much more suited to constructive response than to deconstructive analysis; there are other people who are much better at the latter.

I should probably just shut up and move on but I just want to try to make myself clear. I am not trying to discourge you from doing your M/M thing, if you and others like it then go for it. If there is lots of other content on your site I will join. Having M/M here will not keep me away and I will probably check it out. I think, without following your progress religiously, that you are trying out lots of differnt things not seen much elsewhere, and as a spanker/spankee I applaud that. I'm always open to trying new things.

There is plenty of M/M on STube, and they do not hide it away.

If I may make one teensy weensy comment, I wish there was not so much OTK for spanked men. I cannot imagine a for real situation where someone wanting to punish a man would put him over his or her (there, I said it) lap. In the bedroom sure, but in a school room?

Sorry for whatever ruckus I may have created and I wish you only the best with your efforts and I'm eagerly waiting for opening day.

Thanks for this reply Eric, I really appreciate it. It really is tricky because it's impossible to please everyone, so all I can really do is make what I'd like to see and take it from there.

I can certainly see your point regarding OTK for spanked men, but I think I'd have to disagree regarding schoolboys - it's no more unlikely than a teacher taking a schoolgirl over their lap! In many of the classic spankings scenes there is a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, and otk/bare bottom spankings of school pupils is among the biggest.

But fantasy and reality are not the same... and everyone's fantasy is different.

Please do continue to send your thoughts and feedback, it is all appreciated.

Because I'm going for diversity/variety in my content I would really like to be able to launch a pay per download site from the start, with micropayments for individual films so that no-one feels cheated by signing up and then seeing content that disinterests them. Sadly it appears that the costs of secure digital product delivery are very high and it's something to aspire to if the site succeeds.

I must confess...

As a life-long spankophile it wasn't really until relatively recently that I was presented with MM spanking material. I was of the impression that it was "gay" material, which to be honestly does not really interest me. But for those who enjoy it, have at it.

However when I actually encountered a man spanking another man, it was not is a sexual context, but rather a disciplinary one, consensual of course, (well maybe semi-consensual :) )

My partner went to a spanking party hosted by a friend of hers, and at one point in the evening I looked up from her bottom and noticed a guy over another man's knee with a very red bottom.

Rather than being put off by this I realized this was really no different than what we were doing. After all I hove no problem with gay couples in other aspects of life, so why should we try and exclude them from giving or receiving a spanking.

Since then I have to admit I have been curious about experiencing both giving and receiving a spanking from another man but as yet have not tried.

Well this was not the first post I expected to reply to on this wonderful blog, but there you go.

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