Check out Margaret Corvid’s fascinating piece in the New Statesman on male sexuality and the appeal of misogynistic movements to sexually frustrated men. As a professional dominatrix who’s also a feminist, she’s acutely aware of the ways conventional masculinity restricts and impoverishes male sexuality.
When I became a professional dominatrix after years in the kink scene, I expected my kinky work to involve lots of spanking, whipping and bondage. And, to my delight, it has. But in the majority of my sessions, I am creating a space for men to explore areas of their sexual lives that society feels are unmanly; they come to me to be penetrated, to be used, to serve, to submit, to worship, to be taken. A client might have any or all of a bewildering array of fetishes, but they mostly come to me to experience something well outside the very narrow confines of what society says that it means to be a man.
Unfortunately, as she notes, Men’s Rightsers and Pickup Artists offer nothing to men who feel confined by these narrow notions of manhood; indeed, their definitions of manhood are both retrograde and restrictive.
One of the greatest tragedies of the men’s rights movement is that, in the end, its lessons serve only to drive men further away from what they yearn for. Pick up artist techniques and aggrieved entitlement are unlikely to help men achieve the goal of intimacy, but feminist values can teach them the skills to communicate with respect.
You’ll notice a few quotes in there from me, from an email interview she did with me as well as from my post Is the Men’s Rights Movement driven by the rage of the rejected? (I also discussed the issue in this post on the weird sexual undercurrents in A Voice for Men’s Facebook “memes.”)