Archive for October 2009
Hey, you know what’s terrible? I don’t think we have ever done a headless Man Candy. Shocking! I mean, how else are all our straight male readers going to identify.
Here you go!
(What do you mean straight men don’t get off on identifying with random images of headless male torsos? I don’t understand.)
How come I only ever have washing-up in my sink? Why not Daniel Craig? Jeez, life’s so unfair.
The Mile High Club, ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel, pub. Cleis Press
Watched by: Mathilde Madden
Here at Cover Watch we have a simple wish: Men on the covers of erotic books. To keep our dreams simple (and, you know, so damn basic it kind of makes me want to cry) we don’t worry too much about which men.
Oh, sure, there are debates to be had about trashiness. There are sticky questions about using imagery that is clearly primarily for gay men. We don’t have as strict a policy on this as some of our fellow warriors for equality. Man Candies are swiped from gay sites and blogs all the time, but we do understand why it’s important to say, hey, it is not okay to tell straight women that there is no problem because they can get their jollies from gay porn. Of course we can. (Of course we do.) But that doesn’t mean we don’t want our desires acknowledged . It’s not okay to ask straight women to dress up as gay men in order to see man-flesh.
Some people like to talk about what straight women really prefer. Our main position on this is that straight women’s tastes vary as much as straight men’s – and just take a look at a little thing called the internet to see just how wide ranging those tastes can be. Upshot of this – if you’re a straight woman and you see a single image of a sexy guy, chances are, it won’t be the exact image that does it for you. And this can be hugely frustrating in a world where such images are so scarce. But for us that means we cheer for all images of men on erotica book covers – and elsewhere – even if they are not our thing. Our reasoning: there’s a woman somewhere who is being made super happy by Mr Minotaur, Mr Hairy, Mr Elfin, Mr Piercings, etc.
Not that this policy is perfect. Of course some images proliferate unduly, but, for now, we welcome any attempt to get more guy-flesh on the outside of erotic books are well as the insides.
And, we don’t mind if the women want to stay on the covers too. We want equality not the moon on a stick (again, I pause and weep for how tiny and reasonable our request really is). Men pictured with women – yay! Okay, not the covers that features a huge amount of heaving bosom and a man’s hand off in the top corner, but a het couple where both get equal billing, sure. Nice.
Which is why we like this cover and cheer for it. And, god, sometimes, we feel like we are always complaining about Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Cleis covers – she has had some stinkers! So it’s really nice to see this.
So yay and yay again for this cover. And I will, at no point in this essay, mention the phrase ‘He looks like he’s hiding the body!’
Why is it so hard to find a good pic of a naked man wearing glasses? I mean really, there’s only this ONE? On the entire internet? Someone should get on that.
Meanwhile, if you don’t follow Kristina and me on Twitter you might have missed our recent pieces in The Guardian’s Comment is Free section.
It’s amazingly exciting that we are getting to take our ideas to such a huge audience. And we could never have done it without the support of all cover watch’s avid and supportive blog readers. So thank you! Kristina’s latest piece even got a feature on Gawker Media blog Jezebel, so I guess they aren’t cross with us for what we said about Fleshbot. Thank god, we don’t want everyone to blacklist us.
Talking of the piece about Fleshbot, we were delighted with the response to it and plan to write more articles about female sexuality issues not necessarily related to book covers. For the next piece in our Sex Uncovered strand we’ve been looking into the neglected, hidden, ignored, outright denied world of Male Burlesque. More on that to come, but I will say, when men pole dance it makes kittens smile (and that probably is some kind of euphemism).
But we do still write about book covers. Come back on Thursday and I just might do that.
PS Oh, and if what really gets you excited is the idea of Twitter! Then follow us both. We’ll always post here if we write articles elsewhere, but you’ll find out about them first if you track our tweets.