Over the past few months, I’ve been regularly updating a site called MaleSubmissionArt.com. It’s a photo blog in which I curate erotic imagery from around the Internet for a singularly directed purpose: to challenge the prevailing stereotypes of what submissive men look like, want, and feel—stereotypes that I believe actively undermine the erotic fulfillment of submissive men and anyone who likes them.
Since I began posting, Male Submission Art has gotten an unexpectedly high response from across the Internet. When I started, running Internet searches for such imagery was a frustrating prospect at best. Now, the URL itself has thousands of mentions on other web sites, as I’ve traveled across the United States I’ve been recognized by name if not by face for that site by people I don’t know, and I’ve gotten numerous private emails from people who have written to me personally expressing gratitude for the existence of the site. (That, by the way, is fucking awesome! Thank you all for your emails, even and perhaps especially those of you who simply write to say thanks.)
Many of those emails begin with an idle wondering: why can’t I write comments on the posts at MaleSubmissionArt.com itself? There are a number of reasons for this, but one reason stands above all others: because MaleSubmissionArt.com’s goal is to
obsolete itself (thanks, Orlando). Now, let me explain.
I started the site because the Internet didn’t contain enough collected imagery, writing, and thought about the intersection of masculine gender roles and power exchange, specifically with regard to submissive men. Unable to easily create my own visual media surrounding that topic, I chose instead to scour the Internet’s existing pornographic content (for literally hours a day, by the way) trying to find appropriate images for the site (and if you’re moved to do so, help is appreciated). By bringing in content from elsewhere and shining a spotlight onto it, I hoped to inspire thought and discussion about the topics at hand.
But still, why no comments? With Male Submission Art, I don’t want to provide a place for such discussion, since such places already exist in the form of the noisy blogosphere, the “twitter”-verse, and real-world discussion engines like KinkForAll. I don’t want people to comment on MaleSubmissionArt.com because then that site becomes a bottleneck—a central, single source of content created by only one group of people: people who read this one site.
This seems ridiculous to me. In cyberspace, where copying is cheap, I want people to see the images, take the images and the text, and redistribute them elsewhere. I want to make a virus so contagious and so invasive to the rottenness of “femdom” monotony that the ideas and concepts I bring up on MaleSubmissionArt.com posts spread to the furthest reaches of sexuality discourse. When you start a wildfire, you want the wind to carry the fire into fuel; I want MaleSubmissionArt.com to be the kindling, not the fire. I want a wildfire so wide that it surrounds stereotypical porn producers such that they can’t help but feel the heat.
To do this, I need to spread content, not centralize it. If I make a place for people to create content on MaleSubmissionArt.com, I am mistakenly containing the wildfire. This is why I’m constantly encouraging people to copy what I write, why I’m thrilled every time I see someone quoting the site, or when I see an image that first made it onto the Internet thanks to a reader suggestion. Together, we’re raising the signal.
So again, what can you do instead of comment? Here are some suggestions:
- If you have a blog—any kind of blog or web site—literally copy-and-paste the content from MaleSubmissionArt.com and paste it on your site: you are not stealing from MaleSubmissionArt.com. Then, in the same post, write your own thoughts about the image and/or the accompanying text and then be sure to include a link to the original post. By adding the link, your blog post will end up on my Internet radar and I’ll see it within a few days or a week. I prefer to comment on your posts than have you comment on mine.
- If for some reason you can’t copy the content or add links, perhaps for legal restrictions such as Adrian Lang encountered in his (German) blog post (English translation), then merely the mention of the phrase “MaleSubmissionArt.com” without a link will also make it onto my Internet radar eventually. Moreover, it’s less important that you talk to me about your ideas of masculine submission and more important that you talk to others who have not yet been exposed to the notions you’re developing. If you really need my input, ping me via another channel; I’m eminently findable online.
- Failing any of these options, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a relatively opaque communications channel, so naturally its lack of easy transparency bugs me. That said, even if I don’t reply to them all, I do still read every single email I get.