Yes, this is a bit of an advertisement for queer porn director Shine Louise Houston’s newest project Heavenly Spire, but it’s also a commentary on masculinity in porn.
I’m sure I don’t have to work too hard to convince you that for as many limited, limiting, stereotypical, heterosexist notions in porn that exist for women, there are just as many that exist for men. Men are portrayed as the domineering, dominant, in charge, virile, muscular, top character in virtually every way in the porn industry, a depiction that hurts and polices the vast range of male sexualities—just as depicting women as the receptive, passive counterparts is hurtful to women.
And while there is a huge world of queer porn out there, most of the ethical, thoughtful, gender-aware is trans or female, and there hasn’t been many explorations of masculinity through video and porn.
Here’s some wording from the official press release of Houston’s beautiful Heavenly Spire project:
After making a name for herself directing beautifully shot dyke/queer porn, Feminist Porn Awards’ Visionary Director Shine Louise Houston has turned her sharp eye to the gays.
Vivid-Ed director Tristan Taormino touts Houston as “one of the most influential, groundbreaking and talented queer filmmakers of this century.” Advocating that women watch gay porn, Taormino enthusiastically took note of the new site, commenting: “It features a group of ethnically-diverse models and couples, genuine chemistry, and Houston’s signature stunning cinematography.”
By dedicating the site to masculine beauty and sexuality and how it manifests on different bodies, Shine Louise Houston pushes the boundaries of a new visibility in gay porn: HeavenlySpire.com equally casts queer males as it does transsexual men. This inclusion is a rarity in gay male pornography.
Models share an intimate interview where they disclose their personal fantasies, describe their sexuality, turn-ons, and what they physically like about themselves and one another.
While partially inspired by her love for gay male porn, Houston’s vision for HeavenlySpire.com came mainly from within. Says Houston, “Heavenly Spire is a personal project for me. Accepting my own masculinity has really allowed me to feel okay with desire for masculine people. Exploring it on the site really looks at male bodies the way I want to.”
It sounds all smart when described like that, huh? And yes sure, of course it is smart, it is intentional and thoughtful and the filming is just fucking beautiful. But let’s not forget that it’s also way hot.
Sometimes as a dyke I am a little hesitant to recommend porn with cisgender men in it, as I can frequently get the “ick factor” reaction from other dykes: “Ew.” But as someone who is increasingly cock-centric, and, I’ll admit, sometimes a bit fascinated to the point of fetishizing cocks, I have got to say that this site is not just thoughtful and beautiful but also fucking hot.
So thank you, Heavenly Spire, for being a sponsor of Butch Lab, and for bringing new and exciting visions of masculinity and a masculine sexuality into the porn world. I can’t wait for the DVD.