What I’ve learnt since Being a Man at Southbank Centre

A lot has changed for me in the last eighteen months. I’ve had to take control of my nose hair and I’ve had way more sex than before. These things may or may not be connected to each other or to the Southbank Centre’s inaugural Being a Man festival, 31 January to 2 February 2014. On Saturday I’m going to a planning session at the Southbank for the next festival, due for November. I blogged about earlier ideas here. In the meantime I thought I’d recap a few things that are not to do with nose hair but ARE to do with blokes and have happened to me since the last Being a Man. Continue reading

My post for The F Word: Real Men are dodging the reality of manhood

I published a guest post on The F Word! So thrilled!

Here’s an excerpt:

I didn’t feel comfortable at all, despite the organisers’ best efforts to make me comfortable with their soft voices, their candles and their Himalayan prayer bowls. I felt the love in the room, but it didn’t feel real. I’ve been desperately trying to understand why I can’t feel the kind of love that was warming the other men.

The full post is here.

Why can’t gay sex be equal sex?

Grayson Perry, the tranny potter, says no one has sexual fantasies about equality. Men and women don’t get off on wearing the same fleece and cruising down the aisle together in Waitrose sharing the same responsibility to find the mung beans, he says. I’ve heard him make this point a couple of times now: first was during his keynote at last February’s Being a Man festival at the Southbank Centre and most recently he said it again last Saturday, at the Southbank’s open think-in where people came to help them plan the next festival. Perry’s point is that sex always has a power dynamic going on. He implies that sex needs a power dynamic in order to work: you need one person doing the thing and one person having it done to them, whatever it is. They can switch roles of course, throughout their partnership or even in the space of a single night. Someone who has lots of power in society might want to wield this in the bedroom too, or he (yes, probably he) might want the opposite when the sexing hour starts. It’s why chief executives like to dress up as babies and be spanked, or whatever.

Continue reading