In the gay and fetish scenes, we have several spaces that are just for men. Gay clubs, sex parties, hook up apps, and the local Mr competitions and fetish clubs are often exclusive to men, as they have been for many years now. Slowly, over time, some of these spaces have been becoming more inclusive like the leather and rubber clubs that allow women in, and those which provide the opportunity for nonbinary folks to participate in local competitions, but it really hasn’t changed all that much in most cities around the world and some spaces continue to exclude to some men.
Have you ever been to a party, club or event that has a men-only rule? This is not uncommon in many European cities like Amsterdam, Berlin or Paris, where entry is based on a person’s gender. This becomes problematic when this rule is defined by what someone has between their pants. This is often presented under the guise of protecting gay men’s sexual spaces, but the problem is that they are not inclusive to or protecting the experience of all gay men, specifically trans people.
Excluding a man from entering a fetish or sex party because of how he looks is discrimination. It wouldn’t be justified to exclude someone from an event if he was considered too fat or had only one leg and it shouldn’t be based on any other physical characteristic either.
Continuing in the International Fetish Week celebrations, WINGS TALKS has some candid conversations with a couple of community members about their thoughts and experiences with gendered spaces in the gay and fetish scenes.
Mister International Rubber 2022, Joe tells us about why they think we are missing out when we make spaces exclusionary
Mr Gay Germany Max tells us why they think it’s problematic to exclude trans folks from men-only spaces.
Hopefully, by hearing these two honest perspectives on the ways gendered spaces may be holding our community back, it can become easier to think of the ways we can make our community stronger.
Check out WINGS TALKS about Gendered Spaces in the Scene and let us know what you think. We’d love to talk about it.