exploring masculinities and male genders

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SPUNK is a magazine that seeks to showcase the diversity and perversity of masculine and male genders.

Inspired by the creativity of our own communities and frustration and boredom with mainstream and gaystream representations of ways of ‘being a man’, SPUNK wants to help build and create a platform to encourage and promote other ways of performing masculinity and male genders - ways which make us think, ways that make us act, ways that get us off. SPUNK also wants to help cultivate and nurture communities and spaces where we can play and experiment with these concepts together.

When compared to people of other genders, SPUNK is troubled that so few bio men in our communities are openly questioning, (re)interpreting or disrupting their own and others’ privileged poisitions and practices. We are inheritors of a range of traditions; from sissy-boys and radical effeminacy, to ‘straight-acting’, gay hyper-masculinity, butch and dominant straight male gender roles. SPUNK wants to question how we relate to our masculinities.

Attempts to relate to masculinity in new ways can present a bit of a prickly double bind. New modes of masculinity performed by bio men [e.g. drag, radical drag, metrosexual] can be immediately dismissed as feminine and simply re-create the age-old effeminate poofta. On the other hand, any unquestioned reclaiming or conformity to dominant or mainstream definitions of  a ‘real man’ is problematic as this can reinforce sexism, heterosexism and homophobia.

So how can we negotiate, or move beyond this double bind?

SPUNK doesn’t have all the answers [nor should we], but we think that part of the solution lies in expanding the lines of communication [to work and play] between all performers of masculine and male genders. When we’re trans or  otherwise gender queer we often bring a different spin to gender performances. SPUNK wants to celebrate this. By embracing vulnerability, being permeable and collaborating with others interested in these ideas, we join a movement that exposes, creates and rediscovers categories of masculinities and male genders that shift us away from patriarchy, heterosexism and the horrors of ‘normal’.

SPUNK also hopes to document our sources of inspiration – the arts and cultures of our ancestors, forebears and contemporaries.

SPUNK is a community project supported by a riot of amazing people who raised money for the printing costs through our parties, who submitted their work, who were part of  selecting the works that appear here, who assisted with the technical aspects of design and print media, who subedited and proofed the final draft and who encouraged us to keep going.

SPUNK is not-for-profit. No-one who has been involved has been paid for their generous contributions of time and energy, although we have provided cash to help supporters cover costs. All monies raised pay for the production costs of this and future editions.

We thank SPUNK’s provocateur siblings – the editors of slit magazine - who are owed much gratitude and appreciation for inspiring and arousing us into action, and for sharing their technical knowledge in getting a magazine off the ground.

We hope that SPUNK engages, arouses and challenges you to join SPUNK in exploring and disrupting the ways there are to ‘be a man’!

What too much SPUNK can do to you!