Buck Angel Explores the Range of Sexuality
When Buck Angel started marketing himself as “the man with the vagina”, his peers in the adult entertainment industry were not only shocked, they were hostile.
“They hated it,” he says. “They called me a freak.” It took him two years to get a foot in the door, to go from bad business deals to getting awards and having people coming to him with requests to do interviews or educational gigs. “I kind of fell into the crossover from pornography to education,” Angel says with a laugh. “I think my message is more powerful by getting into education.”
Angel considers himself more of a motivational speaker than an educator, but nevertheless will be giving a talk at the University of Winnipeg in February called “The Buck Angel Effect”. The event is being organized by Joey Loewen and Jess Leppik, with sponsorship from University of Winnipeg UWSA LGBT Centre. “Getting to
speak at a university is big,” Angel says. “That would not have happened five years ago. I feel like my work in the adult industry helped start a movement.”
Working in the sex industry has given angel a lot of insight into how healthy sexuality helps form our perception of the world and our daily lives. “People are very weird about it once they find out you work in adult entertainment. They associate it with something dirty, unconsensual,” he says. “What draws me to it is that I get to make an impact. I get letters from grandmothers, cismen, and women that say that I changed their view what a man is or how they view their body. It’s just by telling my story and being true to myself that I’ve been able to positively impact others.”
That self-acceptance and self-love may be the key to unravelling a lot of the shame or negative attitudes society holds towards sexuality and our exploration of it. “People feel like they need to hide it,” Angel says. “People are ashamed to admit they like something different. My movies get viewed way more by download than are bought. We automatically feel like we all have to be the same sexually. I had huge issues with my vagina – I didn’t want people to touch me down there. It wasn’t until I started to become a man and get more comfortable in my own skin that I really started to enjoy my vagina.”
“I don’t want you to feel like you have to be in a box. I want you to be yourself. I go to gyms all across the world. You don’t think those men in the change room are staring at me? Once you’re completely comfortable in your own body – then it doesn’t matter what people think of you.”
Buck Angel’s events are sponsored in co-operation between Gio’s, Club 200 and Queerview. A fundraiser dance party to help fund his visit will be held at Pop Soda’s at 625 Portage Ave. on February 11 at 9 p.m. Cover charge is $5, though additional donations are welcome. Visit www.gios.mb.ca and www.club200.ca for more fundraising events.
– Katrina Caudle is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.
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