Texan artist Nathan Rapport has created a series featuring vintage pornstars with made-up faces in an attempt to understand the change in appeal when a masculine man is feminized.
“Why am I suddenly not as turned on when the ‘hunk’ has a face on?” asks Rapport, a drag queen and painter.
He explains the series further to Queerty:
“As a drag performer in San Francisco, I was often made very aware of the power feminine transformation has over our sexual boundaries and comfort zones as gay men. The joke has always been that a boy must be prepared to sacrifice his sex life in order to work in this specific creative medium. And to a certain degree, this can be true.
“These paintings serve (as much for me as for you) as an exercise in looking at our positive and negative sexual responses to something as simple as makeup. And perhaps what this means on a broader scope. When staring at an image ripe with standard ‘masculine’ sexual triggers, why am I suddenly not as turned on when the ‘hunk’ has a face on? And why, when I cover his face with my thumb am I back to being comfortably aroused? Is it as simple as ‘masculine is good, feminine is bad?’ Perhaps. Perhaps not. However, looking at why we react this way feels very healthy to me. Recognizing that a great deal of misogyney [sic] exists among gay men seems very important as we continue to carve out our cultural identity. Our base sexual triggers and responses, though arguably socially influenced, are deeply engrained. However, acknowledging our gut sexual reactions and asking ‘why?’ might not be the worst thing.