WHAT IS M-SEX?
M-SEX is a 3-year program of research that focuses on cisgender*, heterosexual men's experiences of their bodies, desires, sexuality and sexual practices, and their health and well-being.
M-SEX is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (2020-2023).
*cisgender refers to a person who describes their gender in a way that corresponds to the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, a person who describes themselves as male or a man and was assigned male at birth (such as on their original birth certificate)
Major social transformations are reshaping how cisgender, heterosexual men are navigating sex, consent, sexual communication, and intimacy with women.
Researchers have thus begun to call for work that advances broader understandings of cisgender men, masculinity and heterosexuality in ways that do not automatically equate them to problem or vice. Researchers are also implored to pay more attention to questions of pleasure, sexual desirability, emotion, sexual health, and embodiment.
WHAT ABOUT INCLUDING THE DIVERSITY OF MEN?
We recognise that masculinity, maleness, and man/men extends beyond the experiences of cisgender, heterosexual men. If you'd like to read more about LGBTIQA+ people in relation to this program and inclusion possibilities, click here.
While the current three-year program is currently focused on cisgender, heterosexual men, we hope that it can expand in future to be inclusive of the diversity of gender and sexuality.
We are also keen to develop connections and networks to link in with some of the amazing work already being done in this space by researchers and community organisations, such as that focusing on LGBTIQA+ experiences of sex, sexuality and relationships among many other fantastic programs and initiatives.
This is an interdisciplinary program that draws together qualitative research methods, cultural studies, public and sexual health, relationships and sexuality education, gender and sexuality studies, community development, and sociology. It draws on feminist and queer research paradigms and methodologies to investigate cisgender, heterosexual men's engagements with sexual and intimate practices.
In this research program, the focus on cisgender, heterosexual men will provide a deeper exploration and understanding of their experiences of sexuality, the potential erotics or desirabilities of their bodies, and their emotional vulnerabilities.
This project works alongside the important work regarding cisgender, heterosexual men and sexual violence against women. While focus on cisgender, heterosexual men’s sexual violence against women remains significant, this work is complementary and will provide additional important insights.
KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS
How are cisgender, heterosexual men understanding and negotiating contemporary forms of sexuality, sexual practices, consent, sexual communication, and intimate engagements with others?
How are expectations about cisgender, heterosexual men and their sexual practices presented in contemporary media, and how might these shape their experiences?
How are cisgender, heterosexual men making sense of their physical bodies as sites of desirability and attractiveness?
How are cisgender, heterosexual men engaging in their sexual health and well-being, and what can we do to better support them?
How are cisgender, heterosexual men engaging the use of biomedical, digital, and biomechanical technologies for their sexual, intimate, and romantic practices?
How are cisgender, heterosexual men understanding and engaging with #MeToo and broader conversations about consent and sexual communication?
M-SEX was developed out of a number of smaller pilot projects based at ARCSHS, La Trobe University.
These projects included:
The Dick Pic, an exploration of the cultural representations and commentaries on men's practices of sending dick pics to women funded by La Trobe University School of Psychology and Public Health Small Grants Scheme
M3: Media, Masculinities, and Mental Health, an exploration of cisgender, heterosexual men's dating app use, and production of and sending Dick Pics to women, funded by the La Trobe University Research Focus Area Building Healthy Communities Grant Scheme
M-SEX is also a partner project to TechSex, an exploration of the use of biomedical, biodigital, and biomechanical technologies in the sexual and intimate lives of Australians.
This project is led by Associate Professor Jennifer Power, funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Project Scheme and hosted at ARCSHS, La Trobe University.
For more information about TechSex, please visit: www.tech-sex.com