We sat down and talked, Whittney Matlock and I. Whittney is an amazing guy, and he had just been thrown for a loop. I asked him afterwards if I could write about it.
We sat down and talked because one of his classes had gone pearshaped. He was doing a class on male member masturbation practices. It is a no spectators class, where you yourself must either have a cock, or be with someone who has one. No exceptions. And a transguy had hoped to attend the class as the guy with the cock.
When he said that his class would not be a good fit for that student, the student said Whitney was transphobic. And the event producers at Dark Odyssey sided with the student, saying Whittney had to allow all male identified students into his class for male bodies.
Whitney is not transphobic. Whittney, I would argue, is actually a bit of a trans fetishist at times (he told me once that I smelled more like a man than most men he knew, from daily testosterone into my system). He is, however, a first chakra educator and pagan.
Physical, flesh and blood, what is here under his fingertips. Skin and sighs and body responses. Moans and bones. Dirt and dancing. This is the magic that Whitney excels at, that he is skilled at as an educator.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he said, “I would love to teach a class for transmen and energetic masturbation,” – but that is not what the Male Member class is about. It is about external genitals and ways to handle them. Transwomen are welcome in his class who have cocks, and he can work around the language there, allowing for handling “her cock.” He was on the verge of tears, into full tears at other points, as he just shook his head and wondered what had gone wrong.
You are a root chakra educator Whittney, I said, and these guys were asking for a sixth chakra educator. They do not understand that working with prosthetics and strap-ons as their phallus is really, truly, physically- different. Not better or worse, just different. And you are teaching physical technique in this class, not energy work. They want to attend, learn some stuff, and getting to be in that space, coming from Ajna Chakra, they will learn stuff for them. The logic is that they can translate for themselves.
As educators we each have strengths. Whittney’s strength is in what is physically there, seeing unfettered the body for its potential. He is a massage therapist, a drummer, a sacred firetender. He is great at what he does.
The class had other physical realities too. The lube they were using could cause yeast infections for folks with internal genitalia if it dripped down and in from a prosthesis. Prosthetic cocks do not move and react in the same ways. The class he was doing is usually a 2 hour class, he had a 1.5 hour slot, and was now being asked to add in extra material he was unprepared for.
Teaching is hard work. Some folks do what they do well because they have a chance to prepare. Other folks teach only on what they know- asking a single tail top to fill in on a flogging class may make sense to some, but if the instructor *knows* how to teach single tails and has never taught flogging in his life, will they be able to deliver a quality learning environment? Some folks would much rather not teach than teach something that is a waste of their student’s time and energy.
I get it- there is a hunger for trans inclusion in men’s spaces. There is a desire to have classes that cater to transmen and our needs. Hooray. That is great. But taking it out on a nice guy and saying he is transphobic because he can’t cater to your needs- uncool. Yeah, maybe he did not phrase it it the most eloquent language- he said he kept stepping on feelings when he said he could not teach his techniques on a “plastic cock,” and when I pointed out that for many transguys, that tool is a prosthetic, he was mortified that he had phrased it so callously… he needed told with love what the behavior he had done was that had hurt someone, not to be told he is mean, with no other information.
In addition to all this, when events cancel classes, ban attendees, etc over another attendee’s word or perspective- they (often unintentionally) make accusations real. If the rumor is that a teacher is transphobic, and you stop inviting them back and treat them like they are transphobic, you make it true through the rumor mill. When an attendee is asked to not come back because or rumors of bad behavior, you make them true by banning that attendee. People’s entire kink careers can be changed or even destroyed on the actions of the rumor mill and behaviors based on that rumor mill, and there needs to be more transparency of what is the mill, and what is reality.
Our community, she eats her own.
I am in awe of some of the work that Whittney Matlock does. He was the first person to ever give me a massage that did not hurt, tears rolling down on his table. I have danced to his drums and writhed on wooden dungeon floors to his beat. He knows root and womb, he knows base, he knows this dirt and body and moan stuff. It is something I am still working at, so often based in my own work at heart, throat, third eye and crown. I envy his skill as a root chakra educator.
And I think he deserves an apology.
Comment from Lee, March 2011:
The above entry was my personal take on Whittney’s story. It is never my intention to define the reality of all trans people, or people of any sort. I try to speak from my body experience, but have regularly posted around that there is a wide variety of body experience for folks of all genders, shapes, and sizes. There is no one-size-fits all system for, well, anything.
The person in question in this piece was going to be using his strap-on/prosthetic in Whittney’s class, rather that his bio-cock. I do not mean to infer that all transmen use prosthetics when referring to their cocks- I certainly don’t. My issue is not with the person who had challenges, but with the producer response of throwing Whittney under the bus as it were.
I do not think that it is right to have transwomen welcome in a “male member” class *simply* because they have external genitals, and right to exclude transmen because of their complex body realities. I was speaking, the day I wrote this post, from my frustration that no one was willing to have a conversation with Whittney, and instead decided to villanize him.
Each person has their own journey. I know many trans folks who work at a root chakra/body experience level. I do not and cannot speak for all trans people. But I do stand by the fact that some people (no matter if they are trans or not) experience from their physical realities, while others extrapolate and theorize, able to take information from things that do not always pertain to their physical realities. My understanding is also that the person had basically said that they could use anything Whittney said and transfer it to his own reality. Extrapolation is, in my experience, a 6th Chakra experience.
Thank you all for understanding, and continuing the dialogue The language around gender and gender-experience is ever-evolving, and sometimes what a person writes, miles away, can be misinterpreted.