Reba Maybury unpacks the intricacies of male sexuality to challenge the shame that comes with indulging our fetishes
Leather, latex and images of legs swathed in fishnets may quickly spring to mind when you first think of fetishism, but Reba Maybury, Dazed 100-er and editor-in-chief of Wet Satin Press, seeks to uncover the intricacies of male sexual eccentricities.
Maybury’s series of zines have delved into uncertain realms of the domme/sub relationship, exploring relatively unknown sexual fixations: from women bathing fully clothed to rituals with nylon and a slave imagining himself as a worm. Now, she’s co-opted the work of another slave, Aldo, for Big Woman.
Aldo messaged Maybury with an introduction about his giantess fetish. “He took a photo of me from my profile and edited it in to his fantasy. This photo of me was taken from below, exaggerating my height anyway, but Aldo created a speech bubble coming out of my mouth saying ‘I love watching you shrink’ with a man declining in size added in,” she says.
“After that I would send him a photo of me everyday and he would return edited into his impossible matriarchal fantasies. He never uses pictures of himself but uses various stock images of men and shrinks them to the size of small rodents sitting on my shoulder, knee or locked into a cage.”
“I want to be able to open up conversation about other forms of male sexuality without ‘othering’ them or turning them into a joke” – Reba Maybury
It’s the idea of control within domme/sub relationships that fascinates Maybury, which challenge the restrictions set upon us in daily life. “Control is something that we are constantly trying to manage,” she explains. “But very few people are honest about how overcompensating its invisible effects really are.”
The series inverts the patriarchal dynamic we’re all used to, and offers a different perspective on sexuality. “Male dominant sexually is so ingrained into our notions of pleasure that through this ‘alternative’ structure I want to be able to open up conversation about other forms of male sexuality without ‘othering’ them or turning them into a joke.” In doing this, Big Woman is another facet of a conversation Wet Satin Press is encouraging: to discard sexual shaming and embrace our true selves.
Knowing little about Aldo apart from his use of the primitive photo editing app he uses on his phone, or sporadic messages about how he would love to ‘climb into her boots’, their relationship is “instinctual, but nonetheless still very respectful”. To Maybury, it’s less personal than her series with Wormy from her Goddess and the Worm series, but he remains happy to worship her.
No fetish is untouchable for any future series, “as long as there is consent and no one is being objectified or exploited I’m down,” says Maybury. “I want to be able to keep on delving into harmless male sexual eccentricity as an alternative to the ever present heteronormative stereotypes that we exist within as a way to hopefully create new versions of ‘healthy’ sexuality.”
“In many ways, sex isn’t going to get better for women, however, open-minded and aware of their own pleasure they may be – unless male sexuality isn’t perceived as so restrictive. Women are still categorised into such tiny pigeon holes over what is deemed as sexy, and these need to be broken down in more ways than just the aesthetics of how women should look.”