What happens when men who identify as straight are given the opportunity to touch another man's penis for the first time? YouTube stars Bria Kam and Chrissy Chambers, aka Bria&Chrissy, wanted to find out, so they recruited a few lucky heterosexual gentlemen to have an up close and personal experience with Alex, a man "who happens to have a penis."
The video is the latest in a series from the self-described "singing duo/lesbian couple" who have also brought us clips like "Lesbians Touch A Penis For The First Time" and "Gay Men Touch Vagina For The First Time."
To learn more about the inspiration for this video, as well as what Bria&Chrissy want viewers to take away from this experience and what they'd say to someone who thinks the clip is silly or frivolous, we chatted with the duo earlier this week.
The Huffington Post: Where did the idea for the video come from?
Bria&Chrissy: Following the success of the first two videos of the series, it inspired us to continue to push the envelope. The reactions have varied from video to video, and many of the comments show the extremely varying ways we look at men and women as it relates to sexuality. And they’re pretty fun to watch!
How hard was it to find straight-identified men who would agree to be in the video? Where did you find them?
It was very difficult to find straight guys who were comfortable participating. We asked about 40 guys, friends, acquaintances -- Craigslist! We asked everyone. We had hoped for four men in the video but only found three that were willing to participate.
What statement are you trying to make about how our society views different body parts, masculinity and sexuality?
The statement comes from the reaction of the viewers. Our first video where lesbians touch a penis was laughed at. It was funny and cute and there was a fun curiosity that got to be explored. When we had gay men touch a vagina, the girl was ridiculed as a slut in comments and a lot of other comments were sexual in nature. There was no difference in these videos except that there was a gender reversal. This new video will absolutely garner many different reactions.
What do you say to people who claim this video -- and other videos in this series -- are silly, frivolous or unimportant?
Of course it’s silly! They’re very silly and funny videos. There’s a great level of innocence to them, which is wonderful. But frivolous and unimportant, on that we have to disagree. This series has managed to show huge disparities between the way we treat men and women and has also illustrated numerous misconceptions we all have on a multitude of issues, from genitalia to gender roles to sexual orientation. They are another part of a larger conversation pertaining to gender and sexuality. There’s a much bigger picture here. These videos are fun, and silly, and isn’t that the best way to educate -- to introduce an idea, create various examples and inspire a dialogue?
One of these straight-identifying men said that his face had to be blurred out or he could lose his job for being in the video. What do you think this says about our culture and its approach to sexuality and masculinity?
There are a lot of social pressures on straight men to avoid acting in a way that could be perceived as "gay" and that could label them that way for life, and it’s a very honest fear. There’s a very intense need to maintain one’s masculinity, publicly and privately. This man would be fired for participating and being identified in the video because the image it sends about him is too controversial. That’s crazy! But it enforces this idea that anything outside of the masculine norm is just bad. There should be no shame in curiosity, education, and being yourself. So if you’re straight, and you touch a penis, so what? If you touch a penis and you like it? Again, so what? The fear society inspires by saying that men must have a perfectly unmarred heterosexually-masculine image prevents people from even beginning to understand not only our differences, but many of our similarities.
What do you hope that people take away from this video?
We hope they take a minute to watch and listen and think about how it makes them feel. Uncomfortable? Offended? Did they think it was hilarious or pointless? Why? We want people to enjoy them and laugh and see things from another perspective, but as a series, we hope it challenges the collective perspective of the viewers about gender and sexuality and makes them ask themselves what truly is the difference between any of these videos?
For more from Bria&Chrissy, head here.