GRUNT & PASH: meet the women who want to remove gay men’s sexual boundaries

NOTE: GRUNT.org.au is archived by the wayback machine https://web.archive.org/web/20210307023129/https://www.grunt.org.au/


My last post was about ACON’s website for men who like to “party and play” – NSFW – New Video – How Hard is ACON’s Manual for Risky Sex. Today I’m looking at the ‘little sister’: GRUNT, and some of the women behind it.

GRUNT

Two of the “community partners” listed on that site (PASH and GRUNT) are for trans men. The PASH.tm project was founded in 2014 to raise awareness of sexual issues for ‘gay’ trans men. That is to say for straight women.

GRUNT is a project of the PASH.tm team. GRUNT is a website resource dedicated to shoe-horning women into the gay hookup scene. It is a copy of ACON’s HowHard website, dedicated to men who engage in drug-fueled “adventurous” sex. Strangely though while HowHard is proudly proclaimed as an ACON resource, GRUNT is more coy. It merely thanks Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations for support and funding.

Big brother – little sister

GRUNT mimics HowHard in a number of respects, not the least it’s visual style. The site is festooned with photos of nearly-naked men in flagrante. GRUNT tries hard to draw a visual link with the gay hookup scene.

What are the similarities between HowHard (for gay men) and GRUNT (for trans men)?

HowHard

  • Covers HIV prevention, prophylaxis and testing
  • Nude and near-nude fetish photography
  • Group sex images
  • Prep: Big focus on getting guys to take prep
  • Confusing messages: says both “piss play is safe” and also that urine carries gonorrhea.
HowHard

GRUNT

  • Covers HIV prevention, prophylaxis and testing
  • Nude and near-nude fetish photography
  • Group sex images
  • Prep: Big focus on getting women to take prep
  • Confusing messages: cautions that while most boys are douchine their ‘arse’ before sex, this may be dangerous, but may not be, but might be, and the decision is really up to you.
GRUNT

How do they differ?

HowHard

  • Sex talk: Detailed descriptions of kinky sex (I don’t mean spanking, I mean felching and piss-fking). Straight talk about f-king and cocks.
  • Drugs: Detailed information about drug use.
  • Safety: Tacks HIV-safety messages onto detailed descriptions of sex and drug use.

GRUNT

  • Sex talk: Doesn’t go into detail about sex or pleasure.
  • Drugs: Cautions that drugs can affect capacity to consent. “Sometimes people use alcohol or drugs to cope with the intense feelings of nervousness and low self-esteem
  • Safety: Focuses on safety, and fear of being exposed. “If you are hooking up with someone, and you’ve set it up from an app, let a mate know where you are going.”

What makes you a man is inside you, not what your body looks like.

GRUNT – Keep it hot

How about the gaslighting

Trans guys are just guys

Suggested response to a hookup disclosing trans status: still from animation hosted at GRUNT

In Australia, gaining sexual consent by deception is a crime. GRUNT take a “trans guys are just guys” line to the extent of suggesting you don’t need to disclose your sex to a new partner.

They suggest using a “script” like this that minimises and glosses over the impact of trans status.

“Hey bud, just so you know. I’m trans. That means I’ve got a bonus hole/front hole/extra hard cock to play with. Cool?”

GRUNT – Keep it hot

Being a female is not the same as a male with “a bonus hole/front hole/extra hard cock”. Women smell different, we feel different, we get aroused differently and we respond to sex differently. Gay men have a right to choose sex with other gay men.

Gay spaces are our spaces

GRUNT encourages women to go and hang out at the glory holes because it feels validating to be near gay men.

Don’t be afraid to go to that sex club and hang out at the glory holes the first few times. … it can be a very liberating and validating experience to be in these types of gay male spaces.

GRUNT – Keep it hot

In Australia, sex clubs and saunas will generally welcome trans guys on T (or at least not explicitly ban us). You don’t need to call and check, if you want to go – Go!

GRUNT – Keep it hot

PASH.tm (the group that created GRUNT) made a post on their Facebook page in April 2021 that the project had come out of hibernation to raise the alert about a gay male sauna using transphobic language. Wet on Wellington spa in Victoria put out a patron survey that wasn’t entirely trans-inclusive enough. PASH.tm called the troops and crafted a letter of demand.

Just don’t mention it

If you’re fisting or blowing someone, it may not be a thing worth mentioning. Don’t assume that he won’t be ok with it. 

GRUNT – Keep it hot

What makes you man anyway?

GRUNT assures women that ‘bottoming’ e.g. being penetrated, even being penetrated vaginally, doesn’t make them less of a man. Lots of really macho gay men are ‘bottoms’.

Bottoming in any of your holes does not make you less of a man, in fact some of the most macho cis guys are total bottoms.

GRUNT – Keep it hot

Language

The word “gay” appears only once in relation to the validation trans men get from being in gay male spaces. The site talks about cis-guys.

Where are they now?

The brains behind PASH.tm and GRUNT are co-chairs – Ted Cook and Jeremy Wiggins (Jez Pez) along with Aram Hosie – Laurie Hopkins – Max Mackenzie (MJ Beck) – Ethan Kristy

Now they’re driving the car

Teddy Cook (trans man) – now at ACON as Director, Community Health where she oversees client services, LGBTQ community health programs, Pride Training and Trans Health Equity.

Jeremy Wiggins (trans man) – Executive Officer at Transcend. This is the mother-son charity that worked tirelessly to remove the roadblocks preventing Australian children from accessing puberty blockers and wrong-sex hormones.

Aram Hosie (trans man) – Head of Strategic Communications at Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission

Laurie Hopkins (nb female) – seems to have gone to religion and is a motivational speaker. She was always more gender-fluid anyways.

Max Mackenzie (trans man) – Director of Resilience Enterprises, and named “rural trans activist of the year” in 2019 in Queensland. Not bad.

Ethan Kristy (trans man) – graduated from photographing lesbian orgies staged to look like gay male orgies, and went on to become an artist capturing the queer experience.

NSFW – New Video – How Hard is ACON’s Manual for Risky Sex

See my video deep dive into the site

YouTube removed the video.

  1. stream on Canva:

2. Watch on my Google Drive – 62MB

Read my overview

ACON’s site How Hard is an outreach to the gay “sexually adventurous” community.

Fine. Whips, chains, have at it. The discussion around BDSM is one for another time.

But I have an issue with the risky behaviours promoted on this site, the way they are displayed in a sexualised setting, and the dehumanising language used to describe sexual partners.

Every page contains pornographic images.

The information on drugs is comprehensive and informative. Each drug is described for the reasons it is “great for fucking”.

The information is inconsistent

For example – One page states “Piss can carry STIs like Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and Herpes” and then a paragraph later “Piss play is safe“.

Promotes erasure of boundaries

Dehumanising language

The site talks of dominating, breaking taboos, eroding boundaries. It reduces sex to fucking and being fucked. It splits people into tops (fuckers) and bottoms (fuckees).

The site is put together by a team of people with inhuman names.

Men aren’t sex robots

The content and tone of the site presupposes that, left to their own devices, men would be non-stop fucking to the extent of having to take drugs to keep themselves awake to prolong the party.

How is this a healthy image to promote to anyone? Mechanical sex supported by drug use.

This image supports the misogynist myth that men naturally need more sex than women, and the sex they ‘need’ is transactional, mechanical and dehumanised.