I first became interested in making the “Beard Love” series of videos because of my growing fascination with facial hair on men and its connection to society. The connection I make with facial hair is that it is usually worn by men of power: the father, the leader, and other iconic masculine figures throughout history, fantasy, and mythology. This idea of power in the wearer of the beard connects to many ideas I have about masculinity and manliness. Taking these ideas, I have looked at the way men and facial hair are both connected to masculinity, and how the beard has become fetishized by the bear community. I see the homosexual man with facial hair as a symbol for this masculinity that has been stripped from mainstream gay culture (especially American gay culture). The queer bearded man then becomes the icon of masculinity and representation of what I feel is somewhat lacking in gay culture.
Aside from the social fetish connection to masculinity, I feel that the beard and the role of the father are connected with a form of dominance in the family. I wanted to have masculine men with facial hair interact in a boyish, playful way, to change the idea of the father from aggressor to something more sensual, thereby “queer-ing” certain aspects of the ideal family. It may sound confusing, conflicting, and uncomfortable in many ways, but I like the idea of two fully grown men sharing the intimacy of rubbing each others beards together in a private space.
The beard is clearly a fetish for me as well. I love the way it feels on a man’s face, I love how it can grow, change shape, color, size, and make a man look older than he is. These differences are all dependent on the wearer (how he decides to manipulate his beard’s features), and the shaping and growth of it allows a person to change their look and ultimately their identity, making the way they are viewed by others changeable and fluid. The videos also focus on how a beard feels through image as well as sound: it’s soft, prickly, fuzzy, and having it rub against your face can be as erotic as kissing.
Beard Love Series can be purchased on DVD (SD NTSC) for $19.95 Plus $5.95 shipping and handling. If interested in purchasing, please contact me for further details. Edition of 100.