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CHRISTEENE & Matt Lambert Break Down Their Fist-Friendly, Shame-Free 'Butt Muscle' Video

CHRISTEENE & Matt Lambert Break Down Their Fist-Friendly, Shame-Free 'Butt Muscle' Video


"Dismantling shame and advancing vulnerability are the two things I give fuck about."

Inauguration day saw two noteworthy events unfold: The swearing in of President Donald Trump and the release of CHRISTEENE's anal liberation anthem, "Butt Muscle." The self-labeled "drag terrorist," along with Designer Rick Owens and Director Matt Lambert, created a music video that aims to dismantle sexual shame and humanize the queer body through a series of provocative black-and-white scenes.

Starring CHRISTEENE, Owens, Michele Lamy and fisting legend Ashley Ryder, the Matt Lambert-directed visual takes a no holds barred approach to NSFW--but with purpose. Featuring 10-inch dildo guns and shots of Ryder taking fists in their ass beyond the elbow, "Butt Muscle" is CHRISTEENE's declaration of shame-free queer intimacy. In one scene, Owens' long ravenous hair is directly connected to CHRISTEENE's ass; in another, she pees into Owens' open mouth, and locks lips with Lamy, while both are completely lubed up.

Related | Catching Up With Austin-Based Performer CHRISTEENE

OUT recently caught up with CHRISTEENE and Matt Lambert to discuss their fist-friendly collaboration, queer body shaming and what the LGBTQ community can do to survive Trump's regime.

OUT: How did this project first get started?

CHRISTEENE: I wanted to make a song that would tap into a singular one-on-one situation of people on the dance floor--a song that would tap into any drugs that were happening in that body [and] would give someone the heat of a song they could fuck to on the floor. So me and my producer, Peter Stopschinski, put that together. It was something heavy and something I thought would be good for me and Rick [Owens] to fuck around with. I've known Rick for a while now, and I've been wanting to make a baby with Rick. I started talking with Rick about messing around and that's when Matt [Lambert] jumped into this puppy pile.

Matt Lambert: Rick and I both loved "Butt Muscle," listened to it for a few days and bounced back with CHRISTEENE a lot. I'm very collaborative with artists, especially queer artists and independent artists. [I'm] sharing images, "Do you like this? Do you not like this?" The song isn't a linear story, so it's a lot of just creating scenes. The pissing scene was Rick's idea, the dildo guns were my idea, the hair going into CHRISTEENE's ass from Rick's head was CHRISTEENE's idea. It was a really fluid collaboration. It's the most fun that way--a lot more work, but everyone feels very connected.

Were you referencing anything specifically for this video's treatment?

C: It was definitely referencing Rick's world. You can see that in the hues--the black and white, the style [and] the starkness of the room. This was a really good situation where everyone was respecting each other's realms and respecting what each other brought to the table aesthetically. I was able to bring in myself, CHRISTEENE, and my dancers and cover everything in butt lube--maintain every facet of myself and my babies coming in. Rick respected that and we all met somewhere in the middle. It's a peak into all of our aesthetics shared in one video, which I find to be very beautiful.

ML: For me, it was about playing with the double standard of what you can do in a hip-hop video when you're dealing with the female body, versus how those standards and rules change when you're dealing with male bodies--especially queer male bodies. Dildo guns and CHRISTEENE performing over Ashley [Ryder's] ass--flipping that hip-hop aesthetic, like big girl booties. It's fisting legend Ashley Ryder's ass, [so] how does that change that dialogue? I was aware of that, playing with hip-hop video tropes and bringing them into Rick and CHRISTEENE's space.


How do power roles play into the video?

C: Everyone who appears in that video is basically on the same level. There is no kind of a power play. There is not a lead singer sitting on a big throne, shitting their ego out [and] eing that strong presence pressing down upon everyone else. That was very important for me, in terms of ass play--who's getting fisted? Do they like it? Is it welcome? The actions and sex were cooperative. Right now, we need singers to drop the egos and really start to get on the level of the players in the video. The kids at home need to be able to turn on the video and see five different strange family members in the video, not just one.

Do you think you're dismantling shame associated with queer bodies and sex through this video?

C: Fucking dismantling it? I don't have any shame. I don't feel shame and no one I work with feels shame. That's the first thing you're going to see when I enter a room, or see anything with the people I work with. Dismantling shame and advancing vulnerability are the only two things I give fuck about.

ML: To be able to have a sense of humor in this video is a great way to dismantle shame and humanize these characters--giving them moments of intimacy [and] not just reducing them into these fisted objects. Everyone was incredibly human, vulnerable and alive. The ways we dealt with these characters intentionally was to remove any sense of shame. So on paper these scenes could be deemed as reductive, but when you actually see that and have fun watching the video, it's not even acknowledging that shame exists.


Your video's content could've easily edged into exploitation, but it doesn't.

C: We were dealing with actions like pissing and fisting that can be exploited and just smacked on some front page porn site. What I liked about working with Matt, he has an understanding of intimacy. He sees it in very delicate places within realms that are deemed hot, nasty, dirty, sweaty, Berlin, piss-pig party. There was a strong conversation that Matt brought to the table about finding real intimacy within these very loud capitalized actions of sexuality, like pissing and fisting that people like to plaster on front pages. I think we found that together in the video and that's why it is so very real. We were personally, humanly and spiritually enjoying these moments, and we had someone behind the camera that knew how to capture the intimacy of all of that and not exploit it.

ML: The symbolism of the beating heart--I had a friend of mine that told me the first time he went to a dark room, there was this man face down with his ass in the air that said the first person that could reach my heart could keep it. It's an absurd thing, but such a fucking beautiful thing--this idea in the world of fisting there is intense trust and intimacy that anybody has when they put themselves in someone else's body, and how absurd and disgusting it can be for some people, but how utterly intimate these are in worlds for people who want to be hyper hyper intimate. They often get reduced to something else.

C: You're a dirty animal putting your arm up someone's butthole, but that's not what it is.

ML: At their core, really, it's about intimacy, humanity and trust in someone else.


What reaction were you hoping to get from this video?

C: It has been a while since I've released new material and there's been a lot of shit going on. I was really excited to just share material at this certain time. We dropped the video on inauguration day and it felt really good to me to put a stamp on what was going on that day. I don't worry about reactions and how many people are going to talk about it, I just worry about it getting to the right people who need it and the assholes out there that need a slap to the face. I think [this video is] doing that naturally. It's a fine piece of work straight from the hole and the heart.

ML: So far, the only hope for me was that we could have these types of conversations--that people wouldn't reduce it to "that Rick Owens video where he gets pissed on the face." We need to use those [moments and symbls] as a point to discuss intimacy of queer bodies and sexual politics. So far this week I've had quite a lot of conversations, and in these dialogues, people's opinions have been evolving. Even if it's a small audience, there's a shift in that.

CHRISTEENE, what's your perspective of America's political climate, right now?

C: It's terrible--it's a dangerous dark mess. The most important operative that us faggots need to take right now, is a network of each other underneath this regime and underneath these social networks. We need to be able to find each other. I need to keep finding the family and tapping into them, letting them know where I am and where they are.

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