Redefining Arousal: The Photography of Mason Rose

By Carina Borealis // Photography by Mason Rose

Mason Rose is a kinky, metal trans masculine photographer based in Los Angeles and Portland. Mason’s photos are erotic. By definition, erotic means to arouse, and Mason’s photography does just that: arouses queer revolution.

Whether the purpose of the photo is soft and personal or outright pornographic, it is always erotic because of Mason’s adoration for the subject. The work he does is about highlighting the joy within the trans experience and the power of connection to the queer community.

His work has been described as “hazy and threatening, poised in a liminal state between daydream and foreboding.” The story and emotion behind the image is most important to him. He takes photos of kinky queer + trans people and sex workers to highlight narratives not typically showcased in mainstream culture. His work has a dreamy & ethereal feel that can be recognized at first glance.

Spit, smoke, leather, and latex are often found in his work, as well as D/S dynamics, religious kinks, rope, clowns, and corpse paint. “I chose these particular photos because they reflect the kink + intimacy I like to show in my work. I also included some detail shots (for this feature), which I’m always excited about creating because, with kink, it’s really about the little things. What their hands are doing, their mouths, their boots, etc. I love highlighting the yummy details,” said Mason.

Photography of Mason Rose

Mason’s purpose as a photographer is to remain present and provide space for trans, queer, and non-binary folx to feel themselves fully. This full-on feeling of oneself in a world riddled with homophobia and transphobia is not only erotic but also revolutionary. Mason is right there to capture the emergence of self-love that is not granted but fought for each day.

Mason’s gaze stems from a place of deep adoration for his subjects, and he takes pride in each model’s bravery as they ask to be seen, known, and loved in front of his lens. For Mason, the art is not just the final photo. His art is the process of letting go of past judgments of the subject’s body and/or desires so that they may be truly present to fall in love with who they are through creative expression and collaboration. This act of self-love is a revolutionary act against the anti-trans sentiment that still plagues our society. His latest passion project, Trans Intimacy, is where he brings members of the trans kink community together for a photo shoot in nature. He recently published work in PORNCEPTUAL, Decibel, NAKID, and New Noise Magazine and has worked with queer artists such as ALOK, Coyote Park, and Carta Monir.

Mason has also been directing, shooting, and performing in queer porn for the last few years and is excited to expand his video work in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. When he’s not taking photos, he enjoys driving through the mountains listening to black metal, filming badly themed porn, and love-screaming at his friends on stage at their drag shows. He is currently booking shoots all over the west coast, Las Vegas, and Arizona, and has a sliding scale for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color). You can find his rates and information to book a shoot with him by visiting his website ( and purchasing prints of his work online (

PROUD & Kinky Magazine - Issue 2

This article was originally published in the second issue of PROUD & Kinky Magazine. You may read it in its original format here.