Lily Benson

Buttery Coldness

An experimental biopic on Poul Thorsen (1884-1962), a Danish business magnate who used the profits from his margarine factory to study hypnosis. He then wrote what that were essentially instruction manuals for how to manipulate of women and enforce gender roles through hypnosis, seances, and parapsychology.

Thorsen’s books are an unexplored precursor to pickup artist manuals like The Game or Speed Seduction, recent best-sellers that distribute detailed recipes for men to make women submit to unsolicited advances, often appropriating hypnotherapy techniques. Buttery Coldness explores this lost history of sexual oppression and examines its methods of manipulation.

The film Buttery Coldness employs Scandinavian men as textual mediums; resurrecting Thorsen’s words through live-translation. 

A few of Poul Thorsen’s titles include (translated from Danish and Swedish):

•  The Cold Woman. On Sexual Coldness in Women, Its Origins and Its Treatment

•  How A Man Wishes To Experience A Woman

•  How Women Wish To Be Conquered: A Book For All Men

This project was presented as a performance & film screening at BUST Magazine, Brooklyn, NY; Dreamlife Artist Salon, Obonjan, Croatia; Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Room & Board Residency, Brooklyn, NYC ; Fabrikken, Copenhagen, Denmark