New author Ryan Levis might be the most foul-mouthed lobbyist for mental health in Canada.
But the truth is, it’s a matter of strategy. Don’t be put off by the name of his new book due out Sept. 8, Dick Loss Prevention, Volume I: Make Sure Your Dick Doesn’t Fall Off Before You Die Drunk and Alone.
It’s best to meet your target audience word for word, he says.
“Dick Loss Prevention uses language that is common to men who have not yet made the leap into health awareness,” Levis says. “The reason [it] uses a crude vernacular is because the messaging we see around domestic violence prevention has a fundamental vernacular rift between what is politically correct speech and the realistic language of violence.”
It should be noted that the Saanich-raised Shakespearian actor can switch from purple to proper prose in a heartbeat. His vocabulary is steeped from academia, and doesn’t just draw from the locker room.
The book, and the performance tour that goes with it, fall under the self-help genre, but are delivered with bold humour and crude satire. The goal is to encourage male emotional health and reduce domestic violence.
Levis is planning a performance tour of Canadian universities called Men’s Health Week to support the book. On Tuesday, he’ll host a table in UVic’s Student Union Building with his new Consent Score Card beer coasters designed to educate young adults on collaborative sexual consent.
He draws from his experience with the Victoria Shakespeare Festival, from stand-up comedy gigs, and from time spent in the mental health industry including working in suicide intervention.
As silly as it sounds, Dick Loss Prevention Volume 1 is actually the first step in a “master plan.”
Levis’ true intention is to create affordable housing through community co-operatives. When Levis (a Claremont secondary grad) finished at the University of Victoria in 2011 he won a national business award for his entrepreneurial models on co-operative housing.
If it sounds like there’s a link missing here, there isn’t, he explains. Co-operative housing is at a standstill as the 30-year federal subsidy agreements are currently expiring across the country. While there are campaigns underway to stabilize the future of co-operative housing in B.C. and Canada, Levis is taking another tack.
“I learned that co-operative housing will not work unless the market has been educated in conflict resolution.”
So Levis is determined to educate the market, which, he says, is largely made up of people who want to own but are pushed out by high prices. This includes young males who are all likely candidates to become the male figure in a family, or at least in a relationship.
“I want to help create communities that are economically collaborative,” Levis says. “The book focuses on how men can de-escalate their own dramas, use communication to alleviate their own discomfort and create a more self-accepting masculine culture, [thereby] leading to reduced levels of strife and a healthier male experience,” he says.
Levis successfully crowd funded more than $7,000 to fund his book and is already editing Volume II of the Dick Loss Prevention series.
Visit Dick Loss Prevention on Facebook for more information.