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The Question Of Bareback Porn

Hey there Guys,

When it comes to the world of porn, in particular bareback porn it’s been a very interesting few weeks.

Just this week GMFA have release the findings of their porn study with the following results:

  • 87% of gay men report watching porn at least once a week (1 in 4 watching porn every day)
  • the most popular act watched was anal sex (91%)
  • 69% reported actively choosing bareback porn with 96% having ever watched bareback porn.

Of course this brings forward the question if gay men are being exposed to regular bareback sex, in particular anal sex that is considered the highest risk sexual act for transmission of HIV, is there likely to be a wash over effect to actual behaviour? Does watching bareback porn promote actual bareback sex?

Interestingly 7% of survey takers said that yes, watching bareback porn lead to them having unsafe anal sex, with almost all (96.8%) saying that this would not stop them watching bareback porn.

By far the most interesting question I found was “do you think watching bareback porn can lead others to having unprotected sex?”. More then 50% of the people taking the survey said yes, watching bareback porn was likely to make other people have unsafe sex. Is this a case of “well clearly I can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but I can’t speak for others…”?

Bareback porn has been a controversial topic for many years now. Recently legislation was passed in Los Angles forbidding the production of bareback porn.

What we can say is that clearly there is money to be made in the production of bareback porn. When production houses like Sean Cody who used to be staunchly “safe sex only” start producing bareback the question has to be asked why? High demand from the already subscribed members? A decline in members with the current porn dollar being spread ever thin by sites like x-tube?

On one side of the argument is production houses like Treasure Island Media who’s director Paul Morris has stated:

 …all acts of queer sex should be represented on screen with equal honesty. The entire spectrum of behavior from innocent to depraved, from life-affirming to death-enhancing should be available for the viewers.

On the other side are porn producers like Chi Chi LaRue who released the following PSA

In his post “Homo Bareback Porn = Child Porn” Dan Savage goes further to say:

Child pornography cannot be produced without children being raped. That’s the reason why penalties for consuming child porn—even “vintage” child porn—are so severe. Someone that consumes child porn is creating more demand for child porn which leads to more child porn being produced which means more children are being raped.

Consumers of bareback porn—that is, porn produced for gay men that not only features unprotected anal sex but fetishizes unprotected sex—creates a similar destructive loop. Someone that consumes bareback porn is creating more demand for bareback porn which leads to more bareback porn being produced.

And you can’t create bareback porn without putting porn actors at risk of HIV infection. Consumers of bareback porn argue that these actors are adults, and they’re aware of the risks they’re running, and so consumers of bareback porn are not quite as culpable as consumers of kiddie porn. And they’re right. But many of the actors in bareback porn are very young, very naive, and very vulnerable, and the demand for bareback porn is doing real harm to real people.

You know the topic is controversial when online new outlets like Huffington Post release articles questioning movies like “Dawson’s 20 Load Weekend” as “the most important gay porn film ever made?”

I think the importance of this film is debatable. The act however, is it liberating, a right, an act of defiance as reported by gay anthropologist Eric Rofes? Or is bareback porn an act of exploitation of vulnerable actors in a fickle market throwing demands where increasing competition means anal sex without condoms is the only way to make money…

Are models being put at risk for the sake of public demand?

Are the public being placed at risk with depictions of  raw sex separate from safety measures that may be in place to reduce risk of HIV infection?

Is porn purely about the depiction of sex or can it have a role in education?

I’d love to hear your thoughts guys.

Yours in good health.

Photo Cred: Andre CharlandDr George

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