Bareback porn

It’s porn in which they screw without a condom. I don’t quite get it, or why it’s such a big draw, but apparently it is.
“>Joe Mirabella at Bilerico is not happy about it
. Adam Bink looks at the options available for change.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • JamesR

    God did not make germaphobia, 20th century man did. Do you know how many and now diverse germs you get from each and every door handle? You have your strategy to iive and enjoy life by avoiding contagion, futile as reality makes that, can you bring yourself to allow others to have theirs?

  • http://ignoranceisplentiful.blogspot.com/ Stuffed Animal

    Committed, monogamous couples should use condoms! The reason is not because one partner might cheat, but because condoms make anal sex altogether more sanitary. There are infections other than HIV which can be transmitted by raw anal penetration.

  • JamesR

    Yes Many people feel left out, or that the message of the reality of sexual biology excludes them somehow.

    The ‘Neg,’ “DDF” ‘UB2′ or most loathsome “clean” guys after similar so they can have sex – we all know without condoms – they need to know, if you use safer sex practices you have to do it with EVERYONE.

    (This includes numerically more straight guys.)

    Because you are an ostrich and have sex with other ostriches…. THAT spreads more HIV than from those who know already and are most likely effectively treating themselves, the big little secret making themselves less infectious. The newly infected who think they’re still ‘Neg’ have astronomical viral loads.

    Nothing is 100% – even condoms. But consistent behavior yields consistent results. Decide you level of behavior and apply to all. It’s not a matter of ‘trust’ it’s consistent self protection – no one will look out for you if you don’t.

  • trinu

    One of the biggest problems with AIDS education is that all too often people push condom usage while barely mentioning other means of keeping safe (ie having fewer partners).

    Some of them even go as far as to say committed, monogamous couples where both members have tested negative should use condoms because there’s always the possibility of cheating. When they tell a young man to operate under the assumption that his boyfriend is cheating on him, how is he supposed to take them seriously?

    This black and white view of condom usage is counter-productive. Furthermore it is often delivered to younger gays with highly patronizing overtones that only increase the resistance to the intended message.

  • http://www.pinkpanthersblog.com/ cowboyneok

    You have made some very good points, but I don’t think the problem is entirely based in “self hatred.” I do believe self hatred IS a problem, though. I just think it is more complex than that… For instance, I think some of the problem is just based in a fatalistic sense, for whatever reason, of life itself. You are correct that a strong sense of self respect is needed in order to protect oneself from HIV and it is sadly lacking in many of us. It is up to the older generation of LGBT to try to instill this sense of self love and respect in our younger generation!

  • http://ignoranceisplentiful.blogspot.com/ Stuffed Animal

    My, how far we’ve strayed from serious AIDS prevention activism! I’d been told that much of the current generation of Gay men don’t give a shit about HIV infection, and now here’s proof in print. Adam Bink’s mealymouthed “options” for dealing with the bareback sex problem turned my stomach! I literally wanted to hurl. You’d hardly guess he was talking about a practice that helped wipe out a whole generation of Gay men; his op-ed gives new meaning to the word irresponsible. It was pure bullshit, carefully crafted to coddle the delicate sensibilities of hedonists. Who needs a religious Right Wing setting us up for extermination when we’ve got suicide sex enablers in our midst?

    This is the main problem with Gay men: Self-hatred! A casual self-hatred that’s chilling in its nonchalance. A death wish packaged in a cheerfully adolescent refusal to face reality. Who cares if we die a wasting-away death or end up on debilitating drug regimens for the rest of our lives as long as that nut feels good? It’s an individual choice that nobody should get upset about. I’ve observed and written about Gay self-loathing for years, but it still stuns me to see how deeply ingrained it is.

    Nobody wants to be perceived as “sex-negative”, not even if our lives are at stake (and believe me, they are). Nobody wants to take a strong moral stand, because the consensus is that morality has nothing to do with Gay identity. This is the dehumanizing Pervert Mentality I wrote about on my blog last year. Our supposed “right” to indulge in bareback sex, and to derive pleasure from watching others indulge in it, is just another one of its dangerous manifestations.

    It appalls me to see the growing bareback porn sections at my local video store. I refuse to rent or buy these DVDs, and I’ll denounce their sale and production every chance I get. Selling sexual Russian Roulette to young Gay men is a genocidal act. This is something that needs to be clamped down on hard . . . freedom of speech dittoheads be damned! We’ve always had the freedom to chase after danger and death. What I’m after is the freedom for Gay men to value themselves in defiance of a society (and an entertainment industry) that considers them disposable.

  • AdmNaismith

    No legitimate gay porn producer would allow condomless sex, To the point where some scenes include the performers putting on condoms (and its just as hot as the rest of the sex).
    The dirty secret is that there are a few small producers out there for whom bareback is their sole hook.

    The Straight Porn Industry has never used condoms and absolutely refuses to use them now. Just a couple of years ago, a group of performers all contracted AIDS but still the straight industry continues without condoms (but with strict controls on STD prevention- but clearly not strict enough).

    You can talk of personal freedom and all of that, but in this instance it is ti you and your performing partner’s benefit to use condoms.

  • caphillprof

    John, this is the second time in about a month that you’ve blogged about gay porn and seemingly you don’t like it or don’t get it or don’t know much about it. Since porn is not your thing, why are you blogging about it?

  • kingstonbears

    First, my partner, of 25 years, and I ALWAYS practice safe sex. It was just part of our “education” during the first epidemic and we’ve become very comfortable with it. Having said that, please keep the hell out of our bedroom and playroom.

  • trinu

    I think the whole condomless sex = AIDS argument is taking this a bit far. It should be risky behaviors in general that we condemn. There’s very little risk if a long-term, monogamous couple (where both partners have tested negative) chooses to bareback. And I realize we’re talking about porn here but sometimes it comes off as saying all bareback sex is bad, regardless of monogamy.

  • http://beninleatherland.blogspot.com Ben

    I think dissenting opinions that revolve around the idea of personal liberties and freedoms are short sighted. Is the immediate decision to watch bareback porn or participate in unsafe sex a personal one? Yes, of course, but it is not only a personal decision. We are all members of a community (most of us are members of several). And the gay male community has been disproportionately effected by a substantial margin since the virus first spread in the U.S. This decimation of a community was caused almost entirely by the personal decision to not practice safe sex (which is not to fault these men, as there was much less public information on the virus at the time).

    In terms the way people throw the word “censorship” around. I don’t see anywhere Adam’s thoughtful article where he suggests banning bareback porn, or even limiting its availability. I see, most clearly, a focus aimed on providing education from both the companies that create and distribute bareback porn, and the actors that star in these films.

    Furthermore, I would like to respond specifically to the assertion that watching porn does not effect behavior of the viewer. As with most things, I don’t think a black or white approach to this issue is accurate or progressive. Do media (including porn) images that promote sex without a condom always influence the behavior of those who see them? Of course not. But it is similarly absurd to say that producers who describe such behavior as “fearless” (ahem), do not create a culture that glorifies unsafe practices. And even more specifically: the analogy of watching SM porn. As an active leather boy who has been interested in BDSM since I was 11, I can tell you unequivocally that what I have seen in porn has VERY much influenced the thoughts and fantasies I have when it comes to BDSM. Will seeing an SM flick make you go buy a whip? Probably not. But will it make you consider the possibility of playing the way they do? Absolutely.

  • Wilberforce

    Bareback porn is an abomination. I can’t believe anyone would buy the stuff.
    But then the contemptuous attitude many gay men have for the community has always been shocking to me. It goes back thirty years to when aids began, and the self destructive crowd did everything they could to ignore the reality. In those days, anyone who objected was blasted with cruel venom.
    At least now there are people willing to stand up and take responsibility for each other. It may have taken thirty years, but that’s a fantastic change.
    I salute you all.

  • brianinnyc

    Great response – thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.cosgrove Tim Cosgrove

    A few thoughts:

    - Bareback porn is hot precisely because of its transgressive nature. Years of anxiety about HIV and strict use of condoms begat the interest in bareback.

    - One of the functions of porn is to provide the viewer with outlets for sexual fantasies that they may choose not to engage in themselves. Bareback porn fits this role for many men.

    - No one has a gun to the head of these performers. They are making choices, for better or for worse. I can’t speak to houses that do twink/under-21 bareback porn (which frankly freaks me out, personally) but I know from people connected with other bareback houses that the vast majority of the performers in bareback porn are already HIV+.

    - The elephant in the room in these conversations is that, considerations of disease aside, bareback sex feels better and more natural and is more enjoyable than sex with condoms (or at least this is my experience and the experience of every single gay man I’ve ever talked to about this). Just saying ‘bareback porn is bad, we should be encouraging healthier practices’ is not going to deal with the issue.

  • trinu

    In their defense, some studios do test for HIV prior to allowing participants to participate in bareback. And assign permissions according to the results.

  • condomsaregood

    I think it re-inforced good safe-sex practices when the porn showed everyone using condoms. It made condoms appear to be a natural and expected part of anal sex. Now, everyone is getting the message through bareback porn that raw sex is in vogue and there are no consequences. The porn performers have hot sex and you never see them getting the news that they have tested positive, which is inevitable for some of them. HIV conversion rates have risen with the young as bareback porn has become increasingly popular. I am not saying there is a definite cause and effect but you have to wonder….
    Bareback porn is still available in the form of vids made before the HIV epidemic. So it’s not a matter of censorship so much as a matter of trying to save some lives through strong imagery and re-inforcement.

  • August_West

    Gay.com has a bareback chatroom.

    When I first noticed it, I was offended. then, I began to understand its utility.

    If I ignore and/or block all the profiles of everyone in the bareback room, I will not be IMed or propositioned by guys who like to bareback, thereby reducing my risk of infection.

    If only it were that easy at the bars….

  • deeter1013

    Is there really porn out there that isn’t bareback?..lol..if so I would never watch it.

  • Brad

    I’m sorry, but it’s really nobody else’s business what a person watches for porn, unless it’s illegal. The year is 2010. People know what a condom is, they know how to use it and they know how to obtain them. Most men know how HIV is transmitted and most people make their decisions about sex accordingly. Watching a movie about bareback sex isn’t going to contribute to people practicing it in reality, anymore than a movie about S&M is going to make everyone run out and buy a whip. Censoring bareback porn is not going to do anything except trample on other people’s freedoms to view and see what they wish. If you don’t like bareback porn, or the idea of bareback sex, then, simply, don’t watch it and make the decision not to do it. The same goes for any other specialty or fetish. Personally, I get very bored at all the twink films out there (yawn!). I think the right-wing nuts do enough with attempts at policing what people do and do not do in our community. We don’t need it from within.

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