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Nightcharm publishes fun topics relative to gay guys: Art, sex, humor, fashion, erotica and spirituality. The site was founded in 1998 by David K. Its current editor is Matt Pizzuti.

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Speaking of Barebacking …

by John Calendo

The gay blogosphere is in an uproar this week over Baring the Truth, an article in the August Out Magazine (not available online) that is unusual for abandoning the typical HIV sermonette in favor of a frank and sober evaluation of the popular, if controversial — some would say deadly — practice of anal fucking without rubbers. (This uproar has even hit our own site. See the angry comments that readers left on our recent Dawson entry.)

Where the rubber meets the roadBaring the Truth wonders if bareback porn is responsible for a recent upswing in HIV sero-conversions.

According to Out, barebacking accounts for a third of the gay porn industry’s output and — get this — one half of all rentals from a popular DVD rental site. A poll of Out readers found that while 15% disapproved of such porn, finding it “irresponsible and misguided,” an overwhelming 70% either “loved” the raw dicking (“because porn is just a fantasy”) or found it “compelling” but disturbing.

Meanwhile, the major players in the industry were divided into warring camps. To one side you had porn producers like Chi Chi LaRue (“People call me a condom Nazi”) and Tim Valenti of NakedSword (“I found many [young models] to be extremely naive … [they] were being pushed into participating in something without having a clear understanding of the ramifications. I didn’t want to be part of it”). Above, we see two models from Raging Stallion Studio, which has a strict policy of condom-only fucking.

On the other, Michael Stabile also of NakedSword (“I’ve talked to some [porn stars], and they say, ‘The only time I ever have sex with a condom is on-screen.’ So bareback isn’t any huge fall from grace for them.”) and Paul Morris of Treasure Island Media (“I want to make porn that comes from a place even I don’t understand. Porn from a place that’s wild, forbidden, that’s absolutely secret. That to me is gay.”)

The most provocative quote, we thought, was this historic overview from the porn star and AIDS activist Will Clark: “The bareback trend reflects our need to be edgy and defiant in a world where being gay used to be edgy and defiant and every day has become more and more commonplace.”

You can find more quotes at GaySexBlog, or catch a taste of the Outrage here.

©2007 Nightcharm

  • domo

    This week? Are you fucking serious? Barebacking in vids and reality have been going on for some time and you pretend its only happening now? What are you dudes, fucking cowards? Why don’t you examine the “death wish” so many gay men have in regards to this? Why don’t you explain to us why you show this shit as “for profit”? I don’t get it, Nightcharm. You have obviously intelligent people blogging for you but none seem to be man enough to muster a “NO” when it comes to barebacking. You are complicit with this death trend. Maybe its good for your bottom line but it ain’t good for our souls.

  • http://lemagnolia.net/en Johann

    What do souls have to do with bareback ?

    Jesus loves you, anyway.

    (I’m neutral, in this stupid argument.)

  • dave

    Sermonettes don’t do much good in church either, but I can believe that Tim Valenti is right on when he says younger “models” are being pushed into fucking without a condom. It’s transgressive and HOT, and makes MONEY. I like watching it – it turns me on. But, sometimes it just makes me sick to watch what is no longer hot intimacy, but is really two or more people being paid a pittance to gamble on their lives. Don’t give me the protease-inhibitors argument – they don’t work for everyone, there still is no cure!

    Sure porn is “just a fantasy” – FOR US, THE VIEWERS. Yes folks, those images are real human beings on the other side of the camera, really fucking bareback. Those disposable sluts who work for the money are real human beings! Imagine that! Gay guys just like us, or guys who just really need the money. They can get sick, suffer horrible illness and die.

  • dave

    One more thought – gay sex does come from a “place that’s wild, forbidden, that’s absolutely secret.” It is “edgy and defiant” to simply come out in a world that mostly hates and rejects us.
    Will Clark (sounds like an addvert for fragrance in Genre: “Edgy and Defiant”) and Paul Morris are making PORN – a part of life, but NOT real life. Most of us “edgy and defiant” queers have to get up and go to work in the morning. That’s hard to do if you are feeling really sick.

  • ggreen

    The Gay porn industry is big business for a few producers that share the entire gay market. They chew up and spit out “models” at a very high rate. If a “model” should get uppity enough to ask for more money or a percentage of the profits they become history. Gay porn producers could due what hetero porn producers do. Have the “models” get regular HIV tests at the producer’s expense. But that would cost the gay porn producers money and they don’t like that.

    Some of these porn companies make more off selling the “models” image (to anyone that wants it) than they do selling DVD’s. At $80.00 for a DVD that’s saying something. Of course the “model” gets a one time small fee and that’s it.

  • http://www.boyculture.typepad.com Matthew Rettenmund

    The dick wants what it wants, but you don’t have to give in to it, especially if it’s detrimental to your health or to the world’s health. I appreciate Clark’s quote in context, but people who believe barebacking is excused by a self-destructive need to be transgressive are just fooling themselves while they’re young and (raw-) fuckable and will regret listening to their own argument a bit later on. Ultimately, if you support barebacking in public or private, and whether or not you buy the idea that barebacking porn encourages it in real life, it’s bullshit for anyone to pretend that the making of pornography is not a part of real life that involves real people’s real lives—and introduces an incurable (and uninsurable) virus into many of those young lives for a few hundred bucks. At least be honest in your argument and say either you don’t give a shit about other people or you think HIV doesn’t cause AIDS (bwa-haha) or you don’t give a shit about yourself. But don’t say “it’s all just fantassssssy!” That’s a crock.

  • mikr

    i like BB porn because i have so rarely done it in my own life. fucking with condoms is fun and good and affirming, but fucking without is better. easier, more intimate, spontaneous, hotter.

    i’m looking for a HIV- partner that i can bareback with exclusively. in the meantime watching adults who choose to do it on video gets me by.

    i sleep with a lot of younger guys, i’m 44, and i’ve met quite a few who are HIV+. i’m talkin’ 23, 24, 25 yr olds who got infected in the last three years. are they naive? reckless?

    just sharing some thoughts and observations from the field.

  • Angel

    I know this is kind of off the topic but could someone clue me in on what bugchasers are? i just read an article and I don’t beleive it. it said that bugchasers where gay men that are HIV- were trying to get HIV by fucking HIV+ men.

    Please tell me this is a urban legend.

  • MisterMr

    I’ve had sex with and without a condom and though bb is better- it’s not THAT MUCH better than with a condom that I’d want to risk an HIV infection. If you’re good in bed, then you’re good in bed and not wearing that piece of plastic in between you and the other guy isn’t going to make much of a difference. I can’t believe people are equating bareback sex with freedom of choice. Wearing a condom during sex isn’t just a gay issue either- I’ve had plenty of straight friends contract STDs from unprotected sex, so the threat to me is just as real.

    When I read that people chose to perform bb for the sake of keeping the gay lifestyle “edgy,” I’m a little shocked that you’d rather be an outsider and shunned (but look cool) instead of being apart of the society that you rightfully have a place.

  • Thorn

    Angel, here is the wikipedia article on bugchasers. It seems to indicate that the concept is not wholly for real, but it’s real enough to cause disease control bodies to host discussions about it. (link)

    Also, there is a huge wiki on the barebacking thing. (link)

  • http://www.delftboys.com Ad NL

    moving my dick and ass where my big mouth is, and staying true to my convictions regarding honesty and rejecting the concept of living with double identities I have to come out to the fact that I seroconverted somewhere between jan 1st and april 1st this year. So much for the theory, that northern-europeans whose ancestors have survived the plague may have higher resistancce to the virus. Fact is I stayed neg for over 3 decades of on and off barebacking. I must also say that on average I enjoy the company of guys who tend to bareback; the skinheads, the punks, oversexed skaterboys or arabs much more then the politically correct nerds that try to keep serious discussion of this issue undercover.
    The risk that I will not survive this decade is much more enlarged by the fact that I ride motorbike (there is no max. speed on the road to Berlin, so with 250 km/u I can get there in 4 hours), then by letting a hot cock into my asshole every now and then.
    I’ve been writing about it on my weblog at http://www.queerart.nl/log/poz/ it’s illustrated with some amazing artwork from ‘demonic sex’ by Sean Platter, one of my heroes.

  • Hunter

    Sometimes I’m scared that gays are the new women. There are all these dumb girls who think being “empowered” means being a total skank or slut. Some of us just seem hell bent on proving that having risky sex is the new form of self expression.

  • Roy

    RE: Raging Stallion. If you look at the more recent appearances of Michael Brandon, you’ll see that he likes to tease his bottoms by putting his (UNcondomed) dick an inch or two inside them before the jump edit to the rubbered cock. They also have begun doing cumshots into the mouth.

  • Naked Men Lover

    Roy, thank you for this information…I’m going to sleep so much easier tonight (dreaming about Michael’s monster!) ;-)

  • Hank

    Man there’s a lot of self righteous banter all of a sudden.

  • Angel

    Thank you Thorn for the info. very disturbing and i guess i just still have one question… why? Why? Why?

    Love you all!


  • Bearlextn

    I have mixed feelings about bareback porn.

    With some of the companies like TIM, I like it. I don’t do it, but I get to watch it on the screen. This does not bother me, the guys know what they are doing and getting into.

    Sometimes when I watch some of the Eastern European bareback vids, I wonder if those guys really know what they are getting into.

    I also love real military vids, Dirk Yates, etc. Sometimes, the guys bareback. They are “usually” soldiers, etc, so I wonder if they know what they are getting into. Do they think they are straight and are not at risk because HIV is a gay disease?

    The people that are trying to relate bareback porn to an increase in seroconversion, I think are forgetting the drug culture that plagues out community.

    The party and play, etc…thats the problem

  • Lyle

    Bareback sex is HOTTER. It is as simple as that. That’s why the BB makes up such a large percentage of the gay porn sales.

    They guys in films from the mainstream studios might be very pretty but they tend to look bored and to me this makes the movie boring. I can’t get past that.

    While some of the stuff from the BB studios suffer from this too, more often you can see an honest moment or two in the BB productions that you will *never* see elsewhere.

    Me? I don’t bareback, but I enjoy watching it and will continue to do so. Also, I will not condemn those who make the informed decision to BB when they make these films.