During these summer months I’ve not been blogging much (but now a total Twitter addict – so view/follow the thread below on the right) but I’ve been moved to write a full post about what I think is potentially a huge story. International Mr Leather has announced that it will be stopping the sale of bareback porn at its event. You can read the full story here. The statement refers to Meth and although I’d never (knowingly) been exposed to users in the UK, I quickly encountered users when I was recently in SF and visited the scene ( I was fairly horrified – both at what I saw and that I wasn’t as broad minded as I’d thought I would be). So, the extent of this announcement remains unclear.

There certainly seems to have been a surge not only in barebacking but also in the ‘fetishisation’ of barebacking although I accept that is a contentious point. Damon Dogg, the barebacking porn star does a series of videos on his blog and uploaded a couple of videos of his time at the Chicago IML where he sought out bb sex (and was apparently a popular presence) (I’ve not linked as the site is definitely NSFW!). Treasure Island Media, which has become a major international business, was at IML along with many of its performers (like Dogg) and removing them from IML will send out a powerful signal. That said, I wonder how many IML attendees would have preferred them to continue going. My intial thoguht was that this might act as a further catalyst for an alternative event, perhaps growing out of Folsom but as Treasure Island Media director and foudner, Paul Morris revealed via Twitter, they’ve already been banned:

“Gosh. We’ve been banned from FolsomSt.Fair and now we’ve been banned from IML. I must be doing something very, very right.” It’s also worth reading this interview with Paul Morris from 2005.

As with the recent Dustin Lance Black/Perez Hilton controversy, in which explicit photos of the Milk screen writer were released of him having bb sex, I think the so called ‘gay community’ remains pretty hypocritical on the issue of barebacking with AIDS vigils given a particular place and presence at Pride events and then everyone goes back to their hotel rooms for bb sex. I know of academics who have found their lives made very difficult because they have written pro-barebacking work and in the most extreme example, I understand via a third party that he received death threats. Similarly, the ‘straight community’ needs to consider its own sexual habits before condemning those of some gay men. We really need an open and honest debate about this subject rather than censorship. IML would have been (and could be) a great place to have a public debate on this subject with all views present.

BTW – Hilton did remove the black pics in the end so the above link is safe 😉

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