Sorry for yet another post on Treasure Island Media (TIM) but a really interesting post on the Treasure Island Media blog has appeared from Chris Cunningham. It responds to a post by rawtop.com (NSFW) that I suspect some of you were familiar with. rawTOP is also a major tweet via @rawTOP and a tweet/post about TIM seems to have mildly pissed them off – although they still regard rawTOp as a ‘cool guy’.
Cunningham states on the TIM blog:
While perusing a bunch of bareback blogs as I often do (keeping up with the community) I decided to check out Rawtop.com. He’s a fan of ours a cool guy and his blog is always interesting.
I noticed that he’d written a post called “Slutty Jock Bottom Gets Worked Over by 3 Poz Tops @ TIMFuck.com”. Needless to say it caught my attention. We never give out the HIV status of our models. Let me repeat that: We NEVER give out or discuss the HIV status of our models–or any of their personal info.
But here was RawTop conjecturing about the HIV status of these men. And he went quite a bit further and said they were “not-so-healthy” looking. WTF. Seriously WTF.
Here’s his entire blurb “”Healthy” looking jock (JD) gets his ass raped by 3 not-so-healthy looking poz tops…”. Now I understand that bug-chasing/gift-giving is Raw Top’s passion. Fine. But that’s not what was happening in this scene. What’s happening is that four healthy hardy men are fucking like crazed animals.
Paul is working on a video that’s going to feature nothing but poz men. But this wasn’t it. Whether any or all of these men are poz neg martian or whatever is their business and their business only. And for the record whether you’re poz or neg you can be perfectly healthy and happy or a total fucked-up wreck. It ain’t the bug anymore.
– Chris Cunningham
rawTOp has responded writing on his blog writing: ‘So what do you guys think? Did I go to far in saying guys were “not-so-healthy” looking poz guys? Or was I just stating the obvious? If you read my full blog post you’ll see I was saying there is a definite erotic aspect to the whole scene… It was hardly my intention to trash them…’
The not-so-healthy thing is something that gets banded discussion groups and other online spaces. I’ve never felt able to make a ‘not healthy’ judgment and as TIM notes, healthy people look unhealthy and unhealthy people can look healthy.
The more important aspect of this is the way that TIM has intervened to say that they don’t give out the personal info of their models and tackle the assertion that models look ‘unhealthy’. They also explicitly seek to counter the fantasy that this was a ‘pozzing up’ scene, not by saying the HIV status assumptions about the models is wrong, but that they are operating in a different discourse – one that celebrates slutty bareback fucking rather than bug chasing. It’s a really important statement and a nuanced construction of the pornographers identity.
TIM didn’t allow the fantasy to sit in cyberspace- they decided to intervene. This marks a major shift in approach and opens the door to questions about other interventions. There are various spaces on the web in which bugsharing is discussed and celebrated. Many make reference to TIM- will TIM now pro-actively seek to to intervene, correcting any fantasies that might be falsely based? My guess is no, but then again, I didn’t see this intervention coming. Similarly, once the openly HIV positive line of porn gets off the ground, will there be a greater diversification between TIM ‘mainstream’ and TIM poz porn? Interesting times.