Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 22.50.58A friend recently shared a video on Facebook from the kink networking site Recon.  Any recent visitor to London will be struck by the telephone and bus stop booth advertisements for Recon or Squirt (traditionally, a cruising listing site) suggesting a re-queering of public space as previously marginalised behaviours are re-positioned more centrally in the collective consciousness of metropolitan society.  The Recon video is a particularly interesting positioning in identity politics.  We have a ‘hard’ dance-based soundtrack.  You could call it ‘masculine’ but that leads me to wonder what are the gendered prejudices that are leading me to think on those lines?  What would a ‘feminine’ track sound like and why?  The young guy, wearing initially more passable ink clothing texts as he walks.  He walks past a public toilet entrance as the camera lingers on the Gentleman sign.  We have a gendering of kink – this is a bout guys – and also an allusion to the sex of yesterday coupled with an overtone of piss and perhaps even scat play.  Eventually, like a superman transformation, the model strips to his rubber garment complete with Recon branding.

It’s easy to dismiss these videos as mere marketing puffs, but they are so much more.  Not merely an insight into the evolving public sexual imagination, but also a challenge to laws such as R v Brown (a perennial favourite of students of criminal law) which seek to prescribe sexual morality and in the context of these social changes appear as absurd as they are archaic.

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