Treatment News : Gay Men Often Enjoy, But Also Worry About, Bareback Porn

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July 26, 2013

Gay Men Often Enjoy, But Also Worry About, Bareback Porn

Pornography-watching gay men often have an affinity for barebacking (condomless) porn, but their enjoyment is frequently tempered by their concerns that such imagery may negatively influence their sexual risk-taking, aidsmap reports. Nevertheless, they tend to believe that it is other men who will be unduly influenced as opposed to themselves. Sharif Mowlabocus, PhD, a lecturer in media studies at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, conducted an analysis of 125 pornographic scenes as well as seven focus groups with 50 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Brighton, England. He presented his findings at the 2nd International Conference for the Social Sciences and Humanities in HIV in Paris.

The focus group members tended to consider context before labeling a scene as “bareback”—for example if the featured couple appeared to be in a relationship. Those scenes that qualified for the barebacking label had a rule-breaking quality often flouted in the marketing of the pornographic product. For example, when condomless scenes involved men of vast age differences, other power imbalances, depictions of anonymous sex outside of a home environment, or semen exchange between the men, they were more often seen as bareback.

Thus, to the groups, “bareback” had a pejorative connotation and was not merely defined as a scene in which two men are having intercourse without a condom. This taboo nature seemed to increase the enjoyment factor of bareback porn for the men in the focus groups.

The men expressed ambivalence about bareback porn, worrying that their enjoyment of it might influence their own sexual choices. However, they were inclined to consider themselves impervious to such a wayward pull and instead expressed worries about how bareback porn might affect others. Older men, for example, were concerned that younger gay men who did not experience the worst of the AIDS epidemic might not take the threat of HIV seriously and might be inclined to consider barebacking porn an example of acceptable behavior.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the conference presentation text, click here.

Search: Bareback, pornography, gay, condomless, aidsmap, Sharif Mowlabocus, 2nd International Conference for the Social Sciences and Humanities in HIV, HIV, AIDS.


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