There's a new twist on gay pornography that's making its, um, entrance. Bareback porn has nothing to do with horses (but often everything to do with those hung like horses), but is a video record of gay men having unprotected sex. No, these are not the 'pre-condom' classics you may have heard tell about (those pornos made before the word AIDS meant little more than helpers or a diet candy). These are productions staged pretty much in the here and now, with actors who have eschewed the wearing of condoms when they perform on screen (what they do off screen is their own business).
Hot Desert Knights (HDK) was first to market with bareback videos, when they launched the company in February of 1999. Since then, imitators have sprung up, and the small company, begun by John Singleton and Bill Gardner, has seen an enormous demand for their product. The demand is so great, in fact, that HDK has grown from the founders to a company of eight all working hard to see that their lascivious leerables are filmed, produced, edited, packaged and shipped.
The question that arises with HDK's films (and their imitators) is not, of course, 'but are they art?' but 'are they irresponsible?' After all, they graphically portray fucking without condoms, sucking without condoms, felching, fisting minus latex, water sports, cum eating, and yes, ejaculation up the old whazoo.
The Surgeon General endorses none of these activities. Some might be prompted to say, after viewing one of HDK's cum-drenched productions, such as Hole Hunters, Fist Pigs, Bareback Raunch, or Hot Desert Holes: 'but isn't that dangerous? Aren't they endorsing unsafe sex?'
To which I would reply, respectively: 'yes' and 'no.' Yes, because unless we are very, very sheltered, we now know that engaging in latex-free sexual behavior is a direct route to HIV infection. What? You didn't know that? Come on … if you're a gay male living in 2003, you KNOW that. Are they endorsing unsafe sex by producing movies where, for example, 'a total of 10 hot, hard muscle studs fuck bareback … fist bareback and piss gallons up butts and down throats' (from the DVD box copy for Raw, Wet & Raunchy)? I don't think so.
Just because HDK is producing and marketing a product that is sought after by a certain adult segment of the population does not necessarily make them contributors to any type of sexual behavior. Come on, kids, we are all grown ups, capable of making our own choices. If you're HIV negative and choose to have unprotected sex, that's your business. It's not up to me, or HDK, to judge whether what you're doing is stupid, wrong, or unhealthy. Likewise, if you're HIV positive and engaging in unsafe sex, exposing yourself to other STDs that may or may not weaken your immune system or expose you to other strains of HIV, it's not up to me or a video production company to tell you to wise up.
That's why we live in a world governed by choices for our behavior. Consequences, and rewards, follow from the choices we make. HDK provides a service for adults who want this kind of material. It's possible that these films serve a purpose as a fantasy outlet for those who find the idea of barebacking hot, but for their own protection, have decided against engaging in it.
Next week, we'll begin my interview with Chad Adams, HDK's Associate Editor and actor in several of their productions, who shares just what HDK and the burgeoning bareback video business is all about … in fulfilling depth.
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