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Jeff Barbose
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WIll, I only used Folsom as an example because I've never been to IML (neither Leather nor Chicago hold any interest to me), but I've been to Folsom because I live in San Francisco. I was in college, and not out yet, when the arguable "Golden Age" of gay porn (Al Parker, Jack Wrangler, etc.) and the very start of video rentals (you had to make sure you got the right format: vhs or beta!), and remember the frightening spectre of the unknown of the disease. Gay Cancer, then GRID, then AIDS. And still there were videos where they weren't using condoms. But they still WERE publishing when this pornstar or that pornstar had died of AIDS. It became difficult to watch the porn which had those who had died. I was just a kid, and everything scared me and I couldn't help but get morbid when I watched the videos: I'd see a scene and know that the one was dead and wonder: "am I watching the moment when he seroconverted?" Of course times are different now and everyone copes in different ways and I'm FAR from being a kid, but there's Godwin's Law on the internet which, paraphrased, says that when someone mentions Nazis or HItler in an argument, the argument is effectively over because clearly everyone's stopped having a reasonable discourse. So times are different, but some patterns never change: the barebacking contingent know they have no justifiable stance beyond personal, INDIVIDUAL choice. And in that individual choice, they're limited by the fact that their own choices do affect others and that's something they don't want to think about because if they did, it would impede their "free right to fuck however they want to". "Personal responsibility" is a phrase they never want to hear because it's become the enemy and so, by extension, so has everyone who uses it. Enemy to the extent that those people get called names like "Condom Nazi". If it weren't so tragic, I'd giggle. Condom NAZI? Like safe sex adovcates are charging into Dutch houses, up hidden stairways and rolling condoms onto the circumsized penises of the entire Frank family before they take the whole lot off to a concentration camp to gas them? That kind of condom Nazi? I just want the barebackers who call *anyone* a Condom Nazi to be consistent. I want them to call the ones who hand out condoms at IML to call those people Nazis as well. And STOP AIDS volunteers. And Planned Parenthood employees. Hell, they can stand in picket lines with the Pro LIfers to protest Planned Parenthood and attend Mass in Catholic Churches in solidarity against the unnaturalness of using condoms. Or I'm just being silly: I've seen gay men get worked up because no one warned them that a bit-torrented download was actually a BI scene and they had to actually see a vagina, but maybe that's a discussion for another day.
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Charles, I beg to differ on the "slippery slope". The only safe, level ground at which to take a stand is YEAH or NAY on whether to permit bareback videos for sale at IML. Bareback videos for sale at any sex-related event is tantamount to de facto tacit approval. That's how people will interpret it. I'm with Will on this one. In fact, didn't one of the bareback video companies actually make a video ABOUT barebacking AT one of these kinds of events? Probably Folsom. Imagine what all that implies: Folsom Street Fair is the place to go where you can hook up for plenty of hot bareback action--and you won't even have to leave the Fair itself! At Folsom, there are lots of free condoms available from everyone. I've never heard anyone express the same kind of vehemence towards those efforts or organizations. Why not?
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Feb 21, 2010