It’s been a while since I blogged about the ever controversial US bareback porn studio, Treasure Island Media (TIM). Their latest release -Drunk on Cum 6 – focuses on oral sex, and the consumption of semen. However, as a bareback studio, they come under (what I find to be) surprising amounts of criticism for these oral scenes.
‘The first book of its kind to combine true erotic stories with an intimate look into the developing experiences and relationship of one adventurous gay couple. Documenting the real-life e-mail romance of Kevin and Paul, D.O.C. Lust Letters is a shockingly explicit and movingly honest glimpse into the sexual and emotional lives of two gay men. Readers can follow the writers as they cruise the wild California gay scene of the late 1990s – from San Francisco to Los Angeles and everywhere in between – and journey deep inside gay erotic haunts, from underground sex clubs and bathhouses to parks and highway rest stops. Candidly exploring the writers’ passion for multiple partners, a memorably diverse cast of characters – from bi pierced punks to buff go-go boys to shy married men – populates this unapologetic paean to a world weary of safe sex.’
It is a rather wonderful book and TIM did for a time sell the book themselves, but don’t seem to anymore. You can however still buy it through various booklets such as Amazon . It does contextualise the use of the film title – and the appropriateness of still using it.
Anyway, on to my main point. When I read the post on The Sword, it wasn’t the blog that surprised me, but rather the comments of readers. I’m used to blogs and reports objecting to the bareback sex for which TIM is so well known, and I’ve written on that before. What astonished me was the reaction to guys engaging in oral sex, and arguably, ‘safer’ sex.
OK, so it’s only a relatively small number of individuals (although a high percentage of those commenting on this story), but it reveals a fascinating – and worrying – attitude which rejects the TIM men not for what they are doing, but for what they represent.
The men are positioned as HIV+ (some of the studio performers are, some are not – as with other studios), and as such not only unappealing, but clearly who have no business featuring in pornography.
This attitude to HIV models is simply prejudice. A culture which has largely banished or silenced AIDS death now apparently seeking to banish the visibility of HIV+ having sex. The visual presentation of those HIV+ men having sex is evidence that such men are having sex – in this case, not even penetrative high-risk sex – and thus, perhaps they haven’t quite learnt their lesson. Perhaps, one diagnosed as HIV+ they should haul their positive arse out of the limelight?
All of which would seem to lend weight to the inclusion of an extra with the film, which features one of the performers – Mark from scene 7 – who apparently talks about his experiences and his status as HIV positive.
The old Ryan Sullivan’s Island film/blog (some NSFW) (what happened to Ryan?) featured a number of guys visiting Morris and talking about being positive, and this ‘extra’ seems to follow in the wake of them – albeit a couple of years later.
Easy to dismiss as just another sequel, the film is on reflection not only a documentation of authentic erotic experiences, but more importantly, the representation of men – including HIV+ men – having sex, being sexual, being aroused, and experiencing pleasure.