Pushing the Envelope :: Meth in Gay Porn
I have HIV. I did porn. Hell, I did bareback porn. I drink socially and at home. I've never done any hard narcotics. Now Treasure Island Media (TIM) is taking all three and putting them into one in their new skin flick titled, "Slammed." The question that arises from this film is: is it socially or morally wrong for TIM and director Liam Cole to depict real people actually using crystal meth while having unprotected sex?
Gay porn news site, The Naked Sword first posed the question: "Is it safe?"
Seeing the "is it safe question" had me thinking that the writer was going to be dissecting the video for what it is: a porn showing drug use. Instead, the piece left it to the readers to comment on the safety of the film. Turns out, the website's parent company has a business agreement with the TIM to stream the studio's content on thesword.com. Of the 50 comments the post has received, only one or two called the scene hot or sexy in any way. The rest condemned it as disgusting and a step back for gays and stereotypes.
Sword reader Vanilla Cream said that watching the film was "like watching 'Faces of Death' or a snuff film. It's really not sexy ... At the bare minimum; Treasure Island should be condemned for not taking care of its models and fostering a fan base for 'addict porn'."
TIM described the film as "London (redacted)-pigs party hard in Liam Cole's most extreme video yet. SLAMMED is an honest and true record of lawless 21st century man-sex: Real, raw and straight to the point."
On Treasure Island's blog about the film, Cole defended "Slammed" by saying he made the film without any guidance from TIM. He continued by saying that the movie "reflects my interests, not the company as a whole. The video is an accurate document of what is happening all around me in London. I'm not glorifying anything or 'selling a lifestyle', I'm showing things the way they are. Even when I was making it, I was thinking of it as my own personal way of understanding this moment in time, and as a historical document. Things weren't always this way, and they will change again in the future. But right now, from where I'm looking, this is where we're at."
According to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, intravenous drug users (IDUs) accounted for 4,500 new estimated HIV infections in 2009, or 9 percent of all new estimated HIV infections. Black men and women accounted for the greatest number of new infections among IDUs with 1,200 and 940 respectively. The CDC did say that there was no statistically significant change in HIV incidence in IDUs between 2006 through 2009 (5,300 in 2006; 5,900 in 2007; and 5,100 in 2008). Studies of injected and non-injection illicit substances for MSM who contract HIV have not been consistent even though drug use for MSM is considered dangerously high.
SFGN spoke with gay porn blogger Zach Sire, the author of article discussed above. He wanted to stress the statements he gave us were his own personal opinion and not the opinions of The Naked Sword.
"My job is to post stories that get comments and turn advertising dollars for The Sword," Sire said. He did say he thought the use of meth in porn was "ridiculous, irresponsible and completely unsafe regardless of bareback sex or not" and that "studios shouldn't be doing this. They're obviously doing this for attention and publicity. I'm sure I'm only feeding the beast and contributing to the problem by writing about it".
What it all boils down to is that people having sex know what they like. But this film may turn out to be the porn version of Hollywood's Saw. Bareback sex is playing a game with your health. Add drugs and alcohol into the mix is just asking for a disaster.
What's the next step to make a buck in gay porn? Sire quipped that animals haven't been done yet but it wouldn't surprise him. Is Mr. Ed still around?