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Monday, 7 February 2011

Raw Pride and the Bareback Brotherhood

I'm struck by the rapidly developing nature of the online space for barebacking men. There are well known commercial websites that have been discussed by academics and journalists alike, and they do seem to be undergoing steady growth. One bugchasing discussion board site is in decline owing to the sites owner not apparently paying bills but that has spawned new sites together with a collective discussion about 'identity', and perhaps most fascinating of all, the notion of saving an online community. As one site dies, people have come to realise the value of these sites for expressing their desire and identity.

Set against this background, Twitter and Facebook are enabling the barebackers and bugchasers (there is overlap but it's wrong to lump everyone together) to establish and consolidate a sense of community. The latest of these, with a new Facebook page and also a Twitter hashtag - #BBBH - is calling itself 'The Bareback Brotherhood'.

The IBlastinside blog (NSFW) is written by one of the group's founders and he reveals on his blog how the group came to form. He writes: 'Over the last week or so, a group of Twitter users have really stepped it up a notch and connected online. This sudden enthusiasm for barebacking seems to have reached a tipping point where enough men have finally found each other'.

The group has a Facebook profile and a discussion board. It's all non-commercial and seems to have genuinely grown organically from a community of men who have found each other online. This emerging community is of course fascinating for socio-legal scholars, for as I have previously written, I believe that there is a coming culture crisis involving bareback sex.

The emergence of a radical identity is therefore really significant. Bareback ceases to be merely a form of casual sexual behaviour, but a conscious empowered and radical act and identity. The Facebook page has one posting with the slogan: 'By barebackers, For barebackers - no judgement; fucking without fear - Raw Pride'.

The notion of 'Raw Pride' is fast gaining currency and the phrase 'fucking without fear', similarly gaining recognition. Bareback is a means of defining identity, it has a tangible community in cyberspace and is now honing a political and activist message. The Bareback Brotherhood (which amidst the crisis in Egypt has overtones of the Muslim Brotherhood - a group often labeled as 'extreme'), may well fizzle out, but either way, it could be another important moment in the bareback phenomenon.

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Mark (iBLASTinside) said...

I have responded to your post. I'm disappointed you did not contact me to clarify some of the points you made regarding my blog entry or about the Bareback Brotherhood.

You can visit the blog entry here: http://wp.me/pX0Y3-mt

Chris Ashford said...

I have responded on your blog. I hope you'll reflect on your remarks in light of my response.

Mark (iBLASTinside) said...

As I have responded to you. A good robust debate is good for any academic, I hope you will agree.

And I shall repeat, apologies if you personally felt attacked. I defended the Bareback Brotherhood and how we were introduced.

 
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