Saturday, 27 August 2011

Now You See the Condom, Now You Don't: Pornified Desire

Max Sohl, a New York pornographer with Treasure Island Media posted a story yesterday responding to a piece that had appeared on Gay Porn Times on Thursday.

That piece was a fairly extensive interview with a guy called Mark Dylon, who had recently appeared in a TIM film (for the online site) as Chris Gabriel.

Sohl posted a video in which the apparently less than angelic Gabriel in shown being fucked bareback and declaring such things as "Yea. Fuck yea. Give me your cum". Sohl posts the quotes in text over the scene (in old school TIM style) and intercuts with quotes from the Gay Porn Times interview.

In the interview, Dylon talks quite openly about wanting to get into porn and the first offers being bareback. He wanted to get into porn so he compromised and did bareback, but he claims he was "never comfortable with it" and now he's been offered condom porn, he's opting for it. If anythign, he seems to go out of his way to be as nice as possible to all concerned and appear honestly prgamatic in his approach to what is, after all, work:
'After my second shoot, I just really felt uncomfortable with the barebacking even though they pair negative guys together [after testing], so I declined shooting with them anymore, even though they made me a really good offer. Shooting with them was an interesting experience for my first time ever doing porn. They were nice and friendly people, but I just decided it wasn’t for me. About the same time, I started getting some interest from other companies that shoot with condoms, so I jumped on the chance to work with them. I really enjoyed the experience of doing porn, except for the barebacking, so I thought it was good timing'.
I actually welcome the fact he's being open about what he's done and what's his approach is now. I don't, as Sohl clearly believes (who adopts the tone of a jilted lover in his edited clip) feel this is some sort of betrayal or -the word Sohl uaes - schizophrenia. I guess this comes from the fact that a company that defines itself by presenting 'real' and 'authentic' sex has actually captured an 'inauthentic' act (i.e here the bareback sex becomes 'false'). However, if you accept the view that 'bareback' represents Gabriel's/Dylon's true authentic desire, then his current 'right on' statements are a reflection of a commercial calculation and represent the 'false' depiction of desire.

Yet, one can perhaps look beyond this binary and see Gabriel's/Dylon's desire as fundamentally being a commercial one rather than a sexual one, and as such any visual representation remains an ephemeral documentary of desire - but a more complex form of desire than merely the orgasmic.

In a climate of social and growing legal/regulatory pressure around the uae of condoms in pornography, Dylon has apparently calculated that there is a benefit in making this remark, that becoming a 'Born Again' condom wearer is the commercially astute thing to do. Curiously, he does at the same time admit he doesn't always use condoms in his 'personal' life so this does indeed seem to be about strategies of risk and/or good publicity/aspiring to big condom studios.

More importantly for the legal scholar, here we see desire being molded and re-molded to accord with shifting constructions of socio-legal expectations and for TIM - a company that defies those norms at every turn - this highlights that Gabriel/Dylon was never 'one of them', never a' believer' and someone afraid of displaying his 'true' authentic sexual desire.

You can read the (safe) Gay Porn Times piece here. You can read and watch the (very unsafe) Max Sohl post here.

All of which dramatically contrasts to the recent odd appearance that TIM performer, self-fellator, and porn star of epic penis proportions, Jessy Karson, recently made in a safe sex video and discussed on this blog. Now that was strange...

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