Friday, 11 January 2013

HIV+ Guys Have Sex...and they Enjoy it...What the Deuce?

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 Sword blog posted a little blog piece (NSFW - explicit sexual imagery) with a typically bitchy (and funny) little post, introducing the embedded trailer with: 'Don’t worry, you needn’t have seen Drunk On Cum 1, Drunk On Cum 2, Drunk On Cum 3, Drunk On Cum 4, or even Drunk On Cum 5 to understand the plot.'

The film features extensive scenes of oral sex and semen drinking (or 'cum guzzling' to use the parlance), including (going off the trailer) one scene of someone swallowing the semen contents of a glass jar and also semen being drunk from a condom.

The film is familiar ground for the studio, and the title -so studio honcho Paul Morris once told me - are a tribute to the d.o.c (drunk on cum) lust letters between Paul Beckford and Kevin Dax.  Here's the Amazon blurb for that text:

'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 (a good used copy can apparently sell for as little as £6.09 or as much as £335.07).  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.

There are the (understandable) connoisseur conversations about the semen consumption:

Marty says:
January 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm
Am I weird? The coming in the mouth straight from the dick was so freakin hot, but the pouring from the jar and condom made me want to barf (literally) big time, so gross

sxg says:
January 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm
You’re not weird about a guy cumming in another guy’s mouth. That is fucking hot! A shame there are some studios that still don’t allow that. As far as that cup and condom, that just doesn’t look like it’s all cum, which makes it a bit sick. If it was in fact all white creamy cum, then I might have liked it a little.

J2 says:
January 7, 2013 at 8:02 pm

There’s something distasteful about bodily fluids that have gone cold. Obviously you have a mouth full of spit, but if you spat into a container then waited a while for it to go cold, it would be utterly repulsive to put that back into your mouth.

Well, fair enough.  However, the tone then changes in a series of other comments:

Eddie says: 
January 7, 2013 at 8:31 pm 
I think the best sex is the one that makes people happy and satisfied. It’s like a play where you give and receive care. I find quite impossible obtain this in a group sex. When I see a T.I.M. scene like this it’s like a bunch of men ( or even a couple ) trying to dig pleasure for themselves :’ Alone ‘ among all others. Something selfish. The fuck is more a ‘ masturbation ‘. From T.I.M., with all that HIV-bugchaising thing, sex can’t be fun and it is always portrayed as something humiliating, gross dirt, sick, sad, lonesome. They seem to be always searching for the pathetic: Do you remember the last ‘ milking scene ‘ post here? For Treasure Island Media sex is as fun as a sordid shock treatment to cure lust or… a nightmare.  

Say What? says: 
January 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm 
TIM isn’t searching for the pathetic. It has found it and embodies it. 


Slyvon says: 
January 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm 
I know people have a problem with this studio, but I think the stuff Treasure Island puts out is hot! No bullshit, no star drama, just guys who wanna fuck! Usually cock sucking movies gets boring but if its TI I’ll watch it to see what they do next! 

DPS says: January 8, 2013 at 12:45 am 
I know what you mean. The facial wasting is so fuckin sexy. 

Say What? says: 
January 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm 
So are the distended bellies. 

And these series of individual comments: 

Mike says: 
January 7, 2013 at 9:50 pm 
Customers are saying how most of the loads are weak. So a bunch of nastiness with day-old jizz and the fresh jizz is scarce? Pass. MAJOR pass 

half porco says: 
January 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm 
Looks like cum mixed with poo and several HIV strains. Sexy…:s  

Nick says: 
January 8, 2013 at 10:53 pm 
Do you guys think these TIM models compare viral loads on their off time? It’s like a fun little game they play. They’re H-I-V and oh so P-C. 

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.

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