I am about to write this blog with the full knowledge that it could set off a series of conflicts later. I also want to preface what I’m about to say by admitting that I am in no way perfect in regards to safe sex. In fact, I’m not very good at being consistent with practicing it. I know the risks, I know the consequences, but (like a huge number of people) I have not completely embraced 100% safe sex (and I don’t believe other people when they say they have: I’ve hooked up with far too many people who claimed 100% and then fell short with me for me to buy into all their nonsense).
All of this stems from the following: 1) Most of the condoms I’ve tried have either desensitized me or hurt me (however, Pleasure Plus are almost awesome and Lifestyles SKYN are passable), 2) Condoms have been served to me (and the rest of the U.S.A.) with a hefty dose of guilt and fear, instead of eroticism and empathy, and 3) Gay + Artist + Middle Class + America = worthless (if I’m not rich, straight, and corporate then I don’t have any real value in this country anyway, right? Imagine the potential extra layers of burdensome self-loathing for people who are poor and/or non-White).
But I recognize that this is not good! I recognize that this needs an adjustment in behavior on my part. I own that I am making bad choices when I opt for natural, rather than safer, sex. I know I am valuable and deserve better, that I should be respecting my partners. I know this. It is one of the reasons I am so intent on helping with promoting the safer sex strategies Dr. Terry Gerace wants to implement on his website. It’s because I truly want to acclamate to taking better care of myself, my partners, and my community/world. I feel bad that I’m not there yet. But I definitely never advocate barebacking.
So, after acknowledging that I need to practice safe sex with better than 50% regularity, I am going to go out on a limb here and call Mason Wyler out as the single most irresponsible person I can think of in adult entertainment. I saw that he was wanting writers for his site/blog, and I submitted my name before I read his content. All I knew of him was that he is a bottom with a reputation for being a gutter slut. However, I’d not actually read his own words before…
Utterly irresponsible… It is bad enough that gay porn is reinforcing the notion for gay men that bareback sex is “better,” but the outright smut from Mason’s own pen breaks my heart a little for him. In his entry “I want Brock Armstrong” Mason Wyler writes that Armstrong is hot specifically because he does bareback sex videos. He then defends this outrageous statement by saying, “That’s right, I said it!” beaming with pride, as if he has liberated himself and his readers from the cold, dark abyss that is safe sex. BULLSHIT!
I’m sorry, but at what point do we start holding people accountable for the net they cast? Yes, everyone is free to make choices in their lives, but at what point does your personal life start affecting everyone else too? Thomas Jefferson said that one man’s rights end where the next man’s begin… okay… so… The porn industry works with people who, in their personal lives, make the choice to practice bareback sex. Fine. However, once the industry becomes saturated with this imagery/attitude, and once the public begins responding by imitating this behavior more and more (and then STD infections explode again), isn’t the industry responsible on some level? Yes, there is still a freedom of choice innate to the consumer, but underneath it all, wasn’t that free choice heavily weighted towards the self-destructive?
Tobacco companies are being held responsible for addicting people to their product and for the health consequences of the general public. Don’t be surprised when the same becomes true for restaurants that offer fat/salt/sugar-laden food. These foods are addictive. Don’t fool yourself – these chains train their customers to want only bad food, to the exclusion of more healthful options. There’s a push to hold these purveyors of toxic food responsible for the product they make. So then, why not adult entertainment too?
I offer this question for debate: Is a person who takes Mason’s opinion into himself, practices the same behavior as his dysfunctional role model (with Mason’s example specifically in his mind), and is consequently infected with a disease, not in a position to hold (himself and) Mason Wyler responsible?
If we as a culture could be gobsmacked by 0.03 seconds of Janet’s titty (which is so completely ridiculous on so many levels that I’m not even going to entertain addressing them), then why aren’t we outraged by Mason Wyler’s wholly chaotic attitude towards safe sex in the midst of a resurgence of HIV infections? I believe that people imitate what they see, and I don’t think it’s fair that gay men seem to see only bad examples. Where are the portrayals of healthy, compassionate, generous same-sex interactions?