Porn News

Bareback sales booming

WWW- Despite strong objections from AIDS activists, the production and sale of adult videos for gay men in which the actors don’t use condoms is expanding at a rapid pace, with more studios and retail distributors jumping on the “bareback” bandwagon.

Some AIDS activists, who expressed concern three years ago when gay bareback videos first reappeared on the scene, say they are even more alarmed over the recent trend by porn studios in using younger models, age 18 to 21, in bareback films.

“The message in that kind of imagery and entertainment should be to reinforce safer sex, and that includes using condoms during sexual activity,” said Ronald Johnson, an official with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, one of the nation’s oldest AIDS advocacy groups based in New York City.

“The imagery is a very powerful one,” Johnson said. “I think this industry needs to recognize the power of that imagery and the responsibility they have.”

Representatives of gay adult film studios and retail distributors, including the increasingly popular online sales outlets for gay adult videos, express mixed views over the bareback phenomenon.

Some refuse to produce or sell bareback videos, saying the industry should hold to the practice it established in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when condoms were required for all depictions of anal intercourse.

Others say that, as businesses, they find it difficult to buck a market demand for bareback videos at a time of great competition in the adult gay entertainment industry. They also say businesses that serve gay people, an historically persecuted group, should not be engaging in a form of censorship by denying customers the right to choose the form of entertainment they like.

“Barebacking has become an issue of, if you can’t fight it, join it,” said Todd Brown, a buyer for Blue Ribbon Entertainment, Inc., which owns the online businesses GayVideoStore.com and BarebackVideoStore.net.

Brown said his company places disclaimers in the descriptions of all bareback videos that warn buyers that the practice of barebacking can lead to HIV transmission.

Industry observers say the creation of online distributors specializing in bareback videos, and the recent formation by studios of divisions specializing in producing bareback films, show growing demand for bareback products.

Doug Lawrence, editor of Gay Video News, a subsidiary of the trade publication Adult Video News, estimates between 10 to 15 percent of the gay adult films being produced are bareback movies.

“All the major companies are safe-sex, condom companies,” he said in describing the larger studios like Titan, Raging Stallion, Falcon, Cult, Hot House and All World.

Brown, the buyer for BarebackVideoStore.net, said the larger gay adult studios, while professing opposition to bareback films, have been capitalizing on the bareback demand by re-releasing their pre-AIDS gay porn flicks, where condoms were never used. The videos are then marketing as “pre-condom” films.

“They are making a big push to re-release their old titles without condoms,” Brown said. “They want to get a piece of this money coming from barebacking.”

A spot survey of gay adult video stores in several major cities shows that nearly all are selling bareback videos.

Capitol Video, which operates three video stores in D.C. that sell both adult and general entertainment videos, includes some bareback titles, according to manager Tim Snyder.

Stores selling adult gay videos in New York, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston have each reported selling bareback videos during the past few years.

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