"Okay. Let’s all take a breath," writes JasonCurious.com‘s Jason Sechrest. He is chiming in on the David Awards controversy that is roiling the gay adult biz this week, and his comments are pissing off some of the folks who were involved in the initial dust-up last Friday.

First up is the contention by Lucas Entertainment, XXX-Project Germany and others that David Awards organizers offered nominations and wins based on the amount of financial support they offered the show. First off, Mr. Sechrest writes, "That’s the way [Adult Video News] has been running things since day one. Go talk to Gene Ross over at AdultFYI.com about all that. He used to work for them. Not to mention hordes of others who have since gone on to write for other publications where they openly discuss sponsorship earning awards. It is no big secret that those who pay for the most ads in trade publications win the most awards at their show. Let’s not all feign shock over these revelations."

Channel 1 Releasing and Titan Media, among others, are furious that bareback companies were honored alongside condoms-only U.S. studios. The win Treasure Island Media claimed as Best U.S. Studio stirred the pot even more. A complete list of nominees was not circulated to the industry, nor was a program apparently available during the ceremony. Given their loud safer-sex advocacy, Channel 1 and Titan have publicly speculated the full list of nominees was intentionally withheld in order to "trick" them into attending the show and providing sponsorship. Both companies have stated they would not have attended had they known bareback companies were among the nominees.

"I can remember earlier this year at the GAYVN Summit in San Francisco," Mr. Sechrest writes, and "all anyone was talking about was how difficult it is becoming to sell American videos to a foreign market. Why? Because we are the only country left that is producing sex flicks with condoms en masse! Perhaps the reason the David Awards didn’t feel the need to warn anyone about bareback pornography being nominated was because in Berlin, it is considered no more controversial than any other kind of pornography… [b]ecause it’s pornography! Not a sex [education] video! The United States is the only country out there that sees fuck films as having some sort of moral responsibility–namely because we’re the only country that believes our citizens are stupid enough to not already know the difference between what is safe and unsafe, right or wrong and that they’re going to emulate what they see on a tape… Condom movies aren’t being bought by foreign distributors like they were a decade ago. It’s become a problem to the point that Raging Stallion is digitally erasing condoms from the screen! There is no hiding from this issue."

Indeed, the horse is out of the barn. Just recently, Kristen Bjorn‘s Sarava Productions released a director’s cut version of EL RANCHO that contained a condomless duo scene between real-life boyfriends Pedro Andreas and Daniel Marvin. BelAmiOnline.com offers condomless sex scenes to their members that features many of their big stars.

"Let’s face it, those who make porn aren’t doing it for their health," Mr. Sechrest writes. "They’re doing it because it’s fun and because it makes them a lot of money. But no matter how much they’re making, when they see the kind of dollar signs they could be making and either their ethics or their past vows stand in the way of getting those extra dollars, anger and judgment ensues… If you want to refuse to make bareback porn, nobody’s stopping you. But creating an out and out divide and a public war between studios, not stepping foot on ground that has a different point of view than your own is completely absurd and childish. Not that saying ‘fuck you’ was all that adult, either. My point is: Can’t we all get along and be at the same functions in a civlized manner?"

When I spoke to Mr. Sechrest on the phone earlier today he had a lot more to say about the David Awards fight. "You know, most of these companies had booths right next to all the bareback studios at Folsom Street not that long ago. Okay, so you wouldn’t have attended the David Awards if you’d known there were bareback nominees. But Folsom Street was okay?"

I also spoke with Sam Dixon, VP of Tipo Sesso and 1 Distribution. They produce and distribute bareback titles as well as condom titles. "It is absolutely sad how this is being depicted," he told me. "Let me say first we won an award for Best Outdoor Movie for our EU release BAREBACK RANCH. We have never spent a dime on advertising with GAYeLINE Magazine." Mr. Dixon says the David Awards nominees were printed in the magazine so "no one can say they didn’t know bareback was included in the nominations."

"It is amazing how unprofessional these American companies are acting," he told me, adding that his studio was booed by a prominent company when they went onstage to accept their award. "They seemed to become upset when they didn’t win in a category. I stayed on a few days after the awards and met with some EU companies who are aghast at the immature, unbusinesslike behavior of these companies."

Futher, he says, "I still have yet to wrap my head around the logic of these companies who find it all right to sell precondom classic films and simultaneously denounce bareback companies. If you are selling bareback, you are selling bareback no matter when it was filmed. You are portraying the same image. Last I checked we were all in business to do business, not to have a personal soap box."

As I was calling around today, a story surfaced that has turned up the heat. A story out of the U.K. claims three porn actors–aged 18, 21 and 26–became infected with the HIV virus when they filmed a British bareback film in September. The actors and the adult company that employed them have not been publicly identified. I should note that it has not been proven the young performers contracted HIV on the set.

"This is why I say all the things I do," an emotional Ms. LaRue told me. "This is why I do it. This is what it’s all about. Three young kids are HIV positive now because they did bareback."

But isn’t testing positive a risk you have to accept if you chose to do film a bareback scene? "You can’t put them in that position," he says. "I understand you can’t babysit them every second of the day. But you can’t ask them to come onto your set and put them in that kind of danger. It’s irresponsible. I keep using this same analogy: If you own a welding company and you hire someone to work for you, then you tell them, ‘We don’t use gloves or protective goggles. Now go do this dangerous work,’ y
ou can find people who will do it. It’s the same thing. You can’t just look the other way and say, ‘They knew what they were getting into.’ You owe your performers more than that."

For the record, we have not been able to locate a representative for GAYeLINE Magazine or the David Awards for comment.

Here are the questions I haven’t been able to get answered: What does the anti-bareback crowd want? Do you want the industry to stop filming condomless sex entirely? Do we really want to get into a freedom of expression debate over this? Where do we draw the line? Are oral cumshots acceptable, but bareback is not? How about a topman pulling off his condom and shooting his load all over a bottom’s inflamed, gaping rectum? What about digitally erasing condoms or taking steps to minimize their appearance?

And what about those thousands of precondom-era films? How is it we assume consumers will understand the context of a precondom film–and therefore are not likely to emulate the behavior of the featured models– but the possibility of their emulating the sexual behavior of a bareback film is just too great?

Chime in, people. We’ve got a lot to talk about.

[Photo © JasonCurious.com.]

Contact JC Adams at JCAdamsXXX@aol.com


Comments

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  1. Anonymous on October 26, 2007 8:31 am

    i guess i am very lucky in that i really don’t find barebacking hot, actually it turns me off when i think of the few friends i saw slowly rot to death. i am happy i am not “wired” to think that its hot

  2. Mark on October 26, 2007 9:53 am

    I do think that freedom of expression is important. So is personal responsibility. I did a movie called Bear Essentials for Bearfilms.com and it was up to the performers in the scene to decide how they wanted to portray the sex. I don’t know if that’s still the way that studio operates, but I think that is fair way to approach it… Everyone knows what’s going on with HIV and it is up to each person to protect themselves, not a studio.

    Porn does portray fantasies. Warnings and information can always be given up front, as they always are. HIV is not the same as it was anymore, this isn’t the 80′s any longer. HIV is not that easy to get anymore.

    Educate, educate and educate. But it’s not necessary to be so judgmental. I know that Titan and Chi-Chi are merely trying to keep people safe, and their industry from shutting down. I’m sure they’ve been around long enough to remember the Horrible Old Days and have memories of friends dying bad deaths from AIDS. I think their message comes from a good place. But I don’t think people in general are stupid enough to see people barebacking on screen and think they don’t have to be cautious.

    Personal responsibility, education. Zealotry… not so much.

  3. John on October 26, 2007 10:37 am

    Why do we think an individual of or above the age of consent is not capable of making their own educated decision about sex?

    Those who have or enjoy watching bareback sex do not care less about their freinds or themselves; no one wants to see anyone hurt in any way we are a loving community.
    I have spoken with friends that have tested positive about this. Naturally they would rather have stayed negative; however they for their reasons prefer sex without a condom.

    They understood the risk that was involved with bareback sex. but to some it was the only sex that felt good to others it was the only way to stay hard.
    Sex is as much a mental thing as it is a physical thing. What works for one does not necassarily work for the other. To try to dictate to one and all is just not right.

    I have one friend rest his soul who passed away from AIDs. He told me “I lived my life the way I wanted to, the way that made me happy,I traveled, I had sex with a lot of guys, I truly enjoyed my life no regrets. Many people can’t say that about their life so to hell with anyone who would look down on me for living my life my way.”

  4. Damian on October 26, 2007 11:27 am

    Interesting that everyone sees this as a free speech issue, and that condomless sex should be protected for fear of censorship.

    No one is saying you can’t produce the damn things. But is it not equally the right of those who feel unsafe sex on video is harmfull, AND sends a bad message to share their opinion? Are they not FREE to choose not to support an award/video company/anything that goes against their own personal, and strongly held, convictions?

    Of course they are!

    And for every person who dies of AIDS contented and happy with their choices, JOHN, there are hundreds of others who wish they would have made a different choice concerning safer sex. Or is that one of those “inconvenient truths?”

  5. chris ward on October 26, 2007 12:16 pm

    I am often told the argument that barebacking is all about fantasy–just like Hollywood. But in Hollywood they do not use real bullets to make war movies. They don’t kill real people when making horror movies.

    It is illegal to film Bareback movies in the state of California (its a violation of CAL OSHA regulations and carries a $25,000 fine per violation). Two companies have been fined in the past year.

  6. Jason Sechrest on October 27, 2007 2:14 am

    Mark – Love you.

    Chris Ward – No, of course you’re right and they don’t use real bullets to make war movies. But no one’s talking about taking a gun and shooting you in the head here, either. That is a completely unfair comparison. What IS, however, a fair comparison would be stunt men in mainstream films who choose to risk their lives on a daily basis, many of whom die from the risks they took in their work or the reprucussions. It was the choice they made. No one stuck a gun to their head.

  7. jamesbee on October 27, 2007 9:10 am

    Chris Ward is quite right with his comparison, Mr. Sechrest! It is the producer who is responsible in the first place! Every company that shoots bareback without proper testing of its models runs a criminal enterprise. Period. This whole talk of freedom of expression and personal responsibiltiy of the actors and especially “It was the choice they made” just makes me sick!
    “I could not eat as much as I would like to vomit.”

  8. Chris Ward on October 27, 2007 11:03 am

    Jason–?????????? Your are not making any sense. When a stunt man jumps off a cliff in a movie, there is a cushion to catch him. When performing fire tricks, they wear protective clothing. When blowing someones brains out they use special effects. I guarantee you that if Hollywood would ever make a movie about the barebacking phenomenon, any stunt men hired to do the fucking would absolutely be wearing condoms.

  9. Jason Sechrest on October 27, 2007 1:10 pm

    But cushions don’t always catch those falls like a condom does. ;-)

    The producer is responsible for creating the outlet.

    The performers are responsible for taking part in it.

    It is absolutely an issue of freedom and for anyone to pretend otherwise is delusional. You can’t tell other people how to have sex. Period. No one owns these human beings or your audiences. You’re entitled to your opinion. They are entitled to their’s. You don’t like it? Don’t make it. Don’t buy it. And speak out against it.

    BUT we are a community here! And they’re not going away.

    I applaud everyone for speaking their mind. I just wish we could embrace each other at the same time. That’s been my only point. I mean, this is just ridiculous — lol, if we can’t get the condom and condomless to stand on the same stage, there sure ain’t much hope for Muslims and the Jews! LOL

    Where do you draw the line? Cum in the mouth? Cum on the hole? Cum on the hole only after being fucked when it is enflamed? Erasing condoms? Smoking in videos? All portray risky behavior that could lead to death. There are far more deaths from smoking than HIV. Yet, it’s okay to smoke on camera.

    You can’t possibly draw a line here without projecting your own morals and ethics onto someone else. And that’s not your place or anyone else’s. I know it must feel awfully nice and refreshing to seemingly take the moral high ground for once when you make smut for a living, but it’s just not anyone’s place.

    I don’t understand why we can’t say, “I disagree with what you do and will do everything to speak out against it, but you’re a part of my community and therefore I defend your freedom to make the movies you choose to.”

    There’s a gray area between the black and white of how to handle this situation, ya know? A situation that isn’t going to go away so we might as well all learn to get along about it.

    If we took this path with more of these “every day life” issues, there would be a lot less war and hatred in the world.

    Disagree vehmenently.

    But do it with love and with tolerance and while defending their right to make whatever kind of porn they want until barebacking itself is made illegal.

  10. Jason Ridge on October 27, 2007 7:59 pm

    You can’t play both sides……..try to please everyone….

  11. Chris Ward on October 27, 2007 10:03 pm

    I would just say that responsible producers should obey CAL-Osha rules and not expose employees or contractors to a dangerous work environment. That is pretty simple. That is my only point. What people do with their own sex lives, that is none of my business. But as an ethically conscious employer I cannot film actors performing while risking their lives for short term compensation.

    Jason, you write “You can’t possibly draw a line here without projecting your own morals and ethics onto someone else. And that’s not your place or anyone else’s.” It is my place–and my responsibility–to reduce risks to my employees on my sets. How can you possibly argue with that? Do as you like on your own sets (I heard you had tried to start a video company…), but be sure to hire a good attorney if you decide to expose your actors to Hep C, HIV, or any one of a group of unpleasant diseases. Liability insurance does not cover gross negligence.

    Did you read the Paul Morris interview in Out Magazine? What are your thoughts on that?

    And yes, I agree that having a strong debate is a good thing–lets make sure that everyone is in fact thinking about this issue and about those three guys who just got infected on that bareback shoot in London.

    PS: What purpose does your comment about a smut monger running for the moral high ground have in this debate? I don’t think that erotica is amoral. In Republican America inflamitory rhetoric has replaced logical argument. Lets try to stay above that kind of thing.

  12. Jason Sechrest on October 28, 2007 9:17 am

    Chris, I’m not arguing with you on that point. I already said above that the producers are responsible too. Cal-Osha applies to California. But as the other 99% of the planet continues to make pornography the way they see fit, let’s try to unite the community and perhaps educate each other through example and healthy debates as opposed to creating a major divide and doing the whole star-bellied sneetches bit by insisting they do things “our way” or we’ll punish them by pretending they’re invisible and not letting them play in our sandbox.

    P.S.: Speaking of health factors and being responsbile for lessening risks on the set, has anyone ever taken a viagra on your set without being legally perscribed one? Or do they just shoot up their dicks with caverjack? I’ve interviewed a few of your stars on my radio show who have talked about it actually. Look, I don’t believe there is anything amoral about erotica, but I also know no one here lives in a glass house when it comes to morals, ethics and being “health” conscious. And that was the purpose of my comment about not being able to take the moral highground here. Not inflamitory rhetoric.

    I also would not take one wacky producer’s ridiculous quote and make it the basis for how I feel about an entire genre.

  13. Chris Ward on October 28, 2007 9:47 am

    Some guys do use viagra and some even use other medical things to stay hard. The difference between Raging Stallion and the other studios is that we don’t provide it or encourage it. If someone has a prescription from their doctor, they are free to use it.

    You mention the comments about “one wacky producer” as being irrelevant. That producer just won the coveted award for Best Studio at the David Awards. Indeed, that producer is the entire reason this debate is happening on this website right now.

    I have enjoyed this debate with you, Jason. I don’t think we disagree as much as it appears. I am sure this debate is going to get much more intense before it is over. I know a bunch of industry people that are hoppin mad and they are out for blood!!!

  14. Jason Sechrest on October 28, 2007 11:06 am

    Agreed, Chris. On all counts. And I do seriously applaud you for taking all the measures you can to ensure people’s safety on your sets. It’s no easy task in this business. Love! xo

  15. Nick on October 28, 2007 1:47 pm

    I have some words for all the anti-bareback porn people…

    OMG what the fuck people you can’t save the world, so quit fucking trying.

    Enough said.

    Oh and thank you Jason Sethcrest, great post on your site.

    Much love,
    -Nick

  16. Gay Porn News Links (30 October, 2007) on October 29, 2007 4:07 pm

    [...] Many gay porn blogs reported about David Awards Controversy: Fleshbot / GayVN / JustUsBoys / The Adams Report / [...]

  17. Anonymous on October 29, 2007 5:21 pm

    Oh Chris Ward – you protest too much – especially since I have been told by several Raging Stallions “actors” who are barebackers off-camera that they cut the tips off the condoms when working ON-camera in Raging Stallion videos. I guess as long as the illusion is there then that’s OK right?

  18. Steve Cruz on October 29, 2007 8:48 pm

    LOL!!! Yeah like that would EVER happen!
    I am a Raging Stallion model… not an anonymous mud-slinger with an axe to grind, so you can take MY word for it. I wouldn’t have signed with a company that jeapordized my health or asked me to go beyond my comfort level on a set. What a model does in his own bedroom is his business. But on a set this just wouldn’t happen.
    Raging cares for their models. Chris Ward looks out for us!
    Don’t believe it guys!

    -Steve Cruz

  19. DeWayne on October 30, 2007 3:32 am

    So I guess Gay Porn will cease production in California oh say by this time next year? (because of CalOSHA)

    About when the majors will have to shut down from lack of sales for their condom porn.

    I sense a lot of Fear,Anger and Turmoil in the biz and yet this happened once before. The Aids epidemic was killing thousands when Rock Hudson died in 1985 and yet Gay Porn continued bareback video production until 1989-90.

    What changed? by 1989 scores of Porn performers were dying!
    A second wave died in 93-94 this solidified the condom era in Gay Porn.

    So whats missing today?

    A Body Count!

    Until countless young men start dying again!
    With the drugs that won’t happen,,,

    So Bareback is here to stay and it’s sad while HIV is no longer a Death sentence those UK lads 18-26 just shaved DECADES off their life expectancy!

    All for an avg of 300 to 400 bucks a scene!

    A real bargain was had by all.

  20. Rod Barry on October 30, 2007 8:41 am

    I wonder what what would happen if everyone AIM tested models for both bareback and condom movies. How many people would be out of work. Over the last ten years I have found out only afterwards that I had sex with someone who was HIV positive in a condom scene. Is that fair to me? Should I not have the right to make that Choice? Peace!

  21. Keith Webb on October 30, 2007 9:50 am

    Rod,

    Just as in real-life, aren’t you supposed to ask and discuss that with your partner before having sex? In every scene I have ever done I have discussed HIV status with my scene partners, and have discussed parameters of what each of us was comfortbale with before the scene. That’s called being professional and acting like a responsable adult.

    In answer to your question about AIM testing…If the gay industry where to operate under the AIM standards I would guess that 30-40% of the current gay models would not be allowed to work, and 80-90% of the gay bareback models would be banned from performing.

    The unspoken truth is that most models performing in USA produced gay bareback films are HIV+. Most everyone in the industry knows it and no one is willing to talk honestly about it.

    The reason no one in the bareback industry wants to admit it is because they are afraid of the CALOSHA blood borne pathogens laws. If you knowingly allow an HIV+ performer to perform without the required safety precautions, even with another HIV+ model, you are in violation of the law and can face HUGE fines.

  22. chris ward on October 30, 2007 10:11 am

    I love people who make anonymous posts. Hidden posters usually have hidden agendas…

  23. chris ward on October 30, 2007 10:39 am

    So let me understand this correctly, Anonymous…we are filming barebacking to make fake condom movies?

    Since the cat is now out of the bag, I should let you know that I also was the one who faked the Apollo moon landings.

    Safe sex practices are required on all RSS sets. period.

  24. DeWayne on October 31, 2007 1:11 am

    I knew it thanks Chris!
    Art Bell always said the moon landings were fake now we know WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE!

  25. Steve on November 3, 2007 12:53 am

    The story about the UK lads infected on a bareback shoot is here http://www.boyz.co.uk/pdfs/843/pdfs/06_BOYZ_In_The_Know.pdf

  26. Steve on November 3, 2007 12:55 am

    There is no question: the UK lads definitely got infected on the shoot. Confirmed by lads themselves, the director and the hospital nurse who treated them.

    http://www.boyz.co.uk/pdfs/843/pdfs/06_BOYZ_In_The_Know.pdf

  27. Kevin Clarke on November 4, 2007 11:45 am

    Jason you ask what do the anti-bareback people want? Let me see if I can spell it out. They want to stop the spread of HIV. They do not want another person to die from it. This is not s free speech issue, this is a public health issue. We have a generation of young gay men where barebacking is the norm in their life. They sometimes ask their partners, and then take their word for it. I am trying currently to stop a serial HIV spreader from spreading the virus and the San Diego Health department says “If this was syphilis we could do something”. This is all madness and a community that has turned on itself. Let me ask the pro-bareback community a question… How many people have to die so you can shoot your porn? These are not equal propositions here. Saving lives is not on same level as bareback porn.We can do allot to stop the spread of HIV. We cannot stand by and say some are expendable so Sam Dixon has a job.

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