Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dear The Vault at Large

Dear The Vault at Large:
I just wanted to thank you for making the wise and tasteful choice of showing vintage modern day bareback porn at your Crown and Anchor dance party during Carnival Week.

Since the leather scene has always been labeled as "edgy" I can't thank you enough for showing such edgy, on-the-fringe porn. You're so with the times! For anyone who complains about the PR nightmare bareback porn is to the safe sex movement, just tell them to "Fuck off." Plain and simple! I mean, since people aren't dying anymore and since the ashes strewn along the streets and beaches of PTown of people who died of AIDS have dissolved I think it's entirely appropriate that in a place like this, bareback porn should be making a comeback! Good for you! Oh, and although your dance party only caters toward the 21+ crowd I'll make sure that those 13-19 year olds who are testing postive and unaware of their status are kept abreast on the situation. Don't worry- we all have your (bare) back! Tee hee.

By the way, I told those losers people handing out free condoms outside your party to "get with it!" They obviously don't have any idea what "edgy" means. Duh!

Keep on keeping on guys-



Trevor Hoppe said...

Holy canoli! You mean business, Eric! Two friends of mine (both in their mid-to-late twenties) have tested positive in the past year. I spent the summer in San Francisco, where people demanded I have sex without a condom, to return back to Michigan, where folks just don't bother. I think condoms have been framed all wrong -- we've spent too much time framing them as a way to protect individuals from potential danger. I think it's wiser to say they're a fabulous way to fuck who you want, when you want, how you want, and how often you want, with just about zero risk for you, your partner, and thus your community. A tool to promote a lifetime of delicious promiscuity. Perhaps that would reshape the way they're perceived by gay men today.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great post!!!

Ryan Charisma said...

I agree with you.

But it makes me wonder...

Should you/we be mad at the bar exclusively?

Or the makers of these films?

Or the people who DO know better than to have unprotected sex?

Or all of them?

Now, in defense of the bar (I'm playing devil's advocate here).
All movies (documentaries excluded) ask the audience to suspend their disbelief. If I try to fly as Batman did in the latest movie and I fall to my death.
Can I lay the blame on the the venue that showed this movie? The movie itself? Or is it my own responsibility for doing something absolutely stupid?

I can see why these movies anger you. And as I said, I agree. But, in a way, aren't we passing personal responsibility onto someone else?

I can't begin to tell you how many times I've had someone say to me "no condoms - I only fuck bareback". For me, that ends everything right there on the spot. And really, most of these people who I've experienced say this are under 30. Most, not all mind you.

So, I agree, it would be responsible to our community for bars to promote safe sex. But honestly, I can't think of one of my gay or straight friends that doesn't know about safe sex, HIV and the it's prevention. But for some bizzare reason safe sex is rejected by many.

Can we blame a movie in the bar for that?

I have friends who are already positive who both before & after finding out, insist on barebacking. Nothing else will do. What is that? Where does that mentality come from?

Please don't misunderstand my post. I'm not pro-bareback porn. Hell, I'm not even into porn. I just don't see how anyone with the common sense of at least a shoelace could say "well, I saw it in a movie - I didn't know."

You knew, I know ... we all know.

Knucklecrack said...

Of course you can make that argument that- hey I see people kill each other all the time in violent movies but I don't kill people in reality.

Or- watching bareback porn is going to cause me to want to have bareback porn..

Honestly, bareback porn is what is..
I just think it's a matter of responsibility and respect. That's all.

k.d. f/x said...

Good for you Eric.

I mean the gay community is so ready to get into costumes.
I was at a gathering last week and part of the entertainment was a fashion show featuring the very latest fetish garb. Latex,pvc,platic everywhere. And there were tons of oohs and aahs.

So people think of it as yet another fashion accessory.
Latex on your dick and it comes with a bonus feature ; it saves lives.

Now let me hear you say "Aaahhhhh" !


RG said...

It all comes down to personal responsibility. Even as a POZ person who has been living with the consequences of my actions for over 25 years I'm still flabbergasted by how many times I've been asked to forgo the condom by Neg guys, bottoms and tops alike, who KNOW I'm poz

But there is something else going on here in our gay community than just a lack of education. I keep hearing, "I just don't care anymore." And why is that? And how do we, as a community fight that line of thinking?

RG said...

Oh, and just to make it clear, I don't have sex without a condom. Ever. I couldn't live with myself if I didn't. That's MY responsibility.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Very good, E. When I get up there on Saturday, I'll see what they are showing, and I'll also talk to the owners with whom I am acquainted.

Kris said...

We recently held an event here to raise money for the local AIDSwalk, so being a group that takes a sex positive approach we asked several companies to donate porn, lube, condoms, etc. We told theme exactly what it was for and what type of organization we were....and they sent us nothing but Bareback porn. We all had that quizzical look on our face wondering what they were thinking. My guess is they just weren't. Luckily we were able to swap them out at a local porn store for some latex porn ;-)

I am not sure if the bareback porn desensitizes people to the dangers or not. But I DO know that there is a scary number of teens and 20 some-things that are very uneducated about HIV/AIDS how you get it and what it is gonna mean in your life even if it is "manageable". I always knew that guys were out there having BB sex, but didn’t really realize HOW many guys (and girls) were throwing caution to the wind until I tested poz and saw it from the other side. In my case, I knew better and F***ed up on a bad night, throwing away 10 years of playing safe…a lot of people I talk to just don’t care. What to do? Thanks for the post.

I would like to think that porn isn’t that important but we are visual creatures.

Mark said...

I have found it disheartening to walk into both the Vault or the A-House, um, Macho Bar and be subjected to multiple screenings of porn, bareback or otherwise. I know that we're supposed to be visual people, but it's just overkill. If only we were tried to actually relate to one another, then these stereotypical porn images, again, bareback or otherwise, would have less impact on how we interact with each other.

My response to both bars? I spent as little time and/or money as possible in each of them.

David said...

Ooh, I love this side of you.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Mark, I remember the day they switched on the porn at the Macho Bar. We who protested were overruled. They actually had the bad sense to show it on the big map of ptown that is over the stairs. Men are nervous creatures. The porn gives them an easy out from conversation but in a losing way. You know that, and I know that, but most men who arrive at the bar are there to cry into their beer, and the bar is a business, so the porn makes sense from a business point of view. I hate it. They should really start showing it at Spiritus at 1AM and then the stupidity would be complete.

Mike said...

If 20-somethings are still getting HIV, we've failed as a community to protect the next generation.

I guess there was too much sex to be had and money to be made.

The gay trick-of-the-day culture, Manhunt, Craigslist, AOL, bars, bathhouses, and sex clubs, circuit parties, all of it has failed us miserably.

We've got to offer our young something more than alcohol, drugs, sex, disco, disease and death.

Sorry to be so cheerful.

Tater said...

I disagree with you Mike. I think we have simply failed ourselves by viewing HIV as a manageable illness, one that has far less dire meaning than it did in the 80's and early 90's. The sexual atmosphere and venues have been with us, and will remain with us always (as they should, IMO). We can be sex positive and responsible by the choices we make. Personally, I was educated about safe sex at the baths, and have since made use of their free and anonymous HIV testing countless times. By shuttering these venues, or by railing against promiscuity, I think we are losing a very valuable method to teach and promote safe sex education. Guilty sex certainly doesn't promote healthy sex. Live and let live, and educate, educate, educate. Advertisers have fed many of our younger members with false perceptions of what it is like to live with and "manage" HIV. Bareback films certainly aren't helping and are indicative of how far we have gotten off message.

Glen said...

Hi Eric,
I think people shouldn't go and give their support to these Vault at Large parties if they don't like the choices they make, and I think it's good to sound off, but I also think it's stll their choice to show this BB porn and a choice for others (adults) to watch it (or not).