Karl Marxxx here, writing a few posts for Big Shoe Diaries while Colby enjoys some R&R in Vancouver before his Canadian debut at Tube Steak this Friday Night with DIXX Magazine. If you're in Vancouver for Pride, check out the event. It looks like a lot of fun!
But back to the subject of other people besides Dawson getting bareback on camera . . . Many of you may have read the excellent blog entry from Mark King on HuffPost a couple weeks ago claiming that Dawson's 20 Load Weekend was "the most important gay film ever made." The title was a bit sensational, but King accurately summarized the advent and mainstreaming of bareback porn in an industry that has been locked down to condom only sex since the AIDS crisis. So stringent were the rules of the gay porn industry that some companies even required both a pre-shoot negative HIV test and condom use as part of their contract terms, holding gay porn actors to a different standard than their straight counterparts.
The efforts of Desert Knights and Treasure Island Media to mainstream something anathema to
the gay community, regardless of how you feel about it, were impressive. And while it's easy to imagine that a small group of people are to blame (or laud, depending on your perspective), for changing the course of pornographic history, another more powerful force was at play in the 2.0 version of the internet age: crowdsourced content.
In addition to his famous quote: "In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes," Andy Warhol also predicted the advent of amateur porn. If not for filming sex, what else could home video cameras be for? He suggested that in the future, everyone would make porn and their neighbors would watch. Pretty much everything Andy predicted came true. And in the early 2000s, sites like Xtube, Pornotube, Dudesnude and more offered users the opportunity to upload their own homemade porn for all the world to see. And a lot of the amateur porn in the gay categories was made without condoms. So while TIM and Hot Desert Knights tried to push their lower budget productions into the homes of Gay America, Gay America was already consuming it's own bareback porn with actors that could have been their neighbors, but one could never truly tell 'cause most of the hottest amateur porn cuts out the heads for anonymity, forcing us to fantasize about what might possibly be connected to the hot bodies banging on the screen in front of us.
Bringing handsome actors like Dawson into the fold of studio produced bareback porn put a face to the headless torsos of studs we had already been jacking off to for a few years at that point, but it wasn't the first time we'd seen post-AIDS sex without a condom. And in the contentious conversation that's followed from King's post, I think we should remind ourselves that it wasn't a big wealthy studio head that put the idea of making bareback porn into our heads and bedrooms; it was us . . . you and me and I and our next door neighbors producing, uploading and downloading the kind of porn people wanted to see, establishing a clear path forward for the marketability of product that was inconceivable for the past 20 years.