“Kickass”: The Bareback Porn & HIV Prevention Research

nocondom I have recently become involved in a very interesting project: it is looking at the relationship between condom-less pornography and risk-taking behaviour. In 1980s many adult film producers started to routinely use condoms in their films. While this was somewhat less prominent in straight films, almost all gay films were shot using condoms. However, the prevalence of condoms in films has decreased since the late 1990s. At first, this was due to a small number of specialised studios releasing condom-less movies, however in recent years some mainstream studios have also started to release condom-less productions. The rise in bareback productions has however not been without controversy, and as some would claim moral panic. Some major porn producers, such as Chi Chi LaRue have publicly condemned bareback films. Yet, while there is much polemic out there over the claimed effects of bareback productions, there seems to be a distinct lack of research into how and why people consume bareback porn and the attitudes and values as well as possible harm reduction strategies associated with the topic. Some of the topics that haven’t exhaustively been explored are why and to what extent do some consumers actively seek condom-less films, or not? Is condom-less sexual intercourse a type of fantasy or is watching condom-less movies a precursor to actual condom-less intercourse? To what extent are attitudes towards unsafe sex formed by watching bareback films? And to what extent are other factors important? … And that is probably just the start of the list of questions to look at!

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