Friday Forum

Friday Forum: Can Gay Porn Ever Be Legit?

It’s that time of the week, when Queerty takes a break from the opinion-making and puts you, the readers, in charge. Each Friday, we invite you to be the pundit on a hot-button question facing the LGBT community and its allies. As always, we expect people to be respectful and considerate of others by refraining from personal attacks. We present the information, you make the decision.

04_lucas_lglIt’s been your favorite topic all week. As soon as Michael Lucas got on stage at the GayVN’s last week, demanding the porn industry be more responsible (or being a drama queen by singling out former underage porn star Brent Corrigan), the proverbial shit hit the fan. First, Lucas called the cops on Corrigan’s boyfriend, claiming he had been arrested and then, once that was disproved, Lucas spent the week railing against the porn press and claiming he wasn’t jealous of Corrigan at all.

Lucas’ grandstanding is interminably boring, but his original point is worth paying attention to. The gay porn industry has gone to great lengths recently to try to act more responsibly, or at least in some quarters it has. Porn impresario Chi Chi LaRue has made it her mission to make sure porn models are treated like something more than a piece of meat within the industry, crafting PSA’s demanding that porn companies refuse to market and film bareback sex videos and calling on industry leaders to take better care of the flesh they put to film. The Gay VN’s were all about the artistry and sex positive message that porn brings to the community.

Yet, the porn community, as we saw this week, is hardly a shining beacon of responsibility. Gay porn site Fleshbot has its own police blotter (link NSFW) and Lucas’ being threatened (allegedly threatened, whatever) is the least of the industry’s problems; just look at the recent murder trial of Bryan Kochis.

We want to know– are porn and crime inexorably linked? We would like to say, “No”– there’s nothing inherently criminal about consenting adults filming themselves getting it on for our benefit, yet the facts keep lining up against the idea that the porn industry can keep itself away from scandal. Underage sex, rampant drug use, barebacking, the list just goes on and on. Furthermore, the mainstream gay media turns a blind eye to the travails of the adult entertainment industry as if it’s a dirty secret that could only harm the causes of gay marriage, civil rights and winning over the hearts and minds of Americans when it comes to thinking gays and lesbians are just like straight folks.

Should we simply assume that porn and crime are like peanut butter & jelly, or do we, the beneficiaries of so much photographed sex, hold some responsibility for ensuring the safety of gay porn models and the responsibility of the adult entertainment industry? Is the gay porn industry capable of policing itself? What sort of pressure, if any, should the wider gay community put on gay porn producers to clean up their act?

We put it to you: Can gay porn ever be legit?