I love it when a plan, or cause, comes together.

International Mr. Leather has banned “bareback porn” and related materials at it’s event, facilities, outlet, and I presume, any web advertising or promotion of companies that sell and distribute “bareback” porn, from an AVN article.  The article begins with “Appalled by the reported increase in new HIV infections…”

so most of us in Los Angeles will assume they are talking about the HIV scare that happened in porn- only mainstream? also gay porn?- a couple of months ago. The article does not clarify, but I think International Mr. Leather is free to do what they want, for whatever reason.

For some of my friends out there stumbling into this blog, a few explanations if you’re scratching your heads:
a) International Mr. Leather is sort of the Miss Universe for gay leathermen…… no jokes about Beauty Queens, please. The Queens most definitely get separate pageants. And the Leather Women have their pageants, too.

b) “Bareback” is fucking without a condom.  “Bareback porn” is pretty self-explanatory. I think the term “bareback” may have come from the Gay Community, and has been appropriated by straight porn, but that will hopefully be cleared up next Weds, 8pm, in our interview with Gram Ponante  on www.talkingsexradio.com  . If you really are just tuning in, a lot of porn- gay and straight- attempted condom-only use for a while.  Each porn company is still free to make it’s own decisions about this, as of this writing.

c) Leather? Go do some research… I guarantee you it’s a richer history than the Stormtroopers who show up at Ren Faires.

While I think all porn producers and distributers are free to make their own choices about condoms, conversely I think it kicks ass that Mr. International Leather has made a stand. See how that works? It’s called “free will” and “personal responsibility” that extends to your business and career.  It’s so punk rock.  It’s so good to see a group standing for something.  Historically, the gay community has kicked a lot of ass in activism, especially concerning the spread of HIV/AIDS.  Mr. International Leather obviously has zero fear of losing ad revenue or attendance. I love it when a person or group doesn’t kow-tow to interests or money.

What is the bigger impact?
A young generation that doesn’t think AIDS is “that bad”(maybe thinking “people don’t die, they have medicines, I know someone who has it…”etc, etc.)  will hopefully grow up with condom use in their porn. In sight, on your mind.

Kudos to Mr. International Leather……. without government intervention or regulation they are acting with their consciences, affecting change,and hopefully saving lives.

Why do I care?
Because it’s truly sad and ridiculous that it’s 2009 and safe-sex is not as big a part of our culture and personal lives as it should be.  The old saying- you know, back from the Stone Age of the 1990’s- “when you have sex without latex or barriers, you are having sex with every other person they had sex with without latex and barriers” still holds true.  There’s no secret charm or totem that protects you, no voodoo or prayer, if you have sex with someone who has STD’s or HIV. 
I could very well decide I want to have sex without a condom with someone who engaged in “bareback” sex and the only thing I could do is wait until I’ve seen their test results and they’ve seen mine. That could take 6 months… and you use condoms while you wait.
Being straight doesn’t protect you. Being gay doesn’t predispose you. Being rich or poor doesn’t matter.
Gay or straight, unless you are in a monagamous relationship, or fluid-bonded relationship, you should get tested every 6 months and use condoms and latex barriers. It’s 2009 and we’ll just have to keep saying this until HIV and AIDS go away.

The Filthy Book Reader,