Saturday, November 23, 2013

Welcome and happy Saturday.

     Happy Saturday, everyone. Hope y’all are enjoying your weekend so far. This may be, for some folks, the last weekend before the madness of the holidays. I’m abstaining this year. I’ll be too busy packing and getting ready to head south, to Florida! YAY! 

     First the latest news… 

Mon Héros
     My Hero is now in French! I’m now international. LOL I’m thrilled. Thanks to Bénédicte Girault and Valérie Dubar for the translation. They are available for other authors who choose to have their works translated. You can look them up on Facebook. There is a link under the cover if you would like a copy of Mon Héros in French! 

     So…I've gotten quite a few comments appreciating this blog thing I’m doing here. Not so sure why, but it seems I've given quite a few people an in-depth education on what it is really like to live as a gay man. Guess I’ll go with it and take it as a compliment and just keep doing what I’m doing. Now, it is true that most gay men are truly a breed unto themselves. Did you know that in Ancient Greece, gay men were considered children of the Gods? It seems that they had the best qualities to raise children. Imagine that, would ya? Many were extremely masculine, perhaps uber so, but also very maternal. Wonder what the religious right would think of them apples? 

     Okay, moving on to the topic of the week. Safe sex, or the lack thereof… 

     First off, let me state for the record that there is no SAFE SEX. Let’s just agree on this point and accept it. Nothing is one hundred percent safe. End of discussion. So we are left with safer sex. 

     There has been a big controversy over the past few weeks in the gay community about porn stars going bareback. Now this has been a fairly contentious discussion in our community, with some getting really nasty about it. I don’t see a need for that, personally. There is no need for someone to go after some of these guys personally. Just not cool. You can make your point without all that crap. 

Charlie Harding
     So why now? Why the big shake up? Well, let me tell you. A fellow Atlantian, Charlie Harding, is doing a premier shoot as a bottom…and doing it bareback. (I could have sworn he’d bottomed before, but I may be wrong.) Anyway, this really went viral, stirring the stink pot up once again. 

     One side says it is sending the wrong message to gay youth that it is okay to go raw, while the other side says it is fantasy, and everyone should remember that. Okay, I get both sides of that argument. However—and it is a big however—everyone should take responsibility for their own actions and make up their own minds what is best for them. No one else. 

     This reminds me of cartoons. Yeah, I know…strange jump there, huh? But bear with me. Let’s take Tom and Jerry, for example. I’m sure most of you can remember those classic cartoons. If you look, you’ll see that those cartoons were more than a little violent. Road Runner? Same thing. He was constantly dropping large objects on Wiley. Now would you do that in real life? I’d hope not. Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam were always shooting at each other and Bugs was beating the hell out of poor Sam. Get the connection now? 

     Porn is fantasy, people. Do you really think that all gay men are stupidly gorgeous with huge dicks? Ummm….. NO! Most are just average Joes like myself. Okay, granted, most gay men are better looking than the average male, but there are some reasons for that, which I’ll go into at another time. Nothing scientific there, just my own observations and experiences, mind you. 

     Back to the subject at hand. Condoms versus non-condoms. I’m going to be as clear on this as I possibly can, which is not always easy. Basically, it isn't any of YOUR business if these guys chose to go bareback! Clear? That is THEIR personal decision. Do you honestly think that they are not aware of the risks? I've known several gay men in the adult entertainment field, and I've yet to think of any of them less other than highly intelligent, especially Mr. Harding. Okay, there was this one, but he was so good looking no one really cared, especially his boyfriend. 

     Before Charlie Harding went through with this shoot, he and the other guy were tested, tested and then retested. That part is fact, not that it is anyone’s business but theirs. That is taking responsibility for your actions and your partner’s safety. Follow me so far? 

     Granted, there are a lot of gay men out there who are not as diligent about being tested as they could or should be, but most are. I know of several couples that are in monogamous relationships, and still get tested as a matter of habit. It’s just part of their normal health routine, and I don’t think it is a bad practice. Just sayin’. I think it helps keep them honest if you know what I mean. 

     I started thinking about this subject on Tuesday this week, so I had time to do a little research. No surprise that the majority of porn is heterosexual. Men are men, and most men are pigs when it comes to visual stimulation, gay or straight. Sorry, but that is just how we’re wired, I guess. First stop on my research train, choo-choo, was the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Not surprising, but there were more male-to-male infections than heterosexual ones over the past five years in the US. Black men were off the charts in particular, which was a surprise to me. Of course, these statistics are for the US only. 

     Next stop, WHO (World Health Organization). Well what’d’ya know? Flip. Total opposite. More women are reported infected in the rest of the world. Was I surprised? Nope. Nor was I surprised that there are more anti-virals prescribed on the continent of Africa than in any other region in the world. (This is a major point of contention for me, which I may go into another time.) 

     Oh, so you think you are so smart, eh? I can see many of you sitting there all smug, pleased with yourselves saying… “I knew it!” HA! Not so fast. What, you may ask? There is a HUGE reason for this disparity in statistics. In this country more gay men are tested than any other portion of the population, considerably so.I'll even go so far as to say there are more gay men tested in this country, per capita, than anywhere else in the world! So I ask you this: WHEN was the last time YOU were tested for HIV? Unless you are a gay man, I would be willing to bet that most of you will say never or it has been a very long time. Then ask yourself: When was the last time I had unprotected sex? Hmmm? How confident are you in your sex partner? Can you be one hundred percent sure that this other person is totally committed to you and you alone? Is anything ever one hundred percent? Remember, no safe sex, only safer sex. If you are a white female in this country, the chances of you having been tested for HIV is almost zero percent, barely a blip on the screen. 

     Now let me go back to my porn investigation… ugh. Yes, I did it. I went looking for straight porn. It was a chore, let me assure you. I’m not a big porn watcher to begin with, and this was not something I enjoyed. (GAG) Trust me on this one. But what I found was that of the sampling I did see, not once did I see a condom used. Nope, not one. No latex was ever visible. Which makes me ask, why the double standard here? Now I did go and check and in most instances I found that even in the straight porn industry, stringent HIV testing was done. Good for them. But again, why the double standard? I've yet to hear anyone screaming that these people were not practicing safer(er) sex! At least within the gay community we are policing ourselves, just like we took charge of the HIV/AIDS prevention programs back in the 80’s. Hell, most gay bars have a large container of condoms out free for the taking. I've not seen that in any straight bar I’ve ever been to. Have you? 

     I guess it all boils down to this: Take responsibility for yourself. Those who live in glass houses… well, you can finish that one. 

     In most all of my books, condom use is clearly stated, up to the point where a commitment is established. And in each case, my characters knew each other and their habits very well by that point. Yes, I've had comments from readers who didn't even like that! I would like to ask those very people about their own condom use and their HIV testing practices. Anyone brave enough to withstand that kind of scrutiny? 

     Romance novels are fantasy. They only represent real time and people. They are not real people. Porn is also fantasy. It is there for entertainment purposes, just as novels are, nothing more, nothing less. It is all a land of make believe where we go to lose ourselves in another place and time. We love to fall in love with characters and sometimes they become very real to us. If that happens, that is wonderful. It only means that the author or actor has really done their job well, but keep in mind it still isn’t real life, folks. 

     If you have an issue in watching bareback porn, then don’t watch it. It really is that simple. If you don’t care for the way I write or any other author, there are so many other wonderful authors out there whom I am sure you’ll enjoy. It is your choice, just like it is their choice to go bareback or not. 

     This wasn't supposed to be a rant, just educational. I guess I’m just trying to point out how a gay man would view all this. Like I said, I think we are a different breed, and therefore think differently. One of the big things I’d like to mention here is that gay men really do take care of themselves, for the most part. They are above the norm for obtaining higher education. Why do you think there are so many companies soliciting their products to gay men? For the most part, gay men make more money and have more disposable income. That also is a fact that I learned several years ago from a marketing professor at the University of Tennessee. (Go Vols!) 

     I guess what I’d really like for everyone to take away from this is, give it a rest. Set aside your notions that erotica is corrupting people, or leading them down some dubious path. Be an adult and take responsibility for your own actions and choices and then leave the rest of us to do the same. 

A Christmas Memory
  Oh, one last promo… A Christmas Memory is available. If you need a little jump start to get yourself in the mood for the holidays, give it a try. This is one of my favorite stories. Nice warm fuzzies. 

     Go forth this week and remember to do some little something nice for someone else. It will come back to you. Promise. 

     Till next week… by y’all! 

     Max ;-)
Because I can.


    That word says it all
    You are incredable with words Max

    just to trow in my two cents i read porn for my pleasure it is my fantasy and I like them going bare when they established being together ( yes yes i know fantasy i said !! )
    x Dani

  2. Good morning, Max. I loved your post. And, living in California, you force me to write my own. Thank you for that. I fully concur by the way. I have my own research to do. Excellent thoughts

  3. Amazing! I know I've been one that has questions and comments, and I think it's more from an overabundance of caution. And yes, I am a white female who has been tested every year for probably the last 10. Yay me! I've gotten to the point where I find bareback sex (both het and gay) mildly scandalous (and as a result, titillating) both in print and video.I always hope the vid stars know what they're doing. And I'm glad that Charlie does. Anyway, great post!

  4. Great post, Max. I agree with you. It might interest you to know (if you don't already) that the California state health authorities have tried and failed to make condom use mandatory in the Hollywood porn industry. They tried to do this via OSHA, saying that bareback sex was a work safety hazard.

  5. Thanks Max for another great blog. It really is enlightening to get information directly from a gay man. I agree completely that we should be adults and make take responsibility for our choices. What someone else chooses to do is no one else's business.

    The only exception, in my mind, is when a product (book, gay website, whatever) is directly marketed at a young adult audience. The decision-making part of a male brain isn't fully formed until they are around 25. Therefore, they are unable to look forward and see the consequences of their actions. They see men who look like they are their age (and the YA audience gets younger every year) and copy that behavior. Without the ability to realized that there may be consequences down the road. Even if they are well educated about sex, no young person thinks anything like that would happen to them.

    I haven't been tested in at least 20 years. I am in a loveless marriage without sex, so its's not an issue at this point. If I were to become sexually active, I would get tested regularly, just like I did before I got married.

  6. I couldn't agree with you more, Max. ... and I concurred with a long, opinionated rant on the subject that in the end was just redundant because you've already said it all. So I deleted it. You're welcome.