WHEN GAY PORN HAS US RETHINKING MASCULINITY…

People will talk about gay culture in isolation, but it is based on interaction with, [and] recycling and appropriation of, aspects of the wider culture and it has undergone significant transformation over time, reflecting the social, cultural, and political environment of different eras. Evolving from the sexual revolution through the early days of the AIDS epidemic and into the modern era, gay porn is now accessed by millions of people around the globe, including citizens in some of the most sexually repressive nations in the world. 

Case in point? Pubic hair. Many aspects of porn that have become essential elements — such as camera angles or pulling out prior to ejaculation for the money shot — originated in order to facilitate filming. These elements have also impacted what many consider to be masculine. Consider the near universal adoption of pubic hair removal in our post-porn era, even though such hair was once considered essential to masculinity.

Gay porn today also reflects a “saturated” masculinity, so broadly defined and conceived that it can mean “many things, some of them contradictory in nature.”

As a social construct, masculinity has changed over time, reflecting different interpretations of what’s appropriate male behavior.

Now we understand there are many different ways of being a man, beyond the cultural normative version of masculinity.

A paradox that lies at the heart of gay porn is that it is, at points, both subversive and normative. Makers of porn have adopted hetero norms about masculinity, while also developing subversive forms of masculinity, like twinks and bears.

Gay porn today is a great tool to understand how modern masculinity works. Looking at the way that male bodies are presented for erotic consumption is important, as this is now more widely part and parcel of the fabric of popular culture, and informs a vocabulary that men of all ages and identities [use to] construct themselves or think of themselves as sexually desirable online. [Gay porn] is no longer a marginal, taboo minority interest, but is in fact part of popular culture.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. renudepride says:

    Even the gay porn-centric construct of masculinity isn’t universal as influences of all the stages of manly evolution can be found among all cultures. Naked hugs!

    Like

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