Men's pornography
gay vs. straight

by Tom Waugh

from Jump Cut, no. 30, March 1985, pp. 30-35
copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1985, 2005


Taking part in a debate about pornography, I am painfully aware of contradictions involved in my position as a person to whom a great many compromising labels may be applied (in alphabetical order: academic, anti-patriarchal Canadian, cinephile, contributor-to-a-magazine-on-trial-for-obscenity, cyclist, gay, male, socialist, teacher, thirty-five, unattached, vanilla-sexual, wasp, etc.).

I belong to a cultural and political context — the urban gay male community/ies — in which dirty pictures have a hard-won centrality, both historically and at present. I am also an individual consumer: I couldn't begin to describe the importance in my own political/personal growth of the erotic components in the work of Baldwin, Gênet, Pasolini, Warhol/Morrissey, Burroughs, Michelangelo, and even Gore Vidal (to begin as usual with the most respectable list), not to mention Tomorrow's Man (the crypto-gay physique magazine I discovered on the sports rack of the local newsstand as a trembling teenager in Presbyterian Ontario in the mid-sixties), and Straight to Hell (the underground folk-raunch magazine of readers narratives I discovered as a trembling grad student in New York City in the early seventies, when I was wondering whether marching in Gay Pride could blow my comprehensives).

How then am I to express my solidarity in words and actions with women's rightful denunciation of pornography as an instrument of antifeminist backlash, of the usurpation by industrial capitalism of the private sexual sphere, of the merchandizing and degradation of women's bodies, of the incitement of rape and violence against women? Can I do so without aping the standard liberal male guilt-trip or its "we're oppressed and alienated too" refrain? without echoing the occasional anti-feminist tirades in the gay press by beleaguered men who think they see women lining up alongside the cops? Can I do so while insisting that sexual liberation is still an essential component of political liberation and that erotica has a rightful, even indispensable, place in the culture and politics of sexual liberation — gay, lesbian, feminist, and yes, straight-male?

Is it enough for me to repeat that anti-woman pornography, a symptom, can only be eradicated by a fundamental transformation of society along feminist-socialist lines? And that, in the meantime, if I had time, I could support various proposed liberal stopgap measures by the bourgeois state towards curbing pornography's worst social effects. These would include, that is, measures short of obscenity provisions in criminal codes such as: the use of labor and criminal codes to halt child exploitation, forced labor, non-consensual sexual relations, and the incitement of violence. I'd support the regulation of an above-ground sex industry by means of unionization, taxation, labor codes, public visibility restrictions. In short, I'd support the kind of state intervention that regulates tobacco and alcohol (even though this kind of regulation has led in France to a kind of de facto suppression of gay culture). I also obviously support non-state strategies of consumer resistance like boycotts and education, such as those led around "non-pornographic" films as CRUISING, WINDOWS, and DRESSED TO KILL in which I have participated.

Censorship is both a red herring and a real issue, and often a means of halting debate (one Montreal writer demands that readers take a stand either for or against porn before establishing terms or definitions; a Toronto writer demands that readers choose between life and art). For me, a gay man struggling against continuing, in fact escalated, censorship of gay newspapers and films, and, in the Canadian context, resisting the most ferocious police suppression of our culture in any Western society, censorship is a real issue. Even though many of the most visible anti-porn activists have repeatedly renounced legal sanctions against pornography and some have stressed the necessity of gay-lesbian rights education as part of the anti-porn discourse, many mainstream spokespeople are not so careful. As just one example, in 1978, the year that The Body Politic, the Canadian national gay-lesbian paper, began its still ongoing struggle to survive in the obscenity courts, Canadian feminist spokespeople testified before a parliamentary committee and saw their proposals for revision of obscenity statutes (to provide for violence) manipulated and appropriated by homophobic liberals and the New Right alike. The coincidence may or may not be only symbolic, but we don't have time to wonder.

In 1980, the National Organization of Women in the U.S. resolved that pornography is not a genuine lesbian-gay rights issue, nor are pedophilia, sadomasochism, and public sexuality (all of which overlap with the issue of pornography). All four of these issues have been central concerns within the gay male community/ies since Stonewall, and favorite pretexts for our persecution. But some feminists, straight and lesbian alike, have tended to regard them as areas where we are struggling merely to exercise our full patriarchal privileges as men (a view that has sometimes been partly justified). Within the last few years, the lesbian-feminist community has learned not only that it will not be able to resolve these issues away but also that they are of utmost pertinence to feminism and lesbian liberation, and furthermore, that (who ever would have thought?) the interests of gay men and feminists on these issues are not necessarily irreconcilable. The so-called choice between censorship and pornography, art and life, is falsely formulated. Women's right to defend themselves against patriarchal violence and the right of women and sexual minorities to full cultural, sexual, and political expression, are allied rights, both threatened in the current conjuncture. To prioritize or rank them on our agenda greatly damages the anti-patriarchal movement (just as reproductive rights must not have less priority on the agenda than lesbian rights or vice versa).

The recent debate on sexuality within the feminist community, in the headlines of the alternative media since the Heresies sex issue, has already had some input from the gay men's movement. In all modesty, anti-patriarchal gay men still have an important contribution to make. It may be no accident that some of the first utterances of the new feminist sexual outlaws appeared in gay newspapers (with varying degrees of lesbian input, from a little (The Advocate), to some (The Body Politic), to tons (Gay Community News). Gay men were struck from the beginning by how much the new discourse of women's pleasure echoed but went further than the discourse of early gay liberation (in the era when gay groups used to call themselves the Gay Liberation Front instead of the National Task Force), profiting directly from two decades of feminist debate. Of course the anti-porn right saw our satisfaction as patronizing and the use of our media as conspiratorial:

"The lesbian S & M [sic] movement is a growing and organized one, especially in San Francisco. One of the leaders, Pat Califia, who has a slave, wrote the article, 'The New Puritans,' which was published in the paper The Advocate. One of her arguments is that she doesn't want anyone taking her fist fucking magazines away from her. I think it is very interesting to note that most articles on this appear in primarily gay male publications. It seems to make a lot of sense since gay men tend to like porn, have a stake in it, and reinforce these attitudes to their advantage. This is again our colonization, women being taken over by gay men instead of straight men."[1]

Regardless of the obvious rejoinder that we are too busy molesting children to have time to be taking over women, I would like to explore in this article our stake in porn, to sketch some of the contours of our contribution to the debate on sexuality and porn. Specifically, I would like to situate gay male pornography in relation to straight male pornography in terms of its uniquely contradictory mixture of progressive and reactionary characteristics in its relations of production, exhibition, consumption, and representation. Far from wishing to offer an apologetics for gay porn against homophobic dismissals from within the women's movements, both from the NOW center and the WAP right (I realize that my refutation of such dismissals are open to being misread as defensiveness, an unnecessary attitude I may not be wholly successful in avoiding), I feel that an objective analysis of gay pornography will clarify and expand many of the terms of the current debate.

The following "topographical" chart is largely contemporary in its focus, that is, post-sixties, though reference is made to the historical evolution of gay pornography particularly since the establishment of embryonic modern-day gay ghettos following World War II (I also refer here and there to classical stag movies). My main object is a relatively loose comparison of gale male pornography to straight male pornography, referring wherever relevant to its major product divisions: theatrical films, hardcore and softcore; rental or mail-order video; arcade/adult-bookstore materials, mostly film loops and hardcore magazines; mail-order films and photographic sets (beefcake); glossy mass-distribution Playboy-imitation magazines like Blueboy; and finally, porn that may be called "artisanal," amateur or folk, both written and visual, e.g. Straight to Hell. (Obviously these categories sometimes overlap, as with video versions of theatrical films, and some exclusions are arbitrary — live performances, written materials except for the artisanal STH, and ancillary branches of the industry like gadgets).

The comparison is organized in terms of relations of production (making), exhibition (showing), consumption (looking), and representation (depicting). Obviously, this chart, with its illustrations and appendages, is a work-in-progress, and I welcome any corrections or additions. It may reflect also a certain unavoidable bias and a greater expertise in the gay male column which readers are asked to tolerate. On the sidelines, I also offer a brief reflection trying to connect the feminist conception of patriarchal public space to the gay ghetto and its pornographic cultural forms. And lastly, since we have often heard the question as to what a nonsexist pornography of the utopian future might look like, I conclude with an examination of Curt McDowell s LOADS, a non-commercial gay pornographic film from San Francisco (recently seized in Montreal incidentally) with the idea of wondering in concrete terms how far or how near we might be to that ideal


Much of the debate has been a war of definitions, of distinctions between sexist pornography and nonsexist erotica, between my art and your smut, and so on. All such definitions tend to be, for reasons of semantics, ideological rather than scientific. This is true whether explicitly so (as in any definition based on values, inherent artistic merit, or political or educational effectivity), or by implication, that is, expressed as formal/aesthetic, legalistic, physiological (Auden defined pornographic as anything that gave him an erection), historical, sociological or commercial (the definitions of pornographers themselves). I am not the first to insist that any advance in the debate must acknowledge all of the definitions currently in play since these definitions themselves are weapons in the ongoing struggle.

I will not add to the confusion by proposing a new definition (except insofar as the above caveat and a refusal to distinguish between erotica and pornography constitute a definition), since for gay people the definition imposed by police, censors and courts at any given point will always be the determining one.

However, since discussion of pornography is becoming increasingly acrimonious and difficult, and since misunderstandings are already being translated into social and legal practice, I will make a few prescriptions. Participants in the debate must situate themselves in relation to the definitions struggle and must specify exactly what images or texts they are referring to and exactly what social remedies they are proposing, if any.

This precision is indispensible in avoiding co-optation by the book-banners, the homophobes and the Moral Majority, who have gotten so far by blurred distinctions and misleading generalizations. Next, every exclusively single-issue intervention is a step backwards. Connections must be established at every point between the porn debate and the other issues of the anti-patriarchal struggle, especially reproductive rights, sex education, and lesbian/gay rights. I would go even further to say that every comprehensive intervention on pornography must acknowledge the existence of gay male pornography. To pass over the stacks of Blueboy lined up beside Penthouse is either homophobic (as in the case of the National Film Board of Canada's NOT A LOVE STORY) or misguided liberalism, misguided even if the evasion arises out of solidarity with gay people. General propositions about pornography that do not apply to gay pornography are inadmissible (for example, does, "All pornography degrades women"[2], apply to gay male pornography? if so, how? if not, why not?). Progressive gay men have nothing to fear from an open and non-homophobic confrontation with gay pornography, nor from our own self-critical confrontation with the abuses of pornography within our community.

Finally, the following distinctions are essential to any meaningful discussion: between pornography and violent pornography, between consent and coercion, between consensual power play (SM) and violence, between images and actions, between individual sexual practices and collective sexual politics. This latter distinction is crucial. The personal may be political, but there is no such thing as a politically correct individual sexuality. By this I mean that we must support the full rights of sexual outlaws to act out their individual (consensual) desires, whether sadomasochists or drag queens or Phyllis Schlafly. Andrea Dworkin's statement that all fucking is inherently sadistic discredits her other work, some of which is useful. Specific sexual practices as depicted in a given image do not necessarily coincide with relations of exploitation or domination, nor with any other power relation. A man or woman portrayed as getting fucked cannot automatically be seen as victim. Gay porn in particular, and of course gay sexuality in general, undermine the widespread assumption in the porn debate that penetration in itself is an act of political oppression. A sexual act or representation acquires ideological tenor only through its personal, social, narrative, iconographic, or larger political context.


One way of looking at the evolution of the gay movement since World War II is as the growth of our claims to space. Our first claim was to the inviolability of our private space. (The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation, said Trudeau, when he decriminalized consensual sodomy between two adults in 1969 — a reform only a minority of U.S. states have followed.) Our next claim was for the inviolability of the ghetto, our gathering places and neighborhoods. Our final claim was full open access to all public space of our society, and in fact, many of us insisted, to alter the terms of that society. Our claim to our media and to our culture, including our pornography, is part of all three of these claims to space.

When we talk this over with our feminist allies, we often fail to strike a sympathetic chord. The space that we have been demanding is only the space we have been conditioned to expect as men in patriarchal society, space that has been only partly withheld because we suck cock. Women have not yet achieved access to that space, either literally in terms of public territory, or metaphorically in terms of media of cultural, sexual, and political expression. In short, gay pornography profits from and aspires to the institutionalized presence of patriarchal power built on the absence/silence of women, and is thus complicit in the oppression of women.

This is true and it hurts. But it's not all of the truth. Firstly our claims to space, private, ghetto or public, have not been achieved except incompletely and provisionally, always subject to invasion and revocation. Ghettoized spaces, as women have always sensed in their kitchens and church basements and offices, are no substitute for autonomous political space; they are more like enclaves of self-defense and accommodation. Our pornography, in fact, reflects the recognition of this insufficiency. Of the 110 STH anecdotes I mention elsewhere, only eight take place in ghetto space (saunas, discos, backrooms, cinemas), whereas about forty take place in our private homes and the rest all take place in non-ghetto public space. Our greatest visibility may be in the ghetto, but our fantasies and our everyday lives are elsewhere.

Pornography has become one of our privileged cultural forms, the expression of that quality for which we are stigmatized, queer-bashed, fired, evicted, jailed, hospitalized, electroshocked, disinherited, raped in prison, refused at the U.S. border, silenced, and ghettoized-that quality being our sexuality. Our pornography is shaped both by the oppression told by my long chain of participles and by our conditioning as men in patriarchy. We must direct our claim to our pornographic culture, not towards occupying our share of patriarchal space, but towards shattering that space, transforming it.


Richard Dyer's assertion in the accompanying article about the dominance of heterosexist modes of sexuality in gay porn narrative needs some qualification:

"… there seems no evidence that in the predominant form of how we represent our sexuality to ourselves (in gay porn) we in any way break from the norms of male sexuality … the narrative is never organized around the desire to be fucked, but around the desire to ejaculate (whether or not following on from anal intercourse). Thus although at the level of public representation, gay men may be thought of as deviant and disruptive of masculine norms because we assert the pleasures of being fucked and the eroticism of the anus, in our pornography this takes a back seat."

This may be true of many or even most theatrical films (though I think this requires further research — certainly lots of individual sequences I remember contradict this). However, passive penetration fantasies are extremely common as narrative principles in many non-commercial films and anecdotes I have encountered (as are fellatio fantasies, active or passive, which do not seem to be organized around the narrator's ejaculation). Perhaps the non-commercial or artisanal origin of the examples that come to mind says more about the porn industry than our erotic culture as an audience, but that remains to be seen. What does a passive penetration fantasy or a submissive fantasy look or sound like? This question is not only of academic interest. The active penetration fantasy is such a dominant one in the straight male porn industry and in patriarchal culture in general, that, in looking for alternatives, we should analyze the other side of the coin. I've talked about this with some women who, like many gay men and perhaps straight men, are aware of and often disturbed by fantasies of passive penetration, of submission, even of rape.

I propose this advertisement for a San Francisco gay bar, and this abridged citation from a STH anecdote from Meat, both as a footnote to Dyer's generalization, and as evidence for an investigation it may be profitable to pursue:

"Air Force Guy Takes 37 Cocks Up Asshole in One Session"

"A.P.O. San Francisco — I heard about this construction site with a lot of horny studs. I'm 24, 6'l" tall, 165 lbs, white and love to get fucked … gang fucked. Wore cutoffs and hung around the front gate at closing time. A dude eyed me the once over and invited me in. He was in his late 20s and was pretty rugged looking. Led me to a trailer and ripped my Levis off. My head was immediately kissing a desk top and my bare ass protruding over the desk. Talk about getting fucked rough! Heard the door open and more dudes walked in grabbing for their zippers … To get guys up for it quicker I started a line in front as well as in back and sucked off dudes. Got cream in my mouth and in my ass. My asshole was raw but well-fucked, and I'd like to go back for more." (From Meat)


Relations of Production

Gay Male Pornography

  1. gay male producer employs gay male models
  2. small-scale industrial or artisanal production and distribution base for all commercial categories, reputedly some mafia presence in theatrical films
  3. producer control, non-union employees paid low flat rate, even for stars; stigma usually prevents career crossover for performers
  4. theatrical industry stagnant since mid-seventies with only a few dozen showcases; mail-order business strong; growth only in video area; market seems saturated in present political situation.
  5. small capital outlay and modest profits in theatres, with budgets never exceeding $80,000 for Joe Gages features (L.A. TOOL AND DIE), all in 16mm; according to Gage, theatrical market allows only one or two major films a year; reruns endemic.
  6. highly developed star system (Richard Locke, Al Parker), and brand-name auteurs (Toby Ross, Joe Gage), especially in theatrical features; also brand-name mail-order houses (Colt, Falcon).
  7. overlapping of-porno constituency with gay community at large, side-by-side existence within the ghetto: Artie Bressan has made political documentary, porn features, and a legit feature; porn ads appear alongside feminist women's ads in Gay Community News; "danglie"* moghul Pat Rocco sang in the Metropolitan Community Church choir; theatrical star Richard Locke currently campaigning for AIDS research.
    *danglie: a short-lived porno genre of the late sixties, after court decisions allowing nudity but before the hardcore explosion: hyperkinetic but flaccid nude males facing camera and doing a lot of jumping up and down.
  8. flourishing presence of non-industrial erotica (i.e. amateur, folk, artisanal), e.g. readers narratives in Straight to Hell, classified ads culture, home movies, amateur beefcake, extension of pre-ghetto underground culture.
  9. artistic avant-garde: historically an important role as producer of gay erotica in preliberation era (police harassed Kenneth Anger and beefcake studios equally); currently a much diminished but still visible role, e.g. Curt McDowell; Barbara Hammer as source of lesbian erotica.

Straight Male Pornography

  1. straight male producer employs female models
  2. large-scale industrial apparatus for production and distribution with lots of small-scale competition; pervasive presence of mafia and other multinationals, links to other branches of sex industry.
  3. producer control, mostly non-union employees with low flat-rate; some performers in "legit" areas receive high rewards and occasional career crossover, e.g. Sylvia Kristel, Pets of the Year, etc.
  4. still apparently a growth industry with 1000's of theatrical outlets and video boom, expansion continues into "legit" films (LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER), and spin-off industries.
  5. huge capital outlays relatively common, especially in pseudo-legit area, e.g. CALIGULA, where films can cross over out of the combat-zone market; huge profits.
  6. wide range of star and auteur recognition in legit softcore films and in "prestige" hardcore features
  7. no straight equivalent; straight porn has no self-defined constituency or community base other than the straight male gender caste, extending across class, race and zoning divisions.
  8. straight equivalent is marginal or industry adjunct, e.g. "Playboy Forum," advice columns, Hustler photos of readers' partners, swingers' newsletters, cable TV.
  9. artistic avant-garde: less important historical role (e.g. GEOGRAPHY OF THE BODY, Brakhage's late-fifties fuck films); current role negligible, though Michael Snow has been censored in Toronto.

Relations of Exhibition

Gay Male Pornography

  1. commoditization of private/individual sexual space (bedside stroke mags, home video); telephone sex services a recent extension.
  2. theatrical, arcade and bookstore space as social terrain, meeting place and setting for sex
  3. exhibition space as liberated zone, extension of the gay ghetto, as gay refuge from heterosexist territory; favored space for anonymous contacts and for individuals who are dysfunctional in bars and saunas
  4. huge mail-order and rental video market is much more important than theatrical market; important glossy magazine industry. Strongest market away from gay ghettos.
  5. in isolated areas, straight theatres and adult bookstores service gay community; in New York and elsewhere, cheap straight theatres service poor and minority gays.
  6. porno theatres restricted to ghettos and combat-zones; glossies are mass distributed but far less accessible than Penthouse.

Straight Male Pornography

  1. commoditization of private/individual sexual space, straight equivalent even more pervasive, e.g. pay TV, cable.
  2. no equivalent: theatrical exhibition space is zone of terror for unaccompanied female potential partners, except for sex industry workers
  3. no real equivalent in contemporary context: combat zone is extension of straight male domain. Remote equivalent to gay situation might be seen in straight males escape from family, respectability, and suburbia. Some women have argued for similar function for women: Lisa Orlando (pornography as first glimpse of freedom, aid in adolescent search for validation and pleasure and sexual autonomy); Ellen Willis (porn as protest against the repression of non-marital, non-procreative sex, resistance to a culture that would allow women no sexual pleasure at all); Deirdre English (porn district as small zone of sexual freedom).[3]
  4. straight equivalent to mail-order market has all but disappeared except for specialty areas, e.g. fetish, SM; glossies are huge multi-national industry; video is eclipsing theatrical exhibition.
  5. no equivalent
  6. pervasiveness and respectability of straight male theatres; shopping center and neighborhood outlets in addition to combat zones; glossies omnipresent, iconography having long since seeped into popular culture and advertising.

Relations of Consumption

Gay Male Pornography

  1. privatized, individual masturbation aid, in all categories, including theatrical and arcade.
  2. accessory to sexual relations between strangers and between familiars; theatres and arcades are lively meeting and sex places, saunas often have film or video rooms
  3. the spectators positions in relation to the representations are open and in flux. These include: non-viewing with the images functioning as background visual muzak; direct unmediated look at image-object, especially in solo-jerk films; look mediated by narrative — spectator's position fluctuates or is simultaneously multiple, among different characters and types, roles, etc. Spectator's identificatory entry into the narrative is not predetermined by gender divisions; mise-en-scene does not privilege individual roles, top or bottom, inserter or insertee, in any systematic way.
  4. gay male spectator habitually invited to identify narratively with victimization and/or penetration of the Self, i.e. of gay male, often by straight male. Eroticization of victimization or submission is most common in noncommercial porn, e.g. of 110 randomly chosen Straight to Hell anecdotes, 30 eroticized active role on the part of the narrator, 33 were submissive or victimized, 43 were both or interchangeable.
  5. gay porn functions as progressive, educative or ideological (consciousness-raising) force, as challenge to self-oppression, the closet and isolation (Oklahoma is reputedly the strongest mail-order market); gay porn often serves as isolated teenager's first link to community.
  6. gay porn functions as potential regressive force, valorizing sexism, looks-ism, size-ism, racism, ageism and so on, as well as violent behaviors; reinforces the closet by providing anonymous, impersonal outlets? legitimizes straight-identified self-oppression (of 110 STH anecdotes, 43 valorized straight-defined men as erotic object)?

Straight Male Pornography

  1. privatized, individual masturbation aid, as above
  2. only rarely a similar phenomenon (motel movies?); probable use as accessory to prostitution?
  3. spectator's position tends to be rigidly gender-determined; in all categories, straight male spectator looks at female image-object, without mediation of straight male narrative surrogates (Penthouse centerfolds) or with (narrative features). Mise-en-scene privileges women's roles and visibility, i.e. as insertee, whether active/top or passive/bottom. This is why close-up fellatio scenes (cock as prop) are far more common than male-female cunnilinguus (a gynephobic taboo-also operates here). Male figure has far less visual weight even in films headlining male stars such as Harry Reems. In hardcore, the privileging of women's roles is more emphatic than in classy/crossover softcore (e.g. PRIVATE LESSONS, LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER) because of strong narrative lines and appeal to women spectators (still such privileged male personae tend not to have cocks). (For further research: am I wrong in assuming that straight men's fantasies never flirt with forbidden corners of the text? Do they never project on/identify with the female roles? I'm afraid to ask any.)
  4. straight male spectator habitually invited to identify narratively with victimizer, to eroticize victimization of the Other (woman-object), only rarely of the Self, as in the specialty dominatrix subgenre (ILSA, TIGRESS OF SIBERIA). (Distinction must be made between passive fantasy where narrative subject is in control (almost all fellatio scenes in het porn) and submissive fantasy where narrative object is controlled or victimized, extremely rare in mainstream het porn).
  5. no strict equivalent; historically stag movies had a loosely parallel function in sex-repressive society, as instruction and initiation for the dominant gender/sexual-orientation caste; in traditional Japanese society, pillowbooks had an important and respectable educative function.
  6. straight porn can/does legitimize phallocentric, gynephobic, alienated, and violent attitudes and behavior; the "throwaway" woman.

Relations of Representation:
Depicted Sexual Practices

Gay Male Pornography

  1. gay men fuck and suck and are fucked and sucked, etc., in a wide range of combinations and roles not determined by gender; sometimes roles are defined by sexual practice, body type, age, class, race, or by the enunciation of sexual orientation (office employee short of cash for date with girl friend fucks gay boss for money), but just as often this is not so.
  2. no equivalent to straight convention of lesbian sex, except perhaps relations among men narratively defined as "straight"
  3. in longer films, overall structure is as often purely episooic as climactic, e.g. J. Brian's FIRST TIME AROUND is a narrative daisy chain (A fucks with B fucks with C fucks with D fucks with A).
  4.  within individual sequences, usually a climactic escalation of sexual, practices, i.e. fucking after sucking, with staggered ejaculations of all participants as a drawn-out climax; rigid convention of external ejaculations of all participants as a drawn-out climax; rigid convention of external ejaculation often followed by ingestion of semen. Same for loops and short films.
  5. taboos: on male-female sex (Joe Gage's use of het coupling to establish straightness of a character is exception that proves the rule); on effeminacy, age, obesity, and drag (except in specialty materials or nonsexual roles, e.g. a drag queen in Wakefield Poole's BIJOU leads butch construction worker down into labyrinthine sexual underworld).
  6. in loops or short films, narrative is often solo performance, masturbation or just posing which can be either or both active (tense, upright) and/or passive (supine, exposed, languid, available). Same conventions in glossy centerfolds or photo-spreads. Solo performance materials establish eye contact with spectator.
  7. sexual practices stigmatized and often technically illegal are standard routine component in all categories: porn shows what legit media deny, suppress and stigmatize.
  8. violence and rape, consensual and non-consensual, among gay men or perpetrated by characters defined as straight, is not uncommon.

Straight Male Pornography

  1. straight man (two or more men are less common because of rigid taboo on intermale sexuality) fucks and is sucked by one or more women in a more limited gender-defined range of roles and combinations, e.g. women frequently are active partners (i.e. aggressive fellators) as well as passive insertees, but the range of roles is quite rigidly prescribed. Would non-sexist hetero porn for men or women have the role-flexibility of much of gay porn?
  2. relations between women a routine formula, usually as prelude to entry of phallus
  3. features tend more often to be linear or climactic in narrative structure.
  4. roughly the same climactic escalation of sexual practices as above, more compressed because of scarcity of ejaculators (the gay taboo), and limited positions; straight men come outside too. Same for loops and shorts.
  5. taboos: on intermale sex; also on age, obesity, deviation from' perceived ideals of femininity and beauty, etc.
  6. same solo-stroke or posing conventions as above, except that poses are exclusively passive (supine, spread, seated, squatted, orifices offered, etc.). Same eye-contact conventions.
  7. illegal and stigmatized practices (other than violence) only in fringe subgenres such as kiddie-porn or scat, etc.; het porn shows what legit media imply, simulate, or present "tastefully."
  8. violence and rape is common, consensual and non-consensual, perpetrated on women by straight men, rarely vice versa except in dominatrix subgenre; in some respectable cryptoporn, violence is perpetrated by gay man or transsexual/transvestite, e.g. LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR, DRESSED TO KILL.

(Continued on next page)