Growing up, did your parents ever tell you “Do as I say, not as I do because it’s best for you?”
Well I’m about to impart the same wisdom on you now, in the past tense sense of things.
Yes, between the ages of 17 and 19 I participated in filming porn without using protection. They call it bareback, but personally I prefer the words “unprotected” or “not safe” – because that’s what it means.
Even though my timeline in porn started when I was 17, I did not begin making intelligent (ish), informed and responsible choices regarding my involvement in the industry until I was 19. It was then and only then that I decided to make the adult industry a career choice (at 19). It was then that I began to understand that this work could be filmed with respect and care to the models. I wanted to prove it possible; models could be paid well, no one needed to be demeaned or degraded (unless they were into that sort of thing), etc. Most importantly: I wanted to be one of the good guys PROVING it could be done successfully without risking the health of the models. Prior to that I’d been involved with a company that manipulated and abused the models. They coerced the young men into participating in unprotected porn. When I set out to produce porn the right way I believed I was attempting to positively influence my little corner of the world. That’s about all we can really hope for in life . . .
When you choose not to use a condom, or not make your top use one, you’re opening your body up to all kinds of potential threats. There’s a strain of gonorrhea today that is resistant to antibiotics. Relayed verbally to me from my doctor (speak to your own healthcare provider for more reliable information): statics say that nearly 10% of people in the US that contract this bacterial infection contract the resistant strain. Or there’s always anal cancer caused by a handful of different HPV strains (the most common venereal disease in the world, so many carry it and don’t even know they do). Syphilis isn’t as common, but the rise of infection among HIV+ people is alarming. This is a disease in which, left untreated, can manifest in very serious neurological disorders (look for the title “Why should MSM be concerned about syphilis?”). The most serious of them all: HIV, the virus that eventually becomes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is still lethal today. If you contract HIV, you will most likely die from an AIDS related sickness.
I’m not going to tell you becoming HIV positive is no longer the death sentence it once was because that is not true. The drug therapy required today can be lethal on it’s own. They obliterate your internal organs, kidneys and liver. They only slow the onslaught of the inevitable. People living with HIV today need to live clean, sober and sexually sterile lives if they expect to experience the glorious lifespan the drug companies claim possible. A little known fact about HIV: once you have it, you have it and that’s the end of it. Not true. There’s such a thing as co-infection and super infection. This virus has mutated and shifted right in front of our very eyes over the past 30 years. There are whole mutated HIV strains that do not respond to drug therapy. You can’t run around having random, unprotected sex with anyone and everyone and not expect to pay for it in some way.
I know this is graphic, and I know it’s a fat ass pill to swallow. But no one is doing you any favors not being straight with you.
When I set out to produce porn, first and foremost I wanted to make sure the young men working under my care were looked after. That meant, above all else, they would be protected. My job, as best as I could, was to minimize the negative blow-back a model might encounter in this industry. Honest, fair producers take this position when running a company. As for the models, the adult industry has been around for ages and willing “actors” along with it. However, just because you’re initially elective in your choice does not necessarily mean you will always maintain that kind of control.
Know this: the rise in unsafe porn being produced today by big, influential companies like Bel Ami, Sean Cody, Corbin Fisher – what many might consider the mainstream vein of of the gay porn world – these guys DO have an impact on your decisions and not just your pocket book. They have an impact on your community. I don’t know their practices on set; I’m sure they do everything they can to protect their models with the related testing. All that aside – what these companies are not considering is the message they are sending to people all over the world. They can put all kinds of disclaimers all over the openings of their scenes. They can even get their models to say “use a condom every time!” but they cannot account for every viewer, all the time. Based purely on their decision to distribute these searing images it’s crystal clear they don’t feel responsible for the well-being of the world-at-large.
This isn’t a question of people thinking for themselves. We can’t expect a 16 year old kid in Ohio or Taiwan meeting men off the internet, to fully understand why it is they can’t get a creampie in their hole because someone on Sean Cody did it and it was hot. This is a question of ethics. Not being a part of a movement that contributes to the decline of health and welfare of the global community. Think past your bottom line for once and consider the ramifications of your actions. Ever heard of a Carbon Footprint? Consider this concept the Moral Compass Equivalent.
If huge money-making enterprises all of the world are required to dial back their emissions & the impact they have on Earth and the atmosphere, why is it so hard to believe that we should implement similar restrictions on companies that inhibit detrimental behavior in mankind?!
So yes. Once I did unsafe, unprotected porn. I was a kid, I was stupid. Never did I stand back and think about anyone but myself. In fact, I didn’t really even consider the consequences that I might encounter on even a personal level. So in reality, I had my head so far stuck up my ass everyone was at a disadvantage, even me. My personal circumstances for “why” are all my own. I’m not going to launch into a diatribe about who, what, why, when and where because that’s not the point of this. The point is; I made a mistake. I made a bad decision to participate in unsafe porn.
Those images that have been recorded, shared, duplicated, and distributed all over the world are telling people, on some underlying level that it’s sexy, it’s hot, and it’s OKAY to have unprotected sex. We know it’s wrong when we watch it. But somehow it doesn’t stop us from buying it, making it, and encouraging our models to put themselves at risk.
There’s a reality here that no one wants to consider when it comes to porn: the models, the sex and the entire adult community. Countless documentaries, articles, and stupid blogs (this one included) have attempted to communicate what all this really means and have failed.
What we love about porn in so many ways is the very same thing we know we shouldn’t.
After running my company for a year or two, the ramifications of my actions as a 17 year old kid became haltingly clear to me. Countless young men, too young, would write in to me and explain what they loved about my work with Cobra Video. And on the top of that list was the unprotected aspect of it. It scared me. I didn’t know these young men, but they knew me. They’d watched me. And probably, sadly, they probably fashioned their sex lives after the poorest choices I’ve made in my life. Can you imagine how such a thing can weigh on a person?
So I backpedalled. I did everything I could within my power to ensure that people understood my earlier work was not something I was proud of, something to remark upon, and certainly not something to celebrate. All of the new images I wanted people to associate with me were “SAFE”. All this had less to do with my feud with Cobra and more to do with the fear that I knew this unsafe, unprotected material was getting attention for all the wrong reasons.
I was invited to work with a safer sex organization called DC FukIT Org. I did a series of PSA’s with Matthew Rush that were both sexy and informative (funny, even at times). And while today, I stand back and realize just how half baked these efforts seem – I know that I did what I could. And now, I’m beginning to feel like I’m not done yet. Except there’s one problem . . .
No one want’s to hear a “WRAP IT UP!” message from a once underage, barebacking porn star. You think I don’t know that?!
I call bullshit on that little popular point people just love to throw at me. Because if anyone has a point of view on this matter it’s someone who has been there. People want advice from HUMAN BEINGS who have been there.
It’s called perception.
And you can’t have even a bit of it without a sense of foresight. No, not foreskin. FORESIGHT.
If all you’ve ever done is make the right choice in your life, who the hell is going to listen to you? That person has no idea what it’s like to suffer. But, a person who’s made serious blunders, picked themselves up and lived to stand tell to tell a story – THAT, MY FRIENDS – has true merit.
While this “rant” may appear to be coming out nowhere, it isn’t. I’ve been sitting on these thoughts for far too long now. Today I made a mistake when I tweeted an article from Gay.net that pointed out US Statistics from 2010 that show the rise of HIV infections.
“I wrote: “Happy now? I know this isn’t what @RandyBlue @CorbinFisher & @BelamiOnline wanted but you can’t deny their impact: http://www.gay.net/health-fitness/2012/12/06/poll-why-are-hiv-rates-so-high-amongst-young-gay-men”
1) My apologies to Randy Blue – their inclusion was an error on my part (wrote Randy Blue, meant Sean Cody). Being Human and constantly on the record sucks sometimes. Consider this my official retraction. I am sorry for including Randy Blue in error.
2) Yes, these statistics are from 2010. This new wave of unprotected porn, and the mainstream inclusion, inadvertently will have a profound influence on our coming-of-age queer generation. That’s my prophecy. Maybe there will never be a way to measure or gauge this because we’re talking about inhibiting human behavior on such a level, with imagery and examples, that might not consciously register.
3) I don’t want to hear about how kids can’t afford these websites. There’s a thing called the “trickle down affect”. Even if kids aren’t watching the scenes fresh off the assembly line now, in the coming few short years the pirate torrent websites will be rife with them.
4) WAKE UP AND ACCEPT THAT YOU’RE NOT JUST RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU; but “us” and those that come after.
What’s the point of all this if we all end up sick, tired and too embittered to enjoy any of it? And don’t forget, this is the digital age. The age of the virus. Made in Prague doesn’t just affect Prague. Made for adults with wallets & credit cards doesn’t mean it’s not going to end up consumed by the very people that should have nothing to do with it.
So please. No matter where you are take care of yourselves and those around you.
Resist the urge.
Know that what these companies are pumping out is The Universe’s way of testing you. Or God’s. Or whatever you want to believe controls cosmic energy, fate and truth.
Roll that condom on.
Sean Paul Lockhart aka Brent Corrigan
Guys, I’ve always been pretty resistant to the whole NoH8 photo movement, feeling as though it was one big vanity project.
However, the cause does bring great awareness to civil and marriage equality: these two issues have become very hot-headed debate points in today’s society. The NoH8 movement has made great strides in bringing people of visibility and social stature to a place where they can share their stance and support for a movement centered upon equality. I finally agreed to have my NoH8 photo taken when Tim Sullivan, Director/Writer of Chillerama and “I Was A Teenage Werebear” requested personally that I come on board with him and my costar Anton Troy in doing a video meant to help integrate horror fans, queer fear lovers and denizens of the gay community on a front that would communicate our support and love for our worlds that meet at the convergent point that “I Was A Teenage Werebear” has become.
I’d like to get very much to share the message we are bringing to everyone in our video, so thank you in advanced to enbedding it to your Facebook profiles and pasting the link in to your Twitter pages.
I agreed to include myself in this video clip in the hopes that the message would ring loud and clear to any person suffering from prejudice or hate:
While we may not be there enduring it at your side, we’ve all felt like the outsiders, the minority, or even weak for our differences. I merely want those suffering to know that each and every one of us has the right to find our way through it and discover our place of happiness and love. I grew up feeling as though my position as an outcast in my high school, and even my family, would never end. That I would never find my place in the world. I even began to think that there wasn’t a place for me – that being alone forever was inevitable and that I would never have anything special to impart upon the world. And then one day I stood up and realized only WE can fix ourselves, change our lives, and make the kind of difference that will matter on an individual level.
It doesn’t get better until we make it better for ourselves.
THAT’S TOMORROW, FRIENDS & LOVERS!
The interview will last about 10-15 minutes.
It will broadcast live on Sirius XM OutQ 108.
Listeners and fans are welcome to participate by calling 866-305-6887.
Please do call in! I’d love to hear from you!
For those who don’t subscribe to Sirius:
A free online trial is available at www.Siriusxm.com.