We were grateful for the opportunity to speak with Chuck. Here’s the original story about IML’s surpise announcement that it will ban bareback companies from participating in its leather market.
How large is the scope of the ban? What about companies who distribute bareback porn but produce only safe sex porn?
Whatever a company does is their business. The only control that I have is over what they advocate or promote in the marketplace. I can’t reach beyond that. I’m not a censor. I do feel that it’s my duty to promote the health and welfare of the community, and when the CDC and the local health department asked me to step up to the plate and do something about the horrible rise in infections, I agreed.
What about bareback studios who want to send their stars to hang out and meet fans, but who don’t distribute materials or explicitly promote barebacking?
If those guys are hanging out, then they’re promoting.
Will the ban on bareback companies extend to a ban on the private barebacking parties that take place?
I’m out to stop the promoting. There’s a big difference. If people go down and advertise and say, ‘There’s a party in room so-and-so and we’re barebacking,’ then yes, that’s a problem. But everyone has a right to do what they damn well please. If some adult men want to get together in a room and they know what they’re doing, then that’s fine.
Did you receive pressure from any other vendors to enact the ban? Did any non-bareback gay porn companies play a role?
No. Absolutely not.
One of our commentors accused you of hypocracy, saying that the sex clubs you own in Chicago have long been breeding grounds for HIV infections.
That’s simply not true. We were the first to cooperate with the Department of Health, we’re the only bathhouse in the city that does not have glory holes and we have promoted safe sex from the very beginning. Condoms are everywhere to be found, as far as drugs go, anyone caught with drugs will be expelled and arrested — and we have had people arrested.
Do you feel that IML has sacrificed anything by enacting the ban? Did you forsee any negative repurcussions?
People told me that we would probably lose various vendors at the market, which will probably hurt us financially. Believe it or not, we’re operating on a very thin profit margin. But my commitment to the community surpasses my commitment to our revenue. When I made this decision I talked to a lot of people, I did a lot of research. I even read the Constitution. It says that congress can make laws to promote the health and welfare of the people. And I can do something too. My whole career has been a fight for the gay community.
And what is your response to people who argue that there’s no connection between watching bareback porn and having bareback sex?
I would tell them to present that argument to the local health department and the CDC, who will violently disagree.
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