In a new interview with Vice, Treasure Island Media founder Paul Morris lets loose at all gay men, especially of the older generation, who continue to treat HIV as a scourge and a menace, and he says he’s especially interested in young men who refuse HIV meds because they’re “proud of their viral load.”
This is the second time that a publication outside the gay/porn media has tried to make sense of TIM’s latest controversial release, namely Viral Loads, that video that features Blue Bailey getting gang-banged by 20 guys and getting a jar of liquid labeled “POZ CUM” turkey-basted up his ass. Salon took up the story just a few weeks ago. Those of us who are used to TIM’s antics by now were mostly unfazed by this release after all, The 1000-Load Fuck is five years old now, and that jar was only about 200 loads, so. But writer Toby McCasker manages to get Morris on the phone for a rare interview, and he’s dying to ask what the fuck this is all about.
Morris, no matter what you may say about him, is kind of like Alice Waters in his ability to sing a single tune for years on end, never waver, and stay on message for his one and only cause. That cause, as you should know by now, is the liberation of sex from all fear of HIV, and a return to the raunchy years of bathhouse culture before anyone ever thought to put a condom on if there wasn’t a vagina around.
Though I may not agree with his views, he would counter that the porn he’s making isn’t made for me, but it’s being made for people who want to let go of all fear and give wildness and raw sex back to gay men.
In gay culture, there’s never been more of an almost hysterical centering of life around two things drag queens and marriage both of which are unfortunate misogynistic parodies of heteroseuxal life. Gay men have completely lost the sense of who they are because they’ve been immersed in terror, because they’ve been living under a viral load for two generations.
He kind of has a point there. But he doesn’t quite admit that Viral Loads is, in essence, fetishizing HIV and the idea of getting infected, devil-may-care. He also doesn’t admit that the model in question, Blue Bailey, who took all those loads is proudly out as a poz performer, so the product copy suggesting that Blue was just fearless about being infected is a bit misleading.
Morris says more about how he’s not insensitive to the emotions people have around the disease, especially those who lost loved ones to it in recent decades. These movies, though, are his reaction to that war the gay community all went through.
The vast majority of my acquaintances and friends and lovers died. It isn’t that I’m untouched. It’s that I’m so deeply touched by it that I believe in the necessity of remembering what it is that they and I all explored and not forgetting it. That’s crucial to me. The most painful thing for me to hear is I’m callous, or I’m doing this to make a buck on the deaths of other people or something like that. That’s horrifying to me.
Also, according to him, this idea of wanting to have your hole bred with a huge jar of cum is not some weird, fringe fetish.
The number of men who have written to me asking to be the recipient of gallons of semen is virtually uncountable. These aren’t the incidental fantasies of a small fringe of outliers. These speak to the heart of the sexual imagination of most queer men. It wasn’t made for you. There’s no reason for you to see it. For you, it would read as an irrational stunt. But for the straight world, much of what comprises queer culture and life is incomprehensible. Regrettably, the same can still be said for many of the older members of the gay world. Years ago I stated that all gay men are HIV-positive. That is, every gay man alive today is defined as much by the viral load narrative as by any external homophobia. If you wonder at the meaning of a jar filled with poz loads being poured up the ass of a happy, intelligent, and more-than-willing young gay man, the primary meaning is that there is no reason or excuse for continuing to live in fear of a virus.
Certainly Treasure Island’s consistent top ranking among studios represented on NakedSword.com, in terms of getting the highest weekly viewership, speaks to the fact that their raw style of porn, with “real” looking guys in real looking situations fucking bareback, appeals to many sexual imaginations of queer men. But jars of cum? I’m gonna argue that those are still fringe outliers, and if they’re hoping to have it done to them in real life, they probably don’t like themselves that much.