The Next Gay Porn Superstar To Make His Bareback Debut Is The Last Bareback Post On The Sword

Why do we always call it a “bareback debut”? As if those two words together are somehow more significant or dignified (e.g., “big-screen debut,” “Broadway debut”) than just “first time getting fucked without a condom.” I guess it’s less wordy, and the last thing we want are more words when there’s a video of a gay porn superstar getting fucked raw for the first time.

And yet, I’m not posting the video of any gay porn superstar getting fucked raw for the first time.

The problem I repeatedly have when covering someone’s bareback debut (and the same problem I’ve had covering anyone’s bareback work—be it their debut or be it their 1000th time) isn’t that the performer has “crossed over” to the “dark side” (as if all condom-only gay porn studios are the only shining beacons of hope and purity in an otherwise morally bankrupt world), and it isn’t that I object to the production of bareback gay porn (though it should be perfectly clear where I stand on the culture and the ignorance associated with barebacking in general). The problem I repeatedly have when covering bareback porn is you. Maybe not you specifically, but YOU, the anonymous commenters who seek to turn the comments section below into a crude, libelous discussion of performers’ HIV statuses.

While I’ve never allowed libelous comments about a specific performer (calling someone a “fucking asshole” or saying that they’re ugly isn’t libel; saying that someone has HIV is), I have encouraged, provoked, and published many negative comments that have been suggestive or allusive of private information, and that was stupid. And while I will continue to be as deliberately exploitative as possible with posts that will undoubtedly continue to encourage and provoke the very worst of the worst of you when it comes to just about any given topic, I won’t allow discussions about anyone’s private information. There are (quite clearly after looking around today) several other places to do that, and the only thing more gross than the anonymous comments I’ve read on other blogs today are the bloggers who’ve allowed them to be published in the first place. Fortunately for them, most porn bloggers are just as anonymous as their commenters. I’m not. Long story short, after today, I’m indefinitely suspending all editorial and promotional coverage of bareback content on The Sword.

It’s simply not worth my time anymore to moderate out all of the libelous comments (I receive dozens on various bareback posts every day), and I’m no longer interested in providing a forum (whether I publish the comments or not) for commenters to speculate and denigrate a performer because he decided to have sex without a condom—commenters who, I believe, are not everyday gay porn “fans” at all, but rather the same disgruntled studio employees or other jaded performers responsible for the majority of negative comments on this and other blogs. Carry out your sad grudges, regrets over poor business decisions, and jealous vendettas somewhere else. While previous bareback posts will remain published, any new comments left on old bareback posts will be deleted. Comments about deleted comments will be deleted.

On a broader note, The Sword believes in the right to free speech. At the same time, The Sword does not believe in the rights of anonymous commenters who are egregiously abusive or disruptive. Anonymous commenters have decided to have no identity, so I have no problem treating their comments as if they don’t exist, and in the coming weeks, you’ll see changes made to the commenting system here. The ultimate goal is to weed out as many abusive, anonymous commenters as possible over time. And though that won’t stop all of them (just like not covering bareback isn’t going to stop all anonymous commenters from trying to leave libelous comments on non-bareback posts), it will stop some of them. And some is better than none.

Why did I publish this post? (After all, there doesn’t need to be a blog post about how there aren’t going to be any more blog posts!) Maybe because I wanted people to read it and stop trying to waste their (and my) time by leaving libelous comments that will never be approved? Maybe because I wanted studios to read it and know why their bareback content (which, ironically, some of them market to elicit exactly the kinds of deplorable responses that have led to my decision today!) isn’t being covered anymore? Or maybe Donny Wright said it best: Because I wanted to.

 

 

46 thoughts on “The Next Gay Porn Superstar To Make His Bareback Debut Is The Last Bareback Post On The Sword”

  1. I respect that you don’t want the attacks on those who bareback. Kudos. But don’t completely avoid talking about bb porn. Then they win.

    Don’t allow the attacks, but continue to include bb porn in your coverage of porn, just like any other genre of porn.

    I sure won’t be coming back if you ignore bb porn. It’s the only kind I care about.

  2. I have just recently discovered your website. Personally I am a huge fan of bareback porn. This is why it would be sad now for me not to visit your website anymore because if it were just about non bb porn then it would be too boring for me. Also, you would neglect a huge part of the porn industry. In the meantime there are probably more gay bb companies than non bb companies.
    I understand the trouble you’re having to moderate all the comments though. But maybe you’d still like to think it over as the site would probably become a bit dull.

  3. While I enjoy some(definitely not all!) of the snarky comments, I think that the STD status should always be off limits unless they person has been open about it themselves. The other issue is that 99.9999% of the posters who do make those allegations, have no idea what the person of discusion’s status is. It’s just their opinion, but they state it as fact.

  4. Make Them Eat It

    Hi, Zach.

    As somebody who cut down on reading many “gay” blogs because of the relentless negativity and “snark” in the postings and commentary, I am pleasantly surprised by this post. I think the seemingly cynical posting of soulless material (everything from “Bareback, bareback, bareback!” to other “gay” blogs detailing every utterance of anti-gay nimrods) may get views and other revenue-inducing stuff but, after a while, it just makes being gay (something I quite enjoy) feel like a constant swim in warm puke.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love porn and I love a shady bitch. But both of those things are so much more fun without hateful drama–without having to read personal attacks about something that either does or does not turn you on, make you laugh, etc… As if a porn performer set out to ruin your day by not being your type of guy. Or fucking someone you’d rather they not. Etc…

    I think you should–to be unbelievably trite–follow your bliss, Zach. I think some of your posts that feel a bit odd and uncomfortable have come from you trying to mask or overcome your actual, ambivalent feelings on a subject. Thus ends my unsolicited, unwarranted psych eval. I always need an editor. Just wanted to say, this “anonymous” thinks this is an interesting and welcome change.

    1. I think you misread Zach’s words. Zach is not going to pay attention to promotional stuff concerning bareback gay porn but commentators may still write hatefull words about models, studios and fellow commentators. The only comments Zach is not allowing is about the health status of gay porn models. This is how I read Zach’s words. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      1. Make Them Eat It

        I agree with you, Dutch Courage. That’s what he said.

        I still think it interesting and new to actually take a stand on something when he could remain silent and incur more revenue. And I find it heartening. I, almost certainly, overstated where I as coming from. (As previously stated, I always need an editor.) Zach’s snark and various forays into weirdness are much easier to relate to when there is a person we can see who is drawing boundaries. I am hesitant to say “brave” when it comes to writing about beautiful people getting fucked, but I kinda think it is: to say I will not write/publicize about these things even though it would–possibly–make me more money to do so. That’s all.

  5. I thought when one won an International Person of the Year award at a huge NY party, the result would include vast professional opportunities. A golden path to prosperity. All the prizes, the worship, the applause thrown one’s face.

    From the aftermath I’m reading, I was incorrect in those assumptions.

  6. I have been a fan of gay porn for years. and, yes it is no one’s business to talk about whether a performer has hiv or aids. It is their own private decision to say something. If big companies knows what the status of their performers are they should make there own decision on to use them or not. But, here is the thing when it comes to barebacking studios they can say that they have been tested but they do not say if they test positive or negative but they allow the actually sex to continue so would that not be considered not barebacking but “bug chasing”. Let me tell a story and I hope you understand this something that a late friend told me. I had a wonderful, beautfiul friend named bart. He was such a kind and wonderful soul who with just a smile could make any bad day better. In getting to know him, he was a funny, intelligent human being. Eventually, he was not coming around so much because I met him at school. I found out he was in the hospital and I visited him. He looked nothing like from when I met him. All the color in his skin was gone, he could not eat, he lost at least forty pounds and I had to wear a mask and gloves because the slight germ could kill him. I was so upset that I cried home. When, I visited him again he proceeded to tell me that he did do porn for a year and I was shocked. He also said that during that time he also did other things that he was not proud of including having sex without a condom and when he tested positive he left the industry out of fear. That is the thing fear always make people question why performers go bareback and yet are still able to do condom porn too. My friend bart, did eventually die. I found out on christmas day in 2000 from his life partner. I have never been the same since. To me, gay porn has always been about looking at the men and their beautiful boys and the kissing and of course the sex but again when it comes to barebacking all the things that I just mention do not get talked about it is always the fact that they are performing dangerous sexual acts that put their lives at risk. Again, fear changes people minds and attitudes. And I think that is why people have strong feelings about their favorite performers doing the high risk sex because they are afraid that they will get hiv and aids. And like my friend bart said to me “I do not regret anything that I have done but if I had a chance I would do it differently.” Thank you for your time and I hope that I expressed my opinion on this.

  7. I assume banning all promotional content about Gay4Pay performers is next since those garner hateful comments, too. And then of course sooner or later there will be also a ban in place for pornstar drama since it not only makes the porn industry look bad when its stars and models act like bitchfighting meth heads, it also causes too much drama where posters take sides and attack each other. Then all the blog entries about what was most clicked on the Naked Sword site has to go, too because posters complain that their click is featured lower than others. Then it sure is tricky to mention porn stars at all, because posters get pissed when some pornstars are mentioned while others are criminally ignored. Oh, and did I mention that at one point Zach was forced by court order to stop making up interns for his blog posts?

    See? It all goes downhill from there.

  8. Yeah Zach because sticking your head up Mr. Pam’s ass and singing Jesus Loves Me makes all the nasty bareback videos go away. Calling you a sniveling coward would give sniveling cowards a bad name. This Sword is really a dull pen knife from the 1990’s.

  9. Surreptitiously Yours

    I believe Zach posts the bareback stuff cuz people want to see it, right? (other than you people that watch every minute of the clip, read every word, then comment how much you hate it and how wrong it is). Bareback gay porn gets a lot of traffic and garners a lot of interest but also pushes a lot of people buttons. I don’t believe that people watch a bareback porn then run out and bareback; its a fantasy. Saying bareback movies promote barebacking is like saying porn in general promotes sex between people. The sexual energy is already there (its what keeps the human race from dying out, right?)and in more cases than not, porn functions as a release valve for a lot of people. Bareback sex is a fantasy on film that fulfills a need, and IMHO not a political controversy…however thanks to all the haters out there embroiled in this because they are the ones who have fueled the flame of success for the barebacking studios. Everytime someone rants about barebacking in a public forum, they are putting dollars into the pocket of the producers who bear the most responsibility in such films being shot, edited and distributed and they are laughing all the way to the bank without a care in the world of what anyone thinks of ‘barebacking’.

  10. Barebacking is not the last step before going to hell. I get so tired of that controversy. Let adults make their own adult decisions. I remember when in the 80’s people were saying Heavy Metal music made people commit crazy violent acts. Well now I hear people saying that barebacking movies promote barebacking. No. They promote the fantasy of barebacking. I guess a lot of people who are industry connected and comment here have married the fantasy of it to the reality.

  11. i don’t understand how u believe in freedom of choice (freedom to wear or not wear a condom) but don’t believe in freedom of speech…..’moderating’ comments cuz they don’t agree with u? i think the whole bb thing is annoying as well but ur very inconsistent.

  12. Cool.. For whatever reason, less coverage on unsafe sex just might spare one person or dozens from contracting HIV/AIDS. 20 years ago, that was all anyone in the lesbian/gay community cared about.

  13. Zach, I’m really saddened by your proposed solution to this problem. If it weren’t for you, I would’ve never known about the idiosyncrasy of the CAL/OSHA complaints, AHF filing complaints of bb movies not shot in California, DJ of TIM becoming the “face” of HIV to the Huffington post, AHF trying to make condoms mandatory in porn while selling bb movies, etc.

    The “bareback debut” posts might be uncalled for, for the reasons you’ve mentioned. But the other politically inspired posts on bb porn with your touch of snark and wit are entertaining AND informative. There are very few outlets that do this, and you do it well.

    I’m with Nick, maybe you can turn off the comment section in those posts instead.

    1. News items such as the ones you mention above aren’t promotional content, and will still be covered. By “content” I meant posting about new bareback scenes/movies. Hopefully that makes it clear.

      1. Thanks for clarifying. In that case, the move seems a lot less draconian than the original post implies.

        One thing I don’t get though: This site has had posts about the HIV rate amongst porn performers being high, yet it’s considered libelous to assume that a well known porn actor who shoots for a bareback studio with a lengthy roster of poz models is….well, poz himself? I almost think this move has to do with advertisers complaining (or Naked Sword might be weighing whether or not to start shooting bareback content and the powers that be are being proactive).

        1. OK, that’s enough. This has nothing to do with advertisers or NakedSword content (NakedSword still carries bareback titles from other studios, though we will never produce our own bareback content). This is about out of control commenters using this space to hypothesize, troll, accuse, and literally break the law with defamatory statements about private health information. Anyone who reads the post should be able to comprehend that, and if you can’t, please leave and never come back.

          Comments on this post are now closed.

  14. I actually agree–and I’m anonymous poster. Chalk it up to a series of contradictions in human nature.

    As to the nature of this blog, I don’t think someone’s HIV status is libel. Of course, I’d like to think I’m evolved enough to have sex with people with a condom, and not just judge someone solely on STI status. The concept of libel is stupid. I mean, we are not in Medieval Europe where your namesake is your key to social mobility. We don’t penalize sexuality with having homosexuals sit on tortuous devices, or have women wear chastity belts(at least not forcibly.) People are supposed to educate themselves about sexuality and the risks associated, then take the proper precautions before engaging in it. I don’t think silence is the right way of dealing with this and even lying, which porn stars do.

    Besides, can you even slander or libel a pornstar? In our society it is the lowest form of entertainment and what isn’t already said about porn stars in “mainstream” media: drug addicts, abuse “victims”, white trash. Once you do it on film, it will follow you around for the rest of your life. Especially, in the internet age where information privilege is essentially gone when you provide content online. In terms of reputation, you can only go up from there!

    In certain contexts libel does exist. In other words, celebrities can lose endorsements and deals over image, reputation, and good standing. That is millions of dollars which have punitive damages in financial terms. I don’t think someone being gay should allow companies to withdraw endorsement deals over their sexual orientation. Comparison wise, I don’t think the HIV status of a performer should preclude them from work. I think they should pair models who are willing to work together and those that do their job as a “gay” porn performer. I believe bareback studios already pair models who are of the same status and even ask the models what their comfort level is. If the employer already knows and doesn’t mind, why should the average porn viewer? My concerns are not HIV status, but rather closeted behaviors that lead to larger context of identity and health. For identity purposes, I don’t think porn represents any real kind of sexuality and it is pure fantasy. Health wise, that is another story.

    The irony of porn is the fact that a good many of the performers, studios, and even in some cases consumer live in one big closet. So who is going to take the first step out of it? Since the studios and performers are already public about their sexual behaviors, why the secrecy about status? I think it would do more good than harm for people who have HIV. It means you can have a sex life and even be open about your status without repercussions.

    1. Mason Wyler’s status getting outed didn’t exactly do his career the world of good but maybe that’s because people acted like he’s the only HIV+ porn star when an old Sword survey said a third of porn stars are poz. Maybe if they everyone was open about it, it would do a lot to destigmatise it but there’s a reason medical records are confidential and people with invisible illnesses/disabilities don’t have to tell the whole world about them.

      Some day these porn guys are going to retire and try to make it in some other industry, and their status being outed might result in an incident like when Kurt Wild got fired from Subway because some member of the public thought he was a health hazard (not that I’m saying he has HIV).

      1. Illness and disabilities aren’t secretive, if you show up to work with a wheelchair. The law says businesses have to accommodate people with those needs. So I hold porn companies up to the same standards.

          1. My vitriol against NDS began shortly around the time he was fired. So I don’t like them and don’t think they are a good example.

            Cody is the “face” of this homophobic studio. So it is unfortunate for him. The last guy I thought was nice out of NDS was the first model to headline, so very long ago. Since then, it has been one PR blunder after another some self induced, and others from their talent pool that does not know when to shut up.

  15. You could of actually turn OFF the comment section when you post BAREBACK content for those who would like to find this material.
    It just seems extreme being this site is a directory of new XXX material, but it is your blog and your choice!

    1. I thought about that (turning off comments), but having some posts with comments on and some posts with comments off is too contrived. Plus, I don’t expect people to read something that they won’t be “allowed” to comment on!

  16. I don’t know. Sometimes this blog makes me so sad. Sometimes the commenters make me sad.

    And I still don’t know. As homosexuals, we will never be the majority. Being the loudest doesn’t equate to being the most important.

    Will marriage equality make my parents hate the gay community any less? No.
    Will a decline in barebacking make society hate the gay community any less? No.
    Will the things we bleed for ever equal the things others bleed for? No.

    Some nights I get sad and comment on gay porn blogs.
    Some nights I get drunk and email my ex-boyfriend.
    Some night I just let myself fall.

    1. most gays feel this kind of hopelessness from time to time, but remember there are lots of people out there who are tolerant and who will love (or at least like) you for who you are and what you have to offer. THEY may not be the loudest, but I tend to believe they’re the majority. it gets better, it gets worse, it gets better again, etc.

  17. I applaud your decision but deplore the stated reason for it. Haters comments have made so many blogs difficult for me to read. Performers’ HIV status is pertinent in only two situations: when the performer has been deliberately deceptive with co-workers about it and when the perform has gone public, as some positive performers have done, often for charity or for public education.

    It is hard to know which is smaller: the haters’ hearts, the haters’ minds, or their dicks.

  18. How not-anonymous do you have to be for the new comment system? Is keeping a consistent pseudonym enough? Verifying your email? There are throwaway email accounts and fake facebook accounts.

    I don’t think people would be comfortable using their real names because once you do that it can be out there forever for any family member or future employer to see years down the line. You’re not necessarily going to be the same person in ten years’ time. I mean I have forum posts out there from when I was a teenager in the late nineties.

    1. People who are repeatedly and unnecessarily abusive and who are using multiple fake aliases/fake email addresses/proxy IP addresses are the ones who will be affected.

  19. Why don’t you have a link titled comment guidelines? It would be great to have a readily available source of why or why not a prospective comment was or wasn’t published. A simple page of the supposed commentary rules could be most helpful.

  20. Zach, you have to remember you’re not depriving anyone of their right to free speech by not publishing their comments. The 1st Amendment only applies to the government not being allowed to pass laws abridging one’s freedom of speech. You are merely exercising yours by moderating comments. I’ve always felt that if any readers of this blog feel so compelled to say whatever they wish they should start their own blog.

  21. From my point of view, this post is a very courageous deed, but then there is bareback porn, because that’s what the mass wants… Zach, preventing them from commenting wouldn’t change their way of thinking and I hope that there will be at least one more person here that will have the audacity to admit that he/she is against barebacking.

    1. What is courageous about it? He is by NO MEANS endorsing barebacking and hasn’t been that subtle in regards to his feelings about it. Yes, bareback porn is one of the few things that is selling in porn now and don’t be surprised if you see a few companies that were very anti bareback, start to cross over to the other side. I’m not saying that it’s good AT ALL, but the business model has changed. The point might become moot however unless all of these companies find another place to shoot porn because of the California laws in regards to condom use and the push for the condom laws in Los Angeles County to be a state wide law. What people are so willing to ignore is that there are A LOT of things you can get from unsafe sex that isn’t tested for in a porn STD panel and can cause lifelong issues. A 22 year old performer probably isn’t thinking about the possibility of having to take herpes meds for the rest of his life and telling any future sex partner that they have the herpes virus. Nor is he thinking about having excruciatingly painful anal wart surgery to remove internal warts or the possibility that he may develop anal cancer at some point.

      I think there are some issues about bareback porn that go beyond just HIV and STD’s. For example, many of these “superstars” are no longer considered top shelf talent and the quality of the companies they work for goes down until the point where only bareback work is the only work they can get. Studios and companies can black list and express their disgust for bareback porn all they want, but those same companies are no longer offering these guys work. They are considered disposable and yesterday’s news. A lot of guys quit but others who won’t/can’t, they take what they can get. Or even worse, an agency that puts its young and new talent into top shelf productions and companies and gives an older, minority performer, bareback work.

  22. Bravo, Zach. Hoping this isn’t any type of satire. It certainly won’t be difficult for folks to find those films, etc if they want to. Anonymous posting has gone out of control.

  23. (siri, set an alarm for when I will finish reading this)(that’s not to say it’s too long)(it’s just too unnecessarily informative)

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