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Comradeship of Cock? Gay porn and the entrepreneurial voyeur

By Stephen Maddison


Thirty years of academic and critical scholarship on the subject of gay porn have born witness to significant changes not only in the kinds of porn produced for, and watched by, gay men, but in the modes of production and distribution of that porn, and the legal, economic and social contexts in which it has been made, sold/shared, and watched. Those thirty years have also seen a huge shift in the cultural and political position of gay men, especially in the US and UK, and other apparently ‘advanced’ democracies. Those thirty years of scholarship on the topic of gay porn have produced one striking consensus, which is that gay cultures are especially ‘pornified’: porn has arguably offered gay men not only homoerotic visibility, but a heritage culture and a radical aesthetic. However, neoliberal cultures have transformed the operation and meaning of sexuality, installing new standards of performativity and display, and new responsibilities attached to a ‘democratisation’ that offers women and men apparently expanded terms for articulating both their gender and their sexuality. \ud Does gay porn still have the same urgency in this context? At the level of politics and cultural dissent, what’s ‘gay’ about gay porn now? This essay questions the extent to which processes of legal and social liberalization, and the emergence of networked and digital cultures, have foreclosed or expanded the apparently liberationary opportunities of gay porn. The essay attempts to map some of the political implications of the ‘pornification’ of gay culture on to ongoing debates about materiality, labour and the entrepreneurial subject by analyzing gay porn blogs

Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2017
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