One day several years ago, a close friend who was dying of AIDS called me frantically from the hospital to ask a favor. Things were going badly, he said, and he might never make it back home, so the time had come. He wanted me to go over to his apartment and make it "presentable pre·sent·a·ble
1. That can be given, displayed, or offered: presentable gifts; presentable attire.
2. Fit for introduction to others: presentable relatives. " to friends and family who would dispose of his things after he died.
He had a beautiful apartment, the result of years of antique hunting and his impeccable taste, so I asked him what he meant by presentable. There was a slight hesitation. "You know," he finally rasped. "Get rid of the porn." He then proceeded to give me a list of his secret stash stash Drug slang noun A place where illicit drugs are hidden of magazines and videos.
A few hours later I found myself digging through closets and excavating under beds for old copies of Playgirl play·girl
A woman devoted to the pursuit of pleasurable activities. and Colt publications, Boys of Venice, and Bigger Than Huge. He died a week later, and I've been struck ever since by the irony.
One of the things I loved about my friend was his incredibly open attitude about sex. He was fearlessly promiscuous in the best sense, meaning that he never met a person he didn't like, an attribute he translated to the erotic--he never met a person he didn't like to have sex with. But though chatty chat·ty
adj. chat·ti·er, chat·ti·est
1. Inclined to chat; friendly and talkative.
2. Full of or in the style of light informal talk: a chatty letter. about his conquests, he was deeply closeted clos·et·ed
Being In a state of secrecy or cautious privacy. about his porn collection--so ashamed that as he prepared to die, the most pressing thing on his mind was figuring out how to get rid of the evidence and make his apartment presentable.
I don't think he was alone in that, and that's too bad "That's Too Bad" is the debut single by Tubeway Army, the band which provided the initial musical vehicle for Gary Numan. It was released in February 1978 by independent London record label Beggars Banquet. . For gay men, porn is perhaps the gayest form of entertainment we have (this seems much less true for lesbians), the one that speaks most directly to what makes us gay--our sexuality. Entertainment can't get much more sexual than direct representations of sex, much more erotic than scenes of blatant eroticism Eroticism
novel of Alexandrian manners by Pierre Louys. [Fr. Lit.: Benét, 783]
Ovid’s treatise on lovemaking. [Rom. Lit. . Porn, in all its black-white, bi-trans, vanilla-S/M diversity, also is probably more sexually influential than any other element of gay life. For example, some gay historians argue that the practice of rimming, which was almost unknown before the 1970s, became commonplace during that decade when it became de rigueur in gay films. And during the '80s there were bitter battles over wearing condoms in videos, partly to protect the actors but also because prevention activists knew that porn could help either eroticize e·rot·i·cize
tr.v. e·rot·i·cized, e·rot·i·ciz·ing, e·rot·i·ciz·es
To make erotic.
e·rot or marginalize mar·gin·al·ize
tr.v. mar·gin·al·ized, mar·gin·al·iz·ing, mar·gin·al·iz·es
To relegate or confine to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing. safe sex.
Yet despite its inherent gayness, diversity, and influence, porn is still the crazy aunt in the attic In the Attic can refer to:
There are probably lots of reasons for this. One may be the old feminist critique of porn as exploitation. Another, I suspect, is plain old pride. After all, porn is designed as an aid to masturbation, and while gay men tend to be pretty frank about the sex they're having, they're often a lot less frank about the sex they're not. For some people, acknowledging porn is tantamount to admitting loneliness.
But that's too bad. Sexertainment is big business and an essential part of gay life, and as long as we deny it, we set ourselves up for all sorts of problems. Not the least being that although porn helps define what it means to be gay, helps shape the eroticism of the next generation, and helps determine our ideas of safe sex, it's still disproportionately controlled by talentless, apolitical a·po·lit·i·cal
1. Having no interest in or association with politics.
2. Having no political relevance or importance: claimed that the President's upcoming trip was purely apolitical. sleazeballs, in part because talented, politically conscious folks don't want anything to do with it. (Not all, by the way. There are some swell folks in the porn biz.)
But we should get real. Just as gay activists fight for better exposure on prime-time TV, we should spend some quality time thinking about this massive form of entertainment. It's time we acknowledge its immense power, work to make it better, and admit that it's a vital, and vitally important, part of millions of our lives.