Monday, December 16, 2019

Some soft-core gay videos really do have "real stories" and "real characters" with issues; the NC-17 problem

Sometimes gay “soft-core” porn on YouTube (without showing “everything”) can tell a real story.
True, a lot of it is badly filmed and fuzzy (which could be a sign of an illegal copyright infringement and likely takedown), with poor camera angles.  A lot of the characters on some channels are heavily tattooed, which is not nearly as common in the gay male community as the videos would suggest.

I’ll mention two of them, without embeds because you have to sign in to your Google account to watch them (to prove you are over 18).  The lost likely rating each of these would get would be “R”. 
One is called “Office Threeway” with a banner “Investment in ‘Dickments’” and has versions running 3:51 and 4:05.  It starts with two attractive young men (white) playing cards in an office, wasting work time, as they have finished an IT project. A very tall, slightly Latino-looking young man, their boss or contractor liaison enters.  He admits he has no money and cannot pay them.  Well, there is another way he can pay them.  The intimacy is gradual and, for videos of this nature, rather captivating as to what he really can “offer” them.
The idea seems a bit cynical, but it makes a social statement nevertheless. Build up investments in capital on Earth?  Maybe it will be expropriated or taken from you by revolution anyway.  This seems like a social value statement.

Then “Gay Life” offers a 5.00 video by Rocco Fallon, “Arousing Memories  [Next Door Studios}. A straight (but really bi) married man makes a living flipping houses (this would have worked better pre-2008 -- Dr. Phil would not have approved).  He wakes up from a dream (where there is a missed opportunity, like he could have out stuff on his fingers.)  He walks out to the patio and a handsome young gay contractor fixing the porch sits with a beer.  A conversation starts.  The house flipper decides he “wants” the young man and they have a convoluted negotiation that leads to some curious intimacy (the beer bottle gets in the way of one critical shot). 

You could extract some meaning from this little film as the house flipper wants to feel he has “become” the young man, if only briefly.
On the other hand, porn videos in leather bars are so explicit that they are just repetition and boring.
Some of the softcore YouTube videos come from sites like Next Door, which has a real (paid) porn channel again where everything is so explicit as to be meaningless, usually. “Helix” has some interesting stuff.
But you can imagine a film which is sexually explicit at the climax, extremely so, but where there are existential tensions between the characters that lead to it and justify it.  (“Bugcrush” [Jan 29, 2008] is such an example, although it is not quite as explicit as it might have been at the very end.)  There is no reason why NC-17 can’t be a rating for an artistically and morally integrated film experience. Roger Ebert used to say this.  

The video that I embedded (by Ali Robbins) explains the difference between “porn” and an adult film with character development (at about 5:00).

YouTube should be careful that explicit films use actors age <= 18.  One or two have been removed quickly (in recent months) for that reason.   Videos made in the US and western countries are supposed to comply (by law), but viewing an illegal one is actually a crime, possibly strict liability possession.

Update: Dec 19

Check GLBT blog today for writeup on how the business model for gay porn is changing, video by Michael Rizzi.

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