Porn laid bare: Gay men, pornography and bareback sex

Mowlabocus, S; Harbottle, J; Witzel, C; (2013) Porn laid bare: Gay men, pornography and bareback sex. Sexualities, 16 (5-6). pp. 523-547. DOI:

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This article details the preliminary findings from Porn Laid Bare, a collaborative research project between the University of Sussex and the Terrence Higgins Trust, Brighton. We explore the multidimensional relationship that respondents identified as having formed with pornographic material, together with its role within gay male subculture. We then consider how interview respondents understood and conceptualised bareback pornography. Our findings reveal consistent contradictions between general discussions of gay pornography and specific discussions of bareback representations. Utilising Dean’s (2009) work on bareback subculture and the ‘ambivalent gift’, we develop a critical reading of these contradictions in order to identify the methods by which the anxieties and pleasures of bareback pornography were handled by respondents.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Research Centre: Sigma Research


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