What We Can’t See? Understanding the Representations and Meanings of UAI, Barebacking, and Semen Exchange in Gay Male Pornography

Sharif Mowlabocus, Justin Harbottle, Charlie Witzel
  • Journal of Homosexuality, July 2014, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2014.928581

How Gay Men Use and Understand Bareback Pornography

What is it about?

This article reports on research involving younger and older gay men talking about their attitudes towards and interests in 'bareback pornography'. The research explored how these men rationalised their enjoyment of material depicting 'unsafe' sexual practices, and what pleasures (and challenges) it presented to them, in the context of HIV prevention.

Why is it important?

This article is important because it provides us with an alternative to the outdated 'effects model' so often (mis)used in discussions of pornography. The research shows that users of pornography conceptualise it in complex ways.


Sharif Mowlabocus

For me, the most interesting aspect of this research was the way in which our participants were able to identify the pleasures of pornography, while also displacing their anxieties about unprotected sex onto other (absent) groups. This is classic third-person effects theory at work.

Read Publication


The following have contributed to this page: Sharif Mowlabocus