Chi Chi LaRue takes a stand against barebacking in gay porn
Dylan Vox | February 08, 2008
Over the past few years, a frightening new trend has been developing in the gay adult industry, and now, after some controversial publicity, porn director extraordinaire Chi Chi LaRue and the company heads at Channel One Releasing are taking a stand against barebacking videos. A new website and four minute PSA featuring some of the hottest boys in the business is reiterating the message that �safe sex is hot sex�.
Chi Chi LaRue
LaRue has produced countless award winning films on both the straight and gay side of the industry throughout his career, and has been one of the strongest proponents for safe sex and the health of the models that he works with.
Earlier this year, his self-created studio became the largest gay adult company when it purchased both All Worlds Studio and the legendary, now defunct, Catalina line of films. The Channel One conglomerate has been vocal about the protection of the models in the industry, and after 20 years of directing and producing films, LaRue has become legendary for his success and his strong stance against unsafe sex.
In 2006, LaRue turned down a huge contract with the famous Vivid Video over condom and safe sex issues.
He explains on the new safe sex promotional website, "I walked away from a lucrative contract with Vivid Video when they decided to go 'condom optional' so don�t ever say I don�t put my money where my mouth is!"
Earlier this year, the controversy over the increase and success of barebacking companies came to a frightening head when three UK based porn actors reported they had contracted HIV. The actors claim they were infected during the shooting of a barebacking video with a fourth actor, who says he didn't realize he was HIV-positive until days after shooting.
Following the news, LaRue along with Titan Media�s Bruce Cam and Keith Webb took a bold anti-AIDS/anti-bareback position when they refused to accept their honors at the David Awards, the European equivalent to the GAYVN�s.
Many supporters for barebacking argue that adult films are about creating fantasies and that most of the time condoms take away from the moment.
Sam Dixon of Tipo Sesso told Out Magazine, "We're an adult industry. We're not an educational industry."
Larue explains that in the past, "it was pretty obvious to most that the models 'appeared' to be HIV+ and were having unsafe sex with what 'appeared' to be other HIV+ models" in barebacking films.
The trend, however, seems to have shifted, and more and more companies are relying on younger men who are willing to do riskier things for money.
"Younger gay guys who didn�t have all their friends die, who didn�t see deathly ill gay men at the grocery store, and aren�t bombarded with AIDS messages on the news daily can watch barebacking porn and it doesn�t affect their behavior," LaRue says.
LaRue also explains that he understands that it is not just barebacking porn that is leading to the current rise of HIV/AIDS cases among young gay youth.
"I think the lack of real sex education, thanks to our current conservative regime, is a factor. Let�s not forget the rampant drug abuse in the gay community, which is definitely a factor. I also think gay men are really just tired of talking and hearing about it! But we can�t stop talking about it. I think what we are seeing is a result of too many people being way too silent!�
With the new 'Safe Sex Is Hot Sex' campaign, Larue hopes to put an end to all of those critics who have said that he doesn�t stand behind his messages.
"Look I understand about freedom of speech and freedom of choice more than anyone, and if people don�t want to watch the PSA, or if they don�t agree with my stance, that is their prerogative," he told GayWired.com. "I do, however, hope that people will see that there is a safer, sexy alternative and that people can watch my movies and the films made by other condom only companies and understand that they are watching amazing hot sex that is not undermined by the use of a condom.�
Larue, who says that he has never and will never produce a barebacking film, has a strict policy of protection on all of his film sets.
"I have always promoted on my sets the same thing that I feel every gay man should practice in his personal life. Assume everyone you are having sex with is HIV+. That way you are taking a proactive approach to staying healthy and disease free."
Since 1999, the number of new AIDS/HIV cases among the gay population has been slowly on the rise according to recent CDC reports. In 2003, approximately 63% of new cases were among men who were infected through sexual contact with other men according to the MMWR CDC report.
A majority of those new cases are among younger gay and bisexual men who have less fear about the risk of infection.
In a study presented to the CDC about unprotected sex, Dr. Kenneth Mayer, medical research director at Fenway Community Health in Boston, noted in Healthday: "We found that almost a third of the men (in the study who were reportedly HIV- positive) said that they had had unprotected anal intercourse with at least one partner of unknown serostatus, and almost a quarter had unprotected intercourse with a partner who they knew was HIV uninfected."
Dr. Mayer talked about the importance of education to help reinstate the message that these practices are still dangerous.
Channel One�s new PSA is part of the bigger picture of education, and LaRue feels an ethical responsibility to helping educating the younger generations, as well as a sense of providing the safety for the models working in the industry.
And as Chi Chi adamantly proclaims in her service announcement, please, "Wrap it Up!"
For more information or to watch the PSA, visit www.safesexishotsex.com – Issued by Gay Link Content
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