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[Paul Morris] Three Positives + A Negative?

62 posts in this topic

Click here to see Paul Morris' original blog post on the Treasure Island Blog...

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While perusing a bunch of bareback blogs as I often do (keeping up with the community) I decided to check out Rawtop.com. He’s a fan of ours a cool guy and his blog is always interesting.

I noticed that he’d written a post called “Slutty Jock Bottom Gets Worked Over by 3 Poz Tops @ TIMFuck.com”. Needless to say it caught my attention. We never give out the HIV status of our models. Let me repeat that: We NEVER give out or discuss the HIV status of our models–or any of their personal info.

But here was RawTop conjecturing about the HIV status of these men. And he went quite a bit further and said they were “not-so-healthy” looking. WTF. Seriously WTF.

Here’s his entire blurb “”Healthy” looking jock (JD) gets his ass raped by 3 not-so-healthy looking poz tops…”. Now I understand that bug-chasing/gift-giving is Raw Top’s passion. Fine. But that’s not what was happening in this scene. What’s happening is that four healthy hardy men are fucking like crazed animals.

Paul is working on a video that’s going to feature nothing but poz men. But this wasn’t it. Whether any or all of these men are poz neg martian or whatever is their business and their business only. And for the record whether you’re poz or neg you can be perfectly healthy and happy or a total fucked-up wreck. It ain’t the bug anymore.

– Chris Cunningham

Decide for yourself. Check out the scene here: Lito Calvin JD and BJ

To see RawTop’s original post: Slutty Jock Bottom Gets Worked Over

See More From Treasure Island Media

or

Watch Treasure Island Videos Now @ TIMFuck.com

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I'm moving this into the main forum so there can be some discussion of it. I've responded on Treasure Island's blog, but it looks like they moderate their comments, so it may be a while before it shows up... Here's what I said in response...

Thanks for mention (I think), but my post was about the appearance of things more than reality. You guys push boundaries and limits with visual innuendo and inference. I know you gotta know you do it – everyone talks about how you do it. I just put what everyone was saying into a blog post with words.

As far as my conjecturing about HIV status. I sorta just stated the obvious. Some of the tops in that video have what some call “the poz look”. I also know you guys are pretty clear about not having neg bottoms get fucked by poz tops and that the vast majority of your models are poz. It’s not a huge leap to say everyone in the scene was poz (though having been a neg top in one of your videos I suppose one of the tops could be neg). And then it was just a matter of pointing out that the bottom looked the least poz and the most “healthy” and how that visually implies certain things.

To be clear – my use of the term “healthy” is more in the vernacular and has nothing to do with medical health. One person can look like shit and be healthy as a horse. Another can look great and die the next day – which is why I put “healthy” in quotes – it’s not about real health. Still, our community talks about guys who look “healthy” and guys who don’t, which is inline with my usage of the term.

It does seem odd to me that you’d deny the models are poz, or not want to discuss the obvious. I’m guessing there are legal/privacy issues on your end. Ultimately I would say we’re probably on the same page. You’re starting a whole series of videos with openly poz guys because you know our poz customers need to see that their status isn’t something that they should be ashamed of – that being poz doesn’t mean they stop being desirable sexually. That’s the same motivation behind my pointing out obviously poz models. It’s really about poz guys not feeling shame. It’s about sexy poz role models.

And I wouldn’t say bug chasing / gift giving is any more my passion than it is yours. icon_wink.gif I just discuss it more openly and frankly than you guys do. I don’t see either as necessarily pathological. We’re the dominant species on our planet. We got to that point by a genetic predisposition to reproduce. The fact that the impulse to reproduce is manifested in gay men (futilely) isn’t surprising, and it’s not surprising that some gay men have romanticized the act of exchanging semen even when we logically know it can harm us. There are very primal forces at play that come from deep in our genetic make up. You put all of that into visual metaphors, I put it into words.

So what do you guys think? Did I go to far in saying guys were "not-so-healthy" looking poz guys? Or was I just stating the obvious? If you read my full blog post you'll see I was saying there is a definite erotic aspect to the whole scene... It was hardly my intention to trash them...
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You may have for some people. I can only speculate on their reasons. I don't think if I had that look, the facial wasting, I would be too pleased with a third party making that statement. It may be one thing if I had agreed that were going to be used as the description of the movie before hand. If they are reading your blog, its obvious many people do. Also, that "unhealthy look" you refer to is the result of older HIV meds. Not only older, but also ones that some insurances would only cover because they are cheaper. That is how my Dr. at Columbia-Presbytarian explained it to me when I asked if i would get that look. I think you know this, but there is also the OCHA debate going on in Ca. requiring all porn actors to wear condoms. Lets face it, they do that and TIM is out of business there. So maybe they are sensitive to the issue of a conversion video being out there right now?

However I find it interesting they included a link to your site with their post?

IMO

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I think you were right in saying you just put to words what most people think. However, I can see how some people might feel you actually added to the stigma of being poz by perpetuating that there is a "poz look" and a "neg look".

I don't know why TIM had such a strong reaction if you read the description of Breeding Ian Jay when they say he wanted to be "irrevocably bred and we knew what that meant" they pretty much admit what's going on.

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This is the comment that really got me to laugh. "We never give out the HIV status of our models. Let me repeat that: We NEVER give out or discuss the HIV status of our models–or any of their personal info. But here was RawTop conjecturing about the HIV status of these men. And he went quite a bit further and said they were “not-so-healthy” looking. " I'm sorry but if you are a model appearing in a BareBack porn everyone watching the video is going to assume your poz. Why else would you be getting fucked BareBack? Until the Gay porn industry starts mandatory testing of all models, (Like the Str8 folk do) it will always be this way. And the testing will never happen. Why? Because the guys doing condom porn who are Poz don't want there secret reviled to anyone. If CA does go crazy and OCHA gets there condom law passed, I'm sure all the porn companies will be taking there tax dollars to Nevada or somewhere else that wants that tax revenue.

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Hey Rob! Welcome to Breeding Zone. Always happy to see bareback porn producers here...

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I don't think you went "too far", thinking to some of the descriptions of the scenes in several of the movies, they just danced around the concept a little more.

I personally thought that scene was hot. I'd love to have been the bottom in that scene being bred by all three of those hot tops.

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I've often wondered where you get your information on who's poz and who isn't, aside from those with a biohazard tattoo, of course. Speculating can be a dangerous thing for you (libel suit), AND for the person you mention (reputation, career, personal).

I personally believe that it's up to an individual if they want to disclose ANY of their own health information, and to whom they wish to tell. Especially in the case of HIV, which may no longer be a 'death sentence' but still carries pretty extreme (though unwarranted) social stigma. There are people in this world who will beat up a 'fag' whether he's gay or not, but there are also folks who feel justified murdering if they think someone is poz. With the possible exception of 'career' porn actors, it can easily cost someone a job, lead to loss of health insurance, cause additional family and social [roblems, and make legal issues unbearable if they have a run-in with the police.

Of course, assuming that someone is in a bb porn flick may /imply/ their status... but it is by no means a confirmation. Consider yourself, for example: I've read your blog enough times to know that you are negative. But someone who reads a single post or watches your videos on youtube might make the same assumption about you. You may live in an environment where that might not concern you terribly, but picture yourself 20 years from now when a bible belt insurance adjuster raises your rates because of a personal assumption. Or an employer fires you for being 5 minutes late because it's more convenient than having a suspected poz person in the break room. A quick read of the comments section below any HIV-related article on the web will show you the hate, fear and discrimination that *IS* out there. If OCHA truly is debating mandatory condom usage for porn producers, I wouldn't be surprised if your statements become part of the discussion at the state capitol.

I don't think I've ever watched a T.I.M. flick and thought about who's poz and who's neg. It's about good sex or bad sex. Even when reading your blog, I am less interested in the HIV discussions than the porn and sex reviews. I log into RAWtop, not POZtop or NEGtop. While the distinction does play a part in my live sexual activities, it's nice to suspend that consideration for a few minutes each day. To do otherwise would be like watching Alice in Wonderland, and constantly being bothered by the fact that rabbits don't talk.

Lastly, making the assumption based on a person's appearance is just as dangerous. The actor may be poz, or may have an unrelated health issue, a substance use habit, or may simply and naturally look that way. Bad lighting. Non-optimal fitness regimen or diet. The possibilities are numerous. Either way, nobody likes to be told they look unhealthy. Try asking your neighbor if she's gained a few pounds and see how she reacts. I know you take pride in calling things as they are, but it crosses a line sometimes. I'm sure T.I.M. takes as much pride in their product as most people do in their appearance, so I'm not at all surprised that they'd take issue with someone calling their actors 'unhealthy looking'. While it may be true in your opinion, it hurts their bottom line as much as somebody criticizing your grammar or web layout. Especially when they know that your words can sway or deter your readers from purchasing their films.

It all boils down to first amendment free speech. You have the right to think or say what you wish, but depending on who hears it and how they repeat it, it's often best to stick to the facts and avoid opinions that can be used against you or others.

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Sorry to beat the horse on this one, but there is another point to make. You are pretty well informed about HIV issues. Many of your readers are also quite well informed. But NEVER underestimate the overwhelming legions of people who admittedly know nothing about the subject, or are completely misinformed, or have studied the situation for years yet make decisions based entirely on emotions, convenience or opinion. Even the CDC is guilty of that much of the time.

Somewhere out there is some fool who will read this and make the assumption that because an 'unhealthy looking' person is supposedly poz, then that means that a 'healthy looking' person must be neg. Really, if you spend five minutes on Craigslist, you'll see that there are thousands of people who somehow assume that a wedding band is more effective against HIV-transmission than a miracle vaccine. Education on the topic is surely not your primary concern, but you'd be amazed at how many folks out there are completely lacking in knowledge on the subject.

RawTop, you've made several posts about discrimination based on skin color, so I assume you meant no harm in this. But is it really any better to make an assumption about somebody's health status based on their cheek structure, than it is to determine a person's work ethic based on their skin color or their education based on their accent? Even though T.I.M. does not /disclose/ their actors' HIV status, that does not mean that they don't sero-sort prior to filming... so even an actor's on-screen activities are no guarantee of being poz or neg. While they do dance around the issue, it's because they specialize in the same thing you do: barebacking. You address HIV, they don't (publicly), and that's fine in both cases. We all need a little fantasy and a little reality, and the ability to choose between them at the appropriate times.

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@Deaner - I hear you, BUT... We're talking about people who are doing BAREBACK porn for one of the most notorious and poz-friendly companies out there. And then they're offended when someone says they're poz? Please... Or they get offended when someone comments on their appearance? If you're that self-conscious, why are you doing porn? Remember, I thought the scene was hot. I really didn't have a problem with the fact that some of the guys in it didn't look all that healthy. I think that was sorta the point of the video.

Part of the standard model release for porn is that you have the model sign acknowledging that things may be said about them that aren't true. Not sure if TIM has that in their release - but they should if they don't. It's just part of putting yourself out there - you have to understand that porn is a fantasy product - stories are made up to sell it (e.g. the guy is straight with a wife and two kids, etc.). It's just part of the game. If it bothers you, then you really shouldn't be doing porn - and especially not doing porn for TIM.

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I've been a fan of Treasure Island Media for years. So I say this with the most respect.

After watching the video I was reminded why I stopped watching TIM videos. As of late (the past few years) Ive watched the decline in the men used in Treasure Island. There was a time when I would lust after breeding the guys in your films. Now with so many porn companies doing bareback film the difference in men used is clearly visible. Example: http://www.spunkvideo.com/store/

Compared to the guys of other media companies the guys in TIM appear and or are 1) Out of shape and in on form attractive 2) Drugged up (Usually the bottoms lays there as if he is in a G comma 3) The same guys are used over and over. 4) the videos have become predictable

Other companies are using guys who appear to enjoy sex without looking high, that appear to take care of their bodies via using the gym (Poz & Neg), and they always seem to use new faces not one who are washed up and forgotten about about.

I live in New York City and I can say that I attend a lot of Bareback sex parties. I can also say that its been a long time since I have seen anyone play a TIM video at their party. Most people I know have all stopped watching TIM. What I listed above I heard dozens of people say .. I have even heard TIM referred to as the Trolls In Media (Not Kidding)

While I am a fan and appreciate TIM for being ground breaking, capturing the art of sex etc.. I wish it could recapture what it was.

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Welcome to Breeding Zone Shaytan!

While I am a fan and appreciate TIM for being ground breaking, capturing the art of sex etc.. I wish it could recapture what it was.

Ouch! (on the Trolls In Media comment).

It's pretty hard to constantly keep ahead of the curve. TIM lead the pack for so many years, and even now their stuff sells better than almost everything else I promote. But it's hard to say what is innovative these days. Back in the day they were a bit shocking 'cause barebacking was pretty taboo. The funny part is that three poz looking tops and one neg looking botttom is shocking today, but look at the response when the appearance of things is stated in words...

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Definitely notorious, surely poz friendly (though they don't advertise as such)... but the fact that they rarely even hint (and when they do, it's with nudge-wink wording) at pozzing is what could get you in trouble here. The mere fact that they DO the scenes that they put out - without mentioning HIV status - means that they are probably going to some lengths to be silent about the subject. Even the disclaimers at the start of the film are barely different from other companies. After the PSA screen rolls, their films could be considered by some to be ambiguous on the issue. For whatever their reasoning, this is the way they have chosen to put out their product. A model release is between the actor and the studio... it protects them, not you as a third party commentator.

With all other questions aside, you place yourself in the position of being liable for slander if even ONE of the tops is neg. Actually, you'd be liable for libel since you put it on the internet.

Even if your assumptions are completely correct, you still open yourself to a lawsuit based on personal injury, invasion of privacy, or defamation because you are disclosing information about another person's private health records without their consent and without justifiable protection in the interest of a third party. They need not even prove damages to win. Even a doctor or employer cannot disclose or publicly speculate on that information without the actor's consent. Delta airlines got sued just for keeping an undisclosed private record of employees who freely stated they had HIV.

What you consider 'obvious' is still legally quite subjective in a topic like this, and publicly speculating on it crosses protected privacy boundaries. You are entitled to state your opinion, but a matter-of-fact statement about somebody else cannot be speculated on in print without proof or permission. Especially when it comes to health (just think of how many forms you had to sign the last time your doctor sent a blood or urine sample to the lab for testing). A judge or jury may have VERY different opinions from you on this - whether you're a porn actor, internet blogger, or average joe. You just don't want to put yourself in the position of losing a legal battle like that. T.I.M. can probably afford better lawyers than you if they chose to pursue the matter.

Easiest way to avoid the issue? Clarify that your statement is an opinion. Change 'not-so-healthy looking poz tops' to 'not-so-healthy looking tops who I think are poz'. Four extra words might not satisfy their bruised ego, but they could protect you from getting your ass sued!

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@Deaner - Eh... I sometimes say the guys have big dicks when they're not all that big. I say some guys are skinny, other guys fat... A fantasy product is being sold - models should understand that. No one who models for TIM would have a valid claim for slander if I assumed they were poz - people are surprised when a TIM model is neg, not when they're poz.

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Wow, this is fantastic!

A man has a blog. He writes a review and says some guys look "not-so-healthy." He does not say, "Mr X. in particular is HIV positive." There is no legal case. So forgetaboutit.

I defend rawTOP and cheerlead for more candor: a cumdumpster-worth of candor. If you look like a crack-head, you look like a crack-head. It doesn't mean you are one. Same for fags.

I am a man who has true HIV-related facial wasting. I used to find myself attracted to men like that, and those with KS leopard-spots, back in the late 1980s. Somewhat out of pity; the guys were so timid. [remind me to tell a KS story, someday] And somewhat out of real attraction, did I go for them.

Better get used to it: POZ videos are going to look POZZIE around the edges. Skinny asses, big guts, deep-set eyes, splindly wrists/ankles, and other traits REAL POZ MEN can easily identify in a crowded subway car. And fuck you if you cannot handle POZ as hot. POZ men who are acting out their fantasies without hurting anyone are my superheroes. They are BRAVE.

It is past time to reveal the truth: "All models in this video are aware of their HIV status, and the company (X) advises all men to be fully aware of the long-term risks of unprotected sex." Likened to the Surgeon General's Warning: it's damned high time we get real and put a label on it.

Tell it like it is: or how it looks. Op-Ed is the place; blogs are one big Op-Ed department. Kudos for truth-tellers. peace to all, in the final.

Making POZ videos is a great idea, since POZ guys so often like "skin-to-skin" (doesn't that sound quaint?). The unprotected sex movement has been clearly a leader in fashion: men want it raw more than in any time in my adult life. I came of age in 1981. My whole life watched GRID [which might be a somewhat-apt renaming project] [a hot dark-vid?] reap men, fuck up life after life after life.

I have owned a few TIM videos: hot, because they were so "bad/wrong" - and I threw them out for the same reason. I stand firm in my mixed-state.

Every American is entitled to his opinion, which is different from particular slander. The guys in most of the TIM films look POZ to me. And I hope they are. Because if they are not, they must have mental illnesses, or they are short-term thinkers/dumb fucks.

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