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Saturday 10 October 2009

Barebacking Versus Decriminalised Sex Work

Posted in: Safe Sex
By Craig Young - 17th August 2009

In the latest DNA, Rob Marshment has a rather depressing tale of the latest machinations from fringe 'bareback' DVD producers, involving a sordid murder case. It couldn't happen here.
Bareback gay sex marketing is increasingly pervasive
Why not? Remember, in New Zealand, we have the Prostitution Law Reform Act 2003 to decriminalise and regulate the sex industry. Under that legislation, it is illegal for either a brothel manager or other sex work supervisor to force a sex worker to undertake unsafe sex. Moreover, we also have independent youth benefits that enable lesbian and gay teenagers living in dysfunctional family contexts to escape from those contexts, and support themselves within the education system.
In the United States, that isn't the case. According to Marshment, Joseph Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra drifted from fundamentalist Christianity into the armed services into producing bareback DVDs due to easy bank credit and the existence of marginalised gay youth. They seemed to be far isolated from any gay community organisations or insitutions that might have stopped them in their tracks. Kerekes and Cuadra clashed with one Bryan Kocis, another bareback DVD producer, and his leading star "Brent Corrigan."

Kerekes apparently had anger management problems, and beat Kocis to death due to contractual frustrations and perceived obstruction from Kocis. As for Corrigan, he was from a dysfunctional, negligent home and was forced to support himself through using sex work, despite the fact that he was slightly under the age of consent in his jurisdiction, California (18).
It's a wretched story, but it does raise some interesting questions. If we believe in the decriminalisation and regulation of sex work as in New Zealand, shouldn't we be trying to undermine the bareback DVD industry through actively undermining it at its roots? To do so, we need to promote overseas decriminalisation and regulation of sex work, as well as comprehensive welfare state benefits to provide at-risk gay youth with independent living allowances to protect them. It couldn't happen here. Let's make sure it doesn't happen at the barebackers sites of production, so their wretched exploitative 'industry' unravels.

Rob Marshment: "Natural Porn Killers" DNA 115 (August 2009): 90-93

Craig Young - 17th August 2009

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