Gay Pornography: Representations of Sexuality and Masculinity

I.B. Tauris, 2016

£ Purchase

Gay porn, understood either as a genre or as an industry, is primarily in the business of producing models of eroticised masculinity for consumption and economic gain. My argument in this book is that these models of masculinity are extremely diverse and dynamic, they are iterative and more particularly they are generative; constantly evolving and developing.

I am contending that this proliferation of types and modes of masculinity that are vividly illustrated in the world of gay porn collectively provide evidence of a phenomenon that I describe as 'saturated masculinity'. This is a contemporary condition in which masculinity, historically tied to binarisms, has become overburdened with a range of meanings, associations and connotations to such an extent that it becomes a category that is increasingly indeterminate and threatens to collapse under the weight of its own hyperbole.

Additionally, I am arguing that the widespread access to porn online and the resulting set of debates and moral panics around the so-called sexualisation and/or pornification of culture more widely (and popular culture specifically) mean that the iconography of gay porn can no longer be regarded as a marginal and minority concern. Instead this is material that, I believe, forms the fabric of the ways in which masculinity itself is understood.

This is a book then that takes the iconography of gay porn as its primary object of study but it is as about contemporary constructions of masculinity as it is a work that is a contribution to the ongoing pornography debate.