For a long time now I've been thinking about the porn debate that I constantly see in the news. Whenever the debate about the negative aspects of porn rears its ugly head the public is always told about the negative effects it can have on women, such as the way it can squash the reality of feminine beauty or portray women as objects designed for one thing. On the other hand we are also told about the negative effects it can have on straight men, such as a rewiring of the brain or contributing to psychological problems.
Anti-porn activist Gail Dines has even discussed how pornography tells a false story about men and women, which ultimately lies about what it means to be male and female.
Now everyone has their own stance on pornography and with access to the Internet and cable channels, whether we like it or not porn looks as though it is here to stay for quite some time.
The reason why it has crept back into the foreground of my mind is due to a little programme on BBC Three called Unsafe Sex in the City. The programme, which is a new take on the fly on the wall documentary series that we've all become accustomed to over the last decade or two, is based in a sexual health clinic in Manchester where we are able to hear and sometimes see what many people have been up to on a night out, and believe me sometimes it isn't pleasant.
During the second episode of the show two young gay men were featured, who as well as having vey active sex lives, worked as porn stars. This got me thinking about the hypocrisy of the porn industry, especially in the world of gay porn.
As the two young men were to feature in a bareback porn movie (bareback being the act of having sex without a condom), they were sent to have full sexual health screenings. Now as many will know porn stars have to be sent for sexual health tests regularly to ensure that a breakout of something doesn't occur, and the man shooting the film explained this during the programme.
However the main reason they appeared to be getting tested was due to the nature of the film they were to shoot, which is where we get into the hypocrisy of it all. As they were to be filming a porno movie where no protection was being used then surely this is the promotion of unsafe sex?
Since the outbreak of HIV during the 1980s the general public, especially the gay community, have been made aware that unprotected sex could lead to the contraction of the HIV virus. As gay men are seemingly at a higher risk, then surely shooting a film featuring two young and vulnerable looking gay men without protection can't be doing anyone any good.
I may be wrong but in the same way it is perceived that women may think they have to act and perform a certain way during sex because of porn, then surely the same principal can be applied to naïve or impressionable gay men, which in this case could prove dangerous. Along with this the constant normalising and sometimes glamorising of unprotected sex may also be undoing much of the good work by various charities; who are trying to get people to wrap it up and prevent the spreading of this virus.
But It looks as though whilst the porn industry is acting as though they care by sending their stars for check ups they are merely doing it to cover their own backs in case anything happens to one of their performers. But when it comes to the everyday person in the street who goes out on a weekend looking for a good time, it appears they don't actually care that much as they continue to turn out pornography such as this to the masses.