International AIDS Society


Bareback movies: men, fantasies and semen exchange

M. Scalvini

New York University, New York, United States

Background: Why do some gay men continue to desire unsafe sexual practices despite the known and widely publicized risks of HIV infections? Since epidemiological research on “bareback sex” overlooks several socio-cultural and psychological dimensions of sexual fantasy, this research attempts to construct an appropriate framework by which it can be understood the fantasy concerning this sexual practice and its relation with pornography.
Methods: In the first part the study analyzes a large collection of movies using a semiotics approach focused on the issues of desire, transgression and pleasure within exchange of semen in visual and verbal sexual content. In the second part the research investigates the relationship between sexual fantasies and attitudes to unprotect sexual behaviors. A fuller understanding of pleasure and desire of exchange of semen in gay men fantasies is a worthwhile research goal. In order to achieve this, a qualitative research has been selected and 15 in-depth interviews will be carried out with gay men from three European (Paris and Milan) and North American cities (New York).
Results: This work tends to be descriptive, by reporting the narratives of bareback movies, summarizing fantasy content and incidence or frequency of unprotected sexual intercourses. However there some evidences that the space of the screen impacts identity and identification by demanding self-objectifying practices that rely on bareback pornographic tropes.
Conclusions: Although the relationship between sexual fantasies and unprotected sex is not well understood, the presence of a causal link between the two would have important implications both theoretically and practically.

Toronto - AIDS 2006
Abstract no. 2006_CDD0329

Suggested Citation
" M. Scalvini Bareback movies: men, fantasies and semen exchange. : Toronto - AIDS 2006: Abstract no. CDD0329"

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