Over the last week I travelled to London, UK, to meet with Professor Sharif Mowlabocus. Dr. Mowlabocus is a professor of Media Studies at the University of Sussex in Brighton and is the author of Gaydar Culture and multiple articles in academic journals and anthologies.
Sharif took time out of his busy schedule to meet with me in London (at the lovely Whitechapel Gallery Cafe) to discuss the project and the interview. Even this ‘getting-to-know-you’ pre-interview produced some amazing results. With Sharif I got to looking at the project from an entirely different angle. We came up with two things I had never thought of before: that Straight Guy Porn taps into fantasies that many (if not all) gay men had in their youth and young adulthood for that classmate, lifeguard or neighbour who was inevitably straight. It also subtly hints at the flexibility of sexuality – if these Corbin Fisher and Sean Cody can experiment with their sexuality (and seemingly enjoy the results) then maybe heterosexuality isn’t the inflexible monolith it’s made out to be.
The following day, Sharif met me at the lovely University of Sussex campus in Brighton, where we filmed the interview. He spoke of porn’s role as an educational tool, as examples of gay sex and love that aren’t readily available in mainstream film and television. He also spoke about the importance of online gay porn to those who are outside gay metropolises (the ‘gay diaspora’, as he calls it) who otherwise would not have access to gay culture. The interview was a great success (as evidenced by how happy we are in the photo above) and I look forward to working with Dr. Mowlabocus in the future.
You can order his book Gaydar Culture here.