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.
I don’t disagree w/Dr. re what the “straight” appeal is. This is in part what frustrates me, and I find offensive! The “straight” male appeal has become diluted for me because bisexual males and “closet case” homosexuals are insisting they are heterosexual/”straight” with a dick in their ass and mouth and they are performing sex that they, supposedly, find gross, disgusting and so uncomfortable/painful for them just for a few of bucks, and for some having to project their internal shame or disgust toward a gay person in the form of murder, bullying, etc. What they do to themselves like drugs (supposedly for some viagra) and whatever else. What I have a deep frustration with is the insistence that these guys are “straight” that for them is synonymous with heterosexual. To the Dr, in all due respect, but to say, “…then maybe heterosexuality isn’t the inflexible monolith it’s made out to be,” seem to stop short of saying this flexibility is bisexuality.
It seems to me Daniel that this documentary was just an expense exercise of self-indulgence disguised as some scholarly work! If it is supposed to be a scholarly work, in many ways, it failed given your concern for the education and well being of gay youth.