QUILTBAGS Episode 10: Proclivities

QUILTBAGS is a web series which explores sexuality through dramatized scenes with a variety of fascinating characters. You never know who might show up, or what they might want.

If you are new to QUILTBAGS, please scroll down and watch Episode 1, “Little Pitchers”, which will properly introduce the series and give you our wonderful theme song.  Episodes 1 and 2 are the setup for this one, in which Walter comes to Rod and Frank for advice.

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Please watch the episode BEORE reading the following:

Here’s the TED talk that Walter watched. (Well worth watching, especially if you have a dog in this fight.) Maybe Walter is over-reacting to Jake’s confusion, but his heart is in the right place.

Starring Rick Meyers as Frank
Tim Johnson as Rod
Zale Dalen as Walter
Kyle Hughes as Clark the clerk
Mostly Written by Tim Johnson with interference contributions by Zale Dalen
Camera: Dana Fehr
Sound boom:  Ruth Anderson
Script supervision: Theodore Johnson
Direction and Editing by Zale Dalen
Series created by Tim Johnson and Zale Dalen

I really like this episode because it stacks misconceptions on misconceptions.  Rod assumes that Walter wants advice about Vivian being gay, i.e. that Walter thinks gay men know all about being a gay woman.  Frank assumes that Walter wants to talk about Vivian. Walter assumes that anybody who is a transvestite or cross dresser is automatically transgender, thus Frank must be an expert on trans issues. Rod assumes that anybody who hands out with gay men must have a desire to explore being gay.

I’ve been doing some research for this series, which has led me deep into the gay porn sites.  And what I’ve found has me thinking deep thoughts about the meaning of being sex positive.

I’m not putting in the link here to “Jimmie Slater Sucks off Alessio Romero”.  You can find it yourself fast enough with a quick Google search.  It’s hard core and very explicit.  What a world we live in, when this kind of erotic entertainment is constantly available and as close as your smart phone.

I found this clip surprising.  First of all because the performers used their names.  It seems there is an attitude among porn actors that I can really appreciate.  If they feel they are doing nothing wrong, and doing nothing that they should be ashamed of doing, then why not be open and public about it.  Of course these guys are professionals.  They’re in it for the money, trying to make a name for themselves.  So they use their names.

In the clip I watched, Jimmie Slater enters the frame, gives Alessio a few affectionate kisses, and then gets right down to business.  And he certainly seems to know what he’s doing.  One might even suspect that he’s done this before. The whole performance seems very matter of fact, almost mechanical.  The word that leaps to my mind is “mundane”.  It all seems so ordinary.

I’ve never been able to figure out the difference between porn and erotica.  For me, porn implies lousy production values and a lot of dishonesty in the performance.  But there’s little dishonesty about this.  There’s no dialogue to give away bad acting. It doesn’t seem exploitive, in that there seems to be no coercion.  With heterosexual porn there’s a lot of concern about women being exploited.  Do we have a different standard when it is two men performing a sex act for the camera?

On a bus ride in China a few years ago, a middle aged Mormon woman told me the tragic story of a young Mormon man who murdered several women.  He confessed to the crime, and blamed his actions on the influence of pornography.  The woman telling me this story took this as evidence that addiction to porn is a terrible vice that leads to dire consequences.  My personal view is that the repressive Mormon culture was much more likely the cause of the man’s murderous rampage than pornography.  Of course I have as much empirical evidence for my opinion as she has for hers.  No.  My opinion has more backing it up.  If pornography was the cause of violent sex crimes, we’d be awash in murders by now.     – Zale

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