This piece originally went to air in episode 22 of The Outland Institute. You can hear it with added interview material and sound effects by downloading it from here, or why not go crazy and subscribe through iTunes?
Over the years, AIDS educators have tried many ways to get their message across. They’ve used fear, erotic photography, celebrity spokesmodels, real people’s stories, and even bowling. For the last year or so the Victorian AIDS Council has been using porn stars to inform and educate. Marco Blaze and Francesco D’Macho have already visited – probably not their real names – and last week Bruno Bond and Steve Cruz came to Melbourne. They were here to promote the VAC’s 2010 Protection calendar.
In the past, visiting pornistas have been used mostly for media promotion, and for live interview appearances. This time round there was something new. In what was possibly a world first, Cruz and Bond were to perform a live commentary on their porn in a gay sex club in Collingwood. It was an intriguing blend of private and public, combining the old world of the public gathering with the new world of the DVD extra. By extending the on-screen action into the audience it was oddly reminiscent of William Castle’s 1959 classic The Tingler, in which some of the seats in the cinema were hooked up to an electric current.
Incidentally, are all porn performers automatically “stars”? Is there such a thing as a porn “character actor”? Is anyone the William H Macy of porn?
So at 1am on Saturday the 28th of November I made my way to Club 80, for what promised to be a very special night. And let’s be upfront about this – partly I was genuinely interested in the idea of exploring the different ways in which audiences enjoy visual works, and partly I was hoping it would be hilarious so I could mock it on The Outland Institute radio show, like the angsty sarcastic self-loathing Gen X type that I am…