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Gay porn cannot be regarded as one-dimensional, says new research

Professor John Mercer has almost 20 years’ research into gay pornography stuffed into his latest book.

The academic – who completed this new research at Birmingham City University – will compile his argument into a new publication titled Gay Pornography: Representations of Sexuality and Masculinity.

Professor Mercer takes a look at how the internet has caused exponential growth in the volume and variety of gay pornography, and how it has become a part of a wider cultural context in which modern masculinities have become ‘saturated’.

“People will talk about ‘gay culture’ in isolation, but it is based on interaction with, recycling and appropriation of aspects of the wider culture,” Professor Mercer said.

“Masculinities are a multitude and are represented, likewise, in a multitude of ways, and this is vividly evidenced in the types that populate the fantasy worlds of gay porn – from the obvious ‘twink’ and ‘jock’, but also ‘chavs’ and the hypermascline gay male.

Professor John Mercer

“Plus, we must also consider how the rhetoric and iconography of gay porn is informing the ways in which heterosexual men produce their bodies for erotic consumption, which is in itself contributing to the perpetual flux of masculinities men must contend with in modern times. 

“My book is as much about contemporary constructions of masculinity as it is a work that is a contribution to the ongoing pornography debate. The intention of my study is to challenge a monolithic interpretation of gay porn and an equally monolithic comprehension of contemporary masculinities.”

Gay Pornography: Representations of Sexuality and Masculinity will receive its official launch at Birmingham City University on 23 March, before being released on 29 March.

The launch will come after an academic debate titled What It Means to be a Man in the 21st Century: Masculinity, Sex and Popular Culture, where Professor Mercer will be joined by author Mark Simpson – the guy who coined the terms metrosexual and spornosexual.

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