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Compromised Masculinity, Biphobia, and HIV Stigma: How the Porn Industry Sidelines Bisexual Male Performers

Compromised Masculinity, Biphobia, and HIV Stigma: How the Porn Industry Sidelines Bisexual Male Performers

While pornography has an abundance of categories for every sexual fantasy and desire, there remains a deep-rooted stigma against bisexual male performers in the industry. 

Americans are constantly inundated with sexual imagery in media from perfume commercials and magazine covers to film and television. However, there is still a strong taboo around actually talking about sex

Sex education classes across the country are not standardized. According to the Guttmacher Institute, while 39 states require some form of sex education, all must promote abstinence. Additionally, only 17 require the curriculum to be accurate and six states require a positive emphasis on heterosexuality.

The Popularity of Porn

Due to the lack of information surrounding safe sex practices and ways of forming consensual relationships for teens and adolescents, many move to online spaces to explore their sexuality and sexual fantasies. 

Many of today’s youth turn to clandestine pornography searches to learn about sex, although much of the available content does not reflect reality. 

Porn is a way for people to explore and understand the bounds of their sexuality free of the judgment and taboos surrounding sex. The porn industry has responded in kind with a wealth of categories available that explore nearly every sexual fantasy on sites like Pornhub and RedTube, from highly produced content made by popular studios to amateur scenes filmed on cell phones.  

Stigmatization of Bisexual Male Performers in the Porn Industry

Logically, one might assume that the porn industry is less entrenched in the misinformation surrounding sex, however, male performers often face pushback from studios and other performers when they crossover between gay and straight porn. 

The industry stigmatizes male performers that look to perform bisexual scenes with two men and a woman (MMF) or cross over between straight and gay scenes. 

Among men, bisexuality is often invalidated by queer and straight people alike who assume that bisexuality is just a phase, jeopardizes their masculinity and indicates a confusion or inability to commit. 

"DIA BISEXUAL. SEP 2017"
Image: Fotos de Camisetas de SANTI OCHOA, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bisexual Male Performers and Fears Surrounding HIV Transmission in the Porn Industry

These stereotypes permeate the pornography industry and contribute to the widespread stigmatization among bi male performers

Latent fears surrounding potential HIV transmission–many of which are fueled by misinformation–lead to the stigmatization and potential industry blacklisting of males that perform scenes with women and other men,

Many female performers are misinformed that working with bisexual male performers will jeopardize their own ability to get work and put them at risk for HIV. 

Porn Industry Testing Standards for STIs and HIV

However, the industry currently holds rigorous testing standards for STIs including HIV with most performers expected to be tested every 28 days. The Performer Availability Screening Service (PASS), administered by the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), is a testing database that verifies that performers are free of STIs and HIV. 

Performers are regularly tested and must have negative results to participate in any straight scenes coordinated by studios. Notions surrounding HIV include assumptions that people that exclusively have straight sex can’t contract the virus. In reality, straight people account for 24 percent of HIV diagnoses, according to HIV.gov

Safe Sex Practices in the Porn Industry

Medication like PrEP is 99 percent effective in preventing HIV, according to the CDC. Coupled with safe sex practices like frequent testing, which porn performers are required to take part in, and the use of condoms, there are many ways to keep performers safe and healthy. 

The weariness of studios to take on bi male performers is therefore rooted more in bias and misinformation than legitimate concern for the health of performers. 

The Rise of Wolf Hudson: The King of Bisexual Porn

Among the most popular bisexual pornstars is Wolf Hudson, a performer that has gained immense popularity. His amateur scenes amassed more than 130 million views on Pornhub, and he ranks 66th in Pornhub’s Modelhub program. 

In an interview on the Two Bi Guys podcast, Hudson shared that he began his career in porn in 2006 in New York City after coming across a Craigslist ad. A few months later, he moved first to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles to pursue pornography full-time. 

After starting his career in straight porn, Hudson transitioned to gay porn when a female performer told him he could get paid more for scenes with men.

Wolf Hudson’s Experience With Discriminatory Hiring Practices in the Porn Industry

Once Hudson began performing scenes with men, though, straight studios were no longer interested in hiring him, a common issue among bi male performers. 

At the time, Hudson was interested in shooting bisexual or MMF (male, male, female) scenes but was told by studios that there was no market them. 

Growing tired of studios’ discriminatory hiring practices, Hudson decided to retire from porn in 2016 after nearly a decade. 

Wold Hudson’s Comeback and Rise to Success

Not long after, couples interested in shooting content began contacting Hudson. He posted some of the videos to his Pornhub account and found that the market for MMF scenes was far greater than studios had suggested to him years prior. 

Hudson emerged from retirement and began posting regularly to his account and soon became one of the most popular bi male performers on the platform. 

In a July 2020 issue of Men’s Health, Hudson was dubbed the “King of Bisexual Porn,” and spoke on the importance of visbility and representation for bi men that are often given little space to explore to proudly claim their sexuality. 

“I take this to heart. I want to give people a sense of worth, inclusivity, and pride. I want to let bi men know that they’re not alone, and through porn, I’ve been able to do that,” Hudson said in the interview. 

Hudson has received messages from subscribers, especially men, that his videos have given them the space to explore their sexuality and indulge in their fantasies without shame. Women and couples also make up a significant portion of Hudson’s fanbase. 

The Growing Demand for Bisexual Porn

While there was a widespread philosophy in the industry that there was no demand for bi porn didn’t sell, the opposite proved true. Hudson’s account has over 53,000 subscribers. There is a clear appetite for the bi porn that Hudson produces. 

Hudson’s videos are shot amateur style and are rarely scripted. He credits the authenticity and realism of his videos to their popularity.  

The growing popularity of MMF and bisexual scenes show that there is a fanbase eager for Hudson’s type of content. Though stigma remains pervasive in porn, visible and outspoken performers like Hudson are changing the industry’s landscape with authentic and realistic content.