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Memoir and performance: Social change and self life-writing among men who are gay pornography producers and actors

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Abstract

Identity may be understood both as a life-story, either told or written as memoir or autobiography, and also as a practice such as producing or acting in gay pornographic film, but always within the context of social and historical change. Study of the memoirs of gay men who have been actors and/or producers of gay pornographic films across three generation cohorts provides an opportunity for understanding the interplay of social change and life circumstances in making gay identity. This perspective on identity is illustrated through the study of the memoirs of three men from different cohorts who have produced and acted in gay pornographic films: Wakefield Poole, born in 1936; Scott O'Hara, born in 1961; and Aaron Lawrence, born in 1971. Differences in style and content of both memoir and practice in gay pornographic films reflect changing social expectations regarding men who have sex with men following the emergence of the gay rights movement and the AIDS epidemic.

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... Hierdeur word verdere vrae oor die verband tussen pornografie en welsyn ("eudaimonia") opgeroep, en nadere ondersoek toon dat daar inderdaad al heelwat navorsing in hierdie verband uitgevoer is, spesifiek ook oor gay pornografie, met uiteenlopende bevindinge en perspektiewe as resultaat (vgl. Corneau & Van der Meulen 2014;Cohler 2004;Kendall & Funk 2003;Kendall 2004;Morris & Paasonen 2014;Mowlabocus, Harbottle & Witzel 2013;Rothmann 2013;Salmon & Diamond 2012). Die ondersoeksresultate oorspan 'n kontinuum vanaf (oorwegend) positief tot (oorwegend) negatief: vanaf konklusies dat pornografie bevrydend, informatief en bemagtigend is (persoonlik/eroties en "polities") tot meer afwysende vasstellings, naamlik dat dit bloot (op meganistiese wyse) op seksuele organe en prikkeling ingestel is, die mens ontken, die kyker van die werklikheid en die medemens (spesifiek ook die minnaar/minnares) vervreem (onder meer deurdat seks binne die kapitalistiese sisteem ʼn kommoditeit word) en 'n volstrek vernietigende uitwerking het, individueel en sosiaal. ...
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Gegewe die relatiewe onderwaardering in Suid-Afrika van Eben Venter se jongste roman Wolf, wolf, veral ten opsigte van literêre pryse - wat ook iets van die ontvangs van sy werk oor die algemeen illustreer - word in hierdie artikel gepoog om hierdie roman binne die konteks van Venter se oeuvre te herevalueer. Met verwysing na Julia Kristeva (1980) se essay "From one identity to an other" word aangetoon hoe die spanning tussen die "simboliese" orde van die vader (se taal) en die instinkmatige "semiotiese" aspek van taal in Wolf, wolf uitspeel deur die teleskopering van die verhouding tussen die streng, heteronormatiewe Benjamin Duiker en sy pornografie-verslaafde gay seun Mattheüs, wat hy van jongs af half in- en half uitsluit, en uiteindelik dan ook (ten dele) uit sy testament laat. Daar word voorts ondersoek ingestel na hoe 'n verdere dialektiese relasie wat Kristeva (1980) uitlig, naamlik tussen die nabootsende "retorikus" en die onafhanklike "stilis", in die ontwikkeling van Venter se werk na vore kom, met Wolf, wolf as kulminasiepunt waarin die stilis seëvier. Die wolfmotief is in 'n resensie van Crous (2013) as ongemotiveerd beskryf, maar dís juis die punt: die wolf(motief) as vernaamste manifestasie van die semiotiese in hierdie roman bedreig die orde, ook dié van die roman, en suggereer op ʼn manier wat Foucault (1978) oproep maar ook aan hom verbystreef, dat seksualiteit, of sekere uitdrukkings of aspekte daarvan, uiteindelik dalk nie gereguleer en beheer kan word nie, in praktyk en diskursief - spesifiek in hierdie digitale era. Pornografie as taboe-onderwerp, in samehang met die wolfmotief, markeer dus op ʼn treffende manier die meer algemene tema van in- en uitsluiting wat in hierdie roman op die voorgrond gestel word.
... The recent work of Cohler and colleagues (e.g., Cohler, 2004 Cohler, , 2007 Cohler & Galatzer-Levy, 2000; Cohler & Hammack, 2006 Cohler & Hostetler, 2002; Cohler, Hostetler, & Boxer, 1998) on gay male identity development also implicitly adopts aspects of the proposed model. The focus of this work has been on the historical and generational construction of gay male identity and the ways in which historical and cultural context matters deeply in sexual identity development for men with same-sex desire (also see Hammack, 2005b ). ...
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