The Porn Film That Changed My Life

My first exposure to gay bdsm came when I was about 23 or 24. My older brother sent me a copy of John Preston’s seminal bdsm novel Mr Benson as a birthday present. (I’ve got a pretty open-minded family…) I…enjoyed. it a good deal and learned a fair amount from it. And after that I read a little more here and there. But somehow I never connected my enjoyment of that sort of thing with my identity. I didn’t realize I was kinky.

Down until I was 40, I was exclusively a bottom, in large part because my partner was a top. I wanted to try topping, but he wasn’t comfortable with it. It was only after he dumped me when I was 40, after an 8-year relationship, that I began to explore topping and discovered I liked it a whole lot more than bottoming. Over the course of the next year, I found myself slowly getting more and more aggressive with the bottoms I played with, but I still hadn’t figured it out.

And then one night I was horny and surfing the web for porn, like you do, and I ran across a scene from To the Last Man. If you’re not familiar with it, it very loosely follows the plot of Zane Grey’s 1921 Western novel of the same name. That is to say, it’s lots of guys in cowboy outfits fucking in barns. Only there is a thread of rivalry going on between ranchers and their ranch hands and as the standard-issue fucking and sucking goes on (over the course of two DVDs), it’s mostly happening between members of the two ranches. Eventually a gun-battle breaks out, executed with not-total incompetence. I mean, porn films aren’t know for stunt work and special effects (with the exception of a few cum-shots), and it’s not bad by those standards. But unless you’ve got a thing for cowboys engaging in bland, generic sex, there’s nothing in the film that’s remarkable other than the fact that Raging Stallion actually tried to do something kindasorta literary.

But then…

At the <ahem> climax of the ranch war, Ricky Sinz, playing one of the ranchers, and Logan McCree, playing one of his ranch-hands, capture Scott Tanner, playing the other rancher. And they rape him.

There is no way to misconstrue this scene as anything other than flat-out rape. Sinz and McCree hold him down and take turns aggressively fucking Tanner while he screams in protest. Throughout the whole scene, Tanner fights what is happening, futilely pushing against them but unable to get any leverage. In some spots it’s pretty clear that Tanner is co-operating to get the scene filmed, but he acts up a storm, making it clear that his character is definitely not consenting to what’s happening. And when the sex is finally over, Sinz’ character shoots and kills him. You can watch the start of the scene here. (And in case you need to be told, this is VERY NSFW.)

I watched that scene with a raging hard-on. And over the next couple days, I watched it several more times, getting off at least once every time. It was, and still is, one of the most wildly arousing things I’ve ever seen. Sinz and McCree’s aggression, Tanner’s shouts of protest, the way they hold him down, the intense intermingling of sex and violence, the fact that McCree and Tanner are sexy as fuck–it all intermingles to hit a sweet spot I didn’t even realize (at the time) that I had.

And at the same time, it profoundly disturbed me that I found this scene so arousing. I was bothered that the idea of non-consensual sex could turn me on so much (even though some of my fantasies were very much about non-consensual sex). What did it say about me that a rape scene got me hard? Was it a sign that I was potential rapist? I didn’t think I was, but I wasn’t sure what other possible meaning there could be for my arousal. I remember talking about it with my best friend (who’s gay) and trying to figure out the morality of filming a porn scene like this. If non-consensual sex is immoral (and it is), how could filming a non-consensual sex scene for erotic enjoyment be anything other than immoral?

I totally understand why porn studios shy away from filming this sort of scene. Film companies depict illegal acts all the time, but there’s something problematic about filming a rape scene for the erotic enjoyment of an audience (as opposed to, say, the famous rape scene from The Sopranos, which is entirely non-erotic, shocking, and brutal. There’s nothing titilating about it at all, and it’s entirely appropriate in the context). Although the evidence shows that access to porn reduces sexual assault, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that eroticizing rape might somehow encourage it (the same way that 50 Shades of Grey encouraged a lot of dangerous ideas about how BDSM should operate).

The ethics of BDSM are confusing until you find the True North of Informed Consent to act as a guideline, and if a pretty smart, pretty self-aware, pretty-morally clear guy like me had trouble figuring out the difference between film a rape scene and actually committing a rape, I expect there are other less self-aware guys out there who might come to some pretty wrong conclusions. (And in case there is any confusion here, let me say it clearly: rape and all other forms of non-consensual sex are immoral and are either illegal or ought to be. If you aren’t 100% sure that your sex partner consents to what you’re going to do to him or her, stop until you actively get their consent. Trust me–knowing that your partner actively craves what you want to do is way sexier and more empowering than doing it without their consent.)

And I imagine that a lot of porn studios want to avoid doing anything that might get law enforcement looking more closely at them. A lot of them operate on somewhat sketchy legal principles, society is inclined to find what they do immoral, and a lot of conservatives out there would love to shut them down. I’m sure that filming rape scenes looks to them like playing a game of hot potato with a blob of molten lava. Someone’s eventually gonna get burned.

So I get why they don’t film this sort of content very often. But damn! Part of me wishes they would.

To the Last Man opened a door in my head. Until I saw that scene, I was pretty sure I knew all the rooms in the house of my erotic imagination. Watching it was like noticing a door in that house and realizing there wasn’t only a closet I hadn’t been in before, but a stairway to a whole new level of the house. I wasn’t quite ready to walk through that door. But a couple months later I had an experience that led me to move my whole bedroom up those stairs, and I don’t think that would have happened if I hadn’t seen To the Last Man.

But that’s a story for another time. I’m sure I’ll get around to telling that story eventually. If you really want to know about the moment that made me a dom, about my Dominant Epiphany, as I call it, donate or tribute and I’ll write about it.

2 thoughts on “The Porn Film That Changed My Life

  1. Ditto! That rape scene opened something in me too and it is still the most arousing scenes that gets me off every time! Thanks for sharing

    Like

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