chapter  4
18 Pages

The anatomy of a forbidden desire

Men, penetration, and semen exchange
ByDave Holmes, Dan Warner

There has been resurgence in the popularity of bareback sex (BBS) in male homosexual communities in western countries. 'Bareback sex' is commonly defined as 'skin to skin sex' or 'raw sex'. It constitutes a sexual practice in which condom use is explicitly and consciously excluded from anal intercourse. This chapter seeks to pursue an understanding of bareback sex through the meaningfulness of semen exchange, and aims to begin devising an appropriate theoretical edifice by which one can assess the activity and its psychic importance to the barebacking community. In order to understand bareback sex, a qualitative design was selected, and 18 semi-conductive interviews were carried out with barebackers from four European and North American cities. The chapter demonstrates that the rise of unsafe anal sex between men may constitute a perverse effect of governmental strategies and technologies.