How to Tell Aunt Marian About Gay Porn?

Posted by mike on October 23, 2005, 9:17 am
in General ( Mike Zillion's Blog)

Everyone has an Aunt Marian. Mine is recently widowed, long retired, living in Florida, not one to worry about hurricaines, and socially conservative although not strictly religious. If you don't have an Aunt Marian, then you probably have someone else in your life who doesn't know yet what it is you do for a living, and might prefer never to know.

My mother, of course, knows what I do and understands the choices I have made. Not everyone has the advantage of such a rational parent. However, she is very sensitive about sharing this information with the rest of the family. She tells me she doesn't want me to ruin my good reputation, and I can only assume that she is concerned about her own reputation as well. In all fairness, I can see the difference between understanding my choices, and explaining them to her family.

The problem for my mother, and potentially for my Aunt Marian, is that I am not only content with the choices I have made for myself, I am actively proud of who I am and what I do. I do recognize that Aunt Marian's upbringing may never have exposed her to the more positive aspects of the adult entertainment industry. In fact, she might not even be aware of the critical role of erotica in the evolution and stability of the homosexual community. And come to think of it, I'm not even sure if she knows her precious nephew is a card-carrying friend of Dorothy!

The important point for me, and anyone else in this situation, is to be clear about how I feel about who I am and what I do. I can't expect everyone to agree with me, shake my hand, and join in for several choruses of Kumba-Ya on the guitar. But as long as I present my position and opinions with clarity, professionalism, and confidence, I will know that any failure to communicate is not my fault.

I might not have the opportunity to tell everyone in the family all about what I do and why. But I can answer questions when asked, and try to include a little education about the role of adult entertainment in the gay community.

There are a few key points to keep in mind when introducing this subject to someone who might not be inclined to listen with an open mind.

For many people in the mainstream heterosexual world, sexuality is just a natural part of the rhythm of life. The exaggerated focus on sexuality implied by pornography can seem distasteful. But these people have never had to live in a society which denies their basic instinctual inclinations at every turn, and discourages them from sharing their feelings with each other and themselves.

In a hetero-centric society, gay erotica fills a necessary void in the lives of many gay adults who might otherwise never be able to explore their own sexuality. Nobody would deny that sexuality is a critical aspect of anyone's life. It may be illegal to marry, and it may be unpopular or even dangerous to express affection in public, but at least in the privacy of their own homes all gay men can and should have the chance to deal honestly with themselves.

Some people may be more interested in the mechanical details of the industry, and these questions can be answered honestly and respectfully if you desire. There are plenty of myths and fallacies about the industry, and only those of us who work in this field really know for certain how untrue most of these are.

I assume that nobody would choose to join a profession without at least some sense of pride in the products of his labor. That is as true for a pornographer as it is for anyone else. Tapping into that shared sense of professional dignity, which underlies all professions, may be the most critical aspect to uncovering mutual respect for the work we all do.

Unless each of us has a clear handle on why we are proud of what we do, we may never be able to discuss it productively with our Aunt Marians.
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