Why The Rentboy Raid Feels So Bad To The Gay Community

Posted August 30, 2015 5:27 PM by with 10 comments

why the rentboy raid hurts so bad

The Feds did not barge into my bedroom with a writ of coitus interuptus and forcibly separate me and my partner. But they might as well have. And not just to me, but between every gay man from every other. It’s not just an attack on Rentboy for what they did. It’s not just an attack on the gay community for what we do. It’s an attack on all of us for who we are. That is why the Rentboy raid feels so bad.

anger2jpgTwo women kicking it turns on many straight men. For this banal reason, lesbians have gotten a bit of a pass in the sexual depravity department. Gay men have never gotten such a pass. Many other biblical and social “abominations” have likewise dissipated over time. But the scourge on being a gay man has always stuck. We always get called out for “our sin.” By comparing their piety to our “depravity,” our accusers cling to their illusion of being more holy than they actually are. That is why gay men will always be the red meat entree on the buffet table of self-righteous carnivores.

The pink triangle is both a literal and figurative brandishment of gay men. Historically and geographically, it has and does convey different things. To varying degrees, this still means that as gay men, we could experience the legal denial of anything. That we were/are not worthy of all things afforded with a defacto heterosexual birthright: employment, children, spouses, housing, medical care, legal rights, civil rights, and in some countries, life itself.

If we are damned for being gay, then being gay we will be. We empower ourselves with the one thing the outside world cannot deny us: expressing our sexuality.

Capturing the imagery of that expression is an integral part of the role pornography has played in gay culture. As Mike Stable discussed in the Huffington Post and explored in his movie “Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story,”

… creating imagery that would make gay men feel proud of their sexuality. For tens of thousands of closeted customers in small towns across the country, those Falcon films were the “It Gets Better” videos of their day.

Gay porn allows gay sexuality to be celebrated when almost everything else seeks to demonize it.

We would still be gay men without gay porn.

Celibate gay men are still gay men.

Who we love is what defines us us gay.

But we would not be gay men if we can not experience gay sex as a celebration of our identity.

No wonder the calls to limit sexual encounters in the early days of the AIDS crisis were so difficult for many to accept.

No wonder “safe sex” felt to so many like a direct encroachment on the free expression of gay sexuality.

No wonder the Rentboy raid feels so bad.

Unlike baseless fear or real disease, Rentboy was neither predator nor predatory.

This wasn’t just between New York State and the Rentboy Seven. This wasn’t just about the Department of Homeland Security and Jeffrey Hurant. This wasn’t about human trafficking. This wasn’t about the exploitation of minors.

The New York Times is calling it, “an indictment of gay men as being sexually promiscuous.”

I am calling it something else.

The Rentboy raid is an intrusive federal cock block on the untethered expression of sexuality between consensual gay men.

In his 1975 book The Homosexual Matrix, Kinsey protégé C.A. Tripp put the “hyper-sexuality of the gay community” in context. He explained the reality is not hedonism, but a show of empowerment in the one area we did have control: our sexuality. And now, they are coming for that too. Again.

I was beginning to think that as the collective “we” of community, country, county, state, district and nation, that we had moved past that.

Last Monday was a reminder of how far we still have to go.

And that’s why the Rentboy raid feels so bad.

Empower Yourself
[Explore the Rentboy Coverage at GayPornBlog]
[More About Rentboy at “The Sword”]

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10 responses to Why The Rentboy Raid Feels So Bad To The Gay Community

  1. Jake August 31st, 2015 at 6:25 AM

    You’re entitled to your opinion but this wasn’t an indictment on gay men; it was stopping a business that promoted prostitution (which is illeagal) ), money laundering (also illegal) and drug trade (illegal as well). The government isn’t conducting an “intrusive fedreal cock block”, as there are sill countless LEGAL was for gay men to express their sexualit.


    • Hman August 31st, 2015 at 7:16 AM

      Jake, thank you for your comments. The 22 page indictment does not include charges of money laundering or drug trade. Not all men have the same options for sexual companionship gay or straight. For some, the path to least resistance in expressing their sexuality is either being or hiring an escort. This raid only involved gay men. This will not bring an end to the world’s oldest profession. By forcing it underground, the raid makes it more clandestine, and therefore, more dangerous for those involved.


      • Jake August 31st, 2015 at 7:50 PM

        Hman- indictment was probably the wrong word in this situation since there was an actual indictment. Replace with “statement”.
        There are still plenty of options for men to find men for sex. There are still (for now) online escort sites, ads, list serves, word of mout, actually getting prettied up and hitting a bar….the list goes on.
        One of the perks that comes with the acceptance of gays and the gay ‘lifestyle’ means the rules have changed. We got gay marriage, the world perhaps expects a bit more. That includes a company and site like rent boy.


    • Will August 31st, 2015 at 8:22 AM

      Do you have any thing other than the Gvt’s word on the drugs and money laundering claims, or do you swallow everything?


  2. Will August 31st, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    Any one that thinks this was about any thing other than the user data on the servers is naive.


    • Hman August 31st, 2015 at 9:11 AM

      Will, I agree with you. Someone wanted to make sure a name or names were not exposed. This is far from over.


  3. Peter August 31st, 2015 at 12:54 PM

    in re your reply that the complaint against the Rentboy.com Seven does not mention drugs, that does not mean that escorts supplying drugs to clients was not a motivation for the Feds finally going after the site. An article on Vice.com claims that gay escorts in London are expected by clients to supply drugs.

    Everywhere in the case against Rentboy.com is a reference to “international”; including the fact that the case was filed in Brooklyn and the section of the US Attorney’s office that brought the case..

    Historically in New York City, “promoting prostitution” has been used by The City to shut down businesses The City didn’t like because “promoting prostitution” is a quick and dirty way of immediately getting a court order shutting down a business. In NYC, the city pursuing the charge of “Promoting Prostitution” has been used .exactly like the Feds shutting down Al Capone on tax evasion charges.

    Note the infamous “Pinter Case” in NYC where undercover cops arrested 50+ year old gay men in adult bookstores for prostitution. It turned out that the motivation for the prostitution arrests was a desire by the city to shutdown the adult bookstores. With the arrests, The City claimed that the bookstores were promoting prostitution. A similar charge of “promoting prostitution” was used by the city to shut down a small hotel which just so happened to be on land wanted by a real estate developer.

    It also helps to keep in mind that the market for sites like Rentboy.com was created in the 80’s when gay media decided to purge all adult content in their quest to be “advertiser friendly”. Gay Media’s and Gay Activists’ maniacal quests to present gay men as these perfectly acceptable little things that don’t pee and poop and that just wanted to get married and raise kids probably convinced the Feds that they wouldn’t get any flack going after Rentboy.com and gay escorts.


    • Hman August 31st, 2015 at 4:06 PM

      Excellent background. Thank you, Peter. I suspect the Feds got more flack then they expected. The raid was definitely a push back against something … the question remain against what exactly.


      • Peter August 31st, 2015 at 8:05 PM

        the “hint” that the Rentboy.com shutdown may have a drug angle is the fact that case is being prosecuted in Brooklyn (Eastern District ) when Rentboy was located in Manhattan (Southern District) by the international narcotics section of the US Attorney’s Office.


        • Hman September 1st, 2015 at 2:57 PM

          Peter, you are an oracle of insight. I did live in NYC during the Guliani led “sanitizing” of the city. We will see if this is Mayor De Blasio’s contribution – or whomever and whatever proves to be the impetus for this.


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