November 2016. Published in Sexuality & Culture Published Online.
Abuse Porn: Reading Reactions to Boys Halfway House
Boys Halfway House is a gay bareback pornography website that purports to host the recorded abuse exploits of managers of a halfway house. It is a recent addition to the genre niche of abuse and exploitation pornography sites that have surfaced in recent years. This article reads viewer commentary of scene updates on review site WayBig.com so as to consider the controversy associated with the proliferation of gay ‘abuse porn’, and of Boys Halfway House and its theme in particular. More than 500 comments over a 2-year period help explain Boys Halfway House as a variant of extreme pornography, and canvas a range of views on rape and humiliation fantasy in gay porn more broadly. The study ends with discussion of the anxieties and appreciations the site has prompted in viewers, and the presentation of two themes in particular: ‘bad porn’ and ‘harmful porn’. Also considered are the ethical implications of such male sexual abuse fantasies, which is a subject of lasting trauma for victims, and one that poses unique challenges in wider contexts.