Is strategic barebacking a marketing strategy? (written by Unrepentant)

I've been observing and thinking about how some studios have used barebacking. And there seems to be a pattern amongst certain studios and bareback. They create a buzz around having bareback scenes and do a few.

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But then after a little while, there's no more. I've seen this with the following studios: College Dudes, Southern Strokes (only one or two scenes), Next Door, Men of Montreal, Bulldog Pitt, and, seemingly, FuckerMate.

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I've wondered if this is perhaps a marketing decision to get more men to sign up. And once they are hooked, there's no need to continue (especially given the hope that there will be more). Or was this just an experiment that the studio then decided was not worth it. Interestingly, these studios often tend to do the whole bait and switch routine of showing staged preview photos of raw cocks against butts and then no closeups of the actual fucking. It's only in the watching of the videos that you can be sure of what's actually going on.

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Of course, there are a few studios that successfully integrate both types of porn: Helix, Staxus, William Higgins, Butch Dixon, Eurocreme, SD Boys, maybe Boynapped (though I haven't seen anything BB from them in a while).

[written by a fellow porn fan – Unrepentant, sent via email]

28 thoughts on “Is strategic barebacking a marketing strategy? (written by Unrepentant)

  1. Men of Montreal never “went” bareback. They just released ONE scene between two friends that fuck each other bareback off camera and that was it. 🙁
    Maskurbate also released a few bareback scenes. They were one of the first studios to ever feature hot guys barebacking before it became common place. Their latest duo also looks like it went from condom to bareback.

  2. I’ve noticed this as well. False advertising and misleading potential and current costumers at its worst! Another example, Guys In Sweatpants had consistently released mostly bareback scenes for a short while, now they release mostly condom scenes with an occasional bareback scene with terrible performers. Bait-and-switching after they get new members from bareback only to produce worthless condom porn afterwards.

  3. It is similar to the old bait and switch trick retailers pull. They do a couple of BB scenes to lure in people looking for BB content and of course you cannot preview the entire site so the users sign up thinking there are more only to find the rest on the site are condom videos.

  4. Maybe some of the Studios are having a hard time getting health conscious models to do risky BB sex. I hope so.

  5. I have no idea but my guess is it’s a matter of being able to do the testing. Studios like CF and SC have the money to do regular testing, which I think can get pretty expensive. Lesser studios probably don’t have the money to do the regular testing to go 100% bareback.

  6. I think it must be the money…studios are willing to pay more for bareback and the guys are desperate. I don’t think they even care about the risks of HIV etc, because most really are broke.

  7. I support your theology…for these Lab-TEST (medically professional) … can amount to a hefty monthly billing. … and lets also include Bryan O. & Chaosmen
    The studio that would SHOCK me if they ever, ever went BB,..would be Randy Blue…as Randy was a huge advocate on “Safe Sex”, and the use of condoms in the Adult Gay-Filming Industry.

  8. FWIW – use or non-use of condoms never affects my subscription decisions. If the men and the sex are hot, that’s sufficient for me.
    Some (most?) viewers may PREFER bareback porn, but I’m not sure they REQUIRE it.

  9. Hello-
    as stated regular testing of all your models can
    be expensive which is why big sites like Corbin
    Fisher and Sean Cody can afford to do so. now i
    seriously doubt the models at Fraternity X and
    Sketchy Sex are doing bareback without testing.
    so how do “amateur” sites like FX and SS afford
    regular testing?

  10. Maybe they get a group discount!!! Or these studios have more members than you think they have. Or testing is not that expensive as everyone seems to think. (And yes, Fraternity X and Sketchy Sex do test their models).

  11. Dingdong: the three most popular gay porn studios (Sean Cody, Corbin Fisher and BelAmi) are all bb studios. What does this tell us? What do you think would happen if these 3 studios would go back to condom-only scenes? I know the answer and I think you do too.

  12. What DOES it tell us?
    Assuming the sites you listed are indeed the most popular, I think it is mostly because of the appeal of the models and the quality of the scenes. Would they BE the top 3 if they reverted to using condoms? Possibly not, but I honestly don’t know.
    By the way – what’s your source for this ‘top 3’?
    Randy Blue gets more traffic than CF or Bel Ami. And Men.com beats them all.
    http://str8upgayporn.com/hottest-gay-porn-most-popular-gay-porn-website/
    What I’d really like to see is subscription data.

  13. I think if the owners of Sean Cody, Corbin Fisher and Bel Ami would all agree to stop doing BB scenes they would keep most of their subscribers. Those three Studios all get the same type of young physically fit beautiful muscular models that their fans really love. Their models are the main attraction and their type of models can’t be found too many other places.

  14. Got duped by Men of Montreal by their one BB update. Have since learned not to believe certain headlines on certain blogs. I now always check comments and reviews before joining anywhere.
    Clearly, Sean Cody, Corbin Fisher, and Bel Ami have stopped with condom scenes because they are less viewed/downloaded and know where their future business lies. Some blog posts indicate that Bel Ami has probably published their last condom scene, which might be true. They have released no more the past short while. With the advent of better/faster/cheaper testing it is easier to reduce the risk of STI transmission with their models.
    Since the most of the best known gay porn sites are going BB, it is not likely that the big ones will be going back to condom scenes, at the risk of losing business. It is hard enough to grow a porn business these days without risking going back to a formula (condoms) which they moved away from. It is not a good comparison with Men.com, which is apparently a small part of a big porn business, mostly straight. They might well cross-subsidise the condom gay porn with their more profitable activities.

  15. George Duroy himself has said that he would go out of business if he filmed only condom scenes. Maybe it was hyperbole but let’s not forget that BelAmi was the first of the big studios to go bareback. What did decide Duroy to go bareback? If the fans wanted to see beautiful models with condoms there was no need to go bareback. My guess is that Duroy saw the success of Vlado Iresch’ condomfree movies for Eurocreme in the period 2005-2008 and feared for his leading position in European gay porn. In my opinion that is the real reason why BelAmi went bareback.

  16. If you look at what studios are the most pirated you get a pretty good idea of what is popular. One of the few condom studios that is in the weekly top 10 of most pirated studios is MEN. Randy Blue might get much traffic but apparently do make most of their money from webcam sessions.

  17. Where do you get the data about piracy? I’m always trying to find data vs opinion.
    Too bad that actual numbers of subscribers isn’t available.
    At the end of the day, money/survival is the ultimate motivator for the studios (with a possible exception or 2).

  18. I have a few things to say about this phenomena –
    These studios did use a bareback bait. Next Door had some really good scenes and they stopped them, shame. But they never wen ‘all the day’ – i.e. cumming inside, for example.
    I did notice that most bareback performers are quite strange
    or bad looking. Sure, some of them have nice bodies and all, but their faces.. oh dear. Bareback is still considered a high risk value, and your average Falcon, MAP or Men performer would not normally want to go into that (oh, how I would have gladly paid for both Falcon/Men/MAP to go bareback! they do have some of the most beautiful actors in the world.
    Lucas Entertainment I would say is the biggest ‘legit’ studio that went full blown bareback, but again sadly, most of the recent clips are with mostly dodgy looking actors and low production levels. It is sad, because Lucas used to have good pornographic mind and imagination, but it’s is no longer there. It seems he just want to milk the dying cow as much as he can before he will probably sell his company down the line.
    I think it will take 5-6 more years for bareback to reestablish itself back as main stream norm. It’s still in it’s early stages, and some studios are just trying it out to see the reaction and sales figures.

  19. Logan Moore is in the latest LE 4-way with Dato Foland, arguably two of the best looking porn models at the moment. Similarly, Corbin Fisher, Sean Cody, and Bel Ami are now exclusively BB and they collectively have some of the best looking guys in porn. (One often wonders where SC get his models!) Chaosmen also has its share of good lookers (generally with hair intact.) They are also some of the biggest studios. The production quality of these studios is very good.
    The dodgy looking models tend to be the older ones in some of the second-rate studios with lower production values.
    It seems BB is actually gaining ground, not losing it. Falcon used to be BB but not any more. Men.com is filled with boring G4P.

  20. The source of my piracy numbers is secret but I would not have brought them up if I thought they were bollocks. Sean Cody and Corbin Fisher are some of the few American studios that tackle piracy actively because they have the money to do so. BelAmi has its own system to battle piracy. Most other studios don’t have the money to deal with piracy or rather spend money on scenes than on lawyer’s fees (CockyBoys for instance).
    *
    There is a reason why studios keep silent about the number of members they have and that is because they are not that high. BelAmi might have around 10.000 members, as George Duroy himself has said, but many other studios can only dream of that figure. It was rumoured that Lucas Entertainment did have around 500 members in the period before it went bareback and that relative low number was the real reason why Lucas went bareback.
    *
    I often read the comments on the gay porn blogs and still countless people seem to think that gay porn models get thousands of $$$ per scene and that studio owners earn loads of money. A few select studios earn decent money but most of them earn just enough to keep their business going. Many American gay porn models have to resort to escorting to pay the rent.

  21. Regarding orbin Fisher, Sean Cody, and Bel Ami –
    Bel Ami guys (like most East Europeans) are indeed very beautiful, but have ZERO charterer or charisma. Their porn
    is soooo boring! Like robots.
    Sean Cody – young studs, some of them quite good looking, but again – very robotic, mundane porn, no real passion, a lot of
    FAKE passion. very very boring.
    Corbin Fisher – exactly the same as Sean Cody, only slightly younger studs/twinks border line. Again, fake passion, robotic porn. Uninteresting for me.
    Chaosmen – probably the best of the bunch. They guys are mostly the right age (25+), very few twinks, and although most of the clips are standard, some of the guys or so hot (have you ever watched Nathaniel of Chaosmen?) It’s actually great value for money.
    Randy Blue – Uninteresting condom business. I never watch them.
    Logan Moore maybe handsome, yes, but the clip you mention is such boring photography, lousy camera angels, you can’t really enjoy the beauty of Logan or Dato Portland (really hot guy! needs to bottom more! 🙂 Cheaply made clip, and a waste of time if you ask me. Lucas has produced better stuff.
    Kristen Bjorn – was always hot with hot guys, but now even better since some of their latest offering is bareback. Can’t bit hot men having bareback sex. Their production values are still the same (unlike Lucas) and although infrequent – always HOT.
    Men, Falcon and especially Naked Sword – all fantastic studios, shame the stick to condom, could have been amazing stuff from them if they go bareback.

  22. I think there’s a few things at play; however the main reason for the ‘bait & switch’ phenomenon is that a lot of these sites are on nobody’s radar. Tie that into advertising bareback content on their sites while hoping that it would hook some new subscribers. Here’s the gist: bareback does not equal sudden relevancy for sites that nobody is really checking for. A better option would be to produce material, on a consistent basis, that at least some people will gladly pay for monthly.

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