Date of Award

12-15-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Wendy Simonds

Second Advisor

Dr. Maura Ryan

Third Advisor

Dr. Eric Wright

Abstract

Although there is a good foundation of feminist research at the intersection of performative labor, pornography, and sexuality, there are few (if any) published studies that examine race in porn content intended for gay men’s consumption. What’s more, existing research samples solely from corporatized porn, which is expressly produced, scripted, and directed. Bound by the conventions of the market, however, corporate pornography must abide by a consumer demand that reflects white machinations of black sexuality rather than the self-proclaimed sexual identity of African American men. Instead, I employ an exploratory content analysis of pornographic videos categorized as “ebony” on a popular user-submitted porn database. I am interested in 1) the character of pornographic representations of queer black masculinity and 2) how these representations vary between corporate and non-corporate producers. I find that representations of black men in gay porn rely on stereotypes of black masculinity to arouse consumers, especially those which characterize black men as “missing links” or focus excessively on their “dark phalluses.” Moreover, these depictions consistently separate gay black and white men’s sexuality into bifurcated discursive spaces, thereby essentializing sexual aspects of racial identity. Lastly, though such depictions are less prevalent in user-submitted videos, overall, both user-submitted and corporate content reify stereotypes about black masculinity.

Available for download on Wednesday, August 07, 2019

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