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Porno Pete’s Report From This Year’s “Mr. Leather”

Daniel Gonzales

May 31st, 2007

peter-labarbera.jpgI have to say opening up my email and seeing that Peter “Porno Pete” LaBarbera attended this year’s “Mr. Leather” near his home in Chicago brought a smile to my face. Seeing Pete’s (now annual) report makes me feel all is right in the world.

Pete’s photo of supposedly offensive paddles made me question, if a little spanking is off limits in the bedroom then what exactly is allowed by AFT’s standards?

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Warren Throckmorton
June 1st, 2007 | LINK

I too read the report. I had a different reaction. While I am often distracted by Peter’s hyperbole, I am repulsed by the commodification of sex on display. It is the same reaction as when I have read reports of AVN events catering primarily to straights. Also, if what Pete is true about the casual attitude toward barebacking and group sex at this event, then this is disturbing from a public health perspective. I would say the same thing if this was Mr. & Ms. Leather.

Boo
June 1st, 2007 | LINK

what exactly is allowed by AFT’s standards?

A man and a woman. Married. In Bed. Man on top. Lights off. Both blindfolded (no shoot, too kinky, ok, both keep their eyes closed the whole time to avoid seeing each others’ sin zones). Maximum time of three minutes. The only acceptable phrase to cry out during the act is “Our duty to the party!” Prayers for foregiveness afterward. The wife then retreats to her separate twin bed. No sex again until waiting at least one month and taking a pregnancy test. Double prayers if the test is negative.

Peter LaBarbera
June 2nd, 2007 | LINK

Daniel, did it ever occur to you that there is a bit of hypocrisy in condemning name-calling against homosexuals while at the same time you peddle Wayne Besen’s malicious “Porno Pete” smear against me? Try dealing with the subject matter. Tell us: is any behavior I reported worthy of condemnation? And Warren, I can assure you that if anything, our feeble report vastly understated the bad behavior that went on at IML.

Phil
June 2nd, 2007 | LINK

Peter, did it ever occur to you that you’ve just posted on your website an article encouraging people to write to Hilton Hotels asking whether they sterilize the rooms after gay people occupy them? Then you have the hypocrisy to complain that the refer to you as “Porno Pete?” Do you have any empathy for your fellow human beings at all?

Also, Peter, why do you feel that Gay people (notice – no derogatory quotation marks around the word Gay!) owe you any kind of explanation or apology for our behavior, especially when it doesn’t affect you?

Lastly, Peter, why, after several years of attending IML, do you continue to pay the admission fee and attend it, if you find it so repulsive? Also, how do you know what types of videos are shown in each exhibit?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Kevin
June 2nd, 2007 | LINK

Oh puhleeze. . .I must have missed Throckmorton and LaBarbera’s “report” about the nature of spanking in the “Christian domestic discipline” relationship:

http://shop.christiandomesticdiscipline.com/categoryNavigationDocument.hg?categoryId=19

Gee..I wonder what “Christian” conferences these little pseudo-slave/master goodies are on display?

GayLeftBorg
June 2nd, 2007 | LINK

La Barbara is the most homo-sex obsessed person I’ve ever seen, more than a total gay nympho.

His “wife” is obviously a lonely person, and I’d bet the “wife” is actually a guy living in his home!

And is it true that Barbara has Chicago’s largest gay porn inventory?

The only person Porno Pete is fooling is himself. Anyone to believe he’s hetero must be a kook.

Peter LaBarbera
June 2nd, 2007 | LINK

Phil writes: >

This is a distortion. Our report focused on the incredibly gross and heinous acts (promoted by IML) going on at the Palmer House Hilton: “pig sex,” “water sports,” orgies. It’s very unhealthy stuff, so our point is valid. Why can’t you just bring yourself to condemn the perversion?

Eva Young
June 2nd, 2007 | LINK

Peter – why not cover some of these same behaviors for straights? If you do a google search for porn, it’s pretty obvious that most of it is straight, and most of the same activities you describe here are activities straight people engage in.

How many times do you need to go to IML to do research. You’d think your first trip would do the trick. Why the need to keep going back?

adam kautz
June 2nd, 2007 | LINK

Pete your days of demeaning and hatred for us are numbered in a few short years conservative churches will have to allow gays full membership in their churches or face a steep decline in membership just like the formerly racist southern baptist convention and mormons had to do with the blacks. With recent polling numbers at pre-lawrence highs you will start losing followers unless you find someone else to hate. The choice is up to you either adapt and let gays into church or go the way of europe. It won’t destroy the church like you say it will, not changing will.

Christopher Gerron
June 3rd, 2007 | LINK

It makes no difference whether Pete LaBarbra is an attention starved Jesus-sneak or a self-loathing if spiritually perfumed fetish freak, the point is that his facile and concocted zealotry wreaks of the same corruption that sent Jesus himself into the Temple to violently overthrow the sanctioned charlatans who were gnawing the bloodied teat of His very own faith on it’s own most sacred ground.

The pathos in the point is that while the meek are daily burned from their homes and starved to death in the wilderness and the poor in spirit are daily murdered by unjust rulers, “Christians” like Pervo Pete think their greatest service to God is to attend Leather Balls.

Sadly, its true that attention is the Holy Grail to these unenlightened “Christian” activists and I have to hand it to Pete, he certainly knows where he can get his bread-stick buttered.

Phil
June 3rd, 2007 | LINK

Peter, as long as something doesn’t affect me or mine, I see no reason to condemn it. It may not be my “cup of tea,” but who I am to judge?

I view condemnation and judgment as God’s business and prefer to let God tend to it in God’s own way.

Boo
June 3rd, 2007 | LINK

This is a distortion. Our report focused on the incredibly gross and heinous acts (promoted by IML) going on at the Palmer House Hilton: “pig sex,” “water sports,” orgies. It’s very unhealthy stuff, so our point is valid. Why can’t you just bring yourself to condemn the perversion?

Of course it’s unhealthy, but it’s consenting adults doing it in private. People smoking cigarettes is unhealthy too, but I don’t see you doing undercover exposes of tobacco companies. You’ve been going to these events for, what, 15 years now?! Is there really that much different from year to year? At some point your fixation on extreme gay male sex practices becomes at least as unhealthy as anything going on at IML.

I have developed my own totally unique strategy for dealing with my belief that S&M isn’t very healthy. Bear with me now, because admittedly it’s kinda out there. You ready? Here it is… I don’t go to S&M events. I know it seems crazy, but give it a try some time.

Oh, and incidentally, since you’ve posted pictures of these “incredibly gross and heinous acts” online where anyone including children can view them, you’re actually doing more to promote unhealthy sexual practices than IML is, who at least had the decency to do it in private with the whole hotel reserved and off limits to kids. Shame on you.

NG
June 3rd, 2007 | LINK

Yes, Pete, it’s soo bad what takes place at IML 29 that every year you make it a point to go and take pictures…lots of pictures.

As for condemning the perversion, we do: Yours.

Bruce Garrett
June 4th, 2007 | LINK

I am repulsed by the commodification of sex on display. It is the same reaction as when I have read reports of AVN events catering primarily to straights.

That’s all well and good, Dr. Throckmorton, but why is this man so utterly fixated on that kind of behavior when it’s homosexuals doing it? That’s my first reaction.

I’m old enough to recall a time when I had to go to seedy adult bookstores if I wanted to buy a copy of the Advocate or our local gay paper, the Washington Blade. So ask me how I know that heterosexuals can be every bit as extreme as anything LaBarbera and his kind throw out there about gays. I didn’t particularly want to, but I’d pretty much seen it all by the time I was 25 and almost all of what I saw was between heterosexuals. Would you agree that if I went around waving that stuff in people’s faces over and over and over again as though it were some sort of proof of the innate depravity of heterosexuals, that it would be evidence that I have…issues?

I’m no mental health professional. I’m just a middle aged gay man who as a kid was forced into dealing with XXX “adult” commercial culture just to pick up a goddamned copy of The Washington Blade. And the first thing that leaps out at Me whenever I see someone like Mr. LaBarbera babbling on and on and on about extreme behavior among homosexuals and nary a peep about the far more widespread heterosexual version of that story, is that they’re hatemongering. Which is pretty obvious so it’s not like I’m going to take any credit for making a profound observation here. If LaBarbera hasn’t seen heterosexuals doing exactly these same things it’s because he hasn’t looked. And I wouldn’t blame him for not looking either, except he can’t seem to get enough of it when it’s homosexuals doing it. That’s the first thing I notice.

Besen’s right…at least partly…LaBarbera needs to deal with his own issues first. But I don’t think sex is LaBarbera’s problem. Why is it important to him, that people’s immediate reaction to homosexuals must be one of disgust and revulsion? I don’t think it’s a secret sexual urge he’s satisfying when he visits and revisits and revisits Mr. Leather every year. He seems to have a positively desperate need to see cheapness and squalor and depravity associated with homosexuality. That’s what he can’t get enough of. It isn’t sex, it’s disgust that’s turning him on.

John
June 4th, 2007 | LINK

I happen to be gay, but don’t have much of any interest in the leather scene. I would likely find the annual Leather event in Chicago very boring, and could not imagine bothering with it once, let alone year after year after year. Something is definitely amiss with Porno Pete and this weird obsession he has. He condemns the participants and merchants in this event, but they seem far more sane than he is.

CPT_Doom
June 4th, 2007 | LINK

A couple of notes on Peter’s “report” – the variety of leathermen is enormous, and range from the “S&M” crowd (stand and model) to the hardcore kink. Just because a guy is walking around in a leather jacket does not tell you anything about the alleged perversity of his sex life (and given the wide range of professions of IML participants in their daily life, seeing someone in a suit and tie tells you nothing, either).

Like anyone, I am not into the entire alphabet soup of more esoteric sexual behavior, so I choose not to engage in those acts I don’t like. Safe, sane and consensual is the name of the game, and even the kinkiest S&M is often the safest form of sexual activity you can have. Without getting graphic, I would say at least 50% of my own experiences had exactly 0 chance of passing anything but the common cold (unless you believe HIV can be passed through kissing).

Certainly the focus on barebacking is a huge concern in the gay community, as is the use of “party” drugs like GHB and crystal. Every subculture, after all, has its own problems (as an Irish-American, I tell you legions about the larger scale negative effects of alcoholism). But given that we have an administration that refuses to even acknowledge men have sex with other men, much less lead a public health campaign (a la the Clinton years, when the HIV infection rate was actually declining) to curb unsafe sex, can we really be surprised. There are minimal safe sex messages for anyone out there, but HIV is just as big a problem, if not more, than it was in the 90s, when the safer sex messages were ubiquitous. “Abstinence until marriage” is not a good way to get a healthy message about sex to those who are barred from marriage, and the gay community cannot counteract that problem alone, even with all we did to stem the nightmare of HIV in the 80s.

Danny Andre' Dixon
November 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Chris:

Injustice is always wrong. Well-made points.

D.A.D.

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