The O Boys: Parties, Porn and Politics

In 1990 a group of gay men called “the O Boys,” unhappy with the sex scene in LA and eager to have fun, started a series of orgies; the membership evolved into a group with a social and political message—as one participant phrases it, “You came for the sex and you got educated.” Condom use is enforced, and not everyone is admitted, though the members differ on whether admission is based on youth and good looks or on “attitude.” Allan Gassman, a founding member, directed this video, which includes his on-screen narration, clips of himself and others appearing on talk shows such as Donahue, and footage of a number of orgies. Gassman also intersperses material about gay-rights struggles from other times and places; the larger context is welcome, but his structuring of the material is a bit muddled and image quality is sometimes poor. Still, this lively piece makes the positive argument that safe sex can also be hot.

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