Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 423–440 | Cite as

Abuse Porn: Reading Reactions to Boys Halfway House

  • Joseph Brennan
Original Paper


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 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.


Abuse porn Boys Halfway House Cultural studies Discourse Extreme porn Gay pornography Textual analysis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Joseph Brennan declares that he/she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media and Communications, Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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