Marineros Locos, 26” x 36”, oil on paper, 2009
by Boris Torres

Just as Catholic couples (are obliged to) relish the divinely-ordained undertaking of procreative sex, barebackers revel in “the rapture of unencumbered fucking.”[23] As one barebacker relates:

Feeling a man’s dick inside me, condomless—that’s when the sex becomes spiritual in its intensity. Communion, in the truest sense. Integral to that closeness is the knowledge that he intends to leave a piece of himself inside me; his cum, like the sex itself, has a psychological value far beyond anything physical. — Unlimited Intimacies


However, Dean’s greater sin rests in his reluctance to unpack the religious dimensions of his reflections with any depth, despite having made liberal use of terms laden with religious connotation. In his oversight, he leaves perhaps the most intriguing implications of his work unexplored and uninterrogated—namely, that a sexually-charged subculture might inadvertently or ironically rearticulate the established practices of mainstream institutions like the Catholic Church.  Dean fails to entertain the dual possibilities that ritualizing raw sex might reroute sacred energies for perverse purposes or —more bleakly—that it might reduce condomless fucking to a sacralized script. Our cursory analyses have initiated only the briefest responses to the questions posed by such a comparison. In place of a decisive conclusion, we uncover an ethical charge. — Unlimited Intimacies: Promiscuous Reflections on Barebacking and Catholic Dogma

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