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Getting his cock out for charity

Wed 26 Apr 2006 In: Safe Sex View at Wayback View at NDHA

As a part-time barman at Urge bar in Auckland, Grant is used to rubbing shoulders with all sorts and in a variety of contexts. But these days, he's more likely than anyone else on the premises to strike up a conversation with someone who has seen his erect penis. He is one of the models in the AIDS Foundation's Horny As safe sex campaign, part of a drive to promote condoms in the face of a horrifying trend in HIV infections amongst New Zealand's MSM population, a trend which has seen the numbers of men being infected increase by 300% since the year 2000. The campaign is sexy and provocative, showing a range of hard and naked men – all with sheathed cocks. Grant has found himself plastered on the walls at Urge, which makes for some interesting bar conversations. Is it a good chat-up technique? "No," he laughs. "It is quite amusing, occasionally people are chatting to me at the bar and then they come back and go, oh... I've just seen your willy. I got used to it. At first it was a bit odd." It's not the first time Grant has been approached about disrobing for the camera. "I'd been approached about a year ago by a commercial outfit to do porn, and I'd thought that through and decided it wasn't for me," he says. "But basically, I thought about friends of mine who've become HIV+ because they just didn't think, or because of the recent trend toward bareback and unsafe sex, and I thought, anything I can do that might help one or two other people not become HIV+ is a good thing." The campaign is designed not just to remind men about condoms, but to help eroticise them as well. "It's probably important to remind people that condoms are a part of sex," he says. "You see so much porn now is all bareback and condom-free, and it makes people think twice when they see what appears to be porn, but then they realise there's actually a condom on that model. So it's a little bit different." Grant says the hour-and-a-half shoot was relaxed and intimate, with little opportunity for performance anxiety. "It was all very friendly and candid," he says. "It was just the photographer, myself, and Douglas from the AIDS Foundation just taking us round these different areas to shoot. So it wasn't really uncomfortable." How was he approached for his starring role? "Alan and Paul from Urge were approached first, and they asked me if I wanted to come along and model with them," he says. "I said no at first, but I'd be willing to come along as fluffer and help out as necessary, and ended up being in a couple of the shots." A few days later, he received a call to say one of the other models had dropped out of the campaign, and could he step in? "By that stage I thought, 'Oh ok'," he says. "I guess the thing that convinced me in the end was that I was doing it for a good cause." Getting your cock out for charity, as it were? "That's how I justified it to myself," he laughs. "I wouldn't say that sums up the entire campaign." Chris Banks - 26th April 2006    

Credit: Chris Banks

First published: Wednesday, 26th April 2006 - 12:00pm

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