I always love when porn makes news. Whether its reading from a daily rag you can find at the bodega or online, when coming across an article on porn sandwiched between articles on politics, world catastrophes, workplace drama, legal ramblings or perhaps next to an article on a cat or frog who has become an internet sensation, reading about porn in mainstream media always makes me giggle. My giggles typically stop though over one porn topic I’ve read over and over again: gay-for-pay.
“Gay For Pay Porn Stars: Are They Really Gay?”, written by Brad Hammer, is one of the latest from The Blog of Gay Voices at the Huffington Post. The article maintains its civility by essentially being a conversation starter, with a few opinions thrown in, without being actual investigative journalism. The article also seems to want to gear the responses to three key points: ‘are they really gay’, ‘do they need the money that bad’, and ‘is it for attention’?
Though most articles I’ve read on the “gay-for-pay” topic typically don’t ask the questions, rather give you the ‘inside scoop’ that many of these performers committing same sex acts JUST HAPPEN to be STRAIGHT… even if they’re engaging in fellatio, analigus, anal penetration with multiple partners in multiple scenes with condoms, without condoms, but definitely with male fluids… oh, I forgot, often times there is, dare I say, actual kissing. I leave ‘actual kissing’ as the last taboo, cause in many a non-related articles I’ve read on ‘what is gay’, having gay sex somehow seems to be less gay than actually holding a guy’s hand and or cuddling and kissing. Go figure… ‘he throws like a girl but sucks dick like a man’ I suppose is being said somewhere right now in America.
Many of these articles and interviews discussing ‘gay-for-pay’ paint the same portraits: many of these performers have girlfriends or kids, they just needed the money, the money is fast and easy. Then some of these same articles will contradict themselves by the performers now legitimizing what they do as ‘work’ (as oppose to ‘fast and easy’)… putting in the long hours, keeping commitments to fans, blah, blah, blah. Quite the contrast from the desperate ‘one time thing’ to ‘this is now my job’. Funny how no one wants to save these modern male Fantine’s from a life of sexual victimization.
Even Hammer, the blog’s author and self-described gay media guru, reasons “to say they have to be gay in order to have gay sex is pretty close-minded.” Thus, drawing the conclusion that being gay (perhaps this means same-sex that likes to cuddle) is much different than having actual sex (cause apparently gay sex does not mean you’re gay). So there’s an immediate distinction being drawn that “gay sex” is only gay in description, but doesn’t make you actually long to be gay, ie cuddle, kiss, or form a loving bond with someone of the same sex, ie GAY. Gay sex is just sex…
I’m calling #PropagandaBullshit on all of this.
Let’s start with me. I am gay. Myself, the actual author of this article… ME GAY. Have I had sex with both men and women? Yes, but only a couple women and way, way, way more men. Do I agree with Hammer’s assertion that “if sexuality is a black and white sliding scale then every single shade of grey need to not be left out”? Yes – but there’s an actual label for that too… it’s called bisexuality. Nowhere in Hammer’s article, as in many articles on this subject, does the author talk about bisexuality.
Have I ever done porn? No. Now, I’ve been in a group setting more that once, where things were, how shall we say, starting to resemble an orgy. I was both turned on and horrified at the same time. From each instance I ran out. Literally, I ran. I had a different reason for each but literally, what curtailed my leaving, is it all seemed a bit dangerous. If you are truly open-minded to group sex, you are truly aware that stds are quicker to get in that setting than probably most other conventional monogamous experiences. So, having the wherewithal to engage sexually in front of a set of people (typically men) and to have sex with strange men you know nothing about takes a certain mentality… some would call “talent”.
Hammer quickly follows his “sliding scale” question with “there are some guys who I have worked with that have literally thrown up from sucking another man’s penis” as though somehow the conclusion drawn is ‘these men are straight I tell you!’ First off, I’m not clear as to if Hammer performed in porn or just worked production or if this entire article was meant to draw traffic to the porn sites he works for(his bio lists Next Door Studios promo videos as one job). I might draw another conclusion to the vomit observation, that maybe, just maybe, they were horrified by their own moral dilemmas regardless of proclaimed sexuality. Who knows, maybe they threw up because someone’s penis actually was disgusting – or they had no control over their gag reflex. Either which way, having the ability to have sex in front of a bunch of strangers (typically men) and to be told you’re going to have sex with strange men and to THEN be grossed out by sucking a dick… I find… that scenario… to be… strange. Warning signs were basically placed just about EVERYWHERE. To say it was because ‘he was straight’, well I think there’s more to those scenarios than Hammer’s letting on.
I have thought of being in porn. I think most men have. Dare I’ll say all men have at least thought, ‘what would it be like?’ But to actually do porn and actually have to have sex with people you don’t even know, on a set, have someone dictate the angles of your body and what positions you’ll be doing, and as a man, maintain an erection and maintain a career… that takes a kind of commitment I could never do, and I suck dick as an expression of love. I don’t love dick THAT much to suck random dick for show. Could having an emotional void to blow strange men’s dicks be out of the realm of a straight man’s abilities? I guess not… but to do this as a career???
In my moral framework, I actually can’t get it up for just any guy. My brain won’t even allow it. Check out gay male profiles on dating sites. Gay men can be pretty specific on what they will and won’t do – and how you’re suppose to perform as well. My circumstances often change with alcohol. Someone who might have been horrible conversation sober suddenly becomes interesting for drop-the-pants high jinks after I’m buzzed. Heck, alcohol has lead to all my sex with those few women I was with! My point in saying this is there has to be a lot of drive in order to do gay porn or any porn for that matter. A brazen sex-drive. Even if you are emotionally soulless, you have to have some type of insatiable sex drive to get it up and keep it up and take it from others on request.
For women, maybe doing lesbian porn can be a bit easier because the visual state of the vagina doesn’t need to be aroused. Dare I say lesbian porn can be a cake walk. The penis, in porn, has got to be erect. So, for a straight man to maintain an erection for hours in so-called conditions that he’s not sexually into, to me, I find, literally an amazing concept. Someone can argue, there are drugs for erectile dysfunction now – these drugs will help maintain erections. But any doctor prescribing Viagra, Cialis, or generic alter egos will tell you these drugs help, but if you’re not aroused you still may not have an erection.
So my argument that I’ll throw at Hammer and all you gay men tantalized by the idea that a few bucks can turn any straight man into a viable sexual conquest, is the entire framework of the debate is flawed. FLAWED!
Let’s first acknowledge that just because someone has been in a couple pornos does not make them a porn star or porn actor, just ‘somebody in a porn’. I am willing to concede that people will do just about anything to pay the rent, child support, drugs, new clothes, ipad, iphone, etc… but to a point. To actually pursue this line of work thus hailing yourself as a PORN STAR or the lesser PORN ACTOR means there is another driving commitment and ability there… or something else at work (I’ll get to that).
There is a stigma in doing porn. Teachers have lost their jobs over racy spreads in magazines. People freak out over literally anything posted online outside of their control. People have lost their jobs over Facebook comments or posts. So, to say “yes” to porn is saying a lot. To say “yes” to “I want to have sex with strangers in front of a camera” is also saying a lot about that individual. Having sex for pay, whether it’s filmed or not, says many things about that individual in a mainstream society that stigmatizes sexuality. Hammer used the phrase “close-minded” in reference to judgment. But I would argue that being open-minded or close-minded as a general reference as to what it takes to be in porn isn’t relative. All anyone has to do is google or read about Linda Lovelace. The porn industry has generally been immersed with performers doing drugs, victims of sexual abuse, rape, victims of child abuse, victims of extreme poverty and other brutalities. There are very few porn actors who have longevity… who have a following… who often times, consider themselves survivors. There are many who originally stated they got into porn because they really wanted to explore their sexuality and sexual freedom but years later changed that tune. I would say with today’s ease into creating online porn, there are probably more people experimenting in porn today than every before. I would also generally say, most people who are engaging in porn are actually into that genre of porn. If I did porn, exploration would be my reasoning – because I do like sex and value sex and think our modern society is all so uptight about sex. I don’t agree with many feminists from the 70’s, who prescribed that all women in porn were held at gunpoint and victims of sexual abuse – I think porn actresses and actors run the gamut of how they ended up doing porn. But… to me, there’s a big distinction between doing a porn and then becoming a full-time porn actor ESPECIALLY in a market that you SUPPOSEDLY aren’t turned on by.
So if there’s a stigma doing porn, there’s a bigger stigma doing gay porn. Doing gay porn isn’t like Tom Hanks playing an AIDS victim in “Philadelphia” – Tom Hanks didn’t have to have gay sex or for that matter get AIDS in order to play a role. In gay porn, you HAVE to have gay sex. Your penis has to be up and ready to go into another guy’s mouth or anus. You actually have gay sex. If there’s a stigma that your life could be ruined doing porn, and now you’re committing yourself to gay porn, you’re saying there are a litany of modern morals and conventions that you either aren’t aware of, don’t care about, or you’re so emotionally screwed up that you don’t know WHAT in the world you’re doing. You typically don’t find robust proliferators of modern thought working in porn. Someone may argue that Maya Angelou, who was once a prostitute, is now one of our most coveted and awarded American authors, but I’m sure Miss Angelou would agree that you won’t find a plethora of emerging writers coming from the sex-trade profession.
Quite simply, there’s a stigma in being gay. Being gay is still drenched in humiliation by many. Being bisexual, essentially, even if only an aspect of it is same sex oriented, falls under the umbrella of gay. If you ever wanted or longed to be with anyone of the same gender, people either view you as gay or bisexual. So, for as “open-minded” as some of these so-called “straight” porn performers are, I find it relatively odd that many are willing to say “I’m gay-for-pay” but shun the idea of actually being bisexual. It’s either, “I’m gay” or “I’m straight”, rarely ever “I’m bisexual”. Being GAY, to many, means that you are a weaker sex or weak to temptations… a gay man who bends over for another man is somehow “the woman”, who is considered the weaker sex in a misogynistic society. There’s anti-gay rhetoric, which equates homosexuality as the precursor to bestiality! You’ll have gay-for-pay performers even expand on just how straight they are, by being strictly a top (the penetrator) as opposed to being a bottom (the penetrated). You’ll have some gay-for-pay performers say they’ll bottom because it’s better money. There is a condition and excuse and reasoning behind all of these sexual entanglements and circumstances.
The money factor… ‘I really needed the money’… I call total utter #PropagandaBullshit on this. Look, I realize in times of war, in third world countries ravaged in poverty, in the pioneer days of America, prostitution and human sex trafficking flourished. People were desperate. People sold and still sell their bodies for someone’s sexual gratification because they have run out of resources. They sell their own children’s bodies. They can’t find a job. There are no jobs. But this is America where you can still get a lousy job at Wal-Mart for $8 bucks an hour. There still ARE jobs out there. I’m willing to concede, porn may pay better, but porn by default is a sad excuse. Porn may pay better for ‘that particular day’s shoot’, but you need to consistently be shooting in porn to make that ‘dream money’ that these performers keep alluding to. I’m willing to concede, that the America of the 1950’s and the modern America of the early 2000’s are very different in terms of our value systems, economic structure, job creation, and financial disparity between the rich and poor. But porn has been around for quite sometime. The availability for anyone to pick up a digital camera now and create your own website and drive business is something never available in the 1950’s. The ease at which someone can make a profit off of sex only has its value because sex is stigmatized. If everyone were making a porno the marketplace for porn would be saturated, thus the financial return would cheapen. I don’t think most young men going into porn are thinking of porn’s global, fruitful marketplace and cashing in before the bubble bursts. Men who go into porn, generally seek it out. Most men of sound mind and body go into porn because, it turns them on. They find it exciting, exhilarating, stimulating and dangerously gratifying. There isn’t a porn depot on every other street corner next to a Redbox at your local supermarket. Porn actors may sell viewers the fantasy in their bios that somehow they stumbled into porn, and somehow all the right ingredients were there: they needed money, everyone thinks they’re sexy, they have big cocks… but essentially these performers sought out the industry. They WANTED to make fast money and they looked past all the stigma warning signs for profit and titillation. Porn by default is not an excuse as to why a dick ended up in your mouth. As I write this I am also most certain that there probably has been men forced into filming porn, but the probability of being forced into a career of porn sounds a little improbable yet not completely inconceivable if you’re a male.
Hammer also poses the question that straight men get into gay porn for attention and perhaps a fame addiction. Generally, you’ll hear stories about guys who went into legitimate acting because of women… wanting to attract girls. With straight men getting into gay porn it’s what has been previously mentioned: money. You don’t generally hear “I got into gay porn in order to attract women”. I think if most women knew their potential date just got off from work, where their work meant they just had sex with several dozen men for public viewing, that this would be considered a date disaster! Yet somehow, Hammer poses the ever so coy question “is it for the attention” as a viable option? Total #PropagandaBullshit!!! There is a preconceived proclivity that brings a man to seek out performing sexual favors for other men for money – there’s got to be more than just “fame” as a catalyst.
So you add in all the ingredients that have been presented… a guy, down on his luck, decides to pursue the gay porn industry, to have sex with dozens of men, even though he’s not gay, in a society saturated with stigmas on sex and human sexuality, in a day and age of a litany of sexually transmitted diseases, and he has to maintain an erection for hours, perhaps having to take expensive erectile dysfunction drugs that you need a prescription for but probably doing without a prescription, and perhaps doing other illicit drugs, in a society that has criminalized prostitution and sex-for-pay… the type of person that can probably tolerate all those ingredients and not be the least bit bisexual is probably a little more, I don’t know, of a sociopathic, criminal mindset. I mean, seriously, if all that I described to you “you have to maintain an erection, suck a bunch of dick, lick men’s assholes, maybe take it in the ass” and you’re getting, I don’t know, a check, maybe cash, and you want to pursue that line of work when it doesn’t turn you on whatsoever… there is something bizarre about you. Maybe it’s not men, per say, that initially turn you on… but you are turned on by corruption. You’re turned on by what society considers depraved. A modern psychologist may in turn say, seemingly being turned on by the depraved and the corrupt is actually masking something else.
I feel semi-conflicted calling men who are gay-for-pay but not gay, to be sociopathic criminals, when for decades that’s how homosexuality has been described by psychiatrists, members of the clergy and politicians… but as a gay man who has been on the receiving end of stigma and hardship, this is exactly what I’m saying. If you are taking money for gay sex and not turned on by gay sex, but have the ability to have an erection and maintain having sex for cash – you are, by my definition – sociopathic or a criminal or mentally challenged on some level.
Instead of REVERING these STRAIGHT MEN as hybrids of some new world order where straight men, who have no sexual interest whatsoever in homosexuality, have succumbed to the modern economic landscape as victims of a downward global economy, but are OPEN enough to accept these conditions and suck a dick to put food on the table for their children, we should call #PropagandaBullshit on them.
Instead of building bridges, oh mighty straight man, you’ve resorted to blowing men for money? You really have no other resources at making money?
I don’t hear, in any of these articles, any of these chiseled victims with money for gym memberships, talk about other jobs they could do or want to do. So, I’m tossing I’M A VICTIM and therefore HAD TO BLOW 12 GUYS FOR $7000 out the window.
What I really want to know is, why gay men are relegating themselves to these stigmas? You’re willing to look another man in the face who accepts thousands and thousands of dollars for gay sex as somehow a champion to gay acceptance, when he just told you, to your face, gay sex essentially does nothing for him. He’s just told you he’s not gay. He works out at the gym, non-stop, to then go to his job, where he sucks dick for a living – for profit – and you just accepted him saying to your face “I’m not gay”.
The reason he’s saying he is not gay is because many gay men hate themselves. These gay-for-pay men know many gay men hate themselves. A slew are closeted. Then there are those gay men, who are married… to women. Gay men have become victims of a society that can’t even accept two gay men holding hands. And these “performers” are essentially saying to a gay man’s face… “you can have me… but you’ll have to pay” and somehow that exchange of commerce means “you are accepted”. But you’re only “accepted” for a brief fleeting moment and if you have enough cash.
If you’re sucking dick, dealing with other men’s sperm on your face, feet, hands or inside your anus or mouth, there is an aspect about you that are definitely gay or definitely bisexual. If you can’t say that, if you can’t accept that, and you’re taking money for these acts, you’re either terribly, terribly confused, mentally challenged, or literally a legitimate sociopathic, psychotic criminal who needs a psychiatric evaluation.
If you’re a straight man who has succumbed to gay sex in porn to lift yourself out of the gutters, you have a responsibility to then do SOMETHING to fix your dire straits with your gay-for-pay money. (I love how this gay-for-pay actor claims he’s straight, was down on his luck, but got into the military and has a fetish for glory holes… good lord!)
We, as gay men, once learning that said gay-for-pay performer only sucked dick to pay for mom’s cancer treatment or performer’s child medical bills, we, as gay men, have to stop watching that straight man’s gay sex videos and just FIND THE BOY A JOB! Obviously, I don’t think most gay men would go around eating vaginas to help pay medical bills, so I’m sure we have enough humanity in us to see if a straight guy has come to this point in his life – he needs help, not us masturbating over his misfortune, if it’s in fact a misfortune.
And if you’re a columnist, blogger, porn publicist, or porn media provocateur peddling this narrative garbage, you’re just proliferating more slaves to the stigma that mentally imprison the ACTUAL sexually open-minded individuals who aren’t afraid to say I’m gay, I’m bisexual. You’re hacks and proliferators of #PropagandaBullshit. You’re poison.
For a gay porn actor to have a steady girl, but have sex with all his male co-workers, and he’s not viewed as being at least bisexual, and for that man to then turn around and tell you straight to your face “what, I’m totally not gay” and for YOU to accept that means him and you… both cray-cray… both delusional… living in a fantasy world. Totally, utterly cray-cray. Gay-For-Pay performers, quite simply, are bunch of people lying to themselves to escape some form of persecution – but will at least take the your money.
Also known as greedy bastards.
If you buy their bullshit – you’re stupid.
It’s all a sales technique beckoning gay men who are sadomasochistic or deprived of self-worth. Falls into the kink category.
Plus, why is anyone thinking these 20 something year old porn actors know ANYTHING about human sexuality?
Alas, the so-called gays-for-pay prove one major thing… it’s still easier in life to say “I could kill a man” or “I’d do just about anything for money” than actually say “I’m gay” or “bisexual”. It’s easier to imply “I’m a capitalist” than to reply “I’m indeed gay”. It’s funny what people are willing to swallow – pardon the pun.
Society has a long way to go.
@hammerbrad… stop proliferating #PropagandaBullshit.
Love, Ginger Fires