Friday, February 8, 2013

The Male Porn Clique I Don't Want You To Join. The One I Don't Think You Want To Either.

I met a man today. He was warm and friendly, and made us laugh. We invited him into our home. He brought his guitar and played us songs: ironic hip-hop and some hippie rock more appropriate to the instrument.

The man knew we did porn. He seemed cool with it. Wanted us to know how cool with it he was. He offered us some stories, anecdotes about his personal sex life. His sweet but aggressive way of getting his girl all wet. The women in the room (two of them) liked this. His voice, his demeanor. The man's game was slick. Slicker than mine.

Conversation switched to XXX and the possibility of his participation. We told him about a website that anyone can submit to, a way for real world people to make money filming real world sex. He and his girl could be perfect for it.

The man seemed more interested in our up-and-coming projects. We admitted to a failed website attempt last year, and the current process of our redesign and redevelopment. I showed him the most recent edit of one of our in-house porn films.

He offered us the possibility of using his music. Then his ideas. Finally, his body.

The girls liked his concepts. They were different. One involved a woman masturbating to the sound of his voice, the dirty talk that seemed to work so well. Another used his person. He might sit in the room with a guitar. He might wear a mask. Perhaps he wouldn't participate but we'd fuck around him as he watched. There would be no definitive point at which he'd achieve erection, he told us, but it would happen. The girls would get turned on at such point. Then – he suggested – his cock would make an appearance. Perhaps the mask would never be an issue. His body might not be shown at all. But his cock would be there. It might get sucked or tugged on. Or he could fuck. He'd always thought about getting into porn.

That was his last novel idea. It surfaced throughout his life, a product of early childhood sexual desire. It made him – if not unique – less status quo: this thought that he might one day try his hand at fucking girls on camera.

I felt his endearing nature. Also, the slip into his sex. He pawed occasionally at the crotch of his jeans and made reference to a party he once attended where everyone watched porn. He was getting turned on.

But the escalation stopped. Maybe because I told him, “I'm not going to put you in a porn film where you don't show your face.”

One of the girls asked, “Why? We need more male talent.” Maybe because she liked the guy, maybe because it was true.

“Because,” I said, “you don't get to do this and not deal with the ramifications of being in a porn film.” What I meant is that I would not facilitate the man's fantasy as a part of my work. He had the means of doing it himself, although it wouldn't involve him getting paid to fuck a new, beautiful woman. Only the one he had back home. But specifically, I would not facilitate the man's fantasy and allow him to remain a civilian. If he was serious, I wanted him to make a choice. The choice to bear his body, his identity, and risk the chance of totally fucking up a scene. Regardless of what sexual prowess (or lack thereof) he displayed, I wanted him to be held accountable to his new label: pornographer. If it was all worth it, perhaps he deserved a chance.

Otherwise – I thought – it was not so novel for a man to have considered doing porn.




There are about two dozen of us at any given time: guys who fuck full-time for a living. At least in straight porn. At least in the good ol' US of A. With gay porn, the number expands indefinitely – though not necessarily for well-known tops. 

There is a reason for this. Porn is hard. Hard for women for a number of very legitimate reasons. Hard for men for completely different ones.

My personal reasons for getting into porn can be broken up into two categories: financial need and sexual exploration. If I'm to be honest, the latter included a simple desire to get my dick wet. It's part of why any guy jumps into the industry. Though when it comes to my reasons for continuing, the explanation gets much more complicated.

I can say now, after seven years, that my job is a lot fun. It's because I've learned how to meet the needs of my employers, and also my own. The learning process is (for the most part) behind me.

However, I probably should have quit a long time ago. If not for my ex-girlfriend, I would have. There's no joy to be had in failing at sex.

The first time I looked down at a girl sucking my limp penis, I made an excuse. I needed some time to my self. She wasn't my type. “This has never happened before,” I told the director. And it was true. Before I witnessed the complete lack of my own sexual response, I didn't believe such a thing could be a problem.

But it is. For me and most every other man on the planet. We have our own process of arousal. It doesn't extend to every possible situation in which a naked partner is placed in front of us.

My ex-girlfriend was convinced that I could do the job because she'd seen me do it before. During my first year of porn, she helped save my sexual ego from the brink of collapse. I tried to believe her when she told me it wasn't my fault. But for me to actually become a “good” performer, it required a lot of practice, confidence, and help.

In straight porn, the pharmacological “help” is more hush-hush. There's more machismo to deal with. Women to impress. Amongst gay performers, there's an inherent understanding of male sexuality. Desire does not equate to performance. To become a sexual athlete, it's more efficient to pop a pill. If one is to adhere to a high, consistent standard, it's almost necessary.

Think about it like this. Every time a steroid scandal erupts in major league sports, the fans get pissed. They want to believe these monstrous, athletic men are products of hard work and dedication. And they are. But a spectator does not care to hear complaints of injury and fatigue. When a ticket's been paid for, all that matters is the spectacle. An athlete is expected to deliver all season long. To keep up with everyone else, he'll take the supplements, the steroids, and all the rest. Otherwise, he'll fall behind. He might still be good at football. Even great. But it won't be enough.

My girlfriend said that she wished porn was different in such a way that guys weren't scared to fail scenes. Essentially, she wished they didn't have to take ED drugs. It's a nice thought. The progressive kids of porn have even discussed making films in which the struggle of the male performer is retained in the final product. The point would be to give a more realistic portrayal of how men work in such situations. Essentially, the young men watching this stuff at home would no longer feel discouraged by the inability to live up to such high standards in the bedroom.

But would this be a porn film or a documentary? Would you like to masturbate to a man struggling with his own sexual performance? And what man would like to document this blow to his self-esteem?

Every female performer I've talked to has reservations about working with new male talent. Sometimes it goes okay. However, they all have stories of frustration, sucking limp dick for thirty minutes (maybe an hour), and sitting on set while a red-faced boy masturbates in the corner. The less understanding will say, “The director even gave him Viagra. Three of them! I don't know what his fucking problem is. He's probably a faggot.”

My answer would be, “Well, he signed on to fuck girls. And whether or not he also likes sucking dick or getting fucked, he's also probably very attracted to you. However, the lack of foreplay, your attitude, the camera man standing over his shoulder, the hot lights, the distracting crew, the unnatural way in which he's supposed to fuck you, and all the rest is probably overshadowing that attraction. His nerves are probably fried. And he's got so much adrenaline pumping through his body that it's physiologically impossible for him to achieve erection. When he's relaxing at home in the shower, that Viagra will probably catch up with him. But for the time being, it's not going to do a goddamn thing.”

While I can empathize with that nervous, flaccid performer (because he used to be me), I also understand why it's frustrating to have him on set. If I'm in the next scene, I'm wasting hours of my time so that some new guy can have a chance at his sex/dream fulfillment. It's not fair to the crew. And it's not practical to hire this new guy if someone wants to run an efficient business.




Part of why I started writing this entry is that I received – amongst my criticisms for playing a racially insensitive portrayal of Glenn in The Walking Dead parody – suggestions that we should have used the opportunity to find some other random guy in order to diversify the male talent pool. It may come from a good place. But it's a terrible suggestion.

On an 18-hour work day of shooting a low-budget porn parody, no one in their right mind is going to hire male talent they aren't familiar with. Because it might add hours to the day and will likely end with a failed sex scene. The girl must be paid because she did the work (so there goes a thousand dollars or so... for nothing). But you still have to re-shoot the sex or sell a movie with less than the standard number of scenes. By consumer standards, that means less bang for your buck, a shittier movie, something less likely to to sell.




Let's just say that all of this is a product of sexual exploitation – a wrong way to document human behavior. My association and willingness to participate in the website, MakeLoveNotPorn.TV, is at least acknowledgment that pornography is problematic. I honestly believe it should be countered with real depictions of sex.

However, our culture has yet to make a distinction between the documented “real world sex” and pornography. One of the most popular couples on MakeLoveNotPorn.TV will not show their faces in their own films. Another couple recently pulled all of their material off the site.

Why is it that on (perhaps) the world's most socially progressive sex-sharing website, most people are still uncomfortable exposing their faces and their identities? Why is that a sexually adventurous urban hippie (from the opening of this blog) wants to explore a comfortable sexual space with his new “friends,” but will only film it if he wears a mask?

Because as much as you want to explore all these sexual fantasies, you don't want to be held accountable. Not in a public light. I truly believe this. It's why I'm here and still making money despite the continual financial degradation of our industry. I am a surrogate for those fantasies and I'm willing to deal with the ramifications.

Somehow, I made it past the shittiest parts of being a porn performer. I don't know why I was allowed the opportunities to do that. But I'm here now, happy, comfortable, and living a fulfilling life. Though as much as I like my job, I don't think you want to be here. Especially if you're a guy. You may have a thought every once in a while that you'd like to have sex for a living. I just don't think you want to do what it takes. Of course, there will be exceptions and I'll see a couple of you on set. For the rest, enjoy the fantasy. That's what it's there for.

9 comments:

  1. I totally understand your frustration at the guy wanting to wear a mask. Just the other day, a dude confided in me that he'd love to do porn. "I've heard it's actually pretty difficult," I said, to which he laughed and said, "how hard can it be?!" I gave up on explaining further...

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  2. I appreciate how honest you are in your post, some of the things you talk about are quite personal. I also think it's great that you're pointing out that being a male performer is difficult. I don't think a lot of people realize this. Sometimes I hear non-performers say that anyone could be a porn star, & that it's not difficult. These people have no idea what they're talking about. Though your job can be fun & enjoyable, it is still be challenging. And I see from reading your post, it's even harder than I initially thought. I respect what you performers do, & appreciate the hard work you put into creating something for porn fans to enjoy.

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  3. I've had this dream of doing porn all my life but some part of me has always been to afraid of what might not work. 2 years ago i wanted to earn extra money because I'm often poor, I became a sex worker for a month. The first guy just wanted to be naked and touch me that i could do, but the second wanted the whole deal. I've always been able to get hard in no time in front of anyone and thanks to me being a bit of a show of in the dick department i was sure it would be fine. Well to my shock my dick was limp and no matter what we did it stayed that way. i was destroyed i went home and took down my add. I never offered my sexual services to anyone for money again, I even have a hard time looking for sex in general now. But that because i think to much. A part of me still wants to do porn break the curse so to say but i think writing is better for me nice dick or not

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  4. As always, a great post. At 'the world's most socially-progressive sex-sharing website' (thanks for that :)), while we reassure our MakeLoveNotPornstars that they can if they want wear masks/have their faces out of shot, we actively encourage our contributors to show their faces. And we intend over time to make it more and more comfortable and natural for our MakeLoveNotPornstars to do so. If we succeed in what we're setting out to achieve - socialize sex, to be be as socially acceptable and shareable as anything else we do - one day no one should ever have to feel ashamed ever again of having a naked photo or a sex tape of themselves posted on the internet, because it's simply a natural human part of who we all are.

    Cindy Gallop
    https://makelovenotporn.tv/

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  5. I found your blog via Cindy's tweet and I'm glad I gave this entry a read. I have a sex blog and I'm one of the newest contributors to MakeLoveNotPorn.tv - but I hide my face. And I hate having to hide it. I'm not ashamed of who I am or what we do in the bedroom, but I'm afraid for my job should word get out. At the moment, its not something I can risk and I hate having to make the choice to hide my identity. I don't want to, but I feel I don't have the option yet. Babysteps, I hope, will allow society become more allowing in the adult arena and, hopefully, I won't have to worry about expressing myself online vs in the real world at work.

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  6. This is an entertaining and useful post, thanks Danny. I think one of the big issues here is the ongoing porn formula that insists every scene has to end with a male orgasm. So right there you've got a performance goal that requires unnatural behaviour and it creates pressure.

    For BrightDesire.com I've shot a couple of times where the guys have lost their erections. We worked around it and all the scenes have come out OK. But then I shoot one scene at a time and I don't have rules about how the scene is supposed to turn out. That makes a big difference.

    With couples scenes, I don't think there should be anything wrong with continuing to film and focusing on her pleasure (I know it would make a lot more women happy). Let's see more cunnilingus! Let's see more kissing, maybe a focus on other parts of the guy's body. And then if he gets hard again in the process, well and good.

    It's not like the sex scenes in your average porn film HAVE to end with a male orgasm for the purposes of the plot. It's just that porn is pretty set in its own traditions and I think there's a real fear to do anything different.

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  7. why can't porn be accepted a higher level of documenting? It has been portraying itself as a dirty job that people masturbate to. The problem, it's the most lucrative way to do that.

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  8. good post, am glad I came across it on Twitter. I've thought about porn business but I have a problem with making my identity public since I come from a very small community and didn't want to be known as "that porn guy." Also I knew I probably have performance anxiety having an audience (the crew and others in the room). the final nail in the coffin was when after a series of one-night stands I just didn't enjoy having sex with girls I barely met - I needed some kind of emotional chemistry/attraction first. thats who I am and my dick is notoriously fussy about where I stick it in. So it will remain a fantasy for me and props to guys who can perform.

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  9. Awesome post, I've been thinking of trying for reality kings for a while but I'm also afraid of the consequences. A lot of my family would probably be disappointed if they ever found out but I don't know what would happen with friends and what not. I feel I could perform under the pressure despite the fact I have not actually had vaginal sex (I've had fellatio and hand jobs though). It's just the ramifications that scare me most.

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