Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Sit on your hands, bite your tongue, and shut the fuck up!

When class is winding down, and the professor is about to dismiss class, don't raise your hand to make a comment. Don't ask something that will keep us there for another twenty minutes. I want to go home so sit on your hands, bite your tongue, and shut the fuck up!

Being a Gay Viewer in the Gay Porn World

MY first porn film was Cop Shack. Don’t remember why I bought it. I’m assuming Damien Crosse. I only watched his three-way scene with Jason Ridge and another actor. It was the first time I ever saw anyone rimmed. It was a turn on. I didn’t follow blogs. I didn’t participate in discussion boards or follow porn stars and directors on twitter the way I do now. I found the film myself. I was turned on by what I saw as an authentic representation of gay sensuality. It never occurred to me two years later that I would be involved in civil and not so civil discussions about g4p, privileging straight men over gay men, hypocrisy involving condom use, and other “controversial” issues surrounding gay porn.

I should say at the outset that I am not turned on by straight porn. I’m gay. Having sex with or thinking about the idea of having sex with women is about as erotic to me as wet socks. I have no issues with straight or bisexual sex. Watching it in porn does not turn me on. It’s not for me just as most straight men aren’t turned on by the idea of sex with a man or watching gay porn. I’m not aroused by seeing a gay man or a gay porn star having sex with a woman. It annoys me when I find that a gay porn performer has sex with women in straight films/scenes. I see nothing wrong with a gay man wanting to watch only gay porn, and I see nothing wrong with wanting gay porn stars to be gay. Not gay for pay, or sometimes gay, or half gay, but fully gay. I never thought the idea of liking straight porn would be a prerequisite for watching and supporting gay porn performers, but I’ve been criticised for being heterophobic, too judgmental, ignorant of the business, closed-minded because I don’t want straight men doing gay porn or gay porn performers doing straight scenes as a means of publicity. Before I started watching gay porn, it would have seemed absurd to me to hire straight men to do something a gay men should be doing.

These days, almost every scene or film has one or more g4pers. Studios that once said they would never hire straight men are now putting straight men under exclusive contracts.  From a gay man’s perspective, it feels like studios and online companies seek out straight men now. I won’t mention names (too much hate mail the last time I did), but look at the exclusives at most of the online and offline studios. A lot of them are straight or non-gay. As a gay men, I feel increasingly cast aside by gay porn. The magazines and blogs concentrate on straight men. Straight porn performers win the awards, and get the magazine covers. Studios put the straight actors forward. More and more films are full of straight performers. It’s increasingly difficult if not impossible to find a film that is solely cast with actual gay men.

As a gay men, I want to support gay porn performers. Gay porn should be about gay sex. I support all sexualities in real life, and all sexualities should be represented in porn, but gay porn should be about gay men having gay sex with gay men. A lot of excuses are given for why g4p needs to continue. “It’s just sex” is a common one. Let me put that one to rest. So many scenes with g4pers follow this pattern: gay performer sucks, rims, gets fucked. Straight performer looks uncomfortable, barely touches gay performer, and he never reciprocates. Straight man also keeps a safe distance away from the gay performers as not to "catch the gay." I call this the Cody Cummings syndrome. Don’t believe me? Check out the latest Man Avenue scene [Girth Brooks and Conner Habib). I see the gay man as being used for the straight man’s pleasure while the straight man does nothing and looks uncomfortable and disgusted the whole time. Whether the performer felt that way is irrelevant. I don’t enjoy gay porn scenarios where the gay performer is debased at the hands of a straight man. Yes, some g4pers do reciprocate, but most do not bottom and most look pained while having gay sex as tops. I know what gay sex looks like. I know how gay men should react. It’s not just sex. It’s gay sex. It’s a gay sensuality. If you’re saying, “It’s just sex” than you’re not doing it properly. Rocco Giovanni had more chemistry with the butt machines on buttmachineboys than most g4pers have with their scene partners. IF you need to know what real gay sensuality looks like, here are some scenes off the top of my head:

Derrek Diamond fucks Park Wiley on Cocksure Men
Spencer Reed fucks Jake Steele on Dominic Ford (or any scene he’s done on DF)
Colby Keller fucks Conner Habib on Dominic Ford (any scene he’s done that’s currently on DF and some on Sean Cody)
Jayden Grey and Cameron Adams on Drake Rock
Tucker Scott and Dean Phoenix on Cocksure Men (or TS’s scene with Lance Bennett)
any scene with Marco Blaze
most of the work Steve Cruz, Bruno Bond, Tony Buff, Alessio Romero and Damien Crosse have done.

There is nothing more sexy or more erotic than when Colby Keller caresses his partner’s face, and hair, and looks into his partner’s eyes. There is nothing sexier than Spencer Reed’s obvious attraction to his partner. OR the way that Alessio Romero or Steve Cruz just devour their scene partners. This is not to say that a non-gay man can’t mimic gay sensuality. Jeremy Bilding does just that, and his gay scenes are amazingly hot and gay positive. He also does not give interviews badmouthing gay sex and gay viewers. He’s open and honest and he discusses issues most performers and studios gay and straight are afraid to discuss. He’s the only one who has spoken about the hypocrisy involving condom use. I may not agree with everything he says, but I admire his fortitude in maintaining as much honesty as he can in an industry built on fantasy. If all non-gay performers were like Jeremy Bilding, this would not be much of an issue although my preference would be to see gay and bi (and real bi not the fake porn bi) men in gay porn.

Speaking of barebacking, you now have the issue of straight or non-gay porn performers like Jeremy Bilding who are forced to wear condoms in their gay scenes, but are permitted to go condomless in their straight scenes. If Bilding must use a condom at Cocksure Men since he because a Channel One exclusive, why is he allowed to bareback in his straight films? The message sent to the fans is that gay sex is so dirty that Bilding must be protected, but straight sex is perfectly safe. LaRue only allows Bilding to have unprotected sex in his straight films.  What are gay fans supposed to take from this? Last time I checked, the Wrap It UP ads didn’t have an asterisk that said, “IF you’re going to do straight scenes, you can go condomless. No biggie.” The double standard is appalling, and it sends an increasingly homophobic message to the fans.  LaRue has never spoken about why she allows Bilding to go condomless in his straight scenes. I was shocked to discover this. I expected better from such a staunch safe sex advocate.

Another excuse is that “fans enjoy g4pers.” A lot of fans like barebacking films. I don’t see major studios making barebacking films because they sell so much better. Many of the studios fear the message sent by producing barebacking films so why not worry about the message sent when you hire straight actors, or allow gay porn performers to do straight scenes with no condoms? I don’t buy that studios give any thought to what fans want. If they really cared about the fans, they wouldn’t do their best to anger a large section of their fans.

Gay fans are becoming increasingly angry and intolerant because they are made to feel unworthy by the privileging of straight men in gay porn and the indifference by studios. If studios didn’t realize the potency of labels, they wouldn’t engage in deceptive labeling themselves. Ex. A new gay porn performer has said he’s straight in interviews and on his twitter. Yet he’s listed as gay on the studio’s website. It’s this kind of deception that alienates gay fans. Why the deception if you're not aware that gay fans want to see gay men? Why label someone at all if labels don't matter?

What celebrities are not asked about their personal lives? Yet if a gay porn fan asks about a performer’s sexuality, all hell breaks loose. Studios go out of their way to lie, equivocate, or mislead fans about a performer’s sexual identity. This doesn’t just happen with straight performers. Some gay performers list themselves as bisexual or straight because they get paid more.

When gay men complain in a civil manner about gp4, we’re called ignorant and closed-minded. We’re told to shut up.  I make no excuses for the vicious attacks and name-calling. I refuse to tolerate that, and I go out of my way to praise performers as an antidote to all of the hate. The appalling behavior by some gay fans does not erase the legitimate questions about g4p, condom use, and propping up of straight performers that are brushed aside or completely ignored. The level of intolerance is increasing, and I have to create a long ass blog entry because discussions are so hostile that I just remove myself because it’s too easy to get mired in the venom. Where did this hostility come from?

I think it came from the collision of Prop 8 and the promotion and release of Shifting Gears. At the very moment that rights were being taken away from gay men and women, Chi-Chi Larue and Blake Riley were promoting the movie where Blake Riley went straight and loved it. A fact that was mentioned ad nauseam as my google searches turned up. A case of very bad timing, and a case of taking something very inflammatory (g4p) and further insulting the gay audience by taking C1’s biggest star and putting him in a film where he’d have sex with a woman. An ex-gay ministry could not have sent out a more homophobic message, and this message was sent out at a low point for gay rights. It’s a wound that is still open. I didn’t hear about the film until fall of 2009 so I don’t have the emotional connection to Prop 8 that others do. I think the film was a crass and stupid idea, and the promotion for the film to be deeply disturbing and homophobic. And when I see a straight porn studio having a major straight porn actor do a gay film, and the advertising insisting, “He goes gay and loves it!” then I’ll rethink my position. Of course, that would never happen because the straight studios know enough not to insult their fans. Only in gay porn do studios insult their fans, and then complain when the fans resent it.

You can follow me on twitter at @chrism799

Sunday, 14 February 2010

MY lack of a coming Out

I never came out because I was never in. I never doubted that I was gay. I never played the girlfriend game. I never pretended to be straight or bisexual. Have a feeling the Antonio Banderas posters in my room were big clues that I was gay. My family always supported me. There were no tears, no “is it my fault?” moments. Never bullied at school. I was a member of the French Club, Future Teachers of America Club (must have had a crush on a boy to join that club), Choir, Yearbook, Volleyball Team, debating team, Treasurer, German Club, Honours Society, etc. My straight classmates were always supportive. If there were homophobic students, I never saw or felt it.

The only problems I had from others came from gay men who were angry that I didn’t have to come out. They resented how easy being gay was for me. There was also resentment that I dated boys right away. I know some gay men feel they are more gay because they had sex with a woman or women and rejected straight sex so they are better gays. Never slept with a woman. Never had a desire to sleep with a woman. Women are wonderful, but they are not for me. Too often, I hear gay men use sleeping with woman as a badge of honour as if that makes them better than a gay man who never doubted his sexuality. We all come to the same realisation so why is one path better than the other?