2015, Gay, Gayblog, Opinion, Sydney, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Why Do Gay Men Do Porn?

 

 

What is it with us Gay guys and Porn? Why do we become so drawn to it, and why do some of us take the leap and enter the Adult industry? Is it an aspirational thing? Is it something akin to a badge of honour in the land of the gays? This is something recently which I’ve been pondering about; mainly due to a couple events which got the gears in my brain whirring at top speed.

The first was at a Sunday night at the Beresford [don’t even ask me, I have such a love/hate relationship with that place]. When my boyfriend and I arrived, we ordered a couple drinks at the bar, checked out the scenery as you do, to which he turned to me in an excited twitter and told me that the almost perfunctorily clean-cut and perfectly handsome-in-a-generic-way person standing next to us was in fact a porn star.

‘Look, that’s *insert unimaginative porn name!’

Cue me looking at the fellow in confusion. He was nice looking, but not in any defining way. And just the right height, in between being a short hobbit like myself or a giant. I must have looked like a dog when they tilt their heads when a concept is far too great for them to understand and retain. I guess some guys are just more up to speed with the characters that inhabit that world. Don’t get me wrong, like many a Gay I have my favourites [Colby Kellar is a dreamboat], but my knowledge of the fine folks that work in that world is somewhat limited. Had it have been a long-retired actor from an abysmal sci-fi show from the nineties [Yes I’m referring to Babylon 5 which I adore thank you very much]  it may have somewhat piqued my interest, but in this case my brain began it’s inexorably analytical, self-questioning processes. Some Gay men and I’m sure the same will go for our Straight brethren out there, are much more in-tune with the players of this game. For me, people that work in the Adult industry become strange figures of fascination for the most part. I guess I look at porn actors the same way I would if, say, I was at the Uffizi galleries in Florence, looking at nude sculpture. I see them and am suitably impressed, but for the most part there is a separation and division in this situation and the rest of my life. They’re somewhat like live pieces of work. So many of them are so physically perfect that it can become a bit de-motivational. I have a tendency to over-analyse and deconstruct more than Derrida, and the way I interpret what porn actors do is akin to an amazing marble statue: they’re performing an art form, for other people’s benefit, or maybe their own. Never mind the copious amounts of monetary funding they would be receiving. [Possible new career?] The bottom line is that these people are, by their very nature going to be aesthetically perfect, or near-so. Or at least have an overly large penis. Which means, of course, that there would naturally be hordes of fans who would be interested in them, as well as following their work.

Some even may look at this odd and contrast-filled world and want in.

 

Which brings me to the next event that occured:

 

Following on from my boyfriend’s excitement at spotting this pseudo celebrity, he of course posted on social media that he spotted this fellow out at the Beresford to which a friend informed him privately that he knew him, and had, in fact, appeared in an Adult film with this fellow. This bombshell again had my poor brain struggling to make fact of it all. My jaw is still bruised from when it hit the floor in shock.

The friend of my boyfriend who moonlit as a Porn actor was quite possibly the most unassumingly polite, softly spoken guy that I’ve met. To the point of awkwardness as his puppy dog eyes had a tendency to stare straight through to your soul, and subsequently melt it into a puddle. Nice-looking enough and tall and wiry, I still find it hard to believe that such a person has worked in that world in the past. And yes, I did watch a few seconds of a video he was in till I got red-faced, flushed and embarrassed. I recently saw him out with the boyfriend, and I actually couldn’t look into his eyes. Why was I so embarrassed? Was I embarrassed for him? He obviously looked like he was having the time of his life while on top of ‘Generic Porn Star Guy’. It’s going to be tricky even saying hi to him in the future from now on. He seemed so responsible, with a respectable job that requires one to wear a suit in the city nonetheless. Does the fact that he may have dabbled in porn make him any less a good person? Of course not. I guess I always pictured Porn actors to look or be a certain way, to live in almost a separate world to the one I live in, or perhaps not much in the way of a conventional career. Like they all work at Adult stores or Supres. But that’s just me generalising. And of course, being a somewhat a paranoid Italian with family who have ears and eyes everywhere ala Looking For Alibrandi’s Nonna’s Spy Ring, my first thought was:

‘Is he not thinking about where he will be in the future, or what?’

How would this guy’s future boyfriend look upon this little secret, for instance? Would it be a turn-on [I’m sure for most it would be], or slightly sleazy and a massive turn off? What made him decide to go ahead with it? Was he in a fix and needed money, or was he looking for some gratification? Did he just go with the flow and say yes to it, simply because life threw it his way?

Is it just money that motivates men to do porn? Is there more to it? Are some truly exhibitionists, and not ashamed of doing porn? Is it more about experiencing the most in life, and this simply being a part of that experiential paradigm? In men’s eyes, a porn actor is a hero. Gay or straight. Gender roles are different in this respect. The act of recorded sex is a performance, and like a conventional film, it isn’t reality, and can’t possibly be. Dicks get floppy, people may not be in the mood for it, or the chemistry is lacking. I feel like the Porn Actor [especially Gay ones] are modern day athletes, and their sex is a sport to be watched, disseminated and assessed as well as enjoyed. The other extreme for wanting to join in porn is wherein one may not be proud or confident in themselves perhaps and need validation from others which could lead someone to do porn. It may make a person who has low-esteem feel better about themselves. Maybe this guy can’t get the attractive people he is after, but in the land of porn this person would get action with more attractive people than in real life. Plus lots of money. This comes back to how fickle our society can be, where it is easier to walk down that path of excess.

 

It seems that many Gay men have come to revere Gay Porn stars, to the point where they are looked up to as an almost heroic figure. I’m just as guilty of this worship and adoration. They are the new Adonis, Hercules, Agamemnon and Hector all rolled into one. They can play the role of any male figure in our world, whether it be the young guy next door, the tradesman, cop or firefighter, or older father figure. Almost reachable and real, yet to most of us, untouchable and existing above all in another realm, just like those mythic figures of lore. Biceps, muscles, clear eyes, strong jawlines and large phalli: the fantasy of porn is something that Gay men come back to again and again.

We ended up seeing the Porno guy we saw at Beresford again, this time at a chicken takeaway shop on Oxford St at 4 am. He looked a lot less slick this time. A little less presentable, a little less present. Devouring a chicken burger in the small hours of the morning isn’t a sexy look. Replace the fresh face with one that was tired, haggard and worn from a night of go-go dancing in undies. His eyes similarly looked weary, groggy and a little out of focus like he was barely there. A pang of sadness overtook me as I genuinely felt for this guy as I could only imagine what his night, or life was like for that matter. Some part of me wishes I had that excess and hedonism in my life, to be free of my inhibitions and experience all with an open mind. But my life is much more neater and conventional. And most of ours are.

To me, there is an obvious duality in the Adult world, and how one side is the packaged and presented product of perfection, sleek, bright and oozing sexuality; the very apex of attraction and in this case masculine beauty, and the other the darker, less seen side of addictions, short-career spans and novelty, a world where one is judged solely by looks, the girth and length of your member. I don’t live in this world, and I’m sure my thoughts on it are way off, but to me there is something intangible about that world.

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3 thoughts on “Why Do Gay Men Do Porn?

  1. Great essay! I think you’ve definitely got some insights here. Having done a bit of porn myself, I’d say it was the thrills and exhibitionism that attracted me to it. I’d see guys in porn, or posing nude in magazines, and think “I want to be that guy.” And when I actually did it, I found it was really fun.

    But money, nope. There really isn’t much money in it these days, and if you consider how many hours a porn shoot can take (not to mention preparation off the set), the money broken down to an hourly rate isn’t too great. But guys can leverage their performance into other more lucrative endeavors – the porn performance becomes a sort of calling card or marketing piece.

    The guys I worked with were for the most part interesting and smart individuals. Even some PhDs amongst them. But I’ll admit there were times I’d ask myself “what are we all doing here?”

    • Hey thanks for the reply. Honestly, I find guys that do porn to be almost above and beyond mere mortals like myself. Again, it’s more like an art or athletics in my mind, which is why so many gay men venerate many gay adult film actors. A part of me wished I was that adventurous and exhibitionistic individual but alas I’m too much of a wallfower! I guess I always thought of people in porn in a certain light, it’s great to know they’re just as varied and diverse as the rest of society. Thanks for reading!

  2. Jon says:

    I asked myself many of the same questions while becoming besotted with our shared porn icon CK. During that phase I discovered that gay porn actors were, in fact, not all drugged-out party boys who escorted while waiting for a sugar daddy to whisk them away to a life of sybaritic luxury. Some are artists, musicians, academics, mental health providers. An epiphany! All of that came back to me while reading this piece. Thanks for the memories and for sharing your insights.

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