The online diary of a gay courtesan.

Know before you go, part 2 of 3: Shooting styles amongst the houses

NOTE: Sean Cody revealed my legal name, and they may release yours too!

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This is a three-part blog entry that will give background information about adult video projects and how they operate, so that others will have candid information before they decide that videos are the choice for them or not. I will be honest, and this means it will not be possible for me to sound completely unbiased in some instances. It isn’t my intent necessarily to besmirch anyone, but rather to describe events, so that possibilities aren’t overlooked (e.g. if it happened to me, it’s possible it will happen in a similar manner to you). In part 1, I am going to go line by line and describe the ins and outs of my experience with Sean Cody. In part 2, I am going to compare and contrast my experiences at the four houses for which I have worked thus far. In part 3, I am going to give some practical advice and talk about the advantages of working through an agency.

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There are people who want to dismiss me, because I’m “just a whore.” I would point out that I have a Mission Statement, and I am writing this particular three-part entry FOR POTENTIAL PORN MODELS.

The extreme (but not unexpected) backlash I am getting from Sean Cody/gay-for-pay supporters boils down to this: Our desires are very intimate, and they reside in a place very close the core of our identities. My whistle blowing isn’t the problem, in and of itself. The problem for them is that I have done something that undermines their fantasy that these straight men ENJOY gay sex. But that is impossible. Straight men cannot enjoy gay sex any more than gay men can enjoy straight sex. If you enjoy both, then you are bisexual. This gay-for-pay “ideal” isn’t tenable when you really scrutinize it. My showing that their fear is true (that the models do it for the money only) attacks their fantasy, and they take it as a personal criticism (which on some levels it is). I think it would not only be healthier, but also more pragmatic, to desire the people who are capable of giving you as much as you give them.

I have found that if my intuition tells me something, I should listen to it. You have to treat your fantasy life with as much care as your reality, because they are interconnected. If you are conflicted, address the conflict.

I wrote the first portion of this blog knowing that it would upset some people. But this is how change happens. In some tiny way, I hope that I am contributing to the eventual withering of gay-for-pay options in the LGBTQ Adult Entertainment community. There are a great many people saying a great many hurtful comments (and making assertions based on being acquainted with me through +3 degrees of separation and speaking as if they know me), but I know that my truth is as valuable as anyone else’s.

(A side note to people who now “hate” me: Your hatred will never silence me. Ever. The tone of this blog will not be changed by your conscious and purposeful dedication to ignorance of how gay-for-pay pornography undermines you as a gay man. I’m sorry, but that’s what spinach tastes like to children.)

Now, this entry will compare and contrast (for the benefit of models considering which, if any, companies to choose) the shooting styles and on-set cultures of Sean Cody (SC), COLT/Buckshot (CB), Falcon (F), and HotHouse (HH). I am going to look at Recruitment Issues, Travel/Accommodations, Shooting, On-Set Culture, and Gay-Affirmative Attitudes (whether in the presence of gay-for-pay models or not).

Recruitment

Most video companies will have a link somewhere on their pages that is called “Become a Model,” or something to that effect. Before you click it, please consider waiting until I have written part 3 of this blog (The Advantages of an Agent). There’s a lot going on in the background before you even arrive, and you have to be certain you are ready. I cannot suggest strongly enough that you NOT work with anonymous recruiters who approach you randomly on sites like Model Mayhem. NEVER AGREE TO ANYTHING WITH SOMEONE YOU HAVE NOT MET OR CONVERSED WITH AT LENGTH, ESPECIALLY NOT IN WRITING/EMAIL. BE YOUR OWN AGENT OR HIRE A PROFESSIONAL.

If you decide to contact the site directly, you should completely and honestly fill out all the information they request. You will do yourself no favors in being dishonest. Do not misrepresent yourself. If you are not willing to participate in various activities, then do not say you are (e.g. Saying you will allow yourself to be fucked and then refusing to do so is a waste of time, money, and energy for everyone involved and could result in your developing a reputation as being difficult to work with). For my part, I will kiss, exchange oral, and exchange anal (with condoms). I am very specific that I will not do heavy bondage, fisting, and other fetishes. Tell them who you are and what you can do.

You should be prepared with pictures to submit. They do not have to be professional, and probably should NOT be professional. The houses want to know what YOU look like, not what you look like after Photoshop. Most sites will want some or all of the following to accompany your application: Shots of your upper body from the front, left, right, and back. Shots of your lower body (nude usually) from the front, left, right, and back. They may or may not request pictures of your penis (usually erect, when requested at all), and you should include pics from the front, left, and right. They will probably request photographs of your ass, so make sure you get left, right, and back. Make sure the images are well-lighted, or you will have to repeat this process until you send photographs they can actually see. Sending dark pictures implies you are trying to hide blemishes.

To ensure success, approach the sites that use models who are similar to you. You will be discouraged, perhaps unnecessarily, by rejection from sites that do not use your look. Get in where you fit in. :)

Travel/Accommodations

It is routine for the house in question to pay the cost of your travel. You should expect the company to purchase your travel, cover your hotel, and provide a per diem for food (usually about $20/day). They should also cover any transportation you need to and from the airport, to and from the shoot location, and to and from the hotel when you are traveling for the purposes of the shoot itself.

Different companies go to different lengths in this regard. SC picked me up in a limousine and put me up in a 5-star resort hotel. SC also provided continental breakfast that included a very impressive buffet, and they also took me to very nice restaurants (of my choice) after the shoots were completed. CB, F, and HH sent drivers in their personal cars (which were all safe and comfortable), provided hotel accommodation, and paid per diems.

DO NOT WORK FOR A COMPANY WHICH EXPECTS YOU TO PAY FOR TRAVEL/ACCOMMODATION OR SEEKS TO REIMBURSE THEMSELVES FOR IT FROM YOUR FEE.

Shooting

Each company is pretty distinct from the others in this regard. Before you apply to a company to be a model, watch some of their videos and learn what you can about their processes. In particular, pay attention to how often the camera changes angles. Every time the angle changes there is the possibility that a take ended. The more often the angle changes, the more takes are required, the more staging will be necessary, and the more likely the chance for exhaustion.

SC duos require 6-8 hours, and the number of takes is rather staggering. This is reflected in the way the cameras bounce from spot to spot throughout the film. If you are going to be the receptive partner for a SC video, do so knowing that it will be long day. The product itself will be highly polished, and it will be delivered to a huge audience; however, SC pays far more than other houses, likely because their shooting days are long. Expect each take to last between 15 seconds and 2 minutes (with breaks in between).

CB has a variety of aesthetics. For the scene in which I participated, shooting lasted an hour or two, and we used only one or two condoms. The camera operators walked around us, and there were additional cameras on stands. Our takes lasted considerably longer, some of them lasting several minutes. Expect a very high production value from CB (SC work is beautifully produced, too). COLT is one of the premier producers of gay erotica, and there is a reason for it: They make stunning work.

(A side note: Although I have never worked with Randy Blue, I did my CB scene with Topher Dimaggio who has. He told me that at Randy Blue he never experienced a shoot that lasted longer than 3 hours. This included the time necessary for taking still shots.)

Falcon is another top-notch team with whom I enjoyed working. If you work with F you can also count on a very polished product. They make gorgeous movies. The scene I shot with them took about two to three hours to complete, required approximately 10 condoms, and was accompanied by a great deal more shooting of introductory material. Although there were more separate penetrations for this scene, Benjamin Bradley was so adept as an insertive partner that I was never uncomfortable.  SC required very little introductory material. CB recorded only a few moments of Topher and I hugging as an introductory image to our scene, but F created a scenario in which I was cruising Benjamin at the beach and started a conversation as a means of introducing our scene.

HH was a great deal of fun, and they produce high quality videos. Their movies are just plain HAWT. Their live show I shot didn’t intimidate me, because I’d done so much cam modeling prior to the scene with Lucas Knowles. If you are going to do the Backroom for HH, you will probably be asked to do a live cam show and one or two pre-recorded scenes for later distribution. I suggest practicing your live skills with a webcam in a chat room. It will make it easier to absorb the idea that there are many eyes watching you. The takes for HH were similar to those of F. They didn’t last as long as the CB takes, but they were longer than those for SC. My scene with Conner O’Reilly took about three to four hours.

On-Set Culture

At SC, I got the distinct sense from beginning to end that the staff was overworked and burned out. Everything felt routine, as if they were all saturated by the cut-and-dry nature of the process. Everyone seemed tired before we began, and people seemed short-tempered. I felt more tension at SC than at the other houses. Another peculiarity I experienced at SC that I did not observe at the other houses: For the solo shoots, the staff leave the room where the scene is taking place as you fluff yourself, and then come running in with their cameras once you holler out that you are ready with an erection. At the other houses you simply fluff yourself while people wait to begin again.

The shoot for CB required more set up, because it was out on location. SC sets are mostly pre-assembled (and thus used repeatedly – you should recognize all the “rooms” by now on the SC site). Whereas SC generally uses one of a few sets that are always ready, CB, F, and HH may or may not venture out into new locations. While the CB shoot took longer to set up, the shoots themselves were shorter than at SC. Overall the length of the days was about the same as a result.

For the F shoot we were also on location, and so, like CB, there was more set up than with SC; however, just as with CB, there was a sense that the production crew ENJOYED working with each other. There was a great deal of levity on the F set, as there was at CB (both sets were decidedly warm and friendly). John Bruno of F laughs and jokes a great deal, and the other staff were fun and courteous as well. If you ever get the chance to work with Kristofer Weston or John Rutherford of CB, I can tell you that they are simply delightful.

The scene at HH felt as close to a hook up as any shoot I’ve done yet, partly because Conner O’Reilly is so easy to work with (very cute!), but also because Christian Owen and his staff were organized without being jaded. They use the same sets repeatedly (in addition to constructing sets for special projects), just as SC does. The HH shoot took a bit longer than we’d originally anticipated, but there was never any sense that anyone at HH was losing patience.

Expect each of these four houses to take time for solo photography to use as promotional materials. When you negotiate your fee (see part 3), understand that all of these houses will cover your travel and accommodation, and that the fee will probably include one or two 2 to 4 hour-photo shoots, as well as the scene(s) in which you will be participating. All four houses take exceptionally good still shots, and take great pains with lighting and composition. SC and HH required less time for the still shots, because they occurred on familiar sets.

Gay-Affirmative Attitudes

I have made clear my experience with SC in this regard.

On the remaining shoots I have done, there was never any expression of concern that I, or anyone else, was “too gay.” If you work for CB, F, or HH you probably won’t have to worry about anyone obsessing that you might accidentally be seen as gay-for-real, rather than gay-for-pay. These houses also work with gay-for-pay models, but their attitude toward LGBTQ people isn’t negative at all. In fact, CB used a transgender MTF to do our hair and makeup. I fear; however, that my experience with SC may have infected me with some homophobia, because on the shoots for CB, F, and HH I was worried the whole time that my sounds were ridiculous. I have to unlearn that.

Conclusion

Regardless of the house(s) with which you work, you should acquaint yourself with their videos. Do you want to be portrayed in the manner and style for which the company is known? I prefer the idea of doing higher-budget projects, thus I have politely rejected work from companies whose work looks amateur. I have also made the personal choice not to participate in productions in which a “straight” man is “tricked” into having gay sex, so I have also politely declined work from those companies who feature it. Consider your brand and image, and do not dilute them by doing scenes which are not consistent with them.

With the issues of brand, and more importantly, health in mind, I cannot state it strongly enough: Avoid doing bareback porn. Politely decline every request you get. There are many obvious (and subtle) pitfalls to doing bareback porn, and there is no need to ennumerate them all. Do not do raw porn! EVER! NO no no no no no no no no no no no, no no no no no no no. NO! Do not do it!

One last suggestion: If you want to work with SC, work with them FIRST. They will not generally use models who have already gotten exposure on other sites. They want “virgins.” SC offers the highest pay, as they should, given the length of their shoots, the exclusive contracts (which do not include guarantees for further work), and the limitations the exclusive contract will place on any other adult themed projects you may wish to persue.

34 comments

1 Zuluboi { 06.19.10 at 3:08 am }

“The extreme (but not unexpected) backlash I am getting from Sean Cody/gay-for-pay supporters boils down to this: Our desires are very intimate, and they reside in a place very close the core of our identities. My whistle blowing isn’t the problem, in and of itself. The problem for them is that I have done something that undermines their fantasy that these straight men ENJOY gay sex. But that is impossible. Straight men cannot enjoy gay sex any more than gay men can enjoy straight sex. If you enjoy both, then you are bisexual. This gay-for-pay “ideal” isn’t tenable when you really scrutinize it. My showing that their fear is true (that the models do it for the money only) attacks their fantasy, and they take it as a personal criticism (which on some levels it is). I think it would not only be healthier, but also more pragmatic, to desire the people who are capable of giving you as much as you give them.”

You’re very spot on with this. Dude really well done on your whistle blowing. There isn’t going to be a shortage of honest out gay men who watch your videos. Whether they want to hear it or not this is education in itself for the ‘self hating’ gay for pay fans who will be baying for your blood out there. I reckon there will be far more gay men who will accept you as a performer (if they are openb-minded enough) than there would be stonethrowers dismissing you as a whore.
I used to be an exotic dancer in a few gay clubs. I quit two of them on separate occasions. On the one occsion they dismissed a performer for being too gay looking. The second occasion the idiot told us to ‘man up’ our routine. Both times it was gay men coming up with all this ‘straight sells’ nonsense.

2 Jon Royce { 06.19.10 at 5:19 am }

I met Devon about a year ago during one of his visits to Washington, D.C., where he was appearing at a local nightclub. I thought he was extremely sexy and one of the two most personable and professional guys in the bar. Hopefully I run into him again during his next visit and I wish him all the best in the adult industry. It’s tough, but Devon has was it takes to make it all work.

3 Mike { 06.19.10 at 7:41 am }

Thanks for another great read. I agree that your analysis of the reaction is spot on. I’ve read some commentary about this on one site, and, sadly, several of the comments were that they didn’t understand what the problem was. Of course, as you well know, this is an issue that is definitely bigger than porn and goes right to the heart of the issue of gay identity.

The part that angers me most about the first part of your story is that for most of us as gay men, particularly those of my age group (mid-40’s) and older, we’ve had to live at least a portion of our lives hiding who we are. This meant constantly having to worry about how practically every word, every motion was perceived by the world around us. Did we in any aspect of how we presented ourselves betray that we were actually gay? You would think that once you’ve accepted who you are and come out, you wouldn’t have to deal with that kind of bullshit from your own people — and in all places gay porn, where let’s face it, the content of which, i.e., man on man sex, is the only real reason we are so villified by certain aspects of society in the first place. It’s sick, twisted, and hopefully by holding a mirror up to this kind of behavior, some of these folks might actually think about how damaging these attitudes are and change their own actions. Thanks again for a job well done.

4 James { 06.19.10 at 7:43 am }

Wondering if the whole gay for pay thing breaks down according to age? Do older gays (myself included) lean toward gay for pay because we grew up in a time where gay desire was shameful? Just thinking?

Nice site.

James

5 T { 06.19.10 at 9:44 am }

“I have found that if my intuition tells me something, I should listen to it.” That quote alone is such a life lesson to learn. At the age of 40, I am just now learning that intuition is a built-in safety mechanism and that I should really follow that gut feeling even when another part of me says to ignore it. People need to remember that what you are writing is your experience and your opinion. You make that clear in the beginning of the entries. You have a baseline of knowledge and experience that some will find helpful if they are entering the business and others of us find interesting to get an inside glimpse to a world that we think we understand.

Another great read. Thanks for all you do.

6 Devon { 06.19.10 at 10:03 am }

Hello to you – I have found that age is a factor, but it isn’t as clearly cut as older prefer straight. I don’t see on ManHunt or other gay social networks that the young are much less likely to play into this. If there is anything that groups these men together, it is that they (on some level and for whatever reason) are still closeted to some extent. They often fear being totally out and can’t associate with men who pose a threat to that privacy. For those who ARE totally out, they seem to have come from backgrounds where they were demonized, and they never let go of that trauma. I was harrassed and nearly killed a few times when I came out at the age of 15, and the harrassment didn’t stop until I was 22. But, whereas some people fold under that treatment, others are emboldened by it. I am of the latter mettle – I fought my way to survival, and no gay-for-pay nonesense is putting me back into hiding. I have dealt with straight bullies since I was 7, and the gay bullies now stand even less of a chance of intimidating me. As I say in my on-line profiles: I may be 5’7 in my body, but I’m 6’1 in my soul, and I dare you to underestimate me. xoxo

7 Cristian { 06.19.10 at 10:50 am }

Devon, your writing and these postings come from such a powerful place of total honesty and personal sincerity, that is as unbeatable as inspiring. Keep sharing more of what’s inside of you. It’s the only way to go.
All the best.

PS: …and in part 1, you just killed me with the Funquita Jackson paragraph. You left me cracking up non-stop for at least one hour with that one… Just for that, I can so see all this turned into a motion picture one day.

8 Eric { 06.19.10 at 1:46 pm }

I commend you for these posts and I wish more gay performers would come forward and speak out about it. It is a problem and many industry people know it. Many people argue on blogs that these men can’t really be straight because they “fucked a guy in the ass for 30 minutes” or “they got pounded” but that is naive. With enhancement drugs, straight porn, and only having to maintain an erection for less than 3 minutes at a time then yes they can do it. As for bottoming many a straight man has squeezed a tube of Orajel into their but right along with the lube. I thing that gay4pay studios are a breeding ground for homophobia. The act of gay sex becomes about power for the straight man over the gay man since they can tap into the anger/digust they likely feel toward the person they are topping. Yes there are some gay4pay bottoms but they a rarity and always treated with the utmost respect. They are also usually only topped by another straight man. I know that Next Door productions are notoriously homophobic being as bad if not worse behind the scenes as what you describe. They also usually shot numerous videos for all their sites over the course of a 5 day week so imaginge the humilation of having to do a numeber of scenes with straight guys, who are treated like royality, are sitting around eating, drinking beer,using homophobic slurs and talking about banging girls while you have to wait for hours to eat something light since you have to bottom again tomorrow and then are loudly told to clean out for the penetration while the straight boys look on in disgust. I’ve seen it happen first hand and it was my last time. Worse the gay models usually has to end up doing a servicing scene on Cody Cummings where he often has straight porn blasting a foot from the person actually doing the work since he refuses even the basic cuddling foreplay most sites encourage. Yes, the guest performers are guaranteed the money for a number of shoots over a week but I wish some of the in house performers like Tommy D and Mason(who is basically being phased out) would stand up for their gay and bisexual brothers to say this isn’t right. I guess those exclusive contracts include standing by while other gay men are disrespected. I know that Randy Blue encourages his “straight” boys to downplay any “gay” behaviour. I haven’t heard anything else negatice but I would think with that many straight men it is similiar to SC in the performance issues department.

I have read the comments from many studios that gay4pay is what sells but I disagree. It is all you are producing and marketing that is why it sells. I read this before and it makes sense: “When I want chocolate what I really want is Godiva chocolate. If I really want chocolate and all a store has is Hershey’s then I will still buy it. I know it isn’t as good and I resent myself for choosing an inferior brand but at the moment it was the only option.” In other words just because a man buys your gay4pay porn doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have preferred gay porn. I just don’t understand the reasoning in paying staight men more, increasing production time, and fostering a state of homophobia while still claiming it makes more money. It’s a lie.

9 EJ { 06.19.10 at 9:33 pm }

Loved reading your stories about what goes on behind the scenes — thanks for sharing! When politicians or religious leaders vote against gay rights but are then later found out to be gay themselves, we often “out” them and vilify them as the worse form of hypocrites. I can’t help but feel that’s comparable to what certain studios like SC are doing, as well. They produce a product that features men having sex and yet the ultimate result is that their product makes gay men feel like they are somehow less valuable or desirable than straight men. It seems equally hypocritical for these studios to make money from us by producing a product that lowers our self-esteem. They teach us either directly or subtly that we should be self-loathing instead of proud of who we are. Honestly — you made a funny quip during a scene and the SC folks felt that they had to edit it out? That’s just sad. God forbid if a model is funny or clever instead of a dull Stepford clone! The only way this circle stops is if gay men stop purchasing product from sites that perpetuate the “straight men are better” myth and then let those sites know that our business will return when they feature GAY men. But can we, as a community, step up and do that?

10 Porn Watcher { 06.20.10 at 11:17 am }

Porn isn’t about what people should like, it’s about what people do like. What they do like is determined involuntarily, by their subconscious.

One thing that a great many gay men like, not surprisingly, is masculinity. When you are told not to be “too gay” in a porn flick, it’s not about your sexual orientation. After all, in that video you are engaging in homosexual activity.

Rather, you are being told to avoid “unmasculine” gestures and speech. It’s an article of faith among consumers of gay porn that many of us do it with the sound off, because the actors are so unmasculine that to listen to them is to kill off the attraction.

None of this is fair, but porno is not about what’s fair. It’s about what triggers the watcher’s sexual arousal. While I’d agree that there’s no reason for a studio to be brutal on the set, I’d also say that I’m not too sympathetic with your complaint on the “too gay” issue.

By the way, seeing as how you seem to have contacts in that business, I have something to pass along. It’s in the realm of what turns me on, and I hope that what turns someone on isn’t off limits for discussion.

I am former military and like uniform porn a whole lot. The studios have improved it some over the years, but I still see too many vids produced by people who don’t have a clue. One or more of the studios needs a uniform advisor who does nothing other than pick the right uniforms and see that they’re worn correctly.

Even the milporn studios like Dink Flamingo seem to think that guys with tattoos, short haircuts, and a camo cover is enough. Well, it’s not. And uniform porn really requires extra effort on the masculinity front too, which I suppose will make you really pissed off. But that’s the way it is.

I do wish you the best, but I also advise you to not lose sight of why people watch the product.

11 Devon { 06.20.10 at 11:45 am }

I thank you for your civil tone. You are, of course, entitled to your preferences, as everyone is; however, your preference is, right now, the dominant preference, and it shouldn’t necessarily be. I would also point out that although I am gay, I’m not the flaming drag queen everyone seems to presume – and if I were, that wouldn’t be a problem either, in my mind.

I am not connected to the uniform sites, but I know someone who is. I will pass your comments to him.

I am not losing site of why people watch the product, but I am fixating on why many gay men DO NOT watch the product: gay-for-pay actors, mechanical sex, and lack of context/narrative. In time, THEY will be my audience. In time, I hope to make a product for THEM.

12 Porn Watcher { 06.20.10 at 12:43 pm }

To be clear, I am not making any judgment about your masculinity. I have deliberately not looked at your pics or vids, so as to not let my instinctual reactions cloud my judgment here. For all I know, you’re a masculine stud of the kind that really turns me on, but my comments are NOT personally directed at you in that dimension.

I am in favor of whatever works. With gay porn, I think what often works is what you’ve identified as “straight acting.” Myself, when I see that phrase, or even “str8″ without the “acting” part added, in personal ads part of me laughs and another part of me understands exactly what’s going on.

It seems to me that you might be expecting too much of porn. My bottom line is that porn is about what gets guys hard. All of the rest really doesn’t matter to the viewer, or matters very little. We’re really NOT interacting with the whole person, and don’t want to.

13 Next Door Studios Homophic? { 06.20.10 at 1:49 pm }

[…] Cody’s sets due what he perceived as homophobic remarks and short tempered staff; however the comment about Next Door Studios made Sean Cody’s sets sound like Disneyland: I know that Next Door productions are […]

14 Devon { 06.20.10 at 2:23 pm }

I understand, PW. But I believe that expecting too much of porn is exactly what I need to do. :) Again, thank you for the civility.

15 Porn Watcher { 06.20.10 at 7:18 pm }

I think that any employer, regardless of the business, ought to try to treat associates with civility and respect. Some of what you encountered at Sean Cody was questionable in that regard, but I also didn’t see anything there that was truly horrific.

I would close by saying this: The viewer of porn, like the consumer of any other product or service, is interested primarily in the item itself, as opposed to the process of creating it. Obviously, there are departures from that, but I think those exceptions pretty much prove the rule.

This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with what you’ve written. I think it’s an intelligent, informative, and interesting look at how the business actually operates.

Yet, at the same time, you come right up to the line between being self-referential, or wanting to involve the viewers more closely in the process than they really ought to be involved. It’s a bit like music; do I care that Miles Davis and John Coltrane were heroin addicts, or that many of the record labels were run by tyrants, or will I judge the output by the quality of the output itself?

This is the wrong word, but I sense a certain sort of puritanism here. You seem to want the porno business to embody a larger righteousness that you’ve defined. That’s not all bad by any stretch, but it does run the risk of losing sight of what this industry actually exists to do, which is to trigger erections.

You do that by involvement with your customer’s primitive instincts, which really don’t know much less care about righteousness. Sean Cody is offering a product that caters to that slice of viewers who crave a certain style of masculinity that goes by the label, “straight.” It’s what makes them stiff, and keeps ‘em cummin’ back for more.

We can analyze the living shit out of what that means — how it’s an illusion and laughable and fucked up and unfair, etc. Or we can say, “Hell, it’s an illusion. Welcome to the goddamn movies.”

I’m in the latter camp. Movie makers are spell casters, and there are all kinds of spells to be cast in the naked city. Sean Cody’s people could certainly be nicer to the associates and run a better set for the actors, but I’m having a real hard time arguing too hard about their illusions. Seems to me they’re in a business that has existed for a long, long time.

16 Devon { 06.20.10 at 11:36 pm }

We have to agree to disagree. I believe that people imitate what they see, and what they see over and over is the prioritization of heteronormativity AT THE EXPENSE of LGBT identity. What you call a happy illusion I call homophobic brainwashing, a process of reinforcing antigay preferences and behaviors. I don’t accept that media is harmless. I believe very much that it teaches by example, and that the consumers (no matter how sophisticated they take themselves to be) are the students who are being acclimatized in a (not very subtle) lesson about what is “better” and what is “undesireable.” People who pay for gay-for-pay and/or bareback porn empower, embolden, and encourage the makers of those films to continue streaming a destructive product into a marginalized community. In short: gay-for-pay pornography enslaves gay men to the notion that they are intinsically less than straight men.

17 Porn Watcher { 06.21.10 at 1:52 am }

I think you’re taking all of this just a little too seriously. Remember: It’s about a hardon. Everything else is in a distant 5th place. Honest.

18 Justin { 06.21.10 at 6:33 am }

And I guess my only response to PW is I think Devon is hoping gay guys will not be purely slaves to their dicks. God knows that’s what straight people assume anyway.

19 Devon { 06.21.10 at 7:40 am }

PW – That is fine… for you. It is not fine… for me.

20 Porn Watcher { 06.21.10 at 6:38 pm }

@Justin, it’s not about being a “slave to your dick,” any more than say, someone who gets lost in a great movie and doesn’t really care whether the head of Warner Brothers is an asshole is therefore a slave to Hollywood.

21 Mike { 06.21.10 at 7:48 pm }

PW, I think you’re falling into the same fallacy that some of these studios seem to be working under. There are many gay men, myself being one of them, who don’t have to see the hyper-masculine, straight identifying man to be turned on. In fact, I tend to find it a turn-off when there is this elaborate set-up about how straight the guy is. In my fantasy I don’t need to be reminded that the model isn’t really into what he’s doing. I’d much rather see two attractive gay guys get it on any day. I’m sorry but the scenes are always better when the guys admittedly enjoy sex with other men.

And the issue with the Sean Cody treatment isn’t just how they asked Devon to act. They wanted to erase every trace of his being gay even trying to get him to say he was “bi” in his bio — a guy who states he’s never been with a woman! You don’t find it disturbing that a gay porn site that is paid for by the money of gay men and is owned by a gay man would ask a gay man to lie about the fact that he is gay?!!! To use the scientific phrasing, “that is some messed up shit!”

22 Porn Watcher { 06.21.10 at 9:33 pm }

@Mike, if you don’t like it, then watch something else. You might not believe this, but I don’t pay any attention to the various studios. My porn taste is different. I find still shots that I like, look at a few of them, and make up the storyline in my head. It really doesn’t matter what photographer took the picture.

23 Mike in MA { 06.22.10 at 5:13 pm }

PW, believe me I intend to watch something else, but thanks for your permission. Plus, you completely missed the point of my post. You wrote in your earlier post that SC is just producing a product in the way gay men want to see it. I was pointing out that not all gay men necessarily want or need to see the product as framed by SC. Plus, they could re-write every one of those bios on their site and say all of the guys are 100% homo and they would be just as successful because the guys are hot, the production values are pretty strong and the sex is usually pretty good. This notion that their success is predicated on this gay for pay concept really is a fallacy.

24 David Solano { 06.23.10 at 4:16 pm }

How tiresome it is to listen to political hectoring from politically correct “queer studies” fanatics. You are just as obsessed with evangelizing the “right” way to be aroused as are the Christian fundamentalists. You have your own religious terminology just like the Christians. Preaching about heteronormativity and something laughably called LGBTQ really convinces no one who doesn’t already agree with you. I suspect that these rants are only intended to bolster your own faith in your ideology, just as a pastor’s sermon is intended to bolster the true believers.

A good example:

“I fear; however, that my experience with SC may have infected me with some homophobia . ..”

You fear that you may have thoughts that are forbidden. And you think that you can be “infected” with thoughts and opinions against your will. Thus, the thought-crime must be purged and the external satanic force that has infected you (SC) must be banished from the mind. You should apply for a high-level post in the Catholic Church. You have the right mindset.

DH, your thoughts come from you. Don’t blame others if you can’t live up to your own narrow “queer studies” vision human sexuality.

25 Devon { 06.23.10 at 8:31 pm }

Then don’t listen. I am speaking to my audience. If you are not part of it, you are free to move along. You have not moved me any more than I have moved you. You see me as an ideologue, and I see you as willfully ignorant. It’s fair in a free world to hold strongly to one’s opinions, and I am holding to mine. You are free to hold to yours.

It seems to me that you are as guilty of fundamentalist fervor toward NOT hearing me, as I am in trying to make a point you don’t like. We are both guilty, if I am. If you are going to break this conversation down into absolutes that cannot intermingle, then I am not going to bother replying to you again.

I do have one specific question: Why would a gay man be so opposed to the thoughts and discussions, collectively known as “Queer Theory,” that help to bring a critical examination of our collective lives and experiences into the public arena? Before we can go any further, I need you to tell me WHY you are against intellectualizing this issue.

26 Osvaldo { 06.24.10 at 4:08 pm }

Devon,

Brilliant! Thank you so much for your exposing of Seancody.com. Ironically, your expose is so much more a criticism of us—gay men, as it is about the seancody website. Gay men who lust after “straight” guys only reflects the self hating, low self esteem identity issues that many gay men suffer from. The only fault that the owners Seancody.com have is exploiting that self hate that gay men have for monetary gain.

27 Osvaldo { 06.24.10 at 4:57 pm }

@David Solano,

Wow! You obviously have an issue with Queer Studies. People should be able to articulate an opinion however they want and if it is done eloquently, it shouldn’t be dismissed as some Theorist’s rant. Brother David, I encourage you to re-examine your thought process behind your post.

With respect,

Osvaldo

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29 Michael Australia { 07.31.10 at 10:07 pm }

Devon I am fascinated by these posts so please forgive my posting in August when the topic is over.

I cannot understand why anyone would hate you? Is it more a power rather than a morality issue? You expressed a view what’s the big deal? Has it stopped gay men watching Sean cody? Some but realistically not all.

Another point is this:

Gay men who lust after “straight” guys only reflects the self hating, low self esteem identity issues that many gay men suffer from.

I lust after straight guys on the net on sites like Sean’s but I don’t go into a straight bar and start pawing at the guys. I can see low self esteem is linked to that, but I don’t agree that I like Sean Cody’s site therefore I have low self esteem. Does not wash with me.

The only other thing Devon is that you describe the culture of Sean Cody’s very well. To me it’s not a sexual issue but the same issue that faces a lot of workplaces – staff not respected, limited funds, overworked, underpaid. That to me is more to be condemed rather than having straight guys out of their depth. But again as I posted on the other blog entry, does the fact children make our DKNY jeans or whatever in sweat shops underpaid stop us from buying them. No. It can with some, but overall it wont’.

I am not saying Sean Cody is a great place to work, but I like their stuff but to me just because I like watching their stuff why should I stop just on the basis of anti SC postings? But also, why should I judge you as wrong for doing so? Frankly, maybe the porn industry should be regulated more, I don’t know the answer but what I do know is you are fine with your postings but again, I like Sean’s work. How do I reconcile that? At the moment I have no idea.

30 Devon { 08.01.10 at 10:30 am }

Michael Australia, can you not see how you contradict yourself from moment to moment? I don’t know how to reply to you. I’m not trying to be mean, but your words here illustrate the problem.

31 Michael Australia { 08.02.10 at 6:10 pm }

Devon I agree but as I posted in blog 1 I have to think about this a bit more. You say they problem lies in what I am thinking, but I just cannot say ok Sean Cody treated you like X so I will never go on Sean Cody’s site again? At the same time it makes me think, well they treated you like X over your appearences so maybe I won’t look at them anymore. Problem is, millions won’t think that way. You have at least brought awareness and if it makes people not look at SC’s site that is good.

You say there is contraction. That was my exact point. Isn’t it contraction and double standards to say go to a protest about sweat shops in Asia wearing Nike? All I am saying is I agree with your assessments and stories, it makes me think twice about issues, and that in itself is to me very healthy to consider your views.

PS I really can’t see how you are being mean, isn’t it part of American (and hopefully Australian) culture and society, and the internet that we say what we want with responsibility? I am saying again, your story about Sean Cody is fine, as is anyone who criticises their practices, that’s democracy, but I cannot lie and say I won’t look at that site. But again, maybe I will take it on board I dislike their practices so much from what you said I won’t look at their work. At this stage I am deciding with the views of you and others. The point is, you have made me aware and think about an issue, gay for pay, that does not rate much of an eyebrow in Australia. And from what I see on the net this issue, at least in the UK and USA is important to gay men.

32 Dave { 02.09.11 at 8:40 pm }

Devon, I agree with what you said about the whole “gay for pay” or the marketed “straight” men in porn.

Hetero guys don’t wind up doing gay porn or having sex with men and who believes this anyway?

I know that some bisexual and even gay men do fantasize and obsess about having sex with an actual hetero/straight guy but unless you’re in prison and someone’s b!tch and they’re just turning you out for power/control over you, it’s not going to happen.

I’m fine with people having these fantasies but that’s all they are.

33 StevenX { 07.23.12 at 12:30 pm }

I agree with Dave. Any gay person who thinks they’re having sex with a “straight” person needs (a) therapy to find out why they hate themselves, and (b) a dictionary. Straight men don’t have sex with gay men, BY DEFINITION – if they do, they’re at least bisexual, and at worst liars and users. More often than not they’re gay but screw women (even marry them and have kids) because they think otherwise everyone will know they’re gay. Usually everyone with any gaydar knows anyway, and far more people have good gaydar than most guys think. The phrase “look at you fooling you”, to quote Sly Stone, comes to mind. All these so-called gay-for-pay actors couldn’t get it up for even 10 seconds if they were completely straight. It’s really sad on cam sites like Cam4, when two guys are being lazy porn hookers and billing themselves as straight or cousins or even brothers, to see how many self-loathing homos eat it up. I’m sure on some level even they know it’s bullshit, but these are the same folks who pay to see two guys have sex badly (after an hour of “tipping” when they could have spent the money renting actual porn that is MUCH hotter than two skinny Venezuelan scam artists or, God forbid, paying a REAL hooker and actually getting (gasp!) laid.
Soapbox down. Your posts should be required reading to anyone who’s ever considered doing gay porn. The details necessary to really make an informed decision are rarely discussed (though they show up for a few days whenever a porn actor dies of an overdose…). Well done.

34 Dave D. { 04.01.13 at 11:32 am }

“I am not losing site of why people watch the product, but I am fixating on why many gay men DO NOT watch the product: gay-for-pay actors, mechanical sex, and lack of context/narrative. In time, THEY will be my audience. In time, I hope to make a product for THEM.”

Where do I sign up?! This has been an often talked about issue with my gay male and lesbian (who watch gay male porn (and there are more than you realize)) friends. The ‘trend’ of gay4pay has worn itself out, if it ever was a trend. If people want to see it, fine, it’s out there, but I know the majority of us gay men want to get back to seeing real gay men having gay sex and feeling good about it and each other. Every point you have made from the issue of heteronormativity to “gay4pay enslaving gay men to the notion that they are intrinsically less than straight men” I agree with you 110% Devon. I couldn’t agree with you more. People may say one is ‘taking it too seriously’, but we are a reflection of our media and vice-versa. Porn is more than ‘just porn’. To the small-town kid in Idaho experiencing gay curiosity or sex for the first time, a gay porn video may (and most likely) be their first experience. This is one reason safe-sex in gay porn is still mandatory for the main studios. They feel they have a responsibility, not just to the models for their safety and health, but to that small-town kid who is going to view it and learn from it. This is also why gay4pay is not always the best format. Young gay men need, and deserve, gay male role models of all kinds, and that small-town kid who views that porn should be able to see that ‘He’s just like me. He’s okay and I’m okay. I don’t have to pretend to be anything but what I am’. Porn may be about fantasy, but it’s about way more than that in my opinion. I just want to know how I can get involved and spread the word, Devon. We need your work, experience, and abilities to create this change.

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