I’ve been quiet for a while, I know. This summer has been focused on making new things in my life go, and resuscitating older things I’ve let slide by the last few years. That’s after we returned from our epic and awesome trip to Australia to do outreach for the Victorian AIDS Council, an experience about which I really need to finish a long blog post.
The major thing I’m redoubling my efforts on is my music career, increasing the amount of writing and performing I do. As part of this effort, many of you were superbly generous to make contributions towards the purchase of a piano for me. I can’t begin to say how grateful I am for that support, and all the thank-you gifts I’d promised I swear are on their way! We’re scrambling to get the CD’s duplicated and packaged at this point. The piano is taking up other time as well; just the rearranging of furniture to accommodate it is proving an undertaking! Meanwhile I’m also in talks with a few people about resuming studies, perhaps pursue a doctorate in music soon. Add to that our couple trips to California, one for the Fourth of July and Jesse’s birthday, and the other for work in LA and Palm Springs, and it’s amazing how quickly the time charges by. Here it is, August already, and until this past Sunday I’d yet to lay eyes on a beach in beach weather this year.
All this is to pave the way for what I’ll be doing with myself after porn. Or maybe not so specifically after porn as what will continue to fill my life as I taper porn off? We all know people who retire from their jobs in their sixties who continue working, just being more selective with projects that interest them. At 43 I’m getting to be serious daddy in porn, but I don’t think it’s retirement age QUITE yet. However, nobody among you is gonna want to watch my septuagenarian ass still fucking on camera in another couple decades. My days in porn are numbered, as are they for any pornstar. And I’m starting to think about (and forgive me, this sounds terribly masturbatory, I know) what my legacy in porn might be. I’m going to be remembered for something after I’m done; it won’t be anything that shatters world paradigms or changes lives, but I’d like it to be something positive, something I can be proud of having accomplished.
I got to have a quick chat with Steve Cruz of Raging Stallion/Falcon at the Grabbys last May in Chicago, about the fact that RS had asked if I’d be available for a film for the first time in three years. I apologized for having to decline the invitation, as the shoot would have happened in the midst of our Australia trip. I was REALLY upset to have to turn it down because it was a chance to work with one of my gods among men, Logan McCree. Steve was honest with me regarding why they hire me so rarely: Raging has certain policies about what sorts of men they hire. This of course is to keep a certain “look” to their films, and pretty much all studios have some sort of guidelines, codified or not, governing who they put on camera. And I’m old. Not too old, but of a visage where the best justification to put me on camera is to pair me with a younger man.
Men.com has been overwhelmingly generous with me over the last two years, for which I’m so grateful. Scenes like the two with Luke Adams and Colby Jansen in Son Swap are scenes I’m proud of; the one with Colby is still one of the most-viewed scenes on the site, and justifiably so, considering how hot my scene partner is, the flip nature of the scene, and my kinda one-of-a-kind cumshot (a direct reflection of how much fun we had filming that). Interestingly that scene is daddy-fucking-daddy, not daddy-fucking- … well, okay, can’t call him “son” because that’s far too specific. Nobody is ever a blood relative, and nobody is under age, either as an actor or as their character. I’m trying to hint to Men that perhaps this daddy-fucking-daddy thing might have some legs; here’s hoping they catch on.
And I think that touches on exactly what rubs me wrong about being “daddy” in porn so often these days. It’s not that I object to the fantasy of being the older man, more confident and assured for a younger fellow; it’s the insistent flirting with the sex-between-family-members angle. It never seems to be enough for there to be just a mutual interest across an age difference, as “daddy” is conventionally used in our everyday gay world. On screen for some reason it always has to be taboo, risky, flirting with pedophilia (which so many fans read into this genre even through every “younger man” I’ve worked with was well into his twenties and every character is clearly understood to be of legal age), with family relationships (SHOULD a stepdad be making sexual overtures to his stepsons even if he knows they’re receptive? Not really to my mind…), and with societal norms. I get it, it’s a potent fantasy for many of you, and porn is about fantasy and not reality. But if we’re going to expect viewers to be able to tell the difference between the fantasy of bareback sex and the reality of an STD-risky real world (for instance), why are so many unwilling to make the conceptual leap from the fantasy of that sexy man mom married to the reality of “I can’t expect that with my own stepson or stepdad”?
Part of this is also not so much the ageism (though that happens too; I’m always seeing comments online about how old I am) as about presumptions about the nature of an attraction when there’s a substantial age difference. This even happens on set; I had a heart-to-heart email exchange with one director who writes her own scripts, having to explain the difference between “daddy”, where the younger man is in fact interested in the older man, and “dirty old man”, where the older man has to use some sort of leverage to coerce the younger man into sex. And then we actually had a fight about it when she said she understood my objection, but still wrote scripts calling for that. She just couldn’t understand that there might be any other motivation for the younger man to have sex with an older man. I’ve been surprised to find this assumption among many straight women, and especially mothers (she is both), that an age difference simply means there must be a predatory intent. I tried to get her to understand that it doesn’t matter how connected and romantic and hot the sex is afterwards, if you’ve established in the opening dialogue that the only reason one party is consenting to sex is to avoid some other unpleasant situation, she’s just made a ____* film. For one scene we never filmed the dialogue because I simply refused to stick to her script, and she threw a tantrum. I don’t work for that studio any more…
When I was in my 20’s, I don’t think a man under the age of 35 ever caught my eye. I always dated men 5-10 years older than me, sometimes even more. So I understand why “daddy” is such a potent theme. It was back then as well; I just wasn’t aware of anyone calling their interests “daddies”. So the prevalence the trend isn’t in question, and I have no problem with it inherently. I’m just starting to tire of being daddy all the time, especially with movies which play so close to the edge of “are they actually family members or not?” This isn’t what I want on Dirk Caber’s tombstone when he goes, that “He was a good daddy.” I’ve done other things in porn, I’ve still some amazing things to do; there are going to be far more interesting and meaningful projects. Men.com knows that there’s a market for pairing me with someone my own age (or at least someone with whom I’m on some sort of par–I’m pretty sure Colby’s not remotely as old as I am!); TitanMen has certainly been advocating for more age-appropriate pairings for me. And I get it: I’m 43. I am daddy for most of my colleagues, and it’s a mentoring role in real life as well as in the porn world that I’ve enjoyed taking on (though I generally prefer not to be called “daddy”!). So yeah, I embrace it. I just want to be something more than that.
So as I started out saying, among these shifts I’ve been working on this summer I’ve been reassessing what my upcoming goals are. Music is occupying more and more of my time these days. Home life with Jesse is becoming more interesting and involved and intimate. I’ve some huge personal projects which are finally coming together fast. Hence I’m thinking that perhaps it’s time to consider easing up on my porn involvement, similarly to those mentioned earlier who retire from work but keep going in a more selective role; perhaps it’s time to start picking my scenes even little more deliberately. I don’t have to retire entirely, and I make more time for the rest of my life.
I do porn for fun, in the end. Yes, the extra cash has been welcomed and in occasional circumstances direly needed. But it’s not a long-term career, and it’s never something anyone is going to get rich doing, so why invest in it if there isn’t some enjoyment at the least in return? All you watchers out there want to see porn where the guys on screen are actually having fun, right? That chemistry is so much easier when making that film WAS fun. Being given the same role over and over again starts to dull that enjoyment, and I fear that may show. You don’t want that. Neither do I. So…
There is one other HUGE consideration regarding this, which I’m going to have to save for a separate blog post, partly because it will be a lengthy enough exploration unto itself, but mostly because I’m still working out how to couch an expression of frustration without inherently attacking the industry. When I get it written, I know you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
* Addendum: I’ve had to change the text of this article, as one studio objects to the use of certain words in any post that references the studio as well. As my options were either to remove the offending verbiage or cede all of my affiliateship codes and hence income, and possibly being denied further filming work with this studio, I am forced to comply. It does amaze me that the context these words appear in has no bearing on their use; I can be using them entirely in the sense of “There is no _ _ _ _ or _ _ _ _ _ _ in this movie” and it’s still unacceptable. I wouldn’t want to suggest that this studio is worried that you, my intelligent reader, will think that, by mere mention of the concepts these words represent in this post, I am implying that these things happen in these films. It evidently is not enough that I am emphatically saying they do NOT happen in these films. As this this studio routinely flirts with this fantasy and seems certain that you, the intelligent purveyor of porn, would be able to see past the roles portrayed, I cannot believe that your worldly sophistication is simply too suspect for them. But I wouldn’t suggest anything of the sort. I’m sure it’s a computer-driven process that red-flags those words in my blog post. No human is THIS moronic.