Sunday, February 02, 2014

Ty's Corner

[Note, no links in this article are work safe.]


Gay porn.

Is it a window on a larger world?

I've been wondering that for some time now.

Blond haired gay porn star Paul Wagner has a new porn film, Back On Site.  In it, he plows Dan Broughton.  I'm using "plows" intentionally to make the point of what role he's playing in the film.

For the gay porn world, Wagner was the talk of the last half of January.  He's a porn star and has been one for some time.  And one online 'report' on the film found the author asking readers who they'd rather have sex with: Wagner or Dan Broughton.

In gay porn, there's still a hierarchy, tops on the top.

For those who don't know, a top is the one who does the screwing, a bottom is one who gets screwed.  These are rigid roles.  In the real word, you will encounter many more types of gay people.  A versatile gay, for instance, is one who can top or bottom.  There are also gays who do not have anal sex.  There are all sorts of things -- things more suited for the scope of a book -- or series of books -- and not a column.

In the gay porn world -- the mainstream gay porn world, at least -- there are certain rules.  For instance, nipple play is at a minimum and you're more likely to see a clothespin or electrical current applied to a nipple than a mouth.  Nipples may receive a quick lick but don't look for a suck.

There's also the lack of mixing it up.

Mainstream gay porn is not known for being racially diverse, to put it mildly.

And when interracial takes place in the mainstream gay world, the man of color has to bottom.  Every now and then, the man of color may be able to flip f**k -- which mean the two men take turns topping -- but he will have bottomed in the film as well.

The late White twink Joey Stefano broke a porn rule.

As documented in Charles Isherwood's Wonder Bread and Ecstasy: The Life and Death of Joey Stefano, Stefano became a gay porn star.   And bottoms didn't become porn stars.

Joey was the first breakout porn star who became famous for bottoming.

There was another break through as 2013 ended.

Last month, another gay porn rule got broken.  Christmas Day saw the release of Jake Jaxson's Answered Prayers:  The Healer.  African-American Diesel Washington is a gay porn star and he stars in the film as the top, a massage therapist whose client is a smug, White, TV conservative played by Chris Harder.

From smug, Harder's character quickly becomes insulting.  In response to Harder's verbal weapons, Washington overwhelms him and they come to a new understanding.

In the process, Chris Harder went from a gay porn performer to a star.  The first White gay performer to become a star by bottoming under a man of color.  Another gay porn rule broken.

And the reaction to Harder's new found stardom and to Answered Prayers: The Healer has included an amount of racism.  The film itself is an attempt at a New Wave porn, so it's not going to be everyone's ideal gay porn.  But when comments online aren't about the secondary story or cutaways, when they're about the pairing of Washington and Harder and contain calls like "unnatural" (about the pairing itself, not the acting), it's racism.  No one has to be turned on by the coupling and being not turned on by it doesn't make you a racist.  It probably just means you're not into the body shapes or the type of interaction or the lighting or the presentation or whatever.  But when you're a gay man making comments that a Black man having sex with a White man -- especially when the Black man is the top -- is "unnatural," you're commenting from a base of racism.

What was really amazing in these threads was to see people dismiss the men making these comments but never to apply a label to what the thoughts being dismissed were: racism.

There's a lot of denial in the gay community -- just as there is the community of people at large.

But in the gay community, the denial really struck me.

Paul Wagner's where we started.

Some readers of the report chose Paul, some chose Dan Broughton, some said they'd taken them both.  But on the ones choosing Paul (either choosing just Paul or Paul and Dan both), some insisted they did so because he was a top.

Josh Logan, Brandon Lewis and Rogan Richards are the names of only a few gay porn stars who've topped Paul Wagner.

In other words, as a performer, beefy Paul Wagner is more correctly labeled "versatile."

So were the ones hailing him as a top expressing (a) the belief that he was a better as a top, (b) unconvincing as a bottom, (c) unaware he had bottomed and had bottomed often, (d) expressing their own lustful desire to be topped by Wagner or (e) continuing the still lingering class or caste-system?

One wonders what Marx and  Engels would have made of it if they were writing today and were evolved enough to tackle the topic without prejudice or homophobia.

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