Ra SHAWN-DA-PROFESSOR

Ra SHAWN-DA-PROFESSOR

Monday, October 1, 2007

PORN STARS SPEAKS ON THE IMPACT AND MYTHS ABOUT THE ADULT ENTERTAINMENT INDUSRTY

BY Ra SHAWN CHISOLM

For the past seven decades, gay pornography has become one of the popular and biggest selling genres of entertainment. Like Hip-Hop, it began as an underground phenomenon, but it has become a part of our culture. From adult magazines, to DVDs, many Gay/SGL men enjoy looking at porn as a form of relaxation, stimulation, education, and to release sexual tension. Gay pornography represents using male on male activity with the main goal of making the viewers sexually aroused, dating back to Greek Anceiticy, but unfortunately had to remain underground due to obscenity laws that constituted evidence of illegal acts under many Sodom laws in many laws (Many men in the south would be arrested for participating in anal sex, even if it was behind closed doors, but the law was ruled unconstitutionally by the Supreme Court in 2003).
Another reason for remaining underground? Many Gay/SGL men were still closeted in the early 1940’s and 1950’s due to fear of being abandoned by loved ones as well as religious organizations which still unfairly condemns homosexuality, and the only form of porn were magazines featuring men either wearing a g-string or being totally nude, but that changed thanks to the late photographer Bob Mizer, founder of the AMC-Athletic Model Guild which was the first studio to commercially produce films for Gay/SGL men which was sold through mail in orders and by word of mouth, but by the late 1960’s the sexual revolution forced the courts to legalized porn legitimately and now fans have easier access to porn courtesy of peep shows, VCR’s DVD players and the internet.
What makes Gay porn appealing? “It’s more of a fantasy thing for people who’s watching” says Marc Williams, a LA Based porn star who’s appeared in “Big and Plenty”, and Black Inches Magazine. “There’s something out there for everyone.” Early porn normally featured muscular men with little or no body hair, but Black Inches have began to feature models who aren’t as buff and who has body hair, and most of today’s ethnic films features urban themes and models wearing Hip-Hop attire including fitted baseball caps, do-rags, boxers, timberlands and sneakers, appealing to viewers who like guys who are street, but sensual. ”I film a genre called ‘Thug Porn’ so I need to keep it as real as possible says model/producer Tiger Tyson who’s company is linked with Pittbull Productions whose film “The Show Part 2” was named Best Ethnic theme by the Gay VN award. “That’s the way we dress. I believe the person who buys my films wants to see the read deal.”
Another form of change in the industry has been the roles and labels of men in the industry; Men that have masculine characteristics were tops and dominators while guys with femine characteristics, were bottoms and submissive, but many of today’s films show the stars showing their versatility, including Tyson Cane and Kamrun, both who topped and bottomed in films they’ve appeared in. “I don’t think it’s right for them to be doing these moves, the CEO Tyson Cane Videos and first Black to appear to star in films by Kristen Bjorn says about companies who shows stereotypes of Black and Latino men. “I’m not a thug; I’m not from the ghetto. I mixed pretty boys with thugs. I have an urban style but I mix the world together.” When asked did he catch any negative feedback for not what viewers expected, Kamrun who ‘s starred in Black Balled 3, 4 and 5’ says he’s never gotten any flack about being label or perceived to be a certain way because of his looks. “Actually No. If you see me up close live and in person, I’m far from the Hip-Hop look.” Former Black Inches columnist Ty Lattimore is also appealing to viewers by shooting a large a variety of models including different races and ages and sizes including Tank a thick sized model who’s been getting lots of praise from fans who are happy to see someone large in porn industry. “I find the beauty in different kinds of men. A six pack don’t necessarily makes you an attractive person or even a better person” the Atlanta based star and director says of the ageism and typecasting that occurs in the community. “Our community has a lot of phobia and a lot of ways that we classified and disqualified people. I have a hard time being a producer telling a model to have six-pack abs when I don’t have six pack abs. Everybody wants to see themselves represented.”
Most of the guys entering the industry today are much younger than it was years ago. Models as young as 18 are entering the industry as opposed to years ago when most of the models were in their early 20’s. “These new guys are freakier When we were they’re age, we weren’t thinking about doing porn then!” says the late Delvin Wiley, operation officer for Flava Works who starred in three films before deciding to work more behind the scenes at the company. “We were sneaking and buying it.”
Most models enter the industry to make fast money and gain recognition. Tyson and Cane had started out working as strippers in clubs with the latter wanting to pursue a career in porn since the age of 18, many including who were discovered and approached by talent scouts and other stars to work for their companies. “A friend of mine was telling me ‘I know a guy who’s shooting porn and I didn’t think it was a good idea, but my boyfriend was like ‘let’s do this. It’s not different than what we’re doing” says Breion Diamond the star of Flava Works and the Dorm Life Series who originally started with Pittbull Productions and has a large following in South Africa.
But there were many who never intended on entering the industry at all including Baby Boi, another of Flava Works tops models. He wanted to pursue a career in modeling but after discovering the lack of outlets in his state, he discovered Flava Works while surfing the internet and after submitting his information, he was flown to Chicago the following week during his last semester of high school. “Doing porn was never my intention. It was mainly ‘I’m about to graduate from high school and don’t want to stay in Indianapolis.’ I was trying to get in the modeling industry while in high school, but being in Indianapolis that’s not a big hub for that.” Both have helped make their site become the most viewed site on the internet receiving numerous awards and nominations which is due to the non-sexual bond they have and living in the dorm where the movies are filmed. “We had to be honest with each other and real. Some of us have the same mentality. We’re trying to be movie stars and to be enemies with each other is stupid.”
Being in the public eye has many rewards such being able to travel around the world and meeting fans, but there is a downside to being in the porn industry such as negativity, maintaining a private life, being seen only as an sex object and misconceptions that all porn stars are drug addicts, sluts, infected with STD‘s. The biggest thing complaint from many journalist and health care professionals has been the number of bare backing films that’s been release. Many think that bare backing will influence viewers to participate in risky behavior increasing the numbers of HIV using Flava Works’ incident to prove their point. According to Diamond, the CEO of the company didn’t have the proper documents to film at his house and they were closed a week before they were scheduled to relocate of Miami and that it’s true that one of the models did have a STD and passed it to another, the company makes sure the models are tested and use protection. “These boys are having unsafe sex and they’re not supposed to. Everyone gets tested when they come in” Diamond said who also expressed his frustration by talking about how “whites porn stars be shooting cum into each other and no one makes any complaints. But we get slack for releasing Raw Thugs. Black People don’t like seeing Black people doing certain shit. I have a raw film and five of the six scenes are done with my boyfriend."
Another false myth is that models can‘t maintain relationships. “In the reality, I have models who are in long term relationships with other models” Cane said of the misconception. Williams and Diamond are in relationships with models and they manage to make their relationship work by keeping their professional life away from their personal life while others chose to spend time with family and friends when not filming. “My friends come first“ Kamrun replied.
Life after porn. There have been many stories about many porn stars who didn’t how to adjust to life after porn, and many of today’s porn stars are planning to pursue other career goals; Baby Boi plans to pursue a college degree in Business and Marketing while Diamond wants to be a fashion stylist and AIDS activist, but there are some who are working in the industry behind the scenes such as Lattimore, Tyson and Cane who produce and shot their own films while Kamrun who’s appeared in many coffee table books and hires go-go dancers for clubs while working in Immigration Law full time and the advice they give to those who want to enter the industry is to make sure it’s something they want to do as well as do research on the industry and the companies and to also remember it’s a business and to stay smart, safe and don’t do anything you're uncomfortable doing.

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