Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sir Ari Gold -A Hot and Gay Man in Many Ways! (An interview)

I was thrilled when the hot and sexy performer and recording artist Sir Ari Gold responded to me on Facebook.  I’ve been wanting to add interviews to this developing project of mine.   I’m not a music person, but I knew who he was.  I’ve collected pictures of him for several years.   
           Sir Gold, who was knighted by the Imperial Court of New York, is a dancer, a writer and a Billboard top 10 pop artist. Sir Ari has headlined concerts in Europe, Canada, and in over 40 states including his hometown NYC at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub and Summerstage. He has won many awards including the OutMusic Visionary Award three times. He has more #1 videos on LOGO than any other artist and has received critical acclaim from many notable voices such as Clive Davis, Boy George, People Magazine, and Vibe Magazine. His music has been featured in the films Shortbus and Boy Culture and on the hit TV shows Scrubs and Cougar Town. Ari can be seen acting in RuPaul's cult film Starrbooty.
He has also written some articles himself about sex and relationships, so he’s not shy at all talking about the topic of sexuality. He is also unapologetic for having one. When he was included in Out Magazine’s Out100, it was said that he “has long rejected the idea that the only suitable pop star is a neutered one". 
           The focus of my interview is sexuality and being gay.

Me: I’m glad you responded to me on Facebook.  I’m just getting this blog off the ground and you are a great personality to profile for it.  Thank you.
When did you know you were gay? How hard did you try to conceal it?
Gold: On some level when I was five and obsessed with The Wizard of Oz. I hid it throughout childhood and high school until I came out when I left Jewish Parochial High School and my parents’ home. I was very tortured about being gay and though it would be the end of my life if anyone found out. It wasn’t hard to keep it a secret because at that time everything about my world conspired to keep me in the closet despite all evidence to suggest I was not straight.
Did you experiment with women?  Try to be straight?
I had two girlfriends in high school. I never thought I was straight but I did think that I could somehow make it work with these two particular women who I found very attractive. I found Madonna very attractive too so...
Did you have any gay celebrity role models or personal role models?
Madonna was really the first and only person I knew of who was saying that it was OK to be gay. Oprah is my personal Jesus. I’d love to work with Harvey Feinstein one day. I love George Michael. The list goes on.
Have you always been out as a performer?  Has it cost you gigs?
Well I wasn’t out when I was seven years old on the Joe Franklin show, but as soon as I put out records of my own songs I was out and writing and singing about life as a gay man. I’ll never know what kind of career I may have had if I had been in the closet or listened to the powerful people in the industry who told me to go back in the closet. I would not trade my journey of truth with any amount of fame or riches.
As a performer, were you always comfortable with the sexuality aspect of it, showing skin, etc?
I grew up feeling like a skinny effeminate nerdy Jew although I did always have some awareness that I was a cute kid at the same time. When I started to grow into my body and started working out, photographers wanted to take my picture and that was a big boost in my self-esteem. But celebrating my body and my sexuality was also a political statement for me. I became politicized at the same time that I came to accept my sexuality and I thought as an artist is was important for me to portray a gay man that was comfortable in his body, his gender and his sexuality. I wasn’t seeing that being represented. What I didn’t necessarily know was what kind of new box I would be put in for being a gay man who showed off his body.

What do think of being labeled as a “gay recording artist”?
When I think of being “labeled,” I think of being limited and boxed in and no one should do that to anyone. Now we say “branded” and then we are supposed to define what the “brand” stands for. I resist labeling and branding because I am an artist and a human being, who transcends labels, and brands, which is a very capitalist way of thinking, and I’m not convinced that capitalism is working anymore. I don’t resist language or descriptions and I AM a gay recording artist and very proud of that-especially since I’ve been proud of being a gay recording artist since the 90’s and since my first album came out in 2000. There was a huge gap after superstars like George Michael, Boy George and Elton John came out and I’m very humbled and honored to have been one of the few and some even say first to be out from the start during that time.

Of your songs and/or videos, which is the most gay?
My gayness or queerness runs through every image and every lyric I’ve ever written. You hear a lot of celebrities say my sexuality doesn’t define me and its only one part of me. I say, there’s no separating my sexuality from my humanity—it’s all connected and no one thing can define me completely. “My Favorite Religion” is a gay love story between a Jewish man and a priest and in the animated “Where The Music Takes You” an interracial gay kiss saves the world.
What are the most explicit lyrics in your songs?
“Show me your big stick shift, I’d like to take a test drive” in Ride To Heaven? LOL…”I don’t need any hit of ecstasy or bump of anything to get hard for you?” in Make My Body Rock? Those are the cheekier ones if you will.

Love it! What is the sexiest/hottest thing you’ve done while performing?
I’ve definitely been known to hump an amplifier in frenzy.
Would you ever go full frontal uncensored?   
I have. I just haven’t released those yet!
You are teasing me! What do you think is sexiest about your body? 
I get a lot of compliments on my skin. Apparently it’s soft and smooth.
DNA magazine called you “one of the hottest men in the world”.  What is the best thing about being one of the hottest?  The worst thing?
The best and worst thing is that I am one of the three and half billion hottest men in the world!
What is your favorite style and brand of underwear?
I’m really digging this red Calvin Kline pair of briefs lately. I need some more of those.
You’ve had many hairstyles, including no hair. Which of the hairstyles you have had is your favorite?
I used to have fun with crazy designs in my head and now I’m going for a more streamlined fade.
Can you share with us your favorite photo of your sexy self?
Here is the last one my friend Antonio took of me on a red raft in a pool at Deno’s house on Fire Island in my black speedo. Life is good when you’re on a raft in a pool on a hot summer day on Fire Island. (See photo below)

Definitely hot.  You’ve done some modeling.  How straight/gay is the male modeling industry? 
Most of the modeling I’ve done, whether it was for my coffee table book or for editorial has been about working with specific photographers or about my work as a recording artist.
What is your take on porn, especially gay4pay? Do you mingle with gay pornstars? 
Some of my best friends are gay pornstars! I don’t discriminate.
What do you think of Truvada? Is it the demise of the condom?
I’m for anything that gives us more opportunity to make responsible choices.
Are you still with your boyfriend?  Do you want to be married?
I am single right now and have been for a while. I would love an intimate romantic relationship. For me, marriage is a celebration of a relationship that is solid and since I’m not in one, I’m not thinking about marriage as much as thinking about how do I make sure I am a whole enough individual to be ready to share my life with another person in that way. 
As a role model, what is your message to the gay community?
My message has always been that “love will take over” if we learn to love ourselves and “go where the music takes you” which is another way of saying, “to thine own self be true.”
What makes you angry in the gay community or gay movement? How do you deal with it?
When we treat each other worse than the worst homophobes and do the same to each other that was done to us—discriminate, judge, hierarchize. We often don’t know how to be attracted to each other and respect each other. We can treat each other worse than the most sexist men treat women sometimes. Also, when we think we need to look outside ourselves to validate us as a community or a people. I love our straight allies but we could stand to prop each other up more than we prop up those who support us.
I agree. That’s what my blog is about.
Final question. What are your proudest achievements of your career?
The fans lives that I’ve touched who have written to me and told me that my music and my message has helped them to feel better about themselves.

      Gold is currently working on his 5th album Soundtrack To Freedom which is collaboration with Subgroover from Holland, coming out under the name Gold Nation. He is also developing his autobiographical musical “POP OUT”, directed by David Drake.

Find out more about Gold at  the following links:
Official Website -Sir Ari Gold 
The Real Ari Gold Docu-mini: America’s 1st Openly Gay Pop Star 



Here are some more sizzling photos of this Hot Gay Man!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Getting Go - Getting Gays

Outbuzz Review

Outbuzz reviews the wonderful film Getting Go (follow the above link).  When I saw it at Outfest LA, it was called the Go/Doc Project and I loved it.  I own a copy now.  I think one of the many reasons, the film is a standout, is because the leads are gay, not straights pretending to be gay.  We need more of this.
A hot scene from the film with the two stars

It's part fiction, part reality. 

Starring dreamy Matthew Camp
and a grownup teen gay hearthrob -Tanner Cohen.
Tanner and Matthew at Outfest.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What kind of Business is Gay4Pay?

I picked up this popular fashion magazine for Latinas the other day.  All the female models in it were white, not Hispanic.  I read in the editor’s section that they couldn’t find enough pretty Latina models who were stable (not on drugs). Many just wanted the free clothes.  So they use white chicks to sell clothes and accessories directly targeted to the Latino community.   Their casting calls didn’t generate many qualified applicants. Some of the white girls could pass as Latino anyway. 
Would the Latino community accept this if it were true?  No way. It's outrageous.  They would scream insult and boycott the magazine.   They would argue that the magazine needed to a better job reaching out to the community and recruiting models, making a solid effort to find real Latinas.
Sound familiar.  This is gay4pay exactly. It is troubling on several levels.  As a business, it is presenting a false product.  As a part of the gay community, it is disrespectful to our heritage.  It sends very poor messages to the world; especially, to young gay boys about what being gay means. Lastly, it steals jobs away from gay men.
So, let’s look at the business side of it first. What is the gay porn product? Who is it marketed to?  And at what price?

The porn business is often compared to the movie business because the tools and techniques in making feature films are mostly the same as those in making the porn product.  But, I argue that the tools and techniques in making paste are similar to making soup.   You find ingredients and boil them on the stove in a pot.  But soup and paste are not the same at all.  They serve different purposes completely.
I don’t think movies are at all like porn. Movies don’t tell the same exact story over and over in the same exact settings with the same exact dialog.  Lots of porn sites change the players only, everything else is the same.  Look at  They never repeat a pair, but the sets, the scripts (it is scripted), the wardrobe (the board shorts), and the action are almost always the same. Movies might re-pair the same players, but go out of their way to change the settings and the scripts.  Sometimes they use stunt doubles, but only for safety, and they prefer us not knowing when. We love it when an actor brags they did their own stunts.
Sean Cody wardrobe. Same shorts, different models.
To me, porn is more like sports. Just like there are many types of sports, there are types of porn –twink, bareback, amateur, kink, etc.  I have my favorite type, favorite players, and favorite teams (studios).  I collect their images like old fashioned baseball cards.  I chat with other fans about their skills, what positions they play, and what they bring to the game. 
Even though you see the same thing over and over in the same arenas, it is the action itself that thrills you.  It is as much about the player as it is the play.  And like a ballgame, there is a critical moment of interaction, where all the buildup comes home.  The fans jump in ecstasy and the players end up wiped out in a body pile up.
In sports, no one would tolerate pretense or fake experiences. If we found out that a tennis game was scripted from beginning to end, the players were just acting, we would throw a fit.  If we found out that the player, who got the contract for the college team, was not really a student, we would scream foul.   What if we found out that some of the guys on the bench had no experience, they were there just to make the team look good?
 And can you imagine a major football player saying in an interview, “I don’t like football.  I don’t ever play it outside of my job.  I’m actually a baseball guy. I just play football because the pay is better.” It wouldn't happen.
Sometimes porn is a reality show.  The cast members talk to the camera and they behave in unscripted events. No one likes a reality show that misrepresents the contestants.  Imagine finding out that Honey-Boo Boo was really an actress or her family was planted in that lifestyle, but are really more average. What if her lines were written for her?
Porn can also be compared to music.  We listen to the same singers and same songs over and over, because we get off on their talent.  It must be authentic.  We don’t like voiceovers.  We want the real singer, even if they aren’t the prettiest thing.
We want singers who enjoy the music.  We want athletes who enjoy the sport. We want reality stars who are real. Why don’t we want porn performers who enjoy the sex? Do we want acting or fucking? Hot porn is about the experience, like an out of the stadium homerun or mind-blowing performance of a Broadway anthem.  It can’t be phony, rarely fantasy. We want it to be real. We want to imagine ourselves there in the bleachers watching the action live or even participating.  It is not about creating a visual representation that looks similar, it is about the vibe and the spirit. When that is false?  It comes off tasting like paste.
I cannot comprehend a gay porn scene where the director and the performers are all straight.  Where after they yell cut, the moans stop, they spit out the cum, the dicks go limp, and the performers call their wives and tell them they’ll be home soon after they take their paychecks to the bank.  But this is a common occurrence with many studios and websites (such as Mendotcom). The men who perform in these scenes don’t want to wear the gay or bi label, but often get called “gay pornstars”. I think we should call them “fake4pay”. 

From a consumer perspective, we are being sold a product that is truly fake.  Most businesses try to hide it when their products aren’t authentic.  But in gay porn, it is bragged about and even marketed that way.  And we the consumers tolerate it because we so desperately need porn.

Some of their models have come out as gay.  Is false advertising the norm?
(Pathetic that gay guys have to come out in gay porn!)
To many of the men who buy the product, porn it is an important part of our experience of being gay, of being sexual. A large portion of the gay porn audience is older men who experienced a different world than the younger guys who make the porn.  In the eighties and nineties, pornstars were the heroes of the community.  There were few role models or openly gay figures in the media. 
And for many gay men, porn is their sex life. Access to partners is not readily available.  The nearest Grinder hookup in rural America may be hours away. Large size and older gay men are significantly challenged in finding partners unless they have the funds to “pay4gay”. Porn can be a substitute for a lover, boyfriend or husband.
Porn strikes at the core of our sexuality.  It explains what we do with each other that defines us as gay.  It influences our feelings towards our selves. We have fought long and hard to defend that definition of gay and to take pride in it. When it is cheapened or faked, it is a threat and an insult.  Truth has become a battle cry for many a gay man.  Once we start fighting against the deceptions and misrepresentations, it is hard to stop. Apparently, many of the gay men making gay porn haven’t ever matured out of the lies and shame of the closet.

Isn't Gay4pay and a gay pride flag a contradiction?

There are lines we won’t accept in the gay porn industry. Fake fucking is groaned about the moment it is discovered by fans.  Many porn makers and commentators refuse to support condomless sex and condemn performers who do it even though it is more profitable.  Producers even seem to discourage the revelations that straight performers have wives and/or kids, even though many do.  They know that that information crosses the line and alienates many consumers. 
I say, gay4pay is an old idea that we should no longer endure or buy either.  It is a scar on the back of the gay community.  One that wasn’t beaten on to us by the haters; one that we self imposed. It's time we took back our self-respect. The price we pay for this product is not in money.  It is in the beliefs about ourselves and the way we prosper in our community.  More to come on that later. If the porn industry wants to thrive again, in the competitive Internet-based market, maybe it should consider taking itself seriously and honestly.