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.


  1. Amen. But one thing that does not help is gay porn buyers are either too stupid to realize that they should stop supporting the studios who are gay4pay, or they have that I want a straight guy fantasy which yeah we have all had it but get over it and support real gay porn with guys who are gay and not going to turn on the community as soon as they tire of being gay4pay.

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