Now, more than ever, Manhattanites are looking to get out of the city and travel with friends and family across the nation and beyond for a great getaway. As someone who has written in depth before about how great California is to spend some time in, particularly San Francisco, another great area not too far away to enjoy is Viansa Sonoma, a mere 35 minutes away from SF. If you don’t want to go the distance and see Italia, then Viansa Sonoma is a another great choice for vineyards, wetlands, and so much more that to see in the heart of one of the most stunning places our country has to offer. Here is what makes them so amazing. [Read more…] about Travel Idea- Viansa Sonoma in California
When it comes to physical presence and good looks, you really can’t get better (in my opinion) than Colby Jansen. Colby has done a phenomenal job in the adult industry becoming one of the top performers in his field due to his great looks, ability on camera, as well as developing a huge fan base outside of the lens. Hairy, muscular with a great smile to boot, his versatility in his Men.com scenes have shot him to an all time high with his presence in the gay world and has proven that you don’t need to be a flash in the pan and last longer than most people do in this particular industry.
Already with 5 plus years under him, he currently has his sites set on aspects not only in the adult industry but also in the health & fitness world as well. I recently met him at the 2015 Hookie Awards in New York City, and was struck with his friendly demeanor, charismatic attitude and chiseled good looks which meld together in one amazing package (no pun intended). I stayed in touch with him and finally got a chance to interview him last week when he attended one of the biggest gay events in the world- The White Party in Palm Springs, California. Colby opens up about how he got into this industry in the first place, his thoughts on why our community judges the B in LGBT, why his favorite scene partners are not alike at all and his surprising turn as to what is next for him. Take a look.
Thanks for sitting down with me Colby! So tell me a little bit on how you got yourself into this industry.
I was getting divorced, actually, and dating this girl who happened to be a stripper in DC. Evidently she was doing porn and going to Phoenix to do a scene. She had trust issues with the other guys apparently and wanted me to go with her. I obliged and went with her while she did a shoot, and during that time was approached by someone to do porn myself. The guy pretty much said, “You want to make some real money”? I ended up doing a bunch of scenes for Amateur Straight Guys, which was alright because doing gay porn compared to straight had a much higher dollar value so I made more money in that aspect. This was about six or seven years ago. I was in the industry for a brief time and moved out to LA with my wife Gia then back to Buffalo and decided the industry wasn’t for us and went back to our normal lives.
During that time I was struggling at a crappy job, and financial concerns became an issue. I then decided to get back into the industry full force and it took off bigger than I ever thought it would.
Just for the record here, because there is a lot of back and forth about this on the blogs and stuff, what do you identify yourself sexually as?
Well, I don’t like to label myself as a bisexual, yet it seems that would be a lot easier for many other people to understand. Mainly, it is sex that I like and I just go with it. I have found that in the LGBT community that the B part is actually forgotten about. In group settings, people have a hard time really believing that someone can be bisexual and will constantly question you regarding falling onto one side of the fence. If we want to be an actual community we need to accept each other for who we are and not spend our time judging and being mean if someone doesn’t fit the norm.
When I met you at The Hookies I found it was quite telling that you presented the award for Best Bear/Cub as you embody a lot of what that culture is as you have a “real man” type of build to you. Do you see that becoming a staying trend in the industry? What is your take on that?
There is a real look, but there is also a chemically induced look that a lot of the guys have, muscle wise. A lot of them work very hard on their bodies, don’t get me wrong, but I have a big chip on my shoulders when it comes to guys who use chemical enhancers to get their body where they feel it needs to be. When I was playing football there were guys who were cheating and using all of that stuff, so I’ve had a history of that around me. Then again, there are guys who work their bodies and don’t rely on that. I pride myself on being natural and honestly have been baffled at the positive response that I have gotten in this industry based off of that.
I mean, are you really that shocked though? When I posted the photo of me and you at the awards I was not that surprised by the amounts of comments and likes from all different types of men who have a huge affinity for you. What do you think that is?
I think it has a lot to do with personality. There are a lot of guys who are only friendly and nice to a particular subset of gay men, which doesn’t work with me. I go out of my way to be nice to all different types of people and that in turn makes you approachable. If you are walking around with a smile on your face, people are going to want to talk to you. They see that you are a warm person. If you are walking around with duck face or a scowl then who is going to want to talk to that? No one.
You are of course married to the beautiful Gia Darling, who is a well-known figure in the trans community. Bruce Jenner just recently became the face of that community due to her hugely watched interview with Diane Sawyer. What was both your takes on it?
We actually haven’t really talked about it yet because when the interview came out I was in Palm Springs. I know for a fact that everytime we go to the stores and we see all the gossip magazines, Gia’s heart breaks for her as she gets what she is going through. I only get recognized if I go to a gay bar or what not, she has cameras following her 24/7 so the anxiety level must be through the roof and for her to do what she did is going to be really big for the community in general. What our hope is now that Bruce has done this is that is shifts the public’s perception on the trans community as not just being a sexual fetish for certain people and that they can actually move through society normally without judgment.
So you have been a Men.com exclusive for quite some time now. Have you ever thought of branching off and working with other largely based studios?
I mean, I don’t think you can get bigger than Men.com when they are coming out with new movies every single day. I am very comfortable with where I am with them and really love all the people there. At this point, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
You have done numerous scenes to many people’s liking over the years. Do you have particularly a favorite scene that you have done and why? Also, who would you like to work with that you haven’t yet?
There are two particular men that I really enjoyed working with that happen to be on complete opposites of the spectrum. One is Tyler Sweet, who I did two scenes with- “Crotch Rocket” and “Son Swap”. That was pretty great. The other scene I loved was with Dirk Caber, who was also in “Son Swap”. Two guys that are on completely different ends of the spectrum in terms of looks and age, both extremely attractive guys- it really just depends on the person and the chemistry that I have with them.
When it comes to other performers, I’ve always liked Jake Bass. I’ve always saw him as a super sexy Montreal guy who is really hot. Paddy O’Brien is someone I have always wanted to work with as well as he looks like a lot of fun. We have never met though, he films over in the U.K. whereas I am based here in the states. I get over there maybe once a year and our schedules haven’t worked out, so hopefully sometime in the future we can arrange something.
A constant that I have asked in interviews with other stars like yourself is about the prevalence of bareback porn that is happening in the industry. What is your take on that and is that something you would ever consider doing?
I’ve been approached to do it and I simply won’t. I’m negative and take pRep and all, I just don’t want to put myself in those types of movies. People mimic what they see on these movies and it may have a negative influence on the younger generations out there.
You recently got a lot of coverage due to a scene with Men.com where you read lines from Shakespeare while having an “Autoblow 2” sex toy attached to your manhood. I watched and was impressed and amused throughout, yet turned on of course. Please tell me that was real and you weren’t acting?
God no, that wasn’t acting. Even though the scene itself was only three minutes long, I had been using the Autoblow a little bit beforehand to get myself going hehe. You can see how flush I became, I was awfully pink. They also did me a big favor by giving me the hardest passage to read, which made the whole thing that much more interesting.
A lot of men and women in the industry go beyond the starring aspect and actually make their stage name a brand in many different facets. Is that something you want to do as well?
That happens to be something I am doing currently through Team Beachbody which I have linked to on my Facebook and Instagram. I am a Team Beachbody coach, and that includes all the P90X and Insanity type of workouts. On Facebook I have groups of 10 people and help them move through the 21 day fix which is a good way of losing 10-15 pounds in 3 weeks. It is a really good thing for anybody who wants to shed a bunch of pounds or who wants to reset their eating regiment. It is a portion control thing with a meal replacement shake called “Shakeology”. That is what I am moving towards and within the next couple of months I will be coming out with my own line of protein shakes and some creatine types that can help people achieve a weight level that they are comfortable being at while being healthy throughout.
In conclusion, what is a good end goal for you in this industry?
I guess my ultimate goal is to keep doing what I am doing but branch out so there is a lasting type of effect. That is where my motivation is with the weight loss and the healthy eating type of thing, because there is nothing cooler than getting an email from someone who says that I was their inspiration for getting fit and being happy while doing so. I’ve had people send me all types of great messages and that is the kind of thing that is my driving force in doing all of this.
I have been a fan of the Modern Bear guys for quite sometime, when I stumbled upon their website through a photo my friend shared not of a hot bear, but of a particular “modern” design photo that I had a similar interest to. My thought process here was, “Finally! A bear page not 100 percent devoted to shirtless men. There is thought behind this!” And that is what the Modern Bear message is truly about. They equate it to the following- Modern Design + Bears + Retro + Beefcake= THE MODERN BEAR! Travis Smith and Chris Bale, who are based out of Palm Springs, California, visited the Urban Bear festival a couple of weeks back and I got the opportunity to talk with them about a variety of things they have going on currently. Something I definitely wanted to mention was their fantastic new book called “Guide For The Modern Bear”, where they visited a variety of cities and found where is the best places to eat, shop and bar hop for the everyday MB (Modern Bear). Take a look.
So Travis, how did this whole “Modern Bear” thing start for you guys?
It’s a combination of starting it three years ago, so that was a really good time to be starting a good commercial Facebook page anyway. It was an experiment for us, a petri dish if you will, to see if anybody was interested in a “Modern Bear” concept and our formula of modern design plus bears plus retro plus beefcake. Those are the things we like. It was a free way to put it out there, and see if there was any interest in that concept and then determine if we should go further with it and produce a book and all the other things we ended up producing. There wasn’t an immediate response to it, but I would say in the last six months we added 5,000 people. It took us the past three years to get to 25,000 fans overall.
What is that increase in fans attributed to?
I think the bear thing is going mainstream, we are kind of last to become part of this trend thing. I think you will be seeing a lot more bears popping up in movies and television. Like Anne Hathaway’s best friend role in her next movie will go to a bear. It’s starting to happen. That’s one of our goals is to get a TV deal, but doing the book first is the perfect baby step for us because by processing and writing the book it also helped formulate what Modern Bear was going to be as a commercial entity.
Tell me about the book you just released.
What we love about the book and how it turned out is how accessible it is. A lot of straight people buy our book. Wives and girlfriends approach us and say “What is my boyfriend? Is he an otter? A wolf? WHAT IS HE!” It’s hysterical. It’s really funny when the book is at shelves, children gravitate toward it because it’s really cute looking of course. The shop owner usually has to explain to parents what it really is about, and sometimes they even buy it.
Chris, tell me more.
Well, the book is a hybrid. It’s a guide to all the different characters in the bear world. You got your straight up bears, you got your muscle bears, cubs, wolf like me. We are going to do this book every year and update it like so. Each of these characters right now lives in a different city and talk about the bear bars, a few places to eat both fancy and low brow, you know for the bears who want their diner food. The Modern part is mid-century modern furnishing and the stores in each place. So you got Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Barcelona and London to name a few. In the future we are going to have Vancouver and Phoenix which is actually where this whole thing started.
As an avid New Yorker would you say it is the best place to eat from your research?
Well, we did ELMO which is the best Mac N Cheese in town. Let me refer to the book actually! The Breslin is really good. That is this amazing restaurant in the ACE hotel. The Shake Shack is amazing, and Westville is my favorite place for Breakfast. We had a super cute experience at Kitchen last night. We had comfort food like Fondue which was yummy.
What are you ultimately hopeful for?
Well, we’ve always joked about being Beartha Stewart. We are two bears, a bear and a wolf, that are into design and into hot men and bringing those two worlds together in any which way we can.
On top of being incredibly friendly and sexy guys, they are also very down to earth and have a great message to share not only to the bear community but straight women and beyond. For more information on The Modern Bear guys and their story, check out their Facebook, Twitter and to shop for the book and anything else log on to their main site here.
Two days ago my Facebook News Feed was flooded with red and more red and more red. The constant change of several gay and straight friend’s profile pictures was a significant eye opening experience as the DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) and the ban on California’s Prop 8 have come into severe play on the Supreme Court. What made it so amazing to me is how many of my personal friends and thousands of others are for the ban and challenge of both acts and propositions and really how the support for gays in this country has increased exponentially in the past ten to fifteen years.
The funniest part of this whole thing is the opposition. Now, I always do my best to come into things with a mature look on both angles regardless if I happen to be biased on one side. This time around, there is no defense for the conservative bible thumpers who ONLY have one defense in this whole thing- the bible itself. Really people, you take one line in an entire book and turn it into something that is so beyond catastrophically stupid that we even have these ridiculous and time consuming debates, court cases and millions of people feeling like second class citizens.
I will only speak from my experience here. I always get the sense that these right-wing, old fashioned homophobic people view gay men in particular as only one way. They fear us for several reasons and blame a lot of what they think we are on their own huge insecurities. It wasn’t too long ago that interracial marriage was banned, now that is over. It wasn’t too long ago that white and black people drank from separate water fountains, now that is over. These things are all over because people stood up for what they believed was right (and actually was), spoke the fuck up and silenced the morons that were raised on their own bigotry because their parents and people around them taught to be hateful, simple minded jackasses.
This has even gotten to a point where the most right wing, conservative people like Bill O’Reilly and Karl Rove have stated somewhat in jest but really saying that gay marriage should happen. Yes, Bill O’Reilly and Karl Rove. Several other conservatives have stepped forward, in particular ones that thanks to Andrew Cuomo were a big part in legalizing gay marriage here in New York. I am fortunate, because I live in one of the states that when I do get married (gotta find the guy first, hit me up I’m cute) I can do it in a legal fashion and not have to tip-toe around a civil union or drive thousands of miles to another state to make it real. If this issue has become that drastic where the most conservative of conservatives are siding with gay and gay friendly people on this matter, then I don’t see why this whole process can be taken care of, prop 8 thrown away, DOMA taken down, and that EVERY MOTHER FUCKING STATE legalizes gay marriage. Everyone, and I mean EVERY PERSON deserves equal rights. This has become our civil rights movement, and we deserve what everyone else has.
As Miranda Priestly puts it so easily yet to the point, “That’s All”.