I’ve had the pleasure of knowing one of my favorite stars, David Benjamin, for quite some time now. Something that David brings to his scenes in terms of intensity and the ability to convey to fans that he enjoys what he does really sets him apart from the other players in the game. Now David is heading into 2016 full throttle as he just became an exclusive with TitanMen, one of the biggest and best studios out there. With all that is going on with David, he took time to sit down with me and discuss his new role at Titan, his favorite scene partner so far in his career, who he wants to work with now and thoughts on his hopeful future. Take a look.
Its always a good thing when you can find a duality in the industry that you work for and be successful in doing so. This can be said about adult film star Marcus Isaacs, who has built quite the impressive reputation in his nearly three years of being in the industry. With an industry that has such a high turnover rate, Marcus’ popularity seems to continue to grow due to a multitude of factors such as good looks, charm, personality and being able to perform on camera. He also rides the line very well with many different top studios and has been a fan favorite of many for the past couple of years.
I met Marcus a couple of years ago at a mutual friends housewarming party where I was first introduced to how enigmatic & sweet this guy really was. I recently caught up with him at a local Crunch where the talks of doing this interview surfaced and he was completely game. Marcus talks about his time in the industry, his inspirations that got him there, his surprising take on the bareback side of things, and where he sees his hopeful future. Take a look.
So tell me what got you into the adult industry in the first place?
Actually Morgan Black was the first person to talk to me about what the benefits would be, and that it would change my life. At the time, I was just starting to go to the gym after not going for a couple of years, and to be honest I always had this inkling to be notorious and have a bit of fame and I knew that would be a way to experience that. Also, I’m a very sexual person so I saw it as a way to seal things in time so that when it’s all said and done and I’m 50 or 60 I would always have those videos to look back on, and not the amateur ones but the ones produced by studios and projects that I worked on so I could say that I was part of that world.
And I’ve always loved porn and porn stars so I kind of wanted a little bit of what they had going for them and be desired by fans and people alike, travel a bit and of course have sex with really hot guys. It’s as simple as that.
Did you have any inspirations in the adult world besides Morgan that drove the desire to be in that world?
I was a huge Damien Crosse fan at the time; I remember he was a huge inspiration for me. The inspiration was any porn star that was really freaky but came across as organic. I would see scenes with him or back in the day with Lucas Entertainment when Chad Hunt was with them and even the old Colt Models, just kind of wanting to be extremely sexual on camera and have people see that it wasn’t acted. Damien exemplified that type of organic behavior and its definitely inspired me when I do my scenes.
You are in the industry where there is such a high turnover rate, yet you remain relevant and more popular than ever. How have you been able to manage that over the course of three years?
I never was exclusive to a studio, so I think sometimes when someone goes really high that people get a little tired of seeing them over and over again in one particular venue. It’s kind of like a hit song; it gets tiring after a while. I know for me that I was never exclusive, and never solely did condom porn and worked with a lot of studios but always had the thoughts in the back of my mind with sticking to one type of porn or one studio in that it would have been better for my career. But at the end of the day I really like that I wasn’t with one studio or something for a long time and then did whatever after. I’ve worked with so many studios and that has helped my longevity due to being versatile. What I mean by versatile for example is that there are a lot of stars that won’t do bareback, they are against that, so it enables me to be open to working with a lot of studios based on what they are promoting and not be stuck to one specific genre.
Are there any particular scene partners or scenes that stick out to you as a favorite since you started?
The best time was my video “Breeding Marcus Isaacs” with Treasure Island Media. I felt so honored that Max Sohl did an entire collection of scenes based on myself. I was really humbled by it. I was really appreciative of that whole thing so I think that was the most memorable project or group of projects because that was six or seven scenes and then the last scene of the movie was an entire group scene with me in the middle. I don’t think a lot of stars get to have a video that has their name on it, so that was really kind of the biggest thing for me.
Are there any guys you would love to work with?
Obviously Damien Crosse but two other guys who I think are really hot and would love to work with are Rogan Richards and Shay Michaels.
So what’s your take overall on the industry today?
I guess it’s ok, I don’t watch a lot of porn. If I do watch porn it’s either bareback and/or straight porn. Although the men in big studio condom porn are beautiful, the scenes are extremely inorganic and boring to me. It’s rare that you find a gay porn actor that looks organic on camera. The big studios are boring, and the talent is lackluster. The positions are all the same too, and half the time the bottom isn’t even hard. Its one thing to be hot but you have to make it look real and portray the fantasy you’re trying to get across well.
So there seems to be more and more stars nowadays doing a good mixture of condom and bareback. What has been your experience with doing so since you began your career?
So I was a little calculating when it came to doing bareback. My first scene ever was a threesome with Treasure Island Media that consisted of me, Morgan Black and Dominic Sol. At the same time I had scenes scheduled with Titan Media, so I went to Titan and did those scenes letting them think that they were the first scenes they I did but in actuality they were with Treasure Island. As soon as Titan found out that I did those scenes, they chopped me off and said that I couldn’t work with them. Besides that incident, I actually did condom porn for a while, working with some of the top studios like Raging Stallion and then worked my way into working with the bareback ones as well. It hasn’t hindered my opportunities though.
So seeing as you have done a good amount of bareback porn, there are people out there that are critical of that particular part of the industry because they think it brings more negativity to the gay community overall. What is your take on it?
I think it’s just a matter of what people choose to look at; I don’t think the medium is really the effector here. Whether they see it online or come across a lot of people in their life in the age of pRep that aren’t going to want to have sex with a condom either, it is still going to be there. The influence is still going to be there if they choose to look at condom or bareback, or go to a sex party where everybody doesn’t want to use a condom. Porn shouldn’t be looked at as what influences someone’s decision making, someone’s education should do that. It is simply a fantasy.
In doing my research on you, you also have done escorting for Rentboy for quite some time now. What do you think, in today’s day and age where you can find someone that would be into you in a click of a button, do people actually want to pay for an experience like that?
The reason is because, I think Grindr and Scruff and these apps are so difficult sometimes. Guys can be such jerks, hide behind their phones, play games and not be serious. They aren’t very nice to each other so I think a lot of times these guys who hire Rentboy’s just want a professional. There are no games, they show up when you want them to and they give you the fantasy that you are looking for. These apps can be so much work in terms of the back and forth, is this guy serious, is he just enjoying this type of thing with no end result, it can be maddening. So going through something like Rentboy is simple and time efficient while getting what you want at the end of the day.
You are based in Manhattan like a lot of other guys in your industry happen to be nowadays. Do you ever plan on relocating?
It’s interesting you say this because I was talking about this sort of thing with my boyfriend the other day. I have been in Manhattan for 18 years now and the thought of relocating elsewhere is something I would consider. There are reasons of course, but a change of scenery wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
What are you hopeful for in your career going forward?
I think I got another solid year in me with this industry. I would love to continue working with great studios and hot guys, like the scene I just did with Rocco Steele. That is the type of scene that had such chemistry and a connection, so if I could do a few more scenes like that and be memorable then that would be perfect. I love doing really organic and beautiful stuff and hope to do that as my career goes on.
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.
The 2015 Hookie Awards went down this past Friday night at BPM inside The Out Hotel on 42nd Street. It is true in some cases when you say third time’s a charm, and seeing as this was my third Hookie award show that I went to I can truly say that this was the case as this one I had the most fun at. Probably because I have interviewed most of these intelligent and sexy men, and knew what I was getting myself into (puns galore). Regardless of the fact that the shitty weather was keeping us from half naked men and water cooler awards like Best Cock and Best Boyfriend Fantasy, the room was packed to see the who’s who in the Rentboy world as well as some bonus amenities that I will get to later. This event was also live streamed for this first time on the web so you could enjoy the debauchery and excitement at home in your boxers with those sticky stains on them. Ew.
I started off my evening before the show at a pre-party with some of my favorite guys in the industry like Neil AKA Erotic Hypno, Jesse Jackman and Dirk Caber as well as a new friend that I met, Duncan Black. I also got to hang with my Buffboyz buddy Jeffrey Watchman who let me in on some pretty awesome news that I will be writing about soon (think naked guys. Wait, this article already makes you think about that. Just look at Jeffrey’s photos for reference and stay tuned). After the pre-party we waltzed into the show itself where I hung out with my new favorite person (and fellow chicken finger lover) Dewitt from Manhunt who is just as cute in real life as he is in his photos. His shorts he was wearing left little to the imagination, which would’ve been a disappointment if he wore more. The award show itself was hosted by Rupaul’s Drag Race legend Alaska Thunderfuck and by comedian Brad Loekle, who pretty much stated throughout the award show that he is a grateful size queen who would bottom for the majority of the audience with a smile on his face. The reference he made about Boomer Bank’s huge cock and Dora The Explorer was probably the funniest joke of the night. Kudos to him. Alaska seemed to be feeling her oats for the most part however I thought her jokes could’ve been a little bit better as Brad seemed to be carrying the entire show. Needless to say they both did a great job in keeping the event going seamlessly and in a timely fashion.
Onto the winners. I love Rocco Steele as he has been a great friend of mine for almost a year now. The fact that he even doubted winning Mister International 2015 was something that I giggled at as this was his Julianne Moore “Still Alice” moment. He was a shoo-in from the moment he was nominated so naturally I was ecstatic that he won that and another pivotal award… Best Cock. 2015 really was his year and the fact that he continues to be humble in a community that has a bit of arrogance is really what makes him such an incredibly awesome person. I am beyond proud of him for what he has done since I first interviewed him last July.
Boomer Banks won a unique award that Rentboy presents for Best Style, which didn’t seem like much of a stretch as I have seen his get ups in person as they are quite spectacular. He should’ve won for Best Pornstar or tied that with Rocco, but it is what it is. Something that I was quite happy to see this year as I am a bear/cub was that the people who won this year (tie) actually represent that community. The winners were Ted Byrns & Will Foster, and I couldn’t be happier that they represented us at The Hookies. Totally rad. Whereas I didn’t agree with some of the winners at the actual event (not naming names here but I did shake my head a couple of times) the ones that did win were genuinely happy and that’s really all that matters at the end of the day.
Side notes from the event:
I felt like I was one of the few people who actually knew who Stoya was. She is one of the biggest female performers out there, drop dead gorgeous and I loved that someone from her realm of porn was repping for the gays at ours.
The biggest shock of the evening wasn’t exactly the winners or anything that happened on stage. It was quite possibly the most handsome man I have ever laid my eyes on Colby Jansen being in attendance. He was there to present Best Bear/Cub (nice) and couldn’t have been nicer or better to look at. Colby, I’m ready to interview you… pick the location. I’m so open. 🙂
One of the nicest people that i met that night was hairy ginger & Best Twink winner Shameless Seamus, who was visiting New York for the first time by way of Nashville. Adorable and sweet in person, he has a thing for older bears (He’s 22 and I’m 28. Daddy age is coming). So naturally I want him to visit again so we can explore his “older bear” thang.
I was so happy to see Seth Fornea be one of the trophy boys at the ceremony as I have happily interviewed him in the past. However, his counterpart who goes by the name of “Ricky” was on a lot of people’s lips that night. Not literally, but chatting wise. If he really decides to go the distance in this arena he could be the next big thing. Cuz boy oh boy was he fun to look at (and chat with later on that night at Attic).
Completely forgetting I met him at Hustlaball 2015, I was happy to see Bravo Delta make an appearance by way of the never ending winter city of Boston. A nominee that night, I enjoyed our conversations that we had as he is one of the most intelligent men I have met in this biz.
Want to know more about The Hookies? Check out their official site.
The gay lifestyle and New York City kind of go hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly. With the exception of a couple of other competing cities in the United States, you really can’t compete with us here when it comes to the variety of gay bars, nightlife and huge events that happen year round in the city that never sleeps. One infamous one is the epic Black Party which took place back in March to much hype and confirmed fanfare. But if there is one event that combines the hottest men in the world, great music and some awesome live shows featuring both, it is the outrageous Hustlaball NYC, which is taking place this Sunday night at Club Slake on West 30th between 7th and 8th Avenue.
How does one describe Hustlaball to a viewer or person that has never heard of this before? It is simply designed as the world’s largest erotic dance party. Taken place not only in New York City but in London and Las Vegas as well, the New York City version is jam packed with some of the biggest gay adult movie stars in the world, sure to entice and excite any fan to buy a ticket and see what their favorite performer or performers will be doing on and off the stage. So who in fact will be there? Performers such as Rocco Steele, Dirk Caber and Killian James who Manhattan Digest have profiled before to high praise and criticism. As hot as those three are, the buck doesn’t stop just there. Also performing will be superstars Tommy Defendi, Tyson Tyler, Christopher Daniels, Seth Santoro, Austin Wolf and Duncan Black just to name a few. There are so many more performers that you should check out the official site for more information.
I was fortunate enough to sit down with another person I interviewed this past year, the sexy and seductive Boomer Banks, who is one of the organizers of Hustlaball NYC this year. Take a look at what he has to say about the raunchiness and debauchery that Hustlaball NYC will expedite this coming Sunday night.
Tell us about some of the performers at Hustlaball.
This year, we have an amazing line up: Falcon Exclusive Ryan Rose and Colton Grey return this year to perform together (Hot hot hot!), two industry Pros, Falcon Group’s Exclusive Brent Corrigan and Nick Capra, will be putting on a SHOW (Caps needed), HustlaBall first timers Billy and Seth Santoro will have a special guest on stage. Also, Brian Bonds will be flagging Red for Hot Newcomer David Benjamin, and they are both Falcon Group Exclusives. NYC nightlife Sex Goddesses Daughters of Devotion with special guest Christian will be a sight. Cockyboys’ Tayte Hanson and Levi Karter. Need I say more? WOOF. Porn Sex Icon Jesse Santana and I, Boomer Banks, will be tearing up the stage… well, I’ll be tearing up something else. Leo Forte will be nothing less than Magic. Rentboy’s Best Bottom Killian James, Tyson Tyler , Duncan Black, Aleks Buldocek, Bravo Delta, Brock Rustin, Israel Oka, Max Cameron, Rouge Status, Champ Robinson and DaddyHunt Sex God Dirk Caber… I just blew my load saying all those names!!! My Boner Brigade for HustlaBall NYC is going to Turn out every onlooker and will be talked about for years to Cum!
HustlaBall is known for its extravagant live shows, what are you and the team going to do to keep the crowd going?
This year, the lineup of DJs is out of control: MensRoom (Chicago), Luther (World Wide), and Donkey (NYC). I guarantee the crowd won’t stop moving to these beats. Accompanied with Ryan Rose’s Hot Body all over Colton Grey’s thick cock, Brent Corrigan and Nick Capra taking command. Mix in Some Sexy Daughters of Devotion NYC nightlife magic and Big Daddy Dirk Caber… If that’s not enough refer to question number 1.
This event takes place in 3 different locations, what makes NYC so special?
Sure, there’s Vegas and London, but there is NO place like NYC. The energy alone is incendiary! Columbus Day weekend is a huge party weekend for NYC alone, with us throwing in this Unique Super Sexy Musical of Live shows. We have what no one else has: The Ultimate Uniqueness.
Any surprise guests or unexpected things planned?
We have many past performers always showing up, but that’s what makes it a surprise, right? This year, we have some special guest hosting from Tommy Defendi, Austin and Tyler Wolf, Eli Lewis, Leo Sweetwood, Nubias and the Phenomenal Director of the Year and Porn Mom Mr. Pam hosting the VIP room.
What kind of booths are at Hustlaball?
As always we will have our Rentboy HustlaBall NYC photo booth with Dick Mitchell, and I’m excited to announce our DaddyHunt booth with Featured Daddy Hosts: Hot Hung Newcomer Rocco Steele, Dolf Dietrich, Cole and Hunter (Maverick Men) and Diesel Washington.
What is Boomer doing, or who is Boomer doing that night?
I am the Stage Daddy(mom)/Manager for this year’s HustlaBall, and this year, I brought out Industry favorite and Sex GOD Jesse Santana to plow the night away… BOOM!
What is your overall hope for this?
I want this year’s HustlaBall to embody the essence of NYC: a fairytale (satyr) Empire State of mind.
Sounds like a pretty fucking good time in my book, emphasis on the word fucking. Tickets are still available via the official website, so make sure you stop by and enjoy yourself this Sunday night. Guaranteed to have a great time.
When you live in such a popular gay city like New York City, the ever presence of sex in culture seems to go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. With all the different apps and sites that are out there to find that particular someone that “strikes your fancy”, Rentboy seems to be one of the top ones. In a recent survey by CHEST (Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training) where they interviewed some of the top male escorts in the industry, they found that their biggest concern is actually how to brand themselves while they are in this industry. So it got me to think, is this something that can actually be taken seriously as a career with long lasting benefits? To get more in depth, I sat down a couple of days ago with the super smart & cute (and fellow music aficionado) Hawk Kinkaid to learn more about his involvement in Rentboy, the survey results and what he sees for the future in the industry and himself. Quite a good read. Check it out!
How did you get involved in Rentboy in the first place?
Rentboy.com was one of the first contacts I made many years ago when HOOK (hook-online.com) was transitioning from DIY ‘zine to online portal of information for men working in the sex industry. I reached out to the team leading the site, and unlike any other listings site on the web, they responded positively and supported the effort. I have always been impressed with the commitment the Rentboy.com team has always shown in both running a solid business and also publicly, actively supporting the men that advertise through fun events like Hustlaball and The Hookies to more education and resource events like their support of Rent U (rent-u.com).
When you were on the other side of this industry what was your overall thought process on it?
Without getting mired in the unquantifiable nuances of each interaction, the core of my approach as well as many other men in the industry is that choosing to work in the sex industry is an entrepreneurial exercise. For some, like myself, it might be a short-lived one that extends to particular goals and then you move on to other components and commitments, but for others, their time in the industry can extend decades. What was always crucial to that mindset was that I needed to create clear boundaries for myself personally and professionally, keep my eye on my goals, and find a constant compassionate connection with my clients.
How would you define a Rentboy and what they do?
Rentboy is a fun term culled from the Brits. Call it Escort. Call it Trade. Classic gay authors like Rechy romanticized the Hustler. The difference in how things are framed today is that the men who participate in the sex industry are selling time, and on a larger framework, that is all any of us really do, whether you are folding shirts at the Gap, project managing at Citibank or acting as a stylist on the set of a feature film. What we do in that time is what demands the price, and being higher in demand commands a higher price. The stigma and ignorance surrounding the subject of men choosing to work in the industry complicates what is otherwise a very simple scenario. Sex may be involved, but that is not what clients pay for. Dinner may be involved. A night at the theater. It might even simply be time spent over tea. That time is what a Rentboy sells, and in the way that a bartender or a hairdresser act as an external ear to your world (and are often paid well because of it), so are the men in the sex industry. You don’t invite your hairdresser to your parties or your bartender (and if you did, few would come, really), but they sometimes know more about you than your closest friends because they are safe, secure and set apart from your day to day existence. That hasn’t always been the history of the Hustler or Trade – and that would be a different topic – but in today’s world where much of the industry is online and much of the escorting world has learned thankfully to think about their approach to business pro-actively through programs like HOOK, the modern escort knows that smart sex sells.
The CHEST survey was quite interesting. Did you feel certain concerns should’ve netted a higher percentage?
I am not convinced anything should’ve been different, no. There is so little data out there about men working in the sex industry that many of us that are engaged in businesses and non-profits that come into contact with these men are eager for any insight. Conversations around the industry often bypass men, women and transworkers who choose to work in the industry living constructive, satisfied lives for those whose work in the industry is secondary to the primary issues of homelessness, homophobia, drug-addiction and transphobia, for example. Many in academia and the media love to dig claws into the images of society’s most vulnerable communities and then parlay it to the suburbs where people can devour it in gross acts of self-righteous indignation in order to avoid the fact those suburban husbands are likely the largest block of clients for the industry (male, female and trans). I’m glad to see this study prompt a conversation about the interests of a broad swatch of men working in the industry.
Let’s break down that survey. How does a Rentboy attract the right clients that can ultimately be repeats for them?
What makes you return to the same retailer? The same insurance agent? The same barber? A connection followed up by a proven history of both discretion and pleasure. Would you return to an insurance agent that shared your information with other clients and other people? Would you return to the same barber if they treated you terribly, ignored what you asked and then charged you double? In the sex industry, reputation can be an important piece of the puzzle, and so guys that treat clients poorly get a reputation and their pool of clients will dry up. The newest factor in that is engagement in social media, which is an opportunity for men investing in their sex industry persona to build a following, cultivate a strong voice and engage with a larger pool of potential clients.
What do you think is the best way for them to market themselves?
You have to be where clients can find you, and that means accessing technology in a way that provides security and safety for all the individuals involved. Listings site are part of the advertising platform for any entrepreneur. Reputation and social media are important assets to your messaging, but putting yourself on a site that clients know to trust like Rentboy.com is critical. It’s why Angie’s List has supplanted Craigslist for being an authority in the industry, and I love Craigslist. But you know on Craigslist that you will get a lot of chaff. Sites like Rentboy.com only maintain active listings where the escorts represented are real participants in the site. Not all of the sites out there can say that.
Best advice on financing for the future and healthcare.
I think the big question on that hinges on the length of time a worker will plan to spend in the industry. Is this a quick fix visit of a few months or are you making this a full-time role? If it is a quick fix, you have to set your target so you can make a clean entrance and exit. Put the money away you planned to, and if you have excess, do what you will. The important thing is to hold to that contract you make with yourself. If you are in for the long haul, then your strategy has to be a much more strategic one and should involve online presence, dependencies on escort reviews, listing site placement and agreements as well as planning for retirement and healthcare. Also, I should note, planning for time to recharge. It’s easy to get caught up in a work schedule that could exhaust you mentally and physically, and if you plan to run the marathon, you don’t sprint the first half.
Has there ever been a situation that has put the particular Rentboy at risk, such as self defense?
Men don’t often consider themselves at physical risk when they are engaging with clients, but that’s because in this society, men don’t often perceive themselves at physical risk, in general. Women’s bodies are under attack from the moment they are born, whether treated like second-class property or faceless subjects of legislative debate. Men enter few situations where they are in a position of defense, but with HOOK, we really try to keep men aware of the very real risks that come with the work. These very real risks which have occurred include intoxicated clients, clients who may drug a worker, a group of people jumping a worker, and so on. There was one story from years ago that I read and then disappeared into the ether of a young undocumented escort that was strapped to a chair and set on fire. The history of violence to people in the sex industry is often one where a society’s stigma-driven prejudice is taken to heart by an individual that plays it out viciously on the bodies of workers in the sex industry.
Is dating tough in this industry?
I have been out of the industry for ten years. I STILL have to have the conversation every time I go on a date. Then, a month later, I have to have it again when they ask if I’m really still not in the industry. Then, again when they get concerned that they could never live up to the many men of my past as if this were a request or a feasible thing. And so on. Yes, it is tough. We all want to be loved, and I have been lucky to create a family around me to provide that support, but dating is tough. Many men in the sex industry date other men in the sex industry because in order to date someone in the sex industry you have to be confident in who you are, the boundaries you set, and the investment you are making in another person. Even then, a lot of those relationships falter in ways that all relationships falter. Dating while you work in the industry adds one more complexity to the amorphous uncertainty of affection. For many people, that is too much.
Do they find it difficult to balance two or more jobs with this occupation?
Many men working in the industry have other lives, and their time in the industry is to support that other life or that life that they want to have. In other words, many men working in the sex industry want to be doing something else. Their time in the industry is to support the initiative like going to school or to fill in the gaps while they are not employed in that particular area. As for those that work part-time and escort, many of these men are successful in constructing boundaries for that time so that only certain nights are work nights. Many people in America hold more than one job because most people in America have to. This is not a country of a single job anymore. Those not in the upper echelon have always worked multiple jobs. It’s a skill that many of us have found easy to do because we have been doing it all of our lives.
How do they avoid burnout if they want to last?
As I said before, the biggest factor is taking time out to recharge. Setting boundaries will do that. This can include days to yourself or with your support network of friends. Days not working, but simply doing things you enjoy. Work in the sex industry is physical and emotional labor.
What’s your best advice for rentboys who want to set up boundaries with clients?
There are a multitude of articles on HOOK (hook-online.com) that deal with setting boundaries and Rent U (rent-u.com) has had a few classes on the topic where escorts talk about how they manage those boundaries. Every guy working in the sex industry has his own tactics for setting that dynamic, but there are some pretty commonly shared ones including never exchanging real names, no weekend retreats with first-time clients, and clear rules for smart play.
Why do you think gay men have a fascination with this industry?
I don’t have a short answer for this, so you are forewarned 🙂
The sex industry has always been a critical component of gay culture for any number of reasons. At points, you could argue that the exchange was a way to get past the stigma-laiden act of sex with another man. In other ways, it was a component of a culture centered on bars because gay men were shoved into the dark corners of cities along with other socially maligned behavior. Another view may be that sexual vitality is still a remnant measure of value for gay men that they have yet to evolve from and so we idolize men who represent that image since we struggle to find it internally. Another take might be that we celebrate our sexuality in all its forms because it is that fundamental component of ourselves that society continues to attack.
It is easy to forget that the sex industry has always been around, and easier to forget that the people within it have always played a role in our social dramas, ranging from the presences in religious stories to the political movements that have brought about incredible change. Every culture is obsessed with it, but very few people acknowledge it. Worse, I fear that gay men cannibalize the men that make up this very culture that they participate in.
In the rush to whitewash the struggles of both the AIDS era and the LGBT rights movement, many in the gay population have thrown men working in the sex industry to the shadows. They pretend they weren’t integral within movements such as ACT UP or that the sex industry in all its forms was a critical element to the insular enclaves like the West Village that provided safety for gay men. For example, both the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot and Stonewall were made of a diverse group, which is often mentioned in historical accounts. What isn’t included in those accounts? That many were also turning trade. They were artists, trans-identified people, hustlers. We hail what they stood for and then as a ‘community’ denigrate the real individuals and the decisions they made.
I’m not saying that men in the sex industry are martyrs or all (most?) are politically minded, but I think it says a lot about us working to secure LGBT rights and first-class citizenry that we have to cop to hetero-normative Puritanical hypocrisy to gain that respect. The people I look to for inspiration within the movement would be disappointed. A friend and great writer Matthilda Bernstein Sycamore recently tweeted that he was “Remembering when we wanted to be a threat.” As a fan of Foucault, I always wanted us to be changing the dynamics of institutions that were vestiges of arcane thought. Instead, we seem to be replicating them.
When looking to hire one what do you think a client should look for first before making that decision?
Clients should look for a connection, really. Same as with an escort when talking to a potential client. It’s good when you feel like the person you are going to be spending time with will be interesting, interested in you and capable of responding constructively to the experience. To find that out, many guys in the sex industry have online profiles (such as those at Rentboy.com) as well as social profiles where they are sharing information, insights, and some of their personality. A client would do well to convey a little of his personality in introductions and, just as we instruct escorts, establish clear boundaries to make the session a great one.
For you and Rentboy team, what is next and what are you most hopeful for?
I am just dipping my toe in the water at Rentboy.com. I couldn’t ask for a better, more experienced team of professionals that understand the sex industry and embrace the men within it. The next stages of the company are focused on continuing to deliver the best listings site in the world while enhancing opportunities for guys working in the business to optimize their entrepreneurial initiative and celebrate their success. My goal is to continue the company’s growth while both introducing new ideas to the marketplace and positioning Rentboy.com as a critical advocate in achieving rights and resources for men working in the sex industry. As a long-time activist and successful User Experience Strategist, this is really the first time I feel like I can bring these two parts of my life together to expand one kick-ass company.
Want to know more about Rentboy and the brand itself? Log on to the official website for more information.
Killian James: Best Bottom 2014… And The Future
The 2014 International Escort Awards, known as the Hookies, is one of the only nights of the year when the world’s most desired escorts, porn stars and their admirers gather to honor the industry’s best talent. I was fortunate enough to be at the show and meet some of my favorite nominees, including Austin Wolf, Duncan Black and Tony Orion. However, in the past couple of months one nominee caught my attention, and the attention of the entire escort community. As he stepped onto the red carpet, cameras were in full effect and the room stood in awe, as all eyes were now on this year’s Best Bottom nominee, and eventual winner, Killian James.
As he made the rounds meeting with other reporters, fellow attendees and nominees, and snapping pictures with admirers, I reached out and asked him to join me after the show for a one-on-one interview.
So many people are campaigning for you to make your porn debut, when can we expect that?
“Like I’ve said from the beginning, porn is something I am considering and would love to do. I’m in talks with a couple of different agents. I’m slowly easing my way into the industry and plan on doing it right. It would have to be with the right studio, the synergy would have to be there with all my cast-mates and the right PR machine would have to be behind the projects. I’d have only one chance to make a first impression and create an on-camera identity and brand.”
Were you surprised you won your category?
“Yes. I’m surprised that someone from the porn industry didn’t win, however I think I’ve been going about things the correct way via social media, daddy reviews and attending events to get my name out there.”
What can we expect from you in the future?
“My next step is going to be live webcamming with my good friend Derek Crawford. We will be putting on shows a few times a week. It will be with a few of the major cam sites, people can check my Twitter and Facebook pages for updates. I’m also in the early stages of putting together content for a personal website.”
Why do you think you’ve been able to become successful in such a short amount of time?
I try to always have a positive attitude, put out great energy and treat people with respect. I also love what I do, and I think the most successful people enjoy their chosen profession.
As you can probably tell, Killian James is not just another boy on the scene. He’s determined to set the new standard in escorting and adult entertainment. Even in casual conversation he’d say “…when I’m watching porn, some of the acting has me wondering if they’re even enjoying each-other. Where’s the passion? I can’t wait to show everyone what I can do.”
With an amazing personality, to-die-for looks and a maturity level way beyond his years, we can’t wait to see what Killian does in 2014 and beyond. To learn more about Killian James visit www.rentboy.com/killianjames, read his reviews on Daddy Reviews, and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the handle killianjamesnyc.
New York City itself is known for being a prime area for some of the best events in the world. That rings true especially for events geared towards the gay community. The Black Party weekend is one of those annual events that bring men from around the world for a weekend of excitement, dancing, interesting wardrobe choices and above all a unique experience that you can’t get anywhere else in the world.
Hosted at the legendary Roseland Ballroom, the Black Party Weekend starts on Friday night and doesn’t end until around Sunday afternoon. If you are into something that is a little outside of the norm, this is the event for you. Leather and gear enthusiasts are rampant at all of the events, as well as some of the most known names in the gay adult industry.
It starts out on Friday night around 7PM with the Black Party Expo. This gets the weekend going, with several different vendors promoting their fascinating lines. Whether it is a gay app that is hot right now (Recon, Mister), the best M4M night in the world (Adonis), or some of the biggest gay adult websites online right now (Cocky Boys, Lucas Entertainment) there was something for everyone there. It was set up with a fantastic light display that encompassed the look of a Ferris Wheel. It was something that I could definitely tell was going to be in heavy use for the party itself.
That same night was where The Hookie awards took place. This event was designed for rentboy.com, a site devoted to the personal enjoyment of a fellow gentleman. Hosted by Rupaul’s Drag Race season 4 winner Sharon Needles and comedian Cole Escada, the awards were presented in full to some well known names in the adult industry (Austin Wolff, Trenton Ducati, Rafael Alencar) and some of the biggest members on Rentboy. Some of the presenters included well known journalists like Paper Magazine Editor-In-Chief Mr. Mickey and Village Voice writer Michael Musto. The awards itself had some really great names to them (Best Top, Best Boyfriend Fantasy, etc) and above all everyone seemed to have a great time. Sharon and Cole did an amazing job themselves, and as a personal fan of Sharon’s it was great to see her perform live and prove why she won season 4.
The next days events were similar to Friday nights. There was an extended version of the expo that lasted from 12-7pm, so if you weren’t able to make it there Friday you had all day to see what the vendors were selling and get to meet and greet some of your favorite stars. Saturday night is what everyone was there for- The Black Party. I had a ton of friends who went, and said they had a great time. Some really unique performances took place but above all the music kept everyone going through the night into Sunday morning.
If you ever get a chance to have a once in a lifetime experience and you are local or visiting the New York City area, stop by next year’s Black Party weekend. It is one that you don’t want to miss!