These Male Porn Stars Are Straight — But They Have Sex With Men for a Living

Source: MTV
Source: MTV

Two men with six-pack abs passionately embrace and begin kissing. They tear each other's clothes off. The camera zooms in as the pair writhe against each other's naked bodies; eventually, someone gets on top and full-on anal ensues. Climax! End scene. 

Then they go home to their wives and girlfriends. 

For male adult performers who go "gay for pay," a term used to describe gay porn in which two (or more) otherwise straight dudes have sex on camera, the above scenario is just another day at the office.

Source: YouTube

This week, MTV is airing an episode of True Life exploring the lives of two such performers, and their struggles to balance the seemingly conflicting demands of their professional and personal lives.

"Luke has a massive online following but he's managed to keep it a secret from his girlfriend," the show's narrator ominously reveals in a sneak peek for the episode. "Ben is a married family man who recently started performing in gay sex films to support his kids... They're rising stars in the gay porn industry, but will the pressures of every day life force them to reconsider their lucrative careers?"

Though the cable special is just coming out now, gay-for-pay porn is a fairly well-established phenomenon. In straight porn, the pay for men is notoriously lower than the pay for women, so "gay porn [actors] in general make a lot more than straight porn," Damian McKnight, the CEO and producer of the successful gay-for-pay site Broke Straight Boys, told the Daily Dot last year.

"We're not sure why that is, but one of the ideas we have is that in straight porn, the women are the stars, and the guys are just props to pleasure them. The women get more exposure and respect in the industry, and for gay porn it's the male stars."

Source: YouTube

The remunerative nature of the work notwithstanding, one can't help but wonder: How can a so-called straight dude manage to, y'know, get it up for another dude on camera? Doesn't it stand to reason that these guys aren't, in fact, 100% heterosexual?

In a book that came out earlier this year, Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men, author Jane Ward argued that male sexuality is a lot more fluid than most of us are willing to acknowledge. In fact, she believes that popping a boner for another dude isn't at all a signifier that a man who says he's straight isn't, in fact, straight. "Who are we to say his entire life is a lie because he has the capacity to have sex with a man once?" she previously told Mic.

That said, adult entertainment publicist Mike Stabile told Mic that he believes the sexuality of a gay-for-pay porn star is likely to be a bit more flexible than your average joe. 

"They seemed to have more of a fluid sexuality, or were just extremely sexual, even if they identified as straight in their private lives," he said of the gay-for-pay actors he's worked with in the past. "Of course, there are some who are in it just because of the money, guys who insist on having loud cellphone conversations with their girlfriends while on-set, or being homophobic. But even for them, the attention, money and physical pleasure of sex can tip the scales for a guy who is mainly interested in women."

"They seemed to have more of a fluid sexuality... even if they identified as straight in their private lives."

But regardless of the "true" sexual orientation of these male porn stars (because what even is sexual orientation, anyway?), another question remains: Why the hell are gay guys so drawn to porn featuring straight (or "straight") dudes in the first place? That's a little more complicated, as some believe that gay men's tendency to fetishize straight men engaging in gay sex stems from a deep-rooted place of self-loathing or shame.

"Because of internalized homophobia (which typically looms large before and during the early coming-out process), they're more often looking for men who act masculine," author Joe Kort wrote in 2013 for the Huffington Post. He also argued that the whole "forbidden fruit" aspect of it can make for an appealing fantasy. "Straight men are also off-limits. Knowing we cannot have them may enhance our desire for them."

Others simply believe`it's a mix of hot man lust and unattainability, like Gawker's Brian Moylan. 

"Gay guys are attracted to hot guys, no matter of their orientation," he wrote in 2012. "Also, many gay guys think straight guys are even hotter because they're so naturally butch and hard to get. It's like straight guys' obsession with girl-on-girl action, but in reverse."

Meanwhile, Stabile told Mic that it could just be because of porn's general preoccupation with masculinity when it comes to male actors. "Throughout the industry's history," he said, "there's always been premium put on masculine men."

Regardless of why it sells, though, participating in gay-for-pay porn isn't always a walk in the park. For instance, when gay-for-pay porn star Chris Tyler was asked by the Village Voice what the hardest part of his job was, he answered:

"Taking a 10-inch-plus dick."

Talk about working hard for the money.

Check out the full preview for MTV's True Life: I'm a Gay for Pay Porn Star below:

Source: YouTube

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Nicolas DiDomizio

Nicolas DiDomizio is a Staff Connections Writer at Mic. Prior to Mic, he was at MTV for 3 years. He holds a masters from NYU and a bachelors from Western Connecticut State University. Contact him at nic@mic.com.

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