Filmmaker Charlie David‘s light-hearted rambling review of the burgeoning gay pornography industry could never be mistaken as a serious piece of investigative journalism. After speedily racing through the whole history of the business from its birth in the 1930s up to present day, the documentary focuses on four of the most successful performers today. They have probably earned the accolade of ‘star’ but then again this grossly overused title has now been claimed by everyone who has ever had a bit part in a movie or video. And there are a lot of them. In our internet based culture there now an estimated 370 million porn websites online contributing the bulk of a $13 billion business worldwide!
All of David’s subjects are very affable men and happy enough to candidly share their views on controversial topics such as barebacking, HIV, social stigma, fetishes and escorting. The whole question of gay-for-pay was also discussed by them and not always in a positive manner. Whilst Colby Jansen’s attitude regarding his evolving sexuality was refreshingly honest, Johnny Rapid’s constant reminders of not only how straight he was (‘When I am being f..ked by a guy, I keep thinking of my girlfriend just so that I can remain erect’) became very tiresome.
And with interviews with Ryan R a leading director (and a heterosexual) who claimed as others did that he did gay instead of straight porn because it was financially more lucrative, David never pushed him or anyone else further on this issue. The fact that there are seemingly so many straight men either side of the camera seems to indicate that as a community we still haven’t dispensed with all our internalised homophobia.
The most likeable, and by far the most level-headed of the pornstars featured, was the young-looking 29 years old Canadian Brent Everett. He’s not only an out proud gay man, but a happily married one who also has the full support of his parents for his chosen line of work. Everett, quite a charmer, is very effusive about his very successful career and doesn’t proffer any hint of regret or become an apologist for his roles like so many of his peers. He revels in the fact that it his work is fun and that he is clearly committed to making it as entertaining and sexy as possible for his legions of fans.
And that was probably David’s motives in making this titillating movie with its explicit scenes of sex and a seemingly endless parade of erect penises that often distract you from some of his narration. He also succeeds in making the industry look like a well-run corporate type business far removed from its old sleazy and seedy back-street image. It’s an enjoyable and diverting lively romp that will fascinate and amuse anybody with the slightest interest in the subject i.e. all gay men!