Before you begin today's Riot, a quick disclaimer: This particular article discusses gay folks, gay porn, and the gay community. If you're a homophobic asshat or just don't particularly care to read about such topics, wait for the next Riot. Or, you know, just list 10 reasons why you hate Sarah Palin in the comments section below.
|This is Nick. He's got a wife and he works out a lot. He's a straight guy.|
|This is his alter-ego Reese. Reese likes boys on camera for lots of money.|
Now, at first, it might seem confusing as to why the Gay-for-Pay (G4P) guys are so controversial. It's two (or three or seven) guys, usually quite attractive, engaging in some toe-curling bedtime fun for the enjoyment of the masses
Yes and no. Apparently. I must warn you that when I was researching this topic, I had to tiptoe around Google. Typing in phrases like 'gay-for-pay' leads to both heated debates on the matter and veeeeeery graphic...umm...stuff. Be that as it may, I found a number of negative opinions on the matter. So, in the interest of flow, we'll look at these in bullet-point form:
- Umm...They're straight. There are quite a number of dissenting opinion on the G4P phenomenon that dislike the idea simply because the men are actually straight. For some reason, the knowing that the guy, against all appearances and despite the fervor with which he...works, likes to go home and have his way with the opposite sex is a major turn-off.
- The Quality of the Art. The most obvious argument against G4P guys is that they just don't seem as in to the act of non-procreative male-on-male horizontal mambo. They appear 'flat' or can't get it up or are otherwise bad performers. Which, I suppose, might be a good argument against G4P. If the guys aren't truly wanting to do what they're doing, it's going to be a waste of time for all involved
in the filthy filthy porn industry.
- It's a Huge Tease. This is like the first argument just with less bile and more of a sexual let-down.
- They're not really straight! Some in the gay community feel that it's a bit repressive to call these guys straight. This seems to be where the most prudish of arguments originate. Men who have sex with men for money on camera for the world to see that still call themselves straight seems get people pissed as it's a ploy to constrain a guy's sexual truth. Or something like that. Apparently, it would appease these folks if the "actors" at least came out as 'bi.' Though, they would probably not get as much work, as their appeal is the 'straight guy doing gay things.' The appeal of the forbidden fruit. (Pardon the pun.)
- Unrealistic Expectations. This idea highlights the notion that continuing to celebrate the macho, attractive, straight guy who - when his frat brothers or football teammates or whatever aren't looking - will engage in a little shish-kebob sword-fight does something worse than give guys mental blue balls. It perpetuates an unrealistic stereotype. For as long as anyone seems to remember, gay guys in the modern age have been pigeonholed into being the fairy, the queen, the drag-wearing, body-waxing, superficial sex-fiend who is less deep than a bird bath and as masculine as Miss America. While the gay community continues to make great strides in highlighting the range of masculine/feminine natures and mannerisms, folks who dislike G4P sometimes say that it perpetuates an unrealistic ideal. It somehow elevates masculine, athletic, 'you would NEVER tell I'm gay' guys as what is good, and designates anything else as less-than.
Maybe there is something to this preference-bending, G4P stuff. A little trivia: Have you ever heard of the show Will & Grace? Of course you have. And, yes, you watch the re-runs, and yes you hate Leo just as much as everyone else. But, did you know that the actor who plays Will (Eric McCormack) is straight? Probably. But!! Did you know that the part was originally going to go to an actor that some of you Torchwood fans might know, John Barrowman? However, he was replaced with McCormack, because producers felt he was too straight-acting, and they wanted someone who was obviously gay.
Funny thing about this is that John Barrowman, the guy who was too straight to play gay, is actually gay. In real life. Like...well, I'll dispense with the gay sex metaphor. Suffice it to say, he likes penis. Barrowman later commented that he was quite displeased with the stereotype that all gay men act the same way.
It was every little gay's dream. Being the band nerd who lives across from the gorgeous football star in high school and having him reluctantly and finally tells you he loves you at the prom. Oh, wait...that's a Taylor Swift music video. But, the dream was still there for many of us. Everybody in high school had that one guy or girl they longed for, but for the gays that was just not going to happen. So, maybe there's a little of that desire, that longing for the forbidden, that one guy you know you'll never get in our collective putting the masculine jock on a pedestal.
But, consider this: guys get paid thousands of dollars to do one gay sex scene. They might get paid a couple of hundred at the most to do a straight sex scene. So, dollar for dollar, fudge packing is one profitable enterprise. (Come on, I am allowed one more bad euphemism.) According to the article featuring homo-for-money Reese Rideout - or Nick Dent - his wife is all for him having sex with men. It puts bacon on the table, and she doesn't have to worry about him cheating on her with a woman. Because, you know, having sex several times a day with someone who isn't your wife isn't cheating, as long as it's with another man.
This debate doesn't just rage in the porn community. Many gays and lesbians get quite upset that an actual gay or lesbian actor cannot get a lead role in a mainstream, big budget movie. It's become a major interview point in the past several months with many big-named gays commenting on the problem. Yet, when big movies do come along that win critical acclaim and major awards and make the money, and they feature a gay character as the main character, Hollywood chooses straight actors to portray them. Brokeback Mountain, The Kids Are All Right, and many other movie titles highlight gay characters being portrayed by straight actors and actresses. Both of these movies have won many awards, made a lot of money, and supposedly have done a lot to continue the fight for gay rights by presenting positive portrayals of GLBT folks.
And, yet, the gay community is pissed because the actors are actually straight. I can see the point. Were there no gay guys who could play cowboys? Were there no lesbians who could play moms? It's not that they don't exist, so what's the reason? I've met plenty of gay guys who were more masculine, more muscular, more athletic, and more all-around the stereotypical All-American Guy than any straight guy. They're out there. So...what's the ish?
Some say it's a comfort thing. It's ok to watch the gay movie if you know the actor is straight. Or, it's a talent thing. The actor can convincingly play gay, so he or she can add that to his or her repertoire and pick up an Academy Award while they're at it.
What do you think? Does Gay for Pay bother you? Does this say something about stereotyping, or is it a bunch of prudish queens getting up in arms over nothing? I'd love to hear your comments, Rioters!
Love and Lyte,