The Problem with ‘Gay for Pay’ — by Ricky Larkin

Dec 16, 2013
LGBT
1 0

Op/Ed by Ricky Larkin

As we bring 2013 to a close and bound toward the decade’s half point, fear of sexual expression seems destined to soon be a thing of the past. The tireless efforts of so many have led 16 states (and counting) to legalize and honor same-sex marriages. Seems like just yesterday gay men were forced to conceal their identities in fear of criticism, but today its the homophoics that are viewed as to be socially unacceptable. Yet with these new social freedoms there have emerged new ways to marginalize those whose sexuality doesn’t meet with our preconceived notions of “gay” and “straight.”

One example is a piece of rhythmic slang that originated in the porn community but has recently become part of the cultural lexicon: “Gay for Pay.” This fun little term is used to identify those who are “straight” but engage in sexual activities with the same gender for money. As a performer who was branded “Gay for Pay” myself before I retired earlier this year, the term still makes me cringe, and it still makes me angry.

While it may sound harmless to the uninformed ear, “Gay for Pay” is intended as a sexual slur and is used on social media and blogs to attack performers and their credibility. It “exposes” the performer as one who compromises his true beliefs and sexuality for money, and is out to “fool” the gay audience. Fans and bloggers often seem personally betrayed when they learn that a popular gay porn star is dating a woman off-camera. Their logic tells them that a man can’t possibly be sexually attracted to his own gender if he’s dating the opposite sex “in real life.” Such narrow-minded “thinking” fails to recognize the many variations of sexual attraction and expression, which I’ll touch briefly upon here.

But first, how do we define “preference”? How do we define “attraction”? I know countless men who prefer the emotional companionship of other men, but prefer sexual involvement with women. Likewise, I know women who surround themselves with male friends, yet prefer a lesbian lover. More than one “straight” woman has confided in me that she craves sex with other women, but prefers a “relationship” with a man. I’ve been at nightclubs where men would rather talk to me about bodybuilding and seek my advice on “how to get big” than to hit on girls. And often when I’m at the gym, I’ll notice the men staring at each other’s physiques with more interest and intensity than they give the hot, spandex-clad women working out next to them. Despite how far we’ve come in the fight for sexual equality, we’ve yet to acknowledge that there are many shades of lust, and many degrees of sexual attraction that can fluctuate throughout our lives.

Sexual-orientation arguments aside, there is also a practical argument to be made: porn is a source of entertainment, and in some cases a way to express art. Adult films are not documentaries, and the line between authenticity and artistry is shadier than it may seem.

For example, what do we make of the performer who only bottoms in real life, but will only top on film? He doesn’t enjoy topping and relies on medication to stay hard during the scene, but he made a decision to only bottom for his “real life” partner. Should we call him a “bottom for pay”?  What about the performer who identifies as “gay” but isn’t the least bit attracted to (or is even completely turned off by) his scene partner? He goes through the motions anyway and collects his check, never experiencing a second of pleasure during the scene. Is he a more authentic performer than the man who truly enjoys having sex with his male costar but is dating a woman in real life?

What about the big, muscular, hairy guy who’s hired to play an aggressive, dominant top, even though he’s a submissive bottom in real life? If he “fakes” his way through the scene, should he be crucified on blogs for “cheating the gay porn audience” and “stealing their money”?

The truth behind this misleading term is that many performers labeled “Gay for Pay” put their hearts and souls into their work, and strive to communicate passion and realism. It’s both insulting and hurtful to discredit their work so completely, and based on so little. To accuse a performer of being “Gay for Pay” and try to rally public disdain for them is as ignorant as any other type of sexual discrimination and bullying. As we head toward the first days 2014, let’s aim to give others the acceptance and understanding we feel so entitled to demand for ourselves.

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The Luckey Star | Ricky Larkin (@LarkinEnt) Speaks His Truth On Gay4Pay!
6 years ago

[…] -source and credit […]

ckc
ckc
6 years ago

Didn’t you retire? go away, and stay there.

fallenangel5193
fallenangel5193
6 years ago

I think sexuality is fluid, and majority of people are in the middle. i.e. Kinsey Scale (more bisexual than 100% straight or 100% gay.) I am not in the industry but enjoy lesbian porn. I know that most of the female performers I like/admire date/are married/in a serious relationship with men in real life. Does that mean I like them less? I respect them for their performance, I admire them for their beauty, and I love them for their love of & passion for women. That does NOT make them less “gay”. As for “Gay for Pay”, I always associated… Read more »

trackback

[…] recently published an article The Problem with ‘Gay for Pay’ where he discusses this infamous […]

MJY
MJY
6 years ago

Ricky, You’ve rather spectacularly missed the point. The point we make is encapsulated in fallen angel’s comment above: “As for “Gay for Pay”, I always associated this term to 100% straight people who have sex with the same sex for $. These performers do not enjoy having sex, do not enjoy their partner’s body, get grossed out. THIS offends me. It’s disrespectful to the performers who enjoy having sex with the same sex partner, it’s disrespectful to the fans who just spent money to watch passionate & real sex.” Furthermore its when these G4P performers make homophobic comments that it… Read more »

itsme
itsme
6 years ago

Blah blah blah blah. As a gay man I’m tired of bi/g4p men in “gay” porn. Bi and g4p men usaully always make it a point on how they don’t really like being with guys or that they are married or that they are dating a women. Please shut the fuck up that. It;s my dream that a gay porn studio will start using real gay men in there films. but i doubt that will happen.

ckc
ckc
6 years ago
Reply to  itsme

Ricky, ask your fuck buddy, Nica Noelle, her views on having gays in porn: ” real lesbians want to see real lesbians.” But us gay men don’t count?

Bearfuzzlover
5 years ago
Reply to  itsme

A brilliant point, itsme, and one I 100% agree with. “Gay-for-Pay” performers appear to be an industry joke – maintaining they are allegedly “straight” … yet not only do many appear on film sometimes as a “Bottom” … but seem to also offer their sexual services [Dicks for Hire] to men away from the camera for money as Hustlers, Escorts or whatever phrase they like to use. So, when do these “Gay-for-Pay” performers have time for a straight existence and sex life when they are thought to be in another hotel bedroom having sex with another man, and maybe this… Read more »

Absurdist
Absurdist
6 years ago

“For example, what do we make of the performer who only bottoms in real life, but will only top on film? He doesn’t enjoy topping and relies on medication to stay hard during the scene, but he made a decision to only bottom for his ‘real life’ partner.”

No tea, no shade:
Sounds as though someone has spent some time around Matthew Rush.

VaiSeFuder
VaiSeFuder
6 years ago

FUCK YOU! WE HATE G4P AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE THAT. YOU DO NOT PASS THE WORMS OPPORTUNISTS. LOOK FOR ANOTHER JOB.

Mr. Enemabag Jones
Mr. Enemabag Jones
6 years ago

I find it amusing that the same man who went on a rant about HIV, and claimed 70% to 80% of gay performers are HIV+ positive, (as if gay porn performers are the only HIV+ people in porn,) would claim that g4p is a “slur”. You are a fool, Ricky; a fool who made money delivering poor performances in gay porn. The only reason you were able to keep working was because you said you were straight. That was the only cache you brought to the set, and you traded on it until you got scared, and left.

Michael Whiteacre
Michael Whiteacre
6 years ago

No, actually, models in gay porn *are* the only HIV+ people permitted to work in porn, because straight and TS performers submit to voluntary HIV screening.

Mr. Enemabag Jones
Mr. Enemabag Jones
6 years ago

I didn’t write anything about who are “permitted” to perform while HIV+, Michael. My point was HIV cases don’t just crop up in gay porn.

crunkleschwitz
crunkleschwitz
6 years ago

When will be able to purchase Full Blown AIDS porn? I like skinny chicks.

Me
Me
6 years ago

I dont get it. If you guys don’t like seeing G4P actors then stop stealing internet porn, pull out your wallet, and buy the scenes from the actors you like to watch. I say actors because thats what they ALL are. If you think the gay guys in the biz don’t use injectable dick meds or viagra to stay hard your just plain dumb. Do you really think the gay guys in the industry are in it for different reasons than the straight ones ? It all comes down to collecting a check at the end of the shoot, or… Read more »

Mr. Enemabag Jones
Mr. Enemabag Jones
6 years ago
Reply to  Me

What is comes down to is performance. If James Deen delivered performances as weak, dull and uninspired as Mr. Larkin, James Deen wouldn’t be a star. However, the straight people who have taken over the production side of gay porn, are refusing to hire gay models, preferring straight models because they sadly believe the audience wants to see them in porn. Considering how badly the industry is tanking, they made a serious misjudgement. And belies your absurd comment that, “Most gay guys like straight men”. The fact of the matter is, hets have ruined gay porn, collected their money, and… Read more »

Dragonwood
Dragonwood
6 years ago

The vitriol directed at Ricky is unwarranted as he’s made some very good points. Never did he state that when working with gay performers he’s repulsed. Folks remember these are actors and as such it shouldn’t matter what their sexuality is as long as they can deliver the goods. I’d rather watch a G4P perform a scorching scene than a gay actor just going through the motions – it’s not the sexuality that counts but the PERFORMANCE – DUH!! There are many gay actors portraying as straights in the film world so why should this matter? Get over it! Ricky… Read more »

Chris
Chris
6 years ago

Ricky, the problem with “gay for pay” porn is not that performers may pretend to be something they are not (after all, much of porn is all about fantasy and pretending), rather the real problem is the homophobic marketing angle used by many films that produce “gay for pay” porn. The majority of gay men are not bothered or offended by the idea that a man performs in gay porn and dates women in real life. What is offensive is when the “straightness” of the actor is used as a marketing hook to sell the films. And, when it is… Read more »

Mr BJones
Mr BJones
6 years ago

You are LAME dude … do something better with your life and stop smoking weed

SkyHest
SkyHest
5 years ago

Gay4Pay is simply a lie, a delusion. All those men are actually bisexuals who have issues with their bisexuality. The prefer to identify as heterosexual because they have consciously decided to bond romantically with women and supress their natural ability to romantically bond with men. This convinces them that they are “heterosexual”, but they’re not. For some reason(s) they have a hard time ackowledging their bisexuality. They cannot supress their need to have physical/sexual contact with other men and here is when they start searching for the instances to have physical/sexual contact with men. We don’t observe the same phenomenon… Read more »

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