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Issue 20.7 : Featured Article
Gay Porn Stars in 2018

Gay Porn Stars in 2018


Benji Lovari considers how the job description of porn stars is continuing to evolve in 2018.



The job description of the typical gay adult performer has changed a lot during the past decade, along with the industry as a whole. The creative days of porn making from the 1970's seem to have returned, but this time around the quality of the projects is actually better than ever before. Porn has become a bigger business in today’s world, so production has evolved to become more methodical and polished. Many large porn studios are using a lot of the same video equipment and non-linear editing software that is used on mainstream indie film productions, and studios like Cocky Boys, NakedSword Originals, Men.com, and Next Door Studios are approaching their productions with the same level of professionalism and creativity.

As the world becomes more globalized, porn studios have begun drawing from an international talent pool. More guys are now interested in pursuing porn careers, so standards have risen and competition has increased. Just as in mainstream Hollywood, it's no longer enough to simply look good. Casting directors are looking for special, memorable performers who will stand out. There's no longer a cookie cutter formula for porn stardom. Today's audiences crave more intimacy and realism from porn, so models are often encouraged to be themselves and to play up their unique traits.

Porn has always been attractive to young people in search of fun and adventure, but today we're also seeing an increasing number of smart and ambitious folks getting into porn work with specific goals in mind, such as paying their way through college so that they can graduate without crippling student loan debt. Many of them are sticking to their plans, too. They're going away to school after a few years in the industry or finishing their degrees while doing porn, and sometimes even buying homes and being able to travel the world sooner than their mainstream counterparts. In the daily media, we often hear about gay porn stars crashing and burning or going off the rails. However, it’s important to acknowledge that there are also many smart and savvy adult performers who are quietly going about their business and successfully using porn as a tool to help them achieve other goals in their lives - or else simply doing porn for fun and enjoying it as a unique life experience.

That's not to say that porn work should always be a temporary gig. In 2018, it's still possible to have a full-time, long-term career in porn. But to do so, most people will need to come at the problem from more than one angle. Trenton Ducati is a good example of someone who has done this successfully. In addition to being an in-demand performer, he has also become the owner of his own production studio, web site, and modeling agency. To survive and thrive, he's taken a multi-dimensional approach to the adult business and it’s a strategy that has paid off for him. At Bel Ami Online, Lukas Ridgeston went from being a successful porn star to being a successful director, and then made a comeback in front of the cameras. Brent Corrigan has successfully moved back and forth between mainstream and adult entertainment, despite the fact that this used to be considered impossible - and he has also worked as a writer, director, and producer in both arenas. Dominic Ford has made a name for himself as a talented director and innovator, but he has also created a digital rights protection system to help studios avoid piracy and he recently launched an innovative fan site where porn models can sell their own original content to their fans.

In the porn industry, there are some who feel that studios sometimes treat models as disposable commodities and fail to share profits with them adequately. Whether or not that's true is debatable and every situation is unique. But perhaps it was because of this belief that things have begun to change and more porn stars are now being encouraged to become creators, thanks to fan sites that make it easy for them to sell their own original content directly to fans. As they create their own content, porn stars develop new skills and sometimes develop a more serious interest in production or direction. A whole new generation of potential adult directors is now being nurtured in this way. At sites like OnlyFans, JustFor.fans, and 2Gay4FB, established or aspiring porn stars can begin selling their original content to fans within minutes. As these sites grow in popularity, they may also become a valuable new resource for casting directors in search of fresh new faces and talent.

Colby Knox
 is a great example of the good things that can happen when porn stars become creators and begin to profit directly from their own work. During recent years, Colby Chambers and Mickey Knox have gone from making homemade webcam videos to running their own successful, award-winning membership site and operating their own small studio. There have always been porn stars who have branched out into production, but the difference today is that it's no longer limited to just the most ambitious and socially adept performers. Today the opportunity is there for anyone who is willing to make the effort to create something original and unique. You might start off as live cam model or a porn performer at a studio, working to gradually grow your social media fan base. But once it reaches a certain size and you have a good relationship with your fans, you can begin crafting custom content for your fans as a source of additional income.

Socially, there's no denying the fact that porn stars are still marginalized and objectified in some social milieus, even in 2018. But at the same time, attitudes are continuing to evolve. In a world in which we often seem to be approaching end-stage capitalism and a majority of people are struggling just to get by, it has become easier for many people to finally wrap their heads around the idea that porn is just a job like any other. Likewise, in a world where sex tape scandals and leaked Grindr photos no longer need to spell doom for a mainstream celebrity's career (and can sometimes even help it), having porn in your past no longer needs to be treated as a deep, dark secret. When today's leading porn stars are senior citizens, it would be great if they could all look back fondly and feel proud that they were able to make the most of their youth, take calculated risks, have a few adventures, and make the best use of all the opportunities that came their way. It feels like we're slowly moving in that direction, but in 2018 we still have a way to go.

Cybersocket
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