At the time of my first movies all the straights I encountered assumed I was shooting porn. “Oh a gay movie. Is filming porn legal?” Because I was hungering for legitimacy – for acceptance – I defensively shot down their assumptions assuring them my films had no nudity at all.
And the market shot down my films because there was no nudity at all.
One year I tested the gay male market by setting up a booth at IML, a leathery fuck party hosting thousands of testosterone driven men over Memorial Weekend in Chicago. Didn’t make a sale. The only thing the fellas wanted was porn.
In contrast an occasional email would come from someone thanking me for NOT putting dick in the flick. But those were rare.
Since I sought to get deeper into the gay market I slipped glimpses of peckers in the next couple movies. But they still conformed to Netflix regulations: No hard cock. And movie sales still continued to decline.
Todd Verow, a prolific indie gay filmmaker, approached the drooping market returns from the opposite angle: He started filming hard core fucking in his movies. They wouldn’t be allowed on Netflix, but they would sell on other platforms.
Now that Netflix is high-flying adored, they don’t need us indie filmmakers anymore. Amazon is getting rid of our titles as well. These big boys (‘A Queens’) stopped inviting us to the party when they began producing their own movies – which they have total creative control over. I need no longer consider their stamp of approval.
Last week’s OUT Magazine column by Alexander Cheves (@BadAlexCheves) cried out for indie filmmakers to write ‘realistic’ gay sex into our movies with sloppy, messy, awkward scenes. He saw Brokeback as a youngster and noted it didn’t teach him the importance of cleaning out.
Here’s the quandary I face: The movie I film this summer after vaccination is a campy screwball gay sex comedy. I am one of the on screen fuckers. (How do you feel about that Alex? A guy in his 50s with a Dad bod as a ‘romantic’ lead?) The other leading Dad bod actor is in his 40s. How much dick and ass do I show?
Hard cock? Hard cock plowing ass? Blow jobs? Rim jobs? Will you lose respect for me after you see my equipment in action? Or will you buy the movie and then screenshare on NewTumbl?
It’s not a question of gratuitous sex. It’s a sex comedy. The story involves sexual relations. My co-star (so-far) has agreed to go all the way. At what point do you draw the line between art and porn? Isn’t drawing the line repressively judgmental since we’re all living our own porn movies?
I think there’s a lot more to being gay than the sex. My movies attempt to show the many different experiences we have that are uniquely gay and unrelated to sex. And yet I still can’t define a universal gay experience or feeling beyond the desire to intimately touch another man. Is what we think about the moment we shoot our load the only thing we have in common?
I hope not, but I’m not sure what else is.