Equality has come to the porn industry.
Just as many 'lesbian' porn films feature straight women, now more and more straight men are having sex with men, with a new documentary I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay by Montreal-based director Charlie David looks into the phenomena of straight men acting gay for the camera.
The documentary is a sequel to David's earlier film I'm a Porn Star and according to David, at least half of male gay porn stars identify as heterosexual.
In straight films actors typically earn a few hundred US dollars unless they're an established name in the industry. By contrast, for eight hours work on a gay porn shoot, the actors can take home $5,000 USD (£3,800), much more than both straight porn, and their 20-something contemporaries in other careers.
Assumptions that the actors are using the excuse of cold cash to explore their sexuality are not completely unfounded. David says some use the experience to explore, but not all of them conclude they are gay after experimenting. He found that many were in committed relationships with women, who encouraged them to take on this kind of work.
The film focuses on several individuals, one of whom is Curtis, who was sent a job advert through his MySpace when he was a recent graduate living in San Diego, California. Curtis explained how at first he was a solo performer, masturbating for the camera. When they offered him more money to have sex with another man, he was at first hesitant before deciding to try it.
Curtis said that when he got used to sex with men, he began to enjoy it and that made him question his sexuality. Curtis explained how he had been feeling to News Australia.
I thought I might be gay for enjoying it. I realised the feeling is everybody, all men enjoy prostate stimulation. I went from thinking I was gay to being bisexual. Really it’s just I’m straight, I like the prostate stimulation part of it and that’s pretty much all there is to it.
The documentary also looked at the way a market has developed for this particular type of gay porn. Websites that feature gay porn, often include straight men having sex with men as a category. David sees possible reasons for the growth in this market, as a latent homophobia within homosexuals, or else a preference for 'straight acting' gay men, specifically ones that aren't 'feminine'.
A gay actor who appears in the documentary, Eddie Stone, believes that sex with a gay man appeals, exactly because it's forbidden and unrealistic.
Gay men like to see a man who identifies as straight, so is off limits, naked and having sex with a man. It’s a taboo, the unattainable.
As such he thinks the market for this type of porn is here to stay. Straight women having sex with women for porn has been around for decades, as has gay actors performing in straight pornography, so perhaps this latest niche in the market is a step towards equality within the industry.
Much like other types of porn, there are limits on longevity of an actor's career, once an actor ages and they become less sought after, but by this time their image is online, and transitioning to other fields becomes more difficult.
The documentary will be available for streaming and download on 30 August.