SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN GAY PORN. DOES IT EXIST?

41

THE BILLY SANTORO COLUMN

Picture it. January 21, 2018 and it’s the return of the Gayvn Awards Show in Las Vegas, Nevada after a few years hiatus. All the basics are there. The studios, their token models, their popular directors and a few nonexclusive models scattered throughout the audience. The awards show is a time for all industry types to come together and network, congratulate, have a good time off the porn set. But after watching some of the interactions between directors/producers and their models, I wonder how much of this isn’t using the power and sex to use and abuse a model.

For a long time, there has been quiet chatter about the Cockyboys and, specifically, Jake Jaxon and his true relationship to the models. There have been rumours of coercion, sexual expectations etc. After all, this is some of these models dreams to be a Cockyboy. If all I have to do is suck his cock to get that, should I do it? Is that sexual harassment?

Advertisement
Inline ad

An award winning director for Nakedsword/Falcon was witnessed performing oral sex on a model at a Gayvn after party. Is this sexual harassment? Can the model say next week that the director promised him 5 scenes next month? This is where the grey area appears and why the casting couch culture exists. I thought about this heavily over the past few days because I am teaching a newly out person about gay culture and some of our history. We are currently watching Queer as Folk [American version]. The episode where Brian fucks his subordinate on his own time, then the subordinate blackmails him with a sexual harassment charge if he doesn’t get him a promotion. This got me thinking. It would be easy for the model to do the same thing with the director in this case.

I want to be clear in saying that I have never been a victim of sexual abuse of any kind in the porn industry. Maybe it is because I have a big mouth and come off very confident. Maybe it is because I am not their type. But the fact remains that it is very common in our industry. This brings me to the industries current hot potato porn star Tegan Zayne’s assertion where he alleges fellow porn star Topher DiMaggio sexually assaulted him the night before a shoot. Whether it happened or not, he went to the studio’s producer, The Cockyboys, and alerted them. They did nothing. Are they liable? I have never met Tegan Zayne. I cannot judge his character. But, I have worked with Topher DiMaggio on several occasions. He is a very strongwilled, confident, pushy, persuasive person. Would he do what is alleged? Probably. Did he do it, that remains to be seen. Will the Cockyboys conduct an investigation? Probably not.

Sexual assault in the porn industry is just like a cockroach infestation. When you see one, there are hundreds you don’t see. I only had one instance where I had to tell a pushy model ‘No’ while sharing a hotel room. Think about it. Studios are putting two people who do not know each other in the same living quarters. There is no trust, no background, no information to make a judgement call. As Tegan Zayne’s story illustrates, the Producer did not protect him. Tegan may have been excited to room with a popular porn star, maybe even idolised him a bit, but he did not know anything about him. Remember that movie Showgirls, when Nomi’s best friend gets to meet her idol and he rapes her? We tend to be disarmed when we meet people we look up too.

I have worked for great studios who do look out for models. Icon Male and Nica Noelle have always asked me, “Billy, who do you want to room with?” I am also given the option to have a room to myself. I, for one, tend to like rooming with my scene partners. I feel like getting to know each other a bit helps build that chemistry needed. I have also roomed with people I cannot stand, but I agreed to it. The model should always be asked what they want. I know Michael Lucas unfairly gets a poor reputation for ‘model abuse’, but when I filmed with Lucas Entertainment in NYC, I was given the option to stay in the studio’s loft apartment with other models or a hotel alone. He gave me that option. That is something you rarely see these days. The producer must do their part to make models feel safe.

If I had a nickel for every model who has been sexually abused, but refuses to go public out of fear of being blackballed… But the fact remains, this isn’t going to stop. Models do, however, have the option to not partake. It’s argueable that gay porn sales are declining and scene rates are going down. Sites like LeakedandLoaded.com, OnlyFans. com and Chaturbate allow models to create their own content in the privacy of their own home with whomever they choose as often as they want. I built LeakedandLoaded.com based on models’ complaints about the industry. Every time a model texts me asking if studios are shooting, I say “Who cares! Video your own hook ups and sell them, you’ll make more money.” The only way to send the message to the industry that models come first is to put yourself FIRST!