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  • More Bang For Your Buck: It Gets Better

    November 16, 2010
    More Bang For Your Buck: It Gets Better

    One of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time was to make a video for Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project.

    When I found the project while doing my daily work on the Internet, I was so impressed. I'd been getting pretty pissed off about all the bullying and hate surrounding gay kids, and the suicides that resulted I'd been reading about in the news. It made me remember how the same bullying happened to me when I was in school. It was so fucked up when the other kids would laugh at me and make fun of me because I acted like a “boy.”

    I would then proceed to kick someone’s ass. I got into a lot of fights—always with boys, and I always won. That got me into more trouble because a “girl” was not supposed to win a fight with a boy, right?

    So, when I see the same crap happening 30 years later—the same exact thing—I am just blown away. How is it possible that things have not changed by now? How come some young boy or girl is still getting teased about being “gay” at the age of 10? How come there is no tolerance? It’s totally unacceptable.

    I can understand why it happened back when I was a kid because people were not educated about gay or transgender people, so they didn’t understand. But now, in the 21st Century, we have tons of information available. The reason that one 10-year-old is teasing another 10-year-old about being gay is coming from the home: The parents teach their kids those intolerant attitudes that causes them to say that shit.

    Sadly, to say I grew up around sexism and bigotry in my home. My parents are your basic middle-class Republican racists—even though they pretend not to be. They would get upset if I brought home a black friend, or if I decided to date a black guy. So, when I brought home a black girlfriend, that really floored them.

    Thank God I wasn’t influenced by their attitudes. Somehow I escaped, as did my sisters. We knew better. As I grew as a person. I was more attracted to the Latinos and blacks and always felt more at home with them. My coming out as gay was totally in the black community. They accepted me and treated me as one of their own. I disowned my family for many years and grew up in these other communities. I think that has made me the person I am today.

    So when I decided to do the “It Gets Better” video, I knew it was important for me to speak out to the young people who are having such a difficult time dealing with this stuff. Maybe they have no friends, maybe they feel isolated the way I did. I had no one to talk to for many years. It is a horrible feeling.

    So, with that in mind, I set out to make my video. I started the camera and just began to speak. It was weird because all of a sudden, from talking about my past, emotions came up that I thought were long gone. I believed I’d overcome my sadness about growing up the way I did, but I just started to cry. It brought up emotions that had been buried deep inside of me. Everything came pouring out—the suicide attempts and the isolation…

    When I finished the video and watched it, I was totally freaked out. I was not going to put this online! No way in hell was I going to be vulnerable to everyone on YouTube, and risk being called all kinds of names like “sissy” and being told “Men don’t cry” (though it is not like I’m unaccustomed to being called a variety of names).

    Then it came to me. I realized that I had made this video to hopefully save someone’s life. It wasn’t really about me. I had to check my ego, which is not an easy thing to do sometimes, but when I did it, I just uploaded the video and walked away from the computer so I did not have to see it.

    Then I emailed the link to Dan. There was no turning back.

    Dan emailed me right away, saying that it was a really great video and that he’d added it to the “It Gets Better” site immediately. I was so nervous and freaked out, but it was like magic. People started emailing me like crazy about how they loved it, how it was nice to see me be so open about myself in a very different way. Then I got emails from some young people thanking me and telling me how moved they were, and that my video had given them hope.

    The thing that has possibly been the hardest is the negative backlash from me doing this video because I am a “pornographer” and narrow-minded people think I should not be speaking to kids! That really pisses me off.

    Nowhere in my video do I make reference to my adult work, nor do I talk about sex or porn, or other adult matters. I provide contact information that is separate from any of my adult-related sites. I have just as much of value to say to these kids as anyone else. I am not the devil, and besides, my work is not “just pornography.” I’m also an educator and advocate.

    It’s ridiculous how people are so freaked out about sex that they fail to focus on the fact that people are killing themselves over their sexuality and gender. If my story I can help just one kid feel as though life is worth living, then there is nothing wrong with me sharing my message of hope and self-acceptance with them.

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  • More Bang For Your Buck: “Sexuali-“T”

    September 21, 2010
    More Bang For Your Buck: “Sexuali-“T”
    I think about how my sexuality has changed so much with my transformation from female to male.

    Not that I wasn’t a very sexual person before my sex change. It’s just more about how comfortable I am expressing my sexuality, both personally and with others—well actually, with the whole world, if you really think about it.

    I had no problems getting laid or finding girlfriends before I started taking testosterone. I loved sex. But I never was comfortable getting penetrated vaginally. It always felt very female to me, or maybe more as if I were being weak. I don’t feel that way anymore. It seems weird to admit it now. The thought that I even had an issue with my vagina seems so far away, I can barely remember having those feelings.

    Many of my girlfriends or sex partners wanted to penetrate me, but I was always too afraid to go there; afraid of what it would make me. Butch dykes are conditioned never to go there. That is a bad place. Of course, back in the day, there were no FTMs, so the only community I fit in was the Dyke community.

    I knew I didn’t really belong there, but it was the place that made me feel the most “normal.” This is one of the reasons I dislike “community.” Once you belong to a community, they never give you the freedom to just be an individual; they always have these damn rules that screw your head up if you don’t follow them.

    Back in the day, I was also a raging alcoholic. I would have to get really drunk to just let myself go and have a good time. That says lots don’t you think? I know my alcoholism came from my gender issues. I did not feel the least bit comfortable in my body just walking around in the world, how the hell was I going to feel comfortable having sex? The alcohol facilitated that, though. It made me feel like I could do anything and not give a shit what anyone thought of me. The irony is that, as I said before, I was a very sexual person. I was horny all the time and constantly seeking out sex partners. But when it came down to doing the deed, I needed to get drunk first.

    Then I got sober. (That’s a whole other story.) It was through sobriety that I really started to feel myself and know that I had to get out of that female body or die. That’s when I began my transition. With a clean body and mind, I knew I was doing the right thing.

    I will never forget my first shot of testosterone. It was a life-changing experience. It wasn’t until the third shot really that I really started to feel the effects of the testosterone on my libido. Holy cow! I was already a sex freak, but remember thinking, Are you kidding?!

    I wanted to screw all day and night. I could not get enough. My clit was so sensitive that just running your finger over it was enough for me to shoot my load. I was thinking this must be how a boy going through puberty feels.

    This is when things truly changed for me, and I started to not be able to control my thoughts of wanted to get penetrated. I also started having thoughts of having sex with men. I’d never had sex with men before my change. I was always just into women, and that was totally fine. (I did have a “boyfriend” when I was in high school, but again, that’s another story for down the road.)

    So there I was, feeling like a big sex pig, wanting to get my hole plowed and feeling really weird, and I guess sort of ashamed about the new desires I was experiencing. I think that was leftover programming from my days in the dyke community, but the power of T was not going to let me say no!

    The first time I actually got penetrated after starting testosterone, I was by myself. I was jacking off again for like the fifth time that day and my fingers just slowly found themselves at the entrance to my hole. It felt so wet and inviting. It felt sooooo good. I rubbed the outside of my vagina as I was using the magic wand to jack my clit. I felt my hole open as if to say, “Come on already. Fuck me!” Then I just plunged right in.

    OMG! I think I came like right that second. I had never felt anything like that in my life. I just keep pushing my fingers in and out and the juice was flowing like crazy. I came twice. It was the most amazing sex experience I had had. I know that sounds kind of weird, but you have to realize, I’d never done it before. The testosterone made my body a sex machine. It was like magic. I was hooked!

    This is one of the reasons why I feel so strong about my message to accept your body. Look how long it to me to come to terms with my own vagina and be able to enjoy it, just because years ago I was told that it was NOT okay to enjoy my vagina and be a dyke.

    The same thing goes on today with the growth of the FTM (female to male) transgender community. The message is that unless you are getting a penis, it’s not okay to feel comfortable with your genitals. It’s as if they’re saying, “If you enjoy or even think of your vagina then you are not a man.”

    It’s infuriating. We are all individuals and should be able to enjoy our bodies however we wish, without having to deal with others telling us we are “wrong”—and that is especially true when the negativity comes from your own peers. You’d think they’d have more compassion and understanding, not less. WTF?

    Needless to say, I am not a big favorite in the “transman” community. But mark my words, somewhere down the road, you’re going to see more guys calling themselves “a man with a pussy”—just like me!

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  • More Bang for Your Buck: My Love/Hate Relationship with the Porn Industry

    August 24, 2010
    More Bang for Your Buck: My Love/Hate Relationship with the Porn Industry

    I love working in the adult industry, but let me tell you it has been a huge challenge. Some of the stereotypes you hear about porn are true. Like the fact that it is full of guys who basically lack sound business practices and even when you sign a legal contract with them, they have no intention of honoring it.

    That may sound harsh, but it has actually happened to me three fucking times! It has been a total nightmare! I like to be honest, and I can say that I am a man of my word. But when you keep getting screwed…it is REALLY frustrating.

    Let me give you a couple of examples. When I was starting out, I signed a movie deal with the company that released my very first film, Buck’s Beaver (which earned me my first AVN nomination). Well, after three films, they stopped paying me. I had signed a 12-picture contract with them, but they did they care? Not even.

    At first, I'd felt very confident that this was going to be a good situation, and the first two films actually went pretty smoothly and I was pretty happy. Then, all of a sudden my payments stopped, and all the owner of the company gave me from then on was a bunch of excuses.

    As bad as the situation was, it actually turned into a blessing in disguise because after I got burned, I decided to launch Buck Angel Entertainment and began producing all of my own films under my own label. Total control!

    The next nightmare was with one of the biggest European distribution companies in the adult business. They did the exact same thing! WOW. I was thinking, How can this be happening again?! But the payments just stopped, and since they were located in Holland, it wasn’t like I could just walk over there and pick up my money!

    The sad part is, they’d come highly recommended, and after negotiations, I had my lawyer look over the contract. In the beginning, they were great. I went to Europe many times to promote myself, and they actually helped to get me on a couple of TV shows to do promotion. But then BAM! I was out.

    I just do not understand treating people that way. How is it possible for these companies to stay in business? Well, needless to say, this company has been going down the tubes, and I watch from afar because I am a huge believer of karma. What goes around definitely comes around.

    After getting out from under that mess, I tried another European distributor on the recommendation of a good friend. FUCK! They totally took me for a ride. They never paid me a dime, and basically told me to fuck off, even though…you guessed it, we had a signed contract.

    Maybe I should have known. They are a big distributor of bareback porn—which I have a huge problem with, but I’d hoped, since they were willing to take me on and my safe sex movies only, it was a good sign that they were open to the idea that safe-sex porn is good, too. Again, not even.

    At the time, it was hard for me to find distribution because my films are so unique and no one wants to take a chance with anything new in this business. So I was always in a situation that I had to sort of take what I could get, which explains why I ended up working with so many questionable business people. I’ve since built my name up and my niche so that now, I can be a lot more selective—and boy, does that feel good.

    That brings up is another subject that really upsets me: unsafe sex practices in the adult entertainment industry.

    I am a huge advocate and practitioner of safe-sex filmmaking. I am pretty much alone or with a small percentage when I say that I am all for regulation of the adult industry and support making condoms mandatory. I think that we have had many chances to regulate ourselves, but to no avail.

    Everyone acts like getting tested makes it “okay” and that we are all “safe.” What they fail to realize is the importance of being responsible filmmakers. Knowing that many viewers don't have any education about safe sex, and when they see all the fucking going on with no condoms, do you think they know or even care that you all got tested? Hell, no!

    Even testing has its limitations. Consumers need to see the condoms on the cock. They need to see gloves when fisting; they need to be taught that safe sex is the way it has to be—and that it does not make bad sex.

    Because I’ve lost so many friends to AIDS, and also I’m very connected to the HIV community, I feel I have an obligation to spread this message. It’s a message of self-love and respect: If you love and respect your body, then you will do what you must to take care of yourself and others.

    When I see movies with girls drinking “buckets of cum” and getting fucking in the ass, and then the pussy, then the ass with no condom I want to scream. Don’t they care? Even if they don’t care about themselves, which is a whole other thing, at least give a shit about teaching people that this is not okay. It’s fucking dirty and causes infections. No wonder the world thinks we are all a bunch of dirty pigs (and not in a good way).

    If we did promote safer sex, more people would respect what we do and see that we care. They would see that we want to make sex a positive and enjoyable thing, not something unsafe or dirty that we have to be so secretive about.

    I can tell you that a condom sure doesn’t make any difference to my pussy! I don’t have a cock—at least not one that’s attached—so I don’t know what it feels like to have sex wearing a condom or not. But I do know that it cannot feel so good that you’d want to risk your life, or the lives of others just to get off.

    I’m sure some people who watch my films think I am fucking disgusting as well—even though I fuck with condoms—and even give blowjobs with condoms. I can’t change the whole world. But one thing I can do is to show that I care. I care what people think about us in the adult industry. I care about trying to make a difference so that people view sex and sexuality as a positive force. That’s a powerful thing to be able to do.

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  • More Bang for Your Buck: Censorship and Obscenity

    July 27, 2010
    More Bang for Your Buck: Censorship and Obscenity
    I’ve been thinking about writing something on this topic for a long time. I just never had the venue to write it for until now. Since SexIs has been so kind as to give me a place to share my thoughts and ideas with the world, I felt this was the time and place.

    Recently, there’s been a very major obscenity case in the U. S. courts. I’m not sure how many people know about it, other than those of us who work in the adult media world. Lots of the public isn’t even aware that there are laws that hinder us in so many ways as artists. It’s one of the many reasons I moved to Mexico.

    John Stagliano and his company, Evil Angel Productions, were recently taken to court on seven different obscenity charges. The counts against him included “crimes” like sending DVDs over state lines, and having porn that is downloadable to your computer. If convicted, he could have been sentenced to 32 years in prison and have to pay $7 million dollars in fines! Fortunately, the case was dismissed earlier this month, thanks to a woefully inadequate case by the prosecution.

    The FBI ran a sting operation to get this guy. They pulled agents off terrorism task forces and devoted something like five years to making this porn case. They ordered a DVD and had it sent to one of their offices. They also downloaded the porn to their computers. Yes folks, this is your U.S. tax dollars at work for you, keeping you safe from pornographers! Not chasing the fucking bankers who basically put the U.S. into a depression and stole all of our money. They’re not looking for the thieves who steal our hard work by ripping it off and putting it on the Internet so you can download it for free. NO. They are making sure that they can make cases against people like John and me, so that they can wipe out the adult industry. They are determined to ruin us.

    Three of the laws that Stagliano was charged with violating are from Title 18, and include sections 1465, 1462, and 1466, that state the “sale or distribution of any obscene, lewd, lascivious, or filthy book, pamphlet, picture, film, paper, letter, writing, print, silhouette, drawing, figure, image, cast photography, recording, electrical transcription or other article capable of producing sound or any other matter of indecent or immoral character” is illegal.

    Basically, the law states that if your peers find anything that you produce to be “obscene,” then they can arrest you and take you to jail on obscenity charges. It’s that simple. But what the fuck does that mean? Who decides what’s “obscene?” By some people’s definition, I could be considered totally obscene just for being who and what I am.

    This is why everyone in the adult industry is so scared to produce anything out of the “norm.” I don’t put fisting, pissing, or gagging in any of my films because my last distribution company would not sell them with that content. Wait, what about freedom of expression? What about “artistic merit?” I have a vision for my movie, but I can’t do it because I could be arrested—because the government of the U.S.A. says I am “obscene.”

    Let me also tell you about Max Hardcore. He makes some really intense films, but the action is between consenting adults and the movies are made for adults, so what’s the big deal? Well the U.S. Government didn’t like the movies he made, so they arrested him. In 2008, he was found guilty in a Florida court on 10 counts of shipping obscene material through the U.S. Postal Service, and 10 counts of selling obscene material over the Internet, and now he’s in jail! He was sentenced to almost four years.

    These aren’t isolated cases. A Colorado porn producer was convicted of federal obscenity charges and sentenced in 2006 to 13 months in prison and ordered to close his adult stores in Texas. A federal judge in 2005 sentenced a Florida man to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute obscene videotapes. In 2006, two men were sentenced in federal court in Dallas to 34 and 30 months in prison after having been found guilty of having mailed obscene material. The video depicted nipple piercing, but not explicit sex!

    If the mainstream media knows about this, they do not cover it, which I think is a shame. If CNN or some other major news station were to talk about this law a bit more and get people to see what is going on, I think the government would have to back down.

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