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[[Safer Sex: A Less Nuanced Position]]

It is my response on why political correctness is causing us to lose the battle...

Please read it and give your responses to the email address on Contact Me (to the left).
The Wolverine movie comes out tonight.  Like the Watchmen movie it won't be bad - but it won't be all that amazing either, and certainly won't live up to any of my hopes.  But, really, this entry isn't about superhero movies.

This weekend I'm finishing tracking on the metal punk album (well I hope I'm finishing as this has already been a lot of work).  Which means next week I get to get to work on guitar and vocal tracking for the glam band's record.  [cue: elated anticipation]

I think this glam project has me the most excited of any music project I've ever worked on - ever.  With my last major project I warmed up as we went because we shared so much musical background and because they are such talented musicians - and because the album concept they presented was so ambitious and challenging.  The results were pretty amazing, and the double LP has done extremely well by any standard (besides, perhaps, my larger than life hopes for it and there is still time for that).

But back to the glam record.  Thisisn't a dress up and be silly glam rock band.  It's the real fucking deal.  It's T.Rex and the Sweet and Bowie and Slade all rolled up together to rock your fucking balls off.   It's pure rock and roll, raw and over the top at the same time.  The kind of glam rock that kept a torch burning bright in the dark days before punk came along to save us all.

Still when my hopes get this high I'm setting myself up for a fall.  My last project snuck up on me and before I knew it I was part of creating something that deserves to be a classic, no matter how it actually goes down.

I have to manage myself and keep my feet on the earth.  There is a reason why the old Junior Murvin song [["Cool out, Son"|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r3TAG638Sw ]] is a theme song of mine:
Son, don't put your hat/ where you can't reach it / it doesn't make no sense
Good things come / to those who work hard for it / adjust yourself to the life you can afford to live
The road to the top is long and wide - yeah
A foolish dog barks at the flying bird
Patient Men ride donkeys
Cool out son.
You have to creep before you walk - where there is life there is hope
Cool out son.

Of course I often feel like my time is running short.  Porn, pop music, MMA.  These are young men's games and I'm not so young anymore.  I'm still young enough but I do see my time ticking away.  After busting my ass for so long, I'm wondering if my star rose and fell already in my years as a queer punk figure in the 90's.  Yeah I've been through this modest fame thing before, but this time it's a smaller pond and one in which I'm far less important - so I just have to remember to enjoy the ride for what it is.

Getting a ~GayVN's nom was fun, but it was also a bummer cuz I knew I couldn't win - I'm just not known by the folks that generally judge these things.  Case in point, I met a couple of that judges - neither knew who I was, and one apparently hadn't actually seen any of the four nominated movies I was in - or at least not my scenes in them.  Which creates a picture in my head of a dude running down the noms looking for names he might have heard before.  At least this is just porn awards voting - I have a sneaking suspicion this is how we elect our government as well!

So back again the the topic lest I digress too far.  The vocals for this record are gonna be tricky to record.  The lead singer easily has my favorite voice among Chicago punks - heck, he's even better than that, he's an all time great.  He also likes using lots of low-fi effects on his voice.  It's going to be a tricky balancing act capturing all the over effected fx processing madness of his stage voice, while still creating a good proper vocal that sits up front and really drives the song.  I've done it with him before, but still it's tricky.  My normal inclination is to leave the effects to mixdown, but when they become part of the performance it's not so simple, and once you've added the kinds of effect he uses, you really can't take them out.  I'll probably cheat and record two tracks, one with effects looped in and the other dry as dust.  Enough of the geek speak tho... anyone that actually likes talking about recording music should probably just write me as I could go for days.

So, as usual I'm stuck between cockiness and insecurity about my ability to meet my own standards.  I guess that's the human condition though - and even when you've got it, it never feels that way, because they only way you get anything is by shooting higher.  I see a band like the Rolling Stones who did a string of records long ago that are among the greatest popular music ever.  The band members are rich and will continue to be rich just from these old records.  But they still create new music and tour.  Why?  Do they just love it?  Or do they think, "this time I'm gonna do the best show ever," or "this record is gonna be another classic."  Cuz, well it ain't gonna happen - Mick and Keith will never top "Let it Bleed" or "Exile on Mainstreet" or "Sticky Fingers."  I wonder if they know this and I wonder if it makes them unhappy - or if they're just happy to be the ~Rolling-fuckin-Stones.

My hope for them is that they just keep doing it for the joy of doing it - and I need that to be my goal as well, so that maybe I can just be happy with what I have.

Cool out son...
So yesterday I was actually shocked speechless (a condition that lasted mere seconds but that was noteworthy nonetheless).  Tony had left me a message congratulating me on my [[GayVN nomination|http://gayvnawards.avn.com/noms/nominees.html]] - say what!?!?

I've always taken it for granted that I'd //never// see my name on a ~GayVN nomination.  While I think my stuff is good, I've always stubbornly stuck to doing only the work I love - extreme fetish and kink.  These films are their own niche and while it is certainly a rapidly growing one, there was only one extreme or fetish category - and that was for best specialty fetish/extreme video, not best fetish actor.

Unbeknownst to me, the ~GayVN's added a new category this year: best fetish performer.  Wow.  That addition alone made me insanely happy.  The porn genre I work in gets a //lot// of criticism since many find it too weird or violent, but the fact is, the work I do represents who I am and __I'm very proud of being a //very// kinky boy.__  So the fact that this category was added was a really nice validation of everything I've worked for in my 5 years in the industry.  And it also meant that I got something I thought I never would see: a nomination with my name on it.

I'm gonna do my best not to get my hopes up on winning and just enjoy the fact that Tony and I both got nominations there. (Heck, Tony got a ton of well deserved nominations, which is really sweet!)  Keeping my hopes in check is not easy, as I really love this genre and really want to be respected for my work in it.  But the reality is there is only one award and many great performers competing.  

I'm also really happy that 4 of the 5 videos I was in last year won nominations, and that 3 of those were in the Fetish category.  I've joked often about having my 3 big BDSM vids all competing with each other and really wasn't surprised that they all got nominations.  I do hope that one of them wins as they are all great videos and reflect some really great leaps of faith on the parts of the studios that shot them. 

The nominated videos are:
''The Mechanic'' - knife play,  power tools used for BDSM,  water sports, CBT, Choke outs, impact play, and shibari bondage with a 75' orange power cord,
''Sounding #1'' - an insanely popular video with double sounding, bondage, CBT and...  rough sex.  
''Folsom Prison'' - a very naturalistic prison vid, with a classic shower beat down, 350,000V stun gun play, face punching to k.o., water sports, cbt and my first gang bang ever.  
''Funhouse'' - wrestling in rubber with dildo play stakes, boot worship, and the ~Slug-o-Rama: a bungee cord suspension bondage scene with gut and ball punching.

Can you tell I had a fun year?
My Channel One vid, Take, has a teaser clip showing my bondage, wax play and flogging... out in June!  (UPDATE: the title is now "TAKEN: to the lowest level")
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More on TAKE including stills right [[here|http://www.c1r.com/chichilarue/posts/265]]!
Check out the scene on ~MustangStudios.com - the [[online version|http://store.falconstudios.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/_/XXX-Flame-Directors-Cut/productID/a41b04e9-5e68-4b37-a8cb-3a29bd04f840/categoryID/5f8117fd-831d-4c77-9810-2cc6a6a5f9f5/]] is pretty over the top (and the fire scene was too crazy for the DVD edit that is out April 28th, so online is the way to see it!)
I just posted a new essay on playing in public - it's something we believe in strongly.  

Tony has posted an [[entry in his blog|http://tonybuff.com/posts/top-10-reasons-to-play-in-a-leather-bar#more-2782]] giving the context around why I'm saying more than I've said in the past.  But the gist is someone made some online remarks which everyone that loved me hoped I'd never see.  I finally saw them last week and they hurt the way they were intended to.  But whatever.  //This isn't about someone attacking me or Tony.//  This is about how that attack undermines something I believe in: ''preserving our BDSM culture in places like our bars and clubs.''

Here's the Essay:
[[Top 10 Reasons to Play in a Leather Bar]]
So first off, the double LP is out - producing, engineering and mixing this record was a good 2 years of hard work.  It's epic.  It's beautiful.  It makes a great rolling tray if your proclivities run that way.  And you can even get it on limited edition white vinyl if you hurry [too late - sold out!]  The vinyl double LP comes with the CD inside, so if you want all the cool liner notes in the gatefold, you should get the LP.  And the mastering on the LP is fabulous - as a total audiophile snob I shit thee not.  I was ready to be all pissed off at a poor lo-fi mastering job (which happens way to often and makes me really depressed).  Not this time!  While the grooves on side 2 are a little cramped, the vinyl sounds way better than the CD.  Meaning it sounds totally awesome.  I am very happy that this project is finally out - it was a lot of work to get to this day.  

Next up in news of the day?  Grabby Nominations came out yesterday and a bunch of my vids were nominated (alas no scene noms for me, but that's ok cuz my scenes are about the kink, not the basic sex that the categories are about - I'd win an award handily if they just had a "best fucked up scene" category).  

Here is what got nominated:
* Folsom Prison (Titan) for best Fetish video
* Sounding #1 (Raging Stallion) and The Mechanic (Steel Mill) for best extreme fetish
* Funhouse (Titan) for best art direction
While I'd argue that Prison was pretty extreme (350,000 Volt stun gun and a real face punch k.o. that is as real as it is subtle, real shower beatdown with nice bruises the next day... hello!), being in a few categories does increase opportunities for one of them to win, so I guess it's all good.

Tony got lots of noms (naturally), but I was particularly happy to see him nominated for best newcomer.  I think he's a real contender there and hope he takes home the award as he really deserves it.

I love spring. 

Oh my god it was beautiful out today.  75 degrees and clear blue skies and everyone smiling and enjoying the day.  While record releases and video awards should make me happy, really I think it's days like this that really work for me.  

One more random note: please check out Steve Cruz's [[blog|http://stevecruzxxx.blogspot.com/2009/03/xxx-production-blog.html]] for previews of my next release [[XXX|http://clicks.falconstudios.com/falconbucks/HTML/dcdid.4230/dcwid.131103/]] from Mustang!

In mid-February I was chatting with a friend and I was taking stock of all the great directors and studios I've gotten to work with.  There are a few that I've not worked with that I'm still eager to, but highest on the list was doing a shoot with Chi Chi La Rue.  I had heard tons of stories about ~Chi-Chi's rather vocal directing style and I was truly curious how it worked.  I mean obviously it works - or Channel One wouldn't be making so many top notch vids.  Still the studios I've worked with have usually been as quiet and hands off as possible only giving quiet cues to make sure the scene is right or the energy is ramping up enough to keep the scene continuity.  Chi Chi on the other hand has a reputation for playing a total cheerleader though the whole process, loudly giving verbal encouragement to the performers.  And Chi Chi's strong stand against bare back porn is something that, as a performer, I very much appreciate.  I like associating myself with people that are willing to take strong stands, even if they might be unpopular in some quarters.  Chi Chi is one such individual.

Not long after this conversation I got a phone call and lo and behold, Channel One was doing their latest fetish video, a successor to Link code named Take.  Now I don't want to give away anything about the video - I leave that up to the studios so that they can really control and market their videos as they wish.  But I will talk a little about the whole weekend without giving away any of the scenes we shot.

At the airport I met me co-star, Zane Jacobs.  He was quiet.  Really quiet.  But his rep in the industry is phenomenal, so I chalked it up to what must have been a long day for him, flying from Florida via Philadelphia of all places.  So I was fine giving him space for a bit and keeping a bit of a mystery.  All I could gleen from our car trip from the hotel to the airport was that he loved horror films.  I liked him better already!

The next day was still photos.  Johnny Hazzard was up first so I got to sleep in - yay.  I got caught up on sleep and then had a nice breakfast out in the sun - a lovely thing when you're a Chicagoan and it's March.  The shoot itself was great - I really enjoyed working with their photographer and it only took about 5 minutes where I got into that nice groove where you understand every direction you are given almost intuitively.  We shot for a good while - not so much because things were bad, but because the flow was good and we were trying lots of fun shots.  I'm very much looking forward to seeing these shots.

Zane was up next for pix, but he didn't have wardrobe of his own, so I had him go through the clothes I brought.  With Chi Chi's help we picked out one of my favorite pair of pants.  They are German carpenter pants with a front fly flap that is really hot.  I had them custom made for like $70 by a company that sadly seems to fallen off the face of the earth.  If anyone knows the whereabout of the company known variously as XXX Redneck / Greasy Motorcycle / Greasy Bastards please let me know.  I miss their impeccable quality and tailoring.  Anyhow after setting Zane off on his way I headed back to ~WeHo to chill out and do a little shopping.  I stopped off at Max Fields a great high end clothing store that has the most insane collection of memento mori artifacts (these are antique skulls, devils, and the like).  Their stock wasn't all in, but I did get the new Maison Martin Margiella AIDS benefit t-shirt and a really wonderful Commes des Garcons Hommes Plus shirt that is covered with weird gothic motifs that I plan to wear to the ~GayVN's.

Next up was 665 - I needed rope for the shoot since my order of rope didn't come in from my usual supplier.  Tony and I had just shopped like mad there the month before, so I didn't find much else to get, but I was happy to see that they still had Sounding #1 up on display on the front shelf.  I love that - and I also love that even when I'm standing right next to someone that is looking at a video that I'm on the cover of I NEVER get recognized.  While on one hand it would be fun to get recognized in public, I think the amusement would last about 5 seconds.  Going around with Tony Buff rapidly becomes tiring as he is well recognized.  I can't imagine being like Johnny Hazzard or Francois Sagat - when I work the Titan booth at events with Francois I kinda feel bad for him.  He doesn't get a second of rest and while he's a crazy looking guy with that head tattoo, he's actually very shy and sweet.  More of an artiste than a star.

That night I hit a bar or two, but realize quite quickly how poorly I fit in with the ~WeHO crowd.  I'm not a very good fag.  I like the wrong music, wear the wrong designers, and generally don't like the catty banter that seems obligatory in so many circles.  By the end of the night I at least found a back room that had a good DJ.  I danced a bit and the DJ called me over and told me I was hot.  Somehow coming from him that compliment made my night.  When a guy that spins decent tunes thinks you're hot - well that means more than just some random stranger hoping to get laid, at least if you're a music head like me.  Still I had a shoot at noon the next day, so I was in bed pretty quick.  Nothing is quite as bad before the camera as a sleepy porn star.

For this shoot I was brought in because I have a rep for doing creative fetish scenes.  This was no different, and I was pretty excited to get to do a scene with Zane who I didn't know already, but who I found rather hot, and Johnny who was one of the few mainstream names in gay porn that I actually find hot.  And getting to top Johnny in a BDSM scene - well that was especially cool.  Zane assisted me in the scene and a lot of the stuff he did was totally new to him, but it was pretty cool to see him taking it all in and helping to torture Johnny.  I'll talk more about the actual scene content when that is public, but it is certainly more edgy than you'll see in your typical Channel One video!  Chi chi seemed happy with the results - and I hope that is the case as I certainly enjoyed the shoot and would love a repeat!

After the shoot I took Zane out to dinner at a nice Italian place in ~WeHo.  It was nice to chat with him on a more personal level and to geek out with him on video editing.  I've been working on editing a complex music video so it was good to get his take on how to accomplish different concepts in After Effects.  And if you're looking for some help in that area, I recommend that you look him up as that is his day job.

That night I ended up at a bar called 11.  It had decent music, cute strippers and nice interior design.  And it wasn't too crowded which worked for me since I tend to become really shy in big crowds.  Hanging at the bar, a guy asked me if I got lost on the way to the Faultline.  Even when I'm in head to toe Junya Watanabe and Margiela I can't hide where I belong, I guess.  I told him that I just finished my shoot and didn't feel like taking a cab all the way across town just to enjoy a few celebratory drinks.  We hung and I was glad for a little company.  I tend to scare people with my appearance and I'm happy he said hi - cuz otherwise I might have spent my night without speaking to another soul.

The next day it was off to the airport and back to Chi-town, but I got to have a nice chat with porn legend Doug Jeffries about his work both as a star in what was very much a golden age for the industry in terms of there being lots of work, and about his move into directing.  I loved that fact that he and I could chat about straight porn as well - the man know his stuff.  While many gay guys see straight porn and go ewww!, the smart guys in porn know that there is a lot to learn from straight porn.  So we chatted on topics like the New Wave Hookers phenomenon in the 80's and Traci Lords. 

My flight was the usual disaster that I've come to expect from United.  Not their fault this time, but my United flights always seem to incur major weather or equipment delays.  I made it home eventually, but missed some of my plans.  But still, it was nice to be home, so I took time time to just chill with my Chicago boy.  
So here is my first ~YouTube outing.  No living trees were harmed in the making of this video.
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Tony and I have just gotten done with the Mid Atlantic Leather weekend in Washington DC.  As usual getting together with our tribe is a blast and it is really great to just get together with our community to catch up and share plans for the future.  It was especially great seeing how well my Chicago Hellfire brothers were represented.  And it was also really wonderful to catch up with the guys in the NY Boys of Leather - they are a great bunch.  One interesting theme that is surfacing is a degree of discontent within the boys community about being seen as nothing more than the professional beggars of the community.  While fund raising is important and most leather and kink clubs do some kind of charitable fund raising, its interesting to see how many in the community see this as the sole purpose of the boys' groups.  But the challenge then is simple - what else do they want to do?  In certain ways, fund raising is really just an excuse for the real (and very important) reason that they exist: they are a social support system.  There is a lot more that can be done with this, especially in the areas of teaching each other.  Having the support and love and collective knowledge of other boys in the community is a huge asset and one that we rarely do much with beyond having fun together..  

For a while I was bouncing around the idea of creating something I want to call "The Old Boys Network."  Not a club in the normal sense, but truly a network of experienced boys and subs in the community that want to take on a role that is one of mentorship, support and protection for the newer members of our community.  When you are starting out as a sub it can be hard to really know what it's about, and oftentime guidance and mentorship only takes place in the realm of a D/s relationship.  Which is perfect when that relationship is positive and when the top is taking a genuine interest in the wellfare and growth of his charge.  But not all Doms are talented, knowledgeable and benevolent - and when you're new to it all it can be hard to really get you bearings on what is right and wrong.  In theory our larger community should be doing this, but I've seen enough things slip of late that I no longer have faith that all the young men that need guidance and support are getting it.  Looking at this void I see a challenge for all of us who are boys and who have our heads on straight - we can help our brothers along a good path, one that is safe mentally and physically and that allows us to really have great experiences as boys.

Tony and I have taken on mentorship of a young man we met last year at MAL.  Ben, who you might have read about on Tony's blog or on Ben's own blog, is incredibly smart and active in his community.  He really astounds me.  He is only 21 but already is taking all sorts of initiative and showing a real impact.  So as Tony and I passed out our checkered safer sex hankies at MAL, Ben rigged up a leather arm binder into a huge bag and used it to pass out our over a thousand condoms and lube at MAL.  He is also proof of something I tell people over and over.  Ben is really well loved - both in person and as an online persona in his blog.  Why?  Because he is out there getting involved in the community.  Getting involved creates opportunities to make a change but it also allows you to meet people and creates a positive impression on those around you.  Nurturing a real persona and meeting real people in social settings cannot be replaced by online networking.  Anyhow we're really proud of Ben and all he is doing and hope that his example inspires others.  Inspiration is infectious and I'm hoping it starts spreading like wildfire.  Right now the USA is at a crossroads - we have huge challenges but we also have huge opportunities.  I'm excited to think of all the great things that can happen in our community now that we have a new leader.  But this new leadership will come to nothing if we don't all step up to the challenges.  It's time to figure out what we want and to make it happen.
Last weekend I recorded the base tracks for 2 albums from two different bands, one all day Saturday, the other all day Sunday.  

While it was pretty grueling, it still turned out to be far easier than I thought.  Because the bands had very similar setups and because they shared by drum kit, the setup/tear down time was like what it would have taken for one band.  I spent Thursday night cleaning up, Friday night setting up and by the time Saturday came around we were able to hit the ground running.  

Shifting musical genres between days was interesting - the first band was very metal influenced, the second very glam rock with cleaner guitar sounds.  But given how it all went I would probably do this again for other projects.  I don't get a lot of free time to record, but my last few releases have been well received and are giving me a decent rep around town as a good producer/engineer/mixer (just don't ask me to do the mastering).  And if I get time, I hope to expand that reputation to that of a good director of music videos - but right now getting time to complete this music video is rather challenging.  

With the time constraints of doing BDSM education, adult vids, and keeping several relationships strong, finding time is hard and being able to double up on the loudest and most difficult day of recording really will make it easier for me to get more recording done moving forward.

Tony gets in tomorrow night, as does Midori.  Tony and I will be at [[CLAW|http://www.clawinfo.org/]] this weekend, teaching a class on bondage, doing demos, teaching scene etiquette and Tony will be on a panel about living in a leather family.  Midori is teaching classes in Chicago and will be here a whole week which will be fun.  My long time partner Doug hits it off really great with her - they'll probably be up all night gaming.  

[[XXX|http://clicks.falconstudios.com/falconbucks/HTML/dcdid.4230/dcwid.131103/]] is coming out next week - and Taken, my Channel One video, should be out shortly thereafter.  So life is pretty exciting right now...
So I just did my first shoot since starting this blog.  Considering my pace for the year before (11 movies shot in 2007) this represents a rather long break since my last movie.  Tony and I did our last shoot together in July of last year - though in certain ways even that was unlike normal porn shooting since it was with our good friend Roger from Shotgun.  Shooting with him is rather easy.  He turns on the cameras and we just play like we were at home.  No fuss no muss.  My last full on major studio video was Funhouse which was shot in March of last year - so I've had a rather long hiatus, nearly the longest since I started in the industry five years ago (almost to the day).

This was in part just that I wanted some time away, and it was in part because I'd rather just shoot with Tony, but as a couple we are a bit over exposed (or as our friend Fenn teased last weekend, "Would you guys finish the honeymoon phase already?  You're making the rest of us nauseaous.")  And for those of you that like us because of our on-screen chemistry, don't worry.  I'm promised that Tony and I will be doing a few Titan vids this year and they will be of a more documentary variety, so the intense connection we share will be given front stage without the artifice of us playing characters.  That can only be good!

Still, I've been wanting to do some more topping, especially with BDSM play.  I need an outlet for all the crazy scenes in my head - stuff like Fear and Folsom Filth are the result of how messed up my head is and that stuff needs to get out!!  

So when Steve Cruz asked me to do his new movie and do some online bonus fetish content I was really happy.  It's his Black movie following on the heels of his Blue Movie and the unreleased Red Movie.  It's entitled XXX and I took that theme to heart and set it aflame in my scene.  I don't want to give away the details until the video is out, but let me just say we did a visually impressive fetish scene that is unlike anything else on video.  Combining predicament bondage, an electrified chain and fire play, the scene is nicely messed up and looked great on the video replay.  My scene partner, Scott Campbell, deserves total respect for trusting me through this.  Scott is fairly new to this kind of play, and while the scene we did is not a heavy pain scene it is fairly advanced play.  And lest I forget to mention it, Scott is a hot hot man - it's always awesome when you and your scene partner are both turned on by each other.  I'm always nervous about this since really I find deep chemistry by getting to know someone - this is typical of BDSM players and stands in stark contrast to the norms of the porn industry where the theory is that you want to catch that first spark of discovery when two guys first see each other.  Luckily Scott and I got to chat a little on the phone to start establishing the trust needed to allow him to do a fairly messed up fetish scene with a stranger.  While Scott is a great deal younger than me, he shares a similar Midwestern down to earth quality that I love and it's being around guys like Scott keeps me from going coastal.  And we both share a certain wild boy character - we're both ruffians and we clicked really well.

I also got to apply some past learnings from prior shoots.  Lesson one - while you may look more ripped if you drop water before a shoot, your come shot will suffer.  This time around I was well hydrated for my shoot and my come shoot is a screen filling doozy.  It is my best one ever with the possible exception of my shot in FEAR where I shoot into my mouth while suspended upside down after being waterboarded, Indonesian style.

Now I'm off to LA to have a nice birthday weekend with Tony (I'm getting old, but I think I'm doing it well!)  I'm excited cuz I'll be seeing my old friend Ron Athey tomorrow and then will be meeting up with Clive Barker later that night.  LA may have a rep for being vapid and unintellectual, but the smartest guys I know live there.  Go figure...

One more announcement that I can finally make: Tony will be directing a series of 10 fetish movies for Titan.  These should set a new standard for the genre and they will feature truly first rate BDSM play by real players, not just guys faking at it.  This is a great step up for Tony and I'm quite proud of him.  Watching him take charge on set I know he'll be an excellent director - he understands how to get great sexual performances out of his actors.
So I'm sitting on the floor, listening to [[Devo's|http://www.clubdevo.com/]] first four albums and drinking huge amounts of [[Bookers|http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E1DB103CF934A15751C0A9629C8B63]].  I've got 300 checkered hankies that I'm stuffing in bags each with a safer sex message.[img[playsafe|http://derekdasilva.com/images/playsafe.jpg]]

//Jocko Homo: Are We Not Men?//
Over the last year I've grown more and more distressed at the state of safer sex in the gay community.  An alarming number of the 20-something guys I meet in the bars are already HIV positive and don't think that this will ever cause them grief.  At the same time I continue to lose friends to AIDS and watch helplessly as my little brother gets sicker and sicker, racked with guilt wondering if his seroconversion was a failure on my part.

//We pay to play the human way//
The schools teach abstinence and then the first gay sex many young men see is the bareback porn that is now a majority of gay adult content.  Those of us who believe in safer sex have been strangely silent.  It feels politically incorrect, or intolerant or preachy to make a stand on safer sex.  Meanwhile companies like Treasure Island are avidly marketing bareback sex as something that is cool and rebellious - when really it's stupid and a poor path to a hotter sex life.  Those miracle medicines mess up a lot of guy's sex drives and performance (among other nasty side effects).  Hardly the path to being a real sex rebel,

//look at you with your mouth watering, look at you with your mind reeling, why don't we just admit it's all over //
It's probably futile, but I'm not giving up. I want guys to feel good and cool about saying they want to play safe.  It's hard to play safe, and those of us who do have something to be proud of.  I'm tired of assholes calling me a prude because I use condoms every single time I fuck.  I'm not a prude - video fans know I'm as extreme a player as you'll ever meet, but I'm no fool and don't take stupid risks that are easy to prevent.  I'm always looking to make sex kinkier and wilder and more interesting by coming up with new pervy scenes.  But fucking without a condom?  That's obvious and stupid and shows no skill or originality.  It's a dumb move if you have any self respect for your health (and this applies whether you are poz or negative).  I want a community of kinky sex players and being a real player means playing safe, but not letting this keep you from really having great sex.

//a victim of collision on the open sea, nobody ever said that life was free, sink, swim, go down with the ship
but use your freedom of choice //
So here's the plan.  We're handing out 300 checkered hankies at Folsom Street Fair this year.  We're doing this because we want you all to WEAR the hankies and to TALK about safer sex when people ask you what they mean.  The public health messages are too few and are not nearly as effective as people talking to each other about this stuff.   This is //your// excuse to bring up the topic.  And if this catches on it will create a clear message that a whole lot of us believe in being safe, while still having a great time.  Maybe this is not as sly as the way Tony does it - a Trojan Magnum in his cigarette case that both brags about his size even as it shows he believes in being safe.  But it's one tactic.  I encourage everyone to find their own way to show your community that you believe in safer, kinkier sex.

//don't be tricked by what you see, you got two ways to go //
Right now we're all afraid to talk for fear of being preachy or judgmental.  That has to stop.  This is //our// community and if we don't all take an active interest in our community's future things will not get better.  The World AIDS conference should have been a wake up call - transmission is up, gay men are skipping on their meds because the side effects suck, and young men are not being given the info they need to make safe decisions.  As economic crisis looms it doesn't take a genius to know that the resources that our HIV poz brothers will have to share will only grow more limited.  I love them deeply and want to be sure there are enough resources to care for all of them.  This is //our// community and we need to make sure we do everything we can to educate and care for each other.

//now whip it
into shape
shape it up
get straight
go forward
move ahead
try to detect it
it's not too late
to whip it
whip it good //
Just a quick update.  Tony and I did a new class at CLAW that went over quiet well.  It's our 1-2-3 class and the color handouts are in the Education Section.  And we passed out 75 safer sex hankies at CLAW.  Our flight was delayed, so we ended up getting to spend a few hours getting to know Chuck Renslow - one of the true legends in the leather scene.  It was really great talking with him, and I'm thinking I need to be at the IML contest this year to hear his speech!

Tony is mostly recovered from his concussion (see his journal for a funny entry on the dangers of watersports).  But I think he'll be in pain from his bruised rib for sometime.  As we say, "It's a contact sport."

The weather is so nice it's freaky, but in the midwest the rule is "if you don't like the weather wait a bit and it'll change."  Sadly that goes both ways.

Anyhow I've got a Throbbing Gristle show to get to...
So I've been kinda overwhelmed and mopey the last few days.  I'm sort of an overly introspective type and my thoughts can go in crazy fucked up directions - but I rarely express half of the mess that lurks in my head.  And when I get frustrated I also go into these mental modes where I destroy all and quit everything in my head - I mull over the over dramatic games I'm too rational and controlled to ever actually play out in real life (cuz I do hate drama).  Stupid stuff like, quitting porn, quitting Tony, quitting anything else that I love but am frustrated by because I care too fucking much for my ideals bang up against simple boring reality.  Yeah it's been one of those weeks - the only bright spot being a night of play where I tried out some new electro ideas I want to use in my next video for Tony's new fetish line at Titan.  The scene concepts not only looked amazingly cool - they were also hot and a lot of fun.  

But despite my week of depression, today has been one of those randomly perfect days when synchronicity is slamming me so hard I can even imagine maybe winning tomorrow night (but yeah, I know not to get my hopes up, especially since I'm up against Tony - but a win by him would make me as happy I hope!).  Actually I better not win cuz for whatever the reason I've not really prepared proper thank yous.    

I managed to wake up early enough to make myself as proper a breakfast as I will allow myself a week before a shoot (three basted eggs and 1/2 an English Muffin), got my stuff together and headed off to work for a half day before catching a plane to SF for a pre ~GayVN benefit hosted by Steve Cruz.

Arriving on the train platform there was a mob and I had a moment of dread - when the CTA is delayed the platform becomes crowded and I always picture the crowd as a horde of lemming, ready to be shoved over the edge of the platform right before the train flies into the station - in other words it's fucking crowded and kinda scary in that big city, too many people way.  Plus when it's that delayed, it's anyone's guess when the train will finally come or if there will be any room to board. I had an early meeting to get to and was worried about being late (yes, I'm a corporate stooge by day).  But almost instantly upon my entry to the station, a train pulled up and while mostly it was crowded, I found my usual spot sitting on the step at the end of the car and even had a place to hang the fancy [[Mastermind Japan|http://www.mastermindjapan.com/]] jacket I had picked out to wear at the awards tomorrow night.  Not bad at all.  But it got better - this train ended up being an express so instead of being late for work, I'd be early and even have time to run a quick errand before work. 

Between my am meetings I got all sorts of stuff done and there was no drama - I was in my groove, not stressing, but helping to get stuff done, showing my knowledge in a way that instilled conference in my coworkers and made them glad I was on the team.  

Getting to the airport was uneventful and egad - my plane arrived and LEFT early.  I really love Southwest - they seem to be the only airline anymore that doesn't make me really cranky.  On board, life is good, the drinks are free and I fall asleep to a band that I've been really digging lately, [[Hawkwind|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawkwind/]].  While the lead singer of a band a reecorded turned me onto Hawkwind a few years back as they are a major touch stone for him, it's only been in the last six months that I've really understood them (as a point of reference, Lemmy from [[Motörhead|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motörhead/]] started out in Hawkwind).  Now I'm digging out all their records and diving in deep and loving their spacey psychedelic rock and even getting beyond the camp qualities of their Science Fiction lyrics and into the wittier satirical aspects.  And yes, I know it is wildly unlikely that anyone reading this knows Hawkwind or will ever get deeply into them - but perhaps that's a parable for my life.  I wander the paths that have grown dark with cobwebs and find hidden glints of genius.  For whatever the reason, these secret paths are all paved with  diamonds and gold that it seems only I can see - or something like that.  And generally I'm happier that this stuff remain hidden from all except from a rare few.  Just as Bart Simpson had no idea what to do on [["Do what you feel like day,"|http://www.snpp.com/episodes/1F05.html/]] I get cranky when everyone starts to love the things that I complain are overlooked and unacknowledged.  

While brings me to one of my favorite people - [[Roger of Shotgun|http://www.rogerofsf.com/]].  I was talking with him last night asking about borrowing a piece of equipment for our next shoot.  And of course he offers not only to lend me the equipment, but also insists on picking me up at the airport so that I'm not late for the benefit [[Steve Cruz|http://www.stevecruzxxx.com/]] is doing at Sui Generis (across the street from Shotgun).  While chatting with Roger we got into a conversation about my career and his work.  One of the things I told him was why I loved what he did above anyone else in the industry - Roger has never given a damn about commercial viability.  His videos show what he loves and nothing else.  For those of us who share the same passions this is a one of those secret garden paths lined with rare treasure - for the rest of the world it looks like someone that is living in his own fantasy world perhaps - but what a way to live.  While I will play to the crowd a little, I've never really gone very far from my core love of BDSM and the darker side of porn.  It's the punk in me that hates watering things down and making them crass and commercial.  The downside of this of course is that crass and commercial makes you money and wins you acclaim.  No matter, I'd rather make the music and porn I love even if it is loved only by a few passionate like-minded souls (even if I always secretly hope for money and acclaim for it all - I mean hey, I'm human).

When I think about my heroes, even the most famous have never managed to get their due and many have fared poorly in terms of money and fame.  Take my favorite band, the [[Stooges|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stooges]], for example.  Even though you have folks like fellow Detroiter, Madonna lobbying for them by [[having them play her songs when she was inducted|http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/03/03/iggy-the-stooges-to-perform-for-madonna-at-rock-hall-ceremony/]], the Stooges are still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame despite pretty much starting Punk Rock.  Now that Ron Asheton is dead I supposed they may finally get in - which will be bittersweet at best.  While I don't really expect that many great punk bands would get their due in places like that, I'd at least like to think that the best of the best, the ones that changed the world, would.

Anyhow I hope to have fun this weekend.  I'm taking the occasion to indulge my fashionista side.  I may be awful in terms of participating in gay culture, but I am right there when it comes to fashion. Tonight I'm gonna rock a great pair of very punky [[Dries Van Noten|http://www.driesvannoten.be/]] trousers, and tomorrow I'm going to mix it up with Mastermind Japan, [[Comme|http://nymag.com/fashion/fashionshows/designers/bios/commedesgarcons/]], [[Dior|http://www.diorhomme.com/]] and more Dries - plus my obligatory boots from [[Vegetarian Shoes|http://www.mooshoes.com/products.cgi?rm=list&category_id=4286]] in Brighton, England.
So Tony and I got to see the final layouts for our newest Instigator column, "Anatomy of a Scene: Bondage."  They looked amazing.  Thorn's layout was clean and allowed Clive Barker's amazing photographs of our bondage suspension blood art ritual to dominate.  As usual, the article is about the psychology of a particular area of BDSM play, about the limits and about how we strive to mitigate risks when we play at the limits.  I think people will enjoy the article as it gets into some of the dynamics of our play that are commonly misunderstood.  In early revisions Thorn wanted us to show how the come down period at the end of a scene allowed us to reconnect.  But the fact is, it is in deep play that Tony and I connect most fully - indeed when we don't get to play heavy I feel less connected to him.  So a good chunk of the article ended up being adapted from our conversations with Thorn where we tried to explain to him how it really works for us.  

Now to be certain, some people play in scene where they become someone else or where they turn their partner into a stranger.  Such a mind set can be crucial to more role play based fantasies and in those cases, it is important to come back out of roles.  But for Tony and I, play is different and is a way to connect.  Even when we've done play that is explicitly role based - like puppy play - we are still essentially playing ourselves, just through a filter that allows us to express different aspects of our personalities.  So while I might need to come out of puppy space, that isn't the same as coming back to re-establish that the person torturing and raping you isn't a Grand Inquisitor, but is rather your partner.

In other news, [[XXX|http://clicks.falconstudios.com/falconbucks/HTML/dcdid.4230/dcwid.131103/]] is out.  I have a doozy of a cum shot in it.  It's like.... wow.  And shot against a black background.  XXX is an important career turning point for me in that I play a top role - something I mostly stopped doing when I met Tony - and in that the DVD edit is just sex, no fetish or BDSM content.  While I'm not sure how often I'll do pure sex vids (though if Chi Chi La Rue cast me as a hot daddy I'd be there in a heartbeat), it's definitely great to be establishing the next phase of my career and fans of my better topping roles in videos like Knots will be happy, I'm sure.

Right now I'm busy recording vocals for a metal influenced record.  I forget how comfortable I've gotten with production.  I've tuned my ears to the point that I can hear problems and fix them rather quickly, and I've found ways to make bands very happy by hearing things in their music that they didn't realize were there and helping them bring out new points of interest.  It's a subtle kind of creativity, and one that gets little credit, but somehow I love it.  There is something awesome about doing just that little bit of extra that a pure audio engineer wouldn't.

Not much else is new.  Getting ready to celebrate my 13th anniversary with Doug on May 5th.  It's also our 10th anniversary of moving in together.  Gay anniversaries are odd things since we all pick our own events to commemorate.  

Right now I'm just happy that tonight I have a night for Doug and I to lift weights, watch TV and get back to routine for a few weeks.  Having house guests is fun, especially ones like Midori.  But right now I need a little less chaos for a few weeks!!
So I've been doing a breakneck read through a recently purchased copy of Alan Moore's classic comic opus the Watchmen (my originals are staying in their baggies with their acid absorbing cards, thank you).  While I'm already sick of all the hype and P.R., Watchmen is still one of my favorite works of literature.  Until guys like Alan Moore and Frank Miller came on the scene I wasn't that deep of a comic book geek.  Alan Moore's work on Swamp Thing, Watchmen, Miracleman (or Marvelman in the UK), V for Vendetta, etc turned me on to the potential for comics whose text was as deep as their imagery and conventions.  

I'm not sure if the movie could possibly live up to everything it would need to.  And I'm a little scared it will suck.  I'm wondering if Sin City was a total anomaly - a truly great comic book adaptation,

Regardless I plan to see the movie soon.  I'm shooting with Chi Chi La Rue the weekend it comes out, so I'm not gonna get to wait in line with my fellow fanboys to see it opening weekend.  Still this is my last time to read this book without it being tainted by the movie.

It will be the last time that I have that personal experience of the Watchmen to myself, and that's kind of interesting.  Each time someone reads a book, they bring in their own personal experiences and reading becomes a creative act (see Jorge Luis [[Borges'|http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/books/06cohenintro.html]] story, [[Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Menard,_Author_of_the_Quixote]] for a great exploration of this idea).  Originally I read The Watchmen issue to issue as they came out.  This was back when I was a teen.  That book is not the same book I'm reading now as an adult with many complex life experiences.  And seeing the movie will bring in a whole host of other people's baggage into the mess as well.  Reading and filmmaking are both interpretive acts - as is watching a film.  Anyhow I'm enjoying this last read through and hope I get through it before I see the movie.  And I hope this film turns out to be more Sin City and less The Spirit!
Friday Tony Buff and I arrived in San Francisco.  After arriving at Shotgun Studios and meeting with our host, Roger, we did a little wandering about the Castro.  It was fun to see a bunch of our Folsom vids in one of the shop windows.  Sounding #1, one of my box covers this year, was placed on a Who's Your Daddy towel.  Next to it was my first major studio box cover, Folsom Filth.  Yes, I admit I get off on seeing my stuff in windows and on walls of porn shops.  

Wandering about we saw some friendly faces including that of Kristopher Weston, who is very much a kindred spirit.  Here's hoping he gets more chances to show his pervy side in his Colt vids.

We also made a side trip to a cafe so Tony could check his email.  Since I try to stay offline during trips, I read a Derrida book while waiting.  Seeing the book someone asked me if I was professor or something. I said, no, I'm a porn star.  Why then are you reading Derrida then, he asked?  My answer, "Oh, I want to make some deconstructionist porn."  Tony was quietly cracking up - he knew I was joking, but only half joking.  After all, what good is any philosophy if you can't apply it to everyday things like making porn?  If this stuff is owned by academics it is doomed to be irrelevant - and that would be a pity.

We then had a nice dinner with Titan director Brian Mills and then went to the Men Of Discipline party where Tony tried some new rigging ideas on me.  We don't get to experiment as often as we'd like so it was fun to just try new stuff.  Strangely people thought Tony planned his rigging  - none of it was pre-planned this time, it was pure experimentation.  But that's how you learn, and learning to improvise and experiment, even in public, is a valuable BDSM skill.

Of course you can take that to an extreme - and as usual we're game to work all the extremes within limits of safety.  

We have never done a front side single tail whipping together.  So what better time to try it live on stage in a 10 minute scene at Magnitude in front of thousands?  For our set, the finale of the show, Tony tied me in a quick arm binder, secured me to a cross, flogged my front side and then - on the musical break of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax," he took out a single tail and cracked it over the crowd to wild cheering.  

Then he laid in to my front with the whip and before the 10 minute set was done he had left some nice bloody stripes across my upper stomach.  The whip he was using was the one I learned on when I was new to the BDSM scene and has a lot of sentimental value.  I had it custom made when I was in my 20's and it's one of two pieces of leather I kept after I became a vegetarian - the other being a leather biker jacket that says Scorpio Rising that I had Kenneth Anger sign.

After the short set we were still horny, the house was still packed so Tony asked the stage manager if we could maybe fuck on stage (gotta love private events!)  We got on stage, Tony hit me from the back and then sat on the edge of the riser and had me bounce on his cock -  a great position for showing Tony's length and my flexibility - the crowd cheered.  After fucking me silly in a few more positions, he took off his condom and tied it to my collar to rub in the fact that I was just fucked - a nice way to remind me that I was just used.  Doing this in front of such a large crowd, with all the attendant crowd reactions was fun and rather strange.  Chalk one up to having an interesting experience.
First off, lest anyone be worried from my last post, I'm not gonna quit porn just yet and I'm certainly never going to leave Tony.  We sort of have a death pact sealed in blood - so neither of us is allowed to leave the other... lol.  [update: Ok, so maybe in retrospect there was more to my musings... sigh.]

My point was more about how even things that look really good to the world outside can be really really fucking hard.  A lot of people in the Leather community believe that Tony and I really have things down perfect - we don't.  We are very lucky men to be sure, but luck only comes with a lot of hard work and lately we've both been working so hard that it is all taking its toll on us both.  

We are spread thin, working in the porn industry and in the Leather community and really trying to do work that we believe in.  Idealists like myself are bound to have their share of frustrations, though and lately things have been really rough for me.  What's more, relationships are always a lot of work - but if you make it a very public relationship, well that involves more time and effort and then when you add in that we do it long distance... you get the picture.

One thing is clear: both Tony and I need a break.  But more on that later.

First off the fun stuff, the prize, the silly fingerprinted piece of Lucite, the acknowledgment that you are on the right track in someone's book at least:
@@Yay!!! [[Folsom Prison|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.608/index.html]] won!!!!@@  
For perspective on this, let me list the ~GayVN wins for my kinky vids so you see why I'm very happy for this latest one:
*Extreme Specialty 2007: [[Folsom Filth|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.524/index.html]] (on which I am the cover model and in which I do knife play, suspension bondage and CBT.)
*Extreme Specialty 2008: [[FEAR|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.583/index.html]] (with the infamous upside down waterboard suspension scene)
*Best Fetish 2009: [[Folsom Prison|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.608/index.html]] (yes they changed the category name, but it's still the same freaky shit: my scene included stun guns on the nuts, piss, face punching, a gang bang and a prison shower beatdown)

So for me, I got all I wanted or at least expected from this year's awards.  When Folsom Filth won at both the ~GayVNs and Grabbies 2 years ago I was totally shocked - but from that point on I wanted to be in the winning kinky video every year.  While I don't know what next year will bring, I'm hoping for at least one more go before I move on to directing instead of performing.  In the meantime, it was just cool to have my first personal nomination and to be the cover model for 2 or the 3 fetish vids I had nominated.  I'm not a big name actor, but my picture made it up on the screen at the awards three times.  That was kinda cool and I'll take the small victories such as they are.

While I would have loved it if Tony or I won best fetish performer, we are happy that Tober won.  He is a good friend, a porn collaborator in three of my movies (Folsom Filth, FEAR, and Military Inquisition) and a fellow freak.  While we sometimes worry about him - he can be his own worst enemy and throws caution to the wind in a way that gives us pause because we really care about this crazy fucker - we love him like a brother and really he was the only other nominee we could have stomached winning.  My only non-nominated movie from 2008 was Military Inquisition with Tober - and I got to top him in a very bloody play piercing scene for Zeus (it was my year for topping blood scenes - though I hope to do even more in 2009!).  While it was a bit much for the critics, it has some really intense play and may end up being Daddy Zeus' last video ever released since his final video had technical issues that may prevent it from ever coming out.

This year we had amazing seats at the awards which were back at the Castro theater: front row center (thank you Titan for treating this GDI like an exclusive).  Last year, they had Tony and I at different tables at the awards - which, to us, was unacceptable.  So I spent the entire 2008 awards tied in bondage kneeling behind Tony's chair as there was no room for me at the main Titan table.  This unintentionally caused a minor spectacle but that's sort of a trademark for us.  At least no one tried to "rescue" me.  We may not dress it up like Tober, but we manage to shock people with our actions even though we honestly aren't trying to be provocative (by the same token we rarely self censor what we do - we walk it like we talk it).  Our D/s relationship is real and it's how we live our lives, 24/7.  This often causes us both to massively bum out when reality runs up against us as it did when we were playing after the awards at what we thought was a player's bar, Chaps II.  But I have a whole blog essay on that called [[Scenus Interupptus]].

But really, awards shows are tedious and I am a very, very bad fag anyhow.  While I liked some of the entertainment, this was only because I put a hard damper on my midwestern punk cynicism.  And to be fair, the asian male comedian whose name escapes me TOTALLY stole the show from the other entertainment [update: it was Alec Mapa whose work I've grown to love more and more since].  His jokes disarmed me and that takes a lot of talent as it's really tough to get me to laugh, never mind laugh at gay humor.

Mainly I wanted to know if we won in either of the fetish categories and I wanted to see lifetime achievement winner Roger Earl speak.  For me, hearing his stories about the bad old days when he was trying to show [[Born to Raise Hell|http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0211972/]] was the highlight of the evening.  This movie was the very first full-on BDSM movie, only preceded in content by the more abstract and arty work of another hero of ours, Fred Halsted.  When it debuted he couldn't get it shown anywhere, but finally was able to get one showin a San Francisco theater - at 7am!  He thought no one would come given the early hour.  Instead, there were leathermen in full regalia lined up around the block.  I am totally in awe of this moment in gay history and was really happy to just be there to hear Roger tell this tale first hand.

When he was done speaking, I rushed out of the Theater's main floor to catch him in the lobby since he left with his partner Terry immediately after accepting his award.  But this was just as Margaret Cho was coming on, and by the time I made it through the throng of incoming traffic, he had vanished.  So I was unable to offer my congratulations and my sincere thanks for his work in creating the genre of porn that Tony and I both work in.  We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and Roger Earl towers among them.  
So Folsom was a blast and our checkered hankie campaign had a nice kick off (yes, more is to come - I just ordered 600 more to give out).

A number of Thank Yous are in order - there are people that helped in all sorts of ways:
** Shel-don - [[Sheldon|http://www.shel-don.com/]] hooked us up with the logistics to order the shipments of hankies - please check out his store in Boystown
** Jack Rinella - for helping to stuff hankies in their packages
** [[Roger of Shotgun|http://www.rogerofsf.com/videoIndex.html]] - a great host and the man whose videos I love and watch.  It's because of him that I ended up in this business.
** The guys at [[Titan|http://www.titanmen.com/]] - Bruce, Keith, Brian and Ed - thank you for making me part of the Titan family.
** [[Kristopher Weston|http://mrkristofer.thumblogger.com/]] - love the plugs in your blog.  it's hard doing this biz as a extreme-only performer so the mentions are great since it's rare that I get mention elsewhere.
** [[Naked Sword|http://vod.nakedsword.com/dispatcher/studioDetail?studioId=20813&theaterId=41348]] - we had a blast presenting in your booth this year
** [[MaleFlixxx|http://maleflixxx.tv/]] - thanks for interviewing us about our safer sex campaign
** [[Magnitude|http://www.folsomstreetevents.org/magnitude/]] - for us this was the highlight of Folsom.  Getting to share something we normally do in small play parties, but with an audience of thousands was very gratifying.
** And special thanks to Demetrius, Patrick and everyone else at Folsom Street Events!

And most importantly thanks to all the fans that came up that really know my work.  I sometimes feel like I toil in obscurity, so when someone comes up that really knows and loves the work I've done, it makes me feel a lot better.  
Yes, it's true.  Porn stars can write.  

Tony and I just wrote a chapter in the new book, Rope Bondage and Power.  It contains a lot of different perspectives from a bunch of well known people in the bondage scene and is very much worth checking out!

For more info (or to buy it!) click below:
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My 2008 wasn't bad compared to a lot of people's.  Some of my best vids were shot and/or released last year.  These included Folsom Prison, Sounding #1, the truly extreme The Mechanic (Extreme Edition), and Funhouse.  I managed to show up in a bunch of books including "Ultimate Starz" and a retrospective catalog of the Queer Zine movement.  And Tony and I had a great time teaching at events like CLAW, Thunder in the Mountains, GLLA, Inferno, Wishbone in NYC and the Chicago Hellfire Club.  Our second movie together, FEAR won the extreme GayVN and Grabby awards and we even got to go up to help accept at the Grabbys.

This coming year I have a bunch of video gigs lined up with a new focus on topping - although with any luck I will be bottoming a couple of videos for Tony as well.  While I think I can still claim to be one of the heaviest and most talented on screen BDSM bottoms out there, it is time for me to play more to my age.  Before meeting Tony I was starting to transition to mostly topping in my private play, so this isn't really as much of a change as it might seem.  This should be a lot of fun - I have lots of twisted ideas I want to do.  So if you know of any hot BDSM players looking to break into the biz as a sub, please send them my way!

This year we'll be doing a lot of travel:  Tony and I will be at MAL this year in January, as well as trips to events in Toronto, Montreal, SF (for video shoots and the GayVN awards), Seattle( for Mr/Ms Washington State Leather), Cleveland (for CLAW), Chicago (for Shibaricon and IML and The Grabbies), Atlanta for Leather Leadership Conference and Denver for Thunder in the Mountains.  And that's just a partial list.  We'll be handing out safer sex hankies at many of these events of course.  It often seems futile, but even if I cannot make safer sex cool, I at least want people to see how UNCOOL barebacking really is.  

While I can't yet talk about the most exciting news, look for a announcement of something great that is coming with Tony's career.  But in other news, I can announce that I'll be shooting a video with Steve Cruz for Mustang, the Joe Oppedisano book "Uncensored" should finally hit the shelves, and a really great album I recorded, co-produced and mixed should be out finally.  The first single off that record just got a nice review in the January issue of Wire, so hopefully that's a sign of things to come.

I hope everyone has a safe and productive New Year!
So lately I've been doing a little searching and reconsidering.  I've been taking a few steps back to take a better look at things.  When you're in the middle of something it's very hard to get an objective perspective.  But I've not been thrilled with my path of late.  While I've been successful at all of it, now I'm left wondering is this the success I want.  My parents raised me to believe that I could be pretty much anything I wanted.  While they made their desires for me pretty explicit, truth be told, the stuff they wanted for me was simple and easy to obtain.  A good job, a stable life, health and enough money to not worry about the day to day. 

But they also knew I would do things my own way and their biggest worry was I might chase a dream that really left me successful but broke.  Or that sex and drugs might become detriments to my well being.  Well quite the opposite happened and at least by my mom and dad's standards I'm a smashing success, even if they don't have any grand kids.

Still my own desires for myself have been far more ambitious and dispersed.  I've spent time as a musician, a promoter, a writer, a record producer, a fighter, a yoga teacher, a leader in the leather community and as a porn star.  And I have a good career as a computer geek that actually pays the real bills.

Those are kind of a wide spread and none of them really intersect that well with the milieu I'm most comfortable in.

Lately I'm realizing that luckily there are smart fags that aren't old and stodgy.  The old gay cultural avant garde may not be what it once was, but there are still a few of us that like ideas and culture and pushing the boundaries. And not everyone in this category is campy and smug in a sort of misunderstood parody of Warhol.  

Guys like Ron Athey remind me of this, as do a many of the writers and musicians I've met along the way.  Heck there have even been a few folks in porn that have this intelligence.  Guys like Christoper Rage and Fred Halsted did this back in the day.  And I was pretty impressed with Chi Chi La Rue's love and depth of knowledge of the porn genre.  Still I'm not certain I belong in pornoland as a full time identity.  While I joke about these things, at the heart of this is a simple matter that is quite serious.  Trying to gain love and acceptance from people whose values don't match your own is foolish - my modest success in adult video has never meant this was a path for me to follow all that seriously.  After a few years of watching the press for my reviews and being happy when my vids won awards, I'm less impressed by it all, and I also know the days of these sorts of accolades are ending anyhow.

Still I love good BDSM play, and I love depicting it.  I'm not quitting in this world, but I'm through trying to chase after the parts of it that aren't my passions.  I belong to many communities, but my ties to the porn world have been tentative at best.  I can own being a BDSM player, or a record producer, or even a academic writer on sex and philosophy.  But I'm no porn star.

So where do I go from here?  I'm still gonna take whatever fetish roles I'm offered as a performer - it's still fun to shoot good sex.  But that's not my primary ambition and if the phone doesn't ring, I'm not gonna stir up action like I used to.  Instead, I'm doing what all old porn stars seem to do, but I'm doing it much differently.  I've been studying video production and I've invested in a nice HD rig, good lighting, editing system etc.  I've been going back to the movies that make me want to do porn vids and I'm realizing they are really art vids that use porn as their medium.  Movies like "My Masters" or "LA Plays Itself" or "Scorpio Rising" are hot, but they also really depict the deeper meanings of sex and depict it in a powerful way that isn't just recreation.

Moving forward my focus will be on serious films that really seek to show and celebrate the deep core of human sexuality as expressed in BDSM.  It's been done before, but the results have either always been too much art or too much porn.  If I can find a way to balance these, I think I might have something...  Let the explorations begin.  And yes, I'll be casting, so if you're a performer that wants to do something that has a little more depth, give a holler.  All great film making comes from great collaboration and I'm building a team to do something new and exciting.  None of this will make much money, but I at least hope to create something hot and beautiful that shows how profound human sexuality really is.
So I've added links on the Videography page that will allow you to buy books I'm in from Amazon and vids I've done with Titan.  If you use these links I get a small cut - which should help pay some of the hosting costs here if nothing else.  So if you're buying this stuff, please use these links!!

Here are the books:
#Interview in Owen Keehnen's Ultimate Starz <html><br><iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=derdasil-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1934187364&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&fc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=FFFF00&bc1=000000&bg1=000000&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe></html>
#Joe Oppedisano - Uncensored (Book)<html><br><iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=derdasil-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1934525677&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&fc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=FFF100&bc1=000000&bg1=000000&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>
#Joe Oppedisano - Street Fight 2009 (Calendar)<html><br><iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=derdasil-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1934525588&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&fc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=F5FF00&bc1=000000&bg1=000000&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>

And here are the videos.  How come all my Titan videos start with the letter F??
# "Fear" [[Buy DVD|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.583/index.html]]
# "Folsom Filth" [[BUY DVD|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.524/index.html]]
# "Folsom Prison" BUY [[DVD|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.608/index.html]] or [[BluRay|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.607/index.html]]
# "Funhouse" Buy: [[DVD|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.649/index.html]] or [[BluRay|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.650/index.html]]
So Ron Asheton's death was announced today, though he probably died a few days back.  Anyone that knows me well knows his band, The Stooges, is my all time favorite band bar none.  And Ron is my all time favorite guitarist, a player whose amazing touch and groove proved that great technique was about more than stuffing in more notes per second.  

So I'm kinda bummed, but grateful I got to see him last year (Front row center in Detroit) and in 2003 (at the DTE Energy Center outside of Detroit).  The DTE gig was probably one of the best shows I've ever seen and Ron was the real reason that show was so great.  I had heard Iggy do Stooges covers with other bands before and they never quite worked.  But hearing Ron play them was a moment of epiphany for me - suddenly I understood what made this band so amazing and understood the importance of little nuances in the rhythm of a rock track.  Ron had a certain funk in his groove that very few guitarists share.  And it is that small nuance that makes all the difference.

Anyhow we'll miss ya Ron...
Sometimes people ask me when I sleep.  My real answer is, I don't sleep that much - but usually I'm daft and say, I'll sleep when I'm dead!  But the last couple of nights were all about finally catching up after a few weeks of pushing myself a little harder than usual and finally hitting that point of total exhaustion.

Last week I shot my newest video with Titan.  As usual I'm not going to be giving away shoot details since I never even know what will make the final cut anyhow.  What I am certain of is that this latest video promises to capture electro play better than you've ever seen it before.  Capturing electro play is technically really difficult, but Titan's HD rig and stellar crew were up to the task - we not only did things that you've not seen on video before, but we've made sure that they were captured in a way that really lets you see what is happening.  

The scene Tony and I did involves some of the heaviest pain play you'll ever see on video or off.  By the end of it I was giddy on endorphines and even had a mild case of post traumatic stress disorder that lasted a couple of days.  Tony liked the effect and promises to repeat that scene again.  And unlike when he flogs me, it doesn't require that he wear himself out to get a reaction out of me.  While the techniques we used in this scene are among the most notorious known in the world - and are things that our government wouldn't try to pass off even at Guantanamo - there is an important difference.  Unlike when it's a POW, this as a consensual scene and that makes a huge difference.

This coming weekend should be a nice one.  We've got most of our work off of our plate - just a few last sidebars to add to our Instigator article and some handouts for the basic bondage class we'll be teaching at [[CLAW|http://www.clawinfo.org/]] in a couple of weeks.  So this weekend will mostly be about reconnecting with Tony, hanging out at the only leather bar that matters (the Hole) for our local Sir/boy weekend, and attending Chicago Hellfire's Party - where I'm hoping Tony gets to meet some of the boys I've been playing with lately.  They are a good bunch and are at that cool age where they are grown up enough to really know that this whole scene is what they want in life, but still young and new enough to really be excited by all the new discoveries they are making.  I miss that rush of discovery although being experienced has its own rewards to be certain.

In another week, one of my boys will be helping me engineer a couple of recording sessions.  I've never had an assistant, so this is really promising.  One thing I love about this newest group of boys is they are really smart, and many of them are involved in audio or video work - things that I am equally into so there is a nice commonality between us.  We are all chatting about doing work together and if we start, I think the world had better be on notice to watch out!

Otherwise it's all just the little things - getting my taxes in, cleaning up my place and unpacking the stacks of suitcases that I have laying about from my constant travel.

Right now things are changing, new possibilities are aligning, and I think something good is around the corner.  But for now I'm just waiting and trying to be ready to seize whatever comes next.
This entry has been long in coming, basically because it is more or less a memorial to man who was one of the best tops I've known.  While he died quite some years ago, his passing still upsets me.  I'll be just using his first name - those that knew him will know who I am talking about.  While I've played with a lot of legendary tops, Jon was someone that was able to really push me in ways I'd never imagined.  We'd only play once a year at Hellfire's Inferno (a week long, immersive BDSM experience) and each year we felt obliged to up the ante on our already fucked up scenes.  The hard really  part is that he died when he was around 30 years old - he was taken by cancer far too early.  Making harder on me was the fact that and he died a year after another top whose play with me at Inferno was extremely important, Tony ~DeBlase.  For a bit there I felt cursed - anyone that gave me an intense scene seemed doomed.  Unlike Tony, who is one of the most famous figures in BDSM (having edited Drummer and created the Leather pride flag among many notable things), Jon died without a major reputation on the scene - he was just too fucking young.  The BDSM scene often discounts its younger players, but it does so at it's own peril.  So perhaps that is why it's so important to me to remember Jon properly.  

As far as why I'm mentioning him now, well he was the man that single handedly introduced me to the kind of play you see me bottoming in my latest movie, [[Shock Treatment|http://www.titanmen.com/store/product.asp?p=709&dcwid=131103]], from Titan's new Rough line.  

Jon was one of those people whose straight forward, level headed manner hid a certain childlike humor and mischief.  I never really was able to get intimate with him although later I learned he had might have had interest in fooling around with me.  At the time he thought I was only into pain, not plain old sex.  Alas, I should have said straight up that I like both, and that sex is one of my favorite ways to come back from a heavy BDSM scene - good sex is amazing aftercare.  But he knew I have a long term partner and I knew the same about him.  I think we wanted to be respectful of that so neither us ever let on a hint of interest.  He embodied that sense of respect for others, even to a fault.  In that respect I think there was a little fear - doing an intense scene is very intimate.  After our scenes I think both of us would recoil in awe of what we had just done.  I would quickly move on with my day, butching it up and acting like I needed no aftercare, even if this one one of those rare times I really did.

It was just once a year that we'd do this major blow out electro scene, nicknamed Screamfest.  Without fail we'd either have to call the ~DungeonMaster into the dungeon to get permission to do things that were safe, but that were on the edge of what club rules allowed - or I'd be screaming in pain so intensely that a bystander would call the ~DungeonMaster over to verify that I was safe and consenting (they weren't going to probe into matters of sanity since we were both clearly a little insane in that moment of play!)

The first year we played, it was just heavy use of several Tens type units turned up full bore, culminating in one side being attached to three  needles pierced through my right nipple (hence the need to ask DM permission since electro above the waist can be deadly if done incorrectly and thus the rule in the Hellfire dungeon was just don't do it).  The way it was set up the needles could be moved so as to short out - making the pain go from intense to excruciating.  Simple, yet devious - and a really great way to make a unit like a TENS more intimate and interactive.  Tapping a needle is more direct than twisting a knob.

The next year he added a magneto ( also known as a telephone transformer or "crank generator.")  This device is sort of the big bad in the world of non-injurious, no marks torture - done to an extreme it can drive you crazy while leaving no marks.  I can think of no scene that is as unrelentingly painful.  His scene climax of counting to twenty while turning the crank generator led to what is probably the only time I've ever used my safe word.  I made it to 19, and you'd think I coulda made more more count - and I probably could have.  I certainly was in no danger.  But somehow that level of pain makes it impossible to be rational and I'd say anything to have that pain stop - and using a safe word was a far too easy out.  Oh well.  We learned and adjusted accordingly...

The next year he added in the stun guns - which I loved, and I soon started collecting stun guns on my own as they are awesome edge play toys.  I screamed so loud that a renowned top working across the dungeon complained to Jon.  He was single tailing a guy who is pretty much the world's loudest pain pig - I guess he didn't like his bottom's screams being drowned out.

By the final time we played things were completely ridiculously out of hand.  It was one of those scenes where it was excess upon excess.  Excessive pain just for the sake of saying you went way way too far - no sexual energy, just the pure white light of pain slamming your brain against the wall.  Four stun guns, 2 crank generators, and a few acupuncture needles.  Obviously to use this much equipment effectively required two tops so Jon brought in a second to assist.  The resulting play included a crank generator hooked to each leg with acupuncture needles for contacts (smaller contact points mean more pain, so this was nasty - a deep slicing pain the would go down a single strand of muscle in my leg.)  The scene culminated with 4 stun guns on my cock and balls at once - and with my laying in a pool of sweat and my endorphins blown through the roof.

For the next few days after that scene I had post traumatic stress (although at the time I didn't know the name for it).  Whenever a whip would crack in the distance, I'd jump about 50 feet like a skittish kitten.  I hid with a hoodie blocking as much sensory input as possible and wandered about lost, finding that every social interaction left me feeling a dejected alien boy.  Finally a couple of club brothers, Frank and JP, noticed me wandering about lost and glassy eyed.  It was night and they sat me down next to them on a big hill ("Come here little lost boy," they said).  We looked at the stars, reminding me of many childhood nights in late summer watching the Perseids meteor showers on the big hill in my old country backyard.  Frank mentioned that he had never seen a shooting star before - and not 15 seconds later a beautiful one blazed bright across the summer sky before vanishing as it burnt out.  It was cool to share that moment with them, and part of the beauty of my Hellfire club brothers is that they form a huge protective family, especially at an event like Inferno.  You might fool yourself into believing you are alone, but they are always really there.

That was the last time I did the scene that Jon and I did called "Screamfest."  We did it on a Monday afternoon.  The next day was 9/11.  The morning of 9/11 I had just finished my Ashtanga yoga series and was entering Shivasana - the corpse pose used to still the body after an intense practice.  As I floated in space on my back, eyes closed Peter Fiske comes running down the hill to me, yelling "It's horrible they're bombing NY and the Pentagon."  Experiencing 9/11 at a BDSM run was weird enough, but in my state, it was probably even more surreal.  In a certain way, my mindset left me a little numb - I was in mourning, not for what had just happened, but for what I thought was certain to come in its wake.  All I could thing of was all the tragedies our community had faced and our slow fragile progress around them.  Right then and there we had something precious that we needed to treasure while we still could.  My reaction was, oh fuck - we may never have another Inferno.  Bush will use this as an excuse to send the nation into a panic and take away our civil liberties - but no one wanted to hear this or think about this.  Luckily, I was only half right.  Bush certainly exploited the situation, but not as much as I feared in my oversensitive state of mind.  

In the following year Jon died of cancer, and as is typical with a friend's passing, I learned things about him I never knew about him in life.  We always connected on eastern spirituality and martial arts and technology.  Like me he was a geek of sorts.  He practiced martial arts and I did yoga and grappling,  He was a Buddhist, I was a Hindu.  But I never learned exactly what he thought of me - or even what I thought of him - until he was gone.  We each had partners, and both of us respected that.  But somehow we also never connected more deeply out of that respect.  Only times we connected deeply was in the most extreme play I'll probably ever do.

Perhaps that brief bright moment of connect is enough.  For those of you that engage in heavy BDSM and have merged with another person in play you know the deep connection in those hours spent in a scene.  It's certainly a lot, and I know I'll never forget those fleeting hours we spent on the edges of human experience. 

I'd like to dedicate the last scene of Shock Treatment to Jon, just as Tony is dedicating the opening sounding scene with Element to our club brother Parker.  Parker taught Tony how to do this scene on me, and then made him the plug you see today in the video.  Like all great players, Parker taught as well as he played.  So I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to Jon, Parker, and all the great teachers in our scene - they pass on the arcane knowledge that makes all these intense moments of possible.

We all have only a short time on this planet and Jon's time is fondly remembered by many.
So the banner ads and preview clips for my XXX: Flame bonus clip are out.

(NOTE: this scene is online only so if you click the link wanting to see it, you have to click on Buy a Scene and download XXX: FLAME director's cut).  

I spent a lot of time envisioning something totally new for this scene and then engineered how to do it safely, so it's really exciting to finally get to see how beautiful it is:

<html><iframe src="http://site.falconbucks.com/banners/520?affiliate_id=131103" width="300" height="300" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

Special thanks to Steve Cruz, Leif Gobo, Mustang and Falcon for making this happen.  And very special thanks to my amazingly hot (literally hot?) co-star Scott Campbell for trusting me in this crazy fucked up scene.

As far as what you are seeing in this scene?  The swinging chain is electrified and Scott's chest was painted with alcohol.  When the chain swings across his chest, the "X" I painted in alcohol is ignited.  This did burn his chest hair off in an X pattern!  Please don't repeat this scene unless you are taught by someone familiar with both electric play and fire play - it's an advanced scene and we had a lot of precautions in place on set to make sure Scott was safe.

<iframe src="http://site.falconbucks.com/banners/525?affiliate_id=131103" width="300" height="300" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>  </html>
Hailing from Chicago, Derek da Silva, has made a career of pushing the edges of gay video so as to more accurately represent the diversity of play found in the BDSM and Sex Fight communities of which he is a part.  He made his debut with [[Shotgun Video|http://www.shotgunvideo.com/]], and enjoyed the experience: swollen balls, tears and all.  He went on to do videos for companies such as [[BG East|http://www.bgeast.com/profiles/index.php?wrestler=Derek%20DaSilva&donotdisplay=638]], [[Tom Ropes McGurk|http://www.tomropesmcgurk.com/store/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&keyword=derek]], [[Steelmill|http://www.steelmillmedia.com/]], [[Zeus|http://zeusstudios.com/]], [[Raging Stallion|http://store.ragingstallion.com/show.php?m=1895&st=1&sid=165]] and most famously has been in a string of [[Titan's|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.0/index.html]] Folsom series videos, starting with the [[GayVN|http://www.gayvnawards.com/]] and [[Grabby|http://www.grabbys.com/]] extreme category winner, [[Folsom Filth|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.524/index.html]], where he appeared on the cover of the director's edition as the iconic dogboy. 

Currently he has started work directing, and is producing a short erotic art video entitled "Études."

Derek has taught BDSM classes and performed at places including [[Chicago Hellfire's|http://www.hellfire13.org/]] Inferno, [[Thunder in the Mountains|http://www.thunderinthemountains.com/]], [[CLAW|http://www.clawinfo.org/]], [[Mr Michigan Leather|http://www.mmlweekend.com/]], [[Great Lakes Leather Alliance|http://www.greatlakesleather.org/]], [[The Leather Archives and Museum|http://www.leatherarchives.org/]], [[International Mr Leather|http://www.imrl.com/]], and Equinox.

Outside of kink and video, Derek has a career as a record producer, and a musician.  He enjoys serious literature, post structuralist philosophy, and is active in the BDSM community as a safer sex educator both on his own and through the Chicago Hellfire Club.  He also is an avid martial arts practitioner and a practicing yogi - hence his vegetarian lifestyle.  
As someone with a lot of body ink, I am often asked my opinion about different tattoos.  My tendency is to say little unless I'm genuinely impressed, at least if it's already tattooed on someone's body.  I don't want people feeling bad about their ink because, at end of the day, your ink is your body and we should all feel comfortable in our own flesh with all its beauty and flaws, its strength and frailty.  

That said, when someone is looking at getting new ink, there are a few things I always recommend they consider, things that make tattoos worthwhile and interesting even as their popularity almost seems like a fad that will fade even as the markings linger on in permanence and quiet regret. 

So if you're getting a tattoo the most important guiding factor is that it will pretty much last forever in some form.  Even laser removal or cover ups leave traces of memory.  A tattoo needs to be something you'll never regret, and that, when it reminds you of the past, brings in memories that are good and not embarrassing.  That's a lot to heap upon one illustration.  

A tattoo should mean something to you - forget the rest of the world.  If it makes you happy and will always make you happy then it's good and forget anything else I might say here.  It should be yours and spring from your own mind.  While Ed Hardy merchandise makes me loathe to even mention his name, his moment of genius was that a tattoo could be anything.  Don Ed Hardy is credited as the father of modern tattooing because he moved away from the conventions and the flash designs on the wall and made each tattoo a unique work of art.  In his wake it seems like laziness to pick off the wall when any decent artist will more than gladly help you create a unique piece.  Take time, find something that resonates for you, figure out how you might represent it in a very personal fashion.  Avoid cliches, but don't be afraid to subvert the classics - while sailor tats have been around forever they are also timeless classics and when done well what might be tired and rote can be made into something fresh with one foot rooted in the past and one foot stepping into your future.

Find an artist whose work you like - when you see good work ask who the artist is.  Even if you have to fly to get your work done, I'd argue it's worth the expense to get something really good.  This is forever and it's not the time to cut corners on expense.  It is hardly an extravagance when you weigh in the fact that this it will be part of your body for the rest of your life.

When you get a tat you should be bold.  Those who are reluctant tend to get tiny tats and hide them on some forelorn corner of the body where they end up looking like little more than a birthmark.  Work with the body in your design choices.  Take up a full space of the body so that the ink is part of the body and not a lost dot.  The shape of your body should dictate the shape and size of the work - and when they work together the result is always better.  And your artist will thank you for giving them enough space to work - it's hard to work in a very small area but given room, and in the right hands, the results of modern tattooing are impressive.

And now a few rules (are there really ever any rules tho?):
# No Winonas - it's almost a curse to get a lover's name.  Relatives are forever and memorials to dead friends and family are generally safe.  But sadly love often ends much quicker than ink.
# No Band Names or Logos - your tastes are very likely to change in time.  Love of a band is more fickle than love of another person - and harder to explain when the love fades into indifference.
# No birthmarks - as stated above, a 2cm tattoo on your ass will probably look like a mole.  Think of the body as canvass and fill the area so that the tattoo isn't lost in its frame.
# Avoid trends - certain styles and themes are really really popular.  This means that they will be unpopular and dated soon enough.  Unless you really have a deep affinity for the style itself and not for its trendiness, avoid these styles and try something that isn't fashionable.  
# Pay for the best, take your time - if the artist is expensive and has a long waiting list, it might be for a good reason.  If their work looks like it's really that good, take the time, save up and get the best you can.  You only have one body - be good to it.
# Make it yours - whatever you get you will have to explain it over and over again (unless it's hidden away and you only have sex in the dark).  When people ask, they'll be learning more about you. While you don't need to explain anything, if you do, you'll want to be happy with the impression you give.  A good tattoo is often a window into the soul of its wearer - look into yourself and find out what hidden part of yourself you'd like the world to see.  So look for that part of you that is bigger than one moment in time and you'll love your ink forever.

Have fun and be proud of your ink!
or friend me on MySpace:
# This is a great class we created to learn the basics of bondage.  [[1 Rope, 2 Knots, 3 Ties|http://tonybuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/tonybuff_presentation_ottt_snglsld_clr.pdf]]
# Learn to do the quick arm binder we taught at GLLA this year:  [[Quick Arm Binder|http://tonybuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/tonybuff_presentation_qab_snglsld_clr.pdf]]
# This presentation from Thunder in the Mountains includes the quick arm binder and a suspension: [[Shibari With Male Subs|http://tonybuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/tonyBuff_presentation_swms_snglsld_clr.pdf]]
# If you have a really skilled bottom you might consider trying [[Dynamic Suspension|http://tonybuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/tonyBuff_presentation_fsdp_snglsld_clr.pdf]].  Of course the rigger has to be equally skilled if not more so - he or she must insure the safety of the bottom and this is some advanced ropework!

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Coming soon - in the mean time check out my pic in Joe Oppedisano's Street Fight 2009 Calendar!

Also, I have images up on MySpace:
We've been hitting a fair number of the Leather and BDSM events around the country.  Where ever we go, the trend that disturbs us most is the way that the barebacking phenomenon has started to nose its way into the Leather community.  You'll see leather title holders in t-shirts from bareback video companies apparently oblivious to the irony.  Bareback content producers push their wares at our events and recruit and film in the halls of the IML host hotels.  They even use our events to do things like buck a load benefits – for HIV charities (go figure).  And those in charge of the events are all to willing to accept them and their money – in the name of being accepting and non-judgmental.

To be clear, it's not the bareback companies themselves that shock, upset or sadden me.  It's that fact that so few in our community are willing to take a stand on this issue.  I've always taken it as an article of faith that we watch each other's play and those players that are dangerous are called out.  If their behavior is not corrected, they are rightfully ostracized.  We don't accept players that endanger the lives or health of players through risky BDSM techniques, but with risks of HIV no one is willing to say no, not here.  

How did we get to such a timid place?  Yes, sensitivity to private individual choices is one thing, but it's hard to understand how we ended up turning a blind eye to commercial interests that loudly promote dangerous behavior, or worse yet, seeing our supposed leaders joining in to affect a cool, rebellious stance.

I've rewritten this essay half a dozen times already – each time I thought I'd try to dig into that murky territory of why people that are against barebacking are so silent - and each time it got too deep for me to complete the essay.  I will leave that exercise to the reader instead and I do encourage every one to think on it by digging into the history of HIV and AIDS in our community and how people that are poz have been treated and the different identities poz men have created for themselves in reaction.  It's not easy territory to be certain.

Suffice it to say, given the history of our community, there are lots of reasons why people are scared to take a strong safer sex stance.  But the people we are trying not to offend for their personal choices are not the same as those that seek to cash in by promoting this behavior as a market.  When money and community enters into the equation it gets very different.  Bareback video studios don't just say, do what you want.  They actively market unsafe sex as a better, cooler lifestyle choice and mock people that choose to practice safer sex as prudes.  And they create an example that people will assume is normative behavior.  While people don't want to attack individuals for what they do, it's another matter when a business entity is actively promoting activities that run counter to everything we've spent years working on as a community.

So why are so many of our leaders and titleholders wearing T.I., Spunk and ~DickWad merchandise?  When you take a position of leadership you are held up as a standard that new people in our community should aspire to.  If that standard is behavior that is responsible to oneself, one's partners and one's community, then we can hope that the next generation coming up learns from us what they didn't learn in a school system that preaches abstinence and doesn't even acknowledge gay sexuality.  And maybe they can learn by positive example what my generation learned through pure fear.

Make no mistake.  The youngest members of our community have not been educated by their schools, or by the communities they grew up in.  And the videos that once eroticized safer behavior have been largely supplanted by content that shows behavior that is likely to spread HIV.  And we as a community are not educating them either - safer sex has almost become a taboo topic.

As a community we only have so much time and money to care for each other.  The idea of becoming poz as a sacred rite of passage needs to go away or someday soon we will not be able to care adequately for all those who are in need (perhaps we are already there).   As the economy worsens good health care will become more and more scarce and more of us will have to do without.  AIDS is not over – it's still making people all around us sick.  Yes, they bounce back far more quickly and die far less often - and all it takes is money it seems.  But it's still serious stuff and the Leather Community needs to start getting serious about our efforts to counteract the damage done by bareback culture.  

You can brag about raising tons of money during your title year – but if, by your leadership and living example, you could have kept one young man from sero-converting for even one year it's like covering a years worth of meds – and that's a lot of cash.  It's corny, but I think Ben Franklin's words were applicable here: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Let's help keep people safe so that we can really help those most in need.  We can do this while respecting and honoring all of our brothers and sisters regardless of their HIV status.

We have a responsibility to send the right message – to do less is a betrayal of the high principles that we espouse as a Leather Community.  
Coming Soon...
[[Quote of the Day]]
[[Videography and Books]]
Recent entries:
* [[12 February 2010 - new essay on public play posted]]
* [[19 December 2009 - Holiday Video Posted]]
* [[1 December 2009 - New Essay For World AIDS Day]]
* [[9 July 2009 - Learning the play seen in Shock Treatment]]
* [[5 June 2009 - Changes]]
* [[9 May 2009 - Flame: is this cool or what??]]
* [[1 May 2009 - A season of adjusted expectations (subtitle: working in a velvet goldmine)]]
* [[30 April 2009 - Rope, Bondage and Power is out now]]
* [[28 April 2009 - Instigator article is DONE]]
* [[26 April 2009 - Back from CLAW]]
* [[22 April 2009 - a double recording session]]
* [[12 April 2009 - XXX "Flame" preview is out]]
* [[11 April 2009 - a teaser for TAKE]]
* [[8 April 2009 - The Titan "rough" shoot was electric but now I'm just trying to get caught up]]
* [[29 March 2009 - The GayVNs, three years in a row baby!]]
* [[27 March 2009 - Random Thoughts Before the GayVNs]]
* [[18 March 2009 - Shooting at Channel One with Chi Chi, Hazzard and Zane]]
* [[28 February 2009 - WATCHMEN, the last time forever]]
* [[10 February 2009 - GayVN Nominations]]
* [[6 February 2009 - Added Purchase Links to Books and Vids]]
* [[22 January 2009 - Mustang Shoot: XXX the Black Movie]]
* [[19 January 2009 - Mid Atlantic Leather, Washington DC]]
* [[6 January 2009 - Ron Asheton, RIP]]
* [[4 January 2009 - A New Year]]
* [[3 October 2008 - Post FSF Thank yous...]]
* [[28 September 2008 - Folsom: MOD and Magnitude]]
* [[23 September 2008 - Getting Ready For Folsom Street Fair 2008]]
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Coming soon!!
July 15th, 2010
What is called Love.
From Friedrich Nietzsche's [["The Gay Science"|http://www.lexido.com/EBOOK_TEXT/THE_GAY_SCIENCE.aspx]] Book one, section 16,

Greed and love: what different feelings each of these ideas evoke!  and yet it might be the same impulse twice named: once disparaged by those who already have (in whom the impulse has attained something of repose, who are now apprehensive for the safety of their "possession"); on the other occasion viewed from the standpoint of the unsatisfied and thirsty, and therefore glorified as "good."  Our love of our neighbor, is it not a striving after new property?  And similarly our love of knowledge, of truth; and in general all the striving after novelties?  We gradually become satiated with the old and securely possessed, and again stretch out our hands; even the most beautiful landscape is no longer certain of our love after we've lived there three months, and any distant coast excites our greed: the possessing usually diminishes the possession.  Our pleasure in ourselves seeks to maintain itself by always transforming something new into ourselves, that is just what possessing means.  To become satiated with a possession, that is to become satiated with ourselves.  (One can also suffer from excess, even the desire to cast away, to share out, can take on the honorary title of "love.")  When we see any one suffering, we willingly utilize the opportunity then afforded to take possession of him; the beneficent and sympathetic man, for example, does this; he also calls the desire for new possession awakened in him, by the name of "love," and has enjoyment in it, as in a new acquisition suggesting itself to him.  Sexual love, however, betrays itself most plainly as the striving after possession: the lover wants the unconditional, sole possession of the person longed for by him; he wants just as absolute power over their soul as over their body; he wants to be loved solely, and to dwell and rule in the other soul as what is highest and most to be desired.  When one considers that this means precisely to exclude from all the world enjoyment of this precious good, from sharing in its happiness and enjoyment; if one considers that the lover has as his goal the impoverishment and privation of all other rivals, and would like to become the dragon of his golden hoard, as the most inconsiderate and selfish of all "conquerors" and exploiters; when one considers finally that to the lover himself, the whole world besides appears indifferent, colorless, and worthless, and that he is ready to make every sacrifice, disturb every arrangement, and put every other interest behind his own, one is verily surprised that this ferocious lust of property and injustice of sexual love should have been glorified and deified to such an extent at all times; yea, that out of this love the conception of love as the antithesis of egoism should have been derived, when it is perhaps precisely the most unqualified expression of egoism.  Here, evidently, the non-possessors and desirers have determined the usage of language, there were, of course, always too many of them.  Those who have been favored with much possession and satiety, have, to be sure, dropped a word now and then about the "raging demon," as, for instance, did the most lovable and most beloved of all the Athenians Sophocles; but Eros always laughed at such revilers, they were always his greatest favorites.  

Here and there earth there is probably a kind of a continuation of love, in which this greedy desire of two persons for one another has yielded to a new desire and greed, to a shared higher thirst for an ideal above them.  But who knows this love?  Who has experienced it?  Its true name is friendship.  

Previous quote:
June 25th, 2010

Over the footbridge. 
From Friedrich Nietzsche's [["The Gay Science"|http://www.lexido.com/EBOOK_TEXT/THE_GAY_SCIENCE.aspx]] Book one, section 16,

One must be able to dissimulate in conversations with persons who are bashful about their feelings; they have a sudden hatred of anyone who surprises them in a state of tenderness, or of enthusiastic and elevated emotion, as if he had seen their secrets.  If one wants to be kind to them in such moments one should make them laugh, or say some kind of cold, playful witticism -  their feeling thereby fades, and they are again recomposed.  But I give the moral before the story.  Once in our lives we were so near to one another, that nothing at all seemed to hinder our friendship and brotherhood, and there was merely a small plank between us.  As you were just about to step on it, I asked you: "Do you want to come across the footbridge to me?"  But then you did not want to cross any longer; and when I again entreated, you fell silent.  Since then, mountains and torrents and whatever separates and alienates, have interposed between us, and even if we wanted to come to one another, we could no longer do so!  When, however, you now remember that small bridge you have no longer words, but merely sobs and bewilderment.  
There is an interesting schism that occurs when you do adult videos.  While it's not odd that a performer's audience mistakes a performer's onstage persona for reality, in porn I think this happens even more often and to a degree that is rather strange.  

This happens in part because, even at its most fanciful, porn is essentially a documentary genre.  Viewers want to see real sex, and while there are always certain artistic and practical liberties taken in making the videos, generally what the audience wants is exactly what they get: real sex performed by professional performers that are really good at it.  Still, there is a certain amount of acting involved as well and when it's done even somewhat passably, you've done a double whammy on your audience by conflating a very real sexual performance with completely fictitious material and characterizations.  The sex may be real, but the rest is often more cartoonish than reality.

So after seeing some of the brutish characters I play in vids like the Mechanic or Folsom Filth, some fans are pleasantly surprised to learn that I'm articulate and maybe even a little geeky.  Likewise, while I play a passive victim in vids like Fear and Folsom Prison, in real life I'm a pretty aggressive and assertive person..  

Perhaps this is why doing a video like Sounding #1 was so enjoyable to me.  We just had sex, the way we do when we're along at home or at a private dungeon event.  You can see the very real connection in our eyes - and I'll venture that no amount of great acting could replicate that.  

Another curious thing is how many people are amazed to learn that porn performers are very real people often with very ordinary lives.  When I meet folks on the street or on the net, I often get reactions that go something like "it's so cool that you're a real person."  And they don't mean real as in down to earth.  They mean real as in actually existing on the material plane and not in some imaginary world of celebrities, kings and millionaires.  Gay porn performers are a strange sort of gay scene royalty who are both loved and reviled for the same reasons.  It is strange to be have someone treat you as both a god and as scum at the same time - but sexuality always has its baggage.  I think this says more about how we are with sex as a society than anything about the performers though.  

The view that looks down on adult performers has its more ugly side.  You're assumed to be a hustler, and while there is nothing wrong with that line of work for those that want to undertake it, it's a little awkward when a fan believes they can hire you for things you simply have no interest in doing.  While it's a sad truth that the only way to really make money as a porn star is by turning tricks, many performers have jobs outside of the industry and prefer to make our money that way.  Worse are the fans that seem to think that porn stars are there to take unreasonable risks for them.  The ascendancy of bareback videos has made it clear that many fans and studios have little regard for the health and safety of many of us performers.  Yes some performers really want to work in this genre, but many are coerced into it, not told the real risks and find themselves believing that by going unsafe they somehow will be a star.  The bareback studios prey about performers insecurities about their appearance and about their HIV status.  Positive performers are sold a bill that this is a way to celebrate their poz status as being freeing - when in fact they are risking re-infection and a whole slew of other ~STDs.  Chi Chi La Rue has addressed this issue by reminding fans about that the men on screen are real men, and their lives are important too.  

As a side note: I get lots of guys emailing me offering to "save" me from my "abusive" relationship. BDSM is not abuse - and it's worth understanding what abuse actually is.  While I appreciate the sentiment and know it is mostly well meaning, please understand that I'm doing what I want to do - no one has forced me into any of the wild scenarios you see in my movies.  The drowning in Fear was my concept.  I taught Tony how to use Stun Guns because I like getting shocked in the nads ala Folsom Prison.  The double sounding in Sounding #1 was Tony's idea, but I loved it (obviously).  The important thing to note is that we are skilled at the advanced play we do and have gone through great measures to inform ourselves of the risks and to mitigate as many of these as is practical.  All advanced play involves some risk - but by mitigating these risks performers can do amazing things with little risk to their health or well being.  And at risk of pontificating, my fave way to mitigate risks is always fucking with a condom.  I should also add that it blows my mind that distributors won't carry safe sex combined with bondage even as they stock bareback vids.  That is bizarre and messed up.

Coming into the industry I had my own conceptions about what porn actors were like.  My stereotypes were less than flattering.  And while there have been a good number of performers that live up to my worst ideas of what a porn actor is, most of them have amazed me with their complexity and depth.  I'm proud to have have them as brothers.  It is a somewhat strange experience to be this kind of celebrity - strangers have seen your most intimate moments   They see you on the street and ask leading questions to make sure that you really are that guy they wanked off to last night (and then the wonder why you aren't taller and dumber in person).  They know intimate details about you and perhaps don't realize you aren't on equal footing knowing almost nothing about them.  When porn performers travel in packs it's not so much elitism but rather the fact that we share some rather unusual bonds, and sometimes we like the fact that we can just relate as people without all the baggage of our on screen images.  Yes a few guys live the porn star life and believe their own hype - but they are usually disillusioned quickly.  Most of us are just guys with perhaps a little extra baggage that impelled us to step outside of the norms of respectable society..  While we may look hot and while you might imagine our lives must be grand, many of us are insanely insecure and it is this need for validation that has lead us to show off on screen.  Getting there we find the validation we get never is enough, but we also find that we enjoy much (but not all) about this line of work and we find that we are maybe a little more at home on this Island of Maladjusted Toys.  I know I've loved my run in this business even with all its ups and downs.

So when you meet a performer, odds are he'll be happy for a compliment or two - but will feel awkward if you fawn over him or if all you want to talk about is porn.  Yeah, porn performers may talk porn endlessly, but that is trade talk.  We are generally deeper than meets the eye, so give us the benefit of the doubt and you may find yourself surprised.
Tony Buff just wrote an excellent essay on the issue of bareback porn in the leather community entitled [[A More Nuanced Position|http://tonybuff.com/posts/a-more-nuanced-position]].  While I agree with all that he says (indeed many of the thoughts expressed stem from our many all night conversations on the topic), I wonder if perhaps he is stating his position in too deferential a fashion.  Indeed, I wonder if we all have failed to create an environment where safer sex messages can succeed, all because we are trying to be politically correct, sensitive, respectful or whatever else you want to call [[this weird thing where we all pretend that HIV (and AIDS) is no big deal.|http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/11/02/comment-the-way-forward-for-hiv-prevention/]]

Fuck that.  HIV is a big fucking deal.  A good chunk, perhaps a majority, of my gay friends are HIV positive and of those a fair number have full blown AIDS.  These men are my friends, sexual partners and even my biological brother.  While some of them are truly asymptomatic, the bulk have a good amount of extra medical drama in their lives and I'm still losing friends to AIDS (albeit thankfully less often).  My biological brother is in a wheelchair and spends plenty of time in the hospital.  Life expectancy and quality of life has vastly improved for poz men – no question there.  But let's be honest – it still sucks.  Being poz reduces your life expectancy by 20 years on average, and during that reduced time, your quality of life will have plenty of ups and downs not to mention all sorts of financial and administrative challenges.  You can paint it rosy if you want but it's not just “a treatable chronic condition.”  You can talk about how it's freed you sexually or made you appreciate life, but that fact is, no one honestly wants HIV, never mind things like Hepatitis C or even the more easily cured ~STDs.

Safer sex education is a tricky business.  It seems like there are two conflicting agendas.  On one hand you want negative guys to stay negative.  You want them to be motivated to use condoms, even though to be honest, it's a bit more fun to do without.  And idealists think this can be done without resorting to fear – although to be honest, a good rational fear of HIV is probably the only reason why I'm alive today.  

You don't skydive without a parachute, and you really shouldn't have sex without a condom unless you are doing it with an exclusive partner or set of exclusive partners.  And even then you need honesty and all sorts of STD testing to make it all work.  To really succeed in keeping HIV negative men from seroconverting you need to portray exactly why they don't want to be positive and give them strategies that help them feel good about making the decision to use a condom every time, even if doing so has the effect of stigmatizing guys that decide to fuck without condoms (and many poz men think this is their right even if it does expose them to all kinds of hazards that an immune compromised person should steer clear of).  I'm not suggesting scare tactics – I'm suggesting that the real facts are scary and we are being negligent when we fail to give out unadorned factual truths about HIV and AIDS.

While we want to show a realistic portrayal of HIV to the negative guys, there is a contrary impulse where we want to give poz guys an upbeat view that says they will make it.  It's important to keep your head in the game and to not fall into guilt or self loathing when you are HIV positive.  So we are sensitive and play down the impact of HIV and try not to talk about unsafe sex in a way that is too judgmental.  Coming down hard on unsafe sex is frowned upon, because people we love in our community were human and made mistakes that are common and understandable.  We all have urges and passions and moments of impaired judgment.  Still, let's be clear: we dance around these issues not for the physical health benefit of the negative guys but rather for the feelings of the poz guys.  

Those who deal with HIV education clearly are sensitive to the emotional needs of poz men even if [[society at large (including large swaths of the gay community) is not|http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/11/30/one-in-five-people-with-hiv-harassed-or-threatened/]].  But are we also being equally sensitive to the needs of HIV negative men?  Are we giving them the information and the psychological support they need to stay healthy?  Because if we fail in this, they may not make good decisions.  They may not stay negative and thus may die early.   I would suggest that in an effort to be politically correct, we are lying to them and allowing far too many to seroconvert.  And we are also acting as if HIV transmission was the only reason to use condoms when it simply is not.  Finally we are forgetting that information alone will not do the job – they also need the societal support network to feel good about making small sacrifices to stay healthy.

It's not easy to stay negative – it takes a lot of will power and self confidence to refuse to give in to the pressures of others not to mention your own desires.  While it's great to be affirming of poz men and fuck knows much of the world isn't, I would argue that we have gone way, way too far.  Yes it's a bummer to be a poz man having to hear someone talk about how important it is to strive to stay negative.  But frankly, most poz men I've met are a lot stronger than that, and they don't need to be coddled.  They know the costs of being positive far too well and don't wish that on anyone.  They understand that we have to be frank and even brutal - and they affirm that they don't need to be handled with kid gloves.  

Respecting people's “personal choices” sounds good on paper, but the fact is we are all social animals, and we don't really make our decisions alone, but rather make them with a lot of influence from the society around us.  Many personal choices are more like personal mistakes that we later rationalize.  I think it's more important to respect people's humanity, to allow them their mistakes, but to help them to not make other mistakes in the future.  By supporting each other rather than washing our hands of responsibility for each other in our community we can all be healthier even as we make sure that the meager assets we have go to those in the most need.

Allowing people their mistakes is important as it allows truthfulness – but these mistakes are mistakes, not “personal choices.”  We all have moments of impaired judgment, and no one should feel unloved because of this.  Blame is uninteresting as it lies in the past, and all that can be influenced lies in the future.  One mistake does not impel you to save face by saying “I meant to do that,” and then repeat that mistake and tell others they should do the same.

I will judge people based on their personal safer sex practices.  I won't love anyone any less because their practices don't jive with my convictions on what I consider to be grave matters affecting human life health and sexuality.  But I'm not going to tell a good friend what they are doing is fine when I am actually concerned that their behavior could harm them or harm others.  The more I care for you the harsher my judgment.  Why?  Because I care about you and want you around and healthy for a good long time.

We also need to look at factors that contribute to unsafe sex in our community.  Drug and alcohol abuse is rampant, and we need to deal with these problems as they impair judgment in ways that are often dramatic.  Our treatment of each other as gay men is also a huge problem.  Growing up all of us were beat down for being gay, so even as young men first coming out we tend to be emotionally damaged.  Each of us has had our self esteem battered by growing up gay in a world that mostly is against us.  Knowing this you'd think as adults we'd learn to love each other in ways mainstream society has not.  But really we don't support each other in our moments of difficulty and frankly we can be some mean bitches to each other – as if putting each other down or just allowing others to fail makes us better.  

Self esteem issues fuel a lot of the problems we see in our community.  If you don't value yourself, if you are looking for approval from people that hold you in low regard and seek only to use you to feel better about themselves, then it can be very hard to have the self discipline it takes to play safe, to limit your use of alcohol and drugs, and to be attentive to your own emotional health.  Instead, many of us seek acceptance in sex, and escape our emotions with drugs and alcohol.  

Our public service organizations have mostly failed us.  They have tended towards political correctness instead of hard facts, and seem to advocate foolish strategies like serosorting.  

That is no great matter because their impact is minor compared to the impact we could have on each other.  We need to love and support each other.  The brutal bitchiness needs to be turned into brutal love and honesty.  If all of us as community admit to what is really going on with unsafe sex, HIV, Hepatitis C, drug and alcohol abuse, all of it, then we can also start solving the problem as a community.

To get people to value safer sex we need to care about each other to poke our nose into each other's business – and this needs to be done in a caring, respectful fashion.  We need to value our lives and each other's lives in a real way.  Saying it's people's personal business is a cop out.  If it's only a few people speaking out, it comes off as the sex police.  But if all of us, positive and negative, set a higher standard for each other, if we all make it clear that practicing safer sex is worth it, if we help each other avoid excesses in drinking and drugs, we might actually stand a chance.  This isn't mucking about in other people's business.  This is about valuing the lives of each person in our community and loving each other enough to actually give a fuck.  

I want people to have lots and lots of great sex.  But I also am weary of watching people I love struggle and suffer.  It's not an either or choice.  It takes more investment in each other to say I care enough to tell you I think you need to use condoms.  It may not feel comfortable to get close enough to someone to actually have a frank discussion about sex.  But if we don't get over this, we will never solve this problem.

While I'm frustrated with the mixed messages being sent out by our HIV service organizations, even if their messages were more direct they'd still need the support of all of us.  I'm fairly certain the bulk of our struggles come from the self esteem issues that are pandemic in our community.  While it can be hot to play the sexual role of a worthless piece of sex trash, it's important not to believe it so deeply that you don't value your own well being.  I hope that every gay man reading this leaves with a single idea.  You are important to all of us, and we need you to take care of yourself.  And when you've got that down we need you to spread that to others. It's what real communities do – let's start building the kind of community that “feeds our souls.”

The only way we will solve our problems is by acknowledging them as real.  HIV is still a big deal and is not cured and there are lots of other serious STDs that are worth avoiding.  Gay men still lack the basic info the need to make good sexual decisions and there is still a misperception that HIV is an easy to manage chronic condition.  Drug and alcohol addiction are prevalent and make it hard for people to make good decisions even if they have good information.  And all of this is made worse by a society that values us little and destroys our self esteem as we are young even as it fails to teach us basic safer sex techniques when we are adolescents.  

All these problems require that we be honest with ourselves and each other.  All of them require that we give a damn, that we support each other in safer sex, in staying clean and sober if we have addiction issues, and in caring for each other despite any past mistakes.  

Respect for each other is essential to overcome the self esteem issues each of us face.  I may not respect your choices to play unsafe or to use crystal meth, but I should respect you enough to be honest with you about this and to make it clear that my concern stems not from a need to feel superior or to control you, but rather from an honest and deeply felt valuing of your life and of all the lives in our community.  This kind of respect goes hand in hand with responsibility.  We are all responsible for the collective well being of our community.  It is not meddling to hold each other to high ideals and to call each other on our shit – as long as we do it in a manner that respects the person we are seeking to help.

We owe it to every young man coming out into our community to not assume that they know the facts about HIV and how it can be prevented.  We also owe them an environment that supports healthy choices even as it affirms their sexuality.  We need to give them the tools to stand up against those that would suggest that HIV is cured and that unprotected sex is ok.  This means growing a set of balls – because you will be mocked by some.  Make no mistake, if the proponents of unsafe sex are trying to paint me as a sexual prude, heaven help the rest of you all that don't do half the crazy stuff I do.  Pay this crap no heed – they are preying on the insecurities each of us has, often for their own selfish gain.

Being honest about the value of safer sex does not degrade those gay men that are HIV positive.  It shows respect for the challenges poz men face, it says we don't need to create distance because we can fuck safely, and it makes sure that we are able to spread our resources for helping poz men as efficiently as possible.  It also means each of us must learn to feel good enough about ourselves that we might better care for each other.

– Written for World AIDS Day 2009.	
It's like going to a punk show where they have "No Moshing" signs all over.  And it might be another cause of the death of the scene.

The 2009 ~GayVN awards were fun, but truth be told, we weren't totally at home there, and we wanted to be with our people, the folks that understand who we are and what we're about.  The ones who don't recoil in horror and treat us like freaks for our D/s relationship and for the intense way we express our love.

So after the awards we went to have a little drink with friends at the bar we had chosen to call our home away from home in San Francisco.  It was a Leather bar and up until very recently it was managed by a fellow member of the community - so it really was a true Leather bar, for people that actually live the lifestyle as opposed to dress up in costumes to get laid on a Saturday night.  It was a players' bar like the ones I had many great experiences in when I was first coming out.  

But with new management that all changed apparently.  We waited for the bar crowd to thin a bit, but once it had, Tony was going to give me the good flogging I had been needing for a while.  This is a scene we've done dozens of times and without any harm to my person (Tony on the other hand has lost contact lenses on several occasions - I need to be hit hard and sometimes this can have collateral damage on the top!)  As we were ramping up, I allowed myself to process the pain verbally - while I can probably be stoic, really a scene is better for top and bottom when the energies unleashed are allowed to build.  Plus, my verbal feedback is my primary way to communicate in a scene to let Tony know exactly where I am at.  And good communication is extremely important in a heavy scene.

But our play was disturbing to the new manager, who apparently isn't aware of the rep of this bar he now is in charge of (or perhaps of our rep!)  So he sends a bartender over to stop the scene.  I'm not gonna get into the specifics of how it all went down.  My back was to it all anyhow and I was just trying to keep in head space during the interruption - usually when this happens we start again as soon as every realizes that I'm more than ok with what is happening.  The music was too loud for me to really hear most of it, but I've heard it all before anyhow - but this time we didn't start up again and thus we never finished our scene.  

Scenus interupptus.  Again and again, the same old crap keeping us from having fun and living our lives.  You can't do that because "I don't like it and it scares me" - or the alternate version where someone likes it so much he has to push his way into our scene, ruining the energy and causing us to give up rather than be subjected to poor imitations of 70's porn dialogue and the odors of popper abuse.

Even in a leather bar, there often is someone that doesn't want BDSM to occur around them, and unfortunately, sometimes it is someone that is in charge or that has some authority.  Maybe they should watch Al Pacino's "Cruising" before accepting employment in a leather bar.  Sort of like the sensitivity training they give cops that work the gay ghetto.

At least this time they were talking to Tony and not trying stupid things like physically blocking him, grabbing his flogger mid stroke or harassing me by asking if I needed protection (whilst being oblivious to the fact that I could just walk away at any time - never mind that fact that I'm more heavily built than Tony and look like I could kick his and anyone else's ass).  

A long while back, in my pre-vegetarian days when I still wore leather, I was thrown out of a Chicago "leather" bar for having my leather jacket off in the backroom while I was being flogged.  I didn't go back to this bar for almost a decade.  Perhaps they were really that serious about their dress code and some literal version of leather.  But I've always figured it was the BDSM play that really bugged them.

And the silliness of these control freaks goes on.  The Chicago Eagle wouldn't let me in the backroom a couple of times in a row because my pants and chaps are from Nasty Pig and thus are technically neither rubber nor leather, but "polyamide nylon" as the doorman sternly informed me.  The point of these dress codes is to keep the feel of the bars in character and to keep outsiders out - but on most nights I can say with out bragging that I'm pretty much one of the few guys that actually looks the part - even if my clothing isn't literally leather.  I present myself stripped to the waist, showing my muscles and extensive tats - these things aren't off the rack, they are earned in sweat and pain, just as my insider position in this community is earned through my decades of work to make it a better, more inclusive and safer place for all.  But somehow, that's not the point when you run a leather bar - and they wonder why they are increasingly dying and irrelevant.  I stayed away from the Eagle for a couple of years - visiting again only the night before the bar closed.  When the Chicago Eagle reopens in its new location I'll be willing to see if it is different, but somehow I think I'll be sticking to the Hole with its younger, wilder and more play oriented crowd.

People don't need to go out to be held to strange rules that aren't even in keeping with the real soul of what these bars are about.  These are the places where we should feel at home and not made to be strangers like everywhere else. 

Perhaps our scene is dying because it's no longer a welcoming home to the people that actually need a home.  Instead, it's filled with people left over from another time because the bars refused to evolve even as they got more conservative in their sexual mores, people whose belonging is predicated on excluding anyone that is new and threatening to the ways they've grown accustomed to.

Or I could be totally wrong.  All this might sound like egomania in the end - but I think something is going on that is bigger than us and that really indicates that the next generation of serious players needs a home.  If we keep it in our bedrooms, if we don't set safe examples and if one is around to explain what is safe and what is not and where to go to learn more, then we are sure to reap the results (correction: I think we are already reaping them).  When Tony and I do a heavy scene, anyone that is actually interested in such activities is on us seconds after we finish the scene - often too soon since we need time to come back to earth, but we do understand the emotion in this earnestness having been there ourselves.  When I first saw guys safely do some of the crazy things I've always had in my head it was like the whole world opened up to me and I was so fucking happy.  I knew then that I maybe wasn't so crazy and I felt all sorts of fear and shame fall away.  I was giddy with happiness to know I could actually do this wild stuff and that it was OK.  And fuck if that didn't change my life for the better.

There are those of us that like to play heavy yet safe - and who enjoy doing it in public.  This is not just out of our own exhibitionism (which frankly is OK, too) but also because we like sharing the idea that what we do is fun and valid and that can be done in a safe and healthy fashion.  

The internet has opened doors for many, but it's also made it easier for novices to hook up with guys that don't know what the fuck they are doing and that aren't safe and that aren't willing to put a public face on what they do or to stand up for certain long standing community values.  (I won't say "Old Guard" values, because what I speak of here is eternal and real).

Our point is simple.  We aren't prudes.  We like pushing the edges and we do it safely mitigating all risks that we practically can.  Our example is one of playing wildly but taking the precautions needed to make it unlikely that you'll ever go to far.  We stand in opposition to folks whose work you'll often see in bars - that of the bareback video producers.  We play safe and we play intense.  We aren't sorry if our intensity scares people - because what we are doing is far less harmful than activities that seem to scare no one these days.  And our kind of twisted play requires skill - skill that only comes by forming teaching communities.

We play in public because we we enjoy it and because we have nothing to hide.  Our friends that have died from BDSM play, died alone away from watchful eyes.  They died from tops that stupidly left them alone in bondage or from their own foolishness in playing autoerotic asphyxiation games alone.  There is safety in public play and those that would hide safe kink from view kill communication, invalidate alternative sexualities, and ultimately harm our communities.

When our play offends you, we ask you to do one thing.  Let us finish and then talk with us about the risks we take and how we work to mitigate them.  Don't judge until you understand.  In following the [[Risk Aware Consensual Kink|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk-aware_consensual_kink]] model we walk a line that we feel is defensible and we're fine with honest open dialog.  And even in the RACK model we tend to take a very safe, risk adverse posture.  What we don't care for is fear of play that is different not because it is known to be bad or dangerous, but simply because it is unknown.  

. . . .

And yes, in case you are wondering: it hurts intensely to be treated as a pariah and a freak, even (especially) within your own home scene.
BDSM and wrestling video performer.
Derek da Silva
So of all the questions I get, there are two that have pretty involved answers - but I answer them over and over again.  There are:
## How do I become a porn star
## How do I get bulked up (without steroids and maybe on a vegetarian diet)

Both of these have a few fundamentals, but the porn question is probably easier - so we'll answer than one first here and then in a latter entry I'll get into my bodybuilding advice.  Hopefully this will save me a little work in the future as now I have it all in one place.

So first question you need to ask is - do you really want to be in porn?  Why?  If you think it will get you lots of money look elsewhere - if doesn't pay well AT ALL.  If you seek admiration, you might also want to look at yourself and think a bit.  Porn guys all tend to have a need to get our ego stoked, but really porn won't solve that hunger entirely, and sooner or later your career will end.  So if you've not learned to be happy with yourself, porn won't fix your problems.  Think about your friends and family - assume they will find out.  What about your job?  Porn is no place for closet cases and you'll be showing the world your most private moments.  

Next is the question of what porn you want to do - and do you really have what it takes to succeed?  If it weren't for houses that need fetish work pros, I would probably not have a career.  While I do ok on the basic 2 of 3 test ( a porn star needs to have 2 of three of the following: looks, body and cock size) it's really the magic fourth capability that opened the door for me: I'm good at certain kinds of extreme sex.

Look at different videos and figure out where you might fit in - find your niche and make sure you understand it.  Go to companies' websites and see if they have info for prospective models.  Better yet, if your faves have a booth at a live event go visit them and find out the info first hand.

Now you know where to apply, but how do you do this so that your application makes it through.  Well first off you will need to be in shape - there is no rush until you are in shape and even in genres like Bear there is a certain level of physique and fitness that will set you apart.  Look at your hair and grooming - these should probably be in line with the studio's look, but they are less of a worry as long as they don't distract the studio from seeing what you can look like should they want a particular look.  If you've got your own thing it could be a nice change up for the studio or it might be a major distraction.  Make your best call.

Next up is getting a photo set together.  Hire a good photographer with decent lighting - or find one that wants to do a trade at a place like [[ModelMayhem|http://www.modelmayhem.com/]].  There are three basic shots you will need:
## Head Shot - this is the only close up worth sending.  
## Full Frontal - full body shot of you standing, nude and hard.  This is so they can see your physique and get an idea of your cock size.
## Full Rear - standing shot from behind.  This is where the can see if you have a booty and check out the rest of your physique.
All other shots are extras - or a bad idea.  Close ups of body parts are really not interesting for casting directors and are probably a bad idea.  They want the context of a full body.

Now you are ready to fill out your online apps.  You should do this even if you have inside connections.  Speaking of which, if you've been going to events where porn stars make appearances with their studio you may have made a few contacts with the studio's management.  Make sure to meet them all, and make a good impression.  Confident but not cocky, thoughtful and easy going.  Porn shoots are long hard work and they like working with people that will get the job done without working everyone's nerves.  Once you've sent your app, follow up with a short but sweet email mentioning your application - and maybe attach a headshot so they'll remember meeting you.

If you get bites, don't fall for pressure tactics.  Ask other performers about what is being offered.  You often start making less, but there are studios that will abuse your eagerness to get in.  Also realize that some kinds of work will preclude you from others.  If you do bareback work (and I'd advise against it) many studios will never hire you - you've been warned, so no crying!  Likewise the character you set initially can become you image and taint what roles you get in the future.  While I did lots of topping, after a few strong bottoming roles I've found it harder to get cast as a top - which is funny given that for the longest time studios only saw me as a top based on my photos and personality.  (For the record: I am a bona fide versatile switch.)

So that's the basic info you need to know.  Always remember that you have the right to say no to anything, especially when it comes to taking health risks.  Don't be pressured into doing things you aren't comfortable with - and avoid getting in such situations by being clear up front about what your limits are.  Do this before you have a plane ticket and are sitting on set telling the director, "Rimming is too gross!"  If you are familiar with the studios you work for you should have a good idea of what you might be asked to do.  Set your limits up front.

And now the secrets of success.  You should love sex or you shouldn't be doing porn.  And you should practice what you love - the more you have sex the easier it is and the better you are - just like playing the violin.  Take care of your sexual health - get STD tests and take care of any issues immediately.  Remember you are a pro and should act like one.  Before a shoot you'll want to abstain from coming for a couple of days, but not much more - else it can be hard to shoot.  By waiting you should find yourself good and horny, and you should have a nice big load to blow.  Waiting and being well hydrated will give you a good money shot, forget anything else you've been told.  Of course, the hydration runs against something else you would do for a no sex photo shoot which is dehydrate so that you are more defined.  This is good for still photos, but bad for a sex shoot since your load will be smaller if you are dehydrated.  

Above all else, have fun: make friends with your cast members and keep the sexual energy going even when the camera isn't rolling - great things will happen and you'll have it all captured on video to remember it.
Author: Clint Checketts

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Lately there has been more and more talk of serosorting as a solution to the AIDS crisis.  If we just only had sex with guys of the same status, its proponents argue, we'd have fewer problems with HIV transmission.

This is problematic all the way around and really doesn't work for anyone, positive or negative.

Let's deal with why it's no good for negative guys first, since this should be plain as day and if it's not, you need a wake up call:
- most guys don't know their status, and many men are positive without knowing
- some positive guys express their anger by intentionally infecting other guys (yes this happens and is alarmingly common)
- even when you've tested negative, you could be positive since it takes time for your body to start fighting HIV and produce antibodies - and this is what the test detects.

While monogamous couples might reasonably be able to plan to get tested often, not fool around and forego the condom, even there you both will need be brutally honest about any outside sexual activity or none of it works.

With positive guys it's a bit less obvious.  But the fact is, being positive isn't a free pass to unprotected sex, at least not if you value staying healthy.  There are many strains of the virus and exposing yourself to them only makes it harder to stay healthy.  And other ~STD's are at epidemic proportions.  When you are immune compromised these are easier to get and often have worse effects.  While condoms don't prevent all ~STDs they are a good measure that can help reduce risk of exposure to known and currently unknown diseases.

But here is why it's no go for our community: it creates artificial boundaries that simply aren't needed or advisable.  My boyfriends have been negative and positive and because I practice safer sex it doesn't matter.  I assume that everyone is positive, and fall in love with a person not an HIV status.

A small number of public health officials have glommed onto the serosorting concept as a real tactic.  I can only conclude one of two things.  Either they are in denial about the realities of HIV and other ~STDs - or they've given up on gay men as being a hopeless case.  I can understand the first even if I cannot excuse such selfishness.  But what if it's really the second?  Is the gay male community really that hopeless that officials are giving up and going for the least effective of harm reduction of techniques?  I'd like to think that we are more responsible, although recent history is at odds with my more optimistic view.  It seems every other kid in their early 20's that I run into in a bar is already positive.  I find myself leaving bars in annoyance and disgust because the bar sees fit to show bare back porn that is poorly shot with guys that aren't very hot and that offers nothing more 'extreme' than stupidity with regard to the health of its actors and our community.

Instead of eroticizing bareback sex, we need to find ways to have fun while keeping our whole community as healthy as possible.  There are only so many resources to go around, let's make sure that people have the help they need by not squandering our resources by being reckless in our behavior.
Bitch if you will, but when we are in a leather bar we like to play.  Some take issue with this, but they can [[go fuck themselves|http://tonybuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/tonyBuff_20100212.jpg]].  We're gonna keep on playing when we are out in our spaces.  And we want you to do this too.

Here are 10 good reasons why:
# ''Turf.''  It's our fucking space.  We aren't gonna be shoved out by people that can't even be bothered to look the part, let alone play it.  It's SM not S&M, the difference being the "&".  There is no ampersand in Sadomasochism - but there is in Stand & Model.
# ''Advertising works!''  We're not just living the life, we're spreading the lifestyle.  Lots of guys are curious about this stuff and fantasize about it.  Seeing that others are into this stuff is a huge life changing revelation for lots of guys.  Public play validates people's sexualities and helps them out of the BDSM closet.
# ''24/7 means 24/7.''  We live this life all the time.  We aren't going into the closet because we are in a leather bar.
# ''Teach safety.''  We can show this stuff and when people ask we can show what we do to make this edgy play safer.  It's called leading by example.
# ''It's safer to play where others are around.''  Every single BDSM death I know of has occurred behind closed doors.  
# ''Exhibitionism is a valid fetish.''  And thank god cuz the best porn is made by guys that love showing off.
# ''Public Humiliation is a valid fetish.''  Don't be ashamed that you like being ashamed.
# ''Voyerism is a valid fetish.''  Some people whine about show offs, but even they seem to enjoy watching. Hmmm...
# ''We're topping all you fuckers!!''  //BWAHAHAHA!//
# ''Out of the bedrooms and into the leather bars'' - or else the leather bars //die.//
#  "Ball Bash 1" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "Breaking Point" ( http://ShotgunVideo.com )
# "Cole Cassidy Spotlight" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "Endurance Volume 1" ( http://ShotgunVideo.com )
# "Fear" ( http://www.TitanMedia.com )
# "Flip for It" ( http://ShotgunVideo.com )
# "Folsom Filth" ( http://www.FolsomFilth.com )
# "Folsom Prison" ( http://www.TitanMedia.com )
# "Funhouse" ( http://www.TitanMedia.com )
# "How to Tie Up Your Boyfriend" ( http://TomRopesMcGurk.com )
# "Jobberpaloza 9" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "Knots" ( http://TomRopesMcGurk.com )
# "The Mechanic" ( http://SteelMillMedia.com )
# "Military Inquisition" ( http://ZEUSstudios.com ) 
# "Out of Bounds 1" ( http://ShotgunVideo.com )
# "Painful Pleasures" ( http://TomRopesMcGurk.com )
# "Soldiers of Misfortune" ( http://ZEUSstudios.com )
# "Sounding #1" ( http://www.RagingStallion.com )
# "Squeezeplay" ( http://www.ShotgunVideo.com ) - Not yet released.
# "Steel Mill Men 2" ( http://www.SteelMillMedia.com )
# "Suffer for Me" ( http://TomRopesMcGurk.com )
# "Sunshine Shooters 1" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "Sunshine Shooters 2" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "Takedown" ( http://ZEUSstudios.com )
# "Wet and Wild 3" ( http://BGeast.com )

Non-video work:
#Interview in Owen Keehnen's Ultimate Starz <html><br><iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=derdasil-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1934187364&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&fc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=FFFF00&bc1=000000&bg1=000000&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe></html>
#Joe Oppedisano - Uncensored (Book)<html><br><iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=derdasil-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1934525677&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&fc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=FFF100&bc1=000000&bg1=000000&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>
#Joe Oppedisano - Street Fight 2009 (Calendar)<html><br><iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=derdasil-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1934525588&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&fc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=F5FF00&bc1=000000&bg1=000000&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>
#Anatomy of a Scene - Instigator Magazine Column with Tony Buff
# "The Anvil" ( http://ShotgunVideo.com )
# "Ball Bash 1" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "Ball Busters 1" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "Breaking Point" ( http://ShotgunVideo.com )
# "Closing Time at The Hole" ( http://BoundMuscle.com ) [As director]
# "Cole Cassidy Spotlight" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "Collared" ( http://BoundMuscle.com )
# "Dungeon Fest" ( http://ShotgunVideo.com )
# "Endurance Volume 1" ( http://ShotgunVideo.com )
# "Fear" [[Buy DVD|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.583/index.html]]
# "Flip for It" ( http://ShotgunVideo.com )
# "Folsom Filth" [[BUY DVD|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.524/index.html]]
# "Folsom Prison" BUY [[DVD|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.608/index.html]] or [[BluRay|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.607/index.html]]
# "Funhouse" Buy: [[DVD|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.649/index.html]] or [[BluRay|http://revex.dhdmedia.com/titanmencash/HTML/dcokey./dcwid.131103/dcdid.650/index.html]]
# "Hooked on Bondage" ( http://TomRopesMcGurk.com )
# "How to Tie Up Your Boyfriend" ( http://TomRopesMcGurk.com )
# "Jobberpaloza 9" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "Knots" ( http://TomRopesMcGurk.com )
# "Leather Dungeon"  ( http://BoundMuscle.com ) [As director]
# "The Mechanic" ( http://SteelMillMedia.com )
# "Military Inquisition" ( http://ZEUSstudios.com ) 
# "Out of Bounds 1" ( http://ShotgunVideo.com )
# "Painful Pleasures" ( http://TomRopesMcGurk.com )
# "Pierced" ( http://Rough.Titanmen.com  - withdrawn from release due to "extreme" content )
# "Shock Treatment" ([[BUY DVD|http://www.titanmen.com/store/product.asp?p=709&dcwid=131103]])
# "Skin Fuckers" ( http://kink.com )
# "Skinhead Torture Test"  ( http://BoundMuscle.com ) [As director and actor]
# "Soldiers of Misfortune" ( http://ZEUSstudios.com )
# "Sounding #1" ( http://www.RagingStallion.com )
# "Squeezeplay" ( http://www.ShotgunVideo.com ) Buy: [[DVD|https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=CcYCrqjH8ZMVyHrdL4bMeBw6nzq95e6BvzhCeYB2C3NXYS4lS8tvm5Uo1tq&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f998ca054efbdf2c25fe4a05bcb33bff68c4fe49456517e3e]] 
# "Steel Mill Men 2" ( http://www.SteelMillMedia.com )
# "Suffer for Me" ( http://TomRopesMcGurk.com )
# "Sunshine Shooters 1" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "Sunshine Shooters 2" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "TAKEN: to the lowest level" - [[Channel One|http://www.c1r.com/chichilarue/posts/265]] 
# "Takedown" ( http://ZEUSstudios.com )
# "The Tony Buff Collection" ( http://Titanmen.com )
# Training Play ( http://BoundMuscle.com )
# Trial by Fire ( http://BoundMuscle.com ) [As director, extra spotter]
# "Wet and Wild 3" ( http://BGeast.com )
# "XXX" ( [[MustangStudios|http://clicks.falconstudios.com/falconbucks/HTML/dcdid.4230/dcwid.131103/]] ) - check out the bonus fetish scene online only.  It contains a stunning electro/fire scene.

Non-video work:
Co-authored chapter in Rope, Bondage and Power
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#Interview in Owen Keehnen's Ultimate Starz <html><br><iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=derdasil-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1934187364&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&fc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=FFFF00&bc1=000000&bg1=000000&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe></html>
#Joe Oppedisano - Uncensored (Book)<html><br><iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=derdasil-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1934525677&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&fc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=FFF100&bc1=000000&bg1=000000&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>
#Joe Oppedisano - Street Fight 2009 (Calendar)<html><br><iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=derdasil-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1934525588&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&fc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=F5FF00&bc1=000000&bg1=000000&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>
#Anatomy of a Scene - [[Instigator Magazine|http://www.instigatormagazine.com/index3.shtml]] Column with Tony Buff (Three issues to date covering, columns cover Blood Sports, Impact Play, Bondage - next issue will cover electro play).
Welcome to Derek da Silva's site.  While you won't find any nude pictures here, the content is adult themed and if you are offended by adult material including material dealing with gay sexuality or sadomasochism, you should look elsewhere.  By clicking links on this page you are verifying that you are of legal age to view adult materials in your locale, and that you wish to view such material for your own education.

Subscribe as an RSS feed here: <html><a href="http://derekdasilva.com/index.xml"><img src="http://derekdasilva.com/images/rss.svg"></a></html>

The site content is broken into a few areas:
[[Bio]] - Basic info about Derek da Silva's career as an adult performer and his leather community activism.
[[MyJournal]] - Short musings that I'll be writing as often as I can manage.  As these get older I may delete these.  Consider them to be of an ephemeral nature.
[[Essays]] - I am a writer by training, and these are my more serious efforts at dealing with serious issues including the practical, social, political, and philosophical aspects of BDSM and safer sex.  While this isn't the kind of stuff that most people want out of a porn star's blog, BDSM audiences tend to be smart folks who appreciate a little brains with their brawn.
[[Quote of the Day]] - A bit of a lyric or a book that I find interesting and want to share.  Hopefully it will be clear how each is related to the topics I am passionate about.
[[Videography and Books]] - in case you want to view hot safer sex and BDSM in action, you can look here to see what videos I've done.  Also included are a book I'm interviewed in and some published photography works.  If you want videos or books this is where you can go to buy them.
[[Images]] - PG rated erotic stuff mainly.
[[Education]] - links to materials that Tony Buff and I have created to teach BDSM skills and safety.
[[Links]] - sites that this site's audience may find interesting.  Right now mainly a holding place.
[[Press]] - links and excerpts from reviews and articles in the press.
[[ContactMe]] - my email address and My Space page.
//originally posted 6 May 2008//
Through the late 80's and much of the 90's I was very active in the queerpunk scene.  Along the way, I became pen pals with one of the most enigmatic men I've ever met, Stephen Donaldson, or as most of us knew him, [[Donny the Punk|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Donaldson_(activist)]].

While Donny was part of the queerpunk scene, really he was an old hippie, and someone that went to prison for his political beliefs many times.  His columns for Maximum Rock and Roll were really some of the only regular must read content in that magazine.  And he was a gay rights activist before the Stonewall Riots.

It was in prison that he got the name Donny the Punk - because he was generally kept as a jail punk.  When he wasn't kept under protection, essentially as someone's property, he was raped countless times.  He died in 1996 - from AIDS contracted in prison when he was sexually assaulted.  I was in touch with him until near the very end, and we randomly ended up in Belize at the same time on what was almost certainly one of his last trips abroad.

His accounts of his experience were complex.  This was a man that became a prison activist and created [[Stop Prisoner Rape (now called Just Detention)|http://www.justdetention.org/]], a group whose accomplishments are many and who are truly worthy of your support. Yet on another level, he cherished the role and belonging he felt when he was kept as a man's punk in jail, as screwed up as that may be (and his prior experiences definately messed up his head).  As a heavy masochist I could relate to this and he and I had some fairly interesting conversations on why smart, assertive men still can have this weird need to belong and be used in ways that are violent and even harmful.

Our newest video, Folsom Prison, is a fantasy and it reflects some of the deep dark desires of gay men.  From my correspondence with Donny, I know that he felt the lure of this fantasy even as he was haunted by his rapes and even as he started the group that has singlehandedly been the most effective force in combatting prison rape and abuse.

The prison fantasy is one of the most common in gay adult videos - and the romanticized version is hot, bringing in themes of an all male world that is highly eroticized with sexual tension and intense power dynamics.  But as brutal as some of the action is in our video, it isn't  reality - and the reality is awful.  While we had condoms in our movie, in most prisons, condoms are contraband.  Nearly every one of my friends that has been in prison has come out with HIV and often ~Hep-C and MRSA as well - life long punishments that are far in excess of their crimes.  Add in the psychological after effects of rape and it's not a pretty picture.

Anyhow, I hope that you watch and enjoy Folsom Prison - while I've yet to see the final edit, my gut tells me it will be one of the greatest gay adult videos ever made.

But I also hope people take the time to learn about the dark realities of US prisons, and also to get to know who Donnie was.  His life is worth looking at again, in these times when no one seems to be fighting - no matter how bad things are.  Donny fought for gay rights (particularly for the rights of gay servicemen to serve openly), bisexual rights, and the rights of the poor to be treated fairly by the justice system.  And lest we forget, he fought for prisoner rights as well.  
//Originally posted on World AIDS day, 2007//

Imagine it's some day in the hopefully not too distant future. 

Scientists at a lab in Sao Paolo have discovered a complete cure for HIV and AIDS.  ~Hep-C and every other life threatening STD has already been vanquished.  What would you do?  Would you think that now, finally, after living a whole life of safer, condom protected sex, I can go without?

I came of age in the 80's when HIV was scary and new.  Everyone who was gay and just a few years older than me seemed to be dying.  So my generation was pretty much scared into safer sex.  A few years later, when HIV/AIDS became more of a "treatable" disease (meaning you could harm your health with drugs, but at least live a lot longer than before), attitudes about condom use became more lax and all sorts of irrational thinking was presented as fact, rather than as a denial of reality. 

I have friends who say they won't use condoms – they say they have every STD already.    Really they don't, and as an example, at least a few years back I had a rare tropical parasite in my blood could have killed any of these guys in a few months – luckily my immune system was healthy and took care of matters over the course of a year and, after a decade, it was concluded that I was finally clean of this particular nasty that I caught while backpacking at night in the jungle.

Still, like most gay men, I've had this running fantasy that one day AIDS would really be cured through some medical magic - and that I could finally forgo condoms.  But this really is just a fantasy.  While I'm sure we will figure out more effective ways to deal with AIDS, condoms and sex are a reality that I will argue can never go away – even with a total cure for HIV.

If there is one thing the AIDS epidemic should have taught us, it's that you never know what is going to come next.  And that certain behaviors allow disease to spread amazingly fast.  AIDS is hardly the only sexually transmitted disease, even if it is one of the scariest ones.  In my lifetime, the gay men's community went from a Hepatitis "plague" to an even more serious one with HIV.  Many of my historic gay heroes died of ~STDs what were cureable long before I was ever born.  Another deadly bug is sure to be around the corner - that is certain.

I don't ever want to see a replay of the devastation that I saw when I was coming out in the 80's.

If you want to avoid the flu or the common cold, one of the best things you can do is wash your hands often, especially before eating.  It's simple hygiene and important stuff really.  Safer sex isn't much different only the stakes are higher and the issues more personal. 

At risk of being a killjoy, I believe if the gay community is to avoid another catastrophe like the one that wiped out the generation only a few years older than me, we need to renew our commitments to safer sex and find new ways to make safer sex as fun and wild and safe as it can be.
Copyright [[Osmosoft|http://www.tiddlywiki.com]]