CYCLES OF PORN SEX/LIFE IN L.A., PART 2Los Angeles in the year 2005: 19-year-old lads move through an apartment that has been equipped with webcams and looks like some sort of futuristic internet dolls house. Not-quite-so-young men fulfil their sexual dreams as protagonists in bareback productions. And, at private sex parties, almost every second guy has either taken part in a porn film or wants to.
In 1997, I followed on camera the fortunes of a group of men who had chosen to work either artistically or commercially with their bodies. This footage later became part of my 1998 documentary, SEX/LIFE IN L.A. Im still in touch with some of the men in that film, these include: lone battler Kevin Kramer, mature shooting star Cole Tucker, American boy-next-door Matt Bradshaw and friends of the occasional model John Garwood, who died of an overdose in 1998. Some of these men have successful careers behind them, others have left the sex industry altogether.
Driven by a sense of adventure or by their own narcissism, young men today are still keen to put their own stamp on porn cinema. But the days of a purely non-commercial fulfilment of ones sexual desires has long gone, and the interests of consumers, models and producers no longer coincide. Gay life like the entire industry has become something of a profession and is now thoroughly commercialised. Young models begin their sexual careers in internet containers; they enter the business fully aware of their self-exploitation and yet, at the same time, they are somehow unconscious of how they are being exploited. Meanwhile, bareback video producers scour the country in their motorhomes on the lookout for new protagonists.
But can there be any winners in this game? Is there anything left of sex itself? And is there a life after porn?