How Neo Nazism Thrives In Gay Porn

Racism is still alive and well in America, as we've all seen with the recent events in Charlottesville, but another place where racism seems to be thriving is gay porn.  Via Mel Magazine: Take JoeSchmoeVideos.com. The site started out as a simple amateur gay porn site back in 2012 filming “gay-for-pay” amateurs of many races who claimed to be straight but curious. Then, in early 2014, a large Confederate flag appeared on the wall over the most frequently used bed on set. That same year, a new model named Eric appeared, sporting a large swastika tattoo on his stomach.

In 2015, model Jarvis began making appearances on the site, with a close-shaved head and a large black swastika tattoo on his back. These two models perform with both black and white scene partners, but their “offensive ink” (as the site calls it), and the rebel flag that presides over their scenes, leave viewers with an overall impression of white supremacy in lurid action.

Of course, sexual fantasy is often politically incorrect — force, incest, “teen” porn, bestiality, and the like are all relatively common fantasy themes — and the taboos around racial difference make race play an incredibly popular element of America’s sexual id. Racial themes and interracial pairings in porn are nothing new, and they may be serving a need for people who find them arousing.

Content that satisfies depraved demands is porn producers’ bread and butter, and it’s profitable to err on the side of fantasies that are subversive enough to titillate a consumer into paying to see them. But that can mean getting into some really slippery moral territory.

“In porn, there are a lot of things going on that would be morally reprehensible in reality, but they appeal to people’s fantasies, and that’s what porn is all about,” Zevran says.

So we get porn sites like GayPatrol.com, where “power hungry and horny cops take control of our black population and fuck them” — literally, graphically, and often after simulated police brutality, complete with racial slurs. GayPatrol could be interpreted as a darkly cynical pornographic parody of race relations between law enforcement and Americans of color in the past few years, but according to the site’s legal fine print, “The images contained on this site were published, republished, reproduced or reissued between November 30, 1999 and January 16, 2009.”

In other words, racism in gay porn isn’t a direct response to current events — it’s part of the very fabric of our pornographic culture. “There are quite a few gay porn companies that play off racial stereotypes,” says Zevran, who won the 2017 Xbiz Gay Performer of the Year Award. “The fetishizing of black men is a thing in both gay and straight porn.”

JoeSchmoe, whose videos are also scattered across free streaming sites like xVideos and MyVidster, isn’t doing anything exactly new: The eroticization of white supremacy — particularly Nazism — has a storied history in films across genres, from exploitation films of the mid-’70s up through Bruce la Bruce’s 1999 neo-Nazi film Skin Gang and beyond.

And the Nazis’ worship of the hyper-masculinized Aryan male form in 1930s and 1940s Germany had gay overtones from the get-go. The Wehrmacht and SS have long been admired for their fashion sense. Internationally revered gay fetish artist Tom of Finland told biographer Valentine F. Hooven, “The whole Nazi philosophy, the racism and all that, is hateful to me, but of course I drew them anyway — they had the sexiest uniforms!” Add to their snappy outfits the power that came with them, and you’ve got a potent base for sexual fantasy. My friend Steve, who told me about his brushes with gay neo-Nazi porn, told me, “The fetishization of power is a phenomenally potent force in sexuality, on many levels, for many different people. It certainly is for me.” Presumably, it is for lots of other porn fans, too.

Searches for the word “Nazi” hover at an average of just over 1,000 a day so far this year, according to porn streaming site xHamster spokesperson Alex Hawkins. But overall, there’s a steady trickle of searches for that kind of material, with “Nazi” outpacing “skinhead” in popularity by a ratio of three to one. Neither of these terms is even close to being a top search term, but there’s clearly an abiding interest in both.

If the politics of such porn existing at all is complex and problematic as it is, one rarely considered aspect of the production of such thorny racial porn is how the actors themselves negotiate participating in it, ultimately beholden to serve their audiences. In a professional environment, with pay on the line, ethics around fantasy and reality can get complicated.

“Most producers and directors I personally know are always pushing for diversity and work that doesn’t play off of racial stereotypes,” Zevran says. But, he continues, “Navigating consumer demand and model preferences makes that difficult.”

Furthermore, it’s also a seldom-discussed reality of the porn industry, gay and straight, that some models — usually white ones — prefer not to work with scene partners of other races. While that may sound repugnant from a professional standpoint, Zevran points out that “companies can’t force a model to have sex with someone” — that would be just as unacceptable.

So directors are left to juggle performers’ preferences, consumer demand, and their own consciences. The result is a lot of porn that lacks diversity, and a base of mostly white performers that can feel entitled to regressive attitudes about race.

Case in point: gay porn performer Paul Canon, who drew criticism from within the industry and without when he tweeted that he simply was “not sexually attracted to colored people” in 2015. He continued to get work in the aftermath, however, and was still working (with only white partners, of course) a year later, when up-and-coming performer Cameron Diggs was called out by consumers for sporting numerous white supremacist symbols among his many tattoos.

Diggs defended himself in a comments thread on industry blog Str8UpGayPorn, where he first discussed at length the histories of the Iron Cross and lightning bolt symbols that he’d had inked on himself. He followed the history lessons up with a monologue about his views on race, including the gems: “I believe people should want to be proud of who they are and where they come from,” “I feel like we are suppose to continue our race and our culture,” and “When it comes to having kids, I prefer to stay inside my race.” He capped it all with, “Does that make me a racist?”

Many in the gay porn community thought it — and his tattoos — did, and Diggs’ work was shortly pulled from one porn site and denied release on another. Diggs summarily lost most of his employment opportunities in the gay porn industry. As industry blogger Zachary Sire wrote for Vice in the wake of Diggs’s dismissal, “Thanks to social media and industry blogs, ‘preferences’ are being exposed, shared, shamed, and retweeted to such an extent that studios can no longer pretend to be oblivious” to racism in their ranks.

That all sounds like good news, but just as in the rest of American culture, white supremacy in pornography is part of a long and deeply entrenched tradition, and won’t be easily stamped out. Not all porn is created equal, and while it seems the mainstream gay industry is turning its back on racism, there’s still a thriving amateur market that isn’t exposed to the same level of scrutiny.

Pornographers in the mainstream porn industry can work to be more cognizant of what they’re projecting: GayPatrol.com, for all its many faults, seems not to have made any new material for years, and the recent sacking of Cameron Diggs and his Iron Crosses seems to indicate that producers are losing patience with white supremacy on set.

But performers still have their preferences, and audiences still have their fantasies. Amateur companies like JoeSchmoe are still willing to make what people want to see, and at least some of them want to see racially motivated fantasies writ large.

“We can’t expect porn to change much when society itself has light years to go” on social issues around race, says Zevran. “No doubt, recent events have set us back, but we know racism is wrong. Everyone knows it.”

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