Know before you go, part 1 of 3: Sean Cody
This is a three-part blog entry that will give background information about adult video projects and how they operate, so that others will have candid information before they decide that videos are the choice for them or not. I will be honest, and this means it will not be possible for me to sound completely unbiased in some instances. It isn’t my intent necessarily to besmirch anyone, but rather to describe events, so that possibilities aren’t overlooked (e.g. if it happened to me, it’s possible it will happen in a similar manner to you). In part 1, I am going to go line by line and describe the ins and outs of my experience with Sean Cody. In part 2, I am going to compare and contrast my experiences at the four houses for which I have worked thus far. In part 3, I am going to give some practical advice and talk about the advantages of working through an agency.
Recently there was a story written on Queer Porn Nation about a blog post I created. It has a rather sensationalist title, but it doesn’t go on to say anything untrue about what I had posted here. What is curious is that I have been holding off for a very long time on writing about my experience at Sean Cody. I wanted to get more screen credits first, so that I could have a basis for comparison. At any rate, I am now ready to give a very detailed account of how that year under the Sean Cody contract played itself out. I am sorry that my readiness happens to be timed right when this pingback has connected itself to what I was already going to say. But here we go…
Introduction & Phone Interview
If you have read my blog for a while, you will know that there was a start and stop process to my getting involved with my first video projects. I submitted pics on a whim, got a positive response, and I fell out of touch because of insecurity; then they contacted me quite a while later, we restarted the conversation, and they fell out of touch because of disorganization; and finally they contacted me through my profile on Model Mayhem, I explained how it was our third conversation, and we persisted in maintaining contact. I should mention that at this last juncture I was also being recruited by Randy Blue, and in retrospect I wish I had gone with them instead.
After the dates were set and the plane tickets purchased I then spoke on the phone with my recruiter at Sean Cody. He gave me tips and expectations concerning my appearance, and then asked me questions about myself, so as to create my “character.” He wanted me to be bisexual; however, “I have been out since I was 15, and I have been dancing in gay clubs since 1998. No one is going to buy that. I am gay. Period.” Okay, well, they could work with that. At that time I thought I was going to remain in the thirty-something closet (since I was still, at that time, dancing under the declared age of 24). Then the recruiter asked me about my career, and we had this conversation (or something to this effect):
“What do you do?”
“I’m a professional dancer and choreographer, and I am also a career exotic dancer.”
“Oh, wow. You can’t say that. Sean wouldn’t like that. Don’t tell anyone here that.”
“It’s too gay.”
“Oh. Well, I write for a gay newspaper, and I have taught writing at the college level. I’m an educator, and I’ve studied languages. I guess it wouldn’t be a lie to say I’m a linguist.”
“Okay, perfect. We’ll use that. What sports do you do?”
“I don’t. I’m a dancer.”
“Well, make something up.”
“I don’t want to do that. I was a gymnast before I was a dancer.”
“Perfect. You’re a linguist and gymnast. Don’t bring up the other stuff.”
“Okay. So, you guys don’t like gay guys then?”
“No! No, it’s not that. It’s just that straight guys sell better.”
Travel & Accomodations
I will give Sean Cody this much: They absolutely go all out on travel, lodging, food, and general pampering off set. When I had some incredible airport drama they were right there helping me get the flights I needed. I was to be chauffeured in a limousine, and when my flight got redirected from San Diego to Orange County they sent the limousine 100 miles north to pick me up and drive me comfortably back to San Diego. I stayed at a gorgeous resort hotel for both trips, and the food before and after the shoots was awesome. They really didn’t scrimp at all on making sure I was comfortable. I really have to applaud them for being so generous in this regard. They also pay amazingly well – far, far better than other houses.
I did my paperwork, and the person signing the contracts with me noticed my age. He made a big deal out of it. The camera man heard him, and this became part of the conversation on film. I don’t remember now if talking about being in my thirties is on the film or only in the write up, but there it was: Sean Cody had, for whatever reason, outed me as a thirty-something. Perhaps this was to play up some sort of diversity concept? Look! We have guys who aren’t in their twenties! AND THIS ONE IS GAY! OOOOOOO!
I’m sorry (and this isn’t a jab at Landon, whom I have never met and who is very beautiful), but there isn’t really any true diversity at Sean Cody. Landon, as picture perfect as he is, reminds me of the court ordered black model in an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. I felt like I was being made a particular spectacle for being so much older and gayer than “normal” on their site, and I have never felt like I was particularly well portrayed in either video.
If I seem quiet, shy, and/or tentative in the videos on Sean Cody it is because of the direction I was given by the crew moments before filming:
“Okay, don’t talk with your hands; don’t use any big words; and keep your voice kinda deep.”
“So, you want me to speak as I am right now?”
“YES! The way you just said ‘right now’ was totally perfect.”
“So you understand?”
“Oh, yes. I understand perfectly.”
I felt compelled to move and speak as little as possible, because I was afraid I would ruin their film and not get paid. This became problematic during filming, because they then asked me to make noises, which is something I don’t do much of during sex. It felt unnatural, and the entire time I was terrified that I was overdoing the noise (which I don’t care for in general), and then on top of it I was scared the noises I did make would be ridiculous and over the top. But they liked it, so I did what they asked.
At one point they asked me if I would play with a toy. Normally I don’t use them, but I wanted to be gracious and cooperative, since my paperwork specifically stated that difficult models would not be asked back. And do you know what they gave me? A LIMP DICK DILDO.
What the fuck?
“This is a limp dick dildo.”
“Yeah, we teach the straight guys how to suck dick with it.”
“How am I supposed to get it inside?”
“Oh, just play with it and figure it out.”
So I ended up standing in an awkward position, corkscrewing a limp dick dildo into my ass, making noises that I feared were “too gay,” and hoping that I wouldn’t look completely ridiculous in the process. Have I mentioned yet that they fucked my hair up? OMG, maybe I’m too gay afterall, but don’t fuck with a bitch’s weave! GOD!
For the cum shot I was told to work the noise up to a climax. Great. I’d already made a bunch of noise. I have to get even louder? Oh, boy. So, I did. (I, personally, cannot watch my Sean Cody videos for a variety of reasons, but particularly because of all the hollering.) I offered to eat the cum, since that is rare on Sean Cody, and we finished up. It was a two-day shoot, each day lasting 2-3 hours. In the end they edited out anything I said that gave me any type of personality. The interviewers often ask questions in a degrading or creepy manner, so when the camera guy (who was VERY HOT, btw) told me I was attractive I said, “Thanks, you’re pretty, too!” It was a joke. I was just trying to undercut the weirdness of being talked to by an unseen person. Well, that didn’t make the cut. They almost always ask “Are you nervous?” I replied, “No. Are you?” That didn’t make it either. LOL
Let me say this: You cannot undo porn. I had just done a jerk-off scene. I was committed. There was no turning back. I went into Sean Cody to pay off my debt faster, and now I intended to go full steam ahead, no matter what, because I hadn’t made what I needed to wipe the debt out. It is for this reason that I tried to be as personable and cooperative as I could: Although I found some aspects of the solo problematic, I didn’t want to be left hanging with the debt AND a single porn project.
I went out a few weeks later to do my duo. They told me a few moments before I met him that I was going to do my scene with Fuller. I looked him up, and I found pictures of a doll-faced boy. I thought, “Awww! What a sweetie pie!” That is not who I met.
I went outside to get the ride to the studio, and there was a blinged-out, rather ghetto, and intimidating man standing there smoking a cigarette and having a heated argument on the phone. I finally realized it was the same person when I saw the red cross tattoo. We got acquainted briefly, and he immediately began telling me about his girlfriend, who was angry that he was doing videos that weekend (he did the video with Martin a day or two after the scene with me).
“Great, I get to spend the day fucking some chic’s smoker, thug boyfriend.” I was very disheartened at the sight of him, because he was SO MUCH BIGGER than me. I thought they’d paired me with someone similar to compliment us both, but now I was suddenly suspicious that I was being paired with him, so that I could be “the lucky gay guy” to bottom for such a hot, straight stud.
Fuller, as it turns out, is very nice. He’s very business minded, and he is very direct. I admire that. I also admire his discipline and dedication to fitness. So my complaints about the duo are not really directed at him, so much as the situation. He and I have stayed in touch from time to time, and I do not wish him any ill whatsoever. I need to state that clearly up front. After my initial negative impression I was greatly endeared to him when he expressed disbelief at my age and said, “I hope I look half as good when I’m your age!” Okay… we like this one… He can stay. LOL
Then the filming began (after more paper work and more drama about my age).
Some people, especially some of the readers on the site SeanCodyReviews.com, have been particularly unfriendly toward me in general, and I am going to now explain why they are deluded about a great many things. I do not apologize for undermining their fascination with gay-for-pay porn, because they shouldn’t be feeding such dysfunctional desire in the first damn place.
Once again I was instructed to not speak in a gay manner. This in front of Fuller. It reinforced my fear of being “too gay,” and I didn’t quite close my mouth in time and said, “I get it. You don’t like gay guys.”
“No, it’s not like that!”
“It’s exactly like that. I understand. Can we just do this?”
And so began the “cuddling” and interview. We were put into some kind of uncomfortable jigsaw shape in which to begin. They started by asking Fuller about his girlfriend (while he’s intertwined with me? WTF??), and I was struggling to not show annoyance on my face. I think it translated more into a “oh, you so craaaazy!” kinda face. When they started asking me questions I tried to remember to say and do nothing much, but accidentally slipped and said something quippish before I remembered to shut up and sit still.
Then the kissing. Wow. Minty ash tray. That’s hot. And then we had to cut recording, because I was supposed to be the submissive bottom, and I was leading too much. So, I just held way back, fearful that I was showing too much interest in kissing a man. One wouldn’t want to accidentally inject any homosexuality into this film, right? So, I’m sure Fuller kisses girls better than he does boys, and that’s understandable: He’s totally straight.
Next the oral sex. Okay, before Fuller puts my dick in his mouth, he looks up at me and says, “Sorry, dude. I suck lousy dick.”
Yep. All teeth. It hurt. Alot. But that’s to be expected with someone who doesn’t fellate with any passion for it. At least he warned me. Anyone who thinks porn models are incapable of acting is naïve at best.
Yay!! The fucking! YAY!
THIS. This is where my nerves start to get shot on set. The penetration is extremely problematic, and is made worse by a third man on crew who had never shot porn before, was totally straight, and had no concept of butt sex. More on him later.
I don’t remember the order in which the positions happen in the video, but, while we were shooting, the assistant camera homo got more and more creative as we went. As we got more and more tired he came up with more and more challenging shapes. And this is something you need to know about working with straight models: They can stay hard for about 30 seconds to a minute. By the time they get it up, they’re already going down. Editing makes everything look sequential and immediate, but that is an abject fallacy. “How can they be straight if they can fuck/be fucked for a 20 minute video?” Because each take is so short that what you are seeing is them being portrayed as gay-for-pay, when in fact they are gay-for-thirty-seconds.
So, what does all this start and stop mean? It means that Sean Cody videos are exciting, because the camera angles always change. It looks like a music video or car commercial, because the visuals are constantly moving around. What else does it mean? It means that if you follow the Sean Cody formula of 4-6 shapes shot from 3 angles (and 4-5 takes of each angle) that you have 12-15 short takes of each shape (ergo over 50-70 takes, easily, for the anal alone). And what does that mean? That you have to get hard over 50 times, and (in my case) get penetrated ALOT. We went through over 40 condoms in seven hours. I thought I was going to pass out a few times. You would think Fuller would be a tad more compassionate, given his bottoming scene.
Then there’s the issue of fluffing yourself. Sean Cody provides 20-30 modern porn videos for their straight models to choose from between takes. They work with so few gay models that (when I was there) they had three. One was from 1986 and had more hair product and eyeliner than lube in the scenes. Another was a video of out-of-shape bondage guys dunking each other’s heads in toilets and pretending to rape each other. The last one was Bel Ami (which would be perfect, if I liked that type of guy). I went with the Bel Ami, and hoped for the best. But another problem was that I was stuck with the DVD player that didn’t work well, so when Fuller would holler out that he was ready with a boner, I hadn’t even gotten my video to play yet (and then everyone would get impatient with me for holding up the process). When I finally did coordinate a hard-on with Fuller I had to then run down the hall, flop back into the last position, and he would ram his softening cock into me and start fucking as if we’d not stopped for several minutes. His comfort and his erection mattered, not mine. I was expected to maintain a raging erection (despite the run from the other room and repeated ass ramming), because my dick was always visible, but I ended up flapping in the breeze like a surrender flag for many of the takes.
There was the constant threat of not getting paid. “If you cum too fast everyone goes home with no money.” Great, I get it. How many times do you have to say that? Fuller said, “Dude, if you fuck up my money we’re going to fight.” My gay eyebrow went up really fast. He stood down, and tried to go back into encouraging me. But it got worse every time Fuller would say, “Man, you are doing awesome!” or “Dude, think of the money.” I know he meant to help me, but everyone on the staff was getting shorter and curter with me as getting a hard-on got more difficult (and painful). I kept up fine for the first 4 hours, but going into hour 5 I started having severe issues from going numb. At hour 6 I doubted I could finish at all, and at hour 7 I was contemplating calling it all off and giving up completely. Fuller then said, “Dude, can we move this along? I wanna get to the bank before it closes.”
I made it known I needed a break. I took twenty minutes, and I was able to restart. I then told Fuller, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think you will be able to cash your check today.” I really felt bad for holding him up.
For a moment I want to talk about the breeder on set. I heard him complain, “What’s up with him? Why can’t he just hurry the fuck up?” To his credit, assistant camera homo replied, “This always happens. The bottoms get worn out. You have to be patient.” This straight guy had offered me some of his odoriferous fish in clam sauce a couple hours earlier.
“Hey, man: You hungry? You want some?”
“Thank you, but I can’t eat right now.”
“Where do you think that food is going to end up in about two hours?” (Insert several seconds of pause.)
“Ohhhhhhhh.” Really? THIS is the person who is being trained to film gay porn?
Anyway, time for the cum shots. I had been praying for this for hours, because I was starting to have trouble walking. Now that the time had come, assistant camera homo came up with the most ridiculous position of them all. He somehow thought I would be able to cum on my right side (thus pinning my j/o hand to the bed) with my legs in some kind of Kama Sutra bullshit. I didn’t use any particular tone in my voice. I simply said, “I can’t cum like that.”
“Well,” he said with a thoroughly bitchy voice, “how CAN you cum?”
“At this point? On my back,” I replied neutrally.
“Not everyone can cum on their back! It’s boring.”
“Well, I can’t cum like that.”
“Oh, GOD! Is it really that difficult?!” Oh, no she didn’t. The gay eyebrow shot up again, my hand went to my hip, and Funquita Jackson came roaring into view before I could stop myself.
“Yes. Actually. It is.”
Suddenly I was the most important person in the room. Suddenly they were about to have their bottom walk off set. Suddenly they’d better figure out a way to make the gay guy happy. Everything changed from that moment on.
“I’m sorry,” he replied. “We’re all just tired. It’s been a long day.”
So, I finally got to do my cum shot, and I (horror of horrors) I couldn’t. I looked at Fuller and said, “I don’t care who you have to pretend I am, you have to keep your dick hard and fuck me until I cum or this will never happen.” So, I finally came. I wonder who he pretended I was?
On the video it looks like Fuller’s orgasm happened only moments after mine. No. That is editing. The time between my orgasm and his was about 10 minutes. I couldn’t get up off the bed, or my cum would go everywhere, and they wanted the continuity of the shot. So, this time, Fuller had to get it up in front of me. He looked down at me and said, “Don’t look at me, or you’ll fuck me up.”
“Remember,” the camera man said to me, “if the cum hits your face your can’t make weird faces or we can’t use the footage and you won’t get paid.” Right. Because I’ve never had a guy’s cum hit my face before. Thanks for the extra pressure!!
I turned my head, breathing as shallowly as possible, and tried not to exist long enough for Fuller to cum all over me. The end.
A few weeks later they asked me to come back and do a third scene, but I turned it down. At the time I was still talking to Steve, and I thought we were building a relationship. I’d already prepaid for the trip we took to the mountains, which happened to be the same dates as the filming for the third video. Ironically, I broke up with Steve two weeks later, and could have used the money to ward off the problems with my car that had come up at that time. But what can you do?
But wait, there’s more. I knew that I had signed an exclusive contract that did not include a guarantee for further work; however, I had felt compelled to sign it when I did the solo, because it seemed I would definitely NOT get more work without signing it. It was a catch-22 in many ways. I do not believe the contact could be upheld in a court of law, but I didn’t feel like testing it (or paying for the litigation/arbitration to test the theory). I also did not want to develop a reputation for getting out of contracts. So, I said nothing, in the hopes that they would want to work with me more.
The solo came out on my 33rd birthday (exactly two weeks shy of a year before I wrote this). The duo came out on Labor Day 2009. Weeks turned to months, and every time I called to check on work, I was told that they had shot so much material in advance that they were back logged for a while. They asked that I check in on the first of every month, which I did in July and August, but then everything quickly turned to shit in September.
Adult Entertainment & Aftermath
I went into porn as a form of advertising for escorting. My recruiter made no mention of my exotic dancing to his managers, and I didn’t realize Sean Cody had a problem with escorts, so I never mentioned it. It didn’t occur to me that a web site that coerces straight men to have gay sex on camera would have a sense of moral indignation. Also, many porn models are escorts, so it didn’t occur to me that it would shock the people at Sean Cody.
At any rate they discovered I was using my Sean Cody stills from the solo on my RentBoy ads. They asked me to take them down, which I did within minutes. I hadn’t asked permission to use them, and I understand completely that they have a right to control their copyrighted material. I also removed all mention of Sean Cody from my ads, since that too is their trademarked name. But I had the following conversation via text:
“I understand you want to control your material, but what am I supposed to say at the clubs where I dance when people ask if it’s me? Am I supposed to say, ‘No,’ when it’s obviously me?”
“What do you mean? What clubs?”
“I’m an exotic dancer, and I have been for 12 years.”
“I never knew about this.”
“I told my recruiter all this before I came out for the solo video.”
“We don’t want to be associated with adult entertainers and escorts.”
“I don’t understand. There are multiple ads linking to Sean Cody all over the page where my RentBoy ad is. It is hypocritical at best for you to say you don’t want to be associated with adult entertainers when you recruit them and advertise on RentBoy.”
I never heard from them again, except to inquire about my tax forms (which they sent immediately). After that I had no desire to talk to them again.
I wished I had gone with Randy Blue. I chose Sean Cody, because their product seemed more highly polished and their pay scale was a bit higher. But Sean Cody expects his models to have no life before or during their tenures on his site. He also presumes to sit in judgment over me when he uses money to induce straight men to do that which they wouldn’t do otherwise? And it is ME who is shameful?
As much as Sean Cody doesn’t wish to be associated with me, I can say only that the feeling is entirely mutual. As my Filmography expands I will remove them from the list. I would like nothing better than for them to take me off their site, as if the videos had never existed. I am not going to ask them to do that. I have no basis upon which to do so, but I wouldn’t be upset if they did. I would never have worked with them, if I had realized the extent to which their attitudes are contrary to my entire existence.