Toronto
3 min

One of us?

The straight guy stigmatized by sex

ASSGASMS. When not looking for rear entry, Seymore Butts, aka Adam Glasser, is just an ordinary single dad trying to do his best by his son, find a date and make his mom proud. Credit: Xtra files

It’s not easy being Adam Glasser, aka Seymore Butts, US porn mogul extraordinaire – but that makes for good TV.



Drawing on the mass popularity of reality television and the undeniable lure of the entertainment industry, especially the adult entertainment industry, Family Business is the TV chronicle of Glasser’s life, coming to the MExcess channel this week.



Despite showing a lot of flesh and sex (pretty much everything but penetration and ejaculation), Family Business plays up the “This is just a regular guy with regular problems” angle. Glasser’s business is a family business, with mom Lila keeping the books and cousin Stevie working as business manager. When the theme song chimes, “Just because you’re happy, don’t mean you feel complete/ Just because we’re naked, don’t mean we’re indiscrete,” the screen flashes pictures of Glasser as a kid and then Glasser with his real life seven-year-old son, Randy, throwing a baseball.



Aw!



Family values aside, there wouldn’t be a TV show if Glasser wasn’t professionally known as Seymore Butts, a fitness club owner turned head of a successful line of hetero pornography specializing in anal sex and female ejaculation (both his and my favourite title is Poetic Just Ass). The producers of Family Business (who did Big Brother) saw Glasser on a documentary about his arrest on obscenity charges. They liked his charismatic presence and the family set-up and so, the 10-episode TV series was born (season two is already in the works).



Episode one juxtaposes Glasser taking his kid to school with auditions at the office involving a series of Polaroid photos (for the men at least one has to show a hard on). The editing is hilarious, purposely playing up the disjunction between family man and porn merchant.



And the religious right thought Rosie O’Donnell was scary.



Family Business is certainly entertaining, and not just in a, “Hey, look at the naked people,” kind of way. Part of the show’s success is due to Glasser’s family; they are pretty interesting to watch. Cousin Stevie is probably the most entertaining, evoking something of a Frank Sinatra vibe. It’s one thing to know that being in the porn industry involves odd jobs, it’s another entirely to watch Stevie storm around LA looking for a “squirter” (a woman who can ejaculate) and pit-stopping for lap dances.



From a queer perspective, the most interesting element involves Glasser’s struggle, not just to find love, but to unite two worlds – Seymore Butts’ world of porn and his family life. Each episode sees Glasser going on another date. If the girl is not in the industry, the dates usually fail dismally. Millions of men and women might praise Seymore for his videos, but not a lot of women in the straight (non-porn) world, it seems, are into going out with a porn star. The word that seems to flash across their face, when Glasser tells them what he does, could only be described as “ick.”



Which is too bad because the 39-year-old Glasser seems like a pretty charming guy for a porn star, just as frustrated in person as he is on the show. “It’s difficult,” he says with a sigh, “when the first question that gets asked in almost any social situation is, ‘What do you do?'”



What he does for a living makes a lot of people uneasy. Sure, he admits, some women might be “intrigued,” but most don’t consider him a possible partner.



People just need to get to know him, he hopes. “If we were to go to the Mövenpick,” he says, gesturing out the window at the restaurant below, “on a regular basis, and the waitress, the same waitress, were to get to know me, she would be able to see beyond that and see who I really am.”



And that person, according to one episode, is someone who draws smiley faces on his kid’s lunch bag. “But I really do that,” Glasser says. “Randy lost two teeth and I drew a face on his lunch bag with the teeth missing.”



Aw!



It’s funny because, for most queers, the idea of being judged and being judged negatively for something to do with sex and sexuality is nothing new. So what is responsible for the divide between the sexual world and the “straight” world?



“It’s a different mindset,” he shrugs. “People have been brainwashed by their parents, by religious zealots.”



Is one of the goals of Family Business to dispel those negative feelings? Glasser believes that the series will address a wide spectrum of people, not just porn consumers. His relationship with his son, his mother and his co-workers, should appeal to a large audience that will hopefully see Glasser as just a regular guy.



Are the Glassers just X-rated Osbournes? Glasser notes that the Osbournes are a family of outrageous people in a normal situation, while his show is about a normal family in an outrageous situation.



Maybe, just maybe, the world will learn that being sexual – and making money doing it – isn’t all bad after all. Either that or the whole thing will work like a gigantic, mass-produced, personal ad.



“Single dad and porn star seeks mate to bridge worlds. Must be open-minded.”



Good luck, Seymore.



FAMILY BUSINESS.

11:30pm. Fridays.

Beginning Oct 3.

MExcess.