2 min

The morality of gay-for-pay

Zeb Atlas identifies as straight but is a successful gay pornstar because he's hot and he performs.

For some reason, porn fans have this weird obsession with the morality of gay-for-pay pornstars. Maybe it’s just my ironic detachment talking, but it seems odd that someone would be so heavily invested in gay porn that the idea of straight penises going in gay asses causes some sort of cataclysmic tear in the fabric of reality that would invite The Outer Gods into our world. To this I say, relax. In the grand scheme of things, self-identifying straight men using their gender fluidity to make a living isn’t really that big a deal. And besides, if someone is willing to go gay for $500, chances are they aren’t a zero on the Kinsey scale to begin with.

The most common argument is that straight men don’t perform as well as gay men. I’m not going to make any sweeping statements declaring one inherently better than the other, but on a case-by-case basis, there are straight men who deliver. Look at Samuel O’Toole, Jeremy Bilding, or Zeb Atlas; they identify as straight but have made it big in gay adult entertainment. They’re successful not just because they’re hot — although that helps quite a bit — but because they perform well. On the other hand, certain gay performers look like they walked right off the pages of Faces of Meth.

The second argument I usually hear is that straight guys are taking jobs away from gay performers. Holy shit — where to begin. You know your argument is dead in the water when it’s essentially just a coherent version of South Park’s classic “Dey took yer jerrrrrrb” line.

There is no such thing as a finite amount of porn; it’s a creative field fuelled by performance. There is an infinite number of jobs that can be created. There will always be more roles and scenes written. This is like being mad at someone for breathing because they’re taking your air.

The final argument they usually throw out is the idea that straight guys are just using gay men to support themselves. As opposed to gay men, who apparently work pro boner out of the goodness of their hearts. Yes, straight men get paid for doing gay porn. Trading goods and services for monetary reward is the basis of our economic system. That’s how that works. And yes, some straight performers are greedy and selfish, but the same can be said for certain gay performers. And when you factor in how many gay-for-payers do charity events to give back to the community, this point doesn’t really have legs.

The problem with arguments like these is that they cut both ways; yes, some gay-for-payers are shitty, but some gay-for-reals are shitty, too. If a straight guy sucks at performing on camera, that’s a legitimate argument. But you can’t make sweeping generalizations about people based on their sexual orientations in order to protect your own kind. That’s what politicians are for.