future of gay porn teaser
future of gay porn teaser

Op-Ed: Instagram Killed the Porno Star, So What Does the Future of Gay Porn Look Like?

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In 2006, controversial porn star Michael Lucas produced the most expensive gay adult film to date, Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita. Two years later, Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge was released, now considered one of the most expensive pornographic films of all time. That time period saw a lot happen — Jenna Jameson retired, the financial market crisis reared its ugly head, video rental shops went kaput.

It didn’t matter whether you could comprehend the complexities of the consumer price index or business cycles. The facts were clear: the glided age of skin flicks was coming to a close.

Classifying the “Golden Age of Porn” is tricky business. Some historians will attest it synchronizes with the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s and ’70s, but that’s just when porn achieved mainstream integration. Porn performers who earned the big bucks came after the dawn of the new millennium, when the internet provided greater exposure to content but before the web racked up an abundance of hackers and copyright violators.

future of gay porn la dolce vita

The trajectory of Jenna Jameson is a prime example of how the industry has never fully recovered. She earned the highest buck for her bang, and in her 10-year absence, no one has come close to entering her stratosphere of salacious success. (Though when it comes to penetrating pop culture, a porn performer with ties to the White House — and we don’t mean Kim Kardashian — has come close.)

But is it possible that this year, 2019, marks the beginning of the end of the gay porn industry, at least as a structured business? Will the future of gay porn see a slow submergence of those already sinking ships that have kept the industry afloat, the studios?

In May 2018, Ryan Rose announced his retirement from gay porn, a well-known industry vet with more than 60 Falcon Studios titles under his belt. Retirement is a liberal term in porn, often holding as much weight as a declaration of love on The Bachelor, because the business is infamous for re-turnover, where a performer steps back into the limelight.

future of gay porn ryan rose
Ryan Rose

Rose’s penultimate scene, released last November, featuring new stud on the block Alam Wernik, also a Falcon exclusive, was itself a sexual sea change symbolizing the future of gay porn. It marked the antiquated ‘Abercrombie & Fitch box cover’ generation of Ryan Rose coming face to face with his usurper, the self-promoting and hashtag-using Wernik. It was a good strategy on Wernik’s part, preying upon gay men who go into anaphylactic shock without a hot boy appearing in their feeds on the regular.

But more than that, Rose’s retirement and appearance alongside Wernik was a pernicious omen upon the foreseeable future of gay porn. The advertising powers of the collective studios will soon be outweighed by the self-promotional tools of the individual performer. Rose is one of the last big-name performers to retire who had a studio serving up his marketing goods.

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Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the biggest new platforms on the block, OnlyFans and JustForFans, will leave the studios high and dry eventually.

Instagram hoes are killing the porno star, to rework the Buggles’ classic song.

Diego Grant, professionally known as fulltimepapi (link NSFW), is one on-camera star leading the self-promotional charge with his OnlyFans account. He’s already been able to pluck well-known names from underneath studios umbrellas — people like Austin Wolf, Gabriel Cross, Arad Winwin and Jaxton Wheeler — in order to build a reputable roster for his content. It was a stroke of autonomous genius, creating his own content, and he retains the majority of the bread from his spread while being free-range beef. Smart boy.

future of gay porn alam
Alam Wernik

Ryan Rose entered the gay porn business seven years ago as a nobody. He did his “internship” at Sean Cody and then spread his wings at Falcon. Wernik, on the other hand, landed his Falcon contract because of his social media audience. The glory days of the big fat porn studio contract are gone, and so is the budget to produce lofty, lascivious pictures.

Gay porn has always been a cash grab. For those who don’t believe that it’s driven primarily by money, bring forth to me the trust fund child who does it for the sheer passion. (James Deen portrayed that exact scenario alongside Lindsay Lohan in The Canyons, and it was as I expected, unconvincing.) Nick Gruber ran faster than a roadrunner out of the gay porn business once he hooked Calvin Klein.

So with Ryan Rose’s departure, we reflect on that golden era of seaside sex and poolside romps in white briefs revealing untanned rumps, which are slowly evaporating from the web as shaky iPhone POVs become the new staple in gay erotic voyeurism.

future of gay porn 3

The future of gay porn is likely to consist of many mergers and disintegrations, of bigger companies swallowing up smaller ones or letting them die out, and amateurs will continue to swarm the platforms which have refined their delivery of nude entertainment.

I’m convinced that Michael Lucas will take his House of Slytherin studio to the grave for the sake of his ego. Stars like Dean Monroe are likely to become grandfathered DILFs, having stuck through the golden age as others faded, died, fried, retired and became DJs. And some fresh bottom will become the top star in the industry, continuing in the tradition of Kevin Williams, Brent Corrigan, Roman Heart, Johnny Rapid — and now Wernik — as the sexual ingenue.

Personally, I wish Ryan Rose’s last film had been called American Whore Story: Shoven. Imagine a scene in which Rose and Wernik were stationed at some grand, antebellum home and Wernik delivers this final line: “They say when a new supreme begins to flower, the old supreme begins to wilt. Well, you’ve been wilting, Rose.”

I missed my calling, I guess.

What do you think the future of gay porn will look like?

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