gay porn star deaths, Max Schutler
gay porn star deaths, Max Schutler

Why Porn Star Deaths Affect Gay Men So Deeply

This last week, 35-year-old gay porn star Max Schutler, birth name Jorge Schmeder, died of unknown causes (NSFW). Since beginning his career in 2007, he worked mostly as a bottom for Lucas Entertainment, Jet Set Men, Titan, Raging Stallion and other big name porn studios. He was also crowned Mr. Gay Argentina in 2008 but was pressured to withdraw from the Mr. Gay World competition because of his porn work.

As fans and loved ones leave messages on Schmeder’s Facebook page, Unicorn Booty contributor Johnny Gayzmonic remembered the October 2015 passing of Blue Blake, a renowned gay porn actor and director. Though Gayzmonic never met Blake in person, he still felt a close, personal connection to him; his thoughts about Blake’s passing shed light onto why many gay men feel deeply moved when gay porn stars fade away.


I never met Blue Blake, but I knew him. We had been interacting for several years, starting back when MySpace was a thing. But I had known him for years before that.

I moved to Minneapolis for college back in 1995, having moved out of a relatively small town in Wisconsin. I wouldn’t have considered myself sheltered, but I definitely wasn’t very worldly. In fact, I remember the first time I found stores that carried honest-to-goodness gay porn, the kind that reveled in brazen, unabashed sexuality—it was intoxicating, the notion that you could be gay, happy and sexual all at once.

gay porn star deaths, Blue Blake
Gay porn actor and director Blue Blake

One of the first performers I encountered in my deep dive into that VHS landscape was Blue Blake, a beefy, British bloke who seemed open for anything. He topped, he bottomed, he did vanilla, he did kink and all of it with a look of pure enjoyment on his face. Though I gravitated toward plenty of other performers, Blake always stuck out in my mind because he just seemed to love his job that much.

Years later, when Blue transitioned to directing films for his own studio, I once again found myself coming back to him. His films always featured loads of gorgeous bodybuilders, each one also had genuine plots, though that wasn’t what kept me watching. The men (many of whom were straight, admittedly) looked like they were having the time of their lives, reveling in their sexuality, exploring what it means to be masculine and to be sexual, not just following choreographed beats.

So I felt a great deal of sadness upon hearing that Blake had suddenly died. This wasn’t just the death of a friend, of an exuberant and generous person that I was lucky enough to have connected with. This was the death of someone that had shaped me and influenced me in ways neither he nor I fully realized.

There’s something about the death of a porn star that hits me more than any other celebrity death. I mourn only a handful of celebrity deaths, only those influential people who helped shape my passions or helped form the sense of humor that still helps me cope with the world’s negative experiences.

But sexuality is a different thing. Sexuality sits at the core of what makes us human, what makes us individuals. It goes far beyond the mere labels of straight, gay, bi or anything like that—it’s the sum of our desires, our wants, our needs. It is something so powerful that once we understand it, we gain a degree of control over ourselves that no temporal authority can usurp or override.

Porn stars often get dismissed as sluts and whores, often by the same people who consume their products. They’re simultaneously held up as objects of desire and objects of scorn. The thing is, they provide a much needed service beyond facilitating a personal release. They show us a view of sex without shame, without apology and without judgment, and they do it all out in the open. That in and of itself is a confrontational, even revolutionary act.

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Despite the recent advances in queer equality, many people still consider the actual act of queer sexual expression a secret and shameful thing. How often do people say something to the effect of “I just don’t want them to shove it in my face,” as if the very idea that two (or more) queer people might express their sexuality in any way was patently offensive?

A fair portion of the queer community, sadly, have internalized this idea, the belief that sexuality stops at the bedroom door, that it is something that can simply be turned off or discarded like a soiled shirt, even while heterosexuals are allowed to fully express their sexuality in any way, all the time.

By exploring the countless permutations of pornography available throughout my life, I was able to discover what turned me on and what didn’t, to understand what I found desirable and what I didn’t, to connect to the innermost part of my being, the part that lusts and hungers for connection. Understanding that fundamental part of myself helped me understand who I was as a human being.

No, I never met Blue Blake, but I knew him, and knowing him helped me know myself.

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