david clarke twink porn teaser
david clarke twink porn teaser

Former Porn Director: Sexual Harassment of Young Male Performers Is an Industry-Wide Problem

This post is also available in: Español ไทย

Shortly after Bryan Schwandt — owner of the twink porn studio BoyCrush — was accused by three of his porn performers of rape, coercion and harassment in late April, a fourth performer, Cole Claire, came forward with similar accusations (link NSFW). Schwandt announced his retirement from the company (link NSFW), but former gay porn director Kevin Clarke says that sexual misconduct with performers is an industry-wide problem that can’t be fixed by performers alone.

From 1997–2007 Clarke worked as a director of twink porn (that is porn involving men ages 18 to 23). He’s best known for his 1999 film The American Way with RAD Video, which featured porn performers like Ashton Ryan and Christian Taylor. He also did a few videos with Delta Productions before going into business for himself as IOP Productions. (The IOP stood for “It’s Only Porn,” Clarke says.) He even won a GayVN Award for his work.

Clarke tells us that while he doesn’t personally know about the truth of the claims against Schwandt, he can say for sure “there are people out there who are doing this.”

During his career Clarke says he often heard stories of studio owners having sex with their performers or sexually extorting them for more work. If the accusations against Schwandt are true, Clarke says, “These things didn’t happen in a vacuum. There are people around who saw it.”

Kevin Clarke 01, Jason Pitt
Kevin Clarke with twink porn performer Jason Pitt

“Eighteen-year-old gay men who live in rural areas will jump at the chance to be flown out of state to have sex with other good-looking young men,” Clarke says. These men are often inexperienced and unaware of “the pit of vipers and drugs” waiting for them, he adds.

Clarke says the ethical way to audition a gay porn performer is to interview them and to take nude images of them (either photos or video) and then to arrange their scenes with another person. But sometimes studio owners or associated people will demand sex from the performers or basically pimp them out to friends and associates for cash.

“[The performers] do essentially whatever you ask them to,” Clark says. “They don’t even think of it as inappropriate behavior.” In fact, he says the drugs and pimping contribute to a party atmosphere in which some of the porn performers are willing participants, making it harder to determine who’s consenting and who feels pressured to take part.

Clarke also says that the short careers of porn performers and the fact there’s no written history about how the industry operates leaves no record of these abuses, making it easy to trick successive generations of porn performers into the same unethical and compromising positions.

twink porn kevin clarke 2
Bryan Schwandt accuser and twink porn actor Justin Stone

Clarke also contends that this doesn’t just happen to young performers, but to performers throughout the industry.

“If you see the stories about Harvey Weinstein,” Clarke says, “you’ll see people saying, ‘Well, everybody knew,’ but nobody did anything about it. … The industry turns a blind eye because it can make money from this, which is the bottom line. But it does become more sinister when what you’re actually doing is using your porn company as your bedroom.”

Clarke says that if a gay twink porn performer were ever to try and publicly press charges against a studio owner, it’s likely that the press and defendant’s lawyers would immediately try and pick apart the performer’s character and past, victim-blaming and casting the performer in an unsavory light. He says porn performers have also tried banding together to form a union a few times, but those performers just end up getting shut out of the industry as troublemakers.

“These young men aren’t strong enough to shrug it off, and they’re certainly not strong enough to go public about it,” Clarke says. “We as an industry need to find some way to protect them.”

What do you think of Kevin Clarke and his thoughts on the gay twink porn industry? Sound off in the comments.

Featured image of Bryan Schwandt (center) with two twink porn stars

(Visited 3,710 times, 5 visits today)