Jasper Robinson solo scene for Helix Studios
Jasper Robinson solo scene for Helix Studios

Why Are Gay Porn Performers Dropping Like Flies?

The gay porn world is currently in shock after learning about the third performer death in under a month. Back in November, 25-year old Zac Stevens and 20-year old Dimitri Kane committed suicide, and reports now indicate that 21-year old Jasper Robinson passed away of unknown causes on December 13.

porn star Jasper Robinson
Jasper Robinson last summer
(image via Twitter)

News of Robinson’s death only broke recently when ex-boyfriend Ryker Madison and fellow performer Philip Ashton posted their condolences on Twitter. “Jasper wouldn’t want everyone to dwell on this news,” Madison told fans. “He appreciated life too much.”

Robinson tweeted back in October that he was retiring from the industry, the same day that he mentioned a job interview, but before that he was a well-known face in the industry, having worked with CockyBoys, Helix Studios, and Boy Crush. Slender and pale, the Washington State native was well-known to fans of twink porn. Robinson was reportedly known to have a heart condition.

Three deaths is pretty significant in an industry that isn’t actually all that big. While plenty of guys shoot one or two scenes in their lives, the number of actively working performers is surprisingly small. So why do they keep dying?

As outsiders, we can only speculate what led to the November suicide of Zac Stevens. The Helix Studios and Men.com performer made headlines early last year when he used crowdfunding site GoFundMe to buy himself a new bed. But according to the San Diego coroner’s office, he jumped from a bridge in the city’s Gaslamp Quarter, landing on the balcony of a Marriott hotel room.

porn star Zac Stevens, July 2015
Zac Stevens, July 2015
(image via Twitter)

Dimitri Kane was a Jersey Shore native with a known history of substance abuse issues, but his abrupt death shocked friends. “He was entirely happy on Saturday evening,” a friend who had seem him the previous evening told South Florida Gay News. “Nothing seemed to be wrong.” Kane was known for work with studios including Men.com and Next Door Studios.

Performer Adam Ramzi wrote a piece on industry-run blog The Sword (NSFW), and he suggests that there’s a general lack of sympathy on the part of the porn world’s very vocal consumers:

My first thought was to admonish this kind of commenter talk and blame consumers of porn for fueling these fires of negativity, but I know that oftentimes there is truth to these judgments. But why is there so little support or sympathy among porn fans for the sometimes troubled lives performers lead? Is it that putting sexuality on display is still seen as an inherently self-destructive, shameful thing, and anyone who dabbles in it deserves whatever self-hate they feel?

But a 2013 essay by fellow performer Conner Habib suggests that the industry itself feeds into performer insecurities.

Again, this isn’t a complaint confined to the porn industry – it’s a problem with many American business models, where honesty and forthrightness are not properly valued.  But in porn, it’s  compounded by the fact that these concerns mix into performers’ anxieties about their bodies.  Every porn performer I know has at least some fear of how the public will receive our bodies or how “fat” or “skinny” or “small” we look, even though we may not be fat or skinny or small by any means (and if we are, that brings in a separate set of societal issues).

Habib also suggests that we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of asking why they keep dying, what we should really be asking is how we can help stop this.
(featured image: Jasper Robinson for Helix Studios (link NSFW))