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Rising Starz – Interviews with 45 Gay Performers

from – First there was Starz, followed by More Starz. Then there was Ultimate Starz. Now we get Rising Starz (Star Books, $19.95), and it’s the best of them all. Its interviews with 45 XXX stars are compulsive, gobble-them-up reading. After all, who doesn’t want to know more about the real as well as the reel life of the porn starz – to cop the spelling of series author Owen Keehnen. How they got there, what they found, how they coped, what do they do when they’re not there, and what’s the kinkiest thing they’ve done – the men behind the fantasy tell all about themselves and their adventures in the jizz biz.

The book includes all types of guys: twinks and daddies, S&M-ers and cuddlers, with a focus on new performers – well, new when the interviews were conducted. So we get the currently very popular Johnny Gunn and Ty LeBouef, twink Ethan Storm, bodybuilder/gymnast Skye Woods, and exotic Kai Ford, as well as Bruno Bond, Shane Frost, and Connor Habib.

I was surprised to hear a majority of guys say the most favorite item in their toy box is a Fleshlite – I guess I’m gonna have to get one. I liked hearing about the most aroused they’ve ever been on set, and which movie they’ve been in is their favorite – that helps you compile a swell gotta-watch-that list. I don’t know why, but I really like knowing a performer’s age, although a few guys state the date but won’t reveal the year – surprisingly, some younger as well as some older performers. One who does reveal is the fierce and super fine-looking Colin Steele, who’s remarkably prime at 46. He’s also a thrilling 6′ 7″, loves his 11″ dildo, has no gag reflex, and fantasizes about a dark alley with spit and no names.

A particularly revealing question is Favorite Movie. Wow, the passing fancy and just plain crud that tops many a dude’s list! Yes, Scott Matthews lists Gone With the Wind, but there’s nary a title of substance nor a time-tested classic among the choices. I sure wish Keehnen had asked about favorite books. How dull it is that the Dream Vacation and Romantic Evening is invariably naked on the beach and dinner by candlelight. Nobody wants Paris, all the shows on Broadway, or a hot tub on the deck of a secluded cabin – though, much to his credit, Kirk Cummings wants an evening of sushi, the opera, and hours of sex.

Still, Keehnen has focused his questions well. If he sticks closely to the same set with each star, that’s not a straitjacket. He can go with the flow, and follow along when something comes up that’s off the road map. He wants to know more when Turk Mason brings up drugs, steroids and unprotected sex, when Lucky Daniels brings up his fiance, and Andy Kay his Mormon background. He lets Tony Buff discuss the BDSM scene, and encourages three men of color to speak about race and porn. He doesn’t edit out industry secrets, like the on-set prevalence (even expectation) of Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and even Caverjack. Yet Keehnen sadly misses one fascinating area, by being not at all curious about the sexual identity of several included performers who may be bisexual.

Most all of the guys say they were pleasantly surprised by the professional, accommodating attitude on set, and unpleasantly surprised by the pain-producing hours of hard (no pun) work it takes to film even the simplest suck-n-fuck. They bemoan that technical needs kill spontaneity, and remark, nearly every one, on the sudden knowledge that reel sex has nothing to do with real sex; it’s all acting.

That sad revelation aside, there’s much that’s fun and juicy in the book. I was glad to encounter the humor of David Taylor and Braxton Bond (who wins points from me for liking Moulin Rouge). Tony Buff’s fantasy is to be joined in an orgy by his two brothers and their boys. His two brothers! Can you hear me hyperventilating? Mike Dreyden describes his fantasy of an orgy that’s hotter than any on film (are you listening, directors?), while the hottest turn-on had by Damien Crosse in a movie made me ache with jealousy. Sorry, guys, I’m not telling; you’ll have to read it.


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