Dean Phoenix on gay-for-pay

From an interview with Curtis Dean Hutchinson, the pornstar known as Dean Phoenix, here:

One area that confuses even a veteran like Hutchinson is the gay-for-pay genre. Asked about Randy Blue star Chris Rockway, who says he’s straight, Hutchinson’s response is, well, straightforward. “He’s not that good of an actor,” he says. [note of-marked Exceptional Degree Marking in not that good of an actor] “He’s gotta like it.” Hutchinson agrees that the draw of gay-for-pay is the fantasy of a hetero being converted, but “Anyone who does it has some kind of wanting to be gay. They’re gonna miss it ten years from now.”

(On gay for pay, on this blog, here. On Chris Rockway and his career as gay for pay, on my X blog, here.)

As I posted about Dean Phoenix on my X blog recently, he’s what I sometimes label “frankly gay” and has been out of the closet since he was a teenager. He’s also an enthusiastic and affectionate sex partner in his films; he takes evident pleasure in the sexual acts. It’s understandable that he would have little sympathy with the way men like Rockway configure their sexuality. It’s hard for him to imagine that anyone who performs sexually as well as Rockway does truly lacks desire for his partners.

Me, I’m inclined to take Rockway at his word about being straight, but would note that in the right situation — surely, acting in gay porn with some very sexy partners should count as such a situation — many straight men can experience some degree of desire for another man, and not just physical pleasure in the encounter. The world of sexuality is complex.

3 Responses to “Dean Phoenix on gay-for-pay”

  1. David Marjanović Says:

    I’d rather say that if we restrict “straight” to “0 on the Kinsey scale”, very few people are straight, and most who identify as straight are actually bi. Perhaps, by calling himself “straight” Rockway only means he’s interested in women noticeably more often than in men.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Matters are much more complex than the Kinsey scale allows for. Sexuality categories can be defined by aspects of (a) desire, (b) sexual behavior, and (c) social identification (Kinsey used sexual experience, that is, behavior, as the primary criterion.)

      Though Kinsey did recognize that experience can change over time and tried to restrict his scale points to particular points in history, he was inclined to slip into the view that the scale points represent enduring properties of indviduals, like personality types, and popular understandings of his scale generally take this view.

      In addition, though Kinsey also recognized that sexual behavior often depends on the context of interactions and on expectations within particular cultures (and subcultures), these considerations were downplayed so that sexuality could be operationalized in a “scientific” way.

      That operationalization also washed out desire as a significant factor, because desire is so hard to measure. (And then desire itself can depend on the context of interactions and on cultural expectations.) But ordinary people often foreground desire as the central aspect of sexuality, as you do when you talk about people being “interested in” women or men.

      Both Rockway and Phoenix are articulate and willing to reflect on their feelings and experiences, and they both take desire as the touchstone of sexuality. Rockway says quite clearly that he has no desire for men, only for women, which is why he says he’s “straight”; Rockway believes that his sexual encounters with men are motivated entirely by considerations other than desire: male bonding (a prominent theme for MSMs), adulation, satisying an audience, doing a job well, earning a living, physical release. Phoenix quite clearly believes that Rockway is to some degree self-deluded in this judgment. Phoenix would no doubt assent to all these other considerations as relevant to his own sexual encounters, but desire is at the top of the list for him, and he finds it hard to believe that it doesn’t play any role whatsoever for Rockway.

      The Kinsey scale doesn’t really enter into these discussions.

  2. Writing errors « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    [...] In recent days I have had to type or handwrite the name DEAN PHOENIX many times (see here and here), and about half the time I get as far as PHON before I realize that I’m off the rails, go [...]

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