Melecio / Biaggi

(Much talk of men’s bodies and sex between men, in street language, and just-at-the-XXX-border images, so entirely unsuitable for kids and the sexually modest.)

This posting is an offshoot of another posting in progress, about the playful sexual slang trouser trout ‘penis’. One notable use of the compound is as the name of a gay porn flick from 2007 (from the Monster Bang section of Raging Stallion). That led me to one of the flick’s stars (Antonio Biaggi — Juan Melecio in real life, but he uses Biaggi offscreen for many purposes) and his recent political career in Wilton Manors in South Florida. So: reflections on juggling identities, on the lives of pornstars, and the management of spoiled, or tainted, identities.

I’ll jump right in with some of the hard stuff.

Trout fishing in porn. The cover of the DVD, featuring model Dominic Sol (categorized as “bareback versatile”, with a 6.5″ cock that one site dismisses as small — that’s real-world (literally) normal, but porn-world small; this is about to become relevant):

(#1) The flick is all about really really big dicks — monster trouser trout, — among them Chad Hunt’s famously huge cock (cut 11″ and very thick) and Biaggi’s (uncut 10” and also very thick; plus his celebrated huge, low-hanging balls)

Assembling a cast with so many behemoths means that either some of the big guys have to flip-fuck with one another (any actor with a cock that big has to use it to fuck ass, a lot, that’s a law of porn) or there have to be smaller-dicked men aching to get majorly fucked. Lots of big-dicked actors are also tops (Hunt and Biaggi are), so this flick really needs guys like Dominic Sol

Details from Raging Stallion:

cast: Antonio Biaggi, Bo Matthews, Chad Hunt, Derrick Hanson, Dominic Sol, Luke Haas, RJ Danvers, Ryann Wood, Tyler Saint

description: Michael Brandon presents TROUSER TROUT with action as hot as ever and a group of hot men unmatched in porn history. The cast is full of huge dicks and each man is anxious to catch the big one. A group of nine strapping men meet up at the Russian River Resort for a drink before they begin their annual fishing trip. As each man is introduced, another big-dicked stud is added to the group. TROUSER TROUT brings the wild to you with huge dicks and beautiful men, doing what men do best: Sucking and fucking in the woods

Two screen shots (just barely not XXX) from the fancy cabin in the woods (to give you the flavor of the thing; the identities of the models are beside the point):

(#2) The picnic table fuck, outdoors and out-facing

(#3) The stovetop fuck, indoors and in-facing (DO NOT try this at home; leave it to the pros)

All politics is local in Wilton Manors. From the Barstool Sports site: “Happy Pride: The Star Of ‘Trouser Trout’ Is Running For Office In Florida” by Pat on 6/10/20:

A Florida porn star is switching gears and running for a local office. Juan Melecio, who is openly gay, filed paperwork Monday for a shot at a commission seat in Wilton Manors in the upcoming November election, The Sun-Sentinel [the South Florida newspaper] reported.

“I’m from Puerto Rico and I’m a very passionate person,” Melecio told the newspaper. “When something is right I just go for it.”

Melecio, whose stage name is Antonio Biaggi, has appeared in a number of porn shoots, including “Trouser Trout” and “Work Loads 2.”

(#4) Biaggi (born 6/10/78, so now 43) is presented here as highly sexualized, with cruise of death stare (maybe it was just supposed to be Biaggi’s Serious Face); with prominent balls — omigod — and cock in his jeans; and with two black leather symbols of his status as dominant topman (worn on the left), a wristband and an arm strap — a great (clothed) p.r. shot for a porn star, maybe not so good for a political candidate, though it’s very nicely composed

… Wilton Manors, which is in South Florida, is known as the “Second Gayest City” in America, according to the city’s website, as a result of its high LGBT population [second to Provincetown MA or to Palm Springs CA, depending on who you read].

(The demographics of Wilton Manors are complicated. In a fairly big nutshell, in addition to the LGBT-folk, the town has many straight residents, a fair number of them older and conservative. For a South Florida town, Wilton Manors also appears to be very heavily white. So the fact that Melecio / Biaggi is Puerto Rican  — in fact, with significant Puerto Rican accent and body language — could be just as relevant politically in South Florida as his being (uncompromisingly) queer. In fact, in an interview, Biaggi mentions in passing that he and his husband are both Jewish, and that too is relevant in South Florida. His campaign made a lot of the fact that he’s an entrepreneur, a businessman with many enterprises going. But didn’t dwell on the fact that (as far as I can see) they’re all gay-inflected businesses.

So his chances didn’t seem great, but then this might have been only the first sally in a longer campaign. There are long games in politics, especially for outsider candidates.

In any case, two commissioners were to be elected from a slate of six candidates, and Melecio was not elected.

Above, the election story from a mainstream source. The election story from an LGBT source, Instinct Magazine, put Biaggi into his social context, with his husband and his businesses (and lots of photos). From the story, “Adult Film Star Antonio Biaggi Runs For Office In Wilton Manors … But Does He Measure Up?” by Corey Andrew on 5/25/20, two of the photos:

(#5) L: Biaggi, displaying his naked lean body and what is in fact his cruise of death face, with his fat nearly footlong schlong and his capacious balls just out of the picture; and R: Melecio, with a nice half-smile of solid competence, in business-casual dress (with his trout well concealed under those trousers) — submit to L, faggot; vote for R, neighbor

(#6) Caption for this Instinct photo: “Antonio Biaggi, displaying his impressive merchandise at his jewelry shop and boutique” (from same photo shoot as #4, but now with Biaggi smiling broadly, his crotch not in the center of the picture, and his leather barely visible — so it no longer screams PORN STAR! PORN STAR!, but shows us a friendly neighborhood shopkeeper

Biaggi / Melicio the person. Biaggi is no g4p actor, but the genuine queer article: he has a husband of some years, seems to have been out since early in his life (I wonder about growing up queer in South Florida’s Puerto Rican community), and is utterly open and frank about his life (including in the standup comedy performances he continues to do as a sideline; the man is incredibly industrious). His significant Puerto Rican accent and body language make it hard to assess his presentation of self, but I’d say he reads as gay, fairly subtly, but is far from an f-gay (a gay man who stands out as faggy / fem / etc.).

He’s apparently been something of an entrepreneur from childhood on — now runs various businesses, including a jewelry shop and boutique, hair salon, and a porn production company, for which he continues to act (it’s a job, like any other is the attitude he projects). He professes not to like watching porn at all, never has, but since he was blessed with a gigantic cock and an undeniable desire for sex with men, it was easy for him to slip into doing porn for a steady stream of income. As a result, I would never have predicted his real-life persona in interviews (full of Latin enthusiasm and charm, plus thoughtful musing and humor) from his porn persona (which seems to be heavily constrained by his having a really really big dick). Biaggi says he does genuinely enjoy having sex on-camera when he and his partner work well together (if he produces things himself, he gets to choose such men as his partners), and he seems to have a lot of gusto for his sideline in piss performances. And then: in addition to his businesses and his political career, Biaggi used to dance classical ballet and now dances flamenco, traveling frequently to Spain to learn the art at its source. (If he doesn’t already own a flower shop or a shop selling designer clothes for women, I’m sure he’ll pick them up eventually, to get the full pack of Gay Enterprises. And what would be wrong with that?)

(Much of what I wrote in the last paragraph I gleaned from a WOTR podcast of 7/19/20, “A conversation with porn star, entrepreneur and now political candidate, Antonio Biaggi”. WOTR (WAY Off the Record), hosted by Scott Ambrosino (“a gay man (of a certain age) living in NYC for the past 3 decades”), “seeks to give a voice to folks we don’t normally hear about, and directly from them”. I wasn’t expecting to spend so much of today in the company of Ambrosino and Biaggi, but there you are. Note: a fair amount of the podcast is taken up with barebacking in porn, which I haven’t covered here at all.)

Spoiled / tainted identities. From the publisher’s copy about Erving Goffman’s Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity (1986), on:

the situation of persons who are unable to conform to standards that society calls normal. Disqualified from full social acceptance, they are stigmatized individuals [with spoiled or tainted identities]. Physically deformed people, ex-mental patients, drug addicts, prostitutes [and other sex workers], or those ostracized [or merely marginalized] for other reasons [ex-cons, the blind, the deaf, homosexuals, transgender people, HIV-positive people, members of racial, ethnic, or religious minorities] must constantly strive to adjust to their precarious social identities.

Actors in gay porn are straightforwardly sex workers (and many patch together a living wage from other sex work, like escorting / hustling, stripping or other forms of sexual dancing for money, charging for performing sex on a website or for phone sex, etc., so they are sex workers several times over). Many of the actors are gay (or are perceived as gay because of their work in gay porn), so they are doubly stigmatized. Biaggi, it seems to me, is triply stigmatized, because he presents himself publicly and unrepentantly as a sex worker; he’s in our faces about the whole business.

I have always found it appalling that sex work taints you for life; you have become, in some sense, morally unredeemable, because the work has altered you for life, debased you irreversibly, and that follows because sex has been exchanged for money. (Registered sex offenders in the U.S. experience a similar lifetime effect, regardless of the nature of the offense.) I am reporting this, not recommending it. I think the moral world that these attitudes float about in is not only incoherent but actively harmful, in fact wicked.

Without the exchange of money, you get a garden-variety tainted identity, as a slut, an enthusiast for anonymous sex, especially in nominally public places, a participant in various icky practices (like piss play, s&m, etc.), a recipient rather than insertive partner in man-man sex, a fem gay man, and on and on. I myself have accumulated a mountain of such taints, and like Biaggi, and like St. George Michael of the Beverly Tearoom, I’m unrepentant about pretty much all of them, which presumably only darkens or deepens the taint.

But I keep coming back to the sex worker thing. Until the pandemic intervened, I’d been trying to investigate the life histories and attitudes of gay pornstars, especially those who’d left the business and were trying to maintain some kind of new life. Mostly they vanished from my view at this point, since they were working to erase their irredeemably tainted past, and their new lives could be so easily ruined by revelations of this past. By accident I stumbled on the case of a g4p pornstar, call him G, of some fame (he was absolutely stunning to look at, from his handsome face on down) who left the business to get a degree in (let us say) social work and then happily worked into a life of consultancy and therapy in that field, working especially with troubled teens (quite clearly trying to give them the grounding that he had so painfully failed to get from others as a troubled teen). Very admirable, and G was both thoughtful and passionate in talking about his current work. (I have deliberately altered details of the story, to make it impossible for readers of this to track G down.)

G came to my attention because some guy had taken to stalking him on gay porn discussion groups on the web, identifying him by his real name, location, and job title. The stalker then moved to anonymous public accusations in G’s home town, raising the spectre that G would prey sexually on his teen clients, because you know; the point was clearly to get G barred from his work and driven from his current life. I began offering G some advice for coping with the stalker, using some of own experiences in being stalked and threatened with ruin, but mostly borrowing advice heavily from my friends who deal with such situations professionally.

At the same time I was trying to get G to talk to me about his path to doing gay porn and his experiences in the business, but even though by then he trusted me (and realized at some level that it could be useful for him to confront these experiences and work through them — he was, after all, a therapist), he still found it too painful to touch that time.

Then the world fell apart in the pandemic, I kept nearly dying, and almost all my projects crumbled. I’m now trying to resume bits of some projects. This morning, in the midst of working on Biaggi and his trouser trout, I came across my correspondence with G, wondered again about his life history (as I was learning a lot about Biaggi’s very different one), and worried about him. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I marvel at Biaggi’s having gone through that political campaign while continuing to produce gay porn and acting in it. (Well, he would probably say, I continued running my other businesses, didn’t I?) Just refusing to be ruined by the taint of his sex work. That takes real balls, but then we already knew that he has great big balls. (Meanwhile, though he doesn’t really normally take to kids, he somehow — despite being an evil gay sex worker who on occasion flaunts his monster cock — ended up teaching a bunch of little kids to dance the flamenco, a notably sex-drenched art form, and they all loved it. Enthusiasm, the joy of movement, and the respect for the context that Biaggi shows in #5 can apparently carry you a long way, even if you’re inclined to be alarmingly open about your life.)



2 Responses to “Melecio / Biaggi”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    Follow-up 1: G responded warmly to my note to him. He and his family have survived the pandemic without incident so far. And the harassment from his stalker just evaporated — as is in fact usually the case, most stalkers being too disorganized psychologically to continue their campaigns very long (that’s been true for all of my stalkers); unfortunately, a small number explode in violent rage, so they have to be taken quite seriously.

    But his experience long ago as a g4p porn actor is still too painful for him to ever tell his story to me, and I respect that, though I regret the lost chance to get a g4p view (rather than a frankly gay view). (I do have some published interviews with happy g4p actors who view it both as just a job to get competent at and also as a kind of buddyhood experience, akin to being on a sports team with other guys, and I don’t think these guys are self-deluded. The world of sexual practices and identities is huge and complex. But G’s experience in the business was decidedly unpleasant for him.)

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    Follow-up 2: on the lifelong taint for sexworkers, which I posted baffled comments on in my posting: there’s a moral question here, lying in the nexus between matters of sexual morality and matters of economic morality. So I thought to appeal to a moral philosopher to ask if the question had been considered in the literature in that field. I’m deeply ignorant of moral philosophy, but I do have an old friend (for ca. 60 years now) who’s a significant figure in the field, Tim — Thomas Michael — Scanlon of Harvard (some of you may recognize his name from references to his work on the tv show The Good Place).

    Apparently, to his knowledge it has not been examined professionally, but for what it’s worth he shares my bafflement. (Tim is a straight guy who’s matter-of-factly gay-friendly, so he’s easy to talk to.)

    Then, since I keep posing queries (arising from my postings) to academics who are old friends (Tim; the phonetician John Wells on “difference illusions”, illusions that certain homophones are actually distinct in pronunciation; the linguist Paul Kiparsky on the metrics of chants), their responses set off exchanges about our lives and families. So I’ve been engaged in extended friendship exchanges — in e-mail for Tim and John, face-to-face over brunch with Paul. Time-consuming, but tremendously gratifying.

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