The truth about PornHub

“Pornhub announced today a series of safety and security policies enhancing measures for verification, moderation and detection of content with the goal of positioning the company “at the forefront of combating and eradicating illegal content” (read the full XBiz article). In that very statement PornHub so claims: “Over the years, we have demonstrated our resolute commitment to leading the fight against illegal online content”. What? PornHub was built on the massive theft of intellectual property aided and abetted on the platform. Hiding behind the DMCA, and without the burdens of production costs, the company grew to be the #2 porn tube. When VISA and MasterCard pulled the plug, Pornhub panicked and rushed to take down 10 million “non verified uploads”. Something content producers (the few of us left) have been asking for 13 years, to no avail. By taking them all down OVERNIGHT, hoping to appease VISA and MC, PornHub proved they had the tools to do the right thing all along. They simply decided not to: they would not have the traffic nor the business they enjoy today, without those 10 million FREE videos. So, please. Spare us the crap about your “resolute commitment to leading the fight”. You are not entitled to your own facts and you won’t get to rewrite history. We know what has happened on PornHub (and why) since 2007, we know what happened to the adult industry, once thriving, because of PornHub (and RedTube and XVideos and Xhamster…), we hold it accountable.

Scott Masters

Another giant passed away. Scott Masters/Robert Walters left us this Fall at a retirement home

I can’t think of any gayporn producer more consequential than Masters/Walters.
With a career spanning almost 4 decades and relevant contributions in each decade.
As a magazine publisher in the late 60s, as the man behind Nova in the 70s, as the
Producer in charge of Catalina in the late 80s, as the co-founder of Studio2000 in the late
90s/early 2000.

Scott and I became friends after my directing debut at Men of Odyssey in 1997, with “Journey to Italy”. He was brutally honest with me: “Lucas”, he told me. “You didn’t give Men of Odyssey a 80K movie. You didn’t deliver a 50K movie. Hell, you didn’t deliver a 20K movie. You had no idea of what you were doing!”. Was he right… and I loved him all the more for it. Scott taught me a great deal about self-discipline, self-criticism, work ethics. And about the industry I was about to embark on.

We would get together for lunch in Weho every now and then. I would ask him, star struck, about Nova, the early loops, the later feature films (“Someting Wild” is, to this day, one of my favorite movies of all times). He would hardly discuss any of them. Perhaps not realizing, not fully, the richness of his legacy and its impact. On the language of gayporn and the forms of
gay desire. Farewell, my friend.

Below a picture taken at the premiere party for All Wolrlds’ ANDEL’S STORY. From l to r, Gino Colbert, Tom DeSimone, John Travis, Bill Higgins, Scott Masters and yours truly. © “Unzipped Magazine”). And a quote by @wishfultopping I found on my Twitter feed, best defining porn back then vs today’s porn : “We didn’t watch porn back then to simply bust a nut, it was almost a lifeline for some. It projected everything society told us we weren’t: happy, free, successful, charismatic,beautiful ! Those were the first movies I’ve seen gay men in a positive light”. And that is Masters true legacy.

Italians and Other Stragers – HD upscaled

“Beautiful settings”, writes HotMagazine, “crisp clean lit scenes, camera work second to none and the men… Oh the men… Superb! This film is a ten on every level” – Now HD-upscaled, Italians and Other Strangers is a GayVN Award Winner for Best Foreign Picture.

Remembering Jerry Douglas

Jerry Douglas passed yesterday, he was 84. Others have paid tribute to his legacy as a director/playwright (see the XBIZ obituary): yes, there was a time when every new movie directed by Jerry would be nominated for just about every porn awards and yes, many of these movies have left their mark. Above all, Fratrimony and More of a Man. But on this blog, I’d like to focus on his legacy as a film historian. From 1988 to 2001, “Manshots”,   the monthly magazine he edited, published in-depth reviews and invaluable interviews with directors, producers, performers. More than anybody else, Jerry and his “Manshots” contributed to the culture and the history of gay porn, delving into it like into any other film genre. When “Manshots” folded in 2001, followed by many other print publications, the history and criticism of gay porn went out the window, replaced by affiliate links. Critics –the like of Jerry– were replaced by bloggers solely interested in monetizing the content of the day (instead of criticizing it, analyzing it, contextualizing it). But a genre that no longer knows its past, that doesn’t reflect on itself, on its purpose, on its language doesn’t have a future –it’s no surprise that today’s porn is either corporate, soul-less, gimmicky porn or amateur smut (the countless straight ‘influencers’ barely showing their cocks and ripping off their gay viewers on OnlyFans).

I met Jerry in 1998 at the Taft building on Hollywood and Vine. I was editing my 2nd movie with Adam Rom (DESIRE, JOURNEY TO ITALY 2), he was editing with his trusted editor, Andrew Rosen. But we had known each other for a few years before then: Jerry entrusted me with a number of interviews for “Manshots”. With Derek Cameron, Ryan Block, Eduardo, Sam Carson, Blue Blake, Steve O’Donnell, Hawk McAllistar, Eric Kovac, Chad Connors… An experience I’m grateful for and one that gave me a better understanding (and a deeper appreciation) of the talent before the camera.

“Manshots” interviews with the pioneers remain –to this day– the only serious efforts at documenting porn’s rich and diverse history. From Scott Masters to Toby Ross, from Cadinot to DeSimone and Coletti. With Jerry we lost today a peerless director. And with him the memory of porn as an art form. As a Weltanshauung. Farewell.