Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Memoirs of Fred Bisonnes

Two must-own books: Bare Essentials 1 (narrative, 360 pages) and Bare Essentials 2 (gallery, 368 pages). Both available on Amazon. “Even if you’re not familiar with his work”, writes Mark Harvey in the introduction, “you’ve seen his work -a lot of it (…) He created the definitive style of homoerotic photography in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s (…) He has been tangential to much work recognizable from the world of later 20th century gay culture -from The Advocate and Advocate Men to Falcon Studios…” Essential for us pornographers, all indebted to Fred and his legacy: we’re all dwarves standing on the shoulders of trailblazers and visionaires like Fred. Essential and well documented for the history buff (priceless are Bisonnes’ memories of Jim French, John Summers, Chuck Holmes and the early The Advocate days). Last but not least… photo-rich for the fans, who’ll happily walk down memory lane along with Sky Dawson, Casey Donovan,Todd Baron, Leo Ford, Tim Kramer, Dick Fisk, Kurt Marshall, Jim Bentley, Bill Henson, Tony Bravo and so many more. Thank you, Maestro.


At long last, a digital archive of the magazine established in 1973: celebrities, centerfolds, newcomers… And the new “Man of the Month”. Here’s AARON, Playgirl‘s Man of the Month/February 2022, JOE, Man of the Month/May and the press release

PLAYGIRL, which pioneered erotic entertainment for women in 1973, has launched a new site showcasing the history of the iconic magazine. PLAYGIRL+ ( features exclusive celebrity interviews, centerfolds, erotic fiction, and original titillating articles. In addition, PLAYGIRL is producing a new “Man of the Month” series that includes photosets and video interviews featuring some of today’s hottest up-and-coming male models. The new membership site is $12.95 per month or $99.95 per year for access to both the archival and new material.

A PLAYGIRL Rep says of the launch: “We’re excited that PLAYGIRL finally has a place online that documents the rich and diverse history of the brand. The Hollywood elite which have graced our covers range from Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, Antonio Banderas, Rob Lowe, Richard Gere, Mark Wahlberg, Tom Selleck and Sylvester Stallone to Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Liza Minnelli and Jamie Lee Curtis.”

Over the years, PLAYGIRL has scored notable high-profile interviews from the likes of Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Bette Midler, Yoko Ono, Larry Flynt, Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta, Paul McCartney, Cher, Michael Douglas and Kathy Griffin to timeless icons such as Burt Reynolds, River Phoenix, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers and many more.

In addition, the magazine has featured original writing from prestigious literary figures such as Gloria Steinem, Joyce Carol Oates, Anais Nin, Truman Capote, Maya Angelou, Raymond Carver and Tennessee Williams, as well as the world-renowned photography of Annie Leibovitz, Greg Gorman, Herb Ritts, Norbert Jobst and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Recently, PLAYGIRL has begun its entry back into the pop culture landscape. In Fall of 2020, Playgirl unveiled its first relaunched print edition with Oscar-nominated actress, Chloë Sevigny and her baby bump on the cover, shot nude by famed fashion photographer Mario Sorrenti. This year HBO Max released a popular series, Minx, inspired by Playgirl, as the first magazine empowering women to explore their sexuality.

PLAYGIRL’s 50th anniversary will be marked in 2023 by exciting retrospective exhibitions, merchandise, and limited print editions.

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.

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.

Shooting Star -the musical

What an inspirational journey: from a “crazy” idea pitched in Berlin several years ago to a limited engagement at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood. With endless more steps in between (the readings in NY and LA) and god knows how many hurdles for creator/producer Hans Berlin.

The idea itself was tantalizing: “a revealing musical” on… porn, no less.
The world premiere we saw at the Hudson’s –playing one final weekend this June 28-30– speaks volumes of Hans’ vision and perseverance. Of the talent he was able to attract: composer Thomas Zaufk, lyricist Erik Ransom, director Michael Bello, choreographer Jim Cooney… And of the brave cast who lent their voices and bodies to Hans’ characters (a shoutout to lead Taubert Nadalini, to a glorious Karole Foreman and an unforgettable Michael Scott Harris).

A work in progress, still, Shooting Star has the muscles to make it to the big stage. I look forward to booking my seat at the Pantages or the Ahmanson a few years down the road. Read the Operetta Research’s review