The Gay Fringe
In the 1980s, gay adult entertainment was shaped by the pretty-boy California surfer-types, thanks in large part to director William Higgins. If dark hair wasn't bleached blond, the market wasn't interested.
Then, in the 1990s, the industry saw a change: suddenly the gay market wasn't as interested in the "vanilla-type" sex that it had become used to — and that had made it famous. Tastes were changing and the audience was suddenly looking for anything that might be a little different.
Flash-forward some 15-odd years later, and when one looks at the market of today, compared to that of yesterday, there is one common thread — the demand for fetish product.
New production studios Raptor Entertainment and White Water Productions have thrown its hats into an already-competitive field by producing and releasing two widely diverse lines: gay skinheads and gay creampies.
With wholesale distribution handled by Valley Pro Video, Director of Production Andrew T oversees the two studios.
"Most people who I talk with are tired of watching the same old thing," Andrew T said. "People become desensitized to the glut of product hitting them in the face and, after a while, every model, every studio, everything starts to blend together. Nothing's hot to people anymore. They've seen it all — and they want more."
Raptor Entertainment is certainly bringing "more" to the table. Its first release, "Cum Fucking Skinheads," which releases this month, is an all-out hardcore condom-free fuck-fest featuring real European skinheads.
"The line is really about the humiliation fantasy," Andrew T said. "Skinheads wandering the streets looking for their latest victims. I know there's a demand for role-playing in this market. And that extra edge of having real skinheads in the film should pique a lot of interest."
"Cum Fucking Skinheads" will have two different versions when released: a softer, U.S. version and a much harder European version.
"Europeans, on the whole, are much nastier and much more accepting of adult product," Andrew T said. "We're also releasing double-sided box covers — one obviously more hardcore for the European market. My opinion is, let the stores decide what box covers to use. We give them a choice and the tools to decide what will sell our product better for them."
White Water Productions has two titles that are available now: "Breeding Party" and "Creampie Orgy."
"These titles are pretty obvious as to what they are," Andrew T said. "We put together hot, muscle studs and let them loose on each other. Each scene ends with one or more of the studs with a creampie — basically, they're breeding videos."
While both lines feature unprotected sex or barebacking, the studios are adamant about their testing policies.
"I won't submit a movie until each performer has had an HIV test," Andrew T said. "And that test has to happen the day before the shoot. I'm very serious about that." He recognizes that testing, just by itself, is still not a guarantee that a performer won't put himself at risk.
"But I've done everything that I can do to make sure these shoots are as safe as possible," Andrew T said. "I can sleep at night because I know that. I wouldn't be able to do it otherwise. But you can't deny the fact that [bareback] is a market that isn't going away anytime soon — so we have to find a way to work with it."
Back in 2003, Andrew T was a computer technician. He found his way to Valley Pro Video via a friend's recommendation where he served as the IT Tech for the studio.
Pretty soon he was offering advice to the distributor, and that advice was so well received, they brought him on staff, where he worked behind-the-scenes and, eventually, became director of production.
"What I do at this company, I learned from doing production," he said. "So when the opportunity came to create these lines, I jumped at the chance. I started these two studios from scratch, having managed all of the previous 25 studio lines. And I'm planning on creating more studios this year.
"I am my own target audience," Andrew T said. "Real gay men want to see men nowadays. And I know that role-playing is a viable market."
Raptor's and White Water's approach is simple: the best way to learn the industry is to analyze the market.
"It's really very simple," Andrew T said. "Let me give you an example. Take your average shopping mall. In it, you have a variety of stores. The major department stores represent the major studios — and they will always have a following. Then you have the smaller, more boutique-like stores — these are the smaller companies. Occasionally, one or two falls by the wayside, but they all offer something different to the consumer. Some of the smaller stores may focus on watersports, some focus on fisting, some on domination or twinks. Whatever the case, you have to make sure that whatever 'store' you create has something fresh to accommodate the customers.
"I know that we've done that with both of these lines," he continued.
Both Raptor and White Water are scheduled to release one title a month through Valley Pro Media. In addition to Raptor and White Water (and 23 other lines), Valley Pro also distributes Elite Male and US Male Inc. titles.
"Cum Fucking Skinheads," "Breeding Party" and "Creampie Orgy" are available on the US Male website USMaleInc.com.