Let Freedom Swing: Cleaning the Closet

Harlan Yaffe
It arrived in an ordinary envelope but landed with a still reverberating thud. I am talking about a invitation to my, gulp, thirtieth, high school reunion – complete with a questionnaire to bring my fellow alumni from the class of 1980 up to date.

The first section was easy… there is no spouse’s name to fill in and no birthdates of children to record. I list my status as “it’s complicated” on FaceBook and that is rather accurate; age and gender does not change the fact all relationships can be vexing and the nuances of my personal labyrinth are not public fodder for people I have not seen since Rosalyn Carter was still twirling in a gingham day dress in Rose Garden on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. My brother asked me if I had someone I considered my life partner, would I put his name down —and I would without hesitation.

But when he asked me if I was going to detail my last eight years in our beloved adult entertainment sector, hesitation turned to consternation and I am still not sure how forthcoming I want to be. Every gay man and woman has their own coming out story – that is a chapter I wrote long ago and freely share with most everyone in my life. But when it comes to what we do, and sexual preference does not discriminate in this area, our chosen profession is not always fit for prime time. Some people hide their private lives while at work and those of us who work in adult, it’s that part of our lives that sometimes keep on the shelf in the dark. Having already spent the first 18 years on my life in one closet, I didn’t realize until now, to a degree, I have spent the last eight years in another.

I am very proud of the team my business partners, Joe Sterner and David Brinton, have assembled over the years and how that has taken PrideBucks from a one site dream to the company we have now. Becoming honest about one’s sexual nature is a key ingredient to personal wholeness, wellness and inner peace. It is also the key to making money in this industry. How can I be good at what I do if on any level, what I feel I am doing is bad? The truth is, while I do not think it is bad, on the contrary, we work hard, pay taxes, and run a business just like any other. You know that, I know that, but that is often at odds with the “Boogie Nights” misconceptions the folks back on the farm think of us city slickers in porn.

Most often, when I am asked what I do for a living, I now tell them with pride I am a P.M.F., a professional masturbation facilitator. My dentist found that amusing, and so did my barber; will the fine folks from Midwest follow suit? Stay tuned and get ready, sooner or later, that question is heading your way.

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