It’s rare for a performer to have an immediate impact, but when Jessy Ares started his career at Titan in late 2010, he instantly made his mark — garnering Gay Performer of the Year nominations for all three of his years in the business.
“Now, when I step out, I get it,” says Ares, who won the top prize on his third try. “I guess it´s true what they say: If you really let things go after working for them, they come to you.”
To me, the music that I’m doing, I don’t just want to be up there and sing a pretty pop song when I’m on stage. When I write my songs, they’re actually about life experience or things that I’ve learned out of experience. —Jessy Ares, 2014 XBIZ Gay Performer of the Year
Much to the disappointment of fans across the globe, the performer recently left the industry to pursue other ventures. But it should come as no surprise to those who followed his career: Ares’ life has always been filled with other passions, with porn just a hot stop along the way.
“Before I entered the industry, I’d always been very good at art, no matter what it was: singing, dancing. That has always been what had kept me going from my early childhood. My grandparents always encouraged me with that,” Ares said from his home in Germany. “I come out of like a patchwork family, with different nationalities and cultures: Italian, Puerto Rican, German, American.”
His parents had him at a very young age, and all the men in the family had been in the military. He grew up with grandparents, aunts and uncles, his dad always traveling. Ares changed schools many times, and grew up around a wide variety of languages and cultures. “I was never very good in school, but art has always come back to me,” he says. “And my biggest passion out of all art was music.”
Ares has performed around the world, also competing in “X Factor” and “Pop Idol” in Germany. Using the name Arestirado, he recorded the album “Shameless,” which was sponsored by KARE Design and G.M.I.R. Records. It was released in late 2011 and sold on disc in 23 countries and 48 cities. Last summer, Ares released a new single (“Pornpop”), and this January his remix album was released. Along his journey, he had modeled to fund his passion … but it was a career he quickly grew tired of.
“I was really turned off from the modeling industry … from what I’ve gotten to know, they are very ego-centric and very snappy. I had to figure out another way to get enough money to pay for my living, but still have enough time for my music. So I thought to myself, ‘Just apply for porn and see what happens.’ And then Titan called me up right away, and another two or three companies,” Ares recalls. “I flew over to America, and I was sitting on the plane thinking, ‘Oh my God, what the fuck are you getting yourself into?!’ If you think the modeling business is rough, what are you expecting of porn?! You can’t go back now! You’re already on the plane!’”
Former Titan director Brian Mills helped quickly signed the stud to an exclusive contract.
“I was stunned at how handsome he is. Jessy had approached Titan a year or two before we signed him, but we didn’t think he was Titan material. He looked great, but more boyish looking than manly,” Mills recalls. “Well, when he approached us the second time, he was 100 percent man. When we began discussing an exclusivity agreement, I was impressed with his thoughtfulness to the process. He really wanted the whole thing to work for both Titan and him.”
Ares counts Mills as one of the most influential and important players in his career.
“He’s a very smart and intelligent man, very straight-laced. Unfortunately he got out of the business right before I got out, and he was always really there for me, helping me, telling me what to do, what’s good for me and what’s not,” he says. “When I got off the plane, they picked me up and they were very nice. It was very observing and not saying very much. To my surprise, I have to say all the people in the industry have always treated me very well; that’s the positive experience that I’ve made. In modeling it was always competition and battling and back-stabbing and fighting … I never had that [in porn].”
After his debut in “Hellions” (directed by Mills), Ares went on to appear in hit after hit for the studio, including the award-winning “Incubus.” He also got to expand his reach with a Titan project that utilized his musical talents.
“I wrote that song ‘Pornstar’ for Titan and they liked it so much they told me they were going to do this movie ‘Command Performance’ where they put the song into it — we shot this amateur music video where I was walking in downtown San Francisco naked, and it caused some attention, good and bad. After that, Michael Lucas used my music as well at Lucas Entertainment for ‘Awake’ and ‘Kings of New York.’
“And then even here in Europe, people paid attention to it, so it’s pretty much worked out. UK Naked Men have also promoted my music in their movies. Major gay magazines and radio stations such as MusicDNA and Tetu wrote articles and did interviews.”
Mills notes that while most fans know Ares is a fantastic musician, they may not realize how hard he works on his music.
“He’s passionate,” says Mills. “Jessy met me for drinks once after I retired from the business. He was one of very few who ever spoke to me after I finished working in the business. He was curious about my work with a non-profit that provides spiritually transformative workshops for gay men. He shared some encouraging and supportive words about my professional re-invention of myself. Funny... in hindsight I realize he was returning much of the advice/support I gave him when he started at Titan. Jessy is more than a pretty face and a hot body. He’s a talented and warm person. And one of the best tops I ever had the pleasure of directing. I’m so pleased that he won Performer of the Year. He deserves it!”
Ares has been invited to perform at events all over the world — from Hollywood, New York, Rome and Athens to Sydney, Berlin, Madrid and London — for his “special sexy singing” shows, performing in front of thousands of people.
“All of the arts are there to stimulate your senses. It’s either toward the eye or the ears or for the feeling that you have. And so is sex — it’s about stimulating senses, and stimulating them in the right way. Dancing, for example, is similar to sex. Sex is similar to music. Music is similar to painting. It’s about what you do with it to stimulate the sense of the people, and what you tell them with it,” Ares says.
“To me, the music that I’m doing, I don’t just want to be up there and sing a pretty pop song when I’m on stage. When I write my songs, they’re actually about life experience or things that I’ve learned out of experience. My songs are always pretty much connected with spirituality. If you look at ‘Shameless,’ most of the songs are very sexual, because that’s what I have to use to make people look at me. But the very last song on the album is about a very spiritual experience.”
And while Ares describes himself as a very sexual person and says he is very open about sex, porn was never something he felt destined to do growing up — and he always likes to keep his own sex private. But in order to push his music, that wasn’t really possible.
“I never planned to become a porn star. It was something that I did in order to go on with my music. I knew that if I would make it in porn and have a big fan base, I would have the fan base for my music … that was my goal. In today’s world, people don’t really pay much attention to somebody who just goes out there and sings nice songs. Unless you take your clothes off, people don’t look at you.”
Nonetheless, porn star he became. Ares continued to stimulate fans’ senses by appearing in numerous hits for Titan (where the bulk of his career was spent), Raging Stallion (“The Woods 2”), Falcon (“Madrid Sexy”) and Lucas Entertainment (including “Original Sinners,” which recently won Gay Movie of the Year and featured Ares getting plowed by fellow nominee Paddy O’Brian.
“I was heavy breathing like I was getting ready to lift heavy weights every time he had to stick it back in,” Ares blogged of his hung scene mate. “Everyone on the set was cracking up.”).
“He took advantage of his Titan exposure — which was always done gradually so as not to over-expose a new performer — to gradually maneuver himself through a series of different looks,” Mills says. “Some had facial hair, others didn’t. He was always working on this body to fine-tune his appearance. Every time he showed up for a shoot, he had something new to show us. He always kept himself interesting... and he knows how to throw a good fuck!”
Ares was literally living a rock star life, performing in front of the camera and on stage. And while he knew he was going to get out of the porn industry at some point, he wasn’t sure exactly when. But that all changed in the spring of 2013.
“My performance was about being sexual on stage, getting my hard cock out … and of course people like seeing it, but at some point, you need to move beyond that. So the job was done, and I also met my boyfriend Ricky.”
That would be now-fiancé Ricky Ares, who Ares immediately knew was someone special.
“We love each other so much that we cannot accept one or the other getting sexual with somebody else, which we had trouble with in the very beginning because he was in a sexual job and I was in a sexual job. It was tearing us apart,” Ares says. “We would get into fights, police and ambulances showed up, but we couldn’t let go of each other.”
With one scene left on a contract for Cazzo, Ares found the perfect solution: filming it with Ricky. “We did it together because we couldn’t deal with it anymore. We both found another way to make money — I am becoming a tattoo artist, and Ricky is working a normal job. Ever since then, things have improved a lot for us.
“At the very end, I have to say that I am happy it all went that way, although I felt like dying going through all that change the last months. If I look at how the business is developing in the last half year, it´s kinda scary. More and more companies are starting to only do bareback. I’d never do that. So by now it would be time to step out of the biz, anyway. The money is getting less and less because people are downloading from the Internet, so it’s starting not to be too good of a base anymore.”
Ares has also taken a break from music, drawing every day to pursue his tattoo artist career (he would love to one day open his own studio) and also working part-time as a makeup artist for a cosmetics company.
“Unless you fly around to do shows, you don’t really make any money with music anymore. I would need another sponsor/producer right now to do another album, which I would love. I could invest the money that I’ve made in music and in porn to do another album on my own free will, and jeopardizing that; but I don’t want to do that. I’ve made enough money so I can go on becoming a tattoo artist now, maybe opening up a store, which is more secure than investing it in another album. But I would love to do another album and go on with music.”
As for the porn industry?
“Will I ever come back? As for now, no. But you never know what the future brings. Of course I would shoot another scene if it was together with my little beefcake, or if it´s involved with my music.”
But Ares is proud of his industry accomplishments and what he learned along the way. He says part of his success may have been helped by having another passion to pursue.
“A lot of people who get into porn do it because they’re greedy and they want to become rich and wealthy, but that’s where they lose themselves; and there’s others who do it for a purpose, some people use porn to make money to do something else, like if you want to become a lawyer and need the money for school,” he says. “If you’re having fun sex doing it, then go ahead and do it. It’s not like I’m judging anybody. But I think if you’re just getting into porn to make money and you’re not doing very much, not moving on in your life or learning something better, then I don’t know if that’s the right way to go.”
One of many things the industry gave Ares was a fondness for a country he wasn’t always a fan of.
“When I was child, I used to hate America very much because the only America that I got to know was from the military. I was always stuck on a military base somewhere out in the boonies, so I never really liked America until I started doing porn,” he says. “I came to love it, and I love it more now than Europe. If I ever have the opportunity together with my boyfriend to leave and go back to America, I would love to … I think it’s easier to connect to people in America than over here in Europe.”
For his fans in the States, it’s a connection and visit they would welcome with open zippers.