Gay Fetish Explores New Extremes

JC Adams,
LOS ANGELES — Quick, can you venture a guess as to the hottest emergent trend in gay adult right now? 21-year-old blonds, perhaps? Nope.

Although flaxen-haired idols are a perennial. Bodybuilders? Nah. Redheads? Phallic vegetables? Believe it or not, that last suggestion is in the ballpark.

“Fetish” is the answer, and it is emerging onto the gay adult scene in a major way.

If you’re scratching your head in confusion, we sympathize. After all, every single porn film is a variation on a fetish, right? Customers pick the films that scratch the itch they perhaps can’t reach on their own. Whether it’s innocent blonds doing very dirty things or straight bodybuilders wanking off for cash, all porn is a fetish to some degree.

And therein lies the rub: To what degree does an adult film play up its fetish-y focus? A wave of new gay adult fetish films takes their focus to the extreme — literally, and that includes phallic vegetables.

What does this mean to the adult retailer? Consider that fetish fans usually go wanting. They typically must settle for what they can find on the shelves of their neighborhood porn emporium because often their preferred films aren’t made available for wholesale distribution.

That’s not the case anymore. Just as fisting and watersports gradually migrated from their sub-genre to more mainstream fare, many of these new fetish fuck flicks are finding widespread distribution. If your customer base supports the sub-genre, you’ve got plenty to choose from these days.

What brought about the change? Competition. Video-on-demand websites continue to pinch the profit margins of traditional-media companies to the point that many studios consider the fetish crowd to be as close to a guaranteed audience as they can expect in the wild west of the Internet age.

And it is natural to wonder whether flatulence or cock-and-ball torture has enough appeal that customers would be willing to shell out for a purchase, or least give it an extended shelf life as a rental.

So consider why fisting or bareback films, for example, have such an ardent fan base. It's because the performers are usually indulging in their favorite flavor of sex.

A porn model with no interest whatsoever in extreme sex has plenty of opportunity to indulge in the good ol’ vanilla-flavored suck-and-fuck. But actors with a knack for fisting or watersports are more than happy to display their talents onscreen for a hungry audience. And it shows in their performance. That extra spring in a performer’s step is often the key ingredient that turns a vanilla-sex fan into a fetish fanatic.

Here is a selection of new, upcoming and recent releases from a variety of gay adult studios that aim to bring specific, narrow fetishes to a mainstream audience:

"Farts!” (Lucas Raunch/Lucas Distribution) It seems everything performer and Lucas Entertainment CEO Michael Lucas does is controversial. The New York-based porn mogul debuted his nascent Lucas Raunch label with “Farts!” which focuses, as its descriptively narrow title suggests, on flatulence. An incredulous response from certain quarters of the industry has only emboldened Lucas, who claimed recently that pre-orders on “Farts!” has outstripped even that of his award-winning “Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita.”

“Anyone making fun of this movie is a fool,” Lucas told XBIZ. “They may try to ridicule me, but really they’re insulting people who are looking for this fetish.” He said the film also includes “watersports scenes, fisting, lots of intense ass play with speculums” and even food play, with “a banana being pushed into and squirted out of a guy’s ass.”

As an aside, Lucas said a forthcoming edition of his “Michael Lucas’ Auditions” series would focus on a milder fetish — toe-sucking.

“Folsom Undercover” (Titan Media) This San Francisco powerhouse studio has assiduously worked to popularize and mainstream fetish over the past few years, particularly with its “Folsom” series of fuck flicks. The series receives a top-notch physical production and is cast with glamorous, movie-star-handsome performers like Tony Buff, Dean Flynn, Dirk Jager and Max Schutler.

There’s even a philanthropic angle to the “Folsom” series of films: It’s produced in conjunction with nonprofit Folsom Street Events, whose mission is to “create volunteer-driven leather events that provide the adult alternative lifestyle community with safe venues for self-expression while emphasizing freedom, fun, frolic and fetish and raising critical funds to benefit the San Francisco Bay Area and national charities.” A portion of the profits from the “Folsom” films is given to charity.

“Folsom Undercover” is the latest in the series. Featured fetish sexplay available in either the retail or direct-mail versions includes electric stimulus, candle wax, fisting and watersports (applied separately from the electricity).

“FFucking FFantastic” (Hot Desert Knights/All Boys Distribution) Gay adult studio Hot Desert Knights (HDK) made its bones in the fetish market by producing condomless fuck flicks (colloquially known as “bareback” films). They were among the first to popularize this particular fetish back in 2001 when mainstream skin star Jeff Palmer controversially left the condoms-only industry behind to focus solely on bareback production.

Now that bareback titles are flooding the marketplace, HDK President Bill Marlowe told XBIZ he decided to raise the bar on the sub-genre with “Ffucking FFantastic” (the extra letters are not a typo), which he described as “the most realistic fisting movie ever filmed.”

The film’s intense focus on fisting (and bareback anal sex) has drawn equal parts skepticism and admiration. Gardner said true fisting devotees practice in their own lives “shoulder-depth fisting, double-fisting and foot-fisting. It really isn’t so unusual… Yet gay adult production companies who produce fisting movies seem afraid to show such realism.” He aims to correct that imbalance in the marketplace.

“Red Hanky” (Club Inferno/Hot House Entertainment) The Club Inferno line produced by San Francisco-based Hot House Entertainment was introduced because such practices as fisting and extreme dildo play was at one time considered too narrowly focused for their broadly aimed titles. But with dildos of all shapes and sizes as common as actual erect penises in gay adult — and with more extreme fetish sex on display in mainstream fare — it is no surprise that the Club Inferno line is getting a stronger push from the venerable studio.

A red handkerchief in gay-sex parlance signifies the wearer is a fisting devotee. The presence of popular stars like Wolf Hudson, Nick Piston and Tyler Saint only raise the profile of “Red Hanky” in the gay adult mainstream market.

“Rice Rockets” (Third World Media) Apart from the occasional Thai import, all-male Asian films are rare in gay adult. Films featuring Japanese performers are more scarce. So it should be no surprise that “Rice Rockets” — filmed on location in Japan with a cast of unknowns — is causing a stir. Fans of Asian men are typically left wanting. Asian performers such as Brandon Lee, Cory Koons and Jordan Young are few and far between..

Director Ed Hunter is “on a personal quest to bring the company in touch with the gay community,” Third World Media President Steve Scott told XBIZ. “Ed hit the ground running and feels the pulse of our consumer’s desires.”

“XXXtreme SeXXX #1” (Raging Stallion Studios) San Francisco-based Raging Stallion is popularly known for its rugged, aggressive aesthetic. They have long produced a line of fisting videos that are designed and marketed specifically to knowing fans. But recently they’ve decided to ratchet up the erotic content — just as “Ffucking Ffantastic” has done for Hot Desert Knights — with “XXXtreme SeXXX #1,” the first in a new hardcore fetish series.

Bondage, fisting and dildo play is included alongside more rarely seen sexual practices such as cock and ball torture, clamping, catheter insertion and sounding. The inclusion of such a variety of extreme sex practices has turned “XXXtreme SeXXX #1” into a buzzworthy title in the marketplace.