Michael Stefano Retires From Porn
“It’s like wow,” he said. “Then after five minutes, you’re like, ‘Oh shit, I have to go 30 more.’”
Joking aside, Stefano has been able to do the job and do it well repeatedly for the past 12 years. The seasoned stud estimates he performed in about 3,000 scenes since 1998. Now 41 years old and financially secure, the Hartford, Conn., native has formally announced his retirement from porn in an exclusive interview with XBIZ.
“I’m just grateful that I’ve been able to do it,” Stefano said. “I’m very happy that I can move on and say I lived 12 years that most dudes dream of and they will never achieve it in their life. I’m like one in a million. It’s like hitting the lottery. … I’m so amazed that I lived that life. Not only lived that life but able to not work any more because of it. So it’s like a double thing, like hitting the lottery two times.”
Stefano at press time planned to visit his parents in Sicily, Italy, for an extended period before deciding his next move in life. He has appeared in more than 900 movie titles, with nearly 200 on his resume as a director.
“Because of the way I am I did the right thing in the last 12 years with my finances and not getting into things like drugs. I don’t even smoke. I don’t drink, I don’t do anything. I just like sex. So thank God, I don’t have any habits or addictions or was foolish with my money,” Stefano said. “Maybe because of college it disciplined me to do the right thing. I don’t know if it’s a combination of many things, the way I was raised in a normal family. It was just a combo of everything throughout my life that enabled me to be smart.”
Stefano graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a degree in business management in December of 1991. The following spring he emptied his savings account, packed a U-Haul and drove cross country, landing in Fullerton, Calif., on May 1, 1992.
After taking a few odd jobs, Stefano actually ran a small Italian restaurant in Orange County for a couple years before taking a job as a hotel bartender. While on the job he met a couple that had a porn connection, and eventually Stefano did his first sex scene in 1997 for Mike Hott Video. He earned $50 as part of a five-guy gangbang with a young Russian girl, driving almost an hour to Monrovia, Calif., from his place in Costa Mesa to do the scene.
“I did well and they called me back a few times. This was halfway through ’97, so I did a few gangbang things, a couple little cheesy scenes,” Stefano recalled. “And then right before ’98 started, I remember Jaclyn Lick, I did a scene with her and she said, ‘You should go work for like Vivid and Elegant and all.’ And I was like, ‘What? I can’t. I’m not that good.’
“I never thought I would ever go anywhere other than Mike Hott, 50-buck scenes. And she hooked me up with Jim South, who was the best agent of all at that time.”
Stefano did 10 scenes in January 1998, and then 15 in both February and March. After that he got booked to do movies for Vivid, Wicked and VCA.
“I had all these bookings for features in April. Now the ball’s rolling right,” Stefano continued. “And then I worked for Tom Byron, one scene. And he loved me and he was like, ‘Wow bro, we got to sign you up. Come meet Rob Black and me.’ I was like great, whatever. And I canceled all those bookings and was signed under contract in April of 1998.”
Stefano said that decision put him on the gonzo route for good, “and I’m very happy because I’m all about the sex.”
“Extreme was like my boot camp,” he said. “It was boot camp for porn. So if I could make it through that, three years there, which I did, the rest was easy — cake.”
He steps away having succeeded in numerous aspects of adult — he’s been a producer, director, head of production for Red Light District, and one of the industry’s most consistent performers of the past decade.
“I even shot a few features,” Stefano said.
The last movie he released as a producer/director was “Office Confessionals 11” in July through Bone Digital.
“I still feel good,” Stefano said. “Everything may look great to you watching it, but I know… it’s not the same. The body is saying ‘slow down.’ My head is saying ‘keep going,’ but I know it’s time for me to get out now.
“I don’t want to be the guy that comes and goes. I want to go out and they say, ‘Oh that dude was good.’ I go out on top and that’s it. Inside, I feel it’s time. It may not look like it, but I know it’s time to call it quits and let the younger dudes do their thing.”
He continued, “I had a great time. Now when I have sex, I do it at my own pace, when I want. You do 3,000 scenes, it’s tiring man, the whole process, the whole routine.”
Stefano said there were several memorable moments along the way, such as “being able to travel.”
“I’ve been to Eastern Europe and South America, many trips,” he said. “So that was nice. That was a great experience. And owning my own titles. That was great to have that opportunity that someone offered to distribute my movies because that enabled me to build everything to where it is now.”
Stefano’s titles have been distributed through Platinum X Pictures, Red Light District and most recently Bone Digital.
“To be honest with you when I started in ’98, doing this amateur thing, I thought I’d be like just banging out a few girls. I never dreamed that it would come to where I took it,” he said. “It’s like you start at the ground floor and you go to the top. So I’m proud of that accomplishment you know. I’ve done everything I can do. So the experience was incredible.”
Red Light District director Juan Cuba got his start in porn as a production assistant on Stefano’s sets. An avid porn watcher before he ever stepped behind the camera, Cuba said Stefano’s scenes always stood out.
“Guys like him take control of the scene,” Cuba told XBIZ. “Guys like him and a handful of the guys I work with and admire, they’re the guys who are moving the girl around.”
Stefano told XBIZ that “attitude is the key” to doing a great scene.
“And you have to like to fuck girls. You can’t go in there like you’re going to work. You have to go in there like you’re going to fuck,” he explained.
“I just love women. They could be tall, skinny, chubby, young, old, black, Asian, white, doesn’t matter. I am addicted to pussy. Put pussy in front of me, it’s getting fucked, whether it’s Jenna Jameson or some [brand new girl], it doesn’t matter. Women are beautiful to me. I love fucking them all the same. You have to have a sexual appetite. You have to be hungry for sex.”
Stefano said he also learned “the most important ingredient to the scene is the male.”
“And I’ll tell you why,” he said. “A girl can be bad, can be terrible or can be incredible. An incredible girl can fuck anybody and the scene will look great. She’ll be carrying the whole thing. But nowadays we have all these new girls coming in. They’re wet behind the ears. They have no clue what they’re getting into. So a good guy can make the girl better than what she is. He brings it out of the girl.”
Stefano said it will be at least a year “before I even think about looking for another job or career or whatever.”
“I can work anywhere. I can function in any kind of environment. Like I wouldn’t be stuck working at 7-Eleven if I wasn’t in porn,” he said. “I’m educated, I’m disciplined. I work hard. I’m 100 percent at what I do. I believe in everything I do. So it just happened to be porn. And I just took porn as far as I could take it.”