NEW YORK — Jake Jaxson this week released "RoadStrip," an original reality series, on his CockyBoys site, cautioning those who might dismiss it as just another excuse for sex.
In fact, it's the opposite, he said.
"The sex is how we pay to do the rest of it," Jaxson says. "What I really wanted to capture is the outrageousness of Max and Jake."
Jaxson is referring to CockyBoy exclusive models Max Ryder and Jake Bass (known as JAX by their fans), a pair of gogo boys turned porn stars whose friendship is billed by CockBoys as "sweet, vicious and hilarious."
"Max and Jake are the new generation of gay men — guys who come of age with Grindr and 'Modern Family' and marriage equality," Jaxson said. "There's a confidence in their sexuality and sense of self that blew me away, and it was something that, as a filmmaker, I really wanted to show. So I put them on an RV with some cameramen and a lot of Red Bull and let them go at it for a few months."
What he got back he edited into "RoadStrip," a reality series that follows the two CockyBoys as they cross the country looking for some R&R and sex after having just finished the whirlwind Project GoGoBoy film and tour.
This isn't the first time that Jaxson has used his lens to move beyond sex. Last Fall he launched "The Haunting," a gay porn trilogy that was garnered critical acclaim and is now being adapted into a novel and will be screened at gay film festivals later this year. But he said it was the success of "Project GoGoBoy," a scripted reality series that featured a mix of porn stars and sex, that showed him what a well-constructed series could do. "Project GoGoBoy" became the most nominated film of the year at the 2013 Grabby Awards, according to CockyBoys.
"RoadStrip" follows Max and Jake in the weeks following "Project GoGo Boy." While the series concept isn't any less of a set-up than other mainstream reality shows, the result shows a frank side of gay life that wouldn't otherwise make it to television, the producers said. Not that they didn't try.
"We showed a reel at more than one network," Jaxson said, "and they were interested." But ultimately, the financials they offered couldn't compete with what Jaxson could do on his own site — and with a lot less freedom.
"Even with the less traditional networks, people get awkward when dealing with gay sexuality."
Jaxson added, " I would rather enjoy complete and total freedom to construct entertaining stories and non judgmental depictions of gay sex. On top of that, my web platform and that of my producing partner studios provide a direct to consumer viewership that many niche market cable networks would envy.”
Jaxson and his two lovers were profiled in New York Magazine last July. Jaxson said he doesn't see a problem in thinking beyond traditional sexuality.
"To be honest, I think that Internet porn has had a really important effect on the generation of gay men that's coming out now. It's given them a more nuanced sense of sexuality than I had at that age and they are less conflicted. These are guys who have known what they want — and have known how to get it — for a long time," he said.
Episode One of "RoadStrip" is now playing only on CockyBoys.com but Jaxson thinks there may be a detour down the road. He reported that the initial reaction has been positive enough that he's already planning a second season.