Simply put, Rocco Reed was a man born just a few years before his time. He was an adult film performer with credits in both straight, gay and other in-between category porn. Rocco was also an openly out straight man in his personal life. In his professional life, he could easily navigate scenes with both sexes and that somehow outraged many in the gay community and made him the subject of the prevailing Gay-4-Pay backlash only ten years ago.
In today’s climate of sexual fluidity Rocco’s diverse repertoire would probably go just as unnoticed as the co-ed side projects that Dante Colle, Sergeant Miles, and Colby Jansen work on when they are not shooting gay porn. The shift in consumer acceptance of straight men in gay porn is astonishing when you consider that a fairly new gay site like GayHoopla has been able to spawn straight site Hot Guys Fuck, which in turn has spawned another site called Bi Guys Fuck. Even more amazing is the fact that such success is owed to featuring their most popular male models on all three websites.
Today, straight men comprise the majority of performers in gay porn, and audiences either do not realize it or no longer seem to mind. Just ask Bryan Ockert about the challenges of working with the majority straight men who appear on his site, Chaosmen. GayHoopla’s exclusive model Collin Simpson recently announced his burgeoning bisexuality and instantly broadened his already massive following on social media. Not to mention the new bi-tag will allow him employment opportunities on all three sites.
Superstar and industry veteran Vadim Black had his own MTV documentary in which he shared his experiences as one of the most popular performers ever in gay porn while trying to maintain a straight relationship in his personal life. After the show aired, instead of backlash from his fans, Vadim continues to be more popular than ever.
Handsome Rocco Reed was a featured Playgirl model who followed up with erotic co-ed photoshoots and straight soft-core vignettes for the magazine’s online presence. He would quickly learn as many others did that the straight porn industry is all about the female stars, and the men are paid very poorly. Thankfully, Rocco Reed’s career found its way into the gay porn industry where his handsome face and tanned muscular body could be properly appreciated by adoring fans.
Rocco was certainly not the first Gay-4-Pay performer, nor was he alone. His contemporaries included popular hunks such as Parker London, Jeremy Bilding, Colby Jansen, James Huntsman, Lance Hart, Vadim Black, and Tommy Defendi among others. And who can forget the notorious Cody Cummings, who despite his popularity also represented overt homophobia, opportunism and public disdain for homosexual men both on set and even seen in scenes. He was a strong argument for why Gay-4-Pay is bad for the community.
Rocco worked with all the major porn stars and was at one point an exclusive model at Men.com. He was a versatile performer who sucked, fucked and rode cock all with equal aplomb. He had a very similar quality to Parker London, Jack King and Connor Maguire in that he owned the straight guy persona, but was open sexually as a performer. The studios took advantage of that appeal and would cast him in roles as the straight guy who would be seduced.
While some of the Gay-4-Pay performers had limitations on sexual acts they would not do: no sucking cock (Jimmy Johnson, James Huntsman); no bottoming (Topher DiMaggio, Sebastian Kross), others were willing to do it all. Rocco would prove to be the consummate professional when he took on a career defining role in “Rocco’s Fantasy” in which he was prison gang-banged by a four black fellow cellmates.
Straight men enter into gay porn for any number of reasons and that is a topic for another time. Whether gay or straight, it’s how they do as a performer that concerns me most. The focus should be pay for performance and many studios do use a cafeteria style pay structure: the more sexual acts you are willing to do the more money you get. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. New straight performer Axel Kane has clearly stated he refuses to suck dick and studios that wish to work with him must acquiesce as a condition of his contract. His immense popularity gives him bargaining power other performers do not have.
Some popular performers can choose to hold out doing certain things until the time is right (usually an offer of more money) as in the case of William Seed’s bottoming debut that was heralded as a major event at Men.com. Though he is considered a gay porn superstar, William Seed has yet to suck a cock on camera. Over at Sean Cody, many of the most popular tops seem to love fucking guys, but then draw the line at sucking cock or themselves bottoming on camera. They say every man has his price, and we can only hope that adage holds true for our favorite stars as we wait. That combination of negotiating power, the lure of cold hard cash, combined with just the right timing seems to be the current reality facing the Gay-4-Pay men in porn today.