Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Entertainers such as Village People (Eric Anzalone pictured) profit by featuring stereotypical gay fantasy personae.[1]

Gay-for-pay describes male or female actors, pornographic stars, or sex workers who identify as heterosexual but who are paid to act or perform as homosexual professionally. The term has also applied to other professions and even companies trying to appeal to a gay demographic.[2][3] The stigma of being gay or labeled as such has steadily eroded since the Stonewall riots began the modern American gay rights movement in 1969. Through the 1990s, mainstream movie and television actors have been more willing to portray homosexuality, as the threat of any backlash against their careers has lessened and society's acceptance of gay and lesbian people has increased.[4]

In the gay pornography industry, which uses amateurs as well as professional actors, the term gay-for-pay refers to actors who identify as straight but who engage in same-sex sexual activities for money or sexual gain. Some actors who are actually gay or bisexual will be marketed as straight to appeal to the "allure of the unattainable", because straight men (or those newly coming out) are virgins to sex with other men; scholar Camille Paglia declared that "Seduction of straight studs is a highly erotic motif in gay porn"[5] and anthropologist William Leap has similarly written, "as in most gay male settings, the young, the muscular, and the unfamiliar are more sought."[6][dubious ]

Contents

PornographyEdit

In gay pornographic movies, actors who identify as straight, but who perform explicit sexual acts with other males, do not face the same stigma as their mainstream acting counterparts and indeed can rise quickly to being featured porn actors. These actors often play the "top" roles but this is not always the case, such as with Kristen Bjorn and some Bel Ami models. In some cases, a straight porn actor will shift between gay and straight porn to expand opportunities to work.

Because some gay men consider heterosexual men to be objects of fantasy, some gay porn producers have almost certainly described some actors as heterosexual to increase sales and publicity for their product.[7] Moreover, many gay or bisexual men who star in gay porn films may wish to be identified publicly as heterosexual for personal or professional reasons.[8]

Some straight actors[who?] have started acting in gay porn only to be accused[by whom?] of being gay while others' first step was to strictly do solo masturbation or muscle exhibition scenes.[9] The higher pay scale and profile within a production often leads to group scenes where a straight actor only "tops". Many times a "top" actor will then be sought as a bottom and the debut is often treated as a notable event or even its own release.[10]

MotivationEdit

Male pornographic actors are commonly paid more for homosexual work than heterosexual. There are also more opportunities to become a "star" in gay porn than in straight porn, where the attention is on female performers.

Sex workersEdit

In the sex worker industry, the term may also be applied to straight and bisexual people of either gender (including "male escorts") who have sexual contact or scenes with a client or another sex worker of the same gender. Although sexual contact is often involved, sex scenes or solo scenes (like masturbating to climax) or even a BDSM scene for the client's stimulation can take place. Sexual arousal without direct sexual contact may also occur in such niche trade like muscle worship. As in porn work, a gay identity is not necessary to make money from gay clients and consumers.

Go-go dancersEdit

Go-go dancing originated in the 1960s and was eventually appropriated by burlesque and striptease establishments, which in turn became known as "go-go bars" but many gay clubs had male go-go dancers (called go-go boys) during the period 1965–1968. After that, few gay clubs had go-go dancers until a resurgence in the late 1980s when go-go dancing again became fashionable (and has remained so ever since). "Go-go dancers" that perform at night clubs, special parties, circuit parties or rave dances in colorful bright costumes (which may include battery operated lights), with fire sticks, or with a snake can also be called performance art dancers or box dancers. Large circuit parties and gay clubs often have very attractive go-go boys of all sexualities who will allow patrons to touch and rub them but only for tips. This is typical in Thai venues, such as in Sunee Plaza, Pattaya.[citation needed] Some criticize the practice of employing straight dancers to perform erotically for gay audiences when gay performers are available.[11]

Film and televisionEdit

The gay community has expressed concerns about the use of straight actors to play gay characters, a practice also nicknamed "gay for pay" in the acting industry. This occurs in films such as Call Me By Your Name (straight actors Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet), Brokeback Mountain (Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal), Philadelphia (starring Tom Hanks), Capote (starring Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Milk (with Sean Penn playing the role of the real-life gay rights activist-political leader Harvey Milk). [12]

In film and TV, "pinkface" is the use of straight actors to play LGB roles or characters. Anna King of Time Out likens "pinkface" to blackface.[13] The LGB community raised concerns about the film Brüno, in which a straight actor (Sacha Baron Cohen) plays the role of a gay man to "...mak[e] fun of the queer community".[14] Dennis Lim states that the depictions of gays in mainstream film typically include the "gay joke" (in which LGB people are depicted to create humor); depicting gay men pejoratively as a "daisy, a fairy, a nonce, a pansy, a swish" or showing lesbian woman as "butch"; and to create a homosexual panic that plays on heterosexual people's fears of experiencing sexual advances from LGB people (the "most notorious of all gay-panic movies, William Friedkin's Cruising (1980)" links gay men to homicide).[15] Pinkface differs from straightwashing, the erasing of gay characters and themes in film and TV stories.

Pinkface in television advertising has also been compared to blackface; similarly to the way 19th century blackface performances created and affirmed a hierarchical system that presented certain identities as "preferred and privileged", with pinkface ads, LGBT people are portrayed to create "humorous stigmatization" which is "insidious", as "like blackface, pinkface advertisements create a culture that posits the identities of GLBT persons [to a mainly non-GLBT audience] as inferior, inappropriate and ludicrous".[16] Pinkface ads have been called the "most destructive genre of queer commercials", as they manipulate queer identities to create stigmatization at gay people's expense and strengthen heteronormative standards.[17]

Some pinkface TV ads depict hairy bearded men in drag (wearing dresses), with the intent of making fun of and devaluing trans women and present a "campy, stigmatized" depiction of trans people.[18] Bud Light's 2003 beer commercial "Clown" depicts gay men as perverse by showing a man in a clown costume who appears to be walking on his hands, so that his mouth is positioned at the location of his costume's "bottom", thus making his drinking of beer look like the bottle is going into his anus, as the "bar patrons look at...in disgust", showing that the gay reference is derogatory.[19] In the 2007 Snickers chocolate bar ad "Chest hair", two men eat the same chocolate bar and then accidentally end up kissing when they eat the entire bar, causing them to scream and rip out their chest hair, which implies that if two men kiss, they must prove their masculinity with pain-causing "hypermasculine behavior", which implies it is "preferable to physically harm one's self than to be identified as gay".[20]

Popular cultureEdit

Straight-for-payEdit

A term that is derivative of "gay-for-pay" is the partly tongue-in-cheek term "straight-for-pay", which describes gay men who have sex with women for pay. The term was coined to describe the film Shifting Gears: A Bisexual Transmission, due to gay porn stars Cameron Marshall and Blake Riley being featured in heterosexual scenes. Other notable examples of gay porn stars going "straight-for-pay" are Steven Daigle[21] and Arpad Miklos, the latter of whom received a great deal of criticism for his scene on the site Straight Guys for Gay Eyes (SG4GE). SG4GE's company principal Jake Cruise defended the scene, stating that it was a "winning idea" to portray a "masculine gay man exploring straight sex" because "I’ve always loved to push boundaries and press buttons with my work."[22][23]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Pearlman, Jeff (May 27, 2008). "'Y.M.C.A.' (An Oral History)". SPIN.com. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  2. ^ Phillips, James (September 19, 2006). "Blazin Squad, gay 4 pay?". Pink News. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  3. ^ Palmer, Brandon (September 19, 2006). "Gay Webmaster Resources: Gay 4 Pay". klixxx.com. Archived from the original on June 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  4. ^ Pew Global Attitudes Project (June 3, 2003). Views of a Changing World 2003. Washington, D.C.: The Pew Research Center. OCLC 52547041. Retrieved 2007-07-11. Full report (126 pages)
  5. ^ "No Law in the Arena: A Pagan Theory of Sexuality", in Paglia's Vamps and Tramps (1994, Vintage ISBN 0679751203), p.87
  6. ^ William L. Leap. Public Sex/Gay Space. Columbia University Press; 1999 [cited December 30, 2011]. ISBN 978-0-231-10691-7. p. 62.
  7. ^ Benton, Angel (October 2007). "Proven Strait: Movie Review". 3 (5). Just Us Boys: 46. 
  8. ^ Skoch, Iva R. (March 24, 2010). "Gay-4-Pay in Prague". GlobalPost.com. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  9. ^ Benton, Angel (October 2007). "Fabscout". Just Us Boys. 3 (5): 34. 
  10. ^ Benton, Angel (October 2007). "Andrew Justice". Just Us Boys. 3 (5): 16. 
  11. ^ Musto, Michael (September 25, 2007). "Hillary and Condi and Dykes, Oh My!: Plus items of purely prosthetic appeal". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  12. ^ Kirst, Seamus (6 December 2017). "Latest Gay-for-Pay Oscar Bait: Dear Hollywood, Let queer people tell our own damn stories". www.them.us. Them. One need not look far to see that Hollywood often fails to provide both representation of, and employment to, members of marginalized communities. Movements like #OscarsSoWhite, and continued pushback against cisgender actors playing trans roles, have been increasingly covered in media the past few years. Yet the Gay for Pay Problem has not had the same attention, at least in the recent past, as other ways that Hollywood is willing to tell stories from marginalized groups without hiring marginalized people 
  13. ^ King, Anna (7 July 2009). "Brno reignites the pinkface debate: As gay-themed films Brno and Humpday hit theaters, TONY weighs in on the drama behind the comedy". www.timeout.com. Timeout. Retrieved 1 August 2018. Brno—in which a straight Sacha Baron Cohen plays a flamingly gay Austrian fashion reporter—is the latest film to be accused of making fun of the queer community, drawing the accusation of being pinkface. The epithet is a recent addition to the cinematic lexicon: simply put, it’s a riff on the term blackface. It carries the same pejorative connotations but applies to straight actors taking on gay roles. Blackface has long gone the way of anti-miscegenation laws, yet Prop 8 is still with us. Is being gay the new black? 
  14. ^ King, Anna (7 July 2009). "Brno reignites the pinkface debate: As gay-themed films Brno and Humpday hit theaters, TONY weighs in on the drama behind the comedy". www.timeout.com. Timeout. Retrieved 1 August 2018. 
  15. ^ Lim, Dennis (9 July 2009). "On the Offensive: After Brüno, Hollywood depictions of gays may never be the same. That's a good thing". www.slate.com. Slate. Retrieved 4 August 2018. 
  16. ^ Farr, Daniel and Guenther, Gretchen. "Seeking the Rainbow Dollar: Gay and Lesbian Marketing and Consumption". In The Globetrotting Shopaholic: Consumer Spaces, Products, and their Cultural Places. Ed. Tanfer Emin Tunc, Annessa Ann Babic. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Oct. 2, 2009. p. 49
  17. ^ Farr, Daniel and Guenther, Gretchen. "Seeking the Rainbow Dollar: Gay and Lesbian Marketing and Consumption". In The Globetrotting Shopaholic: Consumer Spaces, Products, and their Cultural Places. Ed. Tanfer Emin Tunc, Annessa Ann Babic. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Oct. 2, 2009. p. 50
  18. ^ Farr, Daniel and Guenther, Gretchen. "Seeking the Rainbow Dollar: Gay and Lesbian Marketing and Consumption". In The Globetrotting Shopaholic: Consumer Spaces, Products, and their Cultural Places. Ed. Tanfer Emin Tunc, Annessa Ann Babic. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Oct. 2, 2009. p. 47-48
  19. ^ Farr, Daniel and Guenther, Gretchen. "Seeking the Rainbow Dollar: Gay and Lesbian Marketing and Consumption". In The Globetrotting Shopaholic: Consumer Spaces, Products, and their Cultural Places. Ed. Tanfer Emin Tunc, Annessa Ann Babic. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Oct. 2, 2009. p. 48
  20. ^ Farr, Daniel and Guenther, Gretchen. "Seeking the Rainbow Dollar: Gay and Lesbian Marketing and Consumption". In The Globetrotting Shopaholic: Consumer Spaces, Products, and their Cultural Places. Ed. Tanfer Emin Tunc, Annessa Ann Babic. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Oct. 2, 2009. p. 49
  21. ^ "STEVEN DAIGLE GOES STRAIGHT-FOR-PAY". Manhunt.net. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  22. ^ "Arpad Miklos Goes 'Straight for Pay' for Jake Cruise". Gay Porn Times. Retrieved 2017-09-18. 
  23. ^ "Arpad Miklos Goes 'Straight for Pay' for Jake Cruise". Xbiz.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.