Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Writing About the Gay Porn Industry by J.P. Barnaby


Nothing kills a book for me faster than implausibility. If I can’t believe what I’m reading, either because of a scenario or the behavior of an established character, I will stop reading and put the book down. For the Little Boy Lost series, I spent a great deal of time researching:
-          I spoke to guys in the industry about what it’s like to be in gay porn
-          I spoke to agents, producers, and directors to get scene details and add authenticity to the story
-          I watched how models interacted on Twitter and at industry events, not only with each other, but with fans
-          I watched hundreds of hours of scenes from several major sites, and some smaller sites
-          I researched industry blogs
J P Barnaby with Jake Bass at the Black Party Expo in NYC
In short, I spent a lot of hours making sure that the topic I wrote about was fairly and accurately represented. Sometimes, the subject isn’t researched as thoroughly as it could be. Five of the biggest inaccuracies I’ve seen written about the gay porn industry:
1.       Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 6-10 hours of filming to capture a 30 minute scene. There are a few houses that film start to finish in one take, but only one or two. Usually, a lot of stopping, instructing, and editing take place in order to finish a scene.
2.       The players in a scene rarely orgasm together. There could be as much as a 30-60 minute or longer gap between money shots.
3.       Because of that gap, sometimes they will stop filming to replace semen on the skin with silicone lube so that it won’t dry and continue to look fresh giving the illusion of immediacy.
4.       Douching, which is hardly ever mentioned in fiction, is a constant on every shoot – every time.
5.       Some guys love to shoot, but not most that I’ve met. For them, it’s a job—they get naked, they fuck, they get paid, and they go home. It’s not romantic, it’s not a dating service, and sometimes it gets awkward. But, for the most part, they remain professional and get the job done.
Drake Jaden, JP Barnaby, & Parker Perry at a FabScout Entertainment party in Chicago (Photo credit: @Jodidash)
One of the most consistent things that I found when interviewing these guys is that most were very helpful. They were excited to answer my questions, interview with me, and help me understand their world so that I could give people a glimpse of who they are. Out of the experience, I made some really great friends. Laid back, funny, and completely open about sex, they are highlights in my life that I am thankful for. One of the guys pre-read each of the books in the Little Boy Lost series to make sure I got it right. Another guy invited me to spend the weekend with him in San Diego. With each of these new friends come new benefits and challenges. We tweet, we text, we talk on the phone, and they have integrated themselves into my life to the point where I can’t remember what my life was like without them.

My point is this—whether you are writing about fetish models, go-go boys, or escorts, do them the respect of representing them with the same vigor and care you would use when writing about architects, firemen, or doctors because the money they earn from their profession is just as honest and just as green.

JP Barnaby with Phillip Aubrey in San Diego
~*~

Little Boy Lost is a coming of age story about two teenage boys—Brian McAllister and Jamie Mayfield—growing up gay in rural Alabama. The six book series chronicles their lives as they navigate through peers, parents, and porn, desperately searching for the perfect combination of circumstances in which they can be together. Through their journey, they find friends, pain, acceptance, loss, and most importantly, themselves.

Reviews for Little Boy Lost
This is a compulsively readable book. I sat down with it the other day, intending just to skim it for this re-review, but within a few pages I was pulled completely into the story just like I was last year. Brian and Jamie are wonderful characters, beautifully drawn and realized. They experience the wonder and excitement of their first love, going through each step: a touch, a kiss, an embrace, and more. At the same time, they are terrified of what might happen to them should anyone find out about their relationship. They live in a very small town in Alabama where faggot jokes and homophobia are the norm. How do they reconcile their feelings for each other with the reality of the time and place in which they are living? – JesseWave

What this author does in ABANDONED is just amazing, it is a pure and honest kind of writing that bares the soul of a seventeen, going on eighteen year old. It offers the worst of circumstances in which various forms of love can ignite, nourish and inspire Brian on his journey. I never expected to experience such a strong connection to the person Brian is. I’m still amazed by it and savoring it every chance I get. ABADONED blew me away as J.P. Barnaby continues the story of memorable characters who just go for your heart. This is just about as good as it gets in the M/M genre! – Leontine’s Book Realm

  

  


The Little Boy Lost blog tour continues June 25th – July 24th . Make sure to comment at each stop for more chances to win some really great prizes such as an entire series autographed to you by J. P. Barnaby. For additional entries – tweet about the tour including @JPBarnaby and #LittleBoyLost.




22 comments:

  1. I can´t wait! I love TLBL books... we need a perfect ending for the boys :)

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    1. Hi Connie! Just a few more days to wait. I really hope you enjoy the way it ends. :)

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  2. I don't be wanting to know about #4 thank you very much. LOL Fantasy is a wonderful thing. ;-)

    I think often so much depends on who the reader is. Because I'm not familiar with the porn industry you could tell me all kinds of things and I'll believe it. But screw around with immigration issues or diplomatic immunity and I'll cut you down so fast you're head will spin. That's what I know, so I know when the details are brutally wrong. (my diatribes about couples who just on a whim decide to move to Costa Rica (or wherever) and live HEA are legendary) Still, I think some basic research is always a good thing. Even if people aren't as brave as you to approach actual actors and ask questions, there are plenty of blogs that you can search out and read that I'm sure give you a pretty good view of any career you choose to research. Of course, watching porn for hours is way more fun than watching open heart surgery. LOL

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    1. Why yes, yes it is... Watching hours of porn was definitely no hardship. LOL

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  3. Oh man, I love this series, and Jake Bass:)!

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    1. Isn't Jake Bass adorable?? He's going to be on the cover of my next book provided licensing comes through. He's an absolute sweetheart.

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  4. J.P. I want to thank you for not just romanticizing the porn industry as some authors do. Like any pathway into the arts this one is a tough one. As you said it is a job for them and the vast majority will never make a full time or even part time income from it. Most have other jobs, school, careers that are far removed from the industry.

    I am sure when you started to research this area a couple years ago you never would have dreamed how far it would have pulled you in or changed your life so dramatically. I respect the courage it took for a self confessed shy person to enter this world. I admire you but I do not envy you. I cannot image the amount of energy it must take to hold down a full time job and still find time to attend events, keep a daily running dialog going with those in the industry, maintain a personal life and then on top of that find time to write.

    If you would please tell me your secret of where you get all that energy I promise I will pay you big bucks for it!

    I know you do not always get the credit for it but you have single-handedly infused this industry with the compassion it does not always show those who work in it. I tip my hat to you. Thank you.

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    1. I think Tam is right, really - it depends on the author. My style is based in realism. I want you to read what I write and believe it could actually happen.

      And I'm sure you know who pre-read this post before I posted it. ;)

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  5. J.P. - Great article. Looking forward to your other posts.

    Randy W

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    1. Hi Randy! Thank you for stopping by the tour stop. xo

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  6. Wow, great article, hon - I have to say I learned more than a few things from it. I love that you put so much passion and attention into your stories, and that you are so concerned with doing the industry justice. You're right, nothing ruins a story faster than implausibility, but nothing rescues a book faster than genuine sincerity.

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    1. I don't write for the money, I write for the pleasure of it. So, I take pleasure in every aspect of it, including the research. (Especially those little sex details that I get from watching porn, but we won't talk about that right now...) ;)

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  7. I just found out from Dreamspinner a few minutes ago that they're going to let Enlightened go FREE and price books 2-5 at 20% off to celebrate the release of Sacrificed from July 2 - July 9. So if you're looking to try the series, this is a great time to do so. :)

    http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3057

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  8. Very informative post! I confess I always daydream about guys falling in love on a shoot, but your commitment to realism is very admirable and refreshing.

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. I'm not saying that doesn't happen, because it absolutely does - it's just not the norm.

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  9. Back for more! Every stop on the tour just keeps getting better.
    Thank you for the enlightenment of the business and your never failing effort to making it plausible in your writing.

    Archie
    archiesvoice@gmail.com

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    1. I do love your tenacity. <3 Thank you so much - some people don't appreciate plausibility, they want fluffy HEA at all costs. :)

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  10. Fascinating stuff. I would never have thought it took that long to get a scene filmed.

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    1. For most houses, it does because of all the stopping and starting. But when you're writing about it, it's important to know. :)

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  11. Another enlightening post! Thanks, JP. PS- I would be more than willing to assist you in any upcoming research if you are in need of an assistant *evil grin*

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    1. LOL - Hi Susie, I bet you would! Don't take away some of the funnest parts of my job, woman!

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    2. Not take away, sweetie...just trying to lighten your workload and share, lol!

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