Monday, February 22, 2010

Porn Star or Ambassador?

The South African Charl van der Berg won the World Wide Mr. Gay in Norway last week amidst controversy of his porno past. A restaurant manager from Cape Town he now holds this coveted title and will be the ambassador of the gay community for the next year. Also known as “Chad” in the local porn industry, apart from his tiara, he also boasts crown jewels of 8 inches, uncut and is a top and likes masturbating in front of the camera for your viewing pleasure. The director of Mr. Gay World zealously defended their position for choosing van der Berg as their winner, painting van der Berg as another casualty of the exploitative porn industry. This led me to ask, can one really be a helpless victim if you knowingly expose yourself to the dodgy world of adult entertainment?

In a statement Mr. Gay World was quoted as saying “Porn is an integral part of the gay lifestyle - it's just that most guys don't have the guts to do what I did.” This is true, porn does feature significantly in the gay community and very few gay men can deny possessing or having watched pornography (well the honest ones at least). However, actually starring in one is a whole different “ball game”. Apart from the odd amateur home movies (that are not meant for mass release) I honestly don’t have any friends or acquaintances that have starred in an adult film. Whether my social circle lacks the guts to bare it all on camera is open to debate but I do suspect that this has less to do with actual guts and more to do with repercussions.

As we have seen with beauty pageants across the world naughty pictures and videotapes have an ominous tendency to surface at the most inconvenient of times. For some embarrassing photos will end their pageant careers and for others it will lead them to new paths of success. Either way, once it reaches the newsstands the damage is done, explanations and excuses are abundant always begging the question what the hell were they thinking? Some have teary confessions and explain how they were young and naive, others how they were broke and needed to eat. Very few ever thought those images would be made public, very few thought they would ever be in a position where people, apart from their parents, would care...

Stripping down for the camera, playing with yourself or gaining “carnal knowledge” of another person(s) for money may seem like a good idea at the time and even a secret fantasy for others but, what is the true reality for a porn star? Not being a porn star myself I can only speculate. Personally, I would be concerned about the people who would be slobbering over my porn performances and excreting God knows what bodily fluids at my expense. More frightening would be if someone recognizes you in public, especially if they were a devoted fan, screaming “Is that you? Are you that guy from Everybody Does Raymond?” The worst would be at a family gathering and one of your straight cousin’s new boyfriend’s pulls you aside and in a hushed voice tell you how he enjoyed your new film and eagerly asks if you do private performances accompanied with a psychotic wink.

On the plus side I suspect that porn actors do not have many lines to rehearse and no complicated method acting skills are required. Direction should also be easy to follow as “OK, so you suck him and grab his balls, then you lick his crack then you pound his ass first doggy style then missionary, then you cum and you’re done!” could not be that hard to screw up. The only true challenges would be where they position those cameras and lights and avoiding light bulb burns and contracting some sexually transmitted disease.

Coming back to Mr. Gay World and his porno past, apparently he made one jerk off movie and there may also be photos floating around on the web. But do the making of one video and a few pictures actually make Charl van der Berg a veteran porn star? I think not! Sure he may have had a lapse of judgment, but then again everyone makes mistakes. The fact that he stood up and faced the music in a respectable manner says plenty about his character. So do I think he’s a suitable ambassador for the international gay community, yes I do. The GLBT community is not without our flaws and neither is South Africa. Having our own president embroiled in sex scandals with bastard children popping up with what seems to be everywhere, why can’t we be proud of our own homegrown Mr. Gay World even if he had made one dirty little film.

Till next time.

Hal the Misinterpretive Porn Star

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG, he,s not a Buddhist and working for an NGO that looks after street kids, and been in a monogamist relation ship with an older guy for 10 years, and they planing to adopt an aids baby when they finish building their eco friendly house at Scarborough. Do you think were all shallow, direction less, look's obsessed, sex saturated boys - not men? Is Mr Gay World an achievement, it's an accident of nature that his genes are more attractively arranged than mine, and with the current atmosphere in Africa towards Homo,s we need to focus on fighting stereotypes not playing to them.

Colin

Pierre said...

Colin, it's true Mr Gay World is no mother Theresa as is evident from my post. Sure the title may mean more to some members of the GLBT community than other, but what I found particularly interesting is the fact that if this came out in any heterosexual beauty pageant the winner would have lost his/her title. It just seems as if we don't hold ourselves to the same standards yet we demand the same civil rights.

On the issue of stereotypes, this was my second point of concern. With all this now in the open, what message do we think this sends out to the world and would not acknowledging it and sweeping it under the carpet have made it any better?

We are a diverse group of people, different races and ages and all with different views. This should make for interesting debate seeing as there are clear sides being taken on this issue which I find facinating.

Jason Shaw said...

Interesting post, loved it.

Pierre said...

Thanks Jason, would have loved to hear your opinion on the topic!

Anonymous said...

Good to get a response, thank you Pierre. I would feel more comfortable if people were admired for what they do for the Gay community, in fighting discrimination. Prejudice against homo's is perhaps the last socially acceptable bias that is tolerated - I hear stupid gay jokes on the radio and from people in the work place all the time ( and they would not dare to make racist or anti-semitic jokes because the people who are victims of this fight back) and the homo's do and say nothing.

I don't thing being attractive is admirable, It's very nice sure, but every gay boy or girl is beautiful and needs to feel that way. It's very important to get this across to them, as you said all types and ages ( not just drag queens and buff spinning instructors)

I have been watching "I'm from Driftwood" on youtube heres the link

http://www.youtube.com/user/ImFromDriftwood

and more men like me which I found resonance with because of the oppressive religious atmosphere, something that may give credence to the South African Afrikaans experience.

http://www.youtube.com/user/MorMenLikeMe

Colin

Pierre said...

Colin, I agree that people who do good work in the gay community should receive recognition and the community's support. However, when doing so we should refrain from being selective and shying away from issues that embarrass us or makes us uncomfortable. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people.

With regards to homophobic slurs and jokes, I think that we should not be quiet - if it offends you speak out. The more people get confronted with the fact that making such statements and jokes are NOT ok, the less likely they will be to do it in future (especially in your presence!)

On the subject of attractiveness I could agree with your more. Many young homosexuals suffer from low self-esteem, some because they feel rejected others because they don't view themselves as attractive or worthy. It's important that we help build them up, set good examples and support them.

Thanks for the links, I will most definitely go check them out.

nothingprofound said...

It can't be helped. This is the kind of stuff the press and public lap up. It's all so meaningless and yet it's thrown in our faces as if it's vital news and something we need to know about. "Mr. Gay World" is a PORN STAR!-here's the interview! Hear what Mr. Gay World has to say! That's why I never read newspapers. It's all so silly! I have better things to think about.

Pierre said...

nothingprofound, it is silly how easily we succumb to sensationalist news and I guess that's the reason gossip column and tabloids makes so much money. Maybe it's human nature to want to get a good look at a car wreck or want to read about other people's indiscretions.

Related Posts with Thumbnails