Predominantly a term referring to male actors or persons who identify themselves as being heterosexual but are willing to perform gay sex for a fee.
Depending on the profession, this is where someone who identifies as being straight, is willing to perform gay acts, which can be sexual, but not always.
In Hollywood, male actors who are heterosexual, may play the role of a gay character, in which there is no sexual contact, though it may be implied.
In many adult films or adult sites where nudity is predominant, many of the performers may identify themselves as being straight, but are willing to engage in full nude poses, or even in sexual situations, for a fee.
'Go Go Dancers' that originated in the 1960's and then died out, to resurface in the 1980's was an example of where performers were hired strictly for their appeal and ability to dance, irrespective of their sexuality.
Many circuit parties and gay bars adopted this style, where touching was allowed, but for tips only. It did not involve more sexual relations than that, and many of the performers identified themselves as Heterosexual.
Some in the GLBT community criticized this use of straight performers at gay venues, claiming that they should hire gay only performers.
The Adult Industry has seen a growth or crossover of straight performers entering the gay market.
Some of the more notable actors/performers are Zeb Atlas, Jeff Stryker, Ryan Idol, and others. In most instances, these straight males either perform in solo sex scenes, where masturbation is the limit of their involvement.
There are other instances, in which these performers will engage in anal sex, but are usually portrayed as being the Top.
On some instances, they will perform as a bottom, but usually after they have been performing as Tops. This is then used as an added marketing feature.
One of the major factors for these 'straight males' to perform on the gay side, is the added income level.
While, unlike Hollywood, where performing as Gay can involve career risks, in the adult industry it is far less of a factor. However, there are some who claim to be heterosexual to avoid the stigma of being Gay, in their private life.
Practice (Associated Acts):
Since the emergence of Gay Rights and the more acceptance of being Gay by the general public, more Hollywood actors have been willing to accept character roles, where they portray Gay Men/Women.
This change by the public, has allowed more gay roles to appear in television and movies, where the actors portraying those characters are less likely to be associated with being gay, themselves.
While it is more acceptable, there is still many who consider it a risk, to portray Gay Characters. There are also many Gay performers, who still refuse to acknowledge their homosexuality.
Clay Aiken is one who refused to comment on his homosexuality, until recently.
Noteworthy: Female on Female is not usually noted as being 'gay for pay' simply as it is less associated with being Gay (Lesbian).
Many adult films, sites, feature woman on woman sex in which there is no connotation of it being 'gay for pay' but is more depicted as a normal fantasy for their male viewers.
Many gay sites are now featuring 'straight' males being seduced to perform gay sexual acts. It is believed that this plays into the fantasy for gay males, where their partner is more or less a virgin, as it applies to gay sex.
In many cases, it is used as an allure for viewers.
Many will agree to perform sexual acts, associated with being gay, but use the money aspect for justification. In many sex workers, they will maintain a heterosexual identity, but agree for a higher fee, to perform gay sex acts.
Some in the GLBT community argue that no 'true' straight person will engage in sex with a same sex partner, if they don't have homosexual or bisexual desires.
Others contend that it shows that same gender sex is more 'normal' than currently perceived.
While it may be that those who perform 'gay for pay' may have bisexual feelings, or homosexual feelings, the consensus is that it just comes down to the extra money being offered.