The Assignment

For this I went to Columbia School of Journalism? Mortgaged my soul to pay for it? For this? An assignment from my editor to go out and do an article on the porn industry? Sit around all day looking at chicks and dicks and wishing I'd worn a cast iron jock so I could seem, remote, interested but only clinically in the heaving and the groaning and the nudity. In my nightmares I saw myself, note pad on my lap, pen at the ready, almost in cardiac arrest as one of the"stars" of the next episode of whatever they were making is standing beside me while her body make up is "touched up" and her tits are worked in such a way so that they're "perky" look ready to "be played with." Fuck, I could get her tits ready to be played, do her body makeup, shave her snatch, fuck her, get blown, and do a doo wop anal penetration for no money and come away with a story that would sell fifty times our normal over the counter circulation. One picture on the cover of me, part of her breast and a seemingly disembodied hand reaching up. Hell, forget the article, news dealers were going to have to put the fucking picture out of reach. Sadistically, I wanted every little boy who was being taken out by his dad to see that picture, want it, and start to cry when he can't have it. Heheheh. And wonder if dear old dad comes back, buys it and joins his selection of "toilet" literature which he uses to deflate his blue balls.

My editor, a schmuck of the first water, is looking over his window glass filled horn rims, playing with a Mont Blanc pen as if it were a black cock and telling me about the higher purposes of this article, how "we" had noted an uptick in profits in the porn industry and, as a forward thinking magazine, it was our responsibility to report on this, not in the abstract but the cold realities, of how its run, whose in it, why, where....the rest of the journalistic bullshit.Leaning back (I hoped he'd fall over) he ascribes no particular geometric figure in the sky, well, to him it's not, but to me it looks like a pair of 36 double Ds and thinks. He must have thought too hard as his tent pole is being set up and I can almost hear his balls pull up. Oblivious to this he explains how I was chosen because I was young (27) and my name, "Barney" seemed like an assumed porn name. I wondered how he reached that conclusion? I'd done some research and found that many porn stars had adopted names to more clearly emphasize their calling. Cheery Cherry Jones, S. N. Atch.Yummy Smith. And the guys were about the same. Bill E B. Bad. Al The Way. I looked forward to meeting them as "Barney" and having them ask if that was "Barney Rubble?". The meeting ended abruptly when editor realized his verbal perusings in porn had led to what might be an "incident" so I was handed a packet that included a plane ticket, some research materials, general outline as to how long, reservation at a hotel and a departure date. As I closed his door I was encouraged to hear the sound of a zipper descending and a massive sigh of relief/release. Hope the night cleaning crew were good sports.

I'm not part of the group that thinks California has everything. Equally I wasn't wowed by New York but that's where my job was and by working over time, taking every assignment I could, sharing an apartment with a buddy from school, his German Shepherd, and selling blood on the alternate week from when I was selling plasma and taking a weekend job cleaning offices, I could almost afford sufficient food to prevent rickets, water came free with the minuscule apartment-sleeping with Sam and his mutt was no picnic either; One of them had fleas and my money was not on the dog who, actually, was a better companion. Oh, and allowing Sam to bring home dates while I took Alfred Lord Douglas by I'll Say He Is Castern (the pedigree name, I called him Al) our for long, long walks while Sam and whoever did whatever. Jesus, couldn't he at least change the sheets? Even Al wouldn't get up on the bed "afterwards". But that was the paradise I was leaving for the skin trade and, I hoped, a marginal tan, a touristy trip through Hollywood, seeing where stars were buried at Forest Lawn and a walk down Rodeo Drive staring at things I wouldn't be able to afford if they took all my blood and, on the side, I sold Al and his pedigree to a greedy breeder on Long Island.Oh, yeah, and show up at my assignment each day to follow the skin trade, both product and ethos. No one mentioned ethics.

At least the hotel was okay, I recognized the name of the chain from the myriad ads on the sides of buses as well as a saturation marketing campaign some of which had been in our publication which meant this was comped or as close to free as it gets which usually mean we pay the room taxes, occupancy fee etc. The room was actually pretty good , bigger than the bedroom in New York plus had two queen sized beds.I wished Al had been there, we'd become buddies and he would have enjoyed a night with his own bed. Mini bar-which I would have to pay for, big walk in shower-research had shown the hospitality trade that showers took up less space than a tub, more men preferred them, they used less water so now instead of trying six feet two of me into a tub made for my six year old nephew, I could stand upright. Oh, yeah, and showers, real ones, as opposed to showers as part of a tub, have a shower head that only allows you to get wait from the crotch down.All in all, I was pleased, happy, staked myself to a beer ($4.00 fucking dollars for a can of Bud) shed my clothes, racked out on the bed prepared to watch the local news in Ellay,shower and then scrounge up food or go dumpster diving.

I forgot about the three hour time change, the ten hours, give or take, that it had taken to get here and that we were now off daylight savings. When I woke up it was after eight, I was cold, my dick was hard and I went through the usual confusion of wondering where I was, who I was and why was I naked on a bed I'd never seen before. I was still woozy enough to think something attractive would emerge from the bathroom while putting on her dress. Tell me I'd been better than the USC football team, collect her handbag, put a stack of hundreds on the night stand and tell me she'd call tomorrow. The beer was room temperature but, for four buck, I chugged it anyway.

Unlike New York, you couldn't walk onto a street and find some sort of place to eat within a half block. In California if you stepped on the street you could be arrested for loitering, solicitation or littering. I found that out when the cop on a BMW bike pulls over, asks for ID, sees "New York" and gives me some friendly advice:"Rent a car". Not knowing where I would go if I had a car, I immediately sensed the correctness of his suggestion for, as I looked down the street, there were no other walkers on it.

Back to the hotel, the next morning in the lobby there's a car rental place and, for only a few extra dollars-all of which I'm charging to the magazine-they'll put a GPS in so that all I have to do is listen and steer.

Thirty minutes later I'm in a brand new Chevrolet Camaro with my electronic guide and we're cruising to the place of porn. I'm not optimistic enough to think it's going to be in a large mall with lots of advertising but as the car and I get further from the bright lights of Hollywood I began to wonder if much of what I'd heard wasn't somewhat true. A voice told me that one block ahead on my right was an address and that was where I was going. It was right, address was right-it was on the door- and I had arrived at my assignment.

The neighborhood was such that I locked the car without thinking, forgetting it was a convertible with the top down, and found that the door with the address was also locked however a small sign advised me to ring the bell and someone would appear. It was a very old bell and only sounded every other ding or dong but it did make noise.Somewhere behind the door I heard a man's voice yell that he was coming, hold my horses, he'd be there and one other saying that indicated movement. I heard a lock click and then the door opened and I was facing porn.

The guy who answered the door was about my height but had clearly devoted a significant part of his life to "pumping iron". Put his hand out, smiled (there were muscles there he'd worked on, had to be) took my hand and with very little effort on his part almost threw me through the door.

"Barney, right? From the magazine.? Right. Good to meet you, we been looking forward to this. I'm Jack Symkowicz but you probably know me better as Jack Hard." I didn't but it would have been unkind to point that out on first acquaintance. Given that he was wearing the minimal amount of clothing I could see why. Barefooted, he slammed the door behind us, threw a friendly arm around my shoulder, that almost caused me to stumble, and started us on our tour to where the action was.

I will confess, I was not prepared for a studio in the classical sense, no Paramount, no MGM but equally I was not prepared for what had once been a very large truck repair place. Some of the bays had been converted to "sets, one of the recesses in the floor where formerly mechanics had worked on transmissions, had been filled with water and some vague attempts made to suggest....something tropical or at least not the inside of a repair place. As to the water....either the pool boy had no idea about chemicals or it was filled with rain water that had first been filtered through a stack of used tires.

Jack, ever the good host, stopped as we got to the edge of the action, yelled something which did bring a sort of silence, and said, "Guys, meet Barney, he's going to make us famous." During that brief and questionable introduction, it came to me that every single person in that room was male. All of them. Some had on more clothes than the others, some had no clothes and, by a set that seemed more active than others, one guy was having his dick sucked while checking his make up. Somewhere, back in New York, there was an editor who was lying on his floor laughing so hard he broke water and wind. I could almost hear him gasp, between peals of laughter, the putz is gonna get a story on gay porn and probably get fucked in the process. I saw him, in my mind, return to laughter.

Jack, gregarious as a greeter at a Vegas casino, started me around to meet the guys, get a feel for the place (perhaps an unfortunate turn of phrase), get settled what was going on, find out how it was done, whatever I wanted to know, ask anybody, they all knew I was coming and were anxious to help. As he turned to go elsewhere, he added, "Nice of them to send us a fine looking stud....Irish?"and then he disappeared leaving me by some chairs, near a camera, lights over head and a very generic room set that had, as its main piece of furnishing, a bed. Attempts had been made to give it a"homey" look. Pictures of the sort that are nailed to walls in cheap motels were nailed to the walls here. A bedside table with, mutheragawd, a lava lamp, two pillows and, on the other side, another bedside table which, I was to discover, held lube and condoms.Whether they were trying for cheap hotel or flop house wasn't clear but then for what I suspected would happen-the bed was a big clue-giving the viewers a definite idea as to where this was probably lacked importance. For that, this "room" could have been anywhere, well, anywhere if they didn't live in Yurts or "Mens Houses" by the Amazon River with fish that could catch you.

Somewhat at a loss, I plunked my self down in a chair which promptly dis-assembled, dumping me on the ground. Two guys, nude, hurried over, picked me up, said the chair should be in the trash, introduced themselves as the Bull Brothers, told me they knew, everyone knew why I was here and it was a real pleasure. Nothing was wounded save a smidge of my pride and the guys seemed open and genuine, really helpful that it made it easier to keep my eyes on their eyes. But this is the skin trade and, as no one seemed to have anything for me to do and though I'd asked to schedule some interviews, just then I had time on my hands. To fill it, the brothers asked if I'd like to watch a partial rehearsal.


"Yeah that's everything but the money shot or in our case, money shots."I looked blank. " Learn the lingo if you're going to write about it" one brother (Bill Bull) pointed out. ".. money shot is when we shoot cum, or it's sucked from us. Depends on what the film is about. Take us, brothers, well, not real brothers, but we look a lot a like and play well, that means we have sex well, with each other so....we became the Bull brothers. Done pretty well in the vids.Customers will convince themselves that if the label uses the word,'brothers', then we must be brothers. To dress up the idea we each have a couple of matching tats." They showed me their very well rounded bicep on which there was a celtic circle which surrounded a mans crotch-not exposed-but in a cod piece or something that revealed either supercalifrgilisticexpealidocious genitals or some one had a rump roast in a nordic style bag.

"Nice!"I didn't know anything else to say and while I had some ink of my own, the crest of my fraternity and a couple of four leaf clovers -I really was Irish - weren't likely to impress them. Also, I didn't feel the necessity to remove any clothing.

The other Bull, Brad, found a chair that he guaranteed would stick together, put me in it and they said first they'd fluff up and then give me a sample of pre money shot work. Well, here was another term and so, showing my stupidity, said,


The guys laughed. "When you're in this as much as we are, short of drugs, you don't stay up and hard, fluffing, and there are some guys who are only fluffers, is a way of using your mouth, kinda like giving head, to get the guy's cock up and hard. Easy when there are two of us cuz we can just hit a 69..." He paused and looked at me.I said I did know what that was. " ....get up, keep it up with some fingering and then go for it, the money shot."

I felt like I had enough vocabulary right then to turn out at least a novella.

"He, you wanna be fluffed? Great for the story." Ideclined but they insisted on giving me a rain check. And the fluffing started. As It was just two guys laying on the floor sucking each other's dicks, 69(basic 101), no real enthusiasm, this was just part of work. While they did that a guy with a steadicam showed up, some lights were turned on and the guy with the camera said, "Ready when they're up.Remember, this is rough, you've had a fight and, Bill, you gotta get Brad down so that I can come in over his body so when you fuck him, I'll have the angle I want. Got it?"

It was like watching the world shift on its orbit, Brad and Bill slipped on to the bed, turned on their sex with their cocks waving like happy flag poles waiting to have a flag run up it. Immediately they were not friends, there was wrestling, kissing, thumping, illegal use of hands and, after about ten minutes of this, the camera guy positioned himself at the end of the bed, which Brad or maybe Bill, could see and they subtly altered what they were doing. Now we got hands on cocks and there' some intense jerking and, finally, the camera right with him, Bill or maybe it was Brad, aimed his dick at the hole and went in like a pile driver. End of scene. The camera guy said they'd finish it tomorrow and wandered off to where some other men were-nude-already fucking and he joined the camera guy there for, I suppose, two angles.

Brad and Bill came back, as if nothing had happened, hunkered down beside me and, laughingly, said, "That's porn." And it was.

That was day one morning one. In some ways it was the simplest introduction I could have had because I did understand fucking and sucking, in a different way, I'd done it myself and hoped to do it again. Jack came back to see how everything was going, which was fine, and took me off to the distribution room so I could see how porn got from their house to my house with, or without, a brown paper wrapper. There were also machines that were keyed into porn services which amounted to people being able to rent movies on line, or watch bits of movies, or....the way it was divided was really kind of amazing and having just seen the product, I now began to understand why it was a multi billion dollar industry. I was seeing the epicenter, the genesis point for all of it. No matter how you sliced it, it started with guys having sex with each other, of varied sorts, and then sending that out in all manner of ways to other guys who were the consumer. This was China, if you will, to the world's WalMart. ( I asked, Wal Mart does not sell porn although does. Possibly explaining why Walmart sales were flat and Amazon was booming. Not only was it an interesting aspect for my article but just interesting.)

By the end of the day, I'd seen and met several of their "stars" none of whom I would have recognized with their clothes on, watched a short scene in which some guy, in a bathtub, was pissed on by other guys.I'd seen the worlds kinkiest costume department, tried to further understand how the product was made so that what I'd seen on day one wasn't just repeated over and over with props that changed the bedroom to an office to a store room but, basically, it was the same fuck and suck. On that note, I left, but not before Jack gave me a pass key to get in when I wanted and, he pointed out, they worked, sometimes until well after midnight.

My verbalizing ride took me back to the hotel but not before it found a restaurant and then a liquor store, my dodge to the mini-bar, as well as a market for some snacks and then went home and wrote up what I thought I'd seen and/or learned. In fact, it had been far more interesting than I'd thought, once I got past the casual nudity and my ability to turn around and see some aspect of sex being done out in the open. I guess that last sentence says I was a prude, I'm a man, these were men, I'd been in a shower with naked guys, punched guys in the balls, had towel snapping fights, laughed and pointed at the "equipment" of other guys, but this was different. There was no fun, no camaraderie, just sex like mom and dad or more precisely dad and uncle Pete never had only the object was to sell what they were doing, not make friends, make babies, nothing.

My evening jerk, I found, didn't come off, or maybe the better way to put that is up.

Day two found me as an accepted part of the place, word had, apparently, got round that I wasn't there to point fingers, seemed a regular guy, had a job to do and forgot I was there. Which was exactly the attitude I needed in which to do my work. I'd also figured that showing up in even office casual was wildly over dressed so I got out my sneakers, an old pair of shorts I'd thought I might run in, a ball cap, backwards and with shades on it as well as a T shirt that featured a man giving a finger to whatever; I fit right in. The thing that I found was of little use was my ultra fancy phone that took pictures and even long sections of video. Clearly, that wouldn't fly although I had zip interest in having moving pictures of what I'd seen that day that I'd take home for my own personal use; My memories of what I'd seen were still very much with me. What I did learn was that compared to most of the larger porn studios, this was a very small deal, working on shoe strings and lucky to get their product out and on the computer lines where the greatest monies were generated apart from direct sales. Most of the men who worked here were very new to the business or very old to the business. Jack made up a selection of what he, reluctantly, told me was the best of their competitors out put and suggested I look at ten minutes here or ten minutes there so I could see the difference.

It was like walking into Munchkin land from the farm house. Real sets, real lighting, real multi camera set ups, and on and on. I still didn't recognize any of their "stars" bit I could see the difference, these guys were agile, knew how to get in and get out of a scene, could do more than just make it with another guy although what their additional talents were consisted of a detour into the wonderful world of Fetish. I was told, the king was a Vietnamese guy in San Francisco who owned a five story building, formerly an armory, with different types of porn made on every floor and, it was rumoured, industrial tours several days a week. I looked at one of those and was startled, not at what I saw, but how completely different and impersonal it was. I watched one of them twice and then looked for Jack.

"Why am I watching this stuff and and I'm absolutely bored. Yes, it looks very professional, I suppose these are hot guys, but it's still fuck and suck with whips and boots and leather and garments of all sorts, most of which seemed to be abstractions on what a well dressed motorcycle officer would wear only not that tight. Jack looked off into space and said, "I need to take you on a tour of fetish shops, leather shops, tat shops, piercing shops....all of which have some connection to porn. What're you doing right now?"

An hour later I was in a place called "The Gauntlet" which, I was told, was THE start of everything fetish out in the open. This was where certain types of piercings and tattooings were developed, this was the vanguard of sexual freedom with a strong list to the Gay life but all comers were welcome. Jack knew one of the people who had a part in it and my literary credentials were an open Sesame. Seems, as with everything else, Publicity is relished, particularly if you have to do nothing to get it but stand around and talk so that's what we did. In fact, it was sensory over ride and, once again, I had to write down a flurry of new words some of which I felt I would never use again once I put this article to bed. As it were.

Next on our tour was the best leather shop. Here too, no one was embarrassed about anything, guys stood around stark naked save for some boots or trying on a selection of leather jocks, some studded, some not. In another corner a happy couple was selecting a collar-to be soldered shut and a leash to go with it. The place was huge and, at several moments, I felt Jack and I were woefully over dressed. I mentioned that to him and without a hitch, he picked up a couple of things told me to peel and try them on; It was all part of the porn experience. He joined me in our wardrobe overhaul.

Standing in my sneakers, a pair of leather chaps, a ventilated jock, some sort of leather cross piece on my chest and a leather hat that was vaguely reminiscent of the Luftwaffe, I snuck a look at myself in the mirror.Jack, casually leaning against a display of leather floggers, said,"That's not quite your look, you're a little too sophisticated. Get your nips pierced a vest and leather jeans, you're not quite the master type." Who was I to disagree with him? With which, almost as if he'd been prepared for it, he handed me a pair of what looked like Levi 501s if Levi 501s were made of leather. Somehow in all this atmosphere I had lost a great deal of my reticence but managed to keep my composure-something they'd emphasized at Columbia Journalism, no matter the situation always keep your composure. The jeans didn't look bad although the fit made me fear for my circulation. He found a belt about three inches wide and a leather T shirt-he was, as he said, going for the conservative look. One large brimmed leather cowboy hat and....all of this made my sneakers stand out like the worst case of athletes foot ever seen.

" really need boots for this. You're the cowboy type, rangy, thin, cowboy boots, black, two inch heel and a rolled whip tucked under the belt. Ever wear a chain necklace? Looks good on the leather T. Try it. Oh, and silvered aviators. Gotta have those." Not surprizingly he did have those plus some socks to wear under the boots. I don't know, some sort of mania came over me, that or the smell of leather reminded me of a new car and I wanted one. I croaked out, "What else?" not quite believing I'd said it. He looked side ways, one of the guys, fully leathered up who'd been helping (?) looked the other way, walked around me.....It was as if they were each saying a large, silent "Hmmmmmmmmm".

Charley, our helper, finally broke the spell, "Tats, he needs tats, he's not the piercing sort, but good, solid tribal tats, each arm, the chest....oh, and the hair." They looked at my hair and somehow knew I was about to get "improved" in the line of duty.

Right here I should mention that in pursuit of my career I'd done a lot of things which in advance, during and after I regretted. I was a balloon handler for the Macy's Parade on a particularly windy day and almost did a vertical face plant into a stop sign. I regret to report I'd allowed myself to be put into drag for a literary (?) follies that earned money for a good cause-all though as one of my earrings fell down my artificial bosom, it came to me that it had better be a real good cause and there had not best be pictures of me as a latter day Carmen Miranda. (There were.) Going back to Macy's I'd spent a grim day as an Elf assisting Santa Claus, another very cold day I was part of a salute to our men in Uniform, in this case a living statue of soldiers, sailors etc which, by the lights of the person who designed it, were naked from the waist up. All the guys who participated had been trolled from the general assignment department of television stations and local magazines as we were more predictably young. All the guys as a group said they thought their nipples were about to crack off and not a few of us showed up with maladies ranging from a heavy cold to acute bronchitis. And bandaids over our nipples as it was painful for them to rub against even a cotton Brooks Brother shirt.

I was able to see myself in the mirror, as I had on other occasions, a passing apparition. Okay for now but...not destined for any future wear. I still don't know why I bought it, as well as the whip, as well as a belt buckle made like deaths head with a ring to match-it was on sale, 75 percent off if you bought the belt. All put together, Jack thought I was a real stud-I did go to the gym rather frequently and so had perceptible biceps, a shadow of a two packs, no fat....this was the sort of clothing that did not allow fat unless you used Crisco to grease your thighs to get it on. The price would have been in the thousands had Jack not said I was being kitted for a"major production" at his studio and they'd get full screen credit for my leathers. This brought the price down to the tax plus fifty dollars. Plus my friendly, only to the press, discount. Walking back to the car, which was in an open lot, I wanted to duck behind things. But no one noticed. In New York I'd have drawn a crowd, here, I could have gone to the super market unnoticed.

Jack said, one or two more things. And, cringing, I said, what one or two more things? Gotta get rid of that banker's haircut and the find an inkslinger who makes house calls. I was about to argue the latter, assuming it meant tattoo artist, but he was ignoring the device that told us where to go which was almost screaming at us to "turn left, go back, turn left, go back". Apparently he'd run into these uninvited mouthpieces so knew which button made it shut up. I was grateful.

I'd driven in New York and, of course in my home town, Columbus Ohio.Neither place had prepared me for driving in California and I was glad it was with Jack. New York was aggressive, seemingly organized-against you, Columbus was the average good sized city where the traffic could snarl but nothing like New York but neither touched Los Angeles. It was a mixed up mess of crazies, little old people in very big cars, wealthy, or thought they were, zipping in and out in cars that had six number in front of the decimal point, buses that bent in the middle, a maddening collection of signs that were an oxymoron of what they wanted you to do plus, as with any city, construction. In this case on a subway to alleviate the traffic above it. Of course, while it worked toward that goal, the traffic above it was in a permanent snarl.

Jack was the true Angeleno, none of this bothered him and in only an hour-a not unusual commute time there, we pulled up in front of what seemed to be a coffee shop, internet cafe and barbershop. I was sure of the latter as there was a sign in the window that said, "Barbers to the Badass." Jack was all sunny saying, he hoped a name I didn't understand was there as he'd know what to do. There's a saying, "Be pleased by what is mean to please..." Jack was trying to be a good host, give him an insight to things and, looking at the comment about badass, I figured it would grow out.

In we went, jack as a normal human and me as, well, I don't know, a latter day Marlboro Man all in black leather. Jack approached a man who looked singularly normal if you excluded that most of is body was covered in tattoos, he had a shaved head and somehow, I didn't want to know how, a line of spikes under his skin that reminded one of a cartoon dragoon This was Jerry, the guy who was doing to redo me. No barber chair, just a left over electric chair model with padding and the round piece that used to go over the head of the soon to be executed. It wasn't uncomfortable.

An hour later I had a new hair cut and, true confession, it wasn't bad.I had feared the highly glued mohawks that were then sprayed some colour or having it shaved save for one tuft in the back so I could be yanked to eternity by the Buddha or whoever was yanking just then.

Jerry actually had a logic to what he did. Hot cowboy, right off the ranch, probably did time in prison or the service. Got his all weather fuck suit on so...and then the clipers flew. He was meticulous, slowly, considerately, watchfully, changed me from a reporter from a prestige New York Magazine to a cowboy crossed with a Marine and all of that with a tribute to bikers everywhere. I had never had a full greaser duck tail and the top was a sort of flat top save for the front which was left long and pulled to one side. The top was defined by what is called-I learned-hard parts. That is parts in your hair that were shaved in a very straight line to the skull. As I said, earlier, it could grow back. All I had to do was get a dog groomer to give me a once over with clippers all the same length and start over from there. BUT for here in California, why not? I'd already drunk part of the Kool Aid, how much more could there be?

Jack picked me up, raved about it, said that the hat showed off the 'tail and when we got back to the studio, he wanted some stills just so I'd remember it and, he mumbled, maybe to use as cover art. While I was collecting information, data, the sort of side bar stories that make a story more interesting, I was conscious that perhaps I was getting too involved but, in arguing with myself, what did playing dress up have to do with it? I saw guys every day wearing this and that and it was only for effect or to give some sort of illusion that they were another person, another sexual character, a cowboy, a Marine, A blue collar guy....but at the end, they were going to take off all their clothes, whatever they might have been, and fuck. That night at the hotel I wrote a quick, hopefully amusing, story about the conversion of a staid journalist to a hot to trot stud waiting for the lights to come on, someone to strip him and then fuck and suck. Same o Same o.Naturally I added non-existent details as well as a couple of the still pictures of me Jack had taken, the most revealing of which was when I took of the T shirt but left on the jacket. On the spur of the moment, I tossed in a picture of somebody's ass and titled it, "Off to Work". Proofed it and sent it with the note that the real article was underway, I was pleased and I hoped they'd be amused by this. Magazines when they have reporters our doing pieces that require several days,expenses at hotels etc. like to know that work is actually being done. This showed them that.

I didn't make my first acting debut on Thursday but I got my first screen credit-under an assumed name-for "screenplay". One of the older guys actually had a degree from somewhere in English lit. He worked like hell to stay in shape, pretty much succeeded but still was listed as "mature" if 38 could possibly be considered that.His name, stage name, was Kyle Montana aka Jeff Smith. Jeff and I chatted about teaching English and finally got around to my feelings that some of the films, although they had names, might benefit from a word or two if only to prove the "models" as they were referred to could talk, not just grunt, moan or whatever. "like what?"....."well, what are you doing next?"

He had to think. "Uh, salesman finding a man at home who wants a blow job but not with a vacuum cleaner". "Okay, right there, that's funny and has possibilities." He looked puzzled.

"What's your wardrobe? Some sort of suit and a display case? Okay, and the guy who answers the door is naked? Will you try something...just for laughs?" And so we did.

Three hours later we showed a very rough video to Jack who rolled out of his chair.

"Who did this? There's' not a shoot scheduled for this." Jerry pointed to where his name and a shooting number was listed along with the cryptic writing "trvlsnufsco" appeared.
"That's the one."There was a silence. "Whose idea was this? I never saw a script...."

Somewhat reluctantly, I knew I would admit that it had been my idea and if there was any cost, I was sorry to have....

"Jeff, how did you do this?." He pointed at me... I felt there were going to be a lot of fingers pointed at me; Made me sorry I didn't have on my cowboy gear. And a gun for protection. Or a real cowboy as this was beginning to look like the last round up at Bar P-O-R-N.

"This is fucking terrific!!!!!!.Know how many times I've watched guys get it in the ass plus how many times I have? I never fucking saw anything like this. Barney, what.....?"

"Uhm"is my favourite answer when I'm not sure of the question or the answer or both so that's what I said. There was a long pause while we looked at each other. "Uhm, well, Jack I heard what the script was and I though, oh, you know, what the hell, lets twist it a bit, give it a new approach, like rewriting a news story that's already been rewritten several times. It's the same story....." I went silent as eyes stared at me. I also thought about what I'd done to evoke this kind of response.

I wouldn't have told them this if they'd said fess up or we'll have you fucked by every man in the place but....after only a few days of watching porn being made, I was bored stupid. I could walk through the studio, step over bodies being fluffed or jerking off or whatever sexual thing they might be doing and not notice. The several films I'd watched were almost as entertaining as a forced walking tour of your own garage looking for the skate key for your kid for whom you either found it or were off to either the fire department or the ER. With the door down. The permutations for porn are really somewhat limited; you have a cock, balls and holes, that's all you've got. Sure, hands, feet, eyes but they're ancillary to what the public who buys this shit wants to see; They want to see cock and balls and the holes into which they'll fit and that's that. Some of the fancier porn looked better, watching real sperm make a snake in a real swimming pool, but however you dressed or undressed it, porn stayed porn. Full Stop.

All I'd done was take the basic equation and expanded it a little but changing none of the options. In my offering to the skin trade, Jeff was still a salesman who knocks on a door which gets answered. However, instead of being invited in and asked to take off his clothes, the guy answering the door is about as happy to see him as a process server and tries to slam it. Jerry, who is wearing real leather shoes, gets his foot in the door as well as an arm. While the answeree tries to keep him out, Jerry used his inside arm to strip the guy who, admittedly, is wearing strippable clothes that are pre-ripped to come away easily. Shocked at this turn of events, being naked at the front door, he looses his grip and Jerry doesn't walk in, he falls in doing a classic burlesque prat fall. In trying to get him up, and presumably out, he grabs him by his jacket which tears away. It's an old fashioned strip only instead of the stripper getting her (or his) bubbles burst leaving them starkers, he was having his clothes popped off, a la bubbles, until we were down to the last bastion until the total reveal; His underwear. Boxers, ripped away, revealing, boxer briefs, ripped away-and a look of confusion on the part of the putative home owner, which leads to briefs, three sizes of bikini and then-I'd seen them in a sex shop-a one piece item that only covered the cock and balls then went around one side, through his ass and then back to his cock and balls.Frustrated, the guy doing the ripping, and by now they're on the floor, grabs this thing with his teeth, pulls it off and at last we're down to basics. From there on it was pretty, I hesitate to use the word, straight toward what you'd expect. Even looking at a second time, it was funny and served to make the sex more interesting as you wondered what other tricks were lined up.

Jack said, "I can sell the shit out of this!! Guys, grab Barney, strip him and fluff him until his fluffer won't fight back!!" Five loads later I lay, partially naked, on the floor while Mike and Bob did interesting things with my tits and the third fluffer of the day was licking my balls. That was kind of the end of that days work for me.

That night in bed I tried to assess the events of the day and thought, fuck, and blew myself-a trick already done too many times that day for real-to a minibar beer @ four bucks. I could justify that as I'd had an awfully lot of fluid extracted from me that day and so needed hydration. I also needed some alcohol content to brush away the fact that I'd just had my first through eighth gay experience and, truthfully, until my cock started waving flags of surrender, felt good. I had been propositioned, usually politely, many times but, equally politely, turned it down, whatever IT was.Guys I knew said, you're nuts, get a blowy from a gay guy, nothing better. My wife/girlfriend/hooker can't touch them. (Which did ask some questions about what their home-and away-life was like.) Bud was just dribbling into my dimple when there was a knock at the door.Only as I turned the bolt and started to open it did I realize I'd been around porn too long; I was stark naked.

Rather unexpectedly, although by now that word was without meaning, it was Jack, dressed up just like everybody else, actually better as he had the body for whom designers designed clothes. Not noticing my state of undress he wandered in, sat down on the bed-to which I had retreated, exposing only my sore nipples and above to him.

"Letter came for you at the shop. Fedex, same day. I, uh, thought you might like to read it in private, from your boss."Pulled it from his inside suit pocket and flipped it at me-whatever it contained, they'd paid a lot to make sure I got it. "Wanna be alone...? My guess it's not a raise and a rave as to how things are going...". That was pretty much what I thought too but sometimes, it's nice to have someone around, in this case someone from whom what I might have hidden was in my mind not my body.

He produced a Swiss Army Knife with a blade open. I slit the heavy cardboard envelope and another, business sized envelope fell out, not very thick, two, maybe three pages. Opened that, two pages and a check wafted on to the covers. Jack picked up the check and whistled through his teeth as I read the letter that accompanied it. Yep, he was right, they wanted to get rid of me. In a couple of harsh, really stupid paragraphs I had my abilities trashed, calumnies that I never committed brought up and it all ended with a notation that if I asked for references, be prepared for what they might say.It referenced the check which, as was written, was for a lot of money to "fully and completely compensate you for any and all monies we believe might have accrued or may accrue to you based on material scheduled but not yet published." It wasn't even, signed, just some initials made with, doubtless a large, black Mt. Blanc Pen which, idly I wished could be used to examine his descending colon. Just because, why not? I tossed it to Jack which was when another note, from the business office, came out telling me my hotel room would only be mine, unless I continued to occupy and pay for it, until such time as the prepayment expired, same with the car. My insurance was portable for six months and at years end, I would receive the usual information for my taxes. No signature. Handed that to Jack as well.Why not? It was the coda to a very poorly written piece that lacked harmony, melody even a consistent bass line.....

In an industry as crass as his, no gentle words were spoken when a question was asked.

"Are you broke, I mean, after the hotel runs out, are you on the street? It's a long way back to New York".

"I have a prepaid ticket that I don't think they can cancel, it's full fare...."

"And when you get there, what? I may not be a graduate of Wharton Business but your career in commercial journalism is trashed." He was, of course, right.

"I'll be okay.. for a while. Got, fifty, sixty thousand in fast cash without having to use the cards and play ATM roulette to pay the rent. Probably more in a brokerage account...I'm good."


"Well, that's trash and I haven't even paid back my student loans for journalism school...there's Al, Got to do something about Al and the apartment..."

"Who's Al I thought you were...."

"Al's a dog who sleeps with me....". I realized that could have been read the wrong way particularly by someone to whom sleeping with a dog was probably just another video..."Al belongs to Sam, my roommate...."

"Where does Sam sleep, with you, too? I thought you were...."

" I was until I was jumped and fluffed to the point that my....never mind." Jack let a smile zip across his lips.

"Look, you know the old country and Western song? My wife ran off with my best friend and I miss him? Well, Al's my best friend." I guess I thought too much about Al as suddenly what had happened registered and I was weak, almost teary. Jack did the good buddy thing and put an arm around my shoulder then arms around both shoulders, finally he was holding me close as I cried. I think I used his tie to blow my nose.

"Fuck, hit the minibar, grab everything in it....and get something for you, too. Pull that sucker out of the wall and get it over here, I don't want to fall down shit faced trying to see if Gin does with Dr. Pepper."

Jack wasn't much older than me but in some ways, whatever I thought, he was a lot more sophisticated. To prevent further water damage, he slipped out of his suit coat, took off his tie-never to be worn again, undid a couple of buttons on his shirt revealing a well stacked clavicle and said, "Barney, I think it's time for a boys night out."

So quiet. So warm, All snuggled up, Barney was yet to discover that he felt like death and what he would find when he opened his eyes would come a somewhere between a shock and a nightmare. The sound of someone tinkling in a toilet discreet flush, he wondered if he'd wet himself? As he snuggled the other way he did the man thing and put his hands on his cock to protect it from...whatever each man protects it from. In the distance there was the sound, not loud, of a shattering light bulb and he made a mental note to himself to be careful where he stepped and to get housekeeping up with a vacuum cleaner. He rolled, slightly again, one hand caressing his nuts while his other reached out for Al, good ole Al...but instead of Al, his hand felt something hard, something hard and cold. He made a real soldier's attempt to open one eye and saw what looked mighty like the porcelain. White Porcelain. It was a nano second until he was awake to find he'd been sleeping in a bathtub. Admittedly, one that had been padded, made warm and cozy for him but a bathtub none the less. There was but one light on, in the private room that held the can so images, places, things weren't as distinct and, moving his hand from his crotch to his head, he realized that he was in a coffin having died. Maybe the cheapest one was porcelain. Carefully, oh so carefully, he raised his head to find he wasn't in a casket, he really was sleeping in a bathtub in a room that looked vaguely familiar. The door opened and a head came around to check on him.

"Okay fellas, he's conscious, come on in. And hit a switch that turned on, it seemed, enough lights to steer a ship at sea safely to port in a storm. In this case the storm consisted of several nude men and Jack. Jack whistled which was brutality, perhaps he was in an film where naked men tortured each other and that piercing blast marked his entrance to hell.

"Bulls? Get in here, move him."

Mike and Bob bounced in, surprizingly matching jeans and shirts, took the two sides to the bedding and, with little effort moved Barney back to a room he did remember. Some thoughtful person had lined up with a certain precision, beer cans, miniatures of liquor, soda cans, empty peanut and candy wrappers on the desk which he could see, too easily, from his bed. Part of the previous evening began to circle preparing for landing. Jack had a trash can put beside the bed and, carefully, explained that if he was going to barf, do it in there. The thought of throwing up almost made him sick.

More than the Bulls and Jack were there. Lights, reflectors, cameras, other men, most of which looked familiar just not in this context. It was Jack again.

"Move over a little the next shot is in bed...."That woke him up. Two guys, naked, were getting into the other half of the bed, obviously fluffed, and ready for whatever. His bed had been divided between him and a studio set. Worse, Jack said, "Go for it" and more lights came on. He stumbled out of bed looking for his casket or the can, whichever he came to first. What he found was a guy sitting on his toilet fluffing another performer.

Jack got to him just before he came apart, shooed out the erring model and his mouth, got Barney in and put in place his project. When the Bulls showed up with some of his clothes, some that didn't smell like either a brewery or a distillery, and when he stumbled out of the private toilet room, he was grabbed, dressed-with sunglasses, Jack tossed Mike the keys, told him to take him out the service entrance then, as a sop to whatever, told Barney he'd be better in a while.

Chipper and chattery as two magpies, the bulls roared down a street that caused Barney's head to snap back against the head rest which only exacerbated his already throbbing head which was being further hurt by California sun. He thought about yelling at the guys but lacked the strength to open his mouth. His head just lolled as if the headsman didn't do a perfect job while Bill Bull fondled with his nuts to see if he could get a rise out of him; He had a reason.

About, well, since Barney could not measure time, later, they pulled into the sort of office building that is nondescript, has parking in the basement, some sort of ground floor shops and whatever else. Not really able to walk, the Bulls, sturdy men that they were, held him in such a way that he didn't appear post drunk but rather, wounded or injured and were off to see a doctor which was the case.

Bob Schwartz had paid for part of his medical school by, first, being an escort and, when that became too time consuming, hit the soft porn industry with the title, "The Doctor Is In!!"Subsequently, he shaved his beard, let his chest and pubic hair grow, got a crew cut and the in or out status of the doctor became a non-starting issue. For this crowd, Jeff was an old friend, he was in. The twins got Barney through a back door and into an examining room without disturbing other patients. They'd rung in advance so the doctor was aware of their presence and, to a greater degree, their problem. Not for nothing had he helped his buddies before and in far worse situations than this, sure, it was the hangover deluxe but he was the doctor, who was in, deluxe. Slipping away from an old broad who had too much time and read too many research articles on potential diseases-currently she was positive she was in the throes of Bilharzia, a disease known almost entirely to Southern Africa and could only be contracted by walking barefoot in a certain type of snail droppings. To give her something "curative" to do, he'd ordered up a large enema knowing that would keep her involved while he saw a "real" patient to whom he could be of some help; Barney.

Laid out naked on the examining table, he didn't look at all well. There were little spasms that seemed to be playing a marimba with his pectorals, his toes, on one foot, were both pronated and supponated and when you looked in his eyes, they looked like a David painting of war.

"What got into him, not counting ice cubes?"

"Mini bar."

"Has he upchucked yet?" They nodded no and he suggested they leave the room for a few minutes. Finding a waste paper basket and some towels, he chuckled to himself, he hadn't see one this coming off what was almost alcohol poisoning in a long time.Without bothering with a spoon, he twirled the top off a bottle of Agoral, got Barney's mouth somewhat open, tipped his head to the side and, in the way you give pets a pill or medicine, he poured some into his mouth and then held it closed until he heard the sound of distant swallowing, he noticed that he had a nice ass, virgin, or so he was told, that was unusual coming from the source it did.

Deep down inside Barney, sounds of an approaching storm issued forth. Bob but on a gas mask and held Barney's head over the edge of the table and on a direct course for the basket; He didn't have long to wait. Apart from a few undigested peanuts, he figured there was most of the contents of a mini bar and since he'd seen that before, he knew what had just come up in one form or another. While he waited for act two, he decided to do an act of kindness, it wouldn't seem that way but...if it made you feel good, what was the harm?

Always had lube at hand and a finger cot-let. First, planning a little something later, he cleaned Barney's oh so virginal ass thoroughly, noted he must have had a morning stool which would help, and then proceeded to give him the mother and father of prostate massages. Had he been in better condition, he would have been elevated on his I beam dick. There was a pause while he threw up again, this time far less stomach acid and more routine crap. Back to his ass. Working the prostate like a hand puppet, he finally got Barney to begin to have expressions, make subtle noises that he knew indicated pleasure was somewhere in his brain. One last upchuck and he continued his drilling expedition, first turning on the air conditioning system, one he'd installed for just this sort of purpose; Almost instant air purification and de oderizer. A knock on the door and the twins returned. Telling them to lube up and keep working on his prostate-also a good nipple session would hurt-but no, absolutely no touching of his cock or balls. Saddened at a chance at a guy they had come to like, they did as told while Bob went elsewhere.

In a dim room an outsize woman was sitting, draped in a chair, a garden hose seeming to be up her ass or maybe her cunt, couldn't tell. " Feeling that nasty stuff come out, Mrs. Spaden?Good, good, relax, just let it do it's work, not too much longer, now. Then we can switch to the next series". By moving and speaking quickly, he avoided any possibility of conversation giving him time to grab a spinal needle and zip out while Mrs. Spaden enjoyed her morning cups of coffee in ways she never imagined.

Back at hungover central, Barney was coming around. Sort of. As earlier where he was and why he was there were questions to be answered but the return of Bob, holding something behind his back, suggested medical which, as happens was a good guess.

"Guys, turn his head away from me, some people are needle shy." Where upon he produced the spinal needle, about a quarter full, and started making injections in Barney's tail. That done, he massaged the sites for a moment or so, told he twins to keep him on the table for half an hour and, if he didn't show signs of life, to find him and he'd go with plan B. Other wise, load him up and they knew what to do and where to do it.

"That B-12 is a lollapolooza, never seen him use that much. Think we should have mentioned his eyes?"

He could only think of "Unchained Melody" the refrain about time moving one way or another or, alternately, seeing pink bubbles and feeling a gurgling, wondered if Lawrence Welk had been exhumed and he was now a Champagne Music Maker. Two soft, if muscular, Masculine arms around his shoulders led him to croon as part of the trio until he looked left and right and, with a suddenly burst of memory, saw Brad and Bill or Mike and Bob or whomever and noticed he was up to the dimple in his chin is water that foamed and writhed about them. Lawrence and the gang disappeared.

"I know I'll regret the answer to this question...actually, I bet there's a lot I may regret but...where am I, why does my ass hurt worse then when I was paddled at a college frat pledge meeting and why am I so fucking thirsty and hungry?"

"How much of that do you really want to know, I mean, right now, eventually you'll know all of it?"

"How much do I want to know, like my ass, was I fucked?"

"Nah, Jack and Jeff would kill if they found that had happened, your cherry is platinum plated. You had a bunch B-12 shots back there with a large size needle. You're in a whirlpool at "Our Place" a sort of spa for guys only and we're here to see that you recover. Well at least as much as you can recover. Oh, and you had your stomach pumped, Dr. Bob did that, cleaned out your shitter and gave you a prostate massage while he had us work on your tits."

Barney stared out, generally comprehending what he'd been told but almost afraid to ask anymore. He had some memory of waking up in a bath tub and then, maybe, in bed with two guys who were going to fuck....and all of that in his hotel room. Only part of that seemed logical but in his few days in California and especially now that he was a de facto part of the skin trade, logic had been re-polarized. He brightened a little, it would all make a good part of the article but then another fact of which he was certain came up, he'd been fired, canned, told to hit the road Jack, his journalistic credentials ripped up and used as confetti for a passing parade lead by a prick who looked a lot like a Big Black Mt. Blanc pen.

He looked at the twins with real sadness in his eyes."Guys, I don't have a job...."

Bob smiled, "Yes you do, Jack hired you to be our new staff writer last night."

Whether from hunger or hangover or whatever, Barney fainted.




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