Colby Keller, Karl Marxxx and the Death of the Gay Porn Movie

Posted January 20, 2012 10:11 AM by with 11 comments

Colby Keller Licks It Up!

Communist boner inducer Colby Keller and his fur-lined Svengali Karl Marxxx don’t lament the death of the gay porn plot. But the duo did take to Keller’s Big Shoe Diaries this morning to respond to porn reviewer John Karr after he claimed that Cowboys, Raging Stallion’s plotless two-disk mega-release, marks the death knell for the story in gay porn.

Karr suggests video-on-demand sites like NakedSword are the culprits, but the Hottie with a Trotsky suggests that plot disappeared from porn because of our know-it-all social media culture. They’re both right. And they’re both wrong.

Writes the handsome Marxxx,

With the advent of social media, the nature of who those performers are changes as well. No longer can fresh off the bus hotties hide their identity behind a nomme de porn and continually re-populate the craven need for newness that the industry and its consumers demand. In this world of immediate feedback, obsessive re-articulation and information saturation, not to mention identity-forcing websites like porn wiki-links, performers’ ever-viewed lives trump any canned drama a short 30 second lead-up to fucking a “sexo” could provide.

While it’s true that don’t see the big-budget story-driven movies (To The Last Man, Dangerous Liaisons) that you did during the heyday of the DVD because they’re expensive to produce, and while it’s true that the aesthetic has shifted away from over-lit studio productions to more intimate sets, hand-held cameras and lower-lighting, neither has killed the porn plot — they’ve just rendered it less visible.

What does a steak get us?

First of all, plot is actually relatively cheap to produce. When the dominant form of porn distribution was in-theaters, studios FILLED the time between sex scenes with plot. The largest outlay on any porn set is models — the fewer actual sex scenes, the more bang you get for your buck. Yes, you can spend a ton of money on sets and lights and props to make plot look good, but it’s not necessary.

Second, plot hasn’t disappeared, it’s just changed. What you’re seeing on screen, whether amateur or studio produced, is largely a fiction. It maybe more LonelyGirl15 or Paranormal Activity than Avatar, but that’s different than being without artifice. Look at Fraternity X, or Maverick Men, or hell — any amateur site with a gay-for-pay star. They didn’t just catch them in the act in Randy Blue’s bedroom.

What has shifted over the past five years is the method of delivery. A VHS tape was 90 minutes. The plot was added for the same reasons it was to a porn movie in a theater. (That and all pornographers are secretly filmmakers at heart.) A DVD had even more space to fill — which is why you not only saw more plot, you also saw tons of extras. Like a cast-your-own dildo, porn always molds itself to the format we use to watch it.

Now the dominant format is a laptop, so we see 15 minute scenes that are easily digestible. So yes, you see much more reality-style programming because it can be somewhat cheaper and looks modern. But you’re also seeing plenty of smaller stories. Take NakedSword’s Golden Gate, which is nothing but loosely connected improvised scenes. (They’re the VOD company that supposedly was killing off plot.) These small scenes are the same form that porn took in the years prior to VHS. While the plot-filled 70s movie industry that gets remembered, the more popular form was mail-order 8mm loops. What what did they focus on? Plot-light situationals (not unlike Cowboys) that fit on the reels 15 minutes of film stock. Everything old is new again.

Gay Porn Sneak Peek: Cowboys

Mike

11 responses to Colby Keller, Karl Marxxx and the Death of the Gay Porn Movie

  1. Peter E January 20th, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Mike makes a lot of good points. I’ve been watching porn for 35 years and I miss the movies with plots and/or scripts, even skeletal plots. To me they always made the sex hotter if it was incorporated into a good storyline. Of course, it helps if the models can deliver dialogue, which most can’t. Now everyone is too busy to invest 90 minutes into a well-written adult film; we just want our 15 minutes (or less) of plotless, dialogue-free sex to get off and move on…download a 15-minute scene for $6.95 and take care of business. And anyone with a video camera thinks they’re a director. I’ve got news for you…you’re not, and it shows.

    Reply

  2. Jett Blakk January 21st, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Mike is absolutely right about plot’s being inexpensive. A model’s rate for a day of “acting”, not sex, was VERY manageable. Adding plot put most of the work on the movie’s writer and/or director, since they had to come up with something that was interesting and hopefully engaging, and it takes what might be a simple porn video and elevates it to something a bit special. That’s why I tried to put so much story into the movies I directed…it made it more interesting for me, and I hoped, for my viewers. Polls on story porn vs. all-sex seemed to always be 50/50, so I made sure to try and have chapter stops on the dvds placed at the beginning of each sex scene, so that people not interested in story could just go right to the sex, if so desired. Story porn hasn’t vanished, it’s just gotten a lot simpler. Whereas movies with intricate story lines that have character arcs and plot twists are hard to find, the notion of story is still there in a lot of internet scenes, even if it’s been truncated and abridged into a simple set-up.

    JBK

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  3. Jett Blakk January 21st, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Oh, and Mike is right about something else: the majority of porn creators are closet filmmakers or at best, major movie buffs. ;)

    JBK

    Reply

  4. Mike January 21st, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    And perverts to boot!

    Reply

  5. Casey January 23rd, 2012 at 7:23 AM

    When you compare the stuff Tony DiMarco was doing for Lucas to the stuff he’s doing for RSS now, it’s a cryin’ shame. I used to think the man was a visionary in porn. Now he’s just like everyone else. :( The last interesting feature he made that wasn’t just an all-sex bore was THE VISITOR.

    It’s actually interesting to me that many of the videos on Men.com have pretty detailed story lines for what are essentially loops. And that’s basically where we are now: porn has come full circle. From loops to loops, just in a different format.

    Reply

  6. Jett Blakk January 23rd, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Mike, I prefer “prevert.” It’s a perversion of “pervert.”

    JBK

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  7. Jett Blakk January 23rd, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    And welcome to the club!

    JBK

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  8. Andy January 23rd, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Yeah, I’m sure all those lengthy entries on the subject of plot and porn are very interesting, but I still can’t get past that first pic of Colby eating that hot ass.

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  9. Peter Everhard January 23rd, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    THE BIG PROB HERE is that a lot of gay porn “directors” think PLOT = “RUNNING OFF AT THE FUCKING MOUTH”. It is possible to CONVEY A STORY without having guys who can’t act reciting a lot of dumb ass dialogue (anyone ever hear of silent movies?).

    Examples of gay porn with “a story” but without a lot of taking are Roboter from Cazzo and “Freaks in Concert” from Wurstfilm.

    Reply

  10. Brian February 6th, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Another problem with doing a plot movie is that the actors attention span and stamina has gotten so small that if you try and do a plot movie by the time you get to the fucking the model is looking for the door. Where are the models that actually care about making a lasting piece of art.

    What movies do you remember years later? That scene on Randy Blue with what’s his name? or Spokes and Spring Break? Echoes and The Hole or that other scene by so and so who used to be on Sean Cody, but is now a Raging Stallion model? Ok you might not remember all the plot movies, but I bet you can name a few from your past.

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  11. Manuel February 28th, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Bring back some plot! Or at least some real scenery. Part of the stimulation of porn, at least for me, is the fantasy that lies behind it. Fantasizing about some man I saw in some place, that kind of thing. It doesn’t need a lot of dialogue, but it needs dressing up in some way! Scenery, location, clothes! And definitely less dressing down. Now, even when they are in some kind of setting, within a few minutes it’s just another two naked beefcakes banging each other. Boring. If that’s how it’s going to be I don’t need movies at all, really. My own fantasy will provide everything I need (and of course my bf, the sweetie).

    Reply

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