Gabriel Shams: The GayPornBlog Interview
When Gabriel Shams first appeared on Randy Blue a few years ago, I was immediately enamored, expecting him to be America’s next big porn star. He did a handful of scenes for them and then … nothing. It turns out he was living abroad, getting a master’s degree, and working the hell out of his body. I was lucky enough to catch up with Gabriel, who’s brought me up to speed on his pretty interesting life. We chatted about escorting, balancing porn with being in a relationship, and this absolutely insane biblical gay porn he’s involved with. He was also sent over these photos (by Joe Oppedisano) so we can see just how fucking good he looks now.
Not sure where we should begin. When did you get back on the US?
Gabriel Shams: I moved back in January of 2013. I was getting a master’s degree in philosophy at University of Cambridge as a Fulbright scholar. I wrote my dissertation on the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. I was living between Cambridge and London. The only reason I didn’t stay is because my visa expired. So I had to come back to the states. Before that I was at University of Pittsburgh, where I got my undergrad in communications and Middle Eastern studies.
This was before or after you did worked for RandyBlue?
I did that while I was in still an undergrad in Pittsburgh. I was dating this Israeli who taught me how to work out: I had never lifted weights before meeting him. He was this sexy little guy with big muscles and a big wiener (laughs). I started to pack on some pounds. He’s was a big fan of porn. He brought up the idea of me doing it: he suggested that we apply to RB together and perform as a couple. But unfortunately for him — he wasn’t their style. Maybe he was too beefy? His look is very particular. He’s Iraqi and Polish.
What was it like shooting for them?
It was great. They were wonderful. They always had everything set up. There was none of the weirdness that you would imagine there would be on a porn set. I filmed three scenes for them. And then the night before I was going to shoot my fourth … I fell in love with a Spanish guy in San Francisco. He was shocked when he found out I was in California to shoot porn. He said “I will pay you what they’re paying you to not do it”. I went to LA the next day — everything was set up. I was naked and about to start shooting was like, “You know what, guys? I can’t do this scene.” They were like, “Come again?” And I told them I fell in love the night before with a guy. I said, “Surely this has happened before? But they were like, “No”. I was really embarrassed but super content of my decision. The boyfriend flew to LA that day. He thought I had done the scene and he didn’t know I didn’t do it until he met me at the hotel they put me up in. We were together for 3 years from that point. So that was the end of my porn career for a while.
So why do you want to get back into it now?
I think it has a lot to do with escorting, which I’ve been doing since January, 2013. A lot of my escort friends are in “the industry”. Even when I was doing porn for Randy Blue I didn’t fully own it: I would get embarrassed if a friend or some random person recognized me in a bar. But now I’m like, “So what?” I’m more comfortable with my body than I ever have before — I’ve gained 22 lbs., I go to the gym — I’m happy with how I look whereas growing up I was always twinkish. Now I’m like, “Fuck it, I’m hot!”
How do you like being an escort?
Its fun … and it’s easy … and it’s hard. Being comfortable is key to escorting (and porn). And having friends who support you. Sometimes I get clients who are so young, hot and sexy and I don’t want to take their money.
So it’s not just stereotypical “johns,” like … older guys?
No! Actually I don’t know if it’s just because I’m young or whatever, but I get young clients pretty often. I talk about it with my friend, Steven, who’s been escorting for like 15 years. Once he called me up and said, “You’ll never guess what just happened: I had the hottest client ever had and he wants me to come back and bring another escort in two hours”. We were in-and-out in 30 minutes and he was so hot. I don’t watch TV but I found out he’s actually a pretty famous actor. These instances are few and far between but they do happen.
So, tell me more about this gay Bible porn you’re doing?
It’s called David Loves Johnathan. It’s new and they’re waiting to the release the pilot episode, which I’m in. It’s not by any means blasphemous or done to “dis” christianity at all. It’s done by an ordained priest, a human rights lawyer, an award-winning director, a christian ethicist. A bunch of faith-based gays who are funding it. Everyone’s doing it under pseudonyms because they’re afraid of backlash.
They’re giving voice to these homoerotic stories in the Bible that have been overlooked over the years. The one I’m in is the first chronologically of the stories and it was really fucking cool to do this: The costumes were awesome and Jesus was awesome (laughs).
Who was Jesus?
Ha! He’s perfect. Tell me more about the scene you’re in?
It’s not like they’re pulling these stories out of thin air: They are all based on research and books. My scene is from a story that’s in the Bible. I play a Roman Centurion and one of my servant boys is sick. Has a plethora of servants so why would he care so much about this one unless they were intimate? I ask Jesus to cross into Roman territories to heal him: Jesus heals the servant and they have this moment of realization — this is where the writers and directors have given themselves artistic license with the stories — and the Roman gets jealous because Jesus and the servant messed around. Then there’s this chase scene through the wilderness (which is supposed to be Nazareth). My fuck scene isn’t with Jesus — it’s with my servant.
So are you interested in doing more porn work?
Treasure Island has been asking me to do something with them for a long time. I always said no because I wasn’t ready to do bareback porn and because I wasn’t comfortable with my body. I went into their offices to talk to them and they convinced me to do a jerk off scene on Max Sohl’s desk. The lighting was terrible and I looked bad. That was a good ten months ago, so I have had 8-10 months to better myself physically and mentally. I’ve been picking up go-go dancing gigs, have a Twitter and Facebook thing going.
I was supposed to do my first bareback scene last week. Treasure Island had a scene set up: The top was there but the bottom pulled out. They sent me a pic of the top but I wasn’t into him so I said no. I had someone in mind that I wanted to work with, so I contacted him and he said yes. We were all set up to do the scene in the basement of a bar in Chelsea, but the day before, he disappeared. So it didn’t happen. I don’t know if it’s a sign or just the way the cookie crumbles but it hasn’t happened yet.
How did you hook up with Joe Oppedisano?
I had a client who hired me for an overnight for his birthday. There was another escort there, and a couple days after I met him, he called me and asked if I wanted to go to Jersey and get some photos taken by Joe. I was like, “Uh… yeah!” Joe and I hit it off really well. I had no problem pouring a jar of honey all over me and rolling around on a dirty floor to see what crazy things I could come up with. He’s super fun to work with. We’ve done four shoots since. He really wants to do something with me, but we haven’t pinpointed what that is yet.