From Ivy League Lawyer to Porn Star

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At 35 years old I’ve found my true calling.

It is so far from the traditions of my family that none of us could have have imagined it. My father was an engineer, my mother an administrator. I played with toy soldiers and models cars as a child, studied languages and literature in college, trained as attorney and even served as a judge.

Yet today, I create and perform in feminist porn.

I grew up in very comfortable circumstances in Mystic, Connecticut, with two loving parents of Northern European Protestant ancestry who graced me with a doting childhood. They taught me I could do anything I wanted as long as I was a good student, so I made academic excellence the focus of my early life. They also taught me to be true to myself, and never to bear ill-will or malice. For them, and ultimately for me, life was about having just intentions above all else.

I never gave much thought to the world beyond school; in my primitive understanding, I believed that everything would simply fall into place if I got good grades, so I got good grades. I got into Columbia too. I relished learning and looked upon my education as a means to make myself a well-rounded person, not as a means to churn out money for a corporation like many of my colleagues.

I studied subjects to which I felt naturally drawn. I learned German and Russian. I studied those nations’ literature in their respective languages, along with philosophy, history and political theory. My time at Columbia radicalized my thinking. Among the principles that were sharpened during those years was compassion for the needy, a recognition of unfair power relationships in the world and a pledge to combat injustice whenever possible.

I was radicalized sexually as well.

Growing up in Connecticut, I was a well-behaved, preppy boy. I wore button down shirts, khakis and usually went to bed by 9:30 PM. My sexual inclinations focused exclusively on girls. But within weeks of arriving in New York, I had dropped my khakis for baggy jeans, and rarely got to bed before 3 AM. And after several sexual explorations with girls in my class, I discovered I had desires for boys too.

In early 1999, I left New York to spend my junior year in Berlin. I lived with a remarkably generous guest family in the Schöneberg District. I perfected my German and fell into a life-style more sympathetic to my values than the one I had thus far lived.

Most Europeans I met seemed more interested in self-improvement than professional ambition and money. No one ever ask ‘what I did.’ Instead, they wanted to find out ‘who I was,’ what drove me, a question for which I had no answer when I first arrived in Berlin.

Still fresh out of adolescence, I became enthralled with Berlin’s culture, especially its permissive night life. I haunted gay bars and clubs, discovering my sexual appetite in ways that would not have been possible for me in the U.S. I gradually became comfortable with my sexuality and grew to enjoy sex for its own sake. The more I embraced my desires, the more complete I felt in myself.

When I returned to New York late in 1999, I fell into a depression. My experience in Berlin had so revolutionized my outlook and so confirmed my deepest personal desires that I had difficulty readjusting to college life. I struggled through my final year of school feeling alienated and alone.

When I left Columbia at age 22, I had a degree in Comparative Literature, cum laude, without any plan whatsoever. My first thought was to return to Germany.

But then, in the way things often happen, someone came into my life who completely helped to transform it.

Steve was 44. He was short, muscular, dark and sensuous; a gypsy by blood, with a shaved head. I was tall, blond, lanky and funky; my hair nearly down to the small of my back. Steve was charismatic, and I was drawn to him immediately. He seemed to know everyone and everything about New York, especially its gay scene in which I was still a novice.

From the start, our relationship was intensely physical but never monogamous. We shared the belief that sex was entertainment, to be enjoyed with as many people as possible. In clubs, at parties and at home, Steve enjoyed directing the action, especially with me, telling me what positions to take, how long to fuck, what to say, how to say it. I had already discovered in Berlin that I enjoyed the role of sexual showman. Performing for Steve deeply resonated with me and through it, my sexual prowess grew.

Beyond sexual adventurer, Steve had a lot to give me at the time. He was worldly, shrewd and experienced in business, while I was cerebral, theoretical, and impractical. He had been a film producer and a modeling agent with a huge rolodex. He always had money. He was brassy and fluent. He admired my intellectual capabilities and respected what I valued. He invited me to live with him in late 2000. I gladly accepted. To my own surprise, I had fallen in love with him.

Though I felt uncomfortable with his financial support, I had no way to make a living with the skills I had learned at Columbia. Steve encouraged me to reflect on this, and I thought deeply about it for some time.

After considering many possibilities, I decided I would commit myself to studying law. I believed the law was a force for good, and that it would somehow fulfill both my ethical and economic needs. Steve supported me unwaveringly in my decision.

In 2003, I began law school. I lost myself in the intellectual rigor, drinking up knowledge from all over. Although the courses were harder than anything I had previously encountered, I was more than up to the challenge because I had committed myself body and soul to the purpose. I completely changed my lifestyle to achieve academic excellence.

Throughout this time, my relationship with Steve flourished. Our sexual adventures never abated. My confidence as a sexual performer grew even stronger during law school. Steve and I often went to sex parties, clubs and bathhouses in Chicago where we had moved so I could attend school. By day, I studied hard and trained rigorously at the gym. At night, I put my sexual abilities on full display, eventually earning a reputation as “finely tuned sex machine.”

At the same time, my intellectual confidence grew. As I moved through law school, I discovered that it resonated with my deepest ethical instincts. I held to the idea that law could be an instrument for greater justice in society. If I could use my education to serve such ideals, I could accomplish something truly great.

In early 2006, just as my final semester in law school began, my father came down with pancreatic cancer. I had had no experience with death in my immediate family, and I refused to accept that he was dying. I was too preoccupied with my courses and my preparations for the Bar Exam to consider that my father, only 58, would die.

Gratefully, he saw me graduate in May. I began my Bar Exam studies the same month. He died on June 20th. I passed the Bar Exam on July 26th. I began working at a law firm ten days after passing the Bar Exam. I had no time to deeply grieve.

With my father’s death, what once seemed so certain unwittingly came into question. “What does it matter whether I have a career when everything can end so quickly? What have I been ignoring in all these years of narrow study? What does all this flailing about for financial success really mean? It’s all so superficial, so blind to real concerns, real experiences, real suffering.”

Still, I found myself shackled with $100,000 in student loans, and no law firms specialized in what I loved and hoped to pursue, Constitutional Law. Instead, I felt forced to settle on a job as a trial lawyer for injury cases. I reasoned, If I couldn’t serve the greater public good by using my legal education, then at least I could succor the injured in their quest for justice against those who harmed them.

But studying law and practicing it proved to be a different story. It quickly became apparent that my colleagues were exploiting the suffering of injured clients as a means to satisfy their own avarice. It was standard practice to use any methods necessary to wrest, cajole or hack a settlement from anyone they sued. After all, if they won a case, my colleagues received a hefty one-third of the settlement. For them the law was a self-serving instrument to be wielded for “victory.” The principles of law I so deeply valued were routinely violated. I quickly grew disillusioned.

After a year, I had seen enough. I fell into a moral crisis. Finally, I sat down with Steve and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” He told me that he understood, and with his support I quit practice on New Year’s Eve. I felt confident that I would find a new path more consistent with my values.

I was happier in the months that followed. During this time I began to make sense of my father’s death and his profound influence in shaping my life. It was he who taught me to value authenticity, fairness, and self-respect. I found consolation in knowing he would have been proud of my decision to leave my law practice.

But, like with most things in life, my sense of well-being did not last. Tragedy struck out of the blue.

One summer evening, Steve was recovering from a work-out in the steam room when the pipes suddenly burst. The force of the explosion was so severe that he was thrown from the wood bench onto the floor where he lay amidst pools of boiling water for over 20 minutes. His body was seriously burned, his right arm so disfigured as to make it almost unrecognizable. He spent 35 days in the hospital suspended between life and death. He came close to death more than once.

His recovery was perilously slow. For months I sat at his bedside, dressed his wounds, managed his medical care, administered his medication, brought him food. As time passed, it became clear that he would be permanently disabled.

As the reality of this sank in, Steve spiraled into depression. In August 2009, two years after the accident, he suffered a complete mental collapse, landing in the psychiatric hospital with bipolar mania.

When he returned home months later, he was anxious whenever I left the house for even a few minutes. In my effort to keep him comfortable and sane, I became increasingly isolated and withdrawn. I felt I could not work even if I wanted to. And though I grew tired and weary, my loyalty never wavered.

Throughout this period of caregiving, my one respite was daily workouts at the gym which I insisted on maintaining. I found satisfaction in the hard work and discipline it took to keep my body as finely tuned as ever. Although I generally stayed focused on my workouts, the occasional conversations that took place there provided something of a social outlet.

Once, a friend, who knew my circumstance, half-jokingly suggested that I place an ad online as an escort. Although the idea had not occurred to me, it instantly made sense. I could pay down my student loans and still spend most of my time attending to Steve. I had plenty of experience in “performance sex,” and despite my recent abstinence, I had great confidence in my sexual abilities. The idea of men paying me for my attention excited me. It meshed with my desire for adoration which I had long ago eroticized.

Encouraged, I took a few naked pictures and put up an ad on Rentboy.com. I carefully described what I was willing and not willing to do. I immediately got calls from interesting men: Broadway directors, lawyers, Upper East Side bankers and travelers. And while I didn’t find any of them especially attractive, after several years of almost no sex and the opportunity to be greatly admired, I was happy to see all of them.

I loved performing as an escort. My confidence grew steadily as I acquired repeat clients, all of whom strongly appreciated me. I soaked up the adoration, enjoyed exhibiting my body and expressing by sexual agility. After years of feeling helpless with Steve, I felt empowered and, as importantly, fulfilled by satisfying my clients’ sexual desires.

Few clients wanted vanilla sex. Because I was non-judgmental and respectful, clients felt safe to share their true desires. None of their requests seemed strange to me. Whether they wanted to be beaten or bound, made loved to or pissed on, their desires were pure and honest. It satisfied me to gratify them.

But what thrilled me most was the idea that spending time with me actually positively affected my clients’ lives. It wasn’t just about sex. It was about connection, authenticity, healing. Through our conversations and play, clients learned to understand and honor what deeply aroused them. Many rediscovered parts of themselves that had long been repressed or buried; some even gained insight as to why. One client, whose partner of 30 years had died, told me that his time with me stopped him from committing suicide. Another chose me to bring sex back into his life for the first time since his true love was killed in 1971. The skills that I had learned in caring for Steve translated into my work as an escort. At times, I considered myself as much of a healer as any therapist.

And I was healing myself too, discovering facets of who I was through each new experience.

Because I loved to be admired not just for my body, but for the satisfaction I could bring to others, it occurred to me that video might be another way to accomplish what I increasingly felt was my purpose.

Showing off for the camera proved immensely exciting, especially since I could stay rock hard and shoot tremendous ejaculations. With the same seriousness I applied to my law studies, I tailored my diet and train my penis muscles to make sure I performed at peak capacity. I posted dozens of solo jerk-off videos on Xtube.com, where I won an army of fans. I felt intoxicated by making porn that not only brought pleasure to people, but also helped them to understand who they were.

I also felt proud. I was finally carving out a more authentic life, including fully honoring my commitment to Steve. For the first time in many years, life was lighter and happier. Although I carried the same burdens, I was bearing them with a sense that there was something there for me too.

Other fascinating things happened. The more I allowed myself to express my true desires, the more they shifted and changed. Increasingly, my fantasies turned toward women. When I watched porn, all of it was straight. After 12 years of absence, woman returned to my fantasies and dreams, and then to my life

Straight porn is my current frontier. Unfortunately, most of what I’ve viewed of commercial porn promotes a male-centered vision of desire in which men are always erect and women are ever-ready to serve the needs of men. It is vision that has led to cartoonish portrayals of beauty, misogyny, and, in many cases, female exploitation.

Porn can accomplish greater psychological and social good if it becomes more “feminist.” Rather than focusing on men getting off, it can include the complete human sexual experience: intimacy, respect for difference and varying desire, respectful and loving interchange between the genders, and the mutual pursuit of pleasure; and especially, an account of female desires.

To this end I am now creating and performing in videos that I hope will revolutionize pornography.

It has been nearly three years since I began escorting, and nearly as long since taping my first porn video. I recently stopped accepting new escorting clients, preferring instead to spend time with longtime ones with whom I have developed deep friendships. These are authentic relationships which are maintained by trust, and they continue to bring meaning and satisfaction into all of our lives.

Through all of these experiences, I have fiercely held on to the ideals of honor and self-respect which I inherited from my parents. Conventional morality has had no place in my life. Against it, I have explored every corner of sexuality and have seen firsthand the healing power of sex and the tremendous contribution it can make to our sense of well-being.

Positive sex is beautiful sex. What could be hotter than following our own truth?

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