Interview: Chaosmen’s Gavin Sevin talks gay-for-pay in the adult entertainment industry
Writing for PinkNews.co.uk, Laurence Watts profiles porn actor Gavin Sevin, and learns all about the nature of a straight performer, who is also synonymous with gay sexual entertainment.
For a long time it’s been an ambition of mine to interview a porn star. Forget about winning Oscars and Grammys or fighting for gay rights, what I really wanted to talk to someone about was having sex, on film, for money.
It was with that in mind that I contacted the gay adult entertainment site Chaosmen and spoke with its proprietor, Bryan Ockert, about the idea of interviewing a model of his called Gavin Sevin, whose work I had…[cough]… been told about…[cough]… by ‘a friend’.
Bryan was keen, perhaps sensing a marketing opportunity, and asked Gavin if he was game. Thankfully, for ‘my friend’ you understand, not for me, he was. As the day for our interview approached and I readied my questions, there was only one thing I hadn’t bargained on: beautiful, blue-eyed, blond-haired, muscle-bound, 25-year-old Gavin is… straight.
He is? How on earth then did he end up filming gay porn?
“Well, I got an email,” says Gavin, “from a guy who’d seen my MySpace profile, which I’d set up back in days when MySpace was cool. He said he liked my look and that he’d be willing to offer me money to do some modelling.”
The guy he’s talking about isn’t Bryan, but the owner of one of Chaosmen’s rival sites.
“Initially I wasn’t interested,” Gavin continues, “I had my athletic career going at the time and I thought that was going to be my ticket. But then times got tough and I decided to take him up on his offer. I’d checked out their credentials and it was clear I’d be working with professionals.”
“Even so, my first time was a little scary; getting on a plane with a ticket someone else has booked and paid for. But the first scene I ever did was a masturbation scene so it wasn’t too difficult. I’d done that in front of guys before, just for fun, so I was certainly willing to be paid to do it.”
That first time was in late 2007 and the response to it must have been positive because not long after Gavin was asked to film a follow-up scene. Only this time he’d have to fuck another guy.
“He offered me a much bigger pay check for it,” says Gavin, “which I declined at first.”
It took Gavin about a year to get comfortable with the idea, during which time he lost the athletic scholarship that up until then had been paying his way through college.
“I think I just needed some time to experiment sexually,” he explains, “to get comfortable with myself. And during that time I had a couple of threesomes with a girl and a buddy of mine. I think that helped me get more comfortable with the idea of fucking another guy. I still needed to go to school, of course, and with the scholarship gone I had to find a way to pay my tuition, rent and bills. I decided I’d do whatever it took!”
Gavin’s second video, in which he ‘topped’ another guy for the first time, appeared at the end of 2008. In an effort to ascertain whether he’s the exploiter or exploitee in this story, I ask him if it ever occurred to him to do straight porn instead?
“Sure,” he replies smiling, “It crossed my mind. But I quickly learned that guys don’t make much money doing straight porn. Basically, from what I’ve heard, unless you’re a beautiful woman, straight porn simply doesn’t pay. Doing gay porn however supplements my income. It pays for me to go to school and I don’t have to worry about bills at all, which means I can concentrate on my studies.”
I ask Gavin if he’s heard of the phrase ‘gay-for-pay’. He has. I explain that, as far as I’m aware, it originated some years ago to describe straight men who were doing gay porn, but whom generally limited their involvement to masturbation, being blown or, at a push, ‘topping’ another guy. When and how did he decide he’d be willing to go all the way in his videos and ‘bottom’ for another man?
“It all started with a pay check,” Gavin grins. “I wouldn’t have bottomed, but they just kept pushing more and more money in my direction! I couldn’t say no! And, to be honest, it was pretty easy.”
We are now well and truly into the realm of gay men’s fantasies. I ask him how he reconciles having sex with other guys with the declaration that he is straight?
“I’ve never had sex with a man outside of a video,” Gavin answers matter-of-factly.
At this point I tell him about the Kinsey Scale, which to my mind describes sexuality through an individual’s sexual history. I ask Gavin to tell me why Kinsey would be wrong in labelling him something other than straight.
“I wouldn’t say that he’s wrong,” says Gavin, “I mean I haven’t studied him. But I can tell you that I have to watch straight porn during shoots to get erect. And when we’re filming I have to take lots of breaks, which you don’t see by the time it’s all edited, because I can only hang out with another guy for so long before I go soft.”
Does that mean therefore, that there’s no job satisfaction for him in his work? No enjoyment at all?
“It’s a job,” he explains, “I mean, if there’s a pay check involved you’ve got to earn it somehow, right? So it’s definitely work. But I suppose I do enjoy it. Plus I get to travel and spend time in different cities too, so that’s good.”
Some time into his gay porn career, Gavin applied for work in a gay bar to further supplement his income.
“There was a position available for a male dancer,” he explains, “And I was short on funds and wanted to make more money than I was doing shooting videos once a month. I don’t know what they thought of my dancing, I don’t move very well, but they told me I’d be better behind the bar, so that’s how I ended up bartending at a gay bar.”
Did any of the bar’s patrons recognise him from the videos he’d done?
“A couple of times,” Gavin answers. “The first time, this guy came up to me, he was very respectful, and he leaned over the bar and told me, “I just want you to know I’m a big fan of your work.” So, I thanked him and I bought him a shot on the house. As a bartender you have the freedom to do that, so I figured if he was paying someone to see me shoot, the least I could do was buy him a shot back!”
I wish I could state for the record that Gavin’s effortless cool was wearing thin by this stage, but in truth it wasn’t. Even when he describes how he gets hit on the moment he steps in a gay bar. How does he deal with all the ‘unwanted’ attention?
“I’ll tell them whatever they want to hear when I’m behind the bar,” he laughs. “Most of the time it’s easier to say I’m bisexual because, for whatever reason, it tends to avoid upsetting people. If I tell guys I’m straight they can’t seem to handle it as well, or they don’t believe me, so oddly, telling them I’m bisexual and they’re not my type is sometimes easier for them to deal with.”
I ask Gavin if he’s shared the fact he does gay porn with any of his friends. His answer surprises me.
“A couple of my former girlfriends knew and my best friends know, but them aside than that it’s pretty much it. My current girlfriend knows. She doesn’t care for it, but she’s cool with it and not threatened by it.”
Given he’s already done what many ‘gay-for-pay’ guys regard as taboo and ‘given his ass up’, I ask him if there’s anything he wouldn’t do on film?
“I don’t have a fixed set of rules,” he answers. “At Chaosmen, Bryan pretty much lets us work within our own comfort level. So if people prefer to top he lets them top, and if guys prefer to bottom he lets them bottom. There’s no pressure.”
I ask Gavin what his position is on having unprotected sex on camera.
“You make it safe,” he tells me. “I’m DNA/RNA tested once a month, regardless of whether I shoot or not. My girlfriend and I are monogamous, but we go and get checked together regularly. It’s a good habit and good hygiene to get checked often.”
When I ask him if he’d have sex with a man, for money, off-camera, his answer is clear: definitely not. What in his mind would be the difference between that and what he already does?
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“Professionalism and cleanliness,” he tells me. “When you’re filming, the person you’re working with is another professional who’s concerned about the same things you are.”
Unsurprisingly, for someone of his age and career, Gavin is a big supporter of gay rights and the gay community more widely.
“I’ve had a lot of exposure to the gay scene and I don’t think sexual preference should restrict anybody,” he says. “I’m a big supporter of same-sex marriage. I definitely don’t see it as my place to judge others.”
“So,” I murmur, looking at the huge biceps on each of his arms, “How often do you work out?” It might seem like a softball question, but I’m interested to know how hard he has to work to stay camera-ready. Well, that’s my excuse anyway.
“About four times a week,” he tells me, “But I work out for fun and for health reasons rather than so I can do gay porn. I guess I diet for the porn industry though. I love to eat and in order to look good on camera I have to be very careful what I eat.”
As a final question I ask how long he’ll stay in the adult entertainment industry. If he’s using the money he earns to pay for his tuition, does that mean he’ll stop filming scenes once he’s done with college?
“I think it’s going to stop when I can no longer resist dessert every night,” he laughs. “Once my body starts to slip a little and I can no longer maintain it, that’s when I think I’ll have to call it a day.”
That will upset ‘my friend’ greatly. I don’t think I’ll tell him that Gavin’s girlfriend is a caterer.