Here’s the thing about porn. You can’t help notice that the women in porn are legion; the men not so much.
It takes a special sort of man to be a straight porn star (I know nothing of gay porn). You have to be so potent that you can perform in a room full of people; only one or two people in that room are female. The rest are men who operate the cameras and the boom mike, who build the set. Could you get it up and off in front of three guys fat guys eating Mexican take-out? I couldn’t. Only a few men could. This is why you watch porn and say, That girl is hot, and oh and banging her is that guy with the gang tats and the mole on his dick. I’ve see him five times already. Five times today.
So here is a list of male pornstars of note. They’re here because they’re iconic (yes, a few male pornstars have gone beyond being a life-support system for a reliable erection), long-lasting, particularly super-human, or, like Ben Affleck, they’ve become directors.
1. John Holmes. – Yeah, had to go there. PT Andersen and Mark Wahlberg made Boogie Nights, an epic movie about this colossally endowed star of 1970’s film porn. If you watch his stuff now, you become depressed – most of it’s grainy, with ancient cheesy music, and he usually sports his trademark 70’s porn ‘stache.
His endowment was anywhere between ten and fifteen inches, but no one knows for sure: all the cocaine and rough living often made it floppy and unreliable. He was allegedly present during a gang-related mass murder, and towards the end of his career he did gay porn out of desperation. He died of AIDS in 1988 and he was the first porn star of any kind.
By porn standards, he was a brilliant actor. His most well-known character was Johnny Wadd, porn detective, who was modelled after Phillip Marlowe. You can still find his work floating around on streaming sites and in the ‘classics’ section of the few remaining adult video stores.
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2. Ron Jeremy aka ‘The Hedgehog.’ – This guy has almost single-handedly founded the old saying, ‘Why are the men in porn so gross?’
He started doing porn in the late ’70’s, and by his own admission has never had a real adult relationship.A study in contrasts found only in porn, he came from a respectable Jewish family, has a Master’s degree in Special Education, and yet has been dogged by rumours of rape and terrible body odour. He looks a lot like the older, moustachioed, and heavy guy your mom inexplicably dates after she first splits up with your dad. Additionally, he can suck his own dick. It’s been filmed.
I first saw Jeremy when my friends and I were renting porn flicks from the East Indian grocer across town, which was notorious for never checking if you were underage. Of course we noticed that all the men in porn were disgusting and who at best looked like substitute math teachers, but Jeremy took the cake. Watching him plug beautiful women as his massive, kinky-haired butt-cheeks plunged back and forth was traumatizing, but he was ever-ready and good with the one-liners. Although to be fair, if you watch his earliest films he looks reasonably fit and almost handsome. Almost.
He’s now a star in his own right: he’s done reality shows, starred in real movies, sung publicly with British Cabinet ministers, and been in countless music videos. He’s become a cultural condiment – if you need your TV show or movie to take a dive into the surreal and filthy, just add a pinch of Ron Jeremy.
3. Peter North – One summer when I was home visiting my mother in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I worked out at Gold’s Gym on Quinpool Road. One day Peter North was there. It turns out that he’s a Canuck, and he’s from my home town! He looked exactly as he does in his porn films: tanned, smooth, and sporting that familiar preppie wedge of concrete black hair. Every man in that gym was pretending they didn’t know him, but Peter North looked uncomfortable. It must be strange to be recognizable as Leonardo Dicaprio but for all the wrong reasons.
He got his start in the early eighties. He did gay porn at first (He doesn’t like to talk about this), and then went straight and has been at it ever since, although he’s more into directing now.
Although he would be well-known enough for his musculature, his hair, and his resemblance to a brunette Ken-doll, he is most famous for his… um…. fluid volume. That’s right, folks, he shoots pints of splooge for great distances, while moaning like an action hero in a cheap sci-fi TV show. His female co-stars probably have to wear water-proof makeup or he’ll blast it off. He’s sold herbal formulas that ostensibly will give you his ability but I’m guessing his gift is God-given.
4. John Stagliano aka ‘Buttman’ – Porn wouldn’t be the same without this dedicated visionary. As a porn actor, he was of strictly average ability and endowment. But as a director, he revolutionized the genre. He created a porn genre called ‘Gonzo’: shot from the camera’s POV, he made the audience into hormonal and obsessive-compulsive midgets who see women primary from a rearview upwards angle. As his nickname would indicate, he was about da butts. His viewpoint explored the female posterior like an astronaut traverses across a mysterious planet… A taut, tanned, perfectly round and fleshy planet.
But that’s not all, as the salesman says. He chronicled his own house burning down in the Malibu fires. He took the buttman concept to Brazil, London, Prague, Rio, and Paris. He tested HIV+ and now stays behind the camera. He’s a staunch Libertarian. His entire schtick was simply being the mousy, normal everyman lusting haplessly after women who seemed to be too pneumatic to be real. Best of all, no actress needed silicone implants in his movies.
He helped introduce the average North American pervoid to a handsome Italian guy named Dario, also known as Rocco Siffredi. We’ll get to him next.
5. Rocco Siffred – Most male porn viewers, when watching porn, will think: ‘I’m just as good, if not better, than that ugly-ass roid-monkey up there on the screen.’
Rocco Siffredi is the exception. Handsome, well-built, frighteningly endowed, and seemingly blessed with an Energizer battery up his butt, he excites and then completely exhausts his fans and co-stars. He’s had sex with ten women at a time, and in one infamous scene he forced a woman’s head into a toilet and flushed it as he was sodomizing her. One of his nicknames is ‘The Italian Stallion.’ One blogger referred to him as ‘Rocco… my true father.’ He’s starred in romantic roles, but when he directs himself he’s outlandish and violent.
If you’ve thought of something sexual and cartoonish, Rocco has probably thought about it first. In his movie ’30 Men for Sandy,’ he sets the stage by directing the camera towards the eponymous female star. She writhes, looks pretty, and meanwhile, a busload of horny Italians are coming her way. Rocco gives them football scarves and actually packs them on a bus. He’s had gang-bangs on soccer fields, walked onstage during a concert as the band plays a song in his honour, and he’s been up more assholes than a Manhattan proctologist.
Most importantly, he somehow makes the audience believe that the women in his movies want to be degraded in all the insane ways he envisages. It’s probably not at all true (How can it be true? Rocco isn’t a magician), with the sole exception of Kelly Stafford, an innocent-looking British porn actress who’s even more hard-core than Rocco.
5. John Leslie – This guy started doing porn in 1973! He’s now 67 and has won a mind-blowing thirty awards for acting and directing. In the 70’s and 80’s he was a stalwart (if not particularly impressive sexually) performer, and in the nineties and the new millenium he was a director. In 1994 he wrote and directed a porn flick that was a deft and surreal mixing of Jacob’s Ladder and Thief. Dog Walker was an astounding meditation on consequence and death, and it was exceeded only when Baise-moi came out of France and shocked everyone.
EDIT - It seems that poor John Leslie died of a heart attack in 2005 at the age of 65. I’m not sure how I missed that and I sincerely regret making that error. My apologies.
6. Lexington Steele – Tall, bald, humungously endowed, and so hairless and smooth all over that he looks like a giant liquorice dick. He’s a real horn-dog, and you can hardly believe that he was originally a smart-pants financial analyst before he decided to grace us pervs with our presence. He seems like a nice, easy-going man, and it’s hard to take him seriously when he goes ‘OOOOOOGH! OOOOOOOGH!’ as he climaxes. Every time. Actually likes to dress well, with nice shoes, silk shirts and dress pants when he’s on camera, as opposes to basketball sneakers and gang-bang duds like some of the douches on-screen these days.
7. Seymore Butts – His real name’s Adam Glasser, okay? Sheesh. Anyhow, Seymore’s another great Gonzo actor and director, but here’s how he’s different from Buttman: he’s gotten personally involved with the actresses he works with, lending his films a great warmth and sensuality that are missing from… well, just about every other porn film out there. He starred in a reality show called Family Business, in which he chronicles his problems with being a single dad and working in the porn biz. He seems like a smart and level-headed guy. I’m getting more modern in my choice of actors, and pretty soon we’ll be moving into the purely internet companies with no plot, and no acting required. Not sure how I’m going to proceed, save that I might be describing porn actors I dislike from now on.
8. Manuel Ferrara – Nope, saved! This guy is a real dynamo, and the closest thing to Rocco’s heir apparent. Believe it or not, but he looks like a beefier Jeff Buckley. Super-energetic, with a massive cumshot that comes out in white death-rays, he also takes his time with foreplay and it pays off. Unfortunately, he’s gone the way of Rocco in other areas – he likes to choke and slap his co-stars, and abuse the nether regions so much that the poor girls probably can’t sit down for a week. But he’s one of the few actors on screen in the past thirty or so years that actually lives up to the myth of the super-human sex machine. Do some women fantasize about being taken to their limit with men like Rocco Siffredi and Manual Ferrara? I’m not sure.
9. Preston Parker – The lead guy for the Florida-based Bangbros.com. He looks like the guy you’d see sitting in the corner at your university residence party. He’s got strange, high voice, and most of the time he’s behind the camera as he’s getting serviced. Posed for a lot of gay sites before he made a name for himself with Bangbros. But the equipment is truly impressive and the women he works with are sunny Miami hotties who could set everything north of the Mason-Dixon on fire. He’s part of a new breed of porn performer who stars in digitally shot sexual episodes, with no plot or acting. Just: ‘Here’s Maria. Whazzup? Could you bend over?’
Edit: Incidentally, he shares a name with a NFL player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
10. James Deen – A lot of people asked me why this young fellow wasn’t on the list. I didn’t think he was legendary yet, and he doesn’t possess unusual sexual intensity, endowment, or ability. So I wanted to wait and see if he could become legendary. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened.
Born Bryan Matthew Sevilla on February 7, 1986, James Deen started out in porn at the age of eighteen.To my memory, the only past porn star to go the route of looking boyish, cute, and non-threatening has been Tom Byron. Byron, in his day, looked nothing like the fat and hairy moustached men of the eighties, and now Deen looks nothing like tattooed gangster wannabe frat-boys and steroid cases that clutter the porn landscape today. Why don’t more people think of this? Why don’t more make porn stars look like college boys, varsity rowers, or genuine male models? Porn would explode into popular culture! James Deen doesn’t necessarily have to be such an outlier.
What really put him over the top and into this list for me was his ability to model in serious photography, his movie role alongside Lindsay Lohan, and the cultural significance of only one of his scenes: the infamous “Lemon-stealing Whore” skit. Google it. The boy has comedic chops. Deen’s second strongest feature is his flexibility: he can play the young man seduced by a milf, or he can work it in a threesome. I’ve seen gifs (created by women) that encapsulate his foreplay, his oral, and his stroke technique. He is one of the few male pornstars to have a female following, and once more, much of that following is made up of young women. If anyone, anyone at all, is meant to play Christian Grey, it’s probably James Deen. Think about it for a moment. Deen as Christian Grey.