18 January 2011

How Do I Really Feel?

A new interview is up on the MOC blog, because, yes, in this world, if there is a fraction of you that is not white, you are automatically colored folk.  I cut and pasted it below, but please check out the original posting, and the blog in all of it's essential glory here:  


http://menofcolor.blogs.com/moc_blog/2011/01/cory-koons-unscripted.html#more

 

Cory Koons, Unscripted

Rsz_cory_001 Whatever I thought I knew about Cory Koons, I was sufficiently uninformed. The problem I had - and that I often have with gay porn performers -is that I can only glean so much from their on-screen personas (for me, everything) and many times - but certainly not always - what information there is on someone is cold and impersonal, stats or disinterested interviews conducted by those with too few questions or too little time, who can't get performers to break out of themselves because they have to answer questions like, "So, is it true you're named after your pet's first gall stone? Shut up!" But then it doesn't get much deeper than that. (Personal blogs are an interesting exception.)
And so performers are asked to reveal their pet's nail technician's names ("Blanco") and favorite flavors of salad dressing ("With Blue Cheese crumbles? No!") and what's it like to have been fucked by so-and-so while eating a calzone in "Calzone Deliver Available Now: Raw and Pipin' Hot!" by XYZ Studios.
I'll pull the trigger if you don't.
But I have realized that rarely are people in gay porn superficial. That may be how they choose to parade themselves on-screen (or conduct themselves perniciously off-screen, as the case sometimes is), but performers, and the gay porn industry built around them, are rarely populated with the breezy, uncomplicated, what-you-see types. I mean, c'mon. A porn star's value as a commodity is based on how their sexual prowess is, if not perceived. And if you don't have to have a certain something to prove that in front of millions of people the world over, than I don't know what it is that makes a gay porn star tick.
But Cory Koons is different. I'm sure there's still a little bit of that in him, too. He says as much in the interview that follows. But Cory also told Playgirl.com as part of a press release junket that he the thing he finds sexiest about another man is the complete comfortability with his body. (Is there anything I need to add here that you won't find in what follows? I doubt it.)
So, without further adieu - and with my apologies to anyone who was hoping I would be a factual resource for future college essays on Cory Koons by listing every last resource on him (including his ethnic makeup), I have two words: Google it.
(Ed note: Credit for each of the images can be found at the end of the interview. This interview has been redacted for clarity's sake.)


MOC: So, first, I want to thank you for being so gracious about coming on to Men of Color Blog.

Cory Koons: The pleasure is mine.

MOC: Let's start in the moment. Where are you with your porn career?

Cory: I am an exclusive model for Treasure Island Media. I have filmed a lot of scenes with them but none have been released on DVD yet.  I am not sure what they are waiting for, but hold onto your seats...  the scenes are HOT.  They are masturbation fantasies for me.

MOC: Why did you agree to an exclusivity contract with them. What did you like about TIM that you feel you wouldn't have found with other studios (aside from the offer of work)?

Cory: I never officially retired from porn; as any porn aficionado knows, there is no such thing as a retired porn model.  When I decided I wanted to start doing porn again, I wanted to make the biggest splash I could.  Treasure Island Media really is putting out the hottest videos out there right now in my opinion, so naturally they were the company I wanted to work with. I'm a pretty loyal guy.  I've never used porn or sex work as a primary source of income.  Returning to porn, it was important to me to put out the best product possible, and to try to represent my true sexuality.  TIM + Cory Koons is a perfect fit...

MOC: So for those readers who may be unfamiliar with your pre-TIM work, Rsz_cory_002 can you fill in some of the holes?

Cory: ...and seriously, why go to other bareback companies to do porn?  That to me would be like buying the fake designer bag on Canal St. I started my porn career in 2004.  I filmed scenes for Raging Stallion, Titan, Rascal, and Channel OneRaging Stallion asked me to be an exclusive after filming my third scene with them. I've done a bit of Internet work also, but compared to other porn models, I haven't ever been very prolific, and my videography is pretty small.

MOC: Well, [Stanley] Kubrick didn't make a lot of movies either. So do you think having had all this film experience has made you a better partner sexually?

Cory: No. If anything, it has made me more self-conscious because I feel like I have something to prove to my sexual partners.  If they think I'm some huge porn star, then they're going to expect some mind-blowing sex, right? Nothing kills a hard-on faster than pressure to perform well. I will say I do know how to make sex look good though.

MOC: So do many of your sexual partners know, say, from recognizing you or do you mostly just out and out tell them? Hey, do you know who I am? I'm Cory Koons.

Cory: Ha!  I would never say that, and I would never expect anyone to know who I am. I don't consider myself a porn star. I think that term has become way too commonplace. Flattery gets you nowhere with me. And for some reason, the guys I am attracted to have no interest in porn, and I have been shunned many a time by guys that were into me until they found out "who I really am."

MOC: So do you consider yourself...well-versed in the bedroom?
Cory: I consider myself to be fantastic in the sack. And as much as I reiterate that I am vanilla, yeah, I know a lot about a lot.

MOC: So what makes you a good porn "star" in the sense that people want to continue to work with you?

Cory: No one wanted to work with me for years.  I know for a fact that I was declared OVER by studio heads who used to adore me. I think TIM was interested in working with me because I am a good fit for their brand.  I genuinely love getting fucked, I have always been outspoken and a bit of a rebel, and I have refused to adhere to the very limited normalities of what is considered attractive or saleable by most porn studios. I think what made Raging Stallion and Treasure Island want to sign me is that I have a good working attitude, I am professional, and I'm easy to work with.  If people have fun working with you, they will want to hire you again. It's not getting booked for a job that is impressive, it's getting re-booked.

MOC: What sign or signs does a director send that tells you a shoot is going to be problematic? And in what ways?

Rsz_cory_003 Cory: There isn't much in the way of conversation that happens before a scene. I don't think a director always knows that a shoot is going to be problematic before the scene starts. And if they do, the last thing they are going to do is tell the models, "This is going to be a difficult shoot."  That doesn't really build morale, it sets up an expectation that the shoot is going to be difficult.  I don't think any director in their right mind would tell anyone in front of the camera the shoot is going to be difficult. When I worked for other studios that hire "straight" models, I would be told what the straight guy likes or doesn't like.  Once I had to shave my beard for a straight guy. Does that count as a difficult scene? What makes a scene difficult is either a natural  lighting issue if the scene is shot outside, which may or may not include mosquitoes and flies and other bugs, or a difficult model. Another great thing about TIM is they don't use models that are difficult.  If you are difficult, you are OUT.  There are way too many hot exhibitionist fags out there for anyone to have a prima donna attitude.  Porn models are a dime a dozen, and we are all easily replaceable. The thing that makes a scene most difficult is if the top has trouble achieving or maintaining an erection.  But if a model has difficulty in that area, chances are they are not going to be hired again.

MOC: But you've worked with a lot of directors, clearly. What signs tell you that a particularly director has no idea of what he's doing. It's not like there's a porn directing school. (And as a follow-up, have you ever been on a set where a performer walked off the set?)

Cory: If a director is directing the action by looking at what is actually going on instead of looking at it through the monitor, I know he's an idiot. [And] I have never been on a set where a model has walked off.

MOC: What performances of yours are you particularly proud of and why?

Cory: I think the first scenes I did - Stoked, Parts 1 and 2 by Raging Stallion, and Manplay-17 by Titan* - are the best out there so far.  There is a certain innocence and eagerness and lack of anticipation or pressure that is only there when you first start out that can't ever be recaptured.  And in Manplay-17, I first met Jacob Slader.  Our connection was immediate and intense.  They literally had to pry us apart.  And there we were behind scenes him fucking me raw every chance he could get. There are a few scenes I have shot with TIM that are not out yet, that I am the most proud of.  One scene, the director said, "This is the best thing I have ever shot," and I believe him.  It was really fucking intense.  I still jerk off thinking about it.  It will blow your mind. I think the work I've done with Treasure Island is the best work I've done, hands down, in spades beyond anything else.  But they don't shoot porn.  They document male sexuality, and they only release what was genuinely an intense, connected sexual encounter. (*No results turned up for "Cory Koons" on the Titan Media website, at least not for "Manplay 17.")

MOC: Where were you when you looked in the mirror and said: "Cory, go do some porn?"

Cory: I grew up thinking I was hot.  When I started school at UC Berkeley I went from being the hot gay guy to just another Asian guy. I developed really low self-esteem.  Another gay Asian guy told me, "Just work out a lot and do a cycle of steroids.  If you work your body out hard enough, guys won't care about your slanted eyes."  I was 18.

MOC: So was porn a way for you to reclaim your confidence?

Cory: I got a boyfriend who loved me and thought I was the most beautiful thing ever.  Unfortunately, we had zero sexual chemistry and he had no interest in having sex with me. We broke up, partially because I started to realize other guys thought I was sexy. I've always been fascinated by porn and sex, life and death, etc.  Goth till the end. Part of it was retaliation on my part.  I wanted to show him just how much everyone else wanted to fuck me. Another part of it was that I had such a battle with my own feelings of being attractive.  Much like women have this unrealistic ideal of being 5'10", 120 lb, perpetuated by the fashion industry and mainstream media, gay men have this unrealistic ideal of this 6' tall, corn-fed guy with an unnaturally muscular body; a jock body that has nothing to do with sports, just gym time and steroids and setting your alarm clock in the middle of the night to take another protein shake. For the most part, the only visibly out, sexy gay guys are porn models.  And let's face it, most porn models, historically, are huge beefy white guys.  I think it's terrible for young gay guys to grow up wishing they were white if they're of any ethnicity at all. I started porn with the hope I could help other guys that aren't stereotypically attractive and Caucasian  feel better about themselves. MOC: Why do you think that is? Why is Racism such an issue in mainstream porn? Even when companies hire black or Latin models, they are rarely promoted they way white ones are.

Cory: It's true.  There is a movie where I am the only bottom in the whole Rsz_cory_004 movie, the obvious star, and the studio didn't want to put me on the cover because they were worried I wouldn't be able to move enough copies, because I am too "exotic."  They finally decided to put me on the cover, obscured and sandwiched between two white guys. Any oppressed demographic is going to create a hierarchy within their group to recreate the oppression they receive. This is what the gay community has done.  Buff white guys are the ideal.  If you are Latin and have a big dick, you're considered practically as good as a white guy.  If you are black and buff and have a huge dick then you can be fetishized as a big-dicked black guy, and if you are Asian you are fucked.  You are a feminine submissive ladyboy with a tiny dick. [The] funny thing is, the porn industry won't admit this, even though it is painfully obvious. I was at a panel discussion of porn directors and the issue of race and the ensuing discussion was one of the most appalling things I've ever heard.  One director/studio head said that the reason why there weren't more black guys in the industry is because it's so hard to understand them because we don't speak their language.  You have to hire a black guy that can understand them, to get black models. Joe Gage became very defensive, and said that he wouldn't use so many white models if there were men of color that wanted to do porn.  He said that there were no black or Asian models that wanted to porn, and he's been searching for them for years.  He also said, "I'm not racist, I've used a black guy in a video before."  One black guy in a video.  Wow.  And I know for a fact, that he rejected me for a series of videos by Titan.  I was booked for the videos.  The casting director/studio head told me that he had to run me by Joe Gage because he had final approval, but that he was a great guy and would love me. I was rejected for being too "exotic." For not being representative of everyman.  For not being white. What a racist asshole. It was all I could do not to stand up and lay in on him.  I regret very few things, and not speaking up at this discussion, of the history of gay porn, is one of those things I regret.

MOC: What makes for a good porn performance?

Cory: Legitimate sexual chemistry, which cannot be faked. A knowledge of how video works, how to cheat out for the camera, how to arch your back as a bottom, push your balls up to get a clear penetration shot, a top being aware of the light and not blocking the light with their body or blocking the action with their arms. I have worked as a fashion stylist and art director and have directed many a model and photo shoot; my extensive experience behind the camera has informed my performances in front of the camera.

Rsz_cory_005 MOC: Well, I've jerked off to you in Arabesque more than just about any other gay porn scene so, yeah, I'd say you're a pretty good student. Can you take a couple more questions?

Cory: Of course. Awwwwwwww. Thank you!  I don't know if I've actually watched that one. I should check it out!

MOC: So everyone is screaming "Piracy is killing the porn industry!" "File sharing is destroying us!" Is it really that bad in your opinion or is it something else, like studio heads being too lazy to invent new business models?

Cory: LAZY. To me, studios complaining about piracy is the same thing as car companies still making cars that rely on fossil fuels.  Laziness and money. Everything as we know it is changing. And the same studios that complain about piracy are also adamantly against bareback movies. We are entering new times, and we need to change with the times. You'd think that gays would be more progressive and willing to change and adapt but no.

MOC: Going back to something I asked you earlier: Has your immediate family every seen your work?

Cory: My sister has. No one else I know of. My sister and I are really close.

MOC: What did she think of what you showed her? What did you show her?

Cory: I didn't show her anything. She found out I've done porn through her gay friends. She thinks I am an attractive guy and says that if she had a rockin' body she'd probably do porn too, and she is proud of the fact that I am adding a bit of diversity to the world.

MOC: She and I, both.

Cory: And she does have a rockin' body, but you know how girls are...  she's not 5'10" and 120 lbs.

MOC: Well, considering all the personal [stuff] you're going through right now, I just wanted to say - again - how much I appreciate you and the time you've given me and my readers. I'd say my tenacity paid off. So thank you.

Cory: Aw, anytime. I love hearing my voice.

MOC: Me, too.

Credit for the following images goes to:
Image #001: Fritz Main
Image #002: Gustavo Monroy
Illustration #003: Miguel Angel Reyes
Image #004: Reed Massengill
Image #005: Sam Devries


Cory Koons's Blog is right here. Or, you could follow Cory on Twitter. OR, if you're really lucky, he might be your friend on the Social Network!