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Where Are the Black Performers in Mainstream Gay Porn?

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The first time I saw gay porn proved a true awakening. It was 1991, a small town in Tennessee; I was 17 and knew literally nothing about gay sex. Then one day at the video store, I stumbled upon an interesting looking video called, Cousins. The video sleeve had two hot, shirtless guys, and judging by the knowing look of the video clerk, I knew I’d struck gold. When I finally got home to watch it, my life changed forever: I finally saw what gay sex looked like, and trust me, it was mind-blowing.

But as I got inundated with gay porn in my college years, I didn’t see any Black porn performers until I was 22. The absence of Black men made me question if non-Black men thought of us as sexy or desirable, or if Black men were even present in the gay community.

Luckily, I moved past those feelings, but as mainstream gay porn ventured into the digital era, little has changed, and I find myself I asking… where are the Black performers in mainstream gay porn?

black, African American, porn, performer, Randy Blue, bathing suits, speedo, kneeling, muscles, sunglasses, sexy, hot, couple
A biracial couple enjoys some sun before their fun at Randy Blue.

I took a look at five mainstream gay porn sites: Men.com, Sean Cody, BelAmi Online, Randy Blue and Helix Studios. They’re all paid-subscription sites with the highest traffic and they all perform surprisingly well despite the proliferation of free porn tube sites. But looking specifically for each one’s Black models taught me a few things.

Most of the sites have Black models and performers, but here’s the tea: the majority of those models are not featured in scenes with other models. In fact, most of the Black models only have promo pics or solo videos — they’re largely kept separate from others.

Randy Blue, for example, has a total of 57 Black men in their roster of about 670 guys. But out of those 57, only 19 were featured in scenes with other performers. The majority of their Black performers were only featured in promo pics and a smaller number of them had their own solo videos.

In 14 years, Sean Cody has had about 27 Black men within their roster of 252 guys. And similar to Randy Blue, most of them performed in solo videos. From 2005 through 2008, there were no Black model on their site — three years, no Black men at all. In all, Sean Cody only had four Black models who performed with others. The last time Sean Cody filmed a Black model with other another performer was back in 2012. Meanwhile, Helix Studios has had only 4 Black Models in sex scenes (out of 482 total models) and BelAmiOnline never had any Black models at all (out of at least 162 performers) — it’s both telling and very sad to see.

It’s also interesting how many of these Black models were featured on these particular sites. Very few of them are repeat performers and less than 10 of these models on all sites scored multiple scenes. So it strongly pushes the belief that Black,mainstream gay porn models are only good for solos and nothing else.

But why is that? Why are so many Black models getting ignored from these particular sites? Is the vibe all wrong? Do they not gel well with others? I have to wonder what’s really going on because it just doesn’t make much sense.

black, African American, porn, performers, stars, Sean Cody, kissing, top, bottom, sex, fucking
A Black performer tops a White one at Sean Cody.

We could entertain some possible reasons: Maybe those scenes don’t generate enough viewers. Usually, if a model isn’t hot enough or if the scene is boring, viewers will move on to something else; so perhaps studios are simply staying White because White sells.

It’s also possible Black men don’t seek out the gay porn business as a prime option. Seeing that there are so few successful Black gay porn stars, maybe they look for other ways to entertain. Perhaps Black performers see the overall gay erotic scene dominated by the “Zak-Hayden-Cody-Asher” types and don’t see where they’ll fit in.

I can’t help but to wonder whether porn producers realize how racist gay porn seems. Producers may argue they’re just giving the audience what they want. But what they’re really doing is continuing a tired cultural trend by saying it’s okay to limit the number and versatility of Black men in the mainstream gay imagination. When our videotaped sexual fantasies exclude Black men altogether, it’s shortsighted and stifles the imagination, implictly encouraging viewers not to see Black men as sexy at all.

black, African American, porn, performer, Thugboy, kissing, shirtless
Most sites with regularly featured Black performers deal specifically in Black men rather than featuring a diverse stable of all races.

Some would argue that rise of the popular Black gay sites like Thugboy, CocoDorm and Black Boy Addictionz provide plenty of opportunities to see Black men in action, but I beg to differ. While it’s great to have a surplus of Black gay porn sites to explore, we should also be able to see a healthy number of Black models on predominately White websites too.

There should be Black exclusives on Sean Cody or Cocky Boys. There should a mix of Black bottoms as well as tops to challenge the overall stereotype of the dominant, hung Black stallion. So often, Black men get viewed through this pornongraphic lens that limits our sexual versatility, inadvertently creating the idea that we are only “Hood Master Tops” with the “Slanging Black Mega Dicks.”

Maybe, just maybe Black men are being excluded from mainstream porn sites because of plain old racial bias. I mean, some White men don’t want to date Black men so why would they want to see them in porn, right?

Filmmaker Cameron Johnson addresses this issue in his short documentary, “You’re Cute For A Black Guy” (video below). I can’t tell you how many times I’m perceived as a big-dick top before I open my mouth. And I’m not alone — many Black men are viewed this way. Once we stray from the stereotypical path, we change the rules and throw many non-Black gay men for a loop.

I remember when a White guy told me we couldn’t date because I’m versatile. As I dug deeper into his reasoning, he said that he only liked Black men as tops — he thought of Black men being vers or bottoms as a waste! Yes, to that guy, a Black bottom is a waste, as if we’re born only to top the hungry White bottoms of the world.

Beyond sexual fantasies, the lack of Black men also sends our community damaging messages about racial beauty standards. Gay porn brings together some of the hottest, most athletic guys to the screen; and these hot guys are usually White. With Black men often missing in action, it comes off like we’re not hot enough to join the gang. It’s as if the producers are saying, “If we want to make a lava hot gay porno, keep the Blacks out! Either that, or keep them in a particular, safe, stereotypical role that satisfies White fantasies.”

Someday, I hope that mainstream gay porn companies embrace diversity and challenge viewers by having Black models as regulars with speaking parts and, dare I say, sexual versatility. The models should represent different skin tones and play other roles besides the stereotypical thug-omega-top ones.

I truly believe that including Black models as regular actors could be a catalyst for change. People would stop thinking of us as mythological sex beings and just view us as normal hot guys.

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  • Linniejr

    This article is very interesting, I like a scenes and even movies from some of the studios mentioned, but at the same time I find myself writing these companies asking them when or are they ever going feature blacks in their movies, scenes? I applaud IconMale, because they have the bi-racial, the black and the latino. I believe that we as black gay men should make sure these studios such as Cockyboys, Helix, ect feature blacks.

  • Linniejr

    This article is very interesting, I like a scenes and even movies from some of the studios mentioned, but at the same time I find myself writing these companies asking them when or are they ever going feature blacks in their movies, scenes? I applaud IconMale, because they have the bi-racial, the black and the latino. I believe that we as black gay men should make sure these studios such as Cockyboys, Helix, ect feature blacks.

  • Passer By

    I agree with this article, but only on the point that as Black Men we should instead just support the Black Studios and just forget the white ones altogether. Their agenda is clear. Lets not front on that.They only want white. Screw ’em. No! I’ll support our Black owned and operated studios and be fine with it. Besides you never even mentioned Machofxcker or RawStrokes…they routinely do the B&W thang.

    We should support our own. When you wrote ” just maybe Black men are being excluded from mainstream porn sites because of plain old racial bias.” and then “Yes, to that guy, a Black bottom is a waste, as if we’re born only to top the hungry White bottoms of the world.” You hit it on the head! But statements like this, “Gay porn brings together some of the hottest, most athletic guys to the screen; and these hot guys are usually White”, are just silly and wrong on every level!

    ‘Mainstream porn’ is their world, so let them have it. WE have our OWN stream to fish in. Right?

  • Passer By

    As I wrote above:

    ‘Mainstream porn’ is their world, so let them have it. WE have our OWN stream to fish in. Right?

  • Kenneth Christian

    I’m a old guy(50yrs. old) looking at certain standards today, but at the same time, I not too whereby I can’t say someone else is right. Passer By after rethinking what I wrote, and then fully reading your response, I definitely would have to agree with you we (we being black men) should let it be known where we stand and definitely support our own.