Pull up a chair – this is a long one, but it’s worth it.
I’ve been a fan of porn director Joe Gage for a little while now. He directed some of the most well-respected and enduring porn films of the seventies – in particular the trilogy of “Kansas City Trucking Co.,” “El Paso Wrecking Corp.,” and “L.A. Tool & Die.”
Last week I read a review in the local gay newspaper of one of his newer films for Titan Media, Lifeguard! The Men of Deep Water Beach. In particular, the review singled out the first scene – in which a young man (Colby Keller) is seduced by his future father-in-law (Cliff Rhodes) – as the film’s best asset, and if you’re at all familiar with my work, you know that kinda shit is right up my alley. I KNEW it was going to be a hot scene, and I anxiously sought out a copy of the film.
Then last weekend I’m sitting down to watch it, and I notice something strange – the scene seemed to mirror a story I published on the Nifty Archive back in September 2001. The story in question was, in fact, my very first polished, published piece of erotic fiction – my Passions slash fic piece entitled “Breathe In, Breathe Out.”
I paused the scene and pulled up my story next to it. Then I pressed play again, and read along. When it got to the point that I could anticipate what was going to come out of the characters’s mouths next, I knew something was up.
At first I couldn’t quite accept it. I mean, I’m willing to admit as much as anybody that I traffic in porn cliches – was it possible that I stole the story myself from somewhere else? However, I showed the scene to more people they all agreed that the similarities were too exact to be a coincidence. The wording, the phrasing – even my description of what the guys were doing – was being realized up there on the screen. And the writing in the movie was credited to Joe Gage. It blew my mind, it did.
It didn’t help that I came down with a wicked stomach virus at exactly the same time I realized this. For three days I lay around puking and squirting out the contents of my stomach, my head swirling with an intense mix of emotions – pride for the fact that my work was being validated in this way, anger at it being used without my knowledge, sadness at the idea that I’ve been selling myself short for all these years – this was my first erotic story, and it was good enough to use as a porno script in a Joe Gage movie!
Finally I decided just to write Joe Gage and see what was up. I crafted a polite but firm list of demands – give me credit, give me compensation – and when I went to save it as a draft I hit “send” instead. Oh well. He got back to me in just a few hours – indignant at first, but willing to look into it. Apparently, he uses a lot of ideas that his fans send to him – which was something I’d never considered. He sent me a portion of the shooting script, which I found contained dialogue that didn’t make the final cut of the film, and which also matched up nearly perfectly with my story. There was just no denying that this was my work.
He called me the next day, agreed that the dialogue was undoubtedly mine, and apologized. So far this had been shaping up as the single most surreal experience of my life, but getting a morning phone call from Joe Gage represented the apex. He promised to acknowledge me on his website and to send me a collection of his DVDs. By this point, I was pretty much over the anger I felt initially and was mostly just stoked that my work was up on screen, realized by a director I really respected, no less. So if he doesn’t credit me on his website I won’t feel too burned. But I better get those DVD’s ( you reading this, Joe?).
What’s more is that Mr. Gage had the opportunity to check out my work and now he is a fan. What a fucking trip. There is a possibility that Lifeguard won’t be the last of my work you’ll see directed by Joe Gage…but that’s news for another time.
For now, check out Lifeguard if you want to see one of my porn stories come to (reel) life. It’s a hot scene, for sure, and would probably be my favorite Joe Gage scene (if not my favorite porno scene ever) if not for what’s been associated with it. As it is, I only jerked off to it once – and that was more out of duty than anything. I have nothing against jerking off to my own work (that used to be my primary purpose for writing porno stories, but I think my motivations have changed over the years), but in this instance, there’s just too much baggage. A shame, really; but a small price to pay for this cracker of a story that I get to tell my grandchildren. When they’re adults, of course.
I love getting email from readers, and whenever I post a story on Nifty I get a good handful of them. Inevitably, one or two readers ask if I intend to write a sequel to whatever story they’ve just read, and I always say the same thing: Nope.
I’ve written serials before, and though I enjoyed it, they are truly the least-read stories on my website. But the main reason I don’t write sequels is that I just like leaving things open ended. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of piling on the action until “Frat-Fuck-Fest-Part-32” becomes an orgy with Sam Worthington and his passel of cousins. You know – unrealistic.
But still, it’s fun to wonder about what might happen if certain stories were continued. Recently a reader named Matt suggested a sequel to Dr. Craig, and it gave me the idea to post a poll and allow readers to pick one story, to which I will then write a sequel.
If I only get five votes, I probably won’t do it. If I do get an adequate response, I will compose a sequel to whichever story garners the most votes, and I’ll post it on my next scheduled update, February of 2010.
I chose these five stories based on their popularity and also on whether I thought they’d be fun to continue. The poll will close on January 6 January 3 (sorry, I didn’t realize I’d get as many votes as I’m getting and I don’t feel like waiting that long). Please vote!
Which Story Should I Expand into a Novella?
Good to remember around this time of year: shopping centers are often the best places to watch sunsets – a combination of wide open parking-lot horizons, plus (at least in my hilly western-Pennsylvania town) the fact that most shopping centers are built above the road.
Tonight my lover and I were doing some last-minute Christmas shopping, something nobody looks forward to. The parking lot was full, the lines were long, and I was waiting to buy a few things from the dollar store when I caught sight of an awesome sunset out the window. I ditched my items and went outside, sitting on the curb and taking it in while shoppers streamed around me.
It’s kind of great, the contrast between shopping – this very ground-level activity where thousands of small products compete for your attention – and communing with something gigantic, rare, and free. A few people stopped to look. What was more important?
Today was the winter solstice, which is the real reason for the season. The shortest day of the year went out in a truly glorious fashion, and I felt grateful to have witnessed it.0 Comments
This came out last year, but I saw it in ’09 and no other movie affected me as much.
5. House of the Devil
7. Drag Me To Hell
I’ve slacked off on movie viewing this year. Still need to see: Antichrist, Avatar, The Girlfriend Experience, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Humpday, District 9, A Serious Man, Where the Wild Things Are, Precious, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, The White Ribbon
1. Papercuts, You Can Have What You Want
Songwriter Jill Sobule said this year, “I think today, instead of everyone being famous for 15 minutes, everyone will be famous for 15 people.” Papercuts have toured with some of the most acclaimed and popular indie bands around – Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Camera Obscura – yet even modest popularity eludes them. There’s pleasure in liking things nobody else knows about, of course, but that’s not why this is my favorite album of the year. It’s the music. I’ll take this over any of the bands I previously mentioned, some of which have showed up on multiple best-of-09 lists while this album has been largely forgotten. Guess I’m one of the lucky fifteen.
Instead of listing other albums I liked this year, I’m doing individual tracks:
Annie: “I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me,” “I Don’t Like Your Band,” “Songs Remind Me of You”
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: “Ramona,” “The Tenure Itch”
Washed Out: “New Theory”
Atlas Sound: “An Orchid,” “Sheila,” “Criminals”
Deerhunter: “Disappearing Ink”
The Hidden Cameras: “He Falls to Me,” “Colour of a Man”
Here We Go Magic: “Fangela,” “Tunnelvision”
Cass McCombs: “Dreams-Come-True-Girl,” “Don’t Vote”
Grizzly Bear: “Two Weeks,” “Cheerleader”
Animal Collective: “Summertime Clothes”
Air: “Bee a Bee”
The Flaming Lips: “Watching the Planets”
Girls: “Lust for Life,” “Hellhole Ratrace”
Camera Obscura: “James”
Vitalic: “Poison Lips”
Black Moth Super Rainbow: “Tooth Decay”
Jarvis Cocker: “Pilchard”
All I read is old stuff, though I did enjoy Dennis Cooper’s Ugly Man.2 Comments
So yeah. New website. Hopefully everything is self explanatory.
I’ve posted a new story, “Biology Lesson,” which is from the November 2009 issue of Handjobs Magazine. I had a good time writing that one.
You may have noticed that my Blogger blog is gone. Well, I haven’t deleted anything, but I wanted to start fresh. I plan on recycling my old posts periodically, which will hopefully allow me to post more frequently (with old content, natch).
I spent a lot of time designing this site and it’s been fun. I’m glad to be done, though. Much thanks to Rob Wolfsham, my WordPress guru (who nevertheless defected from WordPress in the time it took me to get this site up), who provided much help and moral support.9 Comments
One huge problem with art lies with the extent of artists who need to connect with an audience. What I’m talking about is a relationship with art. The success of this relationship seems to rely on a certain limitation of public interaction. It’s not absurd to regard art as a coded outcry to be loved properly; therefore when you start giving it away it invariably dilutes in an almost alchemical sense. This pervading sort of pathetic hopefulness—the idea of wowing people, is corrupt from the start. I find it disgustingly vain and needy. So to undercut all that it’s been my method of obsessively questioning the purity of an expression and accepting its expiration date so I’m only left with the inception of the idea when it’s most exciting. I realize that some of the truth behind this is that I can’t endure defeat gracefully, so I act fast and take what I can. Achievements mean little; any enjoyment I’m lucky enough to scrape up usually just gets buried in the process anyway.
– Mark McCoy (from DC’s)