Saturday, June 16, 2012

From Erik Rhodes' Death, I See

Based on what I've said in some previous blog posts, including my most recent, "Write That Down #44", it should be no surprise that I find the death of Erik Rhodes to be a mental note to myself as to how I got out of the porn business while the gettin' was good.

For from Erik Rhodes' death, I see a light....again. It's a light that I have seen repeatedly over the past 2 years since I retired from studio-based porn in September 2009. It is a light always reminding me that I am BLESSED. I am blessed beyond words for how God has allotted me the time to make myself known as more than "Tré Xavier". Fate has allotted me the time to make myself become known as more than a sexually stimulating presence. This time gifted to me has allowed me chances to be on my present steady climb of having my real artistic talents known, instead of coming off as a sex object only knowledgeable in enjoying sex, and miserable afterwards like Erik Rhodes was. I'm not saying that knowledge and misery after was all that Erik Rhodes had to offer. But unfortunately, that is all we have seen.

I met Erik Rhodes only once. A few years ago, before a NY Gay Pride March. It was just a quick introduction, nothing more. Shorter than many fans at a meet-and-greet appearance. So I never got to know him on any personal level, except by his blog posts that I've read about. The sad thing is that be they Facebook comments, tweets on Twitter, or comments on gay porn blogs - all of these internet outlets have an overwhelming majority of their commenters' feelings of "loss" from Erik Rhodes' death stemming from how he was a "beautiful man", or how "gorgeous" he was. The problem is that this makes his outer beauty be what gave him worthiness to exist in so many of their eyes. And that could have very well been what killed him, as he seemed to live a life to maintain that.

From what I saw of Erik Rhodes, the seeking of empowerment was piled on more than most. First, was by his initial building up of that physique, and then piling on more. Because all guys who hit the gym for bodies like that are seeking a visible sign of strength to hide the strength they are lacking within. And adding steroids, or any supplement like a steroid to the mix, is an even greater indicator. Follow that up with how the gay porn industry seems to suck many dry of their spirits the way it does, Erik Rhodes' chances of surviving his demons were lessened even more.

All too often, I have seen gay porn bloggers take pot-shots at porn actors when they take on a venture outside of porn. One of the most frequent and notable haters of mine to my knowledge (even since my retirement from studio-based porn) has been the editor of TheSword.com, Zachary Sire. And I have not been his only target. There have been others (past and present) in the industry that he has done this to. Saddest part is how Zachary Sire is not the only hateful gay porn blogger.

These bloggers treat our outside ventures as if you all have been betrayed by us. I know because before I retired, any time I heard a porn actor friend or associate of mine say that they are done doing movies, I felt betrayed. But I never acted out on that feeling of betrayal. Probably because in the back of my mind, I knew---

---IT'S GAY PORN. So you need, thereby automatically seek an outside venture for your future to identify yourself by. And if you don't seek that outside venture to identify yourself with, porn becomes a prison. Like the ones the hateful bloggers have made for themselves. These kind of bloggers have limited themselves to writing about gay porn and nothing else, and since misery loves company, these bloggers want the porn actors to do the same. So when a porn actor shows any signs of moving on, they get a bullseye on their back. But the reality these bloggers need to face is that just because you have confined yourself to porn's prison by writing about it only for all your days, doesn't mean that a porn actor has to do the same by fucking in front of a camera for all of his days.

This leads to my question to Zachary Sire, bloggers like him, and the cynical fans who applaud them every time they write posts mocking people like myself who do something outside of porn:

What is there to mock?

The reason why me and other past and present porn performers do things outside of the porn industry is because we don't want Erik Rhode's story to become our story. We don't want to be imprisoned by our porn personas.
We don't want our legacies to be about how "cute" we were, or how "hot" we looked while fucking. We want to be remembered for being something more meaningful. Something beyond being only sexually and visually stimulating. Maybe introduced visually, but with the end result stimulating you mentally. Thereby making us something greater.

Sadly, Erik Rhodes, whose real name was James Elliott Naughtin, never got the chance to do that. All we know about James Elliott Naughtin is that he was troubled as "Erik Rhodes".

So with him no longer having to live with those troubles, may James Elliott Naughtin truly Rest In Peace.

8 comments:

  1. Amen to that! I agree, well said!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Piazzaatl1973@yahoo.comJune 18, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    I agree with you on probably 90% of what you say, but I know many 50, 60 and older gay dudes (only 2 that were in porn, and really only one that i was close/ friends with) that still define themselves by their looks- but this is no difference from the straight world. I like to look good, but I don't define myself as my looks. Therefore, I agree with you wholeheartedly that you should to be relegated to that (e.g. "he was so hot" etc.,). I also believe that you should not be judged by what you did as a legal career. I really hate when fellow gay men judge people for many different issues or past experiences. It's something that someone should potentially take into consideration if they are going to date the person, but that would also apply if you were thinking about dating a Republican for a vegan, right? Anyway I thought you made a very enlightening and insightful comment. Chris

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Chris,

    I appreciate you agreeing with me for the most part, BUT at exactly what point did I make age be an issue as to whether or not one defines themselves by their looks? I didn't. The only way you could have came up with age was when I was talking about porn actors and the legacy they wanted to leave behind. But even then, I was talking SPECIFICALLY about porn actors. In short, I appreciate you reading, but please respond to the issue in front of you, and not the one predisposed in your mind.
    Also, I do believe one should be judged on their career. BUT one has to make sure that they're not selling themselves just like the common prostitute when you do make that judgement. For just because it's legal in the eyes of the law doesn't make it legal in the eyes of morality. Because lawyers, doctors, bankers, and other white collar jobs sell themselves just as much as any porn actor or prostitute.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Piazzaatl1973@yahoo.comJune 19, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    @LeNair,
    I apologize as you were right I did not read your article as thoroughly as I should and misinterpreted parts of its meaning. I'm a little confused though, by your response when you say that we all sell ourselves for our work or careers. You give examples of doctors, lawyers etc., but I don't care what the person's occupation is, as long as they put in an honest days work for an honest paycheck. I am an attorney, but I would never prejudge any potential friend or partner for what they do for a living. If you're merely saying that anyone in any profession can go and break the rules and be a creep then that's obvious. But I think you're saying something a little deeper. Best, Chris.

    ReplyDelete
  5. To Chris,

    Yes, I am saying anyone in any profession can go and break the rules and be a creep. The problem is that it's not "obvious" as you want to say. Otherwise, (1)the double standards that people live by would not be in existence, and more importantly, I wouldn not have decided to say it on MY blog.

    Now while I appreciate your readership can you please your argumentative ways that are used in your being an attorney to a minimum on a blog, and bring them forth when they are necessary? Because based on my main purpose of this blog post, now is not the time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Piazzaatl1973@yahoo.comJune 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    LeNair, I am sorry again that I did not simply bring forth my opinions on your blog "when they are necessary." I didn't realize any of these opinions are "necessary." I thought a conversation might be interesting, but obviously you are too busy for any discourse. I am clearly interfering with other, more important things comments. From your posts that are very defensive, I feel that you are very self conscious about your past, and think that you try and display your superior knowledge over others. I have know disagreed with you (in which you state that you will delete unless I let you know who I am: my email is PiazzaAtl1973@yahoo.com and if you want my face book page, I will give it to you- which you will say you don't care). You seem very angry and hostile. I am curious what type of occupation are you doing now (not where you work or anything private, but what you are doing, e.g. Student, nurse, doctor, paralegal, etc.). I feel this is our last correspondence. Chris

    ReplyDelete
  7. Chris,

    If I seem hostile and angry, it is because people like you look for arguments when there is none to be had - a typical trait of a lawyer who CAN'T leave that behavior at the office.

    Furthermore, if I am defensive I have EVERY RIGHT to be because it's MY blog, and you brought your unwarranted argumentative ways to it. Which makes YOU OUT OF LINE.

    Furthermore, my occupation makes no difference. You're not the first person to ask that question of me when you are rightfully put in your place. I didn't play that game then, nor will I play it now. For things like you always try using a degree as a crutch to profess some superior outlook on life. When the truth is the knowledge of life and etiquette that I have accumulated and display are not dependent upon a degree. They are dependent upon my upbringing and my observations of the world around me.

    So do not put yourself in the position again to be reminded of how THIS IS MY BLOG. KNOW YOUR PLACE!

    ReplyDelete

I HIGHLY respect those willing to stand behind their comments with a name. So if you use "Anonymous" on a viewpoint that challenges mine, IT WILL BE DELETED for your cowardice to not show yourself makes your viewpoint and you irrelevant.

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