Interview: On “Porn Kills Love” (and how we were almost in Cosmo)

Andre Shakti Article Header Crop
 Jiz Lee’s excellent book Coming Out Like a Porn Star — which, I’m honored to say, includes two of my essays — was published a couple of weeks ago, and so far the response has been pretty amazing. Thanks to Jiz’s kind referral, a reporter from Cosmopolitan magazine (yes, that Cosmo) even contacted me and Dirk a few weeks ago to be interviewed for an article on real life porn couples. The reporter, Andre Shakti (link NSFW), is an adult film star herself; she identifies as an alt/queer performer, activist, and educator. She sounds like an amazing lady, and chatting with her was both fun and enlightening. During the interview, she even issued me a challenge. (More on that in a moment.)

Anyway, Andre interviewed eleven couples for her article. The inspiration for her piece was a rather dubious organization that has been putting up billboards all over San Francisco that say “PORN KILLS LOVE.” These billboards have apparently been spotted in other parts of California and Nevada — where the majority of American adult films are produced — and Andre wanted us porn couples, who have found love through porn, to weigh in on the PKL campaign. Our thoughts, along with those of the other couples, COLAPS Cover, Very Smallare included in Andre’s article, as well as a little backstory about how Dirk and I met. There’s also an interesting question that Andre asked each couple: “Describe your relationship in one word.” The answers may not surprise you, but they will move you.

All of the stories were equally interesting and compelling, but unfortunately her editors singled out four couples for inclusion in the magazine, and Dirk and I weren’t one of them. (I’m not sure if this is relevant, but I couldn’t help but notice that the four couples who did make the cut are 1. legally married and 2. straight.)

Happily, though, PinkLabel.tv agreed to print the remaining seven profiles, including ours and the other out-and-proud couple that Andre interviewed (Sten and Lily Cade). I’ve reprinted our interview with Andre below, but be sure to check out the rest of Andre’s interviews at Cosmo and Pink Label!

Jesse Jackman & Dirk Caber


Status: Engaged

Name: Jesse Jackman
Age: 42
Location: Boston, MA
Occupation: porn performer & in healthcare IT
Number of years in the industry: 4

Partner: Dirk Caber
Age: 44
Location: Boston, MA
Occupation: classical musician, tuba, piano, vocalist & porn
Number of years in the industry: 5


How’d you meet?

I’d just started working in the porn industry and was trying to navigate my way around the scene, so I started seeking out a community mentor who could help me. A friend of mine introduced me to Dirk Caber, who had been in the industry for about a year already, and we immediately hit it off. At the time I was dating someone who was struggling with my new career and wasn’t too keen on the idea. The very same weekend I met Dirk, my boyfriend broke up with me, saying he couldn’t date someone in porn. Dirk stepped up to support me; he held my hand and saw me through the heartbreak. After some time the relationship turned romantic, and we began seeing each other seriously. The first two years were long distance – me in Boston, Dirk in Chicago – before Dirk moved to Boston to be with me.

Describe your relationship in one word:

Honest.

What was your proposal like?

We exchanged rings on the day that the Supreme Court initially refused to hear appeals in gay marriage cases – October 6, 2014 – setting off a landslide of lower court rulings that eventually led to marriage equality nationwide. We’re having trouble setting a date for our wedding, though, because we can’t figure out where to have it. The problem is that every place that’s “meaningful” to us is like a diner or something – they’re not exactly majestic!

What does marriage mean to you?

We basically already consider ourselves married; we call each other “hubby”, and we’re sharing our life together. We’re not married in the legal sense yet, but we’re already bonded as partners, albeit with a healthy recognition and respect of each other’s autonomy. We encourage and support our lives as individuals as well as our shared life, and that’s paramount. We have one rule: Don’t bring home anything you don’t want to share. It’s applicable to everything from STIs, to sex partners, to pizza!

Are you familiar with the “Porn Kills Love” Campaign? If so, how do you feel about it?

Yes we are! It was brought to our attention several days ago. It looks like they’re not being honest about the basis of the organization [funding the campaign]. In my opinion, it’s a very thinly veiled effort of the Church of Latter Day Saints. All four founders are members of the Mormon Church, and when you look to see where the organization’s domain name is registered, it comes up as Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, their website cites incomplete “scientific” information presented largely out of context, and the neutrality of their Wikipedia page is currently under dispute. Anyway, my main issue with the organization is that they’re selling porn consumption as an addiction, yet they’re not demonizing other addictions, such as alcohol, in even remotely the same fashion. People who suffer from addiction are genetically and neurologically predisposed to it, a fact which is pretty universally understood. Our society isn’t in the habit of outlawing everything a person could possibly be addicted to – alcohol, gambling, etc. Porn isn’t the enemy; we should be focused on helping people with addictive personalities, not demonizing an industry that provides a healthy sexual outlet for millions of people.

One more thing… at the end of the interview, Andre challenged me to write an article of my own about the Porn Kills Love campaign and the organization, “Fight the New Drug”, that’s sponsoring it. I’ve been thinking about a piece that discusses the nature of addiction and why I believe the target of FTND’s efforts are sadly misaligned. Stay tuned!

PKL Billboard Crop

8 replies
  1. Tavdy79
    Tavdy79 says:

    Heya Jesse – just a heads up on a possibly useful resource for your piece on addiction in case you’d not heard of it. British journalist Johann Hari has a book out, Chasing the Scream, which deals with some of the causes of addiction. He’s also done a TED talk and written a bunch of articles on the subject over the last year, mostly for HuffPo. If you haven’t already I recommend you check them out as, based on what he says, FTND’s campaign looks set to drive even more people into addiction – of all kinds.

    Reply
  2. Tony W Lanier
    Tony W Lanier says:

    I have always love the both of U & I don’t see nothing wrong with sex or porn? It’s the people that’s not getting enough of it! Porn goes back to the 60’s & the 70’s. Since President Obama made it aware that “Gays” are as one, The country doesn’t like it! In my eyes, “The both of U R married!” I haven’t since such loving couple since facebook. I loved reading about the both of your lives. Very romantic! I do wish the both of U many more happiness & love.

    Reply
  3. Lynn Schmitz
    Lynn Schmitz says:

    You guys are awesome and I adore you both. Seems like you two have your shit together when the rest of the world is too busy pointing fingers. Honesty. It is really so simple.

    Reply
  4. Frank Knottyfor
    Frank Knottyfor says:

    This may be a bit off-topic, but I was referring an interested friend to your website and noticed that you used the past verb tense when writing about your regular professional work in health/IT. Are you no longer at that company? I don’t recall that you wrote about it, if true.

    Reply
      • Frank Knottyfor
        Frank Knottyfor says:

        Great–look at jessejackmanxxx and the About Me section, wherein is said:

        “Hello, and welcome to my official TitanMen blog! I’m a 6′ 1″, 235 pound, 41 year old Bostonian, TitanMen exclusive, and partner of sexy fucker Dirk Caber. I hold bachelor’s degrees in computer science and in Japanese, and worked as a senior engineer for almost 20 years before connecting with Titan and filming my first scene in mid-2011. I still live in Boston, but I’ve also lived in several foreign countries: …”

        “worked” and “still live” well, it sort of implies something. I didn’t mean to pry but …

        Frank

        Reply

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