On the set of Extra Firm

Fisting for Compliments: Dirk and I talk gay-for-pay, family life, and on-set disasters with Adam Baran from The Sword

On the set of Extra Firm

On the set of Extra Firm

For me, the trip was entirely unexpected. Dirk was appearing at Hustlaball in New York that evening, and I had not originally planned to make the trip. When I woke up that morning, though, I realized that I didn’t have all that much going on — nothing I couldn’t postpone, anyway — so I jumped on good ol’ BoltBus and met Dirk in the Big Apple early that afternoon.

Hustlaball rehearsal took place at a club called Slake at 2 pm; as usual, it was great to see many of our industry friends all gathered in one place. When Dirk was finished, we left with a gentleman I’d never met before named Adam. Unbeknownst to me at the time, it was Adam Baran, author of the weekly column Fisting For Compliments over at The Sword. We walked over to the Tick Tock diner on 8th and sat down for a late lunch. Adam had arranged to interview Dirk that afternoon, but in essence I crashed the party; what was originally supposed be a solo affair turned into a couple’s interview for one of the most well-respected publications in the industry. Adam was kind enough to have me along, though, and seemed pretty satisfied with the result. I hope you will be too. -J.J.


NEW YORK — It’s 4 pm on Hustlaball Sunday, and I’m at a crowded Midtown diner, sitting across from one of the evening’s big stars, Dirk Caber, and his partner Jesse Jackman. Though under normal circumstances these two gorgeous muscled porn papas might cause something of a stir amongst the other customers, the presence of dozens of costumed attendees en route to the nearby New York Comic Con allows Caber and Jackman to keep something of a low profile. Clearly, these are unusual circumstances. Caber, who, we recently noted, just filmed yet another installment of his Men.com hit series Stepfather’s Secret, and Jackman, a Titan Exclusive, are a sight to behold. Only a few hours later, Caber will be flogging a fellow star onstage at Hustlaball later and getting punished himself, while Jackman will be a proud observer. In the short period between rehearsal and costume fittings, I spoke with the pair about their worst on-set disasters, how they broke the porn news to their families, and why they think Men.com has so many gay-for-pay stars.

Adam: Dirk, how long have you been doing fetish and leather stuff?

Dirk: I came out of a relationship in spring of 2005, and just before that happened, my boyfriend discovered that I had a bit of a fascination with bondage. His opinion was that anybody who had any interest in the S&M world had to be certifiably mentally unsound. I knew three guys at the time who were in that world, and they were some of the most grounded, creative, intelligent people that I knew. I started talking to them and ended up making a beeline for that world. It’s been nine years now. In the course of that I’ve gone from being a complete neophyte with it to teaching classes, coaching couples in S&M techniques and safety. It’s ultimately what got me into porn.

On the set of Extra Firm

On the set of Extra Firm

Dirk: Pretty much, yes. I had a reputation for knowing my stuff, and I brought my body back into line with itself. One particular director at Titan, Paul Wilde, befriended me online and said it was rare to find anybody who knows the shit and looks the role. He said, “If you’re ever interested, let me know.” My response was, “This? Are you kidding? Do you know how fat I am? You don’t want me on camera, trust me.” It took about two years of him reiterating the invitations for me to say, “Hmmm, maybe I should think about this.”

Jesse, you’re a Titan Exclusive right?

Jesse: Right. Third year running.

When did you guys start doing Hustlaball?

Dirk: This is my second Hustlaball. We did Hustlaball together in London a year ago. That was the first one I actually performed at. I’ve been in this venue, for the first Hustlaball, five or six years ago, when my ex performed. It was a really chaotic event. They were trying to figure out that unusual space. I’ve certainly attended before, but this is the first time I’ve been onstage in New York.

Jesse: I don’t do as many shows as Dirk does. I like being the plus-one. I like coming to observe and take it all in.

How long have you guys been together?

Dirk: Three years and how many weeks? Two weeks?

Jesse: One thousand, one hundred, and seventeen days. Don’t ask how I know that.

How did you guys meet?

Dirk: I had been in porn about a year when we went to Folsom three years ago. He had just signed on as a Titan Exclusive. He was having a few misgivings about whether he’d done the right thing or not. We had a mutual friend in San Francisco that Jesse would stay with and he was talking to him about this and the friend said, “I’ve got somebody that you should talk to about this. He’s got his head pretty square on his shoulders and he might be able to help you figure out what you’re thinking.”

Jesse: At this point I’m rolling my eyes and thinking, “Oh great, here we go, another set-up.”

Dirk: My response to him was also, “I really don’t need you playing yenta. I don’t need a boyfriend right now. Stop it.” He’s a big old romantic who wants to see everybody happy, a sweetheart, but I was like no. No, no, no, no. But he snuck up on me with Jesse at Beatbox in San Francisco and said, “Dirk meet Jesse.” I said, “Okay, yeah, he’s hot.” We got to talking, not so much that evening, I guess, but in the course of the weekend we were both in the Titan booth at Folsom and hanging out at other venues and getting to know each other, I thought, Okay, good I’ve made a really good friend. He lives in Boston, I live in Chicago. At the end of the weekend, we all go home but we’re staying in touch. Our text messages back and forth were epic. We were on the phone a couple times, but two weekends later, he’s going to the gay flag football tournaments in Houston and Jesse stresses out a bit when he’s packing. We were on the phone until four in the morning while he was packing. He’s packed, exhausted. He really thinks, “he won’t say yes because it’s too close to the weekend already.” But he says —

Jesse: I don’t know what I was thinking but I just said, “You wanna come down to Houston with me?” It was 4 am Thursday morning, the tournament started Friday. It’s a big last minute drop-everything flight for a guy I knew a total of weeks. I just blurted it out, thinking he’d be polite in his rejection. He actually said, “Well actually, I don’t really have much going on this weekend. Let me think about this.”

Dirk: I looked up how expensive flights were and it was manageable. I arrived on Saturday to watch him play the last two plays of his last game. We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out, and with the team and getting to know each other very intimately. By the end of the weekend we figured out there’s actually something here.

Jesse: Next time was Halloween. Thanksgiving I met his family. He met my mom shortly after. His family invited me back for Christmas and by then we were pretty well sealed.

What are you guys like in your families? Do they know what you do?

Dirk: Both of our families know.

Jesse: I’m an only child; it’s just me and my mom. She’s a university professor, and also a powerlifter so I sort of have the gym-workout mentality. She actually competed for a while, up until her sixties. We’re very close. She found out about the industry stuff because — long story short — she saw a bank statement from a deposited check from Titan, but it was from Adult Resource Management which is their parent company. She saw it and was like, “What is this?” Being a professor, she did her research; she looked it up and traced it back to the Titan homepage, which that week was featuring a video of Dirk and me right on the front page where I’m bound to a St. Andrews cross and he’s shocking me with a violet wand.

Dirk Caber and Jesse Jackman in TitanMen's Loud and Nasty -- the scene that Jesse's mom found online.

Dirk Caber and Jesse Jackman in TitanMen's Loud and Nasty — the scene that Jesse’s mom found online.

Oh my god.

Jesse: I found out she knew because I had gone over to her house during the day and I needed to look up something on her computer, and it was open to my Facebook page where I had just been talking about my activities, where I’d been and some events I’d been working. So I knew that she knew but she didn’t know that I knew that she knew. I freaked out and immediately called Dirk who was LA at the time and asked him to come to Boston now because I didn’t know what to do. Couple of days later we had dinner with her and after dinner I said, “I need to tell you something. I was over here and I had to use your computer for something and it was open to —” and she filled in the sentence: “Your Facebook page.” The first thing she said after that was “I’m so glad we’re talking about this.” She had known for about a month. Originally, she freaked out. She said she thought a part of her had died when she saw me on this cross being tortured by my relatively new boyfriend.

Did she think Dirk talked you into all this? “Not my baby, he couldn’t do that.”

Jesse: Exactly. Only child of a Jewish mother.

Dirk: But Jesse was saying, “Okay, I know she’s been looking at it for a while. I’ve seen her since then, she must still love me. It must be okay somehow.”

Jesse Jackman and his mom.

Jesse Jackman and his mom

Jesse: Her initial reaction had been full of concern for my health, along with “What has Dirk done to my baby?” But then she started reading my blog, and by reading some of the stories I’d written about with my interactions with fans and about my experiences, she saw that there were a lot of great things that had come about. She learned about how I met Dirk and how he changed my life. She’d known him for about six months at that point. She loved him. She was able to put it in perspective. I still don’t think she quite understands it all. She’s of a generation that’s not quite as sexually liberal as we are these days. But she’s always supportive. She loves me no matter what. She follows the blog and will talk to me about the articles I’ve written. I’ll talk to her about them. I wrote a story about her for the Huffington Post on Mother’s Day.

What about you, Dirk?

Dirk: I was keeping it on the down low for a while there. I’m definitely the black sheep of the family. I have two siblings, both with kids. I’m the oldest, too. For a long time I was held up as the model of the bunch, but I’m also the one who’s completely uncontrollable, and off to do his own thing. But as Jesse was starting to become more and more known, I started to wonder if it was only a matter of time before somebody held up a picture of Jesse and me and said, “Is this your son?” I figured it would be best if they heard it from me. I sat them down before Christmas last year. I said “I need to tell you about this. First of all, these are the really wonderful things that have happened to my life because of this.”

The cart before the horse.

Dirk: So I built it up and said, finally, “So what I’m telling you is, I’m in porn.” My mother’s first response was, “Oh god, I was so afraid you were gonna tell us you had cancer.” They’re far more fascinated with the whole thing than freaked out about it. My mother’s response was like Jesse’s, mostly about the health ramifications and safety; I told her about the studios we work with and how concerned they were with both of those things. My father gets on his computer and looks us up and finds us everywhere and goes, “My god, you guys are famous.” He’s fascinated by the technical aspect of how you put together porn. His final word was that the only thing he doesn’t like is that he has absolutely nobody he can brag about this to.

Dirk, I feel like you’re becoming really well known for your Men.com daddy stuff. Stepfather’s Secret is a big hit and Son Swap — I can’t tell you what a huge load I shot to the second episode of that.

Dirk: Awesome. Working with Luke Adams, wow, what a sweetheart.

What I think is so interesting in that scene is that I really felt like it was the first scene in a while where the acting was good, the writing, the build up to that story, it takes a good six-seven minutes before you get to the sex scenes. It feels really organic and believable. By the time the sex starts I’ve already shot my load.

Dirk: Awesome.

I’m curious what your experience is like working with Men.com? You’ve done some of your best work for them.

Dirk: They’ve been very generous with me. Possibly the ability to do the B-roll, all the things that lead into the sex and provide the sex with a story, that’s probably part of why they value me.

Jesse: You had a non-sexual role in one of their films too.

Dirk: Right. With Rafael Alencar. For me though, you go back and look at porn 15-20 years ago or even further back then that, and go back to the days when porn was looking for creative ways to keep guys in the theater and look at the storylines they would create or the interesting ways they would have of presenting sex. The amount of creativity that went into everything around the sex, that was so much more a part of the filming. The actual sex used to be a relatively small part of the film. Nowadays it’s all very scene based. You go online and rent the one scene you want to watch. Nobody wants to spend huge amounts of time watching dialogue first, you want to get on with it.

Also back in the day they didn’t do twenty minutes from this angle, twenty from that. They cut it like real sex. It would take time for the sex to happen and then it would be quick.

Dirk: It’s a lost art now. The reward was the sex, not just the cumshot. It’s fun to have something like Men.com which does a little bit of scripting. We make it as brief as possible, and of course with anything like Son Swap where there’s an older figure and a younger figure, you do need to set it up so that nobody’s looking at it and thinking it’s pederasty. That kid’s of age, he knows what he’s doing. In many cases, like the one with Luke Adams, it’s the kid who initiates. It becomes really important to establish certain things.

TitanMen's Extra Firm with Dirk Caber and Jesse Jackman

TitanMen’s Extra Firm with Dirk Caber and Jesse Jackman

Lots of young guys have that fantasy.

Dirk: How many of us at a young age wished we had somebody? My first sexual experience was with a guy my own age, and neither of us had a clue what we were doing. We were on a dock in the middle of a lake. We were trying to figure out — okay, we know this piece goes inside of that. Does it involve needing a foreskin? How does it work? It was probably on our third night — I don’t know how we didn’t injure each other trying, but we realized, um, maybe this is what KY is for? How many times I wished I had somebody who would say “this is how it’s done.”

Jesse: I also think a lot of people share that experience of fantasizing about their gym teachers or other masculine role models and not being able to have experience that fantasy when they were younger. Something like Stepfather’s Secret takes that fantasy and, I don’t want to say exploit it, but —

It capitalizes on it.

Jesse: Right. A lot of us have this unfulfilled experience, and now watching as an adult can identify with it and appreciate it more.

Is Luke Adams your favorite co-star at Men.com?

Dirk: That’s a good question. Billy Santoro may be my favorite. Luke is way up there.

I was just watching the movie you did with Billy.

Dirk: Neighbors.

Jesse: You had great things to say about Scott Harbor too.

Dirk: Scott Harbor was great. He has a little trouble with his cumshots at the end of scenes, but other than that he’s sweet, sexy, friendly, straight but has no difficulty with the content he’s working with. He’s really awesome. He also has a very interestingly shaped ass.

I feel like some of what people rag on Men.com for is that there are a lot more gay-for-pay stars. Do you find that to be the case, and is it a problem?

Dirk: I don’t find them a problem, usually. There’s certainly nothing that they’re doing that causes a problem. Most of them are very professional. It is a little daunting when, okay, I’m into my scene partner, and it’s hot. Part of porn is making a connection with the other person, because you’re about to stick your dick in them. You have to have some kind of friendliness. Part of that is knowing you turn them on as well. When you don’t have enough tits to turn on your scene partner, it can be a little frustrating, when you film for thirty minutes, he loses his hard-on because he’s not turned on, and he has to go take a shot or watch titty porn. In the meantime I lose my hard-on. I don’t understand why it’s necessary to hire straight boys to do this when there’s probably huge numbers of perfectly willing and capable gay men who can do the job.

Jesse, do you have the same problem?

Jesse: No. Titan has a policy of working with only gay performers. With the gay-for-pay people there’s levels and degrees. You’re taking a chance that there’s not going to be that connection. There are some people like Scott Harbor who are awesome and laid-back.

Dirk: Yeah, there are guys out there who are just sexual beings. I didn’t get to do a scene with him but Paddy O’Brian was an absolute sweetheart. We were supposed to do a scene together for COLT but circumstances intervened and we weren’t able. Ricky Sinz, I think if it had two legs and he could split them he could fuck it. That’s not a bad thing!

Jesse: I understand Titan’s desire to work with only gay performers because it takes that element of chance out of it. I don’t understand why other studios choose to work with gay-for-pay performers, but hey, sometimes the chance can pay off big.

Dirk: The only theory I have with Men.com is that they are part of a larger umbrella company that does mostly straight porn. The straight side is not as constrained about safer sex rules as the gay side — a lot of straight porn is bareback — but they are concerned about transmission of diseases. The straight side generally requires testing for various STDs. And though Men.com’s company is very strict on set, they don’t work with any HIV positive performers, so I just wonder if it’s simply easier to hire people who aren’t going to be quite as exposed. As a result there are a slew of really great performers that they can’t hire because they’re positive.

Jesse: It’s a shortsighted policy, though. Sex on a porn set is the safest sex you’ll ever have. You have multiple people looking at what you’re doing with a high definition video camera. If there were any potential risk of HIV transmission they’re going to know about it right away and they’re going to be able to treat it, give you a fresh condom if you need it, etc. It seems like overkill to not allow HIV positive performers. I don’t know what status my scene partners are, and honestly, I don’t care.

What is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you on set?

Jesse: I’ve got a good one. I was filming with Joe Gage. Caught in the Act. Jessy Ares was a special request of mine. I met him at Folsom and really wanted to work with him, and the schedule worked out. We’re doing the oral part of the scene and he’s a rather hung individual. At the end of the oral scene, while Jessy’s dick was still in my mouth. I puked. In my mouth. A lot of it. I thought, “Shit, I’m going to ruin this scene if anyone gets a hint that just happened.” So I closed sealed my lips really tight and swallowed it. And no one knew, nobody was the wiser. That was pretty horrifying, like, when I was filming for Joe Gage of all people.

Dirk: The closest to a disaster I’ve come is that you get one cumshot and you have one chance to catch it. One of the companies I work with has a lot of rules about where bodily fluids go. They don’t do facial cumshots. My scene partner was lying flat on a table. I’m jerking off over him. I know I’m aimed at one o’clock. His head’s at 12 o’clock. But it still comes out and I’m not usually a long distance shooter and it still went directly into his face. All I hear is the director from behind the monitor go, “Oh shit!” My scene partner just laid back like nothing happened. We had to look at the three cameras and found one that didn’t show you where it landed. So they couldn’t extend the cumshot part of the scene like normal.

You also escort, right, Dirk? Is there a market for the daddy rentboy?

Dirk: Oh absolutely. But it’s not often that I get a young guy hiring me looking for a daddy. Most of my clientele is people my age or older, who want somebody who has a little more culture and conversation. Often sex never enters into the occasion. They want you there on the bed curled up and talking.

Jesse: Half-escort, half-therapist. A lot of talking and listening, at least that’s how Dirk describes it.

Jesse Jackman and Dirk Caber relax at Island House in Key West

Jesse Jackman and Dirk Caber relax at Key West’s Island House

How do you two keep your relationship afloat?

Jesse: When we were getting started, Titan director Paul Wilde, who was already a good friend of Dirk’s and had just met me, cautioned Dirk against a relationship.

Dirk: He had seen so many porn couples not survive because the relationship was based on what you did as porn stars. He said, “This never ends well.” It’s not even about personal jealousy, it’s about professional jealousy. At any given moment, one of you is gonna have a star on the ascendant and the other is going to be on the wane. And you’re going to be looking at the other, saying, “What’s wrong with me?” Paul said, “That really will tear people apart. And if the only thing you have in common is this industry… This industry is not a long-term career for anybody. The average career is two years. When you don’t have something else to sustain the relationship, what do you have?” Walking into this warned, we were able to think about this and say, you know, we have so much in common besides just porn. We have our family alliances. We have a mutual dorky nerdiness. An appreciation of music and arts. A whole slew of stuff. We said we would give it a try. As far as the professional jealousy thing goes, it just became a running joke between the two of us that at any given moment; one of will look at the other and say, “I’m feeling a little left out here.” Two weeks later, the other will be saying the same thing.

Jesse: The most difficult part of the relationship is really a normal thing for most couples. It’s the traveling. Dirk’s away a lot. He films a lot more than I do. I’m home alone. But that’s typical of what every couple goes through. I miss him terribly and am so happy when he comes back. He’s going to Berlin soon for a week and half and I’m going to miss him like crazy. But if that’s the worst problem we face, then I’d say we’re doing pretty damn well.


Adam Baran is a filmmaker, blogger, former online editor of Butt Magazine and co-curator of Queer/Art/Film. His short film JACKPOT, about a porn-hunting gay teen, won Best Short Film at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and was recently featured on The Huffington Post, Queerty, and Towleroad, among others. He is a features programmer at Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival and NewFest in New York. In his spare time, he complains about things to his friends. “Fisting for Compliments”, his weekly musings about the intersection of sex, art, porn, and history, will appear every Monday on TheSword. You can contact him at Adam@TheSword.com and follow him on Twitter at @ABaran999. Check out his previous columns in the Fisting for Compliments archive.

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Our shopping trip to Slick It Up

While we were in New York last weekend, Dirk and I took the opportunity to stop by Slick It Up headquarters. Dirk wanted to buy some gear for his upcoming trip to Berlin, and while I wasn’t really in the market for anything, I figured I’d tag along. I wish I’d taken more pictures, but here’s what I’ve got… Dirk ended up buying the orange harness, as well as a pair of pants very similar to the ones he’s wearing but with a mesh stripe up the side. They’re hot. I’ll post a picture of him in them soon, hopefully before he leaves for Berlin tomorrow. And I came away with this sweet SIU t-shirt! For more Slick It Up gear, check out www.slickitup.com.

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Dirk and I just found a new Titan Exclusive! Introducing EDDY CEETEE!

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Dirk and I had never been to EGO Providence before. A friend of ours is their promotion manager, though, and invited us to check it out last Sunday night. Even thought it was a school night, Dirk and I figured what the hell, we’d make the drive down. It’s only 45 minutes away from where we live.

Boy are we glad we did!

Both of our bartenders at EGO, Ivan and Eddy, were beautiful: thick, muscular, handsome as all fuck, and friendlier than you can imagine. Eddy told us that was looking to break into the adult film industry. “I’ve always wanted to do it,” he said, “but there’s a lot I don’t know about it and I can’t find any answers. Can I ask you guys some questions?”

“Of course!” Dirk and I said in unison.

And ask he did. “What’s the application process like? What’s it really like on set? What are the studios going to expect from me? What can I expect to get out of it in return?” His questions were excellent. Focused. In addition to those great looks, he demonstrated intelligence, charm, respect, and an ease that only comes with confidence. As Dirk and I kept talking to him, it because increasingly clear to us that he’d make a model Titan Man.

“Have you considered working with Titan?” I asked.

“Really? You think I could?”

“Oh yeah, definitely. Tell you what, I’ll text [Titan director] Jasun Mark a few pics of you, and let’s see what he says.”

Within minutes, I got a response: “Stunningly handsome… wow… yes… oh my God that fucking smile. Perfect.”

And just like that, a star was born. Eddy and Jasun spoke on the phone the next day (even though Jasun was technically on vacation at Island House in Key West), then Dirk, Eddy, and I got together for coffee on Tuesday to answer a few more of Eddy’s questions. Then late Tuesday night, two days after Dirk and I met him, Eddy officially signed on as the latest exclusive actor to join TitanMen’s stable. And we couldn’t be happier to have him on board.

Eddy will film his first ever scene next month, and Jasun says he already has a couple of amazing scene partners in mind to break him in. (Dirk and I are both thinking “ME! ME! PICK ME!”) But no matter who Jasun has lined up, you can definitely expect to be seeing a lot more of TitanMen Exclusive EDDY CEETEE in the months and years to come!

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Kevin Lee Screentest Play

VIDEO: TitanMen exclusive Kevin Lee’s first ever screen test

I just found this cool behind-the-scenes video of brand new TitanMen exclusive Kevin Lee‘s very first screen test, which he shot during the making of Diversion. Check out those eyes! I could stare into ‘em all day! Especially if I was fucking him at the same time.

Watch Kevin’s TitanMen debut right now with your Titan membership. Not a member? Watch a free preview here, then sign up and get instant access for as little as a quarter a day!