Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Jesse Santana has been around in the industry for a few years and he’s made a big splash since he started back in 2005. Most recently, his appearance in Jet Set Studio’s On Fire! has gotten people to talk about him non-stop. But recently, his name has been the talk of the town for a different reason. Santana recently published a general letter titled “Pornstar/Escort: Where to Draw the Line” on his blog, discussing the problems of the blurred line between the titles of escort, model and porn star. Lately, he has been receiving overwhelming comments; many which were positive and supportive, but also there were quite a few comments that were overwhelmingly negative. This is where I came in. Santana wanted to do an interview to clarify his intentions and his message. I encourage all of you to at least listen to what he has to say.
Kyler Coy: 2008 is currently you’re third year in the Adult Entertainment Industry, correct? Would you categorize your participation in the industry as more of a positive or negative influence in your life?
Jesse Santana: Correct, I’m coming up on my third year in the industry. I would say it’s been a very positive influence, in that it’s made me a lot more comfortable and ambitious…I mean, once you’ve been naked on camera for the whole world to see, I don’t really think there’s much you can’t accomplish, or try to anyway…hah.
Kyler Coy: How did you actually break into the industry? What made you want to do it?
Jesse Santana: While I was living in Kentucky, I was in a Gay.com chat room and was approached by a Corbin Fisher scout, and asked to submit my photos and info to the site. Of course, I did, and then I appeared on the site shortly after.
Kyler Coy: Before you started, was there always an appeal about the industry that motivated your decisions to participate in films?
Jesse Santana: Of course there was! (Laughing) What’s more exciting than showing your hole to the whole world?! Just kidding, but really, I do like the idea of being able to reach out to so many people, even if it is through sex. (Winks)
Kyler Coy: I bet your fans like it more. (Winks back) But, I understand you’ve written a serious article on your blog about porn stars and how they’re not necessarily escorts or prostitutes. Most people in the industry have read it; I know I have. What inspired you to write the article? Why now?
Jesse Santana: Ever since I’ve entered the industry there has been a huge increase in the number of offers I receive to do escorting work, which is of course, to be expected. Of course I can’t exactly mention any names, but the thing that triggered my reaction was when I was doing an appearance in L.A. when I was approached by a very well known individual in the porn industry, and asked if I would like to meet some clients of his. I told this person that I wasn't necessarily offended, but that I also wasn't interested. The next day a trusted and respected mentor of mine emailed me, relaying the same exact message from the guy who approached me before. This bothered me...especially when this mentor of mine said that I should be flattered that people want to spend their hard earned money on me, and that no matter what I did, I would never be able to change people's outlooks and opinions of porn stars. I still told him that I could try.
Kyler Coy: I also understand you’ve received both criticism and praise for the blog. Can you tell me about a few of them and how they initially made you feel?
Jesse Santana: The criticism at first made me feel like I had come at this the wrong way, which is why I’m thankful to be doing this interview, in order to clear some things up. The praise that I received for writing the article at once told me I was doing the right thing for myself and anyone else who shares my point of view. It’s kind of like being the kid that finally raises his hand to ask a question that everyone else in the class has wanted to know the answer to.
Kyler Coy: Where has most of the criticism been coming from?
Jesse Santana: Most of it is coming from bloggers and fans who don’t want anything to conflict with their ideas of who and what porn stars are, as well as from the guys themselves who are both escorts and porn stars… who probably just think I’m being prejudice, I guess… haha.
Kyler Coy: It’s interesting that so many people in the industry would fight you on this. Are you afraid that this article may negatively impact your career in the future?
Jesse Santana: Not at all, I have too much faith in the true fans of the industry to worry about such things. And besides, between FabScout, Jet Set Studios, and Cocky Boys, I’m in good hands… the only person that could bring me down is me, and I won’t, not anytime soon. Hah.
Kyler Coy: I hear people all the time talk about how objectified they feel. But don’t you think it’s partly a trade-off of being in the industry?
Jesse Santana: You’re right. I don’t mind being objectified as a sex object. That truly is what I put myself up for when I take off my clothes for the world to see. What I have a problem with is being stereotyped.
Kyler Coy: But you and every other male model in the industry do run the risk of putting yourselves in a position where people see you perform sexually, and don’t get the chance to view you in any other setting. For example, one of my best friends is a major name in the industry, he does escort, but he is also a MST therapist. People see the former two, but the latter is part of his personal private life. He keeps his job and his real name from the public so he can maintain a comfortable level of privacy. Do you think the reason why it’s so difficult to not feel somewhat used when being a porn star is that one has to live two extremes that for most of us will never coincide?
Jesse Santana: Very true. Porn stars have commented on the article, some even saying that it’s stupid, because I knew what I was signing up for when I entered the industry. I whole-heartedly have to disagree. When John Doe signs up for the part of the phantom, in The Phantom of the Opera, he doesn’t automatically assume that the people who will watch the show will actually think that he goes home and runs around in a white mask.
Kyler Coy: I have to say that I do find a great amount of legitimacy in your blog. You reiterate quite an important point: men are just idiots. Nah, I’m just kidding. But a lot of people don’t ever look past the looks of a gay adult model. But don’t you think that’s how men just are? Don’t you think many men will objectify a cute or hot guy whether or not he appeared nude in a film or on a website?
Jesse Santana: I think that’s how simple-minded and unintelligent men are, yes. If a man is going to idolize a porn star then he should also respect them. And by respect I mean; yes, of course, think as many dirty and naughty things you want about a porn star, but unless you have a disease where your hand literally does not leave your dick, then surely there’s enough room in this world for a porn star to have a say in something and have feelings as well. Some people just need to get real and quit living in fantasy land 24/7.
Kyler Coy: You’ve told me a few days ago that some of the critics of your blog have called you a hypocrite. I’m not going to ask you who called you a hypocrite, but I do want to ask you to talk a little about it. You have told me before that you have, and I quote, “participated in just about every genre of the active front-line of the sex industry, including stripping, porn, and even escorting.” It seems a bit obvious that whoever called you a hypocrite might be a little short-sighted, right? It doesn’t seem at all unfair for one to participate in porn, escorting or both and still want those extremes to be seen separately.
Jesse Santana: Exactly, I know what both sides are like, and they are very different. Although, I wouldn’t really use the word ‘extremes,’ seeing that they are both part of the sex industry. But then you can also relate it to the medical industry…does a chiropractor know how to clear up your acne? And does a dermatologist know how to fix your spine problem? Not necessarily.
Kyler Coy: And you’ve said you’ve participated in escorting before. I was curious to find out what your definition of “escorting” is.
Jesse Santana: Escorting, in my opinion, is just what they say it is…someone’s time and company in exchange for money. But, like you said before, men are men, and many men are respectful, but most aren’t… they objectify cute or hot guys, and a very large percentage of escorts are hired with the assumption that there is going to be a ‘happy’ ending.
Kyler Coy: And you’ve been to Hustlaball Vegas sponsored by RentBoy.com, right? You are a supporter of Rent Boy and their events it seems.
Jesse Santana: I’m a big supporter of RentBoy.com. I love them and they know that! They’ve even already given their support for the article. They know escorting better than anyone, and they know that it’s a separate and very specialized job that requires skills that even many porn stars don’t have.
Kyler Coy: So, the impression I’m getting is that you support choice and you don’t judge people on those decisions. People generally have to choose their own path and one’s path may not be good for another. You really just don’t want the public to make that decision for anyone else but themselves. Is that why you wrote the blog?
Jesse Santana: Yeah, I mean, the blog was written from my opinion and my personal experiences.
Kyler Coy: Of course, not everyone in the industry is both an escort and a model. It seems you mainly want people to realize that making such assumptions is just fueling stereotypes which are not entirely true. That in itself is another form of discrimination as it affects the way people think about one extreme or the other, and ultimately both, and stereotypes are just used to unfairly judge a group of people unfairly. Is that a correct interpretation?
Jesse Santana: That’s very correct as far as I see it. Nobody likes to fit stereotypes. Watch the movie Crash. If you’re black, you don’t want people thinking you might break into their car. If you’re Mexican, you don’t want people thinking you can’t speak English. If you’re Asian, you don’t want people thinking you’re not well endowed. If you’re gay, you don’t want people thinking you have aids. And if you’re a porn star, you don’t want people thinking you’re an escort.
Kyler Coy: I understand you’re dating Guy Parker and that you’ve celebrated your one year anniversary with him on January 17th, just a few weeks back. Congratulations.
Jesse Santana: Thank you! I love him, and there’s no end in site. (Smiling like a madman)
Kyler Coy: How did you two meet?
Jesse Santana: We met through mutual friends. Although, for months it was limited to a crush, until he finally left his loser ex… heheh. At that point we knew there was no choice but to be together.
Kyler Coy: I was wondering how the blog has affected people’s view of your boyfriend, and whether or not it has affected your relationship with him.
Jesse Santana: So far there seems to be no impact on our relationship. And there better not be, or I’ll be knockin’ some heads… hehe. He’s a perfect angel. If anything, it would be a positive impact that it’s had, because he always supports me and that’s a good feeling. You may notice that I can’t help but smile a lot when I talk about Guy…
Kyler Coy: Besides being an adult film model, what do you do for a living or what would be your ideal choice for a career? At 21, are you still attending university, or do you plan to in the future?
Jesse Santana: I’m currently taking a course to be a certified personal trainer. It’s my dream one day to start up a new brand of fitness centers/gyms geared towards gay guys, with tanning beds, salons and all… hehe. I dropped out of college so that I could move to Dallas, but I plan on finishing my Exercise Science degree within the next 4 years.
Kyler Coy: What is Guy’s career outside of the Adult Entertainment Industry?
Jesse Santana: Guy is a photo stylist’s assistant, and he’s involved with dancing at Rhythm Nation Studios in Dallas.
Kyler Coy: Since we’re already on the topic of you and Guy, I really have to ask my random question for this interview right now. I saw you both present an award at the GayVNs 2008. Lex Sabre and I were wondering which one of you two mispronounced Lex’s name at the award show. So who was it that said, “Sa-ber-ay?”
Jesse Santana: Haha, it was actually Guy who said Lex’s name wrong. He said he was just really nervous.
Kyler Coy: And a few of us can’t stop teasing Lex about it, but we like Guy. He’s a sweet guy. Well, thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview with me.
Jesse Santana: Thank you so much Kyler! It’s a relief to get these issues off my chest, and it’s honestly been a pleasure chatting with you and having your attention.