Friday, April 8, 2011
Interview With Christian
Check out Christian on Twitter and on his website.
Danny: How long have you been working in the industry?
Christian: I originally started dating a porn chick in '99 when I was still a school teacher. That kind of got me set on the road. If you really look back, I'm in an amateur thing that I did with her in '99 when I went to Night Moves. I didn't know anybody. It was that kind of thing.
Then a few years later I was off for the summer. I sent an email to Chi Chi Larue because I knew Chi Chi was a Vivid director. I wanted to do scenes for Vivid. Unfortunately, I lived in Texas. But he said, “By the way, I also direct for Falcon.”
So I was like, “What's that?” “Well, it's gay porn.” I was like, “Uh, alright. Never done it before.” “We'll pay you two thousand dollars. We'll fly you to San Francisco. We'll pay for your hotel as well.” I was like, “Two thousand?”
I mean, I made twenty-four-hundred a month, and these guys were giving me two thousand in a day. So I was like, “Who's gonna know?”
I did one. It was so easy. I basically didn't do anything. There were two twinks. I was in a locker room. I stood there. They blew me. I laid on the ground. They both bounced on it. I jerked off, I came, and I went home. It was the easiest thing ever.
That was the first movie I ever did. They offered me a contract after that. More money. Guaranteed five scenes. So on and so forth. I did that for a year. It was fun, it was interesting. Ultimately it wasn't me. I'm just not attracted to guys in real life.
What really turned me on about doing it was the taboo of it all – the fact that I wasn't supposed to be doing it. That I was doing something that I'd never done before.
The people were great. They took good care of me. They flew me to London. They flew me to New Zealand for two weeks. I loved every second of doing it for them. But ultimately it wasn't me.
I started doing straight porn the year after that. I believe it was 2003 or 2004. I moved to Vegas. Then I moved to LA. And I've been doing it ever since.
Danny: Cool. So you've also become a director since then. Can you explain a little bit about how that happened?
Christian: Naughty America decided to outsource all of their content. And by outsource, I mean they decided to buy content from individual producers. The head of production at the time asked me to start my own company.
I did ten scenes for them originally. They loved what I did. They understood that I know what the hell I'm doing. Then it just took off from there.
Danny: So have you actually won any awards or anything like that during your career in adult?
Christian: Yeah, I've got three AVN Awards. I was in the gigantic Fashionistas scene that was like the greatest group scene ever with Rocco Siffredi, Manuel Ferrara, Mr. Pete, Chris Charming, Mark Davis, Voodoo, Me, Belladonna, Nicole Sheridan, Melissa Lauren, Flower - Sasha Grey's first scene ever. It was like fifteen guys, twenty girls. It was awesome. That was, like, 2005?
And I won Best Group Scene again for Debbi Does Dallas Again.
Then I won Most Outrageous Sex Scene for Night of the Giving Head by Rodney Moore.
Those are the three I've won.
Danny: Can you tell me a little bit about the porn that you direct? Like, do you think it's different than other porn in any way?
Christian: Nah. It's pretty cookie-cutter, to be honest. Which is I think is the popularity of it all. It appeals to the middle.
Danny: Can you describe briefly what that means? What are you doing when you direct porn?
Christian: It's porn for the masses. It's sanitized, user-friendly. It doesn't do anything too outrageous. It doesn't do anything that stretches boundaries. It's not rough or mean. It's not submissive. It's basically happy, fun, friendly porn. If there is such a thing.
Danny: So how do you go about casting your productions or scenes?
Christian: Well, I pride myself on knowing every single girl in the business – past, present, around-the-world, future. I'm always looking for the brand new ones. It's my life. I eat, sleep, and breath it. The only way to be successful in this business is to do that. You can't just turn it on and off. I've always been like that. Even when I was brand new.
As a performer, you don't sit back and wait for people to book you. You go to get booked. So that's the way I see it.
And I'm extremely aggressive. I'm gonna make an offer to people, and I'm gonna find girls, and I'm gonna see if they'll fly in. I'm gonna find girls who have left the business and are living in Canada. I'm gonna go to Budapest, and Argentina, and London. Wherever the girls are that I think would make money for Naughty America, I'm gonna find them.
Anyone can book a girl that's been on LA Direct [a top adult talent agency] for two years. There's no skill in that. There's no value as a producer in that.
Yeah, you booked Nikki Benz, Shyla Stylez, Phoenix Marie, and Jayden James. Whoo! That's tough. You know?
The skill is finding someone like those four who hasn't shot in four years. You know? Dig up Julia Bonds, who hasn't shot in three years. Somebody find Lauren Phoenix. That's the skill – bringing them back.
Danny: So what is one of your favorite or most memorable directed scenes?
Christian: The number one is the seminal Naughty America – Breanne Benson, Gracie Glam, Lexi Belle, Bobbi Starr – all of them on Jordan Ash. Four girls on guy in a laundry mat scene that just flowed together. It was just perfect in every way – the camera work, the scenario, the girls. It was awesome.
And then I recreated that with the same quintessential My Friend's Hot Mom. Four popular, gorgeous MILFs: Julia Ann, Deauxma, Darla Crane, and Holly Halston. And all of four of them on Michael Vegas in the neighborhood bake-off where they all had aprons on... in a kitchen. You know, lemonade – the whole nine yards. Their sons were extras. That kind of stuff. Things like that with a little production value, when you go above and beyond two people having sex on a couch I think makes it memorable.
Danny: So aside from your role as a director, what do you think people associate with your porn star persona? When people think of Christian, what do you think that means?
Christian: Well, I mean obviously – I don't have to tell you this – I'm a very polarizing individual. There's not a lot of middle ground. You're either for me or against me. And that's just the way I like it. I like to know where people stand.
You know, I don't think there's anyone who's like, “Yeah, he's alright.”
They're either like, “That's a cool dude who knows what he's doing,” or, “That dude's an asshole.” And I'm fine with that.
Danny: Okay, fair enough... So moving into the heart of this discussion... Have you ever performed in scenes that you would consider rough or violent?
Christian: Yes, of course.
Danny: So what are some of the acts you've participated in that you would describe as such?
Christian: I've worked for a company called Dungeon Corp for a few years. I've also been on the opposite side of that where it's been a submissive thing with females.
When you're a dominant, it depends on who the submissive is and what you think her limit is.
I hesitate to use the word 'dom' because that's something that I think is a lifestyle and not something you can turn on and off. And so while I'm decent at it, I would never call myself that. I think that that's something that's a lifestyle. Does that make sense?
Christian: So when I am playing the role of a dom in a scene, what I have that other people don't have is that I'm so much bigger and stronger than those girls that for me it's easy to figure out what can take and not take. I learn that very easily.
Again, most of the girls that booked for that type of scene – if you're submissive and you can take it, you find that out right away.
There have been two times where the girl said she could do it and couldn't do it, and we ended up squashing the scene.
Danny: So can you give a couple examples of things you might do as a dom? Like, what are some of the acts?
Christian: Most of it is like a verbal degradation type thing as well as physical. Like, they're in a powerless situation. Their well-being rests one-hundred-percent in your hands.
Danny: As a dominant performer, have you ever felt like you degraded another performer?
Christian: Within the confines of the scene, or in real life?
Danny: I'm getting at more in real life. I mean you've already discussed that the purpose of a lot of this is to verbally degrade someone.
Christian: I think that most of the girls that do that have done it before. They know what role to play. I don't think it carries over into their real life. I think that maybe the submission does. But I don't know about the degradation.
The fact that I can pull their arms behind them, put my arm around their neck, and lift them off the ground is a submissive thing. It's not a degrading thing. When the scene is over, I'm not like, “Hey cunt, get my some baby wipes!” That doesn't really happen. That's not real-life me.
Danny: Right. But as a performer, I know you've actually been in submissive positions quite a bit. Have you ever felt like you were degraded on set? Maybe not even as a submissive performer?
Christian: No. I think the best dominant females - over submissive males - are the girls that have, through the course of their career, have been thrust in a submissive position. The girls that do anal all the time are generally better at using a strap-on on a guy. I think those girls know, just like I do in the reverse role, how far to take it and where to take it.
Danny: So have you ever felt like you were taken advantage of or anything like that on a porn set?
Christian: No. Because I'm so much bigger and stronger than everyone. There's not much those girls can do to really hurt me.
I mean, I've been punched in the head by Renee Cruz in the confines of a scene, but you know... there's nothing she can really do to me.
Danny: So how about when you've performed as a submissive – has there ever been a situation where you actually felt empowered?
Christian: No. Unless you mean getting turned on enough to have an orgasm.
Danny: I mean, it could be your own, personal definition.
Christian: I think “empowered” is a strange word to use as a submissive in a scene. I don't really understand how that would ever be relevant, to be totally honest.
Danny: Do you ever enjoy being called a slut, bitch, cunt, or any other derogatory name during sex?
Christian: It rolls off my back. It doesn't even register. You can call me anything you want. I'm not worried about that.
Danny: So do you like calling other people these names?
Christian: No. First of all, I don't say much. When you're a dominant, I think it adds to the scene. But I don't think there's any force behind it in my mind.
Danny: Why do you think it adds to the scene?
Christian: I think visually and auditorily it makes for a better scene. I think the viewer gets a better sense of the dominant and submissive roles.
Danny: Moving on... What is your opinion on drugs and alcohol on set? Do you think that someone who's had a few drinks or is under the influence of Marijuana can perform with informed consent?
Danny: Okay. What about harder drugs like Cocaine or Methamphetamines?
Christian: I think that as adults, they make adult decisions to do drugs or not do drugs before a scene. Knowing that they're about to do a scene, that's their problem first and foremost.
Danny: Do you think that drug abuse in the industry is common?
Christian: Define the word, “abuse?”
Christian: Let's be honest. Unless you're extremely naïve, an ostrich, or the most myopic person ever, you have to admit that ninety-five-percent of our industry – and that includes agents, directors, producers, assistants, drivers, whoever – ninety-five-percent do some kind of drug. And Marijuana is included in that. Anyone who says the number's lower than that isn't thinking clearly.
Danny: So if you remove Marijuana, do you think that statistic is still true?
Christian: I think if you remove Marijuana it's closer to fifty percent.
Don't forget Xanax, Oxycontin, and all of those as well.
Christian: I think it's at least half.
I guess that answer being put on an interview is probably negative towards our business. That's the only reason I can guess Tyler Knight would say something like that [referring to my interview with Knight]. But if you talked to him in real life, I think he'd say, “Yeah, that's probably true.” Either that, or he doesn't hang around the business enough to know.
Remember I also see over five hundred people a year. So I guess I see a larger segment of the porn industry.
Danny: Right. So when you're talking about the fifty percent, that's with any drug that's harder than Marijuana... Well, I guess harder is a relative term.
Christian: Addictive drugs? We can use that.
Danny: So in your opinion, ninety-five-percent of the industry is using some kind of drug. And you know, that may very well be true.
Christian: I wouldn't say that's an opinion. I would say that's a fact.
Christian: Anyone that would argue that opinion, I would like to know where they get that from. I would love to have a sample on any set to see if that's true or not.
But you're saying abuse, as in they have a problem?
Christian: I think it's larger than you think. But I also think it's hidden. Because those people don't show up. Those people don't last very long. And those people are very erratic being in the business.
Trust me, I know quite a few girls who are alcoholics - who are drunk or are about to be drunk when they show up on set.
But if you show up high or gacked out, there's no way you can do a scene. So it's never gonna be on set. It's gonna be in real life.
Danny: We're gonna move on to a slightly different topic. What are your feelings on condom use on straight sets? Do you think they should be presented as a choice?
Christian: I mean, let's be honest. Not even as a male performer, but as a male... No one wants to wear a condom when they're having sex. Any guy who tells you he does is lying. He's giving you a political answer. I mean, who has sex with their girlfriend with a condom on? No one. Why? Because you don't want to do it.
The fact of the matter is that porn is a fantasy. And fantasy's don't include condoms... ever. That's a fact.
What Eli Cross [in previous interview] said is right on. People have tried it. It doesn't sell. You can't do it. It's not a fantasy.
Danny: Do you feel like there are any pros to using them on set, or no?
Christian: I think it's irrelevant. I think that you, as an adult, have made an informed decision to be in the business. You know what the business entails: non-condom sex. If you don't want to have non-condom sex, there's no one forcing you to be in the business. Go do something else. There's no one holding a gun to your head, saying, “Go do porno.” If you don't want to do it, don't do it.
If you know that there's no condoms in scenes, then how can you be like, “Oh, I want to use a condom.” You know that no one uses condoms.
But let me just say this as a producer: If a girl says she wants to use a condom, I'm not gonna send her home. Yeah, we'll use a condom. I might not use the scene, but...
Danny: Wait, if you're not gonna use the scene, why would you shoot it?
Christian: To avoid any kind of legal problems. That's all I need – a girl screaming that she's gonna sue me, and it becomes a big deal. No thanks.
Maybe I'll even put it up. But I don't know. Probably not.
Danny: What are some ways a porn director, such as yourself, ensures the consent of a performer other than their physical appearance on set? Or do you think that's enough?
Christian: That's not my job.
If you show up to set, and you fill out a model release, and then you do a scene, it's A-to-B-to-C-to-D. If you can't make it from A-to-B-to-C-to-D, then you don't work. Everything besides that doesn't make any difference.
I don't really understand what the question is.
Am I supposed to give the performers some sort of test to make sure they can consent to the scene that's about to happen?
Danny: No. The point of this question is that there is a contemporary, anti-porn movement that says that most people in porn are being coerced into what they're doing. So I'm just asking you...
Christian: Well, unless you count dollar bills as coercion, I don't understand. I mean, I guess it's a form of coercion because they need to make money to survive, and this may be their best way to make money. I wouldn't say it's their only way to make money.
I mean, the word “coercion” means that somehow someone is forcing you to do it. Who? There's a thousand girls in the business. If a girl doesn't want to do a scene, I'll get someone else. Trust me, someone will show up.
Danny: I totally understand. I'm on your side.
Christian: I understand. I just don't see how that could ever be an argument for anyone with an IQ over seventy.
Danny: Well, it is an argument for some reason.
Christian: I guess if you knew nothing about the business, you could assume these girls have some kind of pimp that sits there on set and stares at them, and makes sure they do the scene – which is obviously one-hundred-percent false.
But let me just add this: Do I think there are girls who do scenes and have to give that money to somebody else? Of course. Without a doubt.
Danny: Like somebody who acts as a pimp?
Christian: Without a doubt. I have no doubt in my mind.
Danny: And do you think that's something that's fairly common?
Christian: No, I don't think it's common. But it's there.
I mean, I don't want to give a percentage. But it's there.
Danny: Okay. Well, this is a slightly different question, but... Some companies I know you've worked for conduct interviews either before or after a scene. I know Tristan Taormino does this, Kink.com....
Christian: Sure, sure... Dungeon Corp as well.
Danny: Do you think these interviews effect the sex scene in any way?
Christian: No. I don't think they do at all.
Danny: Do you think it has an effect on consumers at all?
Christian: No. I think it's strictly for legal purposes. I don't think the consumers even watch it unless it's outtakes or BTS [behind the scenes footage].
Danny: Do you think that consumers should assume that the performers are providing full consent despite things like interviews?
Christian: I think that the consumers know that the two performers in a scene are adults. And as adults, they do things under their own free will. So if you know that, then the interview is irrelevant.
If you're an adult, you make adult decisions.
Danny: So if, for example, you're watching a scene from a company you've never heard of, and you've never seen these performers before, and they're participating in a staged rape scenario – do you think that anything other than an interview would make you feel comfortable watching that? Or would you feel comfortable watching it in the first place?
Christian: It depends on where it's from. If it's a US-made production, than I'd be comfortable. If it were something else, it would be...
I'll give you a good example: There's a Brazilian site with female porn stars blowing horses. In the US, that would never happen. Because it's obviously something that's illegal. But in Brazil, somehow there that site is.
So I would assume if it's illegal in the US, but they're shooting it somewhere else, the girls are doing it under duress somehow.
Danny: Strictly because it's outside the United States?
Christian: And it's something that's illegal inside the United States.
Danny: So do you think that companies even within the United States that produce rough or violent content – such as Dungeon Corp, Kink.com, other stuff like that – do you think that they should be held to higher standards in terms of providing interviews, or consent, or things like that?
Christian: I think if they're smart, they'd do it legally. Especially because the better the stuff is, the more people watch it. The more people watch it, the more likely that someone might get squeamish about something. So I think legally it makes sense.
Personally, I don't think it makes any difference to the scene.
Danny: Are there any sexual acts you believe should not be performed on camera other than illegal activity such as rape or the depiction of minors?
Christian: No. Not really. I'm pretty liberal when it comes to that. Whatever you've agreed to do beforehand is cool, you know?
Danny: Well, that's actually the end. Is there anything you want to add?
Christian: I don't want anyone to get the impression that I don't care about the well-being of the performers on my set. I think, obviously, as a businessman, the better your people are treated, the more they want to work for you. And so I always try to make a set as safe and inviting as possible. If I ever feel there is someone doing something under duress, then I'm gonna stop it.
Remember, I am lucky in the fact that I shoot pretty cookie-cutter porn. I don't really come across those situations because I don't shoot anything other than really middle-of-the-road, vanilla sex. So that's never gonna be an issue. “Oh, he punched her in the face.” It's never gonna happen.
Danny: So can I just ask you a question then – Have you ever, as a director, come across a situation where performers didn't want to work with each other? Or something like that?
Christian: Yeah, of course. Happens all the time.
Look who you're talking to, Danny.
Danny: [laughs] I know, I know. The point of the interview is to show other people...
Christian: I'm on more “no-lists” than every guy in this business put together. I know everything about “no-lists.”
Danny: Alright. So what do you do in a situation like that if you're a director?
Christian: First of all, as a male performer who's gone through the same thing, I'm gonna fire the person who doesn't want to work. If there's a guy and a girl, and the guy doesn't want to work with the girl but the girl wants to work with the guy, then the guy's getting canned. Whoever doesn't want to do the scene is getting lost. I'm not gonna shoot somebody who doesn't want to work.
Does that not make sense?
Danny: That makes perfect sense.
Christian: That's just always been my feeling.
Now, I will say this: I have a lot of leeway. I shoot two or three scenes a day, so I can juggle people around. It's not a set-in-stone type of thing. Plus I shoot a lot of days, so I can usually change somebody's day to a different day. So on and so forth.
So it's not really as much of an issue for me as it may be for some of the older, DVD guys who are shooting five scenes, and that's it.
Remember, there's also guys who are pretty frikkin' lazy, who don't want to work. So if someone's on a “no-list,” they just cancel it and move on. I'd rather show a little finesse and see if I can fix the situation so no one loses money, I get a good scene, and everyone's boundaries are respected.
Is there any other way you would think you would want people to treat your, or handle stuff like that?
Danny: No, no. I mean, that seems fairly straight-forward.
Christian: What else can you do?
Danny: I don't think the majority of porn does any sort of coercion. I'm just trying to paint a picture by getting as many people as possible to share their experiences.
So thank you for sharing.