What I Learned From Porn Stars

And why I am proud to be their friend ~

Diego Vena and I/Summer 2015/A. Granheim

I grew up learning that porn was bad and people that watched it would most likely spend eternity in hell. That’s right, the same person who abused me, allowed me to be abused, and did a lot of pretty mean things to their own daughter, told me that if I watched porn, if I saw porn, if I did porn, if I was involved in anything at all that had to do with porn, I was going straight to hell. Too bad she didn’t realize then that I am bi-sexual. Woman, I don’t go anywhere straight.

When I met him, he was “dating” my friend. We later learned that rentboy factored into all of it, but for the most part, they were for all reasons seeing one another. I understood that Diego was going to see other clients as needed, but my friend didn’t seem to grasp that fact. He would get jealous and moody. I would laugh and remind him that Diego wasn’t his boyfriend, he wasn’t his property, he was just renting him for a short period of time.

Diego became my friend, my confident of sorts. We both liked to smoke weed and we called it “Getting Normal”. We would spend time together in the courtyard of the apartment on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood smoking different strains together and talking about life. I learned about his childhood, his dreams, what he was good at, and he learned about my insecurities, my questions about our friend, my concerns that our friend wasn’t going to survive much longer if he kept living the way he was. Diego agreed and said he would speak to him more about not using the hard drugs. I loved him for caring about our friend. I loved him because he was turning quickly into my friend.

I had seen plenty of gay porn in my life. Most of my friends are gay men, I am accepting of them and when they get out of hand I am the one that will tell them they need to calm the fuck down. If you are not familiar with the gay lifestyle in Hollywood, it’s a lot of showing off, trying to be skinnier than you are, and getting Botox on a regular basis so none of your wrinkles show in the club lights during bottle service. It is a interesting game that they play with their lives, except it isn’t a game. The cocaine keeps them skinny, the ketamine let’s them settle down a little and enjoy the club, the GHB lets them sleep, and all three of them together, or alone, are a recipe for death. It was proven, they will kill.

There was a brief time in the summer of 2014 when I was able to spend time with Brent Corrigan. James Franco is currently staring in a movie about Brents life, and I am looking forward to watching it. Brent was Bottom Of The Year I don’t know how many times. I didn’t care. What I saw when I met him was a sweet man, medium in frame, big in heart. He bought rounds for our friends at The Saloon in Minneapolis, and we stayed in touch for a while after meeting. Somehow we have drifted apart, but I would imagine he knows if he ever needed anything he could reach out to me and I would be there. He taught me some life lessons that I will never forget, and he opened my eyes to a lot of things. One of the most important is that people are quick to judge others that work in the industry. I have never worked in the industry, but I clearly believe that if you are good at something pursue it. Brent was good at bottoming. He was not ashamed of what he did or how he got there, and I was not ashamed of being his friend.

Brent Corrigan and I/Summer 2014

What I learned from being friends with these guys, and a few other people who work in the industry, is this. You can’t judge a book by it’s profession. I know that makes little sense, but just because someone fucks for a living doesn’t mean they are dirty, a bad person, going to hell, or anything else negative. All it really means is that they fuck for a living. If I would have been a judgmental bitch and not taken the time to get to know either of these guys, I would have been missing out on two very amazing people.

I can only hope that they use protection, are safe, and that they are smart in their profession, and I am sure that they are. I don’t know if either of them are still actively working in the industry itself. I don’t ask. I ask the questions friends are supposed to ask, such as “How are you?” or “What’s new?” or “When can we do lunch?”. I don’t pry, I don’t ask about their work, that is not my business.

Take the time to get to know people before you judge them. Take the time to invest in them and see what you get in return. For me, these guys, especially Diego, gave me something that is so precious and so priceless that I could never not appreciate it. He gave me the gift of friendship, and for that, I will forever be thankful.

Please Vote Yes on Californias Prop 60: https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_60,_Condoms_in_Pornographic_Films_(2016)

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