Hi, porn fans! Rowena Rumpus here. Welcome to a very special edition of PornULike. In a departure from my usual reportage on what’s coming up – pun most definitely intended – in the world of porn, today I’m interviewing the gorgeous Scott Masters [Scott waves a hand] as part of his celebration of twenty years gracing our screens with that magnificent bod of his. [Looks Scott up and down] Mm mmm, honey, you’re even better lookin’ in the flesh. [fans self]
Scott: [laughs] Why, thank you, ma’am.
Rowena: I’ve been watching you for more years than I care to remember. Put it this way – I remember watching you and the absolutely delicious Armando DiMarco in some of your first scenes together.
Scott: Surely not. You can’t be that old!
Rowena: [gasps] Why, Scott, you Southern gentleman, you! [grins] You certainly know how to sweet-talk a girl. I could just sit here and listen to that Georgia drawl all morning, but I have questions, so let’s get started, shall we?
Scott: [leans back into couch] Fire away, honey.
Rowena: As I stated earlier, it's been twenty years since you first graced our screens. How did the magnificent Scott Masters get started in porn?
Scott: I finished high school and went off to college, where I majored in business. I graduated after four years from Georgia Tech. All through college I worked in bars. Back then I was earning $300 a night as a barback. I worked my way up to bartender at the Armory in midtown Atlanta, working nights, including weeknights. It wasn’t long before I realized I was making more money working in gay bars than I would be in a job related to my degree. So I stuck with that.
Rowena: You still work behind a bar, right?
Scott: Yes, ma’am. I work in Woofs, a sports bar in Atlanta, three, sometimes four nights a week.
Rowena: [holds up hand] Just give me a minute, all right? I’m picturing you behind a bar, shaking up a mean cocktail. [shivers] Woof is right! I bet you have the guys lining up to be served by you. So how did you go from bartender to porn star?
Scott: I was working at Backstreet at the time. I was twenty-three. Well, one night this guy starts hitting on me. He was gorgeous, cute, sexy, and I was flattered because I’d seen him in porn movies. I couldn’t believe he was even talking to me. He sat in front of me all night, chatting away, flirting like crazy. Suddenly there’s this guy next to him—turns out he was a director for a porn studio—and he’s asking me if I wanna do porn. Just like that. I was saving up for a house, so the offer came at a really good time.
Rowena: Sounds like the dream job – being paid to be on your back. [grins at Scott] or on all fours, tied up, tied down – you’ve certainly had a diverse career, I’ll say that. I saw some of your scenes for Cronus’ Tough line. My, my, honey – you in leather. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. [fans self rapidly]
Scott: [laughs] I loved shooting with them. It brought out a side to me I’d never realized existed. But yeah, going back to how I got started… I was twenty-three. I enjoyed having sex. I figured, why not get paid for doing something I loved?
Rowena: There have to have been some memorable moments for you in all that time. Are there any you can share with us?
Scott: What to choose? Shooting with Raffaele D’Alancare, who was such a stream of ideas, and loved that I loved and wanted to try every single one. We filmed for thirteen hours straight, which would usually be a completely ridiculous length for a shooting day, but we were having so much fun! And I always loved working with Armando, both while we were dating and after our split; we may not have worked out as a couple, but we were always best friends and good colleagues. Funny, most of the really memorable moments are the embarrassing ones, when everyone bursts out laughing. We look back and smile now, but if I related any of them publicly, I’d probably be murdered in my sleep by someone.
Rowena: [snickers] Twenty years.... my, my, you must have seen some changes during that time. Do you think porn has changed much?
Scott: Hell, yes! You go back and look at porn fifteen, twenty years ago or even further back than that, and go back to the days when porn was looking for creative ways to keep guys in the theater. Look at the story lines they would create or the interesting ways they would have of presenting sex. The amount of sheer creativity that went into everything that wasn’t 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 just want to get on with it. In fact, now I’m seeing that it’s not even whole scenes. Studios are almost all going to a pay-per-minute format, so nobody has to actually buy a whole scene. Don’t get me started on what that’s gonna do to the art form!
Rowena: Oh, honey, I remember the days of VHS. I would fast-forward through the dialogue to get to the good stuff.
Scott: My point exactly. And filming has changed a lot, too. 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.
Rowena: You miss those days?
Scott: [smiles] Then, the reward was the sex, not just the cum shot. That’s why I like filming with studios like ManFactory, which does a little bit of scripting. We make it as brief as possible, but in some cases you need time to set it up, especially if I’m doing a scene with a much younger guy. You don’t want people looking at it and thinking it’s pederasty. And let’s face it, kids are so much more confident these days. A lot of the time in the real world it’s the kid who initiates now.
Rowena: That actually brings me on to another question. A lot of your scenes nowadays are with gay-for-pay performers. What are your views on that?
Scott: 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's daunting enough when 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 five minutes, he loses his hard-on because he’s not turned on, and he has to go watch titty porn for the next five minutes. In the meantime I lose my hard-on. Usually filming with gay-for-pay co-stars means a long day.
Rowena: Surely there have to be huge numbers of perfectly willing and capable gay men out there who can do the job, without resorting to hiring straight boys to do this.
Scott: The only theory I have with ManFactory is that they are part of a larger umbrella company that does mostly straight porn. ManFactory is their one little gay red-headed stepchild. The straight side is not as constrained about safer sex rules as the gay side, but they are concerned about transmission of diseases. The straight side generally requires testing for diseases. And although ManFactory 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 guys who aren’t as likely to be an expose risk. That maybe means straight guys. And as a result there are a slew of really great performers that they can’t hire because they’re positive.
Rowena: But there are studios who do, right?
Scott: [nods] Rock Hard Men out in LA does, as does TopMen.
Rowena: Speaking of which, I've been taking a look at the list of studios you've filmed for. Thirty-odd, some of which I don’t even recognize the names of. My, haven't you been a busy boy? But one thing I have noticed - you've consistently filmed with studios who produce condom porn. Is this something you feel strongly about? What are your views on barebacking? Or should I phrase that differently - your views on those studios who produce bareback porn?
Scott: When I started out, most studios filmed porn with condoms. We were only just at the end of the fullest part of the AIDS crisis, huge numbers of porn actors had died of the infection in the previous ten years, and everyone was being far more careful to take care of themselves and each other. I know things are a little different now, what with HIV medications being reasonably effective and there being preventative measures like PrEP out there, but old habits and concerns die hard, ya know? I still want to take absolutely good care of myself and anyone I work with. Not from just HIV, but any other infection out there. Look, I’ll be the first to say that there’s a right and appropriate time to dispense with condoms, like when you’ve found your life partner and are being exclusive with him, or at least going bareback exclusively with him. For the rest out there, though, I still think it’s important to be someone willing to stand up for the fact that condoms might alter the feel of sex, but they don’t diminish the connection that sex should reflect, and hence should still be used as a viable protection measure.
Rowena: Some might suggest that the growing number of studios doing bareback is due to greater use of PrEP. I know there's a lot of misinformation out there about Truvada - care to share your opinions?
Scott: It’s no surprise that bareback is becoming so prevalent. I mean, if you fantasize about sex, do you think about stopping to roll on a condom? And if porn is about fantasy, it makes sense that condomless porn is so popular. I’d like to think that PrEP may be part of that equation, but I think it’s an excuse to justify what is otherwise a business decision. Times are hard for porn these days; these new ways it sells have drastically reduced how much money a studio makes. Naturally many have revised their policies to reflect the customer demand. I’d have a lot more respect for those studios if they would just ’fess up that this is their motivation, instead of hiding behind a pseudo-moral façade of “PrEP makes it all okay.” It doesn’t. It only addresses one disease of a panoply of them. It’s not even really the most dangerous one any more.
Rowena: Wow. Thanks for that, Scott. You’re a real ‘shoot-from-the-hip’ kinda guy, aren’t ya?
Scott: [grins] So I’ve been told, on more than one occasion.
Rowena: So, sweetie, will it be another twenty years for Scott Masters? What do you see in your crystal balls - I mean, ball? [snicker]
Scott: [laughs] To be honest? I don’t know. The industry is changing all the time, and I’m starting to feel like I don’t fit. These days in most of my scenes I’m either the Daddy or the Bear. Can you say, typecasting? [Rowena chuckles] So I rarely feel challenged any more on set. And things are changing in my personal life, too.
Rowena: Oh? Anything you’d care to share with your fans?
Scott: [smiles] Right now? Not really, but I’m sorta hopeful that things are moving in the right direction with a certain someone. And maybe it’s time for a few changes in my professional life too. [grins] You’ll have to wait and see.
Rowena: And on that note – you tease! – we come to the end of our interview! Thank you, Scott Masters, it’s been wonderful having you on my couch. [chuckles] That came out all wrong – or maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part.
Scott: Thank you, Rowena.