Conner Habib!


Everyone’s favourite college instructor turned porn star, Conner Habib has signed on to Straight Guys. Blogger, NewNowNext Sexpert, prolific Vine-er, Conner can provide an articulate, intelligent (and handsome) insight into the world of gay porn, and into gay men’s attraction to straight guys. If you haven’t already, check out his fantastic blog here.


Money Money Money pt. 2

More great news: Straight Guys was just awarded a Social Studies and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC – pronounced ‘shirk’ for those in the know) Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship!  The long title comes with a weighty sum: $17,500! SSHRC “seeks to develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students in the social sciences and humanities who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies.”  Yeah, guy.

I’m thrilled and honoured to have been chosen.  See the full list of competition winners here (PDF).  “Straight Guys” stands out kind of adorably from the other project titles.

Dr. Sharif Mowlabocus

danielsharifOver the last week I travelled to London, UK, to meet with Professor Sharif Mowlabocus.  Dr. Mowlabocus is a professor of Media Studies at the University of Sussex in Brighton and is the author of Gaydar Culture and multiple articles in academic journals and anthologies.

Sharif took time out of his busy schedule to meet with me in London (at the lovely Whitechapel Gallery Cafe) to discuss the project and the interview.  Even this ‘getting-to-know-you’ pre-interview produced some amazing results.  With Sharif I got to looking at the project from an entirely different angle.  We came up with two things I had never thought of before: that Straight Guy Porn taps into fantasies that many (if not all) gay men had in their youth and young adulthood for that classmate, lifeguard or neighbour who was inevitably straight.  It also subtly hints at the flexibility of sexuality – if these Corbin Fisher and Sean Cody can experiment with their sexuality (and seemingly enjoy the results) then maybe heterosexuality isn’t the inflexible monolith it’s made out to be.

The following day, Sharif met me at the lovely University of Sussex campus in Brighton, where we filmed the interview.  He spoke of porn’s role as an educational tool, as examples of gay sex and love that aren’t readily available in mainstream film and television.  He also spoke about the importance of online gay porn to those who are outside gay metropolises (the ‘gay diaspora’, as he calls it) who otherwise would not have access to gay culture.  The interview was a great success (as evidenced by how happy we are in the photo above) and I look forward to working with Dr. Mowlabocus in the future.

You can order his book Gaydar Culture here.

Money Money Money

Success! Straight Guys is the recipient of an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, which is $15,000!  I’m so honoured and pleased that my little gay porn project got chosen amongst so many interesting stories and research.  It’s a huge validation of my research and will allow me to travel and produce this film the way I had imagined.  I’m very grateful.

Jeffrey Escoffier

Jeffrey Escoffier, author of Bigger Than Life: The History Of Gay Porn Cinema From Beefcake to Hardcore and American Homo: Community and Perversity took the time to speak to me in his Brooklyn home.

We spoke about the evolution of gay porn from the 70s with the emergence of hard core, to the 80s when the AIDS crisis cemented top and bottom roles and made a star of straight perfomer Jeff Stryker, to the 90s explosion of VHS.  We also spoke about his relationship with 90s straight star Rod Barry, an infatuation that grew into a friendship.

Jeffrey was wonderful.  Incredibly knowledgeable and insightful, he is a font of information and history.  He lays the foundation for my exploration of Straight Guy Porn, which is somewhat an evolution of the Gay-for-Pay films of the late 80s and 90s.

Bigger Than Life is available in both hardcover and Kindle formats.