20 Questions With XL: His Insecurities, His Favorite Co-Stars, And What He Thinks Of Racism In Gay Porn

Posted February 4, 2015 by with 75 comments

SONY DSCGay porn star and fan favorite XL has been turning in one great performance after another for over two years, and 2015 is set to be his biggest yet. For reasons I try to unpack below, I hadn’t discovered his work until only recently, so I’m making up for a lot of lost time in this week’s “20 Questions With…

What makes him insecure? Which performer would he like to work with again? What are his thoughts on racism in gay porn? Gay porn star XL reveals all that and more in this week’s “20 Questions With…

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1. Let’s start with the basics: What is your height, weight, age, and city in which you live?
5’11”, 186, 22 years old, and I currently reside in Atlanta.

2. Are you currently single or dating?
I’m dating, although I keep my relationship life extremely private from public view. People don’t care when you’re single, but the moment you mention you’re taken, people get upset.

3. What are the three main things you look for in a partner?
First off, I look for financial stability. We can’t date unless you’re working. I can’t fund myself and the dude I’m pursuing at the same time, and I’ve had people use me in the past, so I’m not looking to go down that route again. I prefer an equal relationship. The second thing would be someone who doesn’t resort to mean-spirited actions or arrogance. I meet people all the time who do nothing but brag about what they have, and they are obsessed with being “seen.” I prefer a chill kinda guy who doesn’t need excess attention from the public. Third would be that whoever I date has to accept the fact that I play video games, watch films often, and cook. Now, it sounds like, “who wouldn’t be okay with that?” but some guys my age don’t play video games (they club every week instead), they despise classic cinema or reading movies with subtitles, and they hate to cook. Those are guys I usually avoid.

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4. When you’re not shooting gay porn, what do you do in your free time? Do you have a day job or is performing your main focus right now?
I paint frequently, and I love art related projects and museums. I do have a regular 9 to 5 to pay my bills of course. Porn is secondary to anything I do because I know that I can’t perform forever. I love it, but it doesn’t consume my life. Video games and food consume my life. LOL.

5. What is one aspect of shooting gay porn you know now that you wish you would’ve known before you did your first scene? In other words, what advice would “experienced” XL give to “newcomer” XL?
Experienced XL would probably be less likely to welcome people into his life as easily as newcomer XL did. I’m a strong minded individual, but I had to realize that not everyone is your friend in this industry. Some guys only want to fuck me or take things from me, and of course if I don’t give that to them I get labeled as the “bitchy arrogant” guy. I would probably tell newcomer XL to be careful of people.

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6. Your flip-fuck with Krave is one of the best scenes I’ve watched in a long time, but I’m embarrassed to admit I only discovered it last week. Do you think studios like DawgPound could do a better job promoting their content for blogs to push, or should bloggers like myself do a better job at seeking out more diverse content?
I know for a fact that some content produced within the black gay porn market isn’t always distributed correctly. There’s either an issue with racism that prevents many urban performers from being seen, or some new performers who sign with big name companies receive more promotion. I think in general the content should be marketed in a better way with certain teams hired to specifically advertise. Not all urban companies have that like some major studios. Some urban companies don’t even have a copyright department, so when their material is leaked and pirated they lose money and pretend not to care until their membership rates decline.

7. A common topic here—especially in the comments—is the lack of diversity in gay porn. I’ve heard from some producers and directors that they simply don’t receive a lot of applications from African-American performers, but I’m skeptical of that. Why do you think there are so few men of color featured in so-called “mainstream” gay porn?
I have firsthand experience with this lack of diversity. I’ve been doing porn for over two years now and I’m still not where I want to be, to be honest. I’ve applied to several “mainstream” sites and I receive emails back saying that they aren’t hiring, or that I should “tone-up” more, even though their models are smaller than me. Or, some don’t reply back at all. There’s a huge prejudice in the gay porn industry that people don’t like to talk about because it’s deemed as taboo. I don’t mind talking about it because it’s a fact of life.

8. To me, it’s basically segregation.
Majority of urban gay performers I know who apply to mainstream sites are denied while models more “fitting to their standard” are hired. Not only does that keep urban performers working only with urban studios, but it really makes advancement in this industry an unattainable goal. It made me want to quit porn recently, but I remained hopeful and I haven’t been let down completely yet. Some mainstream companies push for diversity and I love them for it.

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9. I’ve been told that gay porn with African-American (or Asian, or Latino) models is more profitable when it’s marketed as a niche category or as a fetish. Are labels like “thug porn” wrong and problematic?
I first started out doing thug porn, and it was degrading to me. Mainly because I don’t act like a thug and I didn’t feel that I should have to conform to a stereotype to be sexy. I’m sexy in my own way. I think six years ago it was a big problem, but now more companies are getting rid of that thug image to present a “less offensive” visual to worldwide viewers. Certain things just don’t fly anymore in 2015.

10. Can “thug” also be just a harmless way to sell a product?
In the South where most urban porn is produced, “thug” isn’t geared to be offensive. It’s simply a persona meant to sexually satisfy. It’s black producers hiring black models who are naturally sexy already and who may have more of an urban appeal than some other guys. But most my criticism is for companies that rarely hire black models, then when they do they propose that they act like a “nigga” or act like a thug in order to appeal to their customers.

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11. You recently won a Blatino Award, DawgPound is running a “Win A Date” contest with you, and you just shot with Raging Stallion. Did you always plan to blow up like this and become a star, or has all the success taken you by surprise?
I didn’t, to be honest. I just try to work hard and have fun. The porn image isn’t that glamorous to me. I enjoy the people I meet and the places I travel, but ask anyone who gets to know me. I’m really just a regular guy. It’s been a surprise and I’m usually very shy.

12. How do you stay grounded in such a crazy industry?
Weed, food, and intellectual conversations with some great friends. I’m naturally silly and I have fun. That’s what life is about. We already have to work until we die, so might as well have fun along the way.

13. You have the gay porn holy trinity: Perfect face, perfect cock, perfect ass. Without forcing you to brag about yourself, what do you think it is about you that draws so many people in?
I honestly don’t know. I just try to be myself and people seem to like me. I’m not perfect by any means. I get super emotional at times and I don’t work out as much as I should. I just have high energy and drive to perform sexually I guess. I love sex!

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14. Do you ever get insecure? What about?
YES. About my body sometimes, and about what people think of me. Lately it doesn’t bother me as much, but before I was so emotional that I wondered if porn was even something that I should be doing. You have to have a tough skin and a hard mentality in this industry. People tend to walk all over you if they assume all you do is suck dick for money, which isn’t the case for any porn performer. Porn is very competitive, so keeping a good image is essential in getting booked for a scene.

15. Did you know you were hot growing up? Did people hit on you a lot, and at what point did you decide to become a gay porn star?
People didn’t hit on me as much when I was growing up. I had a hard high school life. I was made fun of, ridiculed, and mocked for being openly gay. I had a lot of private sex, which is great, but I think I’m a freak. So, getting into porn allowed me to explore and enhance my sexuality.

16. What does it take to be considered a gay porn “star”?
I still don’t consider myself a “star.” Once I work with two more mainstream studios, then possibly…LMAO. If I call myself a star, I always use it in a joking sense to build confidence. Other people may see me as that, but I’ve been in book stores, airports, and bars just casually getting a drink, and people don’t notice me. I like to blend in more than be seen.

17. Would you ever date another gay porn star?
If we had very similar ideas, yes, but currently I don’t plan on that happening.

xl tyson tyler18. Of all the scene partners you’ve had, with whom would you like to work again?
Tyson Tyler and Jovonnie, simply because they are professionals and very fun people to be around. I enjoy people with good vibes and fun energy.

19. Lightning Round! Using just ONE word, please give me your FIRST reaction to the following people/topics.
Bareback gay porn
: Hot
Chi Chi LaRue: Flawless
Truvada: Precautionary
Diesel Washington: Legend
Sean Cody: Sexy
Tyson Tyler: Amazing
Colby Keller: Creative
Open relationships: Neutral
Björk: Goddess
Jeb Bush: Complicated
Escorting/Rentboy: Business
Valentine’s Day: Bullshit
Hillary Clinton: Love
Gay porn star GoFundMe campaigns: Fallacious

54892_1220. For new fans just discovering your work, what is the one scene of yours that you recommend they watch ASAP?
My scene with Tyson Tyler on NextDoorEbony. I was fully into it with my ass spread on that table!

21. Finally, anything you’d like to let your fans know before I let you go?
I’d like to thank everyone for the love and support so far. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t continue to be in porn. It wouldn’t be worth the hassle. But they make it so much more enjoyable. Thank you for allowing me to be myself. I was excessively honest in this interview. I hope I didn’t offend anyone but just wanted to get my story out. Thank you again for allowing me to do that.

You’re welcome. And thank you, XL!

[NextDoorEbony: Tyson Tyler And XL]