Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Old Reliable's Prince Charming Might be on Death Row

By David Hurles

I’ve been a very lucky guy. I’ve always liked sex, sex with men, gay men of course, but I’ve had a particular liking for sex with straight men. Something about them has always excited me. Many straight men having sex with a gay man likely define the experience as something other than sex, if they overly concern themselves with thinking too much about it at all. Labels don’t really much matter. If there are orgasms involved, then it’s sex.

The sixties were great. San Francisco was unbelievable. I was young (and assumed I always would be), and I found my calling laboring in the vineyards of erotica. I started shooting pictures of naked men, mostly straight, and have kept on doing it for forty years.

From time to time someone has said to me that I probably shoot the type of men that populate my work because they are “what’s available.” Uh, not exactly. In fact, I’ve spent most of my career avoiding the standard issue gay porn-star, actor, model, and escort. It’s nothing personal, since I would gladly sleep with most of them. But as for working with them, it’s just too much like work for me. I like to approach a subject as a blank slate, and listen to him, and learn. And this very frequently leads to sex–exciting sex.

The artist Rex, writing about Old Reliable men [the moniker Hurles used with his photographs] in the book Speeding, said “His models were the detritus of the American dream: dropouts, drug addicts, ex-cons, and schemers. Homeless and just passing through…Year after year Hurles…documented their courage and bravado….Their dangerous personas held a hypnotic allure.”

Actually, my most recent sex was a homeless man, living on the hillside near the Hollywood Bowl. I don’t chase after grungy encounters. This man was someone you could eat without washing first. He was lean and sleek and muscular, blatantly tattooed, an amazing specimen for a 47-year-old man. Straight, but had been around. Soon we identified several people and places in common from years gone by. He brought a joint and we did fantastic things until the sun came up.

A review on the Bijouworld.com site out of Chicago of one of my videos, possibly overstates the matter when the reviewer refers to my models as “….the lowest of the lowlife hustlers….the kind of men not normally seen in porn. Hurles likes them rough, doped-up, criminally insane, and straight.”

Same reviewer, different video, allows that ”this is pretty amazing stuff, unlike almost anything else–not so much pornography as a peek inside a dark universe where the presented pleasures are not what most people would imagine….it’s also terrifically hot…bound to blow a few minds.”

There have been several thousand models. When they are not in prison, or very married, it has been my practice to stay in touch with many of them, often over decades. They are my friends. People change, but relationships usually become more familiar, more intimate. I maintain that if sex is good the first time, it can only get better. In fact, perfect can replace ordinary every time once a person accepts that pleasure and gratification require something from each participant.

I could tell tales about practically every man I’ve worked with. They would not all be equal. Some tales would be very dark, others bright and exciting and hot, none of them dull. But there could never be enough time. Here are tales about a couple men, and a few of life’s lessons.

Excerpt from "Old Reliable's Prince Charming Might be on Death Row". Box Magazine, Issue 6.2

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