I had a long chat this morning with a legendary male performer and director about the state of the industry… not from the oft-discussed financial perspective, but simply from a jerking-off perspective.
We agreed that the golden years of this business were from the mid-90s up until around 2002. This was the era when girls were only working a few days a week, and at least half of those scenes were “easy”, i.e. for features, Ed Powers, Peter North, Randy West, etc. Basically producers that didn’t require them to be throatfucked or do anal. There were only a small number of “hard” scenes out there, for guys like Joey Silvera, Max Hardcore and the Anabolic crew. But based on the percentages, when a girl showed up on one of those sets, she was rested (mentally and physically).
My theory is that everything started collapsing around the time Red Light District took off in 2002-03. They were shooting so many hardcore scenes that girls were now doing anal and getting throatfucked every day of the week. Not only was RLD/PXP shooting so much, but the increased competition in the gonzo market forced other longtime producers to ramp up the roughness of their scenes. Boy/girl scenes were almost a thing of the past.
This trend begat a new breed of male performer who could do these types of scenes twice a day. Longtime European guys moved to LA because the money was flowing. With all those guys around, you didn’t need the Anabolic wrecking crew to shoot a DP. Almost every available guy could handle that sort of work.
Suddenly you have gone from Tom Byron being considered a “hardcore shooter” in 1996, to his stuff looking downright tame 8 years later. This is the downfall of gonzo porn. It isn’t DVD sales. It’s the zombie-like expressions on every performer’s face. Nothing is new or interesting to the talent. There are rarely unpredictable moments. There is no realness. Because everyone does everything everyday.