Why Do Gay Porn Stars Kill Themselves?

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About Conner Habib

Conner Habib is a writer, gay porn star, and lecturer. He hosts a sex and relationship advice web show on Logo TV's NewNowNext.com site. He lives in San Francisco where he eats a lot of pastries and runs a Rudolf Steiner spirituality and science discussion group. Follow him on Twitter: @ConnerHabib.

Comments

  1. Such wonderful questions you pose for actors, producers, and viewers. Really thought provoking work. Thanks.

    • I am just wondering if gay porn is such a wonderful and lucrative career step why do performers in the business ALL advise against entering the gay porn industry. Jake Genesis comes to mind as do many others. Years ago while in college I posed for some art pics that are still on the web today. Scott Brown posed for “Playgirl” and those pics are still brought up! I am a professional today and these pics still haunt me as they do Scott Brown. If you are a young man stay away from professional porn!

  2. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before but after going through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.

    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I came across it and I’ll
    be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

  3. wow, this is the best article about porn I have ever read on GMP

  4. Dan Flowers says:

    I thought this was going to be an article about suicide, only to find it was a documentary about porn. I don’t think porn was THE issue. It could have been a hundred other things that pushed a person (black, white, gay, straight, whatever) to a point where they felt compelled to take their own life. It may not have even had anything to do with life choices at all. I have known people who felt like they made all the right choices who still wound up in a position that they needed to get out of by whatever means possible.

    Who was responsible for his death? He was. Period. We are all ultimately the only people we can blame for our own life choices. I make no excuses, and I don’t allow other people to make excuses for me or pretend I am a victim. If one day I decide that I want to end my life on MY terms, (one of the few bits of control we have in this world) I expect no hand-wringing or sadness or people trying to do post-mortems on who was to blame. I was. You are. He was. Move on…

  5. David May says:

    Back in 1990s I reviewed gay porn for a few different skin magazines — it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. Living in San Francisco at the time, I was sometimes invited to shoots or industry parties and found myself a causal acquaintances with some of the models (which is to say that we exchanged a butch upward nod of recognition when we passed each other on the street or at the gym.) Some of the models were engaging, even charming. A few were as dumb as a post — fulfilling the sterotype of the stupid stud for hire (think Joe Buck from *Midnight Cowboy*) — but were nonetheless rather sweet. Rarely were they arrogant or unpleasant.

    The common complaint I heard from the models was the lack of respect they sometimes received from fans. Some fans assumed that a man whose image they had wanked to in private was public property, others that all models were available for hire (which they are not.) I discovered that they, like all performers, had to develop a clear sense of personal boundaries, a way to keep an arm’s length distance from people they didn’t know, to keep some precious part of themselves from the world at large. (One suspects, but cannot prove, that those unable to set those boundaries are the ones that, as in the tragic case of Joey Stephano, crash and burn.)

    About 12 years ago I was at an Event in Chicago and ran into my favorite porn star. With the boldness given one by a Press Pass, I approached him and asked for a picture. He graciously agreed, then offered to let his buddy take a picture of us together. I felt flushed and foolish — kind of like a boy with a crush on the camp counselor who waits for the moments when the counselor tossles his hair with a friendly hand. He asked if it would be okay with my husband (one supposes he saw the wedding ring) and I could only blush and guffaw in response. He put his arm around for the photo and I felt my knees grow weak. After the photo I told him: “I’m sure everyone tells you this, but you really are my favorite.” He thanked me and kissed my cheek making me feel even weaker in the knees than before.) Later when i told people about this brief episode, I was told that he inparticular was offended by being treated disrespectfully. Apparently my respect and sincere awe were enough to break down the barrier for that moment, I was even more flattered than before, but also not surprised that good manners were the key to breaking down those boundaries.

  6. This article was absolutely amazing. It posed questions that I have asked myself, especially about my guilt and desires for porn. While watching there is a feeling of gratitude, and then after, a feeling of guilt. This article changed my entire perspective on sex, porn and what it means to be open and honest about my desires.

  7. wellokaythen says:

    First, a basic question: do gay porn actors commit suicide at significantly higher rates than a) other porn actors or b) other gay men or c) the average for people their age? Before we ask about the role of gay porn in suicide, it would be good to figure out if there is an actual measurable phenomenon going on here, or if this is anecdotal. Not talking stereotypes here, I mean actual numbers.

    Then, the basic statistical/logical question: if there is a correlation, is it really cause and effect? It is entirely possible that people who are already at higher risk of suicide are also more likely to be porn actors, and one doesn’t cause the other. One hypothesis is that we’re talking about people who have self-esteem issues and are risk-takers, so that leads both to porn acting and suicide, not that porn work leads to suicide.

    (There are a few rare success stories in which porn acting didn’t ruin your later life. Silvester Stallone was in a few gay porn movies very early in his career, and he made it out okay. Not that he wants people to talk about that much…..)

  8. They gay life is a extremly lonely and very depressing life for many gay men. Gay men suffer from the highest rates of Aids cases and suicide per per capita. Catching Aids is pretty something men catch when they sleep with a prostitute ,promiscuous women or a Gay Man. Its not east for attractive gay men to make it if the only skill they have is doing the nasty People become old and played out .

    In places like Thialand you see beautiful guys dressed as women aka Ladyboys. These men that look better than the above average American women are on the streets trying to survive . Sometimes when life gets so bad and full of disappointments people lose the will or desire to live. Happiness is everything and when that is gone its better to be dead.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Where did you learn so much about gay people?

    • I must correct you! There are more incidences of straight people with HIV infection then gay men world wide! I don’t know where you get your information but it is wrong!

  9. I doubt his death had anything to do with porn… AT ALL. I mean, really…it was not exactly the place he lived in. He lived a whole life off-set. He was more than an actor. The suicide rate in the gay male grouping is much higher than most people realize. Google it and be amazed. When Michigan was having caniption fits over a few west nile virus death I laughed. Compare that to gay suicides. The fourth leading cause of death in men 45-65 is suicide (no sexual orientation stats included in this figure). If people aren’t growing through their mid-life crisis….
    Now tell me he died because of his sexual orientation or career choice. This ‘culture’ (and I use the term loosely) is poison to the soul, pure and simple. Porn didn’t kill Arpad (or Miklos), American culture did.

  10. Stlhdsal says:

    Please read Chris Hedges book “The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” chapter 4 about the porn industry.
    http://www.amazon.com/Empire-Illusion-Literacy-Triumph-Spectacle/dp/1568586132/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363306000&sr=8-1&keywords=chris+hedges+empire+of+illusion

  11. As a woman, wife of a recovering porn “addict” and anti-porn advocate, I will start by saying I enjoyed your article. Why? Because you state specifically what every woman knows deep inside about porn that all men deny and deny and deny with every breath – that they are receiving sexual pleasure from other “partners” through porn. Go figure it took a gay porn actor to say the very thing heterosexual men are too ashamed to say to the faces of their wives and girlfriends because deep down, they know why they are doing it and are too chicken shit to say so. I appreciate your humanity and honesty, and the attempt at bringing a more human-ness to porn actors. I might not respect your job and what it does to couples, but I respect your position and your love for humanity.

  12. What I can’t understand, especially about Arpad, is that many of these guys had successful mainstream careers, Arpad was a chemist!, he had college degrees and could have found work doing anything, why porn?
    I doubt Arpad was lacking in sexual encounters before he started doing porn, the same with the rest of these guys. They were blessed with great genes, handsome, sexy, well hung, perfect bodies, masculine, they are everything that every average guy wants to be and they off themselves? WTF? were they that empty inside?
    There has to be some common links here. Is is the porn industry, well I sure it played a part. Drugs? I’m sure it plays a part sometimes. Exsisting mental disorders? probably. I often hear after these deaths that the men had “low self esteem” WTF? Do you know how that sounds to the average joe that no one takes a second look at? If death at your own hands is the outcome for being a porn star, then I’d rather be the dud in the corner and enjoy a full life.
    The last thing that burns my ass is that the family and friends don’t ever tell why they did it, all their so called friends won’t say, perhaps if they published Arpad’s suicide notes (he left a bunch of them) , it might help in explaning the truth and dispell rumors.
    It’s hard for me to have sympthay for these guys that get it all handed to them on a silver platter and they choose to throw it away.

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