Man Talk :: Steven Daigle XXX-posed
Even in 2011, the existence of pornography in someone's past is treated as a dirty little secret that is rationalized as something done when a person was young, stupid and broke. Dustin Zito did porn way before he appeared on the most recent season of "The Real World: Las Vegas," then used the show to "come out" about his gay porn past. But the fact that Zito repeatedly claims to be 100% straight despite being shot on film in sexual situations with other men makes it hard to believe that there wasn't something he enjoyed about the experience other than the paycheck.
Times are changing, however. Take, for instance, the career of Steven Daigle, who first came to fame as the 'gay cowboy' on the CBS summer reality series "Big Brother" in 2008, has now proudly carved out a niche in the adult male film industry... and does so with no shame whatsoever.
While some may see Daigle as a flash-in-the-pan stud who is only using his reality show fame to get more attention and make a few extra bucks, Daigle recently talked to EDGE's Jim Halterman about his determination to be taken seriously about the business. All criticism aside, with every porn studio hiring him and his Best Newcomer win at the Grabby Awards last month, he's currently proving that his staying power is (pardon the expression) long and hard.
Not a porn star
EDGE: Congratulations on your win at the Grabbys!
Steven Daigle: I was literally shocked, but I’m thrilled to have it.
EDGE: How surreal is it for you that despite what some of your critics have said about your place in the business that you are now an award-winning porn star?
Steven Daigle: It’s really interesting because I came into the industry and everyone said,’He’s not really a porn star and he’s only selling movies because he came from reality TV and that’s it.’
Then, I win an award from within the industry. Some people will say the awards are politically driven, but I’m not exclusive for any one studio and there’s nobody who would stick their neck out and say, ’Hey, give him an award because our studio wants to sell more movies.’
There’s no motivation for anyone to do that. I am basically as a free agent and people within the industry decide who gets this award. I was expecting absolutely nothing. There were no expectations to walk away with anything, so I feel very honored.
About Big Brother
EDGE: With your popularity growing, have any studios asked to sign you to an exclusive contract?
Steven Daigle: I have not. Nobody wants to take a bet on me. I don’t know if people think, ’Oh, he’s a flash in the pan and he’s not going to last that long.’ I don’t really know. I try not to read too much into it. There have been a lot of studios that I have worked for numerous times but nobody has wanted to do a long-term deal with me, which is fine.
EDGE: So maybe it’s a blessing in disguise?
Steven Daigle: When I first got into the business, Chi Chi LaRue wanted me to make three movies with her and that was all she wanted me to make. She told me point blank, ’You’re going to make way more money and be way more successful if you go out and work for everyone than if I sign you exclusive for just myself. I’m doing you a favor by sending you out into the world.’ She was right.
EDGE: Let’s go back to the beginning of all this with "Big Brother." You’ve said before that the producers wanted you to come on the show as a specific type.
Steven Daigle: They wanted a gay cowboy and contacted gay rodeo associations looking for someone that they thought would be a good character for the show. They came to me and said, ’Hey, we know you and you should email the producers’ so I emailed them and I was a shoe-in. It’s such a small niche and there aren’t a lot of young, attractive, gay rodeo people so it was pretty simple.
EDGE: How was the experience of filming the show? Were you already pretty out at the time?
Steven Daigle: When I moved to Dallas is when I started my out life. I moved there with a boyfriend. I had never hidden my sexuality before I moved Dallas, but that didn’t mean I was out in everyone’s face. I worked for a big corporation and I wasn’t out at work. I didn’t hide it but I didn’t flaunt it either. I had come into my own and was OK with the fact that I was gay. It was a non-issue with me, so it wasn’t a huge deal to be out on television. It was more of an issue with my family.
EDGE: Did they know you were gay before you appeared on "Big Brother?"
Steven Daigle: I had told them I was gay and years had gone by with them refusing to accept it. Actually, when I went on the show, I did not have a relationship with my parents or my sisters. I had given up on them because they just wanted to go into denial that I was gay even though I had told them I was gay.
EDGE: So it must have been a shock, then, for them to see you on "Big Brother!"
Steven Daigle: They had no idea I was going on and all of a sudden I showed up on the previews as ’Steven Daigle, the gay cowboy.’ From what I heard from my cousins they did not take it well at all. My mother claimed she had to go into therapy. My Dad would not talk to me.
EDGE: Are you in touch with them now?
Steven Daigle: No, after the show I’ve never gotten reconciled with them. We still don’t speak, which is basically my choice. They brought me more pain than pleasure in my life and I choose to not have them in my life until they can accept me for who I am.
The ’gay for pay’ thing
EDGE: How did you make the jump from "Big Brother" to porn?
Steven Daigle: It was a whole series of events. Chi Chi LaRue is a very, very big "Big Brother" fan and at the wrap party I met her and it was a big experience for me. I couldn’t believe I was meeting Chi Chi LaRue. I was starstruck to meet her and she was starstruck to meet me. We clicked instantly and became friends and over the course of the year, we stayed friends. I had attended some porn events with her and kind of got to know people in the industry and got to know porn stars and it just came up in conversation one day, ’Would you ever want to do porn?’ I thought real long and hard about it and made the decision.
EDGE: How was the first experience? Was it what you expected?
Steven Daigle: It’s pretty much ruined porn for me forever! [laughs] You show up on set and there are 70 people in the room and everything is sterile and mechanical and directed. There’s very little pleasure involved and it’s all about getting a job done, getting what the director wants out of you. Being on set, it looks glamorous when you’re watching the porn scene but when you’re actually doing it it’s not at all. It really has ruined porn for me! Now I watch it from a behind-the camera point of view. I know what’s going on behind the scenes.
EDGE: So that’s a drawback!
Steven Daigle: It is! I say the same thing about reality TV. I can’t watch reality TV anymore without looking at every aspect of it and go ’That’s fake, that’s staged, that looks set up,’ and you start to realize how much of it is not real. Same with porn!
EDGE: I’m guessing you’ve gotten to know a lot of the other actors since you’ve done quite a few movies. Do you know of many who are ’gay for pay’?
Steven Daigle: Absolutely! I probably have more sex with straight guys than gay guys. There’s a wide-range for gay-for-pay guys. I’ve worked with guys who show up on set, they’re there to do a job, they check their ’straight’ at the door and they’re ’gay’ while they’re on set. They do their job, they do it well and they leave. Then you have the others who walk around the set and over compensate by talking about girls and the pussy they got last night. They’re like ’I don’t kiss. I don’t suck dick. I don’t do this and I don’t do that because I’m straight.’ We have a wide range of people. Some of them I respect very much. Jeremy Bilding is a gay-for-pay porn star I’ve worked with several times. He is all business. He shows up, he does his job and he does it very well.
His straight scene
EDGE: What do you think of that? Can truly straight guys really suck cock and have anal sex and it means nothing to them? Or are they just in denial? What’s your opinion?
Steven Daigle: For the first few months of doing porn, it drove me insane because I had to label everyone. They had to be gay or straight and you can’t be straight because you’re sucking my dick, but as time went on I started to realize that everyone makes their own identity. Just because you have sex with another man on camera, that does not necessarily make you gay. That’s my honest opinion. I honestly think that they can put their feelings aside, step on the set, do their job, set off the set and go back to what they enjoy. I mean, I’ve had sex with girls on camera in a scene. I did a straight scene!
EDGE: So in some ways, as a gay man you’re doing the same thing as these straight guys, right? It’s just a job.
Steven Daigle: That’s exactly why I did that scene. I got a lot of flack when I came in the industry and people said, ’He’s just a reality star, he’s not really a porn star and he’s not any good. People are only hiring him because of his name.’ A lot of people thought I did the straight scene just as a publicity stunt, but I honestly did it because I wanted to prove to myself and to others that I’m a performer. I had sex with girls when I was younger, but it’s not what I prefer, I’m a gay man.
EDGE: What about your overall career? Is this what you’re going to do for awhile or do you have other aspirations? What are your thoughts on the future?
Steven Daigle: I keep asking myself that same question. I’m at this point where I’ve realized all porn stars have a shelf life. You can only be in so many scenes and so many movies. Your body will only last for so long. I have a website that’s in development and it’s a porn website. If I can ever get the capital, I’d like to shoot my own content and eventually move it into shooting other models and that’s one thing I’d like to do. I just did an acting stint in "Eating Out 4," which was so much fun. I learned so much about real movies and how that stuff goes. It’s very fascinating to me. Now that I’ve had a taste of it all, I want to stay in it but I’m not sure where I fit into it.
For more on Steven Daigle, visit http://www.stevenexposed.com/.