HomoTech :: Judge a Book By Its XTube
To the porn-savvy gay man (aren't we all?), Cole and Hunter are household names. Well, their online moniker perhaps. To over eighty million subscribers on XTube, the real life couple is better known as the Maverick Men.
But the name comes with a well-guarded secret. "If we tell you, we'd have to kill you," Cole explained tongue in cheek.
Mostly, Cole prefers stuffing other body parts in his cheeks as is well documented in almost forty videos on XTube, each with well over hundreds of thousands of views.
Now the Maverick Men are going where no amateur pornographers have had the balls to go: book publishing. The couple's self-titled erotica has already hit the e-book market - and print versions will be available this week, just in time for Halloween.
"It's the first time this has ever been done in gay erotica," Hunter said, "and it's an entirely new way to experience our videos."
The couple has been together for over a decade, and they started posting videos on XTube in 2007. Like many exhibitionists before them, they did it simply for the fun of it. "I used to take my camera wherever we'd go," Cole said. "So why not?"
After several months, however, their videos caught steam. So much so that administrators of the amateur porn site urged them to create a pay-per-view channel, where XTube would get a cut, of course. After all, this is how the site makes a large amount of their profit. Soon after XTube's offer, Cole and Hunter quit their nine-to-fives and became full-time Maverick Men.
So You Want to Be a Pornstar?
The videos have Cole and Hunter doing what they do best: fucking. But the thrill comes from inviting a third party into the mix. This gives viewers someone to associate with, so much so that most of the guys now featured in the videos are online fans that have sent NSFW pictures directly through XTube.
"We spend about four hours every day returning messages," Hunter said. "About 90% of the fans that hit us up are looking to lose their virginity to us on video." Hence their popular "Virgin Cherry Pop" series. No cut for these video virgins, however. But for most people, a mind-blowing threesome is payment enough.
Hunter said that, yes, a majority of sex requests come in the form of cock shots, but he’s more interested in the guys that send in a more personal request.
"Some of these messages are two or three pages long with pictures of them and their dogs," he said. "They want something deeper. They see the connection that Cole and I have, and they want to be a part of it." The Maverick Men usually video chat through Skype with potential sex partners before taking them out to coffee or dinner - and then getting it on.
"We want to make sure they really want to be in this," Cole said. "Not just be in porn out of an impulse."
From Pounding to Paperback
One man who had no doubts about wanting to hop into business with Cole and Hunter was Anthony DiFiore, the editor of Maverick Men: The True Stories Behind the Videos and publisher of InGroup Press - a new imprint dedicated to pushing LGBT books into new territory, online and content-wise.
"I approached these two guys to write a book that would introduce a new type of written erotica to the publishing world," Anthony said. "I wanted to scrap the current style of anthologies and fiction, and instead publish biographical accounts of real-life people in the sex industry, using technology to link two important industries for the very first time."
And the Maverick Men style of Do-It-Yourself porn stardom was the perfect link.
"They’re so different from the porn establishment. They built their brand from the ground up. They’re their own studio," Anthony said.
Maverick Men is not composed of lengthy descriptions of the XTube videos. Why read when you can watch, click, view, favorite, embed, subscribe, jerk off...? Instead, the book gives you an insight into Cole and Hunter’s relationship, how they met and how they picked up some of the guys.
"They complement the videos," Hunter said, "by giving a bit of back-story. Like how we met the frat boy we ended up fucking on a table. We were drinking on our front porch, and he was just driving around our street in his underwear. In the e-book, the hyperlink will take you directly to the video."
"Essentially, we’d be creating a technological hyperlink between written sex and visual sex," Anthony adds.
The Real Sex Behind the Hyperlinks
This month, Alyson Books, the once premier publisher of LGBT literature announced that they were going to solely publish e-books from now on. So I had to ask the guys: why go into such a scary business when online porn was proving so profitable?
"I’m loyal to reading," Cole says, with no hesitation about defending his favorite pastime (aside from getting frisky with blond virgin boys). "Books are the ultimate way to create a fantasy."
A more logical route would have been to go to Falcon or COLT, and it’s not like they weren’t approached. "But it was important for us to be in charge of what we were doing, creatively," Cole said.
The mastermind of self-made success in gay sex himself, Jonathan Crutchley, founder of Manhunt, advised them to keep doing exactly that. After all, can eighty million horny guys be wrong?
And it’s not a stretch to think that a mainstream gay porn studio would have butchered off the most engaging parts of the Maverick Men narrative. No, I’m not talking about body parts, but their relationship as a whole, their commitment to having a good time - together. There’s something genuine about their videos, hardcore as they may be. The book elaborates on these emotions, an insight into how Cole and Hunter interact, ever so adoringly, in and out the bedroom.
"They befriend the people they sleep with, avoid gay-for-pay," Anthony said. "They’re just two regular, fun-loving guys who got into porn late in life."
And they’re really glad they did, if anything because ever since their first upload, they "get to spend more time together and get to travel to amazing places," Cole said.
A real-life couple that after ten years wants to stay together and play together? In this day and age of hyperlinks and cybersex, that may be truly what’s maverick.
He blogs here.
This story is part of our special report titled "HomoTech." Want to read more? Here's the full list.