Last week I sat down for an interview with GayDemon.com, a really great website devoted to news, reviews, and stories of general interest to lovers of gay erotica. (I especially like the section where they review porn websites, and that Titan was named an Editor’s Pick.) With their permission, I’m reposting the entire interview here. Hope you enjoy reading it… and be sure to check out all the awesomeness that is GayDemon.com!
Titan Man Jesse Jackman! Thanks for dropping by to do an interview. We’re thrilled, literally. How you doing?
Doing great, thanks! I’m really happy to be talking with you.
You’ve had quite a career so far, with 12 Titan titles under your belt, and no doubt more in the pipeline. What got you interested in performing in adult film and how did you get started?
It’s less of a “what” and more of a “who,” actually. I gave my friend Roman Wright a ride home from Provincetown a couple of summers ago; I knew he worked in the industry so I asked him what it was like. I guess he took that as more than just passing interest, because he told Titan about me, and the next day I got a call from them asking me if I wanted to work with them. The more I thought about it, the more it sounded like fun, and I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot so I did. I love it!
What was your favorite film to make and why?
That’s a little tricky, because they’ve all been fun… but there’s really only one answer, and that’s Loud and Nasty. There were so many amazing things about that film. It was my first fetish film; because the scene featured both a violet wand and a taser I got to face (and conquer) a rather crippling fear of electricity I’ve had since I was a kid. Most of all, though, it was an opportunity to work with the love of my life, my partner Dirk Caber. Titan rarely works with real-life couples because what works in the bedroom doesn’t necessarily make for good porn (you need to allow the cameras to see the action, which can make for some unusual positioning), and some couples have trouble making the adjustment. So for Titan to trust us with that opportunity was a huge honor. Our on-set chemistry was, to make the obvious joke, “electric.” I’m really, really proud of how it turned out. Plus I got to consensually tase my boyfriend, and he liked it… how many people can say that? The movie sold well, and Titan gave us a chance to work together again in Extra Firm with a similarly fruitful result.
Earlier this year Titan released a new site, Titan Rough. Were you as excited as we were when you got to do sleazier scenes?
Absolutely! I’m actually a lot more vanilla than you’d expect, so the Rough films give me an opportunity to try new things with established experts at the directorial helm. We’ve got a project planned for early next year in which I face another rather paralyzing fear of mine. I’m a little nervous but I know I’m in good hands!
Has anything happened on set that made you wish you were somewhere else? Or something quite funny perhaps?
I can’t believe I’m going to share this with you, but here goes: A little while ago I filmed a scene with legendary porn director Joe Gage. The film hasn’t been released yet, but I hear it’s expected to come out any day now. Anyway, my scene partner was Jessy Ares, who’s a great guy… and very hung. Towards the end of the oral part of the scene, I, uh… actually threw up in my mouth while deep-throating him. Like, a LOT. But I didn’t want to disrupt production, and I didn’t want to do anything to upset Joe, so I wrapped my lips tightly around Jessy’s cock, pulled back, and swallowed hard. I didn’t spill a drop, and we continued on. After we’d wrapped and we all went out to dinner, I shared the story; it turns out nobody had even noticed what happened. Disgusting as it was, I’m actually really proud that I took one for the team.
Have other studios approached you, hoping to prize you away from your exclusive Titan status? How does the exclusive thing work?
Titan, to my great surprise, offered me an exclusive agreement following my first scene. After talking a lot with my friend (and scene partner) Hunter Marx and several confidants back home, I accepted. Being an exclusive has a lot of perks: I’m guaranteed to film at least a certain number of scenes per year, my scene rate is higher, The Titan IT guys help me run my blog, and I get plenty of free porn. Plus, in a special nod to my ego, I get to be on the cover of the DVDs! But most importantly I feel like part of the Titan family; working so closely together has enabled me to make friends who I know are going to be part of my life long after this little foray into porn is over.
I’m not allowed to work with other studios, of course, but beyond that I actually have a lot of flexibility. I’ve done a number of live shows (for Magnitude, Hustlaball London, Steamworks, and others), plus I’ve done a bit of modeling work. With Titan’s permission, fellow Titan Man Rogan Richards and I even filmed “Motel Muscle”, a really hot X-rated scene that’s currently in post-production (you can see a 5 minute preview at motelmuscle.com). As long as I let Titan know about these independent gigs in advance, they’ve been awesome at letting me pursue them.
A few major studios have lamented that I’m not available to work with them, which is really flattering. In fact, when I announced the renewal of my exclusivity agreement in 2012, Kristofer Weston at COLT tweeted one word: “Weeping.” But every single one of them has been respectful of the agreement I have with Titan, and no one has tried to lure me away. I really appreciate that.
You and your super-hot man Dirk Caber live in Boston, MA right? Where do you guys hang out? Do you go to clubs, fetish bars etc?
Um… we go to New York? Seriously, Boston’s pretty tame, so if we’re really itching to go to a fetish bar we’ll head to either New York or Montreal for the weekend (it’s an easy drive to both). We do go out in Boston fairly regularly, though; while I’m more of a cocktail or sports bar kind of guy, Dirk really likes to dance, so we try to strike a balance. I’m a terrible dancer, but when I’m with my hubby we always have fun.
Our readers, as do I, love to know what the fitness routines of the porn superstars we interview are. Abs are made in the kitchen right?
In part, yeah. I’m really terrible with my diet; I guess that’s what happens when you really like pizza and ice cream. That’s why I do 45 minutes to an hour of cardio every day. I work my abs every day, too. Dirk and I lift together; we usually do chest and triceps on the first day, then back and biceps the second day, then shoulders, then legs… then repeat. We rarely take a day off… which may actually be a problem. We’re both creatures of habit so it’s difficult for us to skip a day, but sometimes I think we might taxing ourselves too much. Maintaining a healthy body takes three objectives: Training, diet, and rest. Each of them are equally important. I’ve got the first one down pat; the other two could definitely use some improvement.
Can you tell us about “The One Rule”?
Dirk and I have only one rule in our relationship: “Never bring home anything you don’t want to share.” It serves lots of different functions, from preventing jealousy to avoiding STDs to making sure we’re both gonna be into the hot guys we bring home to toss around. It works really well for us.
Let’s get to know a little bit more about the guy behind Jesse Jackman. What are your hobbies and how do you spend your spare time?
I’m an insatiable geek. You name it, I’ve hacked it. For example, even though I’m not a TiVo employee, in my spare time I fixed a highly-publicized bug in TiVo’s operating system that otherwise would have caused all the TiVos in the U.S. to malfunction back in 2005. TiVo sent me a brand new device with lifetime service for my trouble. I also spend a lot of time monkeying with the code on my blog, JesseJackman.xxx.
Working in the industry has also revealed a hidden passion in me: I’ve discovered that I really love to write! I’m finding it to be a considerably centering, cathartic way to express my thoughts and feelings. That’s why I post so much to my blog and on Facebook… I’m doing it mostly for me. The fact that people seem to enjoy reading my posts is a wonderful surprise and intensely gratifying. Recently, my musings even got the attention of the Huffington Post’s Gay Voices editor who asked me to be a regular contributor. I’m really excited! I’m going to be submitting articles regularly; you can check them out on my Huffington Post page.
Can you tell us anything about your background, where you grew up, school life etc?
I’m a Bostonian through and through. I grew up in a suburb just west of town, and after venturing out into the world a bit (I went to college in the Midwest with a 6 month stint in Japan), I moved back to Boston and into the city proper. I now live in a neighborhood called Jamaica Plain; it’s really eclectic and funky. It reminds me of college, actually. Dirk moved here from Chicago last May after 18 months of long-distance courtship, and I’m so happy that it’s no longer just my home, but ours.
Let’s talk a little about the future. What’s happening next? Are you filming any movies at the moment?
I just re-signed with Titan for another year of exclusivity so you’ll definitely be seeing more of me! There are a few scenes that are currently “in the can” and making their way through post-production, including scenes with Jessy Ares, Rogan Richards, and TitanMen Exclusive Jay Bentley. I’m pretty sure my next scenes will be shot sometime in January, and at the moment we’re thinking they’ll be for the Titan Rough line which is going to be tons of fun. It always is.
Who would you like to work with and who inspires you in porn?
Working with Joe Gage was an incredible experience, and I’d love film another scene under his direction someday. On the actor side, my porn inspiration is actually my hubby Dirk. He’s sexy, he’s open-minded, he’s experienced, and he’s an incredible performer. And I get to sleep with him every night! I’m a lucky man.
François Sagat’s also been a huge inspiration. I worked under him – both literally and figuratively – on Incubus, his award-winning directorial debut. He’s got a great attitude, never takes himself too seriously, is really humble, and amazingly creative. I know he’s retired from the industry and has moved on to other projects (see kicksagat.com), but I hope that someday he returns to directing. He’s got a real gift.
A lot of guys reading this will probably want to know how they can get into the limelight and become a porn star too. What advice would you give to guys who want to start in the industry?
Take time to consider the ramifications of your decision. Will your job be cool with it? Your family? Your friends? Don’t assume they’ll never find out, because they WILL. If you do decide to give porn a go, start at the top. Apply to work with the best of the best; don’t settle for some fly-by-night internet outfit that’s really just a guy with a webcam in some sleazy hotel room. And keep in mind that the average porn “career” only lasts about two years, plus the amount of work you’ll get won’t necessarily be consistent, and it frankly doesn’t pay enough to be your sole source of income. It’s fun while it lasts, but don’t expect it to last forever.
Finally, when you become a commercial porn performer, you’re really creating and marketing a “brand,” and it’s up to you to determine what that brand will be. One component of that decision is whether or not to go condomless. While the decision is ultimately yours, be aware that a lot of the top studios will not work with you if you’ve filmed any bareback scenes elsewhere. Barebacking – even so-called “responsible” barebacking – still puts people at greater risk for contracting not just HIV but other STDs as well… and certain companies don’t want to promote that brand. If you want to last longer in this industry, it’s better to start out only doing high-end condom films. Condom-only will help maintain your personal brand from the start; you can make other decisions later in your career if you so choose. If you do go raw, just keep in mind that besides potentially jeopardizing your health and the health of your partners – both on-screen and in your private life – you’ll be limiting your professional options down the road.
I’ve loved talking with you Jesse. Would you like to give a message to your fans?
Yup… just do what you love, do it often, be safe, and most of all… have fun!