“Sounding” off with Dean Beck: The Hide and Seek radio interview

JOY 94.9 FM‘s Dean Beck can perhaps be best described as the Australian-born love child of Dan Savage and Adam Carolla. He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s opinionated… and he helms one hell of an entertaining radio show. He’s also been an outspoken advocate of sexual health for years. While we were in Melbourne, Dirk and I were honored to join Dean and the cast of his weekly Hide and Seek broadcast to talk about, among other things, how not to set someone on fire, and why you should never try sounding with a ballpoint pen. (Told you it’s an entertaining show.) Hope you enjoy it… and for more of Dean, be sure to check out the Hide and Seek podcast at http://joy.org.au/hideandseek.

Dean Beck at the controls, with Dirk and “Andrew the Apprentice”

Here’s an NSFW behind-the-scenes clip of me and Dirk… from some alternate universe, apparently

It’s so strange… nobody can remember filming this. Not me, not Dirk, not even Jasun Mark, who filmed it (you can hear his voice in the background)… nobody. Jasun found it on his iPhone while he was going through some old videos. Based on the date it was filmed (February 29, 2012), it’s apparently a behind-the-scenes clip from the set of Loud and Nasty, which was the first scene that Dirk and I ever shot together. (We’ve since shot three more.)

Here’s a bunch of production stills from our scene in Loud and Nasty. Titan members can watch or download the entire 53-minute scene here. Not a member? Sign up now and get instant access for as little as $0.32 a day.

From the bottom of my hearts: The Cybersocket interview

I’ve been a little slow in posting this — sorry about that! — but back in April I was interviewed by Cybersocket magazine, and they printed it in their June issue while Dirk and I were in Australia. We returned home to find a stack of printed editions in our mailbox… thanks for sending them, guys!

This is one of the most interesting and fun interviews I’ve ever done, because in addition to the usual questions (“What’s it like to work on a TitanMen shoot?”), they asked me some really unusual ones (“Did you ever do anything as a kid that got you into trouble?”). But I think the best question they asked me was “Who is your favorite Doctor in Doctor Who?” Read my answers below!

One-on-One with Jesse Jackman from TitanMen
Wolf Mendelsohn discovers that there’s a lot more to porn star Jesse Jackman than meets the eye.

As the the gay porn industry continues to evolve, old porn star stereotypes are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Today’s porn stars often have college degrees and mainstream careers — and 41-year-old TitanMen.com exclusive Jesse Jackman is a perfect example. Offscreen, Jesse is a full-time software engineer who has worked for the same firm for two decades — and he holds bachelors degrees in both Computer Science and Japanese.

If you happen to own a Tivo, you might recall that in 2005 a timezone-related bug threatened to bring down all TiVos in the US. Luckily, the TiVopocalpyse was averted thanks to the efforts of a clever programmer (who we now know as Jesse Jackman). When we first heard that story, we were reminded of the Post-It Notes scene from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. But unlike Michele’s story, Jesse’s story is absolutely true.

In addition to programming and adult entertainment, Jesse is also a writer for the Huffington Post and a popular blogger — and he recently appeared in his first mainstream film.

Jesse’s longtime partner is Dirk Caber, another well known porn star with a fascinating background. Offscreen, Dirk Caber is an accomplished composer and arranger of classical music.

Jesse Jackman is smart, sexy, and delightfully nerdy — and this month we’ll learn more about his life and work. For more information, check out Jesse’s Facebook page and Jesse’s blog.

When did you first work with TitanMen?
I filmed my first Titan scene in August 2011. Nearly four years and over twenty titles later I’m still enjoying it tremendously. Considering the average porn career lasts about two years, I like to think I’m doing pretty well! I also just renewed my exclusive contract for another year, so you can expect to see more from me in the near future. As for upcoming projects, we just filmed a really cool scene that includes aerial footage shot from a drone. I’ve seen the rough cut of the scene and it looks amazing. The movie’s going to be called Jail Break, so keep an eye out for it!

Tell me about your writing and acting work.
A couple of years ago, I stumbled into a gig as a contributor for The Huffington Post and it really started to whet a particular appetite for self-expression that I didn’t know I had. Writing has since become a passion of mine, both at Huffington Post and on my own blog. On my blog I try to give people an inside look at my experiences in the porn industry, but I also tackle weighty issues like open relationships, social justice, censorship, gay marriage, and pretty much any other subject that’s important to me. I recently wrote an article that I’m especially proud of about the plight of the transgender community in Peru. The ability to engage my readers on all of these topics has been remarkable. I like to think we all emerge as better people after a healthy debate or discussion.

I’m also on the brink of flexing my mainstream acting muscles, as I’ve been cast in the film adaptation of John Preston’s seminal BDSM novel Mr. Benson. I play a minor character who only appears in one scene, but it’s a memorable role, to put it mildly. We premiered the trailer at CLAW in Cleveland in April and we begin principle production later this year. And best of all, my hubby Dirk is in it, too (in a much more significant role). We can’t wait!

Do you watch much TV?
For my fiance (porn star Dirk Caber) and I, MSNBC is like liberal crack. It’s on pretty much 24/7 at our house, and we particularly like watching Rachel Maddow do her thing. (It’s a nightly ritual for us). Beyond that, I’m really into Orphan Black right now, and I can’t wait for The Strain to pick back up again. Science fiction has always been a weakness of mine, ever since I was a kid. I loved Lost, Star Trek, Space: 1999, Red Dwarf, and Blake’s 7, but my all-time favorite show is Doctor Who and I’ve been watching it religiously since I was seven years old.

When I’m not watching MSNBC or sci-fi, it’s sports. I’m a big fan of all the Boston teams, and I’m really excited for the Red Sox this season. Looks like they’ve put together a great team. [Oops! –JMB 6/23/2015]

Who is your favorite Doctor in Doctor Who?
My favorite Doctor will always be Tom Baker. I remember stumbling across Doctor Who on our local PBS affiliate when I was 7 years old. I even remember which episode it was: The Robots of Death. I was simultaneously terrified, transfixed, and thrilled, and I’ve been a fan of the show ever since. I love every incarnation of the Doctor (with the possible exception of Colin Baker). But as Matt Smith’s Doctor once said to Amy Pond, the Fourth Doctor was, “The first face this face saw…” and from that moment, he was seared into my hearts.

What’s it like to work on a Titan video shoot?
Everyone at the studio is completely professional and respectful. They are truly a pleasure to work with. First and foremost, the guys want to make sure that the performers are comfortable. I’ve never been asked to do anything that I felt uncomfortable doing, and my interaction with the staff is great. They’re serious about making the best product they possibly can, but they also have a lot of fun doing it. And what’s more, over the years they’ve become my friends. Titan is like a big family, and I’m honored and proud to be part of it.

How did you get started in adult entertainment?
I gave my friend Roman Wright a ride home from Bear Week in Provincetown back in 2011. I knew he worked in the industry so I asked him what it was like. I guess he took that as more than just a 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. I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot, so I did. And I love it!

Your favorite video shoot so far?
I’d have to say Loud and Nasty, because it was my first opportunity to work with the love of my life, my fiancé Dirk Caber. Titan rarely works with real-life couples because what works in the bedroom doesn’t necessarily make for good porn, and some couples have trouble making the adjustment. So for Titan to trust us with that opportunity was a huge honor. I’m really, really proud of how it turned out. And I guess the Titan guys were too, because Dirk and I have since been given the chance to work together in four more scenes (Extra Firm, Foul Play, and Sweat). I also have a cameo with him in the new film In the Shadows).

Do you get much fan mail?
I get a pretty good amount of fan mail, mostly on Facebook, and I try to answer everyone. It can be difficult to keep up, though — especially since I have a full-time, non-porn career and a hubby to keep happy. My Facebook inbox is currently showing the dreaded “99+” message count… it takes a while to sift through it all, but once in a while I come across a message that says that Dirk or I inspired someone somehow, and that makes all the effort worthwhile. For example, someone wrote me the other day to say that we’d inspired him to lose 150 pounds. It was truly amazing to read that.

Best things about working in adult entertainment?
For me, making porn is a powerful and positive form of sexual self-expression, something I never had before. I used to be sort of reserved, but the films have really built up my sexual confidence and encouraged me to open up and try new things. A porn studio is a safe environment in which to try new things with established experts.

Any challenges involved with working in adult entertainment?
I often encounter people who make a lot of prejudicial assumptions about people who work in the industry. Who think that we’re somehow damaged, desperate, or drug-addled sluts. It’s frustrating — especially when the reality is that most of the guys I’ve met are really successful and well put together. You almost have to be in order to deal with all of that prejudice.

Most unusual sex spot?
I once fucked a guy on top of a Native Canadian burial ground. I won’t go into details because I fear for my health and safety in the afterlife.

Do you have a day job?
I hold bachelor’s degrees in Japanese and computer science, the latter of which I’ve put to good use in my current job as a senior software engineer. I don’t remember much Japanese these days, but I used to live in Osaka 20 years ago and spoke the language pretty well when I was there. I’m sure it would all come flooding back if I were to return for a visit… that’s something I hope to do soon, bringing Dirk with me of course.

How did you meet your fiance Dirk Caber?
Dirk Caber… where do I begin? It’s easy to gush about him. We met in San Francisco in 2011 when I was just getting started in porn. A mutual friend introduced us, thinking that Dirk would be a good mentor as I started to find my footing in the industry. None of us had any idea what our friendship would turn into. I love that man more than I ever thought I could have loved anyone. And astoundingly, he’s equally in love with me. Fittingly, we got engaged last September in San Francisco on our third anniversary. We haven’t set a date yet. We’re in no rush, but in the meantime we’re building a truly amazing, rewarding, open, trusting, loving relationship while also exploring our own boundaries, always growing and changing together. It’s been nothing short of incredible, and it’s only getting better.

What traits attract you to someone?
Kindness, intelligence, someone who gets as turned on by an engaging conversation as they do by a hot, hairy, muscular body. (Not that there’s anything wrong with hot, hairy, muscular bodies!)

Something about yourself that most people don’t know?
I may look physically imposing, but I’m actually a total teddy bear at heart… although I suppose anyone who reads my blog or follows me on Facebook can figure that out pretty quickly.

What other jobs have you tried?
I’ve always been a computer geek. For the past two decades I’ve been a senior software engineer at the same large, Boston-based company. Before that I worked as a network engineer during college (pulling cable, mostly). I love what I do, and I like to think I’m damn good at it.

What are your passions in life?
Besides being an aspiring writer, I’m also an insatiable geek. You name it, I’ve hacked it. I jailbroke my first iPhone a couple hours after I bought it, I hacked my car’s GPS, and (in one of my prouder moments back in 2005) I fixed a highly-publicized timezone-related bug that otherwise would have caused all the TiVo’s in the U.S. to malfunction.

I’m also a big sports fan, and I’ve played a bunch of them: ice hockey, rugby, football, baseball, golf, rugby, and I still ski from time to time. Over the last few years I’ve really found a niche in flag football. The LGBT flag football league here in Boston is incredibly well run, and as I write this, we’re just at the beginning of my eighth season. I’ve made so many friends and had such a great time, and the excitement I feel when I play is like nothing else in my life. Boston can be a tough town to break into socially. People can be, shall we say, reserved… but I always tell newcomers to sign up to play on a gay team or in a gay league. It doesn’t matter if you suck. As long as you do the best you can, nobody cares if you can’t throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball more than two feet. You should see me try to throw a football in a spiral! It’s pretty horrifying.

Do you have any pets?
I grew up with pets, cats mostly, but at various times we also had birds, guinea pigs, goldfish, lizards, and even mice. But it wasn’t until I turned 24 that I got my first dog. He was a rescue named Zack, a German Shepherd/Chow Chow mix. He was a wonderful animal, and the best buddy I could have asked for. He was such a goofball, and always managed to cheer me up. He passed away a couple of years ago, just before I met Dirk (another goofball who always manages to cheer me up). Dirk and I have been talking about getting a pet together someday, perhaps after our hectic travel schedules calm down. And when we do, we think it’ll be a pig. (We’re completely serious. They’re very intelligent and make wonderful companions, plus they’re unique. After all, how many pet pigs have you met in your lifetime?)

Mainstream celebrities you find hot?
Number one on my list right now is Chris Pratt. I was a big fan of his even when he was still the doofy-looking Chris Pratt during the early days of Parks and Recreation. And now that he’s become the smoking hot Zero Dark Thirty and Guardians of the Galaxy Chris Pratt who posts shirtless selfies all over Twitter, I’m in love with him even more. Plus he’s always kind, funny, and humble in interviews. I’d love to meet him in person someday.

Any issues that you feel strongly about at the moment?
Bigotry, hate speech, and discrimination have always been big issues for me. I’ve written several articles about homophobia and bigotry, and have been working with the online community to promote awareness and advance change that we hope will lead to a more accepting world. My most recent HuffPost piece, the one I mentioned earlier about the transgender community in Peru, is one I’m particularly proud of. It’s incredible to think that there’s still a part of the world where people can be so marginalized, and I’m happy to be doing what little I can to help right that awful wrong.

What kind of music do you like?
I like alternative music, often (but not always) with an electronic edge and definitely with an intelligence backing it (because nothing drives me crazier than insipid lyrics). My favorite band is the Norwegian synth-pop duo Röyksopp, but I also like The Presets, Lemon Jelly, Dream Theater, Bad Religion, Robyn, Muse, and deadmau5. And when I want to get my dance on, nothing beats the Freemasons.

Are you much of a reader?
I rarely read books. When I do read, it’s usually some short-form piece, because that’s all my attention span can handle. I recently picked up a copy of Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew, which is a collection of his shorter stories. I’ve been working through it… slowly… and I’m rather enjoying it. I do read full novels once in a while, though, and one of my favorite books of all time is called The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. It’s smart, engaging, and brilliantly imagined. How many fiction writers can work a Turing machine into a plot and make it stay interesting?

There’s also one particular book I’d like to mention that I think should be required reading for everyone on the planet. It’s a non-fiction work called Last Chance to See, written by Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker’s Guide fame. In it, Adams travels to remote locations all over the world to document several different species that are on the edge of extinction. It’s laugh-out-loud funny at times (in true Douglas Adams style), but it also strikes this wonderful balance of being evocative, poignant, and downright moving. Adams once said that of all the books he’s written, Last Chance to See is the one he’s most proud of, and it’s easy to see why. It really drives home the point that we should appreciate and respect this beautiful home of ours.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts called Newton. It’s a middle-to-upper-middle-class neighborhood about 10 miles west of downtown. It’s safe and clean and boring as all hell. Add to that the fact that I was a bit of a social misfit back when I was a kid and it was, in retrospect, a pretty lonely existence. I’ve come a long way since then, but I still live in a middle-class suburb. But now I’m about five miles southwest of Boston, and the neighborhood (Jamaica Plain) is a lot more eclectic than homogeneous Newton.

What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
I dreamed of being a marine biologist. I was rather obsessed with dolphins, actually, and I always wondered if I could turn that into a career. I even volunteered at the New England Aquarium for a while when I was in high school, before I started to realized that it just wasn’t something I wanted to pursue professionally.

Did you ever do anything as a kid that got you into trouble?
Not often. I was a bit of a Goody Two-Shoes. But even when I did do something that would get me in trouble, I never got caught. For example, I’m honestly surprised that I never got caught masturbating, that I know of… even though I did it enough times in some pretty public places.

What’s a typical day like for you?
I’m very fortunate that my day job doesn’t necessarily tie me to the office. I often go in, but just as often I’ll sit at a table in Starbucks and get my work done from there. Then Dirk and I head to the gym together in the late afternoon, work out for a couple of hours (sometimes longer), go home to watch Maddow, fuck like the horny animals that we are, and finally get some sleep. Then I wake up the next morning and repeat.

Any fantasies that you’d like to fulfill on camera?
I’ve already checked off a lot of boxes, including outdoor sex, locker room sex, sex in a gym… but what I really want to tackle now is a socially-relevant film that also happens to qualify as adult entertainment. The guys at Titan recently floated the idea of documenting the coming-out story of a professional gay athlete (me) as I come out to my coaches, teammates, and friends. I’d love that.

As for other Titan exclusives I’d like to work with, I’ve always had a thing for Nick Prescott. I think if we filmed a scene together we’d be on fire. Other than him… geez, the list is almost endless, but someone I regret not having had the chance to film more with is François Sagat. What a great guy. We shot some B-roll together for Incubus, and I was offered the chance to film a full-on sex scene with him, but I had just filmed earlier that day and I was just too damn exhausted to do it twice in a row. And I’ve been kicking myself ever since.

An experience that had a profound effect on you?
There are so many experiences in life that have enormous effects on what’s to come, whether we know it at the time or not. Our lives are full of “pivot points” like that, and it’s always fascinating to me to be able to look back at one of them and say, “See that, there? That was it. That was the moment.” For me, meeting Dirk on that fateful night back in September of 2011 was the greatest pivot point of them all. When I think of all the things, for better or for worse, that had to happen in just the right order and with just the right timing in order for us to have even met, let alone date, just completely blows me away. I’m not religious, but it’s enough to make me think that, just maybe, there’s a greater order to this world than any of us are aware of.

What scares you?
Not living up to my potential. I’ve often said that I already know what I want written on my tombstone: “He led an interesting life.” That’s the best kind of life I could hope for.

Have you learned any life lessons during recent years?
I’m learning new ones every damn day. I think the most important one I’m trying to grasp right now is that I need to be more accepting of who I am, as I am… flaws and all.

Jesse Jackman on the web:
FacebookBlogHuffington Post

Closet Cases: Dirk & I come out in Australia’s Star Observer magazine

Dirk and I just came out in Australia’s largest LGBT publication, the Star Observer! Well… we’re out and proud already, of course, but we shared our coming out stories with the magazine.

The interview is the product of a chance encounter with Star Observer reporter Benjamin Riley, who writes a monthly column called Closet Case. We got to talking at the Laird in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago, set up a lunch date to talk some more… set up ANOTHER lunch date to talk even more (what can I say, it was a great conversation that no one wanted to see end)… and the result is the article I’ve posted below. Dirk, Ben, and I hope you enjoy it! (The images below can be difficult to read, so I’ve included a text transcript at the bottom of this post.)

We covered a lot more topics during our marathon session, and Ben has hinted that there may be another article coming sometime down the road, so watch this space! In the meantime, in addition to the article below, you can check out the bonus content from the interview, called How to Get Started in Gay Porn.

Closet Case: Jesse Jackman and Dirk Caber
By Benjamin Riley for the Star Observer, July 2015

Jesse Jackman is a writer and software engineer, and his husband Dirk Caber is a composer and classical musician. Living together in Boston, Jackman and Caber are also two of the most recognisable names and faces (among other things) in gay porn.


IN 1994, in his third year of university, Jesse Jackman went to live in Japan for a semester on an exchange program. Closeted and already feeling isolated, far from home his loneliness only got worse. In despair, Jackman remembered when, years earlier, a teacher from a nearby school came to speak to his school assembly about being gay. It was the late 80s, and a big deal for the school to give their students a positive message about homosexuality — for a 12-year-old Jackman, even having no one to share it with, the message gave him hope.

He had always kept the teacher’s contact details, and so at 20, posted the man a letter from Japan. “I wrote to him, terrified that he was going to write back, scolding me somehow, and saying that it wasn’t okay that I was this way, and I had to change… so I sent it and I dreaded having sent it the instant I put it in the mailbox,” Jackman recalled.

“About two or three weeks later I got a wonderful handwritten letter back from him, saying, ‘I understand your feelings of loneliness and your feelings of despair, don’t worry, there’s hope’.”

The teacher gave Jackman his phone number and said that if he hung on in Japan, once he got home he would find support.

Jackman never made contact with him again. “I was so heartened and terrified by receiving that letter that I never responded and I never reached out,” he said.

“Instead, that’s when I connected with my friend in Japan who was a religious fundamentalist. The only way that he could see to help me — and I really do believe he was trying to help me — was to get me to devote my life to my lord and saviour Jesus Christ.” This friend, another exchange student, was the first person Jackman ever came out to face-to-face. He joined the same local Christian church in Japan his friend was attending, and tried as hard as he could to believe.

“I wanted it to be me so much, because that would mean that I wouldn’t be alone any more,” Jackman said.

“So I faked it. But I faked it so well that I convinced myself that it was real.”

When Jackman returned to the US, he dove headfirst into the church with his friend, and ended up in a conversion program at an ex-gay ministry.

After a year filled with anger and shame, Jackman got out. But it was another three years before he felt able to begin safely exploring who he was as a gay man. Even years later, Jackman didn’t tell anyone about what had happened. His partner Dirk Caber only found out recently, and in fact it was Caber moving into Jackman’s apartment that prompted the revelation — while cleaning, Jackman found an old folder full of notes from the ex-gay ministry’s conversion group he had been in. Finding the courage to confront what had happened to him, 20 years later, Jackman wrote about it and shared it with the world for an article in the Huffington Post.

“I feel like I lost three years of my life — my gay life — and I’ll never get that back,” he said.

“So I’ve been working to make that up ever since. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that. But part of the reason I do what I do, with the outreach and the activism, and to an extent the porn, is I’m not just trying to prove myself as a gracious citizen of the gay world, I’m proving to myself that I’m a good gay man and a worthy gay man.

“It’s a battle, every day, every single damn day. I may never win it. It may be an uphill climb forever. But it’s worth the journey.”


For Dirk Caber — the porn alter ego of composer Jack Parton — his coming out experience couldn’t have been further from his partner’s. With parents who were New England libertarians, their responses to Caber’s confession were variations on: “That makes sense.”

Years later, when Caber decided to go into porn he had to come out to his parents a second time, and the prospect made him a little more nervous. He’d already been in the industry for a few years by that stage, and had been filming for some of the most high-profile studios in the US.

“I was getting worried, because Jesse and I, through some of the activism we were doing… we were becoming known outside of the porn world as porn stars, visually,” he said.

“We knew it was probably only a matter of time before somebody sent [my parents] an email with a picture saying, ‘is this Jack’?”

Caber decided it needed to come from him, so he drove to his parents’ house for dinner.

“Halfway through dinner I said, ‘I actually need to talk to you about something, and this is a little awkward, because I don’t know how you’re going to react.’ Then I proceeded to catalogue all the great things that have come into my life because of porn.”

Before giving any explanation for what he was talking about, Caber rattled off a whole list of changes: relocating from Chicago to Boston, achieving some financial security, reaching out to a whole new group of people engaged with his music, even meeting Jackman, a partner his parents adore.

“‘So what I’m trying to say is, I have become a porn star’,” Caber recounted.

“The moment I said, ‘What I’m telling you is I’ve been acting in gay porn’, my mother’s first response was to heave this huge sigh of relief and say, ‘I thought you were going to tell us you had cancer’.”

After the dinner-table conversation, Caber’s father went away and googled what his son had been up to. “He’s looking at my blog and he’s looking at Jesse’s blog, and he’s looking at all these mentions of us online and reading some of the things we’re writing and taking about and he says, ‘you guys are famous’,” Caber said.

“His final word on it was, the only thing he didn’t like about it was that he had nobody he could brag about it to.”  ★

Well, well, well… look who was on JOY 94.9 FM in Melbourne!

As you may already know, Dirk and I just spent over a week in Melbourne, Australia helping the Victorian AIDS Council promote safer sex practices, healthy relationships, and safe play. We participated in lots of discussion forums, Dirk gave a couple of practical BDSM seminars, and we went to a ton of bars and clubs to promote VAC’s community health initiatives. Plus, Melbourne is very lucky to have one of the world’s only 100% LGBTQI-focused broadcast radio stations, JOY 94.9 FM… and Dirk and I were on three shows in three days!

The first of our appearances (on June 2) was on the Well, Well, Well program, hosted by members of VAC. Dirk and I talked a lot about our experiences in the adult film industry, why we believe it’s important to use condoms in porn, and the age-old question — top or bottom? You can listen to the podcast through the SoundCloud player at the top of this page; alternately, you can find the Well, Well, Well archive here. I’ll be posting our other podcasts over the next several days!

As a little extra treat, I shot video of Dirk’s segment on the program… watch the video below (in case it doesn’t play, the alternate link is here). My hubby’s voice is so sexy, isn’t it?

The 'Well Well Well' Crew