Nov. 18, 2009 - Issue #735: Parkland Conference 2009
I had a lot of preconceptions before meeting Buck Angel, international
porn star and self-described "man with a pussy." All his pictures feature a
burly figure covered in tattoos, with a tough sneer and a cigar hanging out
of his mouth. His porn is rough and real and so is his industry. About the
very last thing I expected was a warm, friendly and perceptive man who's
making adult films that are about so much more than just getting people
Buck was in town for the Exposure Festival, where he opened the week at Metro with an eye-opening film showcasing both scenes from his movies and interview snippets from his years in the industry. This was followed by a panel discussion and a meet-and-greet at Boots where everyone in the bar immediately fell in love with his outgoing and magnetic personality. The next day he did a DVD signing and then was showcased in the Loud & Queer Cabaret. By the time I interviewed him, it was his last night here and he was preparing for his piece at SteamWorks, the bathhouse closing that night for an art show.
Buck Angel is a female-to-male transsexual who opted to get top surgery but keep his genitals. The result is a really macho dude who just happens to not have a dick. Realizing there was no porn out there featuring people like him, he decided to enter the industry and although he's encountered struggles along the way, he's managed to find huge success in just a few short years. The result has been movies like V for Vagina, Buck's Beaver and Buck Off, along with touring performances, a webshow and now a move into education.
VUE WEEKLY: How in the hell did you wind up in Edmonton for a queer arts festival?
BUCK ANGEL: I keep getting that question, "Why Edmonton?," because Edmonton asked me to come. I got really good publicity last year for my movie Buckback Mountain which played here and they said everyone loved it so they thought "why not have me here for the festival." I never have been to Edmonton […] and it's been amazing!
VW: You started by working behind the scenes in the porn industry?
BA: I was working through my transition in a clothing store and I got really kind of bored with that. It was a great stable place for me to do my transition and they were very cool about me but I always felt myself being a more creative person than that. Coming into my own skin, it was early on in the Internet and my partner at the time was a professional dominatrix, so we thought let's start making films and putting them on the Internet, and we started this whole company. From there, I taught myself how to do filming and how to make websites. I was working with transsexual women making their websites, but then I was like, "There's ton of transsexual women doing porn and there's no transsexual men doing porn." Hello? Literally a light bulb comes over my head like, "This is an amazing idea."
VW: It makes no sense why this one niche is so underrepresented in the porn industry.
BA: Right, why? Why in the porn industry? You see balloon porn, clown porn, bubblegum porn, come on! There's no guys like me doing porn and I already worked in the industry, I knew how hardcore the industry is in the sense that they take something and they exploit the hell out of it and not necessarily in a positive manner, especially working with transsexual women. So I had a big issue about that. I said I'm taking my idea and I'm doing it myself before somebody else gets the idea in the industry and starts finding a bunch of guys like me and making it into this freak fest, right? So my idea was to make it a positive, great thing that people see as positive sexuality, even though my tag line is "the man with the pussy," some people would say that's very disrespectful. No, because I'm proud of who I am. I took it and I made it my own thing. In the beginning, it wasn't easy, people did not take me seriously. Especially my industry, my peers, they thought I was freaky and I'm like, "What?" The stuff that goes on in this industry and you think what I'm doing is weird? It took them two years before they really took me seriously.
VW: I would imagine picking a favourite sex act or favourite kind of movie to make would be like picking a favourite child, but if you had to, is there a favourite kind to make?
BA: Totally! For me, my favourite type of porn to make is what I do, which is real porn. I always find guys that are into it, that I'm into. We have to have a sexual connection. I really want my porn scenes to get across as real sex. I shoot very amateur, it's not high budget. It's more about the energy of the sexuality and the sex that's going on. We really always have orgasms. We're really always having sex.
In the second half of my bedroom bathhouse chat with Buck, he'll tell me about his education work, YouTube show, winning an adult-industry Oscar, growing up with parents who were supportive of his gender identity, what's next and lots more porn. Head to buckangel.com to tide you over until then. V
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