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Major Gay Porn Actor Discloses He Is HIV+

This commentary is the opinion of the author and may not necessarily reflect that of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Daniel Gonzales

August 24th, 2010

Due to the subject matter of this post assume all outgoing links are not work-safe unless noted otherwise.

Mason Wyler is one of the more prolific gay porn actors currently producing material; in addition to having a considerable formal filmography (IMDB) he maintains personal and commercial websites.  Last Thursday on his personal blog Wyler disclosed that he is HIV+.  His brief post in it’s entirety:

I have something to say. I spent the last few months waiting for the right time to tell you but it turns out that there is no right time… I wish I could put this off for a little while longer but information like this usually finds a way of coming out sooner than later. In fact, people have already begun to talk so I might as well just tell you now. I tested positive. I have only myself to blame. I have HIV and it kind of sucks.

Porn news site TheSword.com reports Great Atlantic Media’s (a porn conglomerate) webmaster Mark Wilson originally outed Mason with a trashy post on GayPornGossip.com.  Wyler’s admission on his own site appears to have been posted later that same day.

Sometimes it boggles the mind the number of people who think it’s acceptable to disclose someone else’s status, including as I’d previously posted Michael Alvear, Manhunt.net’s in-house advise columnist (Safe for work).

I admit I’m fond of Mason’s work and part of the purpose of this post is to speculate on how this might affect his career.  In the mainstream (condom-less) straight  porn industry contracting HIV is a career ender (gee talk about stigmatizing).

Contrast this to the gay porn industry where an anonymous survey conducted by TheSword.com revealed a full 30% of actors were either poz or unsure of their status and 52% of survey respondents either never or rarely discussed their status with scene partners.

But my question is, how many of those people are public with their status and how does that affect their cast-ability in films?

Off the top of my head I couldn’t think of any mainstream (non-bareback) openly poz gay pornstars.  If you happen to know of any please post a comment below and include a source link.

Fortunately TheSword.com is already reporting the Raging Stallion network of porn sites has issued a common sense statement:

Raging Stallion practices safe sex on all of its video shoots–indeed we enjoy filming hot safe sex and showing other gay men how to have hot safe sex. HIV status should not be an issue when shooting porn if the actors are using condoms and using common sense. Raging Stallion would love to shoot Mason Wyler in an upcoming movie. He is a great actor and I have always wanted to work with him. Nothing has changed from my perspective.

God now if only the rest of the porn industry would adopt such a rational view.

Cross posted on The Denver ELEMENT

Comments

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DN
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

I can’t provide a link because I’m at work and I *so* don’t want to be seen googling the guy, but Jeff Palmer is poz.

He’s also got some out-there ideas about HIV and meth, and it’s debatable that he’s a huge star anymore since he does fairly raunchy bb movies targetd at a specific demographic. But in the 90s, he was definitely mainstream – and to your point, his HIV status at the time was undisclosed.

Timothy Kincaid
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

Oh Lordy, I’ve never heard of this boy. And living in Los Angeles, I learned years ago that you can save yourself considerable embarrassment by knowing at least the names and faces of the biggies. I guess I’m not doing my homework.

occono
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

I’m not prudish, but what does this have to do with what BTB’s mission statement is? Combating Anti-Gay propaganda?

Daniel Gonzales
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

The stigma of HIV disclosure and it’s effect on the gay community is what motivated the post. Plus we enjoy diverse subject matter from time to time too :)

Emily K
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

yeah, nothing like glorifying exploitation to really show people how “sex positive” all gay men are.

Michael
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

“Sometimes it boggles the mind the number of people who think it’s acceptable to disclose someone else’s status”

Wilson only revealed his status because Wyler had posted his status as “negative.” As sellf-righteous this might make him, Wyler was the one who was being dangerously irresponsible with the health of others by lying about his status. Infecting someone with HIV is inflicting them grave bodily harm, and Wyler lied to his hookups and risked their well-being.

Wilson basically took car keys from a drunk driver. And as bad as the stigma is from being found out to be positive, he potentially saved others from having to cope with that awful situation.

Although, I don’t think this discussion has any place on this website.

SA
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

I agree with occono’s sentiments. I have been reading BTB for a few years now, but this is the first time I have ever posted a comment. A discussion about the HIV status of pornography actors with several links to pornography-focused websites seems oddly out of place on BTB and is not at all what I have come to expect from BTB. Perhaps I have just overlooked similar posts in the past, but a quick click on the tag “porn” shows this the first & only post with such a tag. There are plenty of other pornography-focused blogs that cover issues related to HIV in the pornography industry. I hope it is not indicative of a new direction for the subject matter covered here. I have often referred family and friends to BTB as an excellent resource for reliable research on LGBT issues and respectful commentary on current events that affect the LGBT community. More posts like this, however, would make me question whether I should continue to make recommend it in the future.

tavdy79
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

I don’t know if he counts since he left the business four years ago, but Tom Judson (Gus Mattox) is HIV+ and is open about it on his blogs.

gordo
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

I’ve been a fan of Mason’s since he started on Corbin Fisher (“the girl next door has a brother”). The news made me sad for many reasons, but mainly because it has been known for 25 years now how HIV is transmitted and how to prevent transmission, and yet it is still happening.

Ray
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

Since there aren’t any major porn stars in the 60-and-older crowd, the group whose artistic merits I find most redeeming, the only porn star name I even know of is Mark Mann who is, today, about 75 and whose HIV status I have no idea of. There is a cottage offshoot of gay porn involving “mature” men” (probably 50 years and older) who seem to pop up regularly and bareback with abandon. Among those guys, I’ve never heard of a single one of them being HIV+ but one guy named Herman the German, who was a HUGE favorite of the older crowd was said to have died of AIDS. That was at least 10 years ago. Since then, not a peep about others. I should say that Herman’s popularity came from his appearance in a mature men’s magazine called Chiron Rising 20 years ago (defunct) and that, as far as I know, he only made *one* film. But he was Wildly popular when he would show up at Prime Timers events. I’m guessing he had a lot of fans who wanted to show their appreciation.

Mihangel apYrs
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

don’t judge!!

JTW
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

Aiden Shaw has been positive and active both in front of and behind the camera for over a decade.

Mihangel apYrs
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

sorry, too much good cognac!

He’s a working boy, in an industry with dangers like mining, asbestos, etc

Blame the users, producers etc.

And hope for his health

Dave H
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

“Sometimes it boggles the mind the number of people who think it’s acceptable to disclose someone else’s status…”

Right, and then you ask people to post comments about other porn actors’ status.

Sorry, this entire post rates a FAIL. I agree with the others that this is not what we expect from BTB. Stay focused on your mission, please.

Daniel Gonzales
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

Actually I’m asking for actors who are already open about their status, it’s no different than asking for a list of openly gay congresspeople for example. Requiring a source could mean a public published interview where said individual publicly disclosed their status. Once someone has chosen to put that information in the public sphere discussing and citing it is perfectly acceptable.

David Malcolm
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

Honestly I gotta say, you wouldn’t find many straight political/religious/etc sort of blogs talking about their favourite conservative porn stars. Wether or not many of your readers may enjoy porn, it really don’t seem in line with what BTB is supposed to be about, or what you focus on.

I feel bad for the guy, but at the same time the whole PC thing with HIV, is hard. Fact is HIV is still being spread partly because people aren’t open about their status. Condoms break, things go wrong, you’re trying to contain a liquid that will bring you a premature and expensive death. Talk about the stigma of that all you want, but the fact is it is a disease that the people who have should be avoiding transmitting to anyone else. I can honestly say I would never entertain a romantic relationship with an HIV+ person.

Jim Burroway
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

I think David Malcom is closing himself off from a lot of possibilities in life. I am negative, my partner is positive. We have been together now for more than seven years. I think David Malcom’s opinion is extremely common in the gay community, and it is an unfortunate one. This is is one reason that, when Daniel approached me about this post, I gave him the go-ahead.

I know that this post is way outside of what we normally post at BTB, but the fact remains that the broader concern I have had all along going back to when I first started this blog is stigma. Sure, the stigma that the anti-gay industry fosters against us is the main focus on this blog. And no, we’re not going to become a porn blog by any means.

But I really would feel very hypocritical to spend hours of each day trying to ameliorate one major area of stigma and ignore other areas of stigma, especially those that that hit equally at home to me and so many others in the gay community.

So I hope that will will continue to discuss HIV/AIDS stigma from time to time because it is an important issue. For those who aren’t comfortable with it, well there will be plenty of other posts to read.

John in the Bay Area
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

Bareback porn is disturbingly popular. I am not familiar with this porn star, and don’t know whether he has performed in bareback porn.

The point that I would like to make is that the consumers of porn bear responsibilty for bad things that result from porn. This is particularly true for pornography involving underaged victims, and there are nice long jail sentences and international efforts to track those particular consumers down.

But buyers of bareback porn create a market that encourages (?coerces) people to take unreasonable risks in order to entertain the buyers. How could seroconversion not be occurring in all these domestic and international bareback production studios?

If there was no market, bareback porn would not be produced and the performers would be at that much less risk of contracting HIV.

Eric in Oakland
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

There is a Tim Kincaid listed as writer and director of many porn movies, including some of Mason Wyler’s. Is there any connection between BTB’s Timothy Kincaid and this Tim Kincaid?

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0454199/

[Timothy: no, Joe Gage (real name Tim Kincaid) is a different person.]

Emily K
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

Honestly I gotta say, you wouldn’t find many straight political/religious/etc sort of blogs talking about their favourite conservative porn stars.

This.

James
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

Get over it. If they make a post about porn stars and people that watch porn, that’s their prerogative. I didn’t come out of the closet to be shamed for doing what the vast majority of humans straight and gay do all of the time. If you think the American Family Association and all of the other jerks out there are going to leave you alone, respect you, and speak truth about you as long as you hide the fact that you are a sexual being – you have another thing coming.

Since this website speaks about stigmatized issues anyway, I’d say this fits perfectly well. Why don’t we set our own agenda, and frame our own debates rather than letting a bunch of bigoted homophobes do it for us!?

James
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

PS – I don’t think porn is exploitation as long as the actors have freedom and aren’t being coerced into anything. Is it exploitation if someone models clothing? If someone plays the piano for you? Or is it only exploitation when sex is involved? Why?

Désirée
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

did I stumble onto the wrong blog today? I’m not even sure how this connects to the issue of “stigma” as the majority of the post concerns the career possibilities of a porn actor after being forced to admit his HIV status.

I realize that you are under no obligation to have every post appeal to every reader, but this type of post immediately loses your lesbian readership and then among gay males, is only of interest to those who follow porn enough to know who the stars are. Seems a small demographic to me, and one better served by other blogs, not one dedicated to debunking right wing “facts” about homosexuality.

Sorry Jim, I see what you wanted to do, but this post just doesn’t belong on this site.

Willie Hewes
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

I’ve never heard of this guy and don’t watch a lot of gay porn (being female and bi), but *I* still think the subject is interesting. Don’t be so hasty to talk for others, Desiree.

And what James said in his PS. “Or is it only exploitation when sex is involved? Why?”

Emily K
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

It’s not about exploitation of the people involved. It’s about exploitation of sex itself. No, I don’t believe sex is between a married couple ONLY or between monogamous people ONLY, so spare me any grandstanding. I believe porn exploits sex and gives negative messages about the objectification of human beings. That’s my personal belief. Everyone else is more than welcome to disagree and think I’m a prude lesbian trying to squelch gay male culture somehow.

Paul in Canada
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

I agree with Jim B on this – not in the mainstream of BTB topics, but indeed related. You can’t separate out stigma and discrimination by issue.

As with Jim, I’m negative and my partner of 15 years is positive. There is so much stigma, even within the gay community, when it comes to sexuality. I guess we continue to suffer under our Victorian history.

Personally, I’d like to see BTB do more of these stories including some of the more bizarre nonsense that hits the net. Maybe setting up a page called: “And now, for something completely different”.

Richard W. Fitch
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

Ironically, I had just downloaded a clip starring Wyler before reading this. It is regrettable that some take unnecessary risks with their lives but we all do in large or small ways from time to time. I have other thoughts to offer regarding adult, sexually oriented entertainment, but will attempt to put them in some coherent form before that posting.

Jim Burroway
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

It’s not about exploitation of the people involved. It’s about exploitation of sex itself.

Interesting, but puzzling to me. Exploitation of a person indicates that the person is somehow disadvantaged or taken unfair advantage of in the transaction in some form or another. And when a thing is exploited (mineral wealth, water rights, etc.), there can be a taint of corruption to it, but not necessarily. We often talk about the exploitation of natural resources in the development of countries.

But In what way is a voluntary act exploited? Can eating be exploited? Sleeping? Mowing the lawn?

Jason D
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

Jim, I’m in the same boat as David as far as sero-sorting my potential mates. My partner and I are both negative and monogamous, so this isn’t likely to be an issue unless my relationship status changes.

In another HIV+ related post, the one about Everett, you made a big deal about people taking risks and accepting them—yet here you seem disappointed when someone says “I’m not interested in this particular risk”. I think it’s a rather mature and valid thing for someone to recognize what risks they’re willing to take and which ones are too much.

I can’t speak for David, but for me, this is a risk I’m just not willing to expose myself to. It has nothing to do with stigma, it has everything to do with the fact that I don’t want to seroconvert. I’m enough of a hypochondriac, I don’t need a major illness on top of it — no matter how manageable it might be these days.

To be practical we all close ourselves off from possibilities in life. From what we wear, to what we eat, to where we work, to who we are willing to be with intimately.

Ben in Oakland
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

My late partner, whom I stil miss 14 years later, was poz. I am negative. It was a big issue whether to continue our relationship after the first few months, and then a big issue whether we would have not completely safe sex. And then he got sick and died a crappy death. I’m not sorry we were together, but like Jason, would not consider doing it again. My health is too important to me, especially now that I am 60.

In the story above this one, there is a guy who infected 6 people. He was irresponsible– and probably very angry about his status, and homo-hatin’-homo angry at other gay men. I’m sure he figured that since no one was watching out for him, he needn’t watch out for others.

He was right about the first part. I understand the second part. I’ve been there.

But these men that he infected were not taking responsibility for themselves at all. And they believed the first– or the second, or the tenth– sweet-talking young man who wanted to have unsafe sex with them.

Maybe because I experienced the initial onslaught of the epidemic, I was unwilling to have intercourse with anyone. and when i finally did, it was with people I was in a relationship with for some months, and we got tested before oding it. And unprotected sex required a real relationship, not just “I think I’m in love”.

That’s why it didn’t happen with guys i was dating, and only with the one guy that I almost married before my husband and i met eight years ago.

So I have sympathy for people that have seroconverted, but I don’t respect their lack of sense or common sense.

I’m hardly a prude– I’ve been a bigger lsut than most people could even dream of aspiring to, though I am monogamous and have been for years. But i would tell any young man or woman that there are consequences to sex, and until they have some maturity, they are better off avoding it outside of a real, ongoing relationship.

Mason has indeed done bareback porn. With great sexuality, comes great responsibility. He wasn’t being responsible, he was being a hot boy hanging out with other hot boys, doing what hot boys do, and with a reasonably predictable endpoint.

There are very few things that one can do that actually rate as good or bad. There are just consequences.

As, I believe, Popeyesaid, you pays your money and you takes your chances.

Priya Lynn
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

Jim said “But In what way is a voluntary act exploited? Can eating be exploited? Sleeping? Mowing the lawn?”.

I agree, I don’t get how sex being “exploited” is a concern. Porn, like prostitution, if freely entered into, is an honourable, if risky, profession.

Jim Burroway
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

In another HIV+ related post, the one about Everett, you made a big deal about people taking risks and accepting them—yet here you seem disappointed when someone says “I’m not interested in this particular risk”. I think it’s a rather mature and valid thing for someone to recognize what risks they’re willing to take and which ones are too much.

Let me clarify. When I was speaking about people taking risks and accepting them, I was speaking about the specific situation where people pick up tricks, have unsafe sex with them, and then complain about picking up an STD, even a serious one such as HIV (or HPV, for that matter).

When people choose others for long term relationships, all kinds of decisions come into play. Some of these decisions may appear perfectly arbitrary (race, ehtnicity, HIV status, for example) that can disqualify a number of wonderful people, but we all make these decisions because they are very personal ones.

I don’t think what you or David are doing are morally wrong. I just think it’s sad that HIV is a litmus test for relationships for many people.

To be fair, I also thought HIV status would be a litmus test myself eight years ago. If you had known me then, I probably would have given a similar answer.

But that was before I met Chris. I’m glad I was open-minded enough to reconsider and examine my presuppositions about people with AIDS and what I thought I knew about HIV/AIDS itself.

Jason D
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

“But that was before I met Chris. I’m glad I was open-minded enough to reconsider and examine my presuppositions about people with AIDS and what I thought I knew about HIV/AIDS itself.”

I can’t help but think this is a little on the smug side. I don’t see what’s so closed-minded about my choice here. What’s closed-minded about wanting to reduce my risk to zero?

Timothy Kincaid
August 25th, 2010 | LINK

David Malcolm: Talk about the stigma of that all you want, but the fact is it is a disease that the people who have should be avoiding transmitting to anyone else. I can honestly say I would never entertain a romantic relationship with an HIV+ person.

Jim Burroway: I think David Malcom is closing himself off from a lot of possibilities in life. I am negative, my partner is positive. We have been together now for more than seven years. I think David Malcom’s opinion is extremely common in the gay community, and it is an unfortunate one. This is is one reason that, when Daniel approached me about this post, I gave him the go-ahead.

I know that this post is way outside of what we normally post at BTB, but the fact remains that the broader concern I have had all along going back to when I first started this blog is stigma.

I don’t think that “stigma” quite fits this scenario. Stigma is the shame attached to inconsequential attributes.

Our community has plenty of stigma to go around. Not only is there shame assigned on all gay people by anti-gay or religious forces, but we assign it on each other: effeminate men, bottoms, butch dykes, and a whole host of ways of letting some in our community know that they are inherently inferior.

But while there is shame doled out on those who are HIV+ (and lots of it on how they got that way), I don’t think that sero-sorting is based in either shame or stigma.

It is not unreasonable for those who are HIV negative to wish to remain that way. And it is not unreasonable to narrow their romantic interests to those from whom there is virtually no likelihood of contracting HIV. And it is not unreasonable for someone who is seeking a committed monogamous relationship to take the HIV status of their potential mates into consideration.

Nor do I think that such a decision is unfortunate. It can, alternately, be freeing. I know of HIV+ people who only are interested in other HIV+ people; it’s less stress, less concern, less fear and possible future guilt.

It is no less so for HIV- people. While it is perfectly possible to have a sero-discordant couple in which the negative person never seroconverts, that does include limitations and precautions (and not just sexual precautions) that are not automatically there for a monogamous couple who are both negative.

For those for whom this is not a concern, that’s fine. No criticism should come your way. But it is, I believe, unfair to criticize those who have narrowed their partner potential to the 88% of gay men who do not have HIV.

Olle Svensson
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

Does anyone know if there is a gay porn production company that works bareback with only HIV+ actors?

Daniel Gonzales
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

Olle, Treasure Island Media based on a question in their application appears to sero-sort their actors.

“Are you comfortable engaging in sex acts with partners who may have a different HIV status than yourself?”

http://www.treasureislandmedia.com/TreasureIslandMedia_2007/TIMapp/TIMOnlineModelForm.php

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