JESSE Jackman ended up working in gay porn after a hookup with a couple of guys who turned out to be performers while he was staying at a resort in Michigan.

They suggested he get into the industry, and while Jackman was keen, he thought he’d canvass opinion with a few friends first — including one close friend who happened to work for the same porn company as the other two guys, Titan Media.

His friend was worried Jackman would be too sensitive to handle working in porn.

“This always stuck with me, the combination of envy and contempt that people will express towards you, because they want to be in your situation and yet they look down on you as a depraved, desperate, sex addict,” Jackman said.

He suspected his friend can’t have been too concerned — the day after their conversation, the same guy put Jackman’s name forward to Titan, and a recruiter got in touch.

“I did about two weeks of soul searching on that — what if my family finds out, what if my work finds out, that sort of thing,” he said.

“I said, what the hell, if I don’t do it I’ll never know what it was like. So they hooked me up with my first scene partner, who was one of the guys from Michigan, again by complete coincidence.”

After four years now working in the industry, Jackman hasn’t regretted his decision, but he said his friend wasn’t wrong. Even if he receives overwhelming praise for his work (last month Jackman won the Manly Man award at the Grabbys, the gay porn industry awards) he finds it hard not to focus on the negatives.

“It’s been a constant struggle for me to overcome that focus on the negativity and move over to the positive side, and Dirk has been amazing at helping me do that and keeping me on track,” he said.

Jackman’s husband Dirk Caber is also a gay porn star, in between his work as a professional composer and classical musician — his primary instrument is the tuba.

While Jackman describes his own sexual interests outside of porn as comparatively vanilla, Caber’s background is in the New York leather and fetish scene as a community advocate and educator.

Caber said he became interested in doing that sort of community sex-education work because he saw a sort of generational “break”. With many gay men in a particular age bracket killed during the worst years of the AIDS crisis, the gap between older guys and younger guys had perhaps become too large to connect across. Both in their early 40s, Jackman and Caber had been just young enough to be spared the worst of it.

“Our generation looked at the fact that there was nothing out there [in terms of sex education], and decided if anyone was going to do it, some of us needed to do it,” Caber said.

“I know a number of guys who have really stepped up to being the ones to say, ‘the rest of society is not going to do this for you, so here’s what we’ve got to offer you, and this is what we’ve learned so far’.

“In terms of how to have sex — I think about how absolutely hilarious some of my first attempts with my first boyfriend were, just in terms of, how the hell does this go into that?”

Jesse Jackman and Dirk Caber will feature in Closet Case in this month’s print edition of Star Observer, which is available from Thursday, June 18. Find out where you can pick up a free copy here.

Photo credit: Titan Media

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