As the Carolinas LGBTQ community celebrates 2022 Pride and attention is at its highest, it’s a good time to take a look at an issue that doesn’t get discussed enough and churns through young people at an ever increasing rate.  Names have been changed to protect privacy and any other similarities are purely coincidental.

In a world where technology has taken over many aspects of life, whether it’s through automation or downloads, change and modernization has come in many forms. And that also includes the world of gay pornography.

Where the big corporate porn studios once reigned supreme, a new wave of homegrown porn has taken a sizable bite out of their profits. Nowhere is this more evident than on sites like Twitter and OnlyFans. The one thing that has not changed is the minefield of issues this sex trade and skin commerce has created.

This story takes a look at two young men living in the new world of modern day gay porn and how they navigate what has come to be known as the porn trap.

Mario, 25, works at a men’s spa offering personalized service. Angel, 20, is still finding his way looking for friends and acceptance. Both are from a booming Mexican tourist town, where foreigners are outnumbered only by the locals enjoying the gay nightlife and tourist attractions.

Angel confuses rape with romance, as he rhapsodizes poetically about his co-stars. Looking to be popular, he allows himself to be abused by strange men nightly for money and fame. He has become a celebrity of sorts on Only Fans.

Mario is a different story. Intelligent, highly perceptive and likely capable of doing great things with his life, he instead turns on his friends who try to help him find himself and get into a solid career.

He has turned his back on a lucrative career of legitimate male modeling with a minimum annual earning of at least $200k, for short term star status. Instead of working towards a career that could potentially provide him a lifetime of security, he has devoted himself to street level porn and prostitution, even spending money to convert his bedroom into a production studio, complete with lights, cameras and all the works needed for his endeavor. Mario’s idea of friends are the same porn cronies who are exploiting him for their own gains and will toss him aside when he’s no longer needed.

Angel openly pines for friendship and being liked. He even considers doing recreational drugs to gain dates and friends. Little does he realize that the friends he craves only acknowledge him as long as they can continue to violate him, and that includes Mario. 

The common thread of these sex workers remains the same: they’re individuals from broken families lacking in self esteem, without financial aspirations and a yearning desire to be accepted. 

And yes, the big time porn producers troll the sites looking for fresh meat to exploit in their newest flesh fests. Dangling a carrot of fame and fortune in front of them, producers get the kids hooked early and later dump them when they become too sick to work or a fresher piece of meat is discovered.

It’s sad these young gay men don’t comprehend what’s actually happening and how they’re being used. Worse yet, far too many are impacted by depression and don’t want to acknowledge the unpleasant reality.

Attempting to explain such a disparaging situation to them is practically useless – they’ll fight you tooth and nail. The level of brainwashing is high, as is the use of drugs, pills and alcohol – another by product of the porn trap.

So what, you might ask, is OnlyFans’s role here? What is their culpability in the production of content? Last year they announced they would ban all adult content from their platform going forward. Within days they reversed that decision upon realizing it was their main source of revenue. Without it, the subscription-based social media platform would go belly up.

As a result of that decision, do they carry the weight of a moral or legal responsibility, since they share in the monthly fees charged? Complaints to OnlyFans regarding improprieties, price gouging and scam artists fall on deaf ears. Twitter will suspend egregious accounts but the perpetrators often work around it by changing one character in their name and opening new accounts a few days later. 

So what happens if one of these internet porn actors contracts HIV or an STD during production, or – worse yet – ends up being murdered by the same strangers they’re engaging with? In many cases, nothing at all.

Angel has become well off financially since doing his homegrown porn, traveling the world looking for hookups to film. He often brags about being recognized and people complimenting his ass. Mario, also well off from various sexual endeavors, is now looking for the big money, courtesy of more porn and prostitution and will do anything to get it. His recent work includes a cameo in a big studio porn film that undoubtedly promised big fame and fortune.

Both young men enjoy fancy clothes, expensive restaurants and high end clubs, though neither seems to understand when the bill comes due, it won’t be paid at a cash register.

The effects on friends and what family they have can be overwhelming. Imagine how it must feel when you see someone you care about destroying themselves and you can’t get through to them.

They don’t want to listen and they don’t even want to remain friends unless you agree to be one of their “yes men.” Sometimes you simply can’t save someone from themselves, especially when they’re trapped in such a destructive vortex.


Over the course of several months, research has been conducted and many pages and posts have been read, all in the hopes of getting a feel for this next generation porn phenomenon. It’s not about generalizing or chastising the performers or subscribers, it’s about saving the lives of possible victims.  

Like the porn industry of yesteryear, it serves a purpose, bringing wealth to some and victimization to others. Some prosper, but most do not. Far too often, they are the forgotten ones.

If you or someone you know is in need of help or looking for resources, SWOP USA offers many of these services. Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA is a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of people involved in the sex trade and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.

www.swopusa.org

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