Blue Bailey is basically done with porn. “I would still explore photography and other media stuff. But actually filming porn I’m kind of over with,” he tells me while getting ready for a Sunday fundraiser to benefit a group at the law school which has become, as expected, his main focus. Still, one can’t say he went out with a whimper. His gangbang film for Treasure Island Media, Viral Loads (titled after shooting was complete) featured him having a jar of cum (“They told me it was cum, but it wouldn’t have mattered if it wasn’t.”) poured into his well-fucked hole. Highly controversial, even by TIM standards, the film resulted in mainstream media attention for Bailey, who has long been unusually open about his HIV-positive status and his motivations for appearing in both bareback and condom porn. Other successes this year included winning two titles at The Hookies — Mr. San Francisco and Best Boyfriend Fantasy 2014 and appearing on the poster for the Folsom Street Fair. I called Blue to talk about the end days, his favorite and least favorite studios to work for, and whether PrEP will diminish the allure of bareback porn.
Adam: Blue, you’ve just started law school right?
Blue: Yes. It’s my first semester.
What’s it been like?
I went from bartending and doing videos to this. So it’s kind of nice having a set schedule where I know exactly what I’m doing every single day. But it also sucks because I have to be up at a certain time every day which I’m not necessarily used to. But it is definitely a transitionary semester.
What prompted the path to the law?
I did broadcast communications for my undergraduate, focusing on television production. I took a few law electives and really liked that aspect more than working in editing or producing.
What about it appealed to you?
It just seems, especially with media, so much is constantly changing. There’s so many new technologies and issues that arise from those technologies, that it makes it really interesting for me.
It must be such a detail-oriented program. Is that a challenge or is that something that comes naturally to you?
It’s where my personality’s at. I’ve always been a strong writer and a lot of this is just writing intensive — it’s just a different way of writing. So in that sense its fine for me.
Are you done with porn now, basically?
Um, yeah. I would still explore photography and other media stuff. But actually filming porn I’m kind of over with.
Have you faced any challenges around people knowing your porn past?
Not yet. It’s only been half a semester though, so I’m sure something will arise. I guess not even really with the porn stuff, but going out with friends to the Castro, I was on the Folsom poster this year. So that was a little odd sometimes. I’m sure they definitely noticed because it was plastered everywhere. Other than that it hasn’t been an issue so far.
I’ve interviewed so many porn stars for this column but I’ve not yet interviewed anyone more known for bareback porn than not.
Uh yeah. I guess that’s my claim to fame.
Given what you’re doing now are there any regrets?
Nope. Not at all. I guess it’s getting more common for people to go back and forth and do bareback and condom porn. But pretty much what I would do on camera I would do at home. So none of that feels uncomfortable for me in that regard.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot is whether the rise of PrEP will diminish the allure of bareback porn.
I would say probably quite the opposite, because I think the more that people are becoming aware and getting on PrEP, you’ll see more mainstream models being comfortable about doing bareback, and being open about being on PrEP. I think it will reinvigorate the bareback side. Slowly, mainstream studios are distributing bareback porn or producing it themselves.
Sure, but would something like Viral Loads be able to carry the same kind of charge if we just assume everyone’s on PrEP now?
Right. I guess in that aspect it could change things a bit. One of the recent videos from TIM’s London side was one that came out a month ago. It was a pre-release scene marketed as “Little Truvada Whore.” It was this twink getting bred by a couple of guys. I thought that was pretty interesting.
That’s true. That opens up a whole new other avenue. The fetishization of being on PrEP.
I don’t want to labor over the bareback thing mainly because you’ve talked about it at length in many other interviews, but when did you in your personal life, start barebacking?
Probably within a year of first having sex. Maybe two years. I was pretty good for the first year or two about always using a condom, and then that just stopped happening.
That was the time that I started doing crystal as well. I think barebacking happened a little bit before then. But the timeframe is pretty much the same. That was the catalyst.
They’re so connected. One of my friends was telling me about studios I’ve never even heard of that are super popular with the meth community. Like that’s almost how they’re geared because they know that’s the audience.
There are certain videos like that. Not to mention Treasure Island again but they did Slammed which was obviously going for a certain demographic.
Right, I know that one, but he was telling me about all sorts of others.
Yeah. I can see how that would be desirable for a porn studio to do. But the thing with bareback porn is that you have people who are positive and feel totally safe with barebacking and now people are on PrEP. I guess it still has a draw for everybody.
When did you decide to be visible and open about your HIV status?
I never really was doing porn for a career so I wasn’t going out and announcing it. But after a while people asked and I felt awkward not answering truthfully. So I preferred to be open and honest about it. It’s not something I thought would ever impact my career because I never really wanted to have one in porn.
It almost sounds like you were an accidental porn star.
I always had a day job and I did it as a fun way to have sex with hot guys and make money on the side. And I love traveling and that allowed me to travel more than usual.
Did you have models who wouldn’t work with you because of your status?
I have, yes.
People you know or people you didn’t know?
I’ve had people I know being uncomfortable, not with my status, but with how open I was about it. This was before PrEP got publicized, so if you’re having a bareback scene with another model it implies that the other model is positive. But other people who I didn’t know have sometimes cancelled on me because they didn’t feel comfortable working with me. My ex had that issue as well.
I know you said you’re done with porn, but can you take me through what differentiates each of the studios you’ve worked for?
Dark Alley is my favorite studio to work with and that’s because I have a good rapport with all their production staff, and they’re really easy and fun to work for. Shooting takes no more than two or three hours, in and out. You’re usually paired up with somebody that you really want to work with and then the staff is nice.
Lucas was really shady the last time I worked with them, in the negotiation. Actually I was supposed to do my last scene with them and I ended up canceling that because we couldn’t come to an agreement on certain issues. They were kind of shady about it.
People have said to me about Lucas that the HIV-positive models go with the positive models and the negative with negative. There’s a way in which that feels to me like that perpetuates a negative stereotype of HIV. I know that it “protects” the models and that it’s trying to be positive, but in another way it’s also saying, like, if you’re negative and you’re negative you can bareback, but if you’re positive and negative you can’t-slash-shouldn’t, which, isn’t accurate. Prep + undetectable is not risky.
When I started working with them they were still kind of fleshing it out, and doing both. The scene I filmed with them was pretty early on. They requested testing and I think they try to pair you with your same status but they also ask you and if you’re comfortable playing with somebody that’s sero-discordant, as long as you’re comfortable with it, they’ll be okay. At least that’s my experience. Also, more and more models are being open about the PrEP thing. I didn’t really stick with them too much longer so I don’t know how they do it now.
I love working with Mr. Pam and Naked Sword. She’s one of my favorite people here in the city. Her energy is always up and going, which I admire.
Treasure Island for the most part is fun to work for. I really click with their London wing of the studio. I always have a good time when I’m working with them.
Hot House looks really good and it’s fun but that is a long day.
Because you have to get all those well-lit angles.
Yeah. Very well-lit. That’s important to them.
When did you first start having sex?
Around 17. Don’t know the exact date.
With guys exclusively?
Wow. You’re probably the only model that I have interviewed that won’t stir up a controversy about whether you’re gay or gay-for-pay.
Ha ha! I’ve never had sex with a girl. No plans to.
Who was the first guy you hooked up with?
For oral sex, it was with a student in my high school. Actual sex with some dude I met off Manhunt. Real classy.
No different from anybody else. The student sounds hot.
It was okay up until a point. He started running his mouth after a certain point and then that wasn’t cute.
Where are you from originally?
Las Vegas, Nevada.
Did you enjoy living there?
I hated living there. If you’re underage there’s really nothing to do. Movie theaters are in casinos. Bowling alleys are in casinos. All those places have curfews so after 10PM if you’re going to be there you have to be with an adult which they didn’t enforce too heavily when I was growing up. But it still limited what you can do.
Is sex in the air there?
If you’re on the strip, yeah. I used to work on the strip but besides that I didn’t really go on the strip unless somebody was in town visiting.
So when you were early on figuring out yourself, and going on Manhunt and all that, it wasn’t like you had easy access to things. You couldn’t go to some sinful spot or hire a hooker.
No, not at all. My options were really limited. That’s why I looked at Manhunt.
Do you think that there’s a connection between lack of access to that stuff that’s connected to your impulse to pile it on to excess later?
I guess perhaps. There may have been a little catching up to do.
How much of your day is thinking about sex?
I am horny all the time so I would say a large portion of the day. But if I need to focus I will go jerk off once or twice so I can get centered and get back to work.
Take me through a typical day for you.
A typical day. I wake up, make a protein shake, coffee. Go to class. Go to the gym. Come home, do homework. If the boyfriend’s around, hang out and watch a movie and then either go out or watch TV and stay in.
Just an ordinary day.
Yeah. It’s been pretty boring lately.
What about the escorting? How much does that figure into your day?
Not much. I keep an ad up. If I get a notification I’ll check it out, but I don’t put too much time into actively seeking stuff out.
So, today, what are you doing right now? How are you spending your Sunday morning?
I’m making Jello shots.
Jello shots on Sunday morning?
Yes. I work with The Edge as a title holder, so I’m hosting a fundraiser with them today.
What’s the fundraiser for?
I get to choose what it benefits, so this time it’s going to the student law group at my school. The Outlaws. They do outreach for legal LGBT issues, provide interns for the transgender legal center and places like that.
What flavor Jello shots are you making?
It’s actually gummi bears and gummi worms soaked in vodka. I’ve made jello shots before and it’s too messy. This is a lot easier.
I hope it goes well!
Thanks! Talk to you later.
Adam Baran is a filmmaker, blogger, former online editor of Butt Magazine and co-curator of Queer/Art/Film. His short film JACKPOT, about a porn-hunting gay teen, won Best Short Film at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and was recently featured on The Huffington Post, Queerty, and Towleroad, among others. He is a features programmer at Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival and NewFest in New York. In his spare time, he complains about things to his friends. “Fisting for Compliments”, his weekly musings about the intersection of sex, art, porn, and history, will appear every Monday on TheSword. You can contact him at Adam@TheSword.com and follow him on Twitter at @ABaran999. Check out his previous columns in the Fisting For Compliments Archive.