The first time I walk into Logan Stevens’ loft in downtown LA, a giant fake butthole farts noxious smoke on me. I’m here for Stevens’ new underground party EWW, a bash devoted to gross, tacky, and downright disgusting things. Guests arrive in revolting costumes like a dress made out of bloody tampons, or affix bejeweled tramp stamps and temporary tattoos to various parts of their body if they came unprepared. On the dance floor, people shake their hips, while others deep throat juicy twink cocks.
Anything goes here at EWW. It’s part radical faerie gathering, part Jackie 60, part Star Wars Cantina. Stevens swans about the room in a one-piece bikini, making sure his guests are having a good time, and alerting the performers including Hercules and Love Affair vocalist Richard Kennedy that they’re due on any moment. I leave around 4 AM, half stoned, tired from dancing, with the lingering taste of bodily fluids in my mouth.
A few days later I’ve recovered, and am back at the scene of the crime to talk with Stevens about his path from late 2000s Lucas Entertainment porn star to bareback star to fashion designer to some of the biggest names in the music industry (Miley Cyrus wore pieces from Stevens’ Slamenskraam line on her last tour) and now, party promoter. Stevens has recently been filming for small online studios like Bareback That Hole, and in the last two weeks started escorting again after a long hiatus. I sat down with him to talk about why he’s still doing porn, despite his successes, his evolving views on bareback porn, and what it’s really like working for Treasure Island Media.
Adam: I had a great time at EWW.
Logan: Thanks! There’s three of us, we formed this little collective that does these warehouse parties and we get DJs and performers. We have a rule that there be no lip-synching, because you can see that at any bar. We want singers or a performance artist because we want people to stay energized and get dancing. The parties are pretty costume mandatory. It’s an icebreaker and I think people are much friendlier when their in costume and there’s not a photographer around.
When I used to see you out in New York, Logan, the first thing I noticed was your amazing, intense body odor
Which I’ve really had to keep in check lately.Please don’t. You and Shawn Morales were the two dudes that could really give me a boner just from smelling it. The second thing I would notice was that you would wear crazy outfits. Odd fashions that would make you stand out. Jodhpurs and jumpsuits and lederhosen and things like that. Where did the fashion thing come from for you?
Before I ever got interested in fashion, and I use that term kind of loosely, I always liked looking good or trying to look nice in some way. I definitely had way more conservative vision of that before, but I always enjoyed dressing up for some reason. I’m not exactly sure where that came from. I’m definitely an exhibitionist of sorts. That’s definitely another form of exhibitionism in a way. I also like being memorable because it makes life a little bit easier sometimes.
Either wearing the same look always, which can be memorable or you wear something new, so people say “Every time I see him he’s gonna be in something else.”
It makes getting dressed fun. For a stupid thing that you have to do every day, because we can’t walk around naked. We have to get dressed up in something. I’d rather it be fun than a boring menial thing that you do every day. Before I moved to New York I was always reading The Sartorialist and imagining myself walking through the streets of Europe and looking so good that somebody wanted to take a picture of me. Then I moved to New York and I immediately met all these crazy kids who were making their own clothes. There are options when you can liberate yourself from the things that men are supposed to wear that you can buy in a store. I guess you can buy something really crazy but it’s gonna cost your soul in addition to all the limbs you can sell and still get around. I started learning to sew and making some messy stuff and not being afraid to wear it all over the place and it was so much fun. I kept getting better and better at what I was doing and now it’s turned into a full-time job for me.
How would you describe your label?
We call it pop-fashion.
It’s very LA.
Yeah? You think so.
Not in a bad way. But it’s bright, colorful, daytime club wear.
Yeah. Bright swimwear. The colorful thing happened when I moved to LA and the sunshine and proximity to beaches certainly inspires a lot more color. I felt a lot sunnier too. Then I met all of these people who were really pushing anime on me and so everything got really cartoony very quickly. It felt really natural. I kind of ran with that for a while.
Where did the name Slamenskraam come from?
We spell it like Ikea furniture. That came from my friend, who DJs out here. He wanted to come up with an alter-ego and call himself DJ Slam N Scram, like fuck n run. We started off doing speedos in crazy colors and stuff like that. And it just fit so we used that. Then we decided that we needed to spell it strangely so we spelled it like ikea furniture. The name might have to be retired because it’s not very searchable, and it’s so difficult to spell. It’s certainly the only thing that pops up when you Google it. But at the same time it’s a little obscure so we’ve been talking about re-branding
FKA Slamenskraam. That would make it easier, right?
Miley Cyrus bought some of them for her last tour right? Was that the biggest thing that’s happened to you?
Yes. I also freelance doing costume and clothing and tailoring work for a lot of big names in the music industry otherwise. It seems to be everybody that Azaelia Banks gets into fights with on Twitter. Most of my clients are hip-hop artists and stuff. Then I’ll do custom things for TV promotion, advertising, commercials, things come up. Lots of different projects on that end.
Last week at your party you were wearing a woman’s bikini. People were waiting for you to get naked but you were just in a bikini.
Yeah that was some shit I bought, I call them hooker fashion. People were like how come you didn’t dress up, I was like I’m so busy with everyone else.
When you throw a party it’s impossible to enjoy it.
The gender stuff, the drag stuff, does that relate to your place in faerie culture?
I think it more has to do with that pre-existing thing of mine explains why I gravitate towards the faeries. I certainly still go to the mountain and everything but the faeries have now occupied a different space in my life than they did before. Before I was really heavily entrenched in it, and now it’s a smaller part of a much bigger constellation of different things. As I’m barreling into my thirties
You’re not yet thirty? Shit, I always thought you were older than me.
You just seem very mature in a way. I always think you have a very resolute, I know what I’m about attitude, and I’m the opposite, I’m a neurotic child.
Well see, that’s how I feel all the time. A neurotic child. Recently I’ve started feeling more like an adult but I still have all this anxiety that I’m not adult enough.
Same thing with me.
I think it happens to people around this age. Saturn’s return.
Right. Ha. Okay so let’s talk porn. Take me to the beginning of your career. Why did you start doing porn?
It felt very punk to me to do it at the beginning. I felt really badass and it was a decision that I couldn’t see any direct harm coming from it, unless I myself made the decision to cause the harm and stuff. That’s the sort of thing that happens in our lives all the time anyhow. So what difference would it make? That was the thing that lessened my fears about the idea of being stigmatized. I came from a background where it was gonna be like, “How’s this gonna affect your career in the future?” But at the point I started doing porn, I abandoned a career path that I was pretty sure was gonna be my future. I was just like, Nope, can’t do it. I hate writing.
You were gonna be a writer?
I was on track to be an academic. I worked in international development a little bit. That was really a terrible fit. Spending your life trying to help people, unless you’re really strong or delusional, it’s not a very happy life. All of a sudden I came to a realization for somebody to find out and have it affect my future career options, they’d really have to be paying attention. I don’t think there’s too much information circling around out there and there’s so much dirt out there on everybody that it’s not dirt anymore. If it was going to prevent me from a career, it’s a career I don’t want. And now I feel like things are going pretty well for myself.
I think so too. Do you start with small shitty studios or go right to Lucas?
Straight to Lucas. I didn’t shoot with anybody else before.
You were there during his real golden age, when everyone really paid attention to the porn he created, which is not the case anymore.
I suppose that’s true.
Did you have a good experience with him overall?
I had mixed feelings. Sometimes the experiences were really good and sometimes there was a lot of tension.
My approach to porn has been to with the exception of camera angles and some acrobatic positions and things like that I basically have sex the way I would do so normally. I’ve kept a pretty natural approach to it. Then I’ll just rely on the director to tell me to slow down or move my leg to the side but it’s never really interfered with anything. Once in a great while there’s a position that you’re like, “Oh my god, are you kidding me? Nobody would ever do this!” You can only do that for a short period of time before you start getting cramps.
Everyone wants me to ride their cock like in porno movies, but I’m like I don’t have the quads to do that.
But then you’ll have the quads through doing that.
I guess. Did you escort while you were doing that early stuff for Lucas?
I did. For me it’s been an off and on thing. I stopped for quite a while because I felt as though when I started, not that my life was out of control, but I felt that I didn’t have a lot of control over the things in my life. So that, I think, led to me feeling like I had less control over the situations that I was in. So in order to reclaim that control, I stopped for a while and waited until I felt like I had that control over my life in all other areas before I was willing to consider starting again.
Lucas was really anti-bareback at that point. At what point do decide to go over and do bareback? All of a sudden you were in Meat Rack…
Well I became positive. At that point, I thought, well, it doesn’t make that much of a difference anymore. The STDs that people get, the run of the mill thing, my experience had been that condoms never prevented those. You could wear a condom all the fucking time and you’d still end up going to the clinic. I’ve never had syphilis knock on wood. But I knew that using a condom hadn’t prevented me from getting things in the past. So I decided I was going to have sex the way I’d always fantasized about it and the way I always wanted it. A lot of people say the existence of bareback porn was making us fantasize about bareback sex, but come on. No person has not fantasized about bareback sex.
I’ll admit that when you fantasize you don’t imagine the condom getting put on.
Right. Bareback sex is how all of us came into being, so it certainly is more natural. I think, to put a plug in about safe sex, I think people should of course, do the things that conform with their level of comfort and the way they prefer to handle their health and what risks they feel comfortable taking and what risks they don’t feel comfortable taking. If you really want to never get anything, you’re just going to not have sex. Or you’re going to give a blowjob with a condom on and wear rubber gloves.
Well okay, there’s gradations. My view of this has shifted so much since going on PrEP and it’s a privileged position and I acknowledge that it’s bizarre and dicey, the shift in the way I view things. But I used to be super anti-bareback porn.
I was for a long time too.
I used to be completely horrified about it. There was no cure, there was no nothing. There’s not a cure now but there wasn’t PrEP or other things coming down the pike. I still have never not used a condom. But I went to my doctor and said, “Look I’m on this for a year, everybody else I know who’s on this is barebacking.” He was like, “Look if you’re with other guys on PrEP or someone who’s undetectable and you know and trust them, you’re gonna be fine.” The problem for him is if I step into anonymous situations and am taking loads. He said I’m likely not to get anything, but if I wind up with someone with a high viral load I’m taking a 2% chance, which is a risk. He was basically like, don’t worry about HIV, worry about Hep C.
Hep C is definitely a concern.
But I haven’t yet heard of people who’ve gotten it. He says it’s on the rise. So whether I will do it or not remains to be seen.
I’ve known three people who’ve gotten it. But that’s out of the literally couple thousand people that I know.
We’re in a weird, changing moment. It’s really strange to me that I don’t really have the same objections to bareback porn as I used to. I do still think that it kind of glamorizes bareback behavior to people who might not know enough to make the right choices. But then I do understand when porn stars are like, “It’s not my job to teach them.”
People have to make their own decisions given whatever hand they’re dealing with. That’s why I’ve always been really interested in social workers and HIV counselors that take a harm reduction approach to things. Because the more you tell somebody not to do something, the more they’re gonna do it. If you work with them to say, here are the things that you can do to work with your hand of cards to minimize the risk that’s coming at you from the decisions you make. Some of the decisions you might be helpless to. Some people have addictions. You can’t deal with everything all at once. You have to deal with the discreet issues at hand that you can do your best with to make sure that they’re protected as well as they can be. Even with a terrible scenario. Even those people need to have to some advice. You can’t just let them fall off the radar because they don’t conform to everything you’ve laid out.
And say, oh they deserve it because of their behavior.
Yeah. Nobody deserves anything bad. Really.
That’s why I thought the thing Deviant Otter did recently was so great. He was being completely honest about his position on condoms for the first time, talking about being on PrEP. People were ragging on him for saying it’s okay to not use condoms on PrEP but honestly, that’s how lots of people are using it and it’s keeping them HIV neg. But worse for me is these companies that don’t put anything in front of their videos or stars who don’t talk about it for whatever reason. Deviant Otter saying he’s on PrEP is going to inspire a lot of people to get on it which is going to help keep a lot of people who share his behavior negative.
I think transparency is really good. I’m all for it. I would certainly speak up a lot more if I had the energy to go on crusades. I certainly have a lot of opinions but to spend a lot of time talking about it and going through it, it’s always been a really exhausting conversation for me any time I tried to do that. I second guess myself all the times because I’m like, “Do I really have the authority to speak on these things? I’m just living my life as I see fit, and I don’t think i have much of a place telling other people how to live their life. I certainly hold some things dear. I have very negative opinions about meth and I haven’t been as forgiving about that as I should be, because I can’t relate to it. Aside from cigarettes I’ve never been addicted to anything. I could certainly stand to dole out some more sympathy, or humility.
What was it like working for Treasure Island Media?
I’ve liked working for Treasure Island and it’s always been a really smooth and pleasant experience working for them.
That’s what everybody says.
They’re great to work for. They’re really nice. The shoots are quick and professional. I never dealt with any messy guys that I can remember. The funny thing is just, when the title goes on the film, it’s like poz fetishism, which is a little strange and off-putting.
How do you react when you’re in a video and it turns into a poz fetish title after the fact?
I don’t take it personally but I also tend not to watch many of the things I’ve done. I guess once in a while I’ve taken something personally, but then I think, it’s porn. Everything is somebody’s fantasy and everything is geared to sell something. To a certain degree I used to get angry when people would say “Porn stars should be teaching everybody about things.” I was like, I don’t think that’s what this is about. To a certain degree, I’ve sort of stepped off the soapbox because I can’t ever claim to be right in any situation and I’ve stopped arguing points because later on down the line I find out that this perspective that I had that I felt very strongly about, two years later I have a different perspective on it.
So now do you think porn stars should be teaching people?
I don’t think it’s a question of “should be.” I mean, what’s the question? What should people be doing? Once the “should be” has been decided, are you going to be angry that somebody isn’t doing it? Or praising somebody because they are doing it? That’s the kind of judgmental stuff that I think doesn’t really have that much of a place. And what’s the point anyhow? You’re gonna
attack a porn star for not being an ideal citizen.
Yeah! Make up your mind. Either you’re going to treat them like they’re the opposite of the ideal citizen or you’re going to hold them to the standards of being an ideal citizen. Make up your mind one way or the other.
Right. People will critique the porn stars. They’re lowest of the low, scum, and why aren’t those scum setting a better example? Like Woody Allen’s joke in Annie Hall, “The food is lousy, and such small portions!”
And that’s fine too. We can go ahead and be the punching bags and everything. Except that I think those of us who have a healthy engagement with the whole thing, just don’t listen. So troll away if it makes you feel better. That’s totally fine.
You often date people that you perform with, right?
That’s not entirely true. I’ve certainly dated people that were not sex workers in any way. As long as I continue to do porn or sex work of any kind, I find that it can be a hard pill to swallow for people who don’t do it. Do I actively choose to date porn stars? No.
Well it’s just an observation.
It’s a mix. I find it’s easier to date people out of the industry because I don’t want to hear about or talk about porn all the time. To me it’s not the most interesting topic of conversation. If somebody wants to talk and they say, “Tell me about porn.” I say, “I don’t know, go talk to somebody who’s really excited about it.” At one point I might have been more excited but it’s really commonplace for me now. It’s just something that I can do. I make extra money on the side.
And it’s not your main gig anymore.
Very much not my main gig.
Why still do it then?
Why do I still do it? Because it’s still fun.
What makes it fun?
Well sex isn’t always fun, but most of the time it’s fun. Some of the time it’s not and if I’m rolling that dice on a regular basis anyhow, because I like having sex with different people and meeting different people that way. Those times when it’s not fun, even when you’re doing it just for fun, I’d say, then well why wouldn’t I also just do porn? I’ll get paid for it, and a trip to San Francisco or New York out of it. I’ll always extend my trip and hang out with friends and stuff that I don’t get to see on a regular basis, because I don’t travel that much anymore if it’s not for work. Working my regular job, when I’ve traveled on that, it’s work the entire fucking time and I don’t have time to see my friends. That’s really disappointing to me because I like having that extra time and the ability to go and see. So there’s all these perks that sort of come along with doing porn for me, that I’m not ready to give up on.
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.