I am fully aware of the blasphemy of what I’m about to say on this very prominent blog literally and almost exclusively about gay porn and the guys who dip into and out of that world, buuuut: most mainstream porn doesn’t do anything special for me or my penis.
I find that so much of porn feels rote and familiar in a way that feels less comforting or recognizable than it does exhausting and dull. Really all that changes is the ever-rotating cast of dongs and holes that are featured (and then favorited and then frittered away the moment something new comes along). And that’s totally fine, if that’s your bag.
It’s not terribly different from the music business that way. You could easily compare so many one–hit–wonders of the pop world to the endless stream of guys who do one or two by-the-book scenes for a major studio, and then just sort of vanish or flame out on social media, never to be heard from again.
Which is what makes it so profoundly noticeable when someone decides to come after their work as an adult entertainer with seriousness, respect, and gusto. There is a very small pool of guys who appear to treat their work as work, and an even smaller pool of guys who do that and find success with mainstream content distributors (your Falcon Exclusives, your Cockyboys, and the like). These are guys who develop and maintain relationships with directors, producers, castmates, and other industry folks who, in turn, work with them because they’re great to work with. You’d be surprised at how much that factors into who gets cast in what, and who finds themselves relegated quickly to a “good luck with your OnlyFans!” and is never cast again.
Gabriel Cross is a horny lil english muffin.
One of my most favorite performers in this club is England’s Gabriel Cross. This guy doesn’t get near the credit he’s due for the decade’s worth of joyfulness, humor, and slutty English Rose charm he brings to virtually everything he touches.
I still think sometimes about the sort of nothing-special 50-minute one-off story Cross shot for Next Door Studios back in 2016, titled Dirty Step-Brother.
In the preposterously thin plot, Cross is Tom Faulk’s step brother from England (somehow – the logistics are never explained further), and he walks in on Faulk and his buddy River Elliott jackin it together on the living room couch.
Everything proceeds exactly as your porny imagination would predict, with their threesome being simultaneously sweet and implied-incest raunchy.
But it’s Cross – whose pompous and snarky introduction to the masturbating duo comes off as horny-but-scolding – that makes any of it worth watching or remembering. He has a presence and confident physicality that belies his age and stature, and a joyful enthusiasm that I believe to be impossible to fake convincingly.
Never mind that he’s actually doing some legitimate work to express emotion throughout, and relating and connecting to the men with whom he has been cast without real narrative context or plot. Never mind that he’s – dare I say this? – acting in porn. He’s convincing!
But his solo content lets Gabriel really shine, and his Just For Fans is a treasure trove of pairings that only someone who truly loved what he did would work to facilitate. If I had to make my case in court, all I would need to do is share this promo clip:
— Gabriel Cross (@GabrielCrossXXX) March 17, 2019
Cross wants to be here and he wants you to be here too (and he really wants Ricardo Prince to cum in him, baby!). You don’t realize how significant those two ideas are until they are lacking, and you’re watching two dudes aggressively fucking to conclusion while looking as though they’d rather be anywhere and doing anyone or anything else.
More than sick bodies, or huge uncircumcised dongs, or insatiable buttholes (all three of which Cross is masterfully in command), the enthusiasm to want to be connected to others and to show, share, and celebrate that connection is what wins my money every single time.
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Gabriel Cross is a rare breed of joy and shamelessness (the best possible kind of shamelessness – not the give-me-attention-all-the-time-for-doing-nothing / like-me-like-me-like-me shamelessness) that translates into and through his work. As a sex worker, he is a role model for sex positivity of which I don’t think we see enough in adult entertainment, and the gravity with which he approaches even the silliest projects 🤓should ensconce him as a mainstream mainstay. We need guys like Cross around and fuckin’ proud for as long as they’re ready to love it.
Tyler Dårlig Ulv is an Ontario-based blogger and professional companion. He has worked for Rentboy.com, Manhunt, and contributed to publications like Queerty and Thought Catalog. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram, or find out more about his work at his website and blog. Tyler lives full time in Toronto.