There's Drama on Both Sides of the Camera at NYC Porn Powerhouse CockyBoys

There's Drama on Both Sides of the Camera at NYC Porn Powerhouse CockyBoys
Santiago Felipe

New York's gay film scene is (and this in no way should be confused with its performers) quite small. Following a 1988 California Supreme Court decision that decriminalized pornography, the adult industry, which until that time had been split among Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, decamped to the sunny San Fernando Valley.

"People call us a cult. We're not a cult, but I could definitely see why people would say that, just because we're so close."

Today, only four gay film companies are New York–based. Two minor outlets cater to niche markets: Dark Alley Media, which specializes in bareback (i.e., condom-free) fare; and Dog Pound U.S.A., for gentlemen who prefer black and Latino performers. The other two, CockyBoys and Lucas Entertainment, control major shares of the gay adult market.

Timothy Ferencz is a senior account executive and resident expert on the gay industry at Adult Video News, the industry's trade publication. He calls Lucas's productions "probably the highest-quality in the industry. Lucas has been around longer, but I think CockyBoys has really come on in the last couple of years."

Jake Jaxson, center, flanked by CockyBoys' Bravo Delta, Dillon Rossi, 
and Levi Karter.
Santiago Felipe
Jake Jaxson, center, flanked by CockyBoys' Bravo Delta, Dillon Rossi, and Levi Karter.
Ricky Roman and Jake Bass shooting Answered Prayers on location in Montreal.
RJ Sebastian
Ricky Roman and Jake Bass shooting Answered Prayers on location in Montreal.

In part that's due to the companies' business models. CockyBoys relies on its website, which users access for $39 per month or $200 per year, for 60 percent of its revenue. (The remainder of the business is split between DVD sales and licensing its films to other companies.) Lucas Entertainment, by contrast, owes its revenue base chiefly to DVD sales, which have been on the wane in recent years.

In another respect, though, CockyBoys and Lucas Entertainment are very similar. Like most of their competitors — and like the mainstream movie giants of old — they sign their performers to exclusive contracts.

"Most of the gay companies have exclusives," Ferencz explains. "It's something that used to be really big in the straight market. Now there are only maybe one or two companies in the straight market that have exclusives. It's almost like a gay thing right now."

Ten years ago, when exclusive contracts were more prevalent in straight porn, a so-called Vivid Girl could earn $100,000 a year for appearing in an average of nine movies for L.A.–based Vivid Entertainment. Today, the hetero side of the adult industry favors a free-agent system, meaning a popular actress like Lisa Ann (star of Who's Nailin' Paylin?) is in a position to work with any number of studios.

On the gay side of the industry, a star will commit to a particular studio for a fixed term — anywhere from six months to three years — during which that actor doesn't shoot with anyone else.

"Gay customers are very loyal to their product," Ferencz says. "If people fall in love with an exclusive model, they will exclusively buy that person's movies who works for that company, and that company has a monopoly on that customer."

But like in old Hollywood, where stars like Olivia de Havilland chafed under the control of studio executives and ultimately rebelled, there are signs of discontent.

Last month, performer Vito Gallo was arrested for assaulting his boss, Lucas Entertainment owner Michael Lucas. Lucas told the New York Post that Gallo, who had signed a three-year contract with the studio, was upset that the company wasn't putting him in more scenes. "You had to see his eyes; the veins bulging on his forehead," Lucas said. "It was scary."

CockyBoys faced its own high-profile contract dispute earlier this year, when an angelic ballet dancer who goes by the name Jett Black publicly spurned his employer. CockyBoys CEO Jake Jaxson returned the disfavor, accusing his now ex-star of stealing proprietary information on his way out the door with plans to offer it to rival Lucas Entertainment.

It was a level of drama fit for the art-imitates-life adult films Jake Jaxson is gaining a reputation for producing.

So, naturally, he's making a movie about it.

In a high-ceilinged, hardwood-floored apartment near the Williamsburg Bridge, the long, midnight-blue drapes are pulled back to let the sunlight filter in. An assortment of sex toys clutters the windowsill: seven dildos (various sizes), a cock ring, and something called Fetish Fantasy Series Shock Therapy Pleasure Probe.

Jake Jaxson is pulling stuffed animals out of a plastic shopping bag and scattering them around the room. Three performers await their cues while the cameraman, one of Jaxson's two longtime boyfriends, assembles his tripod. Dillon Rossi is playing with the long tail that dangles from his furry tiger-striped G-string. Bravo Delta, clad in white briefs and latex-coated work gloves, perches on a Plexiglas chair, holding a Ronald Reagan biography. Levi Karter, in white Calvin Klein briefs and a cropped leather vest embellished with gold studs and bits of the American flag, is rolling from one side of the room to the other, like slow-moving human pinball, on a pair of glittery gold roller skates. A statue of a dog, wearing a bejeweled gas mask and a feathered headdress, looks on passively from the corner.

Answered Prayers is inspired by the events that transpired over the summer, but it's not a re-creation. It's an interpretive take on the feelings of betrayal, misrepresentation, secrets, and lies Jaxson says he experienced when he became convinced Jeppe Hansen, aka Jett Black, was stealing from his company.

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10 comments
CBMember
CBMember

This article was very informative and I liked that both sides of the story are in it.  I am eagerly awaiting the release of Answered Prayers and know that it will be like nothing else out there today.  I don't like that the drama with Jett is involved in any way because it does have a negative impact in my mind regarding the film.  I understand that there were questionable acts done on both sides of this, but the fact that a young man was publicly attacked never sat well with me.  It's time to move on and stop the mentioning of things that should remain behind the scenes. 

Cockyboys has such great success because the three visionaries behind the company work hard and really do everything they can to make the films "works of art".  I wish all parties well and I will continue to support them.

zoodlemouse13
zoodlemouse13

I think that Cockyboys is one of the more reputable studios around. They help the models to work towards careers that will get them OUT of the industry. They treat the models with caring & respect.  Jett took someone's trust and money and betrayed them.  He seems to have a pattern of using people and then crying "poor me" when he gets called out for it. I have zero respect for someone like that.  

As someone said below..."continued success and evolutionary progression of COCKYBOYS, its visionary CEO and such iconic, fascinating models as Jake Bass, Levi Karter, Bravo Delta, Ricky Roman and Dillon Rossi" 

Visionary CEO....fascinating models...yes, wishing much continued success for Cockyboys.  (I doubt a disgruntled ex-employee who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar will slow them down!! lol)

rufus_red
rufus_red

I'm from the dance world and it's highly unlikely or unusual that someone would join a professional company, Les Grands Ballets Canadien de Montreal, and then go into a school, Royal Winnipeg. Are you sure the order didn't get mixed up? What, the school paid more?

LLPR
LLPR

Look who is listening to her friend Grace Baine

thekruezer
thekruezer

Jeppe Hansen contacted me this past summer and provided more of his version of events, asking me to do a series of feature stories about him and Cockyboys and especially Jake Bass and Max Ryder, about whom he appears to have some deeply divided feelings.  I responded by publishing one article, neutral in tone, that outlined the basics of what the Village Voice has done in this article.  Interestingly, some of this VV piece appears to be based on my article from this past Summer.  Then Jeppe offered a full-on exclusive interview in which he promised to "to blow the lid off the Cockyboys scene and tell about some things that happened to me that will shock the industry".  I responded by saying that I'm a reputable reporter who's been covering the gay adult industry for 17 years who's known for fair and unbiased reporting and my presentation of unfiltered news - which means no hidden agendas, no opinions represented as facts, and no "buying in" to anyone's side. The bottom line on this VV article, Hansen, Jaxson and Cockyboys: No one is perfect.  All leaders (including CEOs) are human, and all humans make mistakes.  Now that Lucas has gone bareback in the most radical example of hypocrisy and double standards I've ever seen in the industry, my money's on the continued success and evolutionary progression of COCKYBOYS, its visionary CEO and such iconic, fascinating models as Jake Bass, Levi Karter, Bravo Delta, Ricky Roman and Dillon Rossi.

Chug
Chug

Seems to me, that this Cockyboys dude has all these homeless looking boys working for him and shooting porn. Is he running some sort of home for wayward boys? Drugs, travel, porn, tattoos, twinks. They are "like a family". They get off the streets if they shoot their loads on camera and he makes money off it? Sounds like a pretty good deal all around. No wonder the kid wanted to get away. I feel bad for him. 

NicT
NicT

Overall a balanced and interesting read.  The notable exception here is when you touch on the recent scuffle at Lucas, but give only one side of the story.   The other version contests the assault claim and relates that the performer was upset at being pressured to perform bareback.   No idea what the truth in that mess is, but presenting both sides would have been appreciated.

sewn272bear707
sewn272bear707

@CBMember I'm sorry but I disagree. Why should the 3 be silent while being attacked? Being young is no excuse. He is old enough to know right from wrong. I see nothing wrong with defending your honour when someone tries to drag it through the mud...regardless of how old the person doing the dragging is.

CBMember
CBMember

@sewn272bear707 @CBMember I don't believe Jett was dragging anyone's name through the mud as you say. He remained quiet on the matter simply releasing a statement that he is no longer with CB and wishes them well.  JJ was the one who publicly attacked Jett and had him ostracized.  Since it looks like both sides allegedly did wrongdoing, it should have been kept private.  I guess I would like to see actual proof before public shaming happens.  That being said, I respect and admire both sides and just want to move on and enjoy the high quality work being released.

 
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