Havin' Buck for Breakfast
LOS ANGELESWait, are we going to begin the shot on her penis, then move to his vagina, or vice versa?" The camera guy asked a valid question. "Yes, her penis, then his vagina," responded the director.
You may be slightly confused, but no one on the set of Allanah Starr's Big Boob Adventures was. I recently got to sit in on the filming of a scene for the first installment of the transsexual seriesa scene that made porn history. It's the first between a male-to-female (MTF) transsexual and a female-to-male transsexual (FTM). And these aren't just any old transsexuals. The she of "her penis" is well-known adult starlet and New York nightlife figure Allanah Starr (shemaleexotica.com), and the he of "his vagina" is Buck Angel (transexual-man.com), the self-proclaimed "dude with a pussy" and "world's only" FTM porn star.
Buck has been breaking lots of new ground this year. Not only is he the first FTM porn star to run his own membership-based website (which debuted in January 2002), but he's the first to be under contract with a mainstream porn company. Last November, he signed a 12-picture deal to direct and perform for Robert Hill Releasing. The first title as part of that contract, the bisexual Buck's Beaver, came out in February, and the feedback has been great, says Buck. "I've heard from lots of people who've said, 'I can't believe it, I have fantasized about guys like you my whole life, I can't believe you really exist.' It's hard to be the only guy like me in porn, but the fan response is really encouraging and helps me keep going."
Boy is he going. He followed up Buck's Beaver with the all-male More Bang for Your Buck, set to hit the streets in September. But he told me he's been saving himself for a scene with a transsexual woman. Since his deal with Robert Hill is non-exclusive, when the opportunity came to work with Starr, he grabbed it: "Both [director Gia Darling] and Allanah are so great to work with because they are so supportive, and they want me to do well, which means a lot."
Before Angel and his co-star got to it, Starr confessed to me that she's had sex with men, women, and transwomen, but never a transman. "I'm e xcited. We're breaking some taboos," said the busty Cuban, who admits she's obsessed with plastic surgery. "People know about MTF transsexuals, but some people don't even know that FTMs exist, so we're educating them and getting them off."
Gia Darling, Buck Angel, and Allanah Starr on the set of their new film.
photo: Tristan Taormino
Directing the scene was performer and director Darling (giadarling.com), a groundbreaker herself. An eight-year adult industry veteran, she's the only transsexual woman to own her own production company, and she recently made Starr her first contract performer. I recognized Darling from her appearance on a recent episode of MTV's plastic surgery show I Want a Famous Face she too is unabashedly in love with cosmetic proceduresbut she's known to porn fans for what she calls "her signature soft, romantic, Playboy -style tranny videos" of the popular Transsexual Heart Breakers series. She admits she is venturing into raunchier territory as director and producer of Starr's new series, although she welcomes the challenge: "Behind most portrayals in tranny porn are men, and there's a lot of 'you dirty-ass whore' this, 'you cum-eating slut' that. When I direct a tranny girl porno, I am representing transsexual women, I am representing myself. I take that seriously."
If you're thinking that everyone's comments sound more political than those you hear on the set of a typical porn production, you're right. Everyone involved is keenly aware that they are in new, important territory. During the filming of the scene, Starr revealed to Angel that she's a "chick with a dick" (her words) by whipping out her cock from beneath a lacy short skirt. In turn, Angel dropped trou to show her his cunt . The cameraman, who has shot hundreds of skin flicks, was visibly stunned. "Wow," he said as he moved in with his camera to get a closer shot. "Wow. That's a first for me." It was as though he couldn't believe what was right in front of him: a butch, tough, muscled, tattooed guy with a handlebar moustache and a shaved pussy. His eyes adjusted, and he panned over to Starr's cock, by then standing at attention. Without the least bit of sarcasm, he said quietly, "Believe it or not, the universe now makes sense."
Buck Angel and Allanah Starr consult the script (yes, there was a script).
photo: Tristan Taormino
It was a simple but profound moment (you don't get a lot of those on porno sets, folks). And it was a moment that would not be possible without the courage, exhibitionism, and drive of Buck Angel. He literally lays himself bare so others may better understand some part of transman-ness. There was an unusual collision of fantasy and reality in this production. Darling, Angel, and Starr were not just making jerk-off material or erotic art (or both) as most do when they make porn. This trio, along with a tiny crew, was creating some potentially life-changing images. Somewhere, someone will watch the film and see his transself or his object of affection represented for the first time.
But before I could scream "It's a revolution!" at the top of my lungs, there was work to be donelocating misplaced lube, negotiating how many fingers Buck likes in him, and finding a fucking position that wouldn't kill Starr's knees. Politics or not, there was porn to be made. I couldn't help but notice that Buck bore a strong resemblance to Starr's real-life boyfriendthey're both shortish guys with shaved heads and buff gym bods, although Buck's got lots more tattoos. It was an interesting juxtaposition when the boyfriend would do "fluffer duties" for Starr, and then the cameras would roll again, and she'd be fucking someone who looked like him but with different genitals.
A funny thing happened on the set that day: Not a single person got anyone's pronoun wrong. Not once. Pronouns tend to trip up even the most enlightened folks when it comes to gender-queers, so I was pretty impressed that self-identifications were respected in such a "this is no big deal" way. When Darling wanted something, the directions were clear: "Finger that man!"
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