“I’m going to have to see you naked.”
Being asked to take your clothes off isn’t routine for most job interviews, but porn isn’t your average job.
This dumbfounding moment marked the end of an inquiry that began with a pink poster that shouted four conspicuous words: “Hot Male Models Needed.”
Many students have seen these posters somewhere around campus. Whether plastered to the scaffold outside the image arts building or stuck on someone’s dorm-room door as a joke, the bright pink posters with obnoxiously large font are hard to miss.
Despite the “no sex” disclaimer in small print, there was clearly something sexual about this job, but just how hardcore did it get?
I wanted to find out.
I walked down Gould Street looking for one of the infamous posters until I found one pasted to a lamp post. I scribbled down the website and booted home.
The site seems innocent at first; it’s fairly simple with a photo of a young guy smiling ear to ear. But the text reads, “You already do it everyday… you might as well get paid for it.” I later learned this masturbation reference was a deceptive understatement. There would be much more involved.
The online application begins with familiar questions; it asks for name and contact information. It also asks for hair colour, height and weight. That’s where the ordinary ends. It then asks for “cock size” and has pictures of three models with their pants at their ankles.
Still unsure about what exactly I was getting myself into, I filled out the form and clicked the send button.
Eighteen minutes later I had a new message in my inbox. Guess who.
His name is Karl and he owns and operates the company. We arrange an interview for Monday, which he describes as “a casual meet and greet.” He gives me the address of the building, the access code, and some advice.
“Don’t do anything crazy over the weekend. Don’t shave your crotch.”
A casual meet and greet. Right.
Monday comes and I approach the building exactly on time. I punch in the intercom code.
A stocky guy opens the door wearing a plain black T-shirt and looks me up and down. He confirms that I was the one he was waiting for. There’s a moment of tension that lasts until he turns around revealing an in-your-face logo for porn giant Hustler. Underneath it reads, “Hardcore since 74.” He tells me to follow him.
We enter a kitchen in an open loft. Hustler guy slides me a form and asks for photo ID to prove that I am of age.
As he scans my ID, I notice a stack of porn DVDs stacked to the right of the TV. I then see the fridge. There’s half a dozen amateur close-ups of colourful bulging briefs in place of the usual alphabet magnets and report cards.
Karl calls me into his office. I sit down and he looks over the paper I filled out. When I tell him I’m 18 he says I’m “just out of the cradle.” I turn the conversation on him. I find out he’s a Ryerson photography grad, class of 1990. ”
And this is what I ended up as — a pornographer,” he said. “Gotta make ends meet.”
He’s been shooting porn in Toronto for over 15 years and in February he filmed his 800th shoot. I’m glad his Ryerson degree got him this far.
We then move on to what’s expected. He says that models start off with what he calls a solo jack-off.
“You are required to finger your ass. I’m not asking anyone to jump on a fire hydrant but we need to see some type of anal penetration. Fingers are usually good enough.”
At less than an hour, the shoots are short — but they’re not sweet. “We like our guys to eat their own cum as well. We like it to be a little dirty. We like to see you queasying up over there.”
This is made all the more surprising when Karl says that 90 per cent of the models are straight.
Solo shoots pay $600 total and is divided into two parts. The first shoot is photographed and pays $100. If he likes what he sees, Karl calls the model back to shoot a video which pays the remaining $500.
The more an actor is willing to do, the more he can get paid.
“The thing to remember is, this is a job, and you’re not just sitting on the couch jerking off and getting paid for it,” he said. “If you can’t get a hard-on I’m not paying you. If you can’t cum I’m not paying you.”
And now it was time to get down to business. He wanted to see the goods.
When I refuse, he launches into a series of guilt-trips. “If you’re not comfortable doing that then that’s fine, but you’re not going to get anywhere.”
After fumbling through a jumble of excuses I walk out with my belt buckled and my dignity (somewhat) intact.
I got more answers than I was expecting, and more information than I could stomach. I saw the face behind the pink posters.