Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!

By Josh Eliot

 

I can’t tell you how many times over the years I get asked about fluffers on the set. It seems once someone found out what I did for a living, their first words were, “Do you need a fluffer?” or “Are there really fluffers for the actors?” It’s almost like the impression of a fluffer is a cool and positive one. Well, let me tell you, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the only thing worse than needing a fluffer on the set is when you need to hire a stunt dick (yes, that’s a real thing). I’d like to think that when I hear the word fluffer, it takes me back to the time when my mother packed our school lunches with a fluffernutter sandwich. A peanut butter and fluff sandwich on Wonder white bread, a true American classic and staple of the East Coast. The only place you can buy fluff in California is at a specialty market, and every year or so I have a craving for it. The sandwich is dripping with white creamy marshmallow fluff, the complete opposite of what we want to happen when a fluffer goes to work.

I’ve said “fluffer” so many times in the last paragraph that I’m starting to have anxiety, so let’s just change the word to Mr. F. As a director of gay porn movies, when a model needs the services of Mr. F, we know our shoot day will extend from 5 to 6 hours for a full scene to anywhere from 8 to 10 hours. Your heart drops and you realize that all your hopes and dreams of a hot sexy scene have gone right out the window in an instant. The worst part of shooting porn is when there are erection problems, especially in gay porn where there is not a cute “vag” you can shoot to take up some screen time. You cannot move forward without a hard on, and all the momentum is lost. There is a place and purpose for flaccid dicks to be photographed and a porn movie is not that place.

 

fluffernutter

 

In the late 1980's when I started with Catalina Video, William Higgins' vision for the company was to cast young collegiate men with fit bodies and All-American looks. The model pool in the late 80’s with Scott Masters (Nova Video) as our producer and sometimes director was mostly made up of guys who were gay for pay. This made the chemistry on the set between the models very wooden. If we matched a gay guy with a straight guy, sometimes things would work out, but straight with straight... forget it. Because of this dynamic, our sets had no similarity to what I (and probably everyone else) thought a porn set would be like. I’d always envisioned Joe Gage’s Closed Set as the epitome of a California gay porn shoot. Or even 1984’s Best Picture Winner, Steve Scott’s classic Screenplay, with hot sexy gay actors portraying directors and casting agents. Our sets did not have that sexual energy.

 

Stills from Closed Set
Stills from Closed Set (DVD | Streaming)

Screenplay VHS cover

Screenplay VHS cover (DVD | Streaming)

 

With our gay for pay models, Mr. F was not a man but a VCR, unless one of the model’s girlfriends happened to be on the set (I can count on one hand the number of times that happened). A man’s mouth would not do the trick, so we would wheel out the TV/VCR combo from the make-up room onto the set. We would shut off the 1k soundstage lights to make the model comfortable and let him watch a porn scene to get hard. Oh the hideous memories of models rewinding and fast forwarding the tape, trying to find their “perfect shots to watch.” The clock is ticking! Take your hand off that fucking remote and put it on your dick already! Once the model was fully erect, we would turn the lights back on and run to our cameras as the model jumped into the set, stuck his dick in his co-star’s mouth or ass, while we'd shoot for 10 to 15 seconds until it was flaccid again. Over and over and over, angle, after angle, after angle. Torture.

As time progressed, more gay guys with the All-American look got into the model pool. Sexy passionate sex was now a regular occurrence on our sets because the guys were actually into each other. That’s not so say that Mr. F wouldn’t show his ugly face, but that was usually in the form of a magazine to help a hard dick get rock hard or, on the rare occasion, a crew member’s mouth (or piece) would come in handy. Then on March 27th, 1998, a miracle happened in the form of a little blue pill. This was awesome! The cob web covered TV/VCR combo was thrown right into the trash and we could make real plans for the evening because we knew we would get out of work on time. Hell, we could even add a third fuck position into the scene we were shooting, just because we knew we could! Mr. F simply faded away out of our lives and took all that anxiety with it.

 

Man holding Viagra pill

 

Fluff now has it’s good name back and Mr. F is more than welcome on the set... as a sandwich.
 


Bio of Josh Eliot:

At the age of 25 in 1987, Josh Eliot was hired by Catalina Video by John Travis (Brentwood Video) and Scott Masters (Nova Video). Travis trained Eliot on his style of videography and mentored him on the art of directing. Josh directed his first movie, Runaways, in 1987. By 2009 when Josh parted ways with Catalina Video, he'd produced and directed hundreds of features and won numerous awards for Best Screenplay, Videography, Editing, and Directing. He was entered into the GayVN Hall of fame in 2002. 

 

You can read Josh Eliot's previous blogs for Bijou here:

Coming out of my WET SHORTS
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment

That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck

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Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Lee Ryder

Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Lee Ryder

We at Bijou carry back issues of Manshots magazines, which was, I think, in its heyday (the late eighties and early nineties), offered a sophisticated approach to gay porn; its video reviews were generally cogent and intelligent, even scholarly. It treated gay porn in all its variety of genres like something that deserved thoughtful analysis, especially the movies now legendary directors like Steve Scott, Toby Ross, and Tom DeSimone made (movies Bijou carries, by the way).

And Manshots also offered some telling biographies of and interviews with most of the great gay porn stars of the past; again, treating their lives (and of course their activities on screen) as something as interesting and entertaining as any feature on a celebrity in a mainstream magazine like People.

And if there was a gay porn star, or “retrostud” who deserved celebrity treatment, it was Lee Ryder. But like many of the gay porn stars of that period, as noted in the all­too­common “Fade Out” feature at the back of so many back issues of Manshots, he died of AIDS-­related complications (in 1991).

Lee Ryder was born in 1959 as Darras Robert Pyron. He was California born and bred, raised in Laguna, and he graduated from Esperanza High School in Anaheim.

After Mark Reynolds discovered him and featured him in All American Boys, he literally made a splash in Falcon Studio's Huge in 1982.

He starred in thirteen features between 1982 and 1986, including Bijou titles Screenplay, A Few Good Men, Giants 1, and 2 X 10.

Now, of course, if one views these films, it's clear that Lee Ryder's cock is pretty much legendary. According to one Jeff Starkey, who reviewed the movie Screenplay in tandem with Ryder's appearances at the Bijou Theater to greet fans and sign autographs back in 1984:

"Ryder's cock is long, thick, and shapely and is criss­crossed by just the right number of lovely veins. Beneath it hang a perfectly balanced pair of what appear to be 5­pound balls. When his cock appears in public, it is usually hard as a baseball bat, with its swollen head looking purple and petulant."

Purple and petulant? Wow. Perhaps those adjectives could apply to the cock, but not the person.

In an interview with Stallion magazine, known for his sexually aggressive but also unforced, natural screen presence, seems rather low­key, both veering between a quiet confidence in himself, but also showing a somewhat self­-deprecating attitude. Definitely not the “divo” attitude of so many celebrities: “Everyone wants to look at me, I am the 
Adonis with the giant cock and all should worship me."

 

In fact, in the interview, he actually seems rather pragmatic: he does it for the money, and for his business (he actually was a successful floral designer), but ... he actually doesn't see himself as a sex symbol. He just enjoys being himself, and letting a chink of vulnerability come out, being wanted.

(We also find out in the interview he had a relationship with an older guy from ages 15 to 18, who tragically committed suicide soon after they broke up.)

To add to the complexity of his character, despite his appearance at the Bijou and other venues as a gay porn celebrity, he actually admits he would rather not be recognized (he even goes to Europe to escape the attention)... and he notices, even when he does, the guys stay away, or “they stare – I guess I do show a big crotch – or they look at my eyes.”

To be honest, at least for me, the eyes can be just as erotic as, especially in Ryder's case, a dick of death. And Ryder he admits in the interview that he loves his eyes. And rightly so!

 

His eyes make love to the camera, like those of that famous movie star Joan Crawford (completely the opposite in her approach to celebrity). The eyes themselves create a unique effect in the viewer; they seem to draw you in with a promise of something intense; you think he is looking directly at you via the camera, which could satisfy your desire, but you at the same time feel like you will always want more. Perhaps it's their narrow shape but also richly colored pupils. I don't know, but I can't stop looking at his picture on the cover on Stallion magazine as I write this piece.

And I promise you, you won't be able to take your eyes off of Lee Ryder in our remastering of Huge (now Huge 1) as he beats his meat while perched on the toilet ­ ­ making it bigger, hotter and harder. He, Rick Jensen and Matt Stoker roll around on the cold concrete floor, licking each other's hairy armpits and sitting on each other's faces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Lee Ryder

Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Lee Ryder

 

We at Bijou carry back issues of Manshots magazine, which was, I think, in its heyday (the late eighties and early nineties), offered a sophisticated approach to gay porn; its video reviews were generally cogent and intelligent, even scholarly. It treated gay porn in all its variety of genres like something that deserved thoughtful analysis, especially the movies now legendary directors like Steve Scott, Toby Ross, and Tom DeSimone made (movies Bijou carries, by the way). 


And Manshots also offered some telling biographies of and interviews with most of the great gay porn stars of the past; again, treating their lives (and of course their activities on screen) as something as interesting and entertaining as any feature on a celebrity in a mainstream magazine likePeople

And if there was a gay porn star, or “retrostud” who deserved celebrity treatment, it was Lee Ryder. But like many of the gay porn stars of that period, as noted in the all­too­common “Fade Out” feature at the back of so many back issues of Manshots, he died of AIDS-­related complications (in 1991). 

 

Lee Ryder Fade Out feature in Manshots magazine

Lee Ryder was born in 1959 as Darras Robert Pyron. He was California born and bred, raised in Laguna, and he graduated from Esperanza High School in Anaheim. 

After Mark Reynolds discovered him and featured him in All American Boys, he literally made a splash in Falcon Studio's Huge in 1982. 

He starred in thirteen features between 1982 and 1986, including Bijou titles ScreenplayA Few Good MenGiants 1, and 2 X 10

Now, of course, if one views these films, it's clear that Lee Ryder's cock is pretty much legendary. According to one Jeff Starkey, who reviewed the movie Screenplay in tandem with Ryder's appearances at the Bijou Theater to greet fans and sign autographs back in 1984: 

"Ryder's cock is long, thick, and shapely and is criss­crossed by just the right number of lovely veins. Beneath it hang a perfectly balanced pair of what appear to be 5­pound balls. When his cock appears in public, it is usually hard as a baseball bat, with its swollen head looking purple and petulant." 

Purple and petulant? Wow. Perhaps those adjectives could apply to the cock, but not the person. 

In an interview with Stallion magazine, known for his sexually aggressive but also unforced, natural screen presence, seems rather low­key, both veering between a quiet confidence in himself, but also showing a somewhat self­deprecating attitude. Definitely not the “divo” attitude of so many celebrities: “Everyone wants to look at me, I am the Adonis with the giant cock and all should worship me. 

 

Lee Ryder on Stallion magazine cover


In fact, in the interview, he actually seems rather pragmatic: he does it for the money, and for his business (he actually was a successful floral designer), but ... he actually doesn't see himself as a sex symbol. He just enjoys being himself, and letting a chink of vulnerability come out, being wanted. 

(We also find out in the interview he had a relationship with an older guy from ages 15 to 18, who tragically committed suicide soon after they broke up.) 

To add to the complexity of his character, despite his appearance at the Bijou and other venues as a gay porn celebrity, he actually admits he would rather not be recognized (he even goes to Europe to escape the attention)... and he notices, even when he does, the guys stay away, or “they stare – I guess I do show a big crotch – or they look at my eyes.” 

To be honest, at least for me, the eyes can be just as erotic as, especially in Ryder's case, a dick of death. And Ryder he admits in the interview that he loves his eyes. And rightly so! 

 

Lee Ryder

His eyes make love to the camera, like those of that famous movie star Joan Crawford (completely the opposite in her approach to celebrity). The eyes themselves create a unique effect in the viewer; they seem to draw you in with a promise of something intense; you think he is looking directly at you via the camera, which could satisfy your desire, but you at the same time feel like you will always want more. Perhaps it's their narrow shape but also richly colored pupils. I don't know, but I can't stop looking at his picture on the cover on Stallion magazine as I write this piece. 

And I promise you, you won't be able to take your eyes off of Lee Ryder in our remastering of Huge (now Huge 1) as he beats his meat while perched on the toilet ­ ­ making it bigger, hotter and harder. He, Rick Jensen and Matt Stoker roll around on the cold concrete floor, licking each other's hairy armpits and sitting on each other's faces. 

 

Lee Ryder jerking off on a toilet in Huge 1
 
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