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The transition: leaving the Army and moving to civilian life didn't go quite as expected

“Hey, we need to add dildos to the list. Oh, and we need more Red Bull…let the office know.” A few weeks ago, when I was writing, the background noise would have been incoming warning sirens and explosions. Right now, it’s moaning and directions of “move that leg” and “do we have more lube?”

Mind you- I have two degrees and three combat tours. Its mind boggling that the first job I get after leaving the military is working in porn. My mother would be so proud. The craziest part is that working with models and working with soldiers is very similar.

I didn’t plan it this way. I’m an East Coast boy with a Gossip Girl upbringing. I was supposed to move back to New York and become a broker or go to law school. I was not supposed to be picking up, um, “soiled rags” and covering up the weird mole on the “model’s” inner thigh. Where I come from, doing something different means moving to DC to work in politics… not moving to California to work in porn. California is for business conferences or layovers before Hawaii honeymoons.

My parents just think I work in production. Recently, they have been asking what I produce. I go with art films. Luckily, their yuppiness enables them to approve without requiring them to watch. Their lack of any knowledge of the film industry is also helpful. Over Christmas, my mother warned me not to hang out with, “you know, those ones that do all the drugs.” And, to top it off: “Also, be careful who you are associated with. People are, um, different.”

She means gay.

I had every intention of moving back to the East Coast after finishing my out-processing from the military. I thought leaving the military would be easy: sign some papers, give a final salute, and walk away. However, like all things in the military there is a lot of paperwork and waiting. So, when I was told I would not be able to leave San Diego until January, it dawned on me that it was not smart to leave the California sunshine for the East Coast winter. The only winter clothes I have are hoodies—perfect attire for life in the Mid-Atlantic. Plus, last time I checked, my NYC apartment didn’t have a really cute surfer next door who tends to get high and then lay out naked in his backyard.

Not that I’m watching.

I quickly learned that combative training, a Surface Warfare Qualification, and an Army Commendation Medal don’t help much in the real world unless you want to work in the government or for a company that does work with the government. I wanted a clean break from it all. But, I also like getting paid, so I took the first job I got offered. I wanted a transitional job; I didn’t really think it through. After all, you can’t really transition to anything from the porn industry.

I don’t find what I do a turn-on. I don’t think anyone I work with does but who knows? I mean, one of my coworkers gets turned on by takeout menus. I thought it was a joke until he actually started salivating and losing focus when he was given more than a few to choose from.

While I work in an environment filled with naked men, it’s much less homoerotic than the military (which I guess is also filled with naked men, at times). Take, for example, the gym I went to at Iraq’s Victory Base Camp. It was gayer than a circuit party during Pride. Since it was open only to the military, the majority of the clientele were men. When a woman did show up, she got lots of dirty looks, so not many ventured inside. VBC was home to Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and foreign allied forces, which means there were a lot of different military guys trying to show each other up. Since you have to wear military-issued gear that happens to shrink, everyone’s T-shirts were too tight and their shorts were too short. Tribal tattoos are only cool with gay guys and in the military…so there were a lot of them. The guys spent a ton of time checking themselves out in the mirrors as well as openly checking each other out. It was also acceptable to talk about the guys you see at the gym as long as you start with the phrase “no homo.”

No homo, but did you see that guy doing abs? No homo, that Australian guy just did an unbelievable amount of pull-ups. No homo, but that guy’s ass was awesome…I mean, never mind.

Ok, so I made that last one up, but here’s an actual conversation that I heard while lifting: “No homo, but I love that guy to death …have you seen him in the shower? His tattoo is rad.”

“Dude, no one uses rad.”

They also played dance re-mixes. Yeah, it was so gay. No homo.

The guys we work with also use a form of “no homo” in order to make what they do (have sex with each other) seem less gay. This involves either constantly talking about hot girls during filming, or making up outrageous stories about sexual experiences. Sometimes these stories are funny…or confusing. Recently when a model was offered more money to either kiss or suck dick he responded with, “I don’t want to do anything gay, so I’ll suck dick.” Just like guys in the military, the things they find NOT “gay” are astounding.

In porn, there are a multitude of examples of this. I’m sure you can think of some--just chose one of the sites you have bookmarked if you’re drawing a blank. The military has just as many examples--so many that I started keeping a list. The following is from a few weeks of listening and watching my old unit use the phrase “that’s gay”:

-You are gay if you can’t get the Kuwait bus to switch gears without stalling

- You are NOT gay if you create an alternate persona calling yourself Hector the Molester and lie on top of people as they wake up

- You are gay if you borrow someone’s iPod without asking

- You are NOT gay if you borrow someone’s deodorant or boxers briefs without asking

- You are gay if you play Asshole (the game where you make a circle with your thumb and finger and make people look at it)

- You are NOT gay if you just show your actual ass

-You are gay if you talk about the following topics: the work schedule, Sergeant Major, or the Army

- You are NOT gay if you talk about masturbating, the last time you masturbated, or announcing in the communal showers that you’re masturbating

- You are gay if you mix chocolate milk and strawberry milk

-You are NOT gay if you dance with your buddy while only wearing towels in a silent room

-You are gay if you took your girlfriend to see Kelly Clarkson

-You are NOT gay if you download a Britney Spears song and play it a minimum of 12 times an hour

-You are gay if you greet people with a fist pump…and really gay if you do the hand explode afterwards

- You are NOT gay if you yell “heyyyy girl hey” at other guys you know

So, I’ve decided to stay in San Diego. I’m pretty confident that the career I’m in now is not for the long haul (or even another month), but with or without a job, who leaves So Cal? Well, my mother thinks that everyone should, but she also thinks that me being “different” is a personality dysfunction--one that, while not treatable, is able to “mature with time.” I assumed that last part means “turn straight,” but I didn’t stick around to ask. I went to a “different” bar instead.