Monthly Archives: January 2014

First Active College Football Player Comes Out


Conner Mertens, Active Willamette University Kicker, Comes Out As Bisexual

A kicker for Oregon’s Willamette University became the first active college football player to come out publicly when he announced to his team — and the world — that he is bisexual.

Conner Mertens came out to his coach and to his teammates, and then to the world, this month after years of keeping his identity a secret. In a profile for Out Sports, Mertens described how he felt a youngster growing up in a conservative town.

“For me growing up, I always felt the biggest thing that caused my depression was the feeling of being alone,” he said. “I hate the stereotypes that go along with liking the same sex. You don’t have to follow the stereotype to be this way. I made the decision that if I could help anyone else avoid feeling the way I felt, I would.”

While coming out might have been daunting, Mertens received nothing but love and support from his team.

“Coach didn’t blink an eye,” he told Out Sports. “He talked about how they don’t build football players at Willamette, they build men, and that he was proud that I could tell him this about myself.”

After coming out to those close to him, Mertens came out to world. He posted a letter to Twitter about his decision.

“I finally love the person I see in the mirror for the first time in my life,” he wrote, in part. “Unless you have had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds you may not understand the importance of being able to be… you.”


After his story went viral, he received support from former Minnesota Vikings punter and gay rights advocate Chris Kluwe.

Mertens came out to his family around Christmastime and was humbled by the response.

“It sounds corny, but I legitimately feel there’s a weight off my shoulders,” he told the press, per ESPN. “It’s tiring to pretend your something else for 24-7, for 18 or 19 years of your life. So finally to be able to joke about it, to be honest about it, not have to put on this mask, I’m finally able to take a deep breath.”

The 19-year-old told the Oregonian he likes and has dated women but is currently in a relationship with a man from Portland who goes to school in Washington.


Birmingham’s Good Samaritan


It’s no secret that Chick-fil-A was founded by a family that considers itself Christian, and yet that same family continues to contribute to hate groups who wish to destroy equality in America. They claim that they run their business on biblical values, but their version of biblical values are not the values of a loving God. However, with the winter storm that swept through the South this week, one Chick-fil-A franchise owner is an example of true biblical values. What happened in Birmingham Tuesday evening was an example of how true biblical values are played out.

A snowstorm in the South is about as rare as it gets. Folks around Birmingham, Alabama, weren’t all that worried though. The storm was only supposed to dust the city – not even enough powder for a Southern snowman. Every prediction of the storm was that any major winter precipitation would be mostly contained to south of Montgomery in a northeastern arch that would stretch from Louisiana to Virginia. South Alabama was expected to get the brunt of the storms. North Alabama would be spared, but was likely to get some snow flurries.

So when the first snowflakes began to fall, no one paid all that much attention. But then, the flakes kept falling. Before too long people in the Birmingham Metro area realized it was much more than a dusting. By that point, it was too late for anyone to do anything.

Icy interstates and highways soon became clogged with cars and trucks. Thousands of motorists soon found themselves stranded with nowhere to go – including many stuck on Highway 280. (As a side note, a similar situation occurred in Atlanta, but Atlanta had been predicted to get heavy amounts of winter precipitation. Birmingham had not.)

But a good number of those stranded motorists were able to find shelter in the storm thanks to the kindness and generosity of some Chick-fil-A restaurant employees and the restaurant’s owner, Mark Meadows. Once the snow started accumulating, Meadows closed the restaurant and sent his staff home. But a few hours later, many of them returned – unable to get to their homes.

“Our store is about a mile and a half from the interstate and it took me two hours to get there,” manager Audrey Pitt said. “It was a parking lot as far as I could see.”

So Audrey left her car on the side of the interstate and joined a flock of bundled up drivers trudging through the snow.

“At one point there were more people walking than driving,” she said.

Some of the drivers had been stuck in their cars for nearly seven hours without any food or water. So the staff of the Chick-fil-A decided to lend a helping hand.

“We cooked several hundred sandwiches and stood out on both sides of 280 and handed out the sandwiches to anyone we could get to – as long as we had food to give out.”

The staffers braved the falling snow and ice, slipping and sliding, as they offered hot juicy chicken breasts tucked between two buttered buns. And Chick-fil-A refused to take a single penny for their sandwiches. The meal was a gift – no strings attached.

“They were very excited and extremely thankful,” she said. “People were thankful to get something to put in their stomachs.”

“We just wanted to be able to help,” Audrey said. “[Tuesday] was such a hopeless situation. We wanted to do something to make people feel a little bit better. We were here. We had food and there were people outside who needed food. So it just made sense to do something for them.”

But Chick-fil-A’s generosity didn’t stop there.

“We opened up our dining room to anyone who wanted to sleep on a bench or a booth,” Audrey said. And this morning, the weary staff members fired up their ovens and began preparing chicken biscuits. The only thing that is closed – is Chick-fil-A’s cash register.

“We’re not open for business,” she said. ‘We’re just feeding people who are hungry.”

I’d say the Chick-fil-A team blessed a lot of people in Birmingham – but that’s not how Audrey sees it. “It’s a blessing to us to be able to help people,” she said. “It really is.”

I think this is a wonderful story of generosity. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,” Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew. “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” The owner of this Chick-fil-A franchise obviously knows the meaning of the teachings of Jesus. Maybe one day the CEO of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, will learn what the true meaning of Christianity is. I have to say though, that until Cathy quits donating to anti-LGBT organizations, I still won’t be going to a Chick-fil-A restaurant and giving them any of my money.

I am glad though that there are people like Mark Meadows who understand the true nature of Christian charity. May God bless him.

And while we are speaking of people getting stranded in the Birmingham area, some teachers and school administrators have my complete sympathies. Throughout Jefferson County (Birmingham is in Jefferson County), some parents were unable to get to their children to pick them up from school and teachers and administrators stayed with the students, some overnight, so that the children would be safe, warm, and well-fed. Being stuck in a car for hours on the road is one thing, but I can’t imagine the nightmare of being stuck at school with my students overnight. It may sound horrible of me to say that, but if you knew my students, you’d no doubt feel the same way.

Thankfully, Alabama should begin to thaw out tomorrow afternoon. Today will be another snow day for us. The good news is that with the governor declaring a state of emergency, we will not be required to make up the missed days. I could not have made it to school tomorrow anyway. My driveway is still frozen over as is the road in front of my house. I keep praying that no one hits those patches of ice and has a wreck. I can understand carefully getting out on the roads if you have a major emergency, but it is quite stupid to get out and joyride and sightsee.

Hell Froze Over


Well, Alabama froze over, which sometimes is close enough to hell for me. It sure feels like it in the summer months. I had planned on writing more, but I usually write my posts the night before and I’m sleepy as I write this one. I might add to it later this morning.

Snow Day


Snow Day
By Billy Collins

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.

In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed.
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with—some will be delighted to hear—

the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.

Billy Collins (born William James Collins; March 22, 1941) is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York and is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute, Florida. Collins was recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004 through 2006. He is currently a teacher in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.

Source: Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (Random House Inc., 2001)

Preparing For Winter Weather


I received an alert from my Weather Channel app today for this:









We don’t often get this type of weather here in Alabama. Yes, we generally get at least some snow once a year, but rarely is it considered a “winter storm.” I’m not sure how bad this might be, and I actually expect it won’t be much of anything. Yet, two inches of frozen precipitation can wreak havoc here, since we are not accustomed to icy road conditions.

Sometimes in icy conditions we lose power, so we will definitely get some gas for the generator, and I plan to cook a large pot of corn and potato chowder to warm things up in the chilly days ahead.

The worst part about Alabama winters is not the cold, but the extreme fluctuations in temperature. Yesterday, we had mild temperatures in the 60s and tonight it will drop to 28 degrees. The extreme swing in temperatures gets everyone sick.

When in the South, you get used to weird weather. Like most things in the South, you just have to deal with the eccentricities, whether they’re from family, friends, or Mother Nature.

God Is Love


Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

1 John 4:7-21

One of our greatest needs as human beings is to be loved. We all need love. We need to know that we are important to somebody, that somebody truly cares about us, wants us, and accepts us unconditionally. When we doubt that we are loved, we may develop unacceptable behavior patterns to compensate for it. We all need to know that somebody loves us.

The good news from God’s Word is that somebody does. To know Him is to find release from the crippling effects of feeling unloved. Twice the Apostle John categorically stated that God is love (1 John 4:8,16). Love is one of the warmest words in the English language, and that God is love is one of the most sublime, uplifting, and reassuring truths known to mankind. Love is His nature. It is not merely a friendly attitude He projects. It is the essence of His being. He is always going to act toward us in love because He cannot do otherwise. Love is the way He is.

Knowing the God of love can help to make us more loving and giving persons. Not only will getting to know Him more intimately cause us to become more like Him, but resting secure in the assurance that He loves us will keep us from making demands of others and free us to reach out unselfishly and minister to them for their benefit alone. It is vitally important that we understand how much God loves us.

Not only does God’s love motivate Him to give, but it motivates Him to give when it costs Him dearly. That too is different from our love. We hesitate to do anything for others that will cost us too much or inconvenience us too greatly. But God’s love cost Him the very best that He had—His only Son. That is the message of the greatest love text in the Bible: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God’s giving His Son involved more than merely allowing Him to leave Heaven’s glory and enter earth’s history. It meant allowing Him to die in our place and pay the awful debt of our sins. God proved His love conclusively and irrefutably by sending His Son to the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10). That is sacrificial love.

Whenever we are tempted to think that nobody loves us, we need to think of the cross. Jesus bore that shame and suffering because He loves us. He values us so highly that He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to secure for us eternal joy. That is the epitome of love. Knowing Him intimately will motivate us to make some sacrifices for the good of others—for our spouses, our children, and other members of the body of Christ. It will help us give up what we want in order to minister to their needs.

When some people hear that God’s love is self-giving, sacrificial, unconditional, eternal, and infinite, they get the idea that it is merely soft, sloppy sentimentality, that God is an indulgent Father who gives us everything we want and conveniently turns His head the other way when we sin. But that is not the case. Everything God does is done in the totality of His being, so His love must always be consistent with His other attributes. Since God is holy, then His love must be a holy love that encourages holiness in those loved.

Look for evidences of God’s love for you all throughout the day, and remind yourself often that you are the object of His endless love.

Moment of Zen: America

America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”

President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas), The American President (1995)

Condomless Controversy


When I was reading up on the suspension incident with “Noel” from Sean Cody, the first websites to report on the situation were gay news websites, the mainstream local and national did not begin to report on the situation until after the holiday weekend. I found one thing particularly interesting in the difference between how the mainstream media and the gay media treated the story. The vast majority treated it fairly and pointed out the inconsistencies among the principal and school board and “Noel” and his family. Nearly all of the reporting was the same, but with two main differences. First, most of the gay media sites reported the story about “Noel” of Sean Cody, while the mainstream media used his real name and mostly referred to Sean Cody as an adult gay website or as a gay pornographic website. Just a quick note on this, I think the gay media understands why porn names are used, and the mainstream media does not care. The second main difference is how Noel’s work was portrayed. Nearly all of the gay media sites mentioned that he performed bareback sex, whereas the mainstream media just said that he had done a number of videos, never mentioning what type of performance he did.

The second difference is the main topic of what I want to discuss. A few years ago, anytime bareback sex was brought up, it was generally a condemnation of the practice. In 2008, Chi Chi LaRue responded to the increasing number of bareback gay porn movies being made. LaRue is a well-known, award-winning, longtime director of (gay and straight) porn who stopped working with Vivid Entertainment when they went condoms-optional. LaRue is a powerful voice in the industry and in his mission to promote safer sex started a website called “Safe Sex is HOT Sex!” LaRue made the following statement about condom use or the lack thereof in the gay porn industry:

I have always promoted on my sets the same thing that I feel every gay man should practice in his personal life. ASSUME EVERYONE YOU ARE HAVING SEX WITH IS HIV+. Some companies say that they test their models, which just gives a false sense of security. There is no way to 100% protect the health of models by testing only. What if the test was taken a day before the persons HIV became detectable. What if the model caught HIV a day after he was tested? Unfortunately, this way of thinking is why I had to quit working in the straight industry. I walked away from a lucrative contract with Vivid Video when they decided to go “condom optional” so don’t ever say I don’t put my money where my mouth is!

The fear I have is that when we are silent and choose to ignore issues as serious as this, then perhaps barebacking in porn will just keep increasing like HIV infection rates. Then more and more models will be sucked into putting their health at risk to make porn!

Interestingly though, if you do a search for about condom use and Chi Chi LaRue, you won’t find anything more recent than 2010 stating LaRue’s views on the issue. In fact, you will not be able to go to the website she had set up “Safe Sex is HOT Sex!” anymore either, since it no longer exists. In a recent study by GMFA, the leading gay mens health charity in the UK, about gay porn viewing, the following results were presented:

*87% of gay men report watching porn at least once a week (1 in 4 watching porn every day)
*the most popular act watched was anal sex (91%)
*69% reported actively choosing bareback porn with 96% having ever watched bareback porn.

From the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s until the mid-1990s, the adult entertainment industry voluntarily adopted the requirement that performers practice safe sex in porn films, but many producers dropped the practice when drugs became widely available to control, but not cure, HIV.

Some producers never returned to the days before AIDS, when condoms were hardly ever seen in pornography. (They still aren’t in straight porn where most content – both vaginal and anal – is performed without the use of condoms.)

The fact is barebacking is an issue in gay porn. It is such an issue that Falcon Studios, one of the oldest gay porn studios and one that adamantly uses condoms in its films, has begun to airbrush the condoms out of their films. Gay porn megastudio Falcon have always been pioneers, leading the way with hot content and always staying abreast of what’s going on in the porn and non porn world around them. Now, with condoms in porn the major issue of the day, they have found a way to appeal to lovers of bareback porn without putting their performers at risk or giving into filming “raw” sex. In their upcoming release, California Dreamin’, they’ve airbrushed all the condoms out of the movie. In the promotional stills for the movie, the condoms used in filming are clearly visible. Yet when the final stills form the movie were released the airbrushed condoms were invisible.

Director Tony Dimarco said in a press release that the technique has created “a completely safe sex movie that mostly appears to be a bareback release.” Dimarco continues:

With this movie I really wanted to capture the essence of that time, when life seemed more carefree and spontaneous. In keeping with this concept, I felt that condoms need to be addressed. I wanted to give the impression of a pre-condom movie, but use condoms as we do in every scene we film. I found a way to film the movie safely and effectively, while giving the experience that I had intended and using the hottest modern stars.

Nearly every “amateur” gay porn site has gone to bareback videos. Corbin Fisher began doing so without even a mention of it. Chaos Men promoted their videos as “Raw,” and Sean Cody flatly calls it barebacking. Up until recently the gay porn blog QueerClick showed a few preview pictures of “condomless” videos but you had to their sister blog and more extreme QCX for the rest of the preview images that showed condomless sex. Their only exception was Bel Ami Studios which bareback sex has become the norm, and I am sure because of the popularity, QueerClick did not want to relegate them to another blog. However, over the past year as Sean Cody and others have begun producing more and more bareback videos, QueerClick has begun using QCX for only the most extreme BDSM posts and bareback has been put on the mainstream blog.

The question as to why barebacking has become increasingly popular, both in adult films and in everyday life, has become something of the elephant in the room in the gay community: something that’s going on despite the health risks, but really not discussed.

In an article on the website The Body (the Complete HIV/AIDS Resource) Rick Sowadsky, a communicable disease specialist studying AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, looked at the pro and cons of barebacking, as well as the reasons why men continue to do despite the health risks.

Sowadsky concludes: “For some gay men, the benefits of unprotected anal intercourse (intimacy, pleasure, etc.) outweigh the risks (HIV and other STDs). On the other hand, if two gay men have unprotected anal intercourse, and neither of them is infected with HIV, nor any other STD, then barebacking would be completely safe as far as infectious diseases are concerned. But if either partner has HIV or another STD, then there are significant risks of infection for these diseases through barebacking. Future HIV and STD prevention efforts targeted toward the gay community must incorporate the issue of barebacking.”

Just as the adult male video industry (hit hard by the recession and the growth of amateur and pirated porn on the Internet) is shrinking, barebacking is more popular than ever. While the major adult male video companies continue to produce condom-only content, smaller companies produce nothing but condom-free product. One reason is demand.

“Bareback? I don’t even consider that a fetish anymore, it’s become so big,” said the owner of one Los Angeles gay video rental store to writer C. Brian Smith in the Advocate in May 2009.

Yet barebacking remains a highly debated issue, partly because many feel that barebacking videos encourage the behavior, making it seem commonplace and desirable. This brings forward the question if gay men are being exposed to regular bareback sex, in particular anal sex that is considered the highest risk sexual act for transmission of HIV, is there likely to be a wash over effect to actual behavior? Does watching bareback porn promote actual bareback sex?

Interestingly 7% of GMFA survey takers said that yes, watching bareback porn lead to them having unsafe anal sex, with almost all (96.8%) saying that this would not stop them watching bareback porn.

By far the most interesting question I found was “do you think watching bareback porn can lead others to having unprotected sex?”. More then 50% of the people taking the survey said yes, watching bareback porn was likely to make other people have unsafe sex. Is this a case of “well clearly I can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but I can’t speak for others…”?

What we can say is that clearly there is money to be made in the production of bareback porn. When production houses like Sean Cody who used to be staunchly “safe sex only” start producing bareback the question has to be asked why? High demand from the already subscribed members? A decline in members with the current porn dollar being spread ever thin by sites like x-tube?

The act of barebacking however, is it liberating, a right, an act of defiance as reported by gay anthropologist Eric Rofes? Or is bareback porn an act of exploitation of vulnerable actors in a fickle market throwing demands where increasing competition means anal sex without condoms is the only way to make money? Are models being put at risk for the sake of public demand?

Are the public being placed at risk with depictions of raw sex separate from safety measures that may be in place to reduce risk of HIV infection? Is porn purely about the depiction of sex or can it have a role in education?

I’d love to hear your thoughts guys.

Went to Bed Early


Last night, I was so sleepy, I could barely keep my eyes open past 8:30 pm. Sean (Just a Jeep Guy) had suggested I write a piece about the popularity of bareback videos in gay porn. I had planned to write that post for today, but just couldn’t hold my eyes open. After getting home from school late, then cooking dinner (which I do nearly every night, but tonight it was risotto, which takes a bit of effort to cook), and doing laundry, I knew I couldn’t hold my eyes up long enough to write the post that I had planned to write. I feel asleep, and thus, this is the part for today.

I guess I can hope the old saying is true: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

“Noel” Will Return to School


A story made its rounds on the Internet (including this blog) this weekend and on Monday after a Florida high school allegedly suspended a senior “Noel” (I am going to use his Sean Cody name not his real name, which is easy enough to find if you want to do so) when the principal discovered the student had appeared in multiple gay porn movies on popular site Sean Cody.

Noel makes no apologies for performing in porn and considers his work like any other job, and quite honestly, I have to say, he does have the body for porn, if you know what I mean. Until two weeks ago, the 18-year-old (he turned 18 in June 2013) was like any other high school senior, but he said when students at Cocoa High School discovered his videos on an adult website, they started showing each other his explicit pictures on their phones at school.

The move by the public high school sparked outrage on social media, causing students to rally behind Noel through Facebook groups and campus demonstrations.

Now, it is being reported that following an investigation school administrators are allowing Noel to return to school grounds — though they reportedly won’t give an exact reason for the suspension, citing privacy laws.

“It’s easy to become emotional about a situation when it looks like a student is being targeted for his lifestyle choices, that is not the case here,” school district spokeswoman Michelle Irwin told reporters. “We will continue to work with the student and his family to make sure he graduates and moves on with his education.”

“No child would ever be suspended for a job that they have outside of the school environment,” said Irwin. However, when reporters asked why then he was suspended, administrators said they received information that Noel made threats, after students found pictures of his work online and started to taunt him. “In this particular case, we had an investigation, which is now complete, and the student is welcomed to come back to talk to Dr. Sullivan about his educational options,” said Irwin. Reporters checked with Cocoa police, they confirmed they did investigate the alleged threats but found nothing.

Noel’s mother said she knew her son was working in adult films, adding that he took the roles to support her financially. “I think he’s the most awesome person in the world,” she said tearfully. “He stood up and he was the man of the house when I couldn’t be.”

His mother also told reporters that she believes her son’s work in adult films is why school administrators suspended him. “She [Dr. Sullivan] flat out told me that my son was expelled not just suspended,” his mother reportedly stated. “He was expelled due to his explicit, adult, lifestyle career.”

Cocoa High Principal Stephanie Soliven called Noel on Tuesday morning — after the holiday weekend — and they worked out a plan to get him back to class, Irwin said. Noel said the principal “apologized to me and said the threats were made up (by other students).” District officials confirmed the investigation had been concluded and Noel was cleared.

The discussion between principal and student was according to district policy and unrelated to a flurry of furious Facebook comments and feedback the district received from around the globe after the story broke last week, Irwin said. She did not have the policy immediately available.

Because Noel is an adult, he did not appear to violate obscenity laws, Assistant State Attorney Wayne Holmes said. “We’re basically in a society today where consenting adults can do what consenting adults want to do,” Holmes said, adding that the community standard for what is obscene has changed with the increased use of technology and the Internet. “What 30, 40, or 50 years ago may have been a crime, you can now go to a local movie theater and see.”

Noel shuffled his bare feet through dry pine needles carpeting the cement walk outside his home while speaking Tuesday with Florida Today. He slumped his muscular, 5-foot, 9-inch frame, hung his blond head and avoided eye contact. “I’m just ready to return to school, like a normal day,” Noel said Tuesday. He was anxious though on the eve of his return to class, behaving nothing like Noel, his bold online personality as a gay pornography model. He knows that returning to Cocoa High School will be anything but ordinary given his unusual job, taken to help out his mom because his dad doesn’t work. “It’s just her trying to feed me and the dogs and pay bills,” Noel said, rubbing his hand across his face.

A number of porn stars have faced disputes within school systems whether they were active in the adult film industry or not. In 2010, Shawn Loftis — who directed and acted in a series of gay porn films under the name Collin O’Neal — was dismissed from a substitute teaching gig in the Miami area after a principal discovered his films on a website. The following year, however, the Florida Education Practices Commission ruled that Loftis would not only be permitted to teach, but was also eligible to apply for a permanent position as an educator.

Meanwhile, Kevin Hogan, who allegedly starred in at least three X-rated gay films under the name “Hytch Cawke” before being hired at a Massachusetts charter school, was placed on administrative leave in 2011 when his previous gig was revealed.

Frankly, it sounds to me as if the principal was advised that she had made a bad decision and one that she would be unable to back up legally. I think she made a rash decision based on her own morality, while ignoring what school procedures were. Instead of helping Noel, she hoped the kid would go away quietly and the whole matter would be swept under the rug. When this did not happen, she ended up eating a bit of crow. I do wonder if their will be further consequences for her behavior or if the matter will be forgotten soon because she allowed Noel back in school.

I also believe that Sean Cody should be a little more hesitant to accept high school students. Sean Cody has the responsibility [at least morally] to absolutely make sure these 18 year olds fully understand the possible ramifications of doing porn. Teens are not usually mature enough to think past the next month let alone their entire future. Noel did this for his family and according to his mother with her knowledge. Though I realize that pornography and prostitution are not the same and here is a fine line between the two, isn’t this at least a little akin to a parent telling their eighteen year old daughter that it is okay to go sell herself on the street in order to bring in more money for the family? I do realize that in the case of prostitution, it is illegal in most places in the United States, whereas pornography is not.

Sean Cody has been known for some unscrupulous practices in the past. They often have models sign exclusive contract that have at least a year long clause which prevents the model from working elsewhere and they refuse to allow the model out of the contract even when they decide they don’t want to use the model anymore. Furthermore, Sean Cody has become an almost exclusively bareback (condom free) studio (Noel did five videos with Sean Cody, all bareback, though one was a solo video), which presents health risks to the models, no matter how much testing they go through. In all honesty, I will admit that I did once have a subscription to, but as they increasingly began producing more and more bareback videos, I became uncomfortable with supporting their enterprise, and cancelled my membership. I am not judging those who enjoy bareback porn, in fact I too find it rather hot, but it’s a conundrum to me because I don’t like it, yet I do. Bareback porn makes me feel guilty for watching it because I know the models are being put at risk and that it sends the wrong message, and I don’t like feeling guilty for watching pornography.

What do you think about the school administrators’ decision? How do you feel about a porn studio recruiting a high school student, even though he was over eighteen? I have attempted to present this story as fully as I can, so I’d love to hear what you guys really think about any or all of the issues I discuss in this and the previous post.