“Reese Rideout aka Cletus Van Damm aka Nicholas Ryan aka Nick Dent (the last being his real name…maybe) has a complicated life: He is supposedly straight but gets paid to have sex with men on film and then gets asked to talk about this to various media outlets. He and his wife, Becki, have appeared in the British Marie Claire, on The Bill Cunningham Show and, as of last night, on VH1 for a one-off special called I’m Married To A… In this case, the “A…,” is a self-identified heterosexual man who regularly ejaculates in the arms (and in the other things) of another dude.”
Yeah, you read that right. A man, who is married to a woman, is claiming to be straight, although he does gay Adult Videos. If you have a second, click the link and watch how in the 2 minute or so clip, Dent’s wife Becki claims to be okay with him doing other men, although as duly noted by Gawker, her facial expressions and body language suggest otherwise. Nevertheless, Becki said that she was much more comfortable with him performing in gay adult videos than heterosexual adult videos, because that felt like cheating.
Alright, I’m going to cut right through the formalities and get right down to the shenanigans: Can a self-proclaimed heterosexual man really just be gay for pay?
This question is just all sorts of provocative as it raises all sorts of other questions about the ways in which we define sexuality. As I have been writing for MN long enough, my gut instinct is telling me that the great majority of you have already made up your minds with a matter of factly, “Hell no! Dude is gay” Amirite? However, I’m also willing to bet that if Dent were a woman, the answer probably wouldn’t be so unanimous.
This is because women in our society have more permission, if not encouragement to explore their sexuality and intimacy more fluidly. Not only can we be opening loving and affectionate with female friends, but also move from romantic relationships with men to women back to men again, without fear of being pigeonholed as a lesbian. However most men are not socially conditioned to show diversity in their emotions, let alone their sexual desires and feelings. Anything remotely considered “less than straight” is instantly written off –by both men and women – as gay. Heck, I remember talking to some dude on Facebook and he said that he wouldn’t even have bananas on his pancakes because of what message it might send.
However, while society may have its rules, it doesn’t necessarily mean those rules trump that of nature. According to some experts, men lack the necessary levels of oxytocin, a hormone, which is produced in the women’s hypothalamus and is secreted into the bloodstream by the posterior pituitary gland and sends messages to brain controlling key aspects of reproduction. Some experts believe that without this hormone, which is said to help women bond with men, guys are free to roam the wild and have all the fun times they want without any sense of emotional connection. Of course, that science is questionable (and possibly sexist) so I would use the women rape men logic and suggest that the erectile response, which is the most cited evidence of arousal in men, can be involuntary. What this means is that the big head doesn’t always have to be connected to the little head to get it to work. It truly has a mind of its own.
Plus there are many actors, who have taken on the role of gay characters, without compromising their sexuality. Michael Kenneth Williams, played everyone’s favorite Homo-thug Omar Little on the critically acclaim show “The Wire.” In an interview with After Elton, Williams spoke about the backlash he got from some within the community for a “repulsive” scene where he passionate slobbered down another character on the show. Williams responded, “I felt that it was a job well done. It is my job to get emotion and controversy, you know, possibly a little change. So the fact that I got him thinking and talking and judging, whatever the hell you want to call it, I did my job. … I welcome all the controversy. It is part of the job.”
Then there is UFC fighter Dakota Cochrane, a contestant on the reality television show The Ultimate Fighter, who reportedly starred in more than 16 gay adult films. Cochrane, who like Dent asserts that he is straight, said that the decision was a matter of financial urgency rather than sexual desires. Said Cochrane, “It’s definitely a decision I regret,” he told MMA Fighting. “If I would have known what would happen I definitely wouldn’t have done it. But I had money issues and I needed help. I went there to do pictures, and they started throwing pretty high numbers in front of me. I didn’t really think. It was a big mistake.”
So it is totally possible for a man to exchange sex with another man for financial gain without considering himself a homosexual. The real deal is that sexuality is a little more complex than we would like to think and there are areas of grey between straight and gay. Like many other species on earth, there can be duplicity, and in some instance, multiplicity in our sexuality. And gender alone does not absolve one from that fact. Think Donnie McClurkin, gospel singer and judge on BET’s Sunday Best, who has admitted in the past to having gay relationships, which he attributes to confusion from being molested as a child, eventually went on to marry a woman. Now, some may argue that because he once had sexual relations with man that makes him a little gay. But if that’s the case, then as a gay man, who has sex with women, does that also make him a little straight too?
As Yvette Carnell, a fellow writer friend of mind, said in response to this very question I posted on Facebook, “Yup. And let’s say the gay man enjoyed the sex with said woman, but enjoyed sex with men more. Let’s say he is incapable of having an authentic romantic relationship with women, but doesn’t mind the sex that much. In that sense, sex is how our genitals have fun, but they can do that in lots of ways. The key question then becomes; who do you love, and how much?”