A few months ago I was flying home to Tampa from San Francisco. I had just spent a week at Kink modeling for a few of their sites. By chance, I was sitting next to a Catholic Priest on the plane. Not just some guy in a black shirt and white priest collar. This guy had the fancy robe and some kind of priest hat. I’m talking full-blown-priest.
As it turned out, we were both the same age. Both 36. He had graduated Priest school about the same time I did my first gay porn shoot (2008). I was genuinely interested in his career and lifestyle. I asked him lots of questions about who he got to help, what’s the most fulfilling parts of his job, what’s his next goal… it was really fascinating to me. I am a man of faith. I pray all the fucking time. I don’t really go in for any particular religion. Never really saw the need. Prayer is free. That’s just my take on it, but, to each their own.
Anyway, we were getting along great. He started asking questions about me. I told him about my prayer and meditation practice. He gave me some helpful pointers. He listened to where I think I’m at with my faith in God (or Gods or Goddesses). He proved to be a very open and accepting listener. Seriously, I wanted to exchange numbers and maybe go to a BBQ or something with him.
Then he asked me what I do for work and shit got a little weird:
Me: “Oh, I work in adult film. I mainly produce content and help others make porn to sell on my network. I still model in the gay and straight fetish pornos when the work is interesting to me.”
Priest: “That’s great.”
Me: “Yeah I love it. I don’t know of a better vocation to fit as a channel for creativity and self expression. It meets my financial and instinctual needs. Porn surely is not for everyone, but it’s a great fit for me.
Priest: “Wait. I’m sorry. Did you say ADULT film? ….Pornography?”
Me: “Yeah. Gay and Straight. Mostly fetish stuff. Lot’s of BDSM. I’m actually on my way home from doing a few Transexual Domination scenes. I was the sub, so I got all the abuse. It was a great release for me.”
Priest: [GRABS BIBLE FROM SOMEWHERE INSIDE HIS RED VELVET LINED, PIMP-AS-FUCK FLOWING ROBE. GRIPS BIBLE TIGHTLY] Well. Um… Look. As a Catholic Priest, I need to do my job here. I have to ask you to stop. Please stop. You just can’t keep making pornography. It’s just… so bad. I mean… so bad. [LOOKS DOWN AND SHAKES HIS HEAD. LOOKS BACK TO ME TO SEE IF I’M MAD. MAKES APOLOGETIC-YET-BRAVE EXPRESSION] Soooooo BAD.
Me: Dude. I get it. I respect you have to hold your ground on this part of the conversation. But, I gotta tell you, I’m pretty sure I actually pray a lot more than you do… on the porn set… on my knees and sometimes even on an actual cross… I believe we are actually on different parts of the same side of the coin here. (I actually don’t think that’s an expression. Sounded right at the time. Haven’t thought through the logic on that…)
I really enjoy helping people. I’ve proven to be much more useful in the Love and Service of God’s will when I’m operating in the dirty parts of His world. Don’t you think there’s a ton of souls who would never darken the doors of your Church, yet still need the sunlight of the Spirit? Who could better reach them than a soul who is naked along side them?
Priest: Well… I respect that you seem to have conviction in your faith… but I gotta tell you, you have the same argument as Evil. (I’m assuming he meant Evil with a capital E. Also assuming that’s a different kind thing to Priests, and is possibly different than regular old lower case evil. Possibly reading to much into his tone and emphasis.)
You see, Evil likes to talk like it’s actually Good.
Me: So, what does Good talk like? Wouldn’t they both talk the same then? Doesn’t sound like a practical identifier of what’s what…
[He started to do something with his Priest bracelet. I couldn’t tell if he was fidgeting, or doing a function of his practical faith. His eyes were still brave, but his shoulders and face still looked apologetic. I’m was starting to really really like this guy.]
Me: I’m sorry. Am I making you uncomfortable? Sometimes I go the wrong way in light conversations.
Priest: Please consider this. Part of my job involves counseling marriages. I can’t tell you how many relationships I have seen disturbed and eventually ruined by pornography addiction. It’s a very bad thing. If you help aid a destructive force, it’s not going to work out well for you.
Me: [after a respectful pause] Man. I get it. I do know many couples who have had problems over secretive lust desires. I also know a few people who really struggle with compulsive porn problems. This probably sounds like a lazy justification, but just because I’m an alcoholic does not mean I expect everyone in the world to quit drinking with me. Does that make sense?
Is it possible that some or many of the ruined marriages that you saw may have been saved if both parties were just honest about their sexual desires and met on some kind of partnership that respected both of their needs? What if the sex, the fetish, the desire, the gender… wasn’t bad? What if it were just human, and the marriage focused on love and acceptance?
Priest: [With zero hesitation – With 100% bravery while knowing I couldn’t agree with him, and could potentially judge or say something mean – With 100% respect that I have a different opinion than him] We both have to do our jobs.
Then he smiled awkwardly, fidgeted his legs, opened his Bible and read to silently for the rest of the flight.
I fucking love that guy. Total strong human badass. I still don’t agree with him. On the escalator to the baggage claim I wondered if he thought I were actually Evil. It seemed like he was implying that I was Evil, but was cool with it. My ego liked the idea, and I am not proud of that kind of immature internal response. I do think about him when I pray. Since then I’ve praised a little Jesus from time to time. (in my own way)