ManCrush: Jack Mackenroth
We caught up with Jack Mackenroth to go behind-the-scenes of his online life.
From a distance, your move into fan-subscription channels and creating and sharing footage of your sexual encounters seemed a bit unexpected?
Back in the 90s, when I was 19 and at UK Berkeley, I was friends with Chi Chi LaRue and John Rutherford – from Falcon and Colt. I was also friends with the boys from Hot House. But the world was much different then. The productions were massive and the revenue was insane. Now, anyone with an internet connection can produce adult content – which isn’t a bad thing.
Back then, being a porn-star defined you and certainly prohibited you from pursuing a myriad of careers outside of porn. I went on to be a fashion designer for 18 years. I’ve reinvented myself many times.
I first heard about OnlyFans from my followers on Instagram. I kept getting messages that I should do it. I looked into it, asked some trusted friends, and decided – why the hell not?
I’d been a model of some sort since I was 20, and I was a competitive swimmer my whole life, so being naked wasn’t a big deal for me. I’d done multiple nude photo shoots, but no one had ever seen me in action.
I’ve become very comfortable in my own skin, and I don’t worry much about what others think of me – I just went for it. Full on!
You look to be in top-shape – does it take a major fitness regime to always be camera-ready?
I lift weights almost daily, and I still swim.
I don’t think viewers realise the amount of work that we have to put in off-camera in order to be successful in this business. We have to look good 24-7.
We have to create content almost daily, which involves coordinating other models, location, release forms, lighting, videography, editing, uploading , downloading, promotion, interviews, Twitter posts, physical preparation – such as douching – and having a lot of sex.
It’s a full time job, if you want to make good money.
Your advocacy on health issues, and particularly your campaigns to tackle stigma have been really powerful. Is that something you’ve stepped away from now you’re focusing on creating content for fan-subscription channels?
After disclosing my HIV+ status on Project Runway, I immediately became kind of a poster-boy for HIV. After I left fashion in 2008, I worked for various public relations companies in the HIV arena.
Even now, if you Google ‘HIV’, pictures and articles of me pop up. I still get a ton of outreach on social media from all around the world.
For a while, I felt really obligated to counsel every person who reached out. I still do, to a certain extent, but HIV was taking over my life.
I’ve now been HIV-Undetectable for 30 years. Because I rarely think about it in my own life, I decided to publicly take a step back. Honestly, it didn’t change anything much. I still coach people and answer questions about PrEP and being undetectable. It’s all good – I’m one of the lucky ones.
The part that I didn’t anticipate was that being an openly HIV+ man in bareback porn would be another outlet for educating people.
At first, when I started filming, I just assumed everyone knew I was positive and that everyone in the adult industry is either undetectable or on PrEP. It actually surprised me when I – or my co-stars – would get comments on social media that I was spreading AIDS.
Let me repeat the facts. If you are HIV+ and undetectable you can not transmit HIV. Also, PrEP is essentially 100 percent effective in preventing the acquisition of HIV. There is no risk.
It’s important to remember that while there’s no risk in relation to HIV, you can contract other STIs. Unless you are using condoms 100 percent of the time – including oral sex and anal sex – then you’re still putting yourself at risk. Don’t judge, Judy.
The fan art
We also asked Jack about some of the fan art that he’s been on the receiving end of.
What does it feel like when you see or get sent fan art?
It’s a huge compliment.
Usually they ask me ahead of time via social media, so I check out their work, but I almost always agree to it. It’s flattering that anyone would take the time and use their talent to recreate my image.
What’s the favourite fan art that you’ve seen about yourself?
I think my most favourite are the two illustrations by Hector Barros. The one where I’m depicted as as Aquaman is really stunning.
Ever had any fan-art that was super-weird or that crossed the line?
I don’t have very many lines left to cross. I have no issues with nudity or sex. I have had several nude drawings sent to me – they’re almost always digital, so I don’t have the actual art – but nothing really bothers me. I had a Tom of Finland style illustration sent once where I had an enormous penis, but it was more amusing than anything else.
I think the weirdest experience was finding out that I have a huge mural of me painted on the outside of a gay bar somewhere in Mexico. I had no idea it existed until a friend sent me a photo. My brother almost died laughing.