ManCrush: Ryan Carter
Does a man like Ryan Carter get your attention?
We caught up with Ryan for a behind-the-scenes look at his online life.
You came to your work in the adult entertainment industry at a later stage in life, and with a professional career under your belt. Do you feel that having that life experience helps you to navigate some of the potential pitfalls of working in gay porn?
I got into porn in my 40s and with a successful career as a licensed mental health professional. So, I came in as a daddy, with a certain amount of wisdom that comes with age.
The life experiences I’ve had have absolutely helped me be successful in porn. I think the discipline I learned in my professional life was applicable to the business side of the adult entertainment industry.
As much fun as performing on camera is, it’s still a business and professionalism is critical to being successful. So many performers flame out early because they don’t have the maturity and experience to see the bigger picture. It’s not really a fault of theirs, it’s just a function of their limited life experience. I benefitted from having an aerial perspective that comes with age and experience.
I also came into the industry with 15 years of sobriety from drugs and alcohol. My choices were made with a clear mind and I own every one of them. I know who I am.
I didn’t get into porn with a nebulous idea of what I wanted from it. I knew what I wanted from the experiences I’ve had in porn. I wasn’t masking pain, I was expressing my sexual self.
You’ve talked about how your move into porn was part of embracing a sex-positive life – what does that mean to you?
I was already very sexually active with my husband, Digger, before I got into porn. The practical impact of being in porn on my sex life was simply the addition of cameras and lights. I was already a casual sex-loving slut.
Becoming HIV-positive in 2011 had a major impact on me and then, by extension, my sex life. As I emerged from the trauma of the diagnosis, I started to embrace my inner pig. Up until that point, I was really afraid of sex – as with just about everybody in our community, the AIDS epidemic did that to us. So, when I seroconverted, my biggest fear became my reality.
But something interesting happened, something I didn’t expect. After I adjusted to this major change, I had a radical shift in my view of sex – I realised that it could no longer kill me. I was liberated from the crippling fear I had been carrying with me all my adult life.
Shedding that fear allowed me to explore sex more freely and discover my true sexual interests – which, as I’ve learned, consist of me being a promiscuous pig and, at times, a cum-dump.
You began filming studio scenes after you’d begun your fan-subscription channels – did that unlock a new level of exhibitionism for you?
Doing studio work felt like a natural next step following content creation. I had done many, many sex scenes by the time I did my first studio scene, so fucking on camera was not new. I knew my best angles, my best sex talk, and not to cock-block the camera.
More importantly, I came with an audience that the studios wanted to tap into. So, the relationship I had with studios was very symbiotic – I got more exposure, they got more fans. I never would have been approached by studios had I not built an audience through the fans platforms.
I wouldn’t say that doing studio work unlocked a new level of exhibitionism, it felt more like a natural expansion of my exhibitionism – the next logical step.
How does your professional career – your day-job – shape your perspective on your work in porn?
I’m a licensed mental health professional – more specifically, a sex therapist. It absolutely does give me a privileged perspective of my work in porn.
As a therapist, I advocate for congruity, integrity and self-awareness – traits I endeavour to bring to all areas of my own life, including making porn.
Performing in porn has also informed my work as a therapist. I’m much more understanding of the choices people make that others would judge. You never know the journey each of us travels and I have no judgement about those choices. You just never know where someone is in their own life.
Because of porn and also because of my HIV status, I understand the negative impact of judgment and stigma. I would say I’m more curious, more understanding and truly nonjudgmental.
What are some of your goals and aspirations for the months ahead?
I have hit a point in both of my careers – therapy and porn – where I no longer need to prove anything to myself or others. I am comfortable in my own skin and have accomplished quite a bit already. So, I don’t have the ambition that I once had to be at the top. That drive has served me well in life – and in porn – but I no longer need to stomp on the gas.
My months ahead will most likely be about learning to be an elder in my community. I’m a daddy, which I wholeheartedly embrace. I love being a daddy. But for me, being a daddy is not just about embodying an alluring identity but it also comes with responsibility. Daddies are also elders – as such, there’s a level of wisdom we have a responsibility to impart to the younger generation.
The AIDS epidemic wiped out the older generation of gay men that would have been my elders. Because of this, we daddies of my generation are tasked with having to figure out for ourselves what it means to be a daddy and an elder. Figuring that out is what’s ahead of me now.
This doesn’t mean I’m done performing in porn. I’m not. I will continue to make porn for at least a couple more years.