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So I’m a Mope, huh?


Okay, as I lie down on the couch on the mend from my exploits at the recent AEE, the cute little anecdotes of the week run through my head in somewhat random order.  One that stands out came from the convention floor as I was gathering scores of pictures for Xcritic.  I was explaining the short version of how Xcritic came into existence to a lovely young lady when one of her male peers walked up to greet her.  She introduced me to him as "the guy that writes those long fucking reviews online", extolling the many virtues of my in-depth coverage of titles even though I had my doubts as to how likely it was that she was a regular reader.  It took him a moment but what apparently sealed the deal was when she further mentioned "You know, the one that uses pictures."

At least some people liked me at the show!

Seeing the light of recognition in his eyes, his mood changed from jovial to something darker in an instant, his stance altering slightly as if he were squaring off with me (while not in the greatest shape of my life, I felt pretty safe that if I had to, I could have taken the diminutive fellow out easily enough but I'm a lover and not a fighter but I was curious as to what troubled him).  I didn't have a chance to formally introduce myself by name when he chimed in with words to the effect of "Why the fuck do you call me a mope!"  I started off my introducing myself and offering my hand to lighten the mood, telling him I'd be willing to explain anything he liked.  The tension eased up a bit but was still present as I gave him a rundown of what the term meant in my reviews.

Just as some people prefer to call female performers "whores" (they have sex for money), not always in a mean spirited fashion, I call male talent that isn't particularly outstanding "mopes".  The term has been around for a very long time and generally means a "slacker" but in porn, it simply means a guy that is not readily acknowledged as a top tier talent in great demand.  Before the advent of performance enhancing drugs, it was widely understood how few men had what it took to "make it" in porn.  The everyday toil of penetrating wholesale numbers of pussy and ass is something most men dream about but the reality is that only a small percentage are cut out for the life of a male performer.

Alana's always nice too!

When you think of the short list of male talent that ladies want to work with, directors appreciate, and female fans adore, you soon find about a dozen names that come up time and again.  Erik Everhard, Manuel Ferrara, Evan Stone, Jean Val Jean, Lexington Steele, and the assorted others are the ones that are always booked and in high demand.  Their rates aren't flexible and they have some limited say in what they will, and will not, do.  Other men are on the rise (so to speak) for various reasons, some work cheap and others are great about filling in at the last minute but even though growing numbers of the listed categories might like them, they either have baggage or haven't quite made it to the top yet.  Others fill in the voids by working in gang bangs or supplying a modest supply of population pudding for minimal cost to help inflate box covers that market things like "15 loads swallowed!"

By this time, "junior" had calmed down and his eyes only semi-glazed over while the lady was busy signing a photograph for someone else.  His demeanor had changed substantially and the discussion progressed to him asking me what he could do to move up the ranks.  I suggested he read some of my more recent reviews of titles he was in, the man on the way up the "Porn Pantheon" as I refer to it, by virtue of his performances.  Looking like he was into the ladies, keeping his dick hard, and taking better care of himself were all routes to the top he could explore; the list of reasons why particular scenes showed him not at his best pouring forth from the guy (such as "the lighting guy was fucking with me the whole day", "the bitch hated me and stayed on her cell phone when I tried to talk to her", and how many scenes he had been doing "depleting" him coming up too).

Sunny had a rough week but looked great!

In essence, I tried to explain to him that they were only words and if he disagreed with me, all he had to do was email me and we could have discussed it long ago.  Apparently, he had tried this with other reviewers elsewhere and they were not overly receptive to his offers of an olive branch so he didn't even try with me (don@xcritic.com or houstondon@hotmail.com work quite well).  The entire exchange was fairly brief but by the end of it, he shook my hand and seemed less sensitive, reminding me that not everyone is as open to constructive criticism (Shades of Dana DeArmond!) and then suggesting we talk some more at the "Circle Bar" where I apparently owed him a drink.  His logical connection to my apparent debt aside, it reawakened in me the conceptual difficulty of dealing with people that aren't willing to air their grievances openly.  Having had similar conversations throughout the years, I would reiterate that anyone else out there thinking I've wrongly labeled them can easily contact me to discuss it like an adult rather than let it bother you (and no, I'm not buying you an over priced drink from a surely bartender in the Venetian next year).

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