Whenever you work in any type of entertainment media, except maybe radio, the way you look is going to be a big issue.
Despite many’s calls to accept all body types, audiences and industry workers alike demand that entertainers of all walks have a slim and fit body.
Porn is no different. If it is, it’s probably worse.
Talking to Men’s Health, 4 male porn stars talked about the pressure they feel to be thin and muscular in order to work.
Of course, this issue can vary depending on what kind of porn is being filmed.
Straight porn stars Derrick Pierce and Ryan Driller say that while male performers didn’t have to worry about how their body looked a few years ago, now the pressure is increasing to have a slim figure.
"The face of adult in general has changed," said Pierce. "For the guys, soft bodies have gone by the wayside."
"Now that the industry is more focused on aesthetics, you’ve got guys coming in who are more built," added Driller, who famously got buff to play Superman in a series of porn parodies. "Women are watching more porn, and they would rather see a guy who’s a little more appealing than a slobby guy who's sitting on the couch all day long... who doesn’t have his belly hanging over the girl."
That said, straight porn stars may have it easier than gay porn stars. While the pressure is climbing to be thin for them, gay porn stars are pressured to go even further and have as many abs and muscles as possible.
"There’s more pressure on the gay side to be super fit," says Driller, who has shot both gay and straight porn. "But in general, there’s more pressure in the gay community to be super-fit."
Then, gay porn star Wesley Woods, who Instinct has also had a one-on-one with recently, has repeatedly been told to both gain more muscle and lose fat.
"On the straight side, it’s not really about [the male performer], it’s about the woman," he says. "For gay porn, it's two men, so it's obviously different. And our culture requires men to look fit and put together."
To keep up with these demands, Woods keeps to a strict diet, lifts weights four days a week and hikes six days a week at Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles. (And he says this is him staying relaxed with his fitness regimen).
"My first year in the industry, I was trying to look a certain way and I was chasing a goal that wasn’t attainable," he says. "I’ve gotten really comfortable and happy with myself."
Meanwhile, porn star Aaron “Small Hands” Thompson says he has to keep up with a rigorous workout to maintain his body.
“I work out every single day for at least an hour,” says Thompson. “I don't do a ton of heavy machine ‘gym guy lifting, but focus more on stamina and basic core fitness stuff — running, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats. Stuff you can do from a hotel room, truck stop or in prison, ya know?”
“If I film a scene, that's about 45 min of cardio,” says Thompson, “If it’s not too late I’ll go to the gym after and do strength training since I ‘banged’ out cardio already.”
As for Driller, he also hikes in Runyon Canyon six days a week (with his two dogs) while also swimming and running on the side.
"I have a lift routine where it’s chest one day, triceps one day, legs one day, shoulders one day, biceps one day," he says. "But I don’t lift 6 days a week. I usually run and lift 2 days, then swim one day, then repeat."
All of this to entertain our eyes with their bodies.