Was Joey Stafano the Greatest Bottom That Ever Lived?

If you believe in fate, it is easy to say the porn star career of Nicholas Iacona (aka Joey Stefano) was inevitable because of his backside.

His looks were never called into question, and his body, while not “gym-centric,†was a pleasure to look at; however, his looks and his body do not account for his derriere. Stefano’s backside was large, curvaceous, and ready for those who could handle it.

In the first video I saw him in, a wretched piece of schlock called Sweet in the Bootie, Stefano is taking a bath and looking at a gentleman in a shower. The shower boy has a rather large penis, and to entice him to come out, Stefano turns on his stomach and sticks his posterior in the air.

That Fabulous AssThe water barely covers the mounds of backside flesh and when Stefano spreads his cheeks, his ass resembles a fleshy ripe mango. Stefano plays with his ass a bit, looks at the big penis man, and returns to his ass. The gentleman is properly aroused and joins Stefano in a coupling that is only worth remembering because Stefano's butt takes all of the dick.

Good looks and a plump, mango-like ass, however, do not make a porn star (they help of course). Something else added to Stefano’s presence on screen. Put simply, Stefano was the randy boy next door. Granted, that is the archetype for all porn stars, but for Stefano it was true because he turned to porn to have sex with attractive men.

Charles Isherwood, in Wonder Bread and Ecstasy: The Life and Death of Joey Stefano, quotes the following line from Chi Chi LaRue (porn director, who is credited with discovering Stefano):

"He [Stefano] would rattle off lists of names of guys he'd want to have sex with...they were mostly guys from way back, like Jack Wrangler, Cole Carpenter, Eric Manchester, and Chad Douglas."

If Stefano was not attracted to his partner, that would show on the screen, and there are many Stefano videos that show his complete boredom. Yet when he had the hots, Stefano was centered on pleasure and he had no fear about showing it.

In Jerry Douglas's More of a Man, an opus to sex, religion, and political activism (one character is an ACT-UP member), Stefano plays Vito, a closet case who searches for love in all the wrong places. Vito’s first encounter is in a restroom and Stefano’s sexuality melts the screen. When Stefano engages in fellatio, he does not do the quick short-suck. He takes his time to suck the dick that is offered him. He kisses it, laps it a bit, then ever so slowly works his way to the base.

When he first gets fucked, Stefano is hard and has the look of unadulterated pain and pleasure — the look that all bottoms know — a look that is not scripted, and it can’t be acted by our best thespians. It was this look that made him stand out because the look acknowledged what gay porn so rarely does: pleasure.

In the world of gay porn, a world that glorifies the representation of gay sex, there is a trend to mythologize the work of the top, while the bottoms are seen, at best, as two-bit players. Necessary to the world, but not the main attraction.

The porn stars who earn the box covers and make the most dollars are marketed tops. Tops who would never dare to show any interest in their partners unless to say how they want the butt they are invading “nice and tight.†We are given the allure of the top (which is actually the allure of the straight man, but that is for another time), and like compliant sheep, we follow.

Every so often, however, a gay sex performer knocks us off our sheep backsides and reminds us that sexuality, at its most powerful, is not about absolute lines between top and bottom. These performers show us that sexuality is about desire and connection, and the obliteration of contrived lines.

Joey Stefano's performances asked us not to be sheep.

©2005 Nightcharm