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The Impossible Hotness of Jeff Stryker

by Shawn Baker

That dick! Those lips. The legend.

The mantle of legend demands an epic quality and universal recognition that few can command, especially within the turnstile world of porn.

If there’s a face of gay porn, it’s larger-than-life Jeff Stryker — he of the hillbilly drawl and raging ramrod — the rarest of stars whose status extends beyond the porn arena and secures an immortal place in the collective consciousness.

Stryker’s ascension to stardom in 1985 during smut’s Video Revolution is the mythic porn equivalent of Marilyn Monroe‘s.

Young Midwesterner Charles Peyton was discovered via a typical modeling ad by directors Matt Sterling and John Travis.

As Norma Jean was made over into Marilyn, Stryker was manufactured into the cherub-faced, Goliath-endowed hard body we know today (some claiming as with Monroe that a cosmetic facial enhancement was involved in bringing the new creation to life) and thrust into the spotlight with a PR machine at his back.

It would be his second film, 1986′s seminal (in more ways than one) all-male Powertool, that propelled him to god-like dimensions.

POWERTOOLPowertool is considered the definitive gay porn title that set the standard for every high-gloss opus that followed. The film was also a baptism for many young queers into the world of adult video.

The man called Stryker was showcased in all his redneck rough-trade glory as he bore his battering ram into every orifice that stood in his path. He was one of the very few male stars who could venture into straight features like Jamie Loves Jeff and Ladies’ Man. Still, gay porn was his bread and butter and Stryker was promoted as a strict Top Man only.

At heart he was a shrewd businessman who wisely followed the advice of his handlers: make as few high-profile features as possible so as not to burn out his appeal. He kept his wits about him, avoiding HIV in the pre-AIDS studio system, steering clear of the overdoses and run-ins with the law that plagued many of his counterparts, and keeping his off screen life scandal-free.

Jeff Stryker ManiaBy the start of the 90s, Stryker had become a brand name, so much so that he was even knocked-off in the form of Rick Stryker, a supposed half-brother, which even if true (it’s more likely a marketing ploy) would make him the Frank Stallone or Joey Travolta to Jeff’s Sylvester or John. A merchandising blitz of endorsements and products ensued with posters, lubricants, playing cards, a Dutch-issued postage stamp, penis pumps, 976 numbers, a prosthetic cast of his prodigious prick, and even a 12-inch action figure.

That’s not to say that Stryker didn’t tend to polarize his audience. For all those who love him, there are others who find his appeal too chilly and aloof.

John Waters
and Margaret Cho extol his virtues, but Camille Paglia finds him and his type to be “doom laden” and fearful of genuine same-sex eroticism in the wake of AIDS, not as brave as out-and-proud gay stars who embody “beauty, vitality, and brutality…the archaic vigor of nature.”

Mark Simpson‘s book Male Impersonators: Men Performing Masculinity dismisses him and all the Ken Rykers and Ryan Idols as empty and remote, their sex play inhibited by macho theatricality.

The two have a point. Why is it always straight studs who become the gay icons as their harder working gay co-stars play second string?

While other models engage in every conceivable sex act with reckless joy, it’s the Strykers who get the red carpet rolled out for them simply for bothering to kiss a co-star or condescending to suck a cock.

At times Stryker is just too obviously phoning it in, as evidenced his bored slip of the tongue in Big Time wherein he forgets that his blond slave boy is servicing his ass and not his dick. “Yeah boy, suck my…hole” he stammers, seeming to realize that he’s trotted out the wrong generic command relied upon by every gruff trade. There’s no real investment in the moment, just a lot of going through the motions.

Jeff Stryker strikes a poseThat may be the essence of the Stryker persona: he is the ultimate selfish top, ever preoccupied with his own pleasure and never willing to reciprocate. Stryker is the male spin on the Bitch Goddess — beloved but resented in all his obliviousness. He commands us to worship him but promises us nothing in return. It’s enough that he plunders our deepest recesses and satisfies his own vanity.

Have a listen to his mind-bending stream-of-consciousness dialogue in Underground as he waxes orgiastic about his libido:

“I don’t know where to begin. I was walking through the city. See, I got a huge cock. I have desires. I need to fulfill them.”

Is it spoken word performance art, porn speak as poetry? His voice hovers over the whole movie, directing the players within and the audience without, telling us what we want.

In one glory hole scene where he isn’t even physically present he both narrates the action and drives it like a disembodied puppet master. “Nasty hunk of meat! Yeah, tongue it ya nasty fuck! Look at that nasty dick! Stick your tongue in there! Oh yeah! You’ll suck it boy! You nasty man you!”

Stryker VideosAs Stryker talks directly at us, we experience the ravings of a sociopathic sex pig whose will is boundless. He’s a monomaniacal Tom Cruise dancing on the couch to declare his endless love for himself, a meth-fueled Jim Jones presiding over his own cult of personality. Creepy? Yes, but weirdly hypnotic at the same time.

In unguarded moments Le Stryker harbors an inner dork who rears his head despite his best efforts to play it cool. Behold his dazzling array of martial arts moves in Stryker Force and the dopey way the plot casts him as some kind of defender of imperiled gays, as if only a gay-for-pay tough guy could be our avenger. He dispatches a musclebound gang in what should play as a fusion of Rambo and Jean Claude Van Damme. His heroics are undercut by the goofiness of it all, probably the result of him being juiced up on too many Karate Kid viewings.

Stryker’s trademark twangy delivery — sounding like Elvis with a frontal lobe lobotomy — can at times lend an element of high comedy to his barrage of dirty talk. Check out the scene in Big Time where he utters the uproarious line “Why don’t ya peeeeel off yer pants and let me show you what it’s like to fly United!” It provokes clearly spontaneous laughter from his two co-stars, so we have to wonder if Stryker demanded script approval and took it upon himself to write his own dialogue.

As has been the case with other porn stars wanting to prove their legitimacy, he also seems intent on revealing his inner self to a public who only wants him for his body. He’s taken a stab at the standard issue path to mainstream success: the singing career. Amazingly, his foray into country music (?!) didn’t light up the charts, nor have his acting attempts in German short films, Japanese animation voice overs, and Italian-lensed zombie flicks convinced the world that his talent doesn’t hang between his legs.

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As a single guy, Stryker suffers from the same crisis of self that’s usually reserved for female sex symbols; as much as the public desires him as a myth, he remains perennially single as a real man.

Being a legend is lonely. Stryker’s recent well-publicized battle of wills with a noisy folk music club bordering his Hollywood office give us a glimpse of how mundane his life just might be off-camera.

In our minds we see him at wild L.A. bacchanals where he’s serviced by adoring concubines. Instead, he apparently works late at the office and complains about the noise. Reports have him haranguing the club’s patrons, employing his karate routines and blaring disco music to intimidate them, and possibly resenting that he couldn’t perform one of his non-hit country songs in the venue.

There’s something distressing about the world’s biggest dick suffering the indignity of being snubbed by a folkie crowd who find him to be a nuisance. Even beauty and tremendous endowment can’t always guarantee acceptability and a hot date.

What hope is there for any of us mere mortals when Jeff Stryker is dateless on a Saturday night and stuck on the dark side of the velvet rope?

Never has Stryker come off as more real than in his televised interview regarding the horrifying 2004 school attack in which his own son was beaten and stabbed by a group of classmates. Reportedly the incident was racially motivated, but some have questioned whether the perpetrators discovered that the boy’s father was a gay porn star, prompting them to commit a by-proxy bashing.

Whatever the motivation, watching the footage with a pained Stryker was strangely profound. What we saw was a single father fearful for his son, looking somewhat haggard, despondent, and so much more diminutive than the stallion adorning video box covers. The Adonis showed some cracks in his facade and for the first time his dick seemed secondary to his troubled heart.
 
 
Explore every inch of Jeff’s oeuvre.

  • john

    just the thought gets my 8 inch cock hard

  • Tom

    Jeff’s cherubic features, Thunderbirds haircut (oh, the thickness of his hair!), and huge dick have always been a big turn-on for me, and Powertool was definitely a baptism into gay porn for me. It was the first gay porn videotape I ever bought. You should have seen my eyes bug out of my head in that first scene when he’s stripping for the guard and that huge piece falls out while he’s removing his pants — what a moment, especially when it’s the first time you’ve seen gay porn. I really wish the 10th anniversary DVD still had that drum-loop space agey music. That was definitely part of the appeal for me. I’m glad I haven’t seen many of his others — they sure sound bad!

    The one where he’s wearing the Tarzan loincloth and fucked the twink head over shoulder is In Hot Pursuit. I always thought that scene was hot and very memorable myself! I also like the scene at the beginning where he’s jogging and him and Mike (Hanson?) end up fucking.

  • Mule

    Jeff is a good guy and hats off to him for raising a child. I do have to say, I am not as amazed as some of you seem to be. My dick is bigger than his and, yes, I AM a real bodybuilder. Maybe he can identify with me when I say that I get tired of being thought of only as a cock. There is more to me as a man than that and I am sure he feels the same way.

  • DarkZephyr

    Jeff Stryker is one of the few guys I would just LOVE to worship and in my opinion he is STILL hotter than hell.

    As for all the whining and crying about why bottoms aren’t as popular as masculine, macho talking tops, well, we have only ourselves to blame, right? They (the studios) give us what is marketable, which means that they give us what we want, and I have to admit that even though I am versatile, I love a delicious looking, macho talking top boy the best. Jeff is the absolute epitome of that.

    And despite what the author of the article had to say, I never saw a scene where Jeff looked bored fucking a bottom boy, that is ANOTHER part of his appeal. That lustful pig talk and the way he seems to just LOOOVE what he is doing was and is a huge turn on. I would compare him to today’s Chris Rockway of Randy Blue, another stud I adore. In fact, a scene with Stryker and Rockway would be HOT.

  • Robbie

    Hey Guys,
    Let’s not be too hard on Jeff Stryker and the other guys who have the balls to be filmed doing what we all do in the dark. He’s made a lot of guys and girls happy with his sexuality. I say “Power on Jeff” and get as much in as possible. Life is too short to worry about critics.

  • Matt

    I remember reading somewhere that when he was at his height, Styker’s contract stipulated that nobody giving him head would be allowed to go all the way down on his dick–thus implying that such a feat was impossible. It seemed silly to me at the time, and still does. First off, there are plenty of cocksuckers (and of course, I’m including myself) who are quite resourceful when given the challenge of deep-throating a really big one. The guy who’s at the receiving end of our attentions always enjoys it (“Oh, my God! You’re swallowing the whole thing!”) and in porn films, audiences love it as well. JS missed out on a golden business opportunity to not allow deep-throating of his “powertool” to happen. Strange, since he seemed so business-savvy in other areas. I agree with the poster who suggested that he get into daddy/twink films. It could be a goldmine for him.

  • Gavin

    “Why is it always straight studs who become the gay icons as their harder working gay co-stars play second string?”

    It isn’t. You’re just a liar who’s rushing into a hate-filled rant without an honest assessment of the facts.

    Gay men have made just as big of porn icons out of Jack Wrangler, Peter Berlin, Brent Corrigan, Joey Stefano, Matthew Rush and Aiden Shaw as Stryker or Idol. Looks are the #1 factor driving porn popularity, followed by persona. NOT sexual orientation.

    You don’t know anything about Stryker’s private sex or social life just because he’s “single.” He could very well have a thousand female concubines. He could very well have a loving common-law wife. You presume out of hate, not any sort of FACTS.

    And so what if he’s a “selfish top” — they’re HOT. Most gay men want to be used by one. It doesn’t have to turn YOU on, but you don’t have to disrespect the millions of gay men who appreciate, want — and perhaps need? — such assertion from a partner.

    So why don’t you can your pissy naysaying. You sound like a case of SOUR GRAPES.

    Why don’t you extoll the virtues of your favorite porn star instead? Why don’t you promote what you LOVE instead of HATING on what other people enjoy?

    P.S. If you thought that porn stars were perfect and you couldn’t fathom any “cracks in the facade” before, YOU’RE the guilty dumbass. Porn companies are always peddling a fantasy. You should know that.