Nightcharm: A Recounting & ResurrectionBy David K. / Friday, September 21st, 2012
“We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” –T. S. Eliot
When I was a kid I dreamed of becoming Hugh Hefner. Not for the pussy but for the power.
Like most teens in the 70s, my fix for nudity came via a pile of Playboy magazines in my dad’s sock drawer. Naturally, I’d no interest in boobs or centerfolds. But I would scan each new issue for the editor’s popular Sex in the Cinema feature. This was my only opportunity to catch a glimpse of well-lit male flesh: a burly bare chest, hairy guy legs, Sean Connery‘s broad back.
Sure, it was heteros feigning fucking (or whatever), but it was something. I remember the hottest photo ever was a close-up of Roger Herren‘s ass from the film Myra Breckinridge. Good lord, the semen spent on that dildo invasion. (Wow, which reminds me again: How much I miss Gore Vidal!)
Anyway, when I got older I decided to become a gay Hugh Hefner. And I did, 14 years ago, when I created Nightcharm.com. From 1998 forward I’ve published a loopy marriage of pop cultural commentary with no-apologies gay smut. And nary a demarcation between. Porn and pop. Pop and porn. What wasn’t to love?
Our readers became regulars, and quite a family and fan club was forged. Nightcharm’s hybrid mix also impressed the ‘mainstream media’. Oprah and Tech-TV featured us. And I did interviews with status quo pubs like Print magazine and The Seattle Weekly. It was all sunshine and sex — before the tears.
Things turned shitty in 2008 when the economy circled the toilet and pornmasters decided to cannibalize their online business model with a final desperate lunge for lucre; giving everything away for free via pic posts and tube vids. The price for the visitor being a shrill onslaught of LIVE!!! CHAT!!, crazy electronic cigarettes and herbal endowment pills. The pounding cluster fuck for dollars became deadening and (worse) dick-wilting.
To stay afloat, I had to shed the subtle approach I’d used for years on Nightcharm — a display that allowed the reader to find his own way to our porn pixel paradise, The Inner Circle. But with a flick of a switch, in ’08, Nightcharm became ‘visually polychromatic’, my euphemism for the lurid deep throat photos and splayed butthole pics that bulged, left, right and center on the home page. Nightcharm’s editor at the time, the incomparable John Calendo dubbed my situation a ‘corporate porn invasion’ and decided to move on from his fun-filled five-year tenure to begin work on a novel — more of his artful prose, that didn’t involve debating the virtues of cut or uncut cock.
Shawn Baker, who followed John’s editorship, is one of my proudest accomplishments with Nightcharm. Shawn’s was a real ‘star is born’ kinda story. John and I discovered the pup in the site’s comments section where the feisty rabble-rouser wrote smart, pointed comments and rebuttals — often paragraphs long — to most of our posts. I hired Shawn as quick as he answered ‘yes’, and he assumed the site’s editorship in 2009, navigating Nightcharm until earlier this year when he decided to move on and, yes, you guessed it: Start work on a novel.
Throughout much of 2012, without an editor and dismayed with the continued crash and burn of online smut, I struggled with the idea of shuttering Nightcharm (and our brother site Lurid Digs) to — yea, you guessed it: Begin writing a book.
But my Hugh Hefner doppelganger wouldn’t let me cut the cord. And so, before you now, the new, resurrected Nightcharm. A Nightcharm that is not too different in spirit from its origins 14 years ago (which explains that T.S. Eliot epigraph that opens this post).
Reviving Nightcharm meant locating an editor who really ‘got’ the site; understood and could compliment Nightcharm’s original ethos. And boy oh boy was I lucky when I moved my search ‘down under.’ Namely, bringing on board Nightcharm’s new editor, from Sydney, Mr. Mark Adnum.
Along with Mark I’d like to welcome you, dear reader, back to the party too. Sorry we went amiss. But you’re in good hands now — which leads me to a proper herald for Mr. Adnum in the interview that proceeds this post.
David K. Publisher Extraordinaire >
©2013 Nightcharm, Inc.; All Rights Reserved.