I'm on an odyssey of the psyche and pussy, a journey to decipher the difference between sex and love, fantasy and reality. Yet when I attempt to navigate these questions by fucking a lot of different people, it messes me up. So nowadays I talk and write about this stuff instead.
Recently, I spoke with three male porn stars: Ryan Driller, Tyler Nixon, and Christopher Zeischegg a.k.a. Danny Wylde. Ryan Driller is a suave, polished man of porn who has been in over 500 scenes and played porn versions of Magic Mike, Christian Grey, and Superman. Tyler Nixon is like the young, hot surfer bruh of porn. Christopher Zeischegg is more of an alt star: a writer, musician, and filmmaker who spent eight years working in the adult industry as Danny Wylde, but no longer performs. I spoke with Driller and Nixon on the phone, and with Zeischegg in person on his bed (we didn't have sex), about on-set crushes, pussy eating, and desire as a drug.
VICE: I don't like reality. I'll do anything to escape. I've tried everything and I've had to give up a lot of things that helped me escape and then hurt me. One thing I've bottomed out on numerous times is sex that feels like love. So I'm curious about your take on the line between lust and love, and when lust feels like love?
Christopher Zeischegg: I guess what can happen in porn, and even in real life… you can have chemistry with someone on-set and you develop this real emotional connection within the boundaries of that day. I feel like I've fallen in love with someone for a day. But then the day was over and I had no real interest in pursuing it after. For whatever reason—chemistry, whatever the fuck—you're like, "Yes I really like this," but then it's over. And that's nice, being able to have that within a contained box.
Tyler Nixon: Lust is powerful. People confuse love with lust all the time. Love is so easily thrown around these days that it's lost its original value. I'm being very blunt about it, but it's true. I think in every relationship, the longer you're with someone you can't expect that sexual tension to fully be there.
Have you ever gotten emotionally attached to anyone you've shot with?
Tyler Nixon: When I came into the industry, I knew that I had to secure my emotions really well before going in…so I have caught feelings, but every time I caught feelings I was like, "OK, I'm being a little ridiculous."
Ryan Driller: I have hooked up with a handful of people in the industry, but I tend to date outside the industry. There have also been some girls that I've had a strong emotional chemistry with and it could have crossed the lines of it being just a work transaction experience.
Christopher Zeischegg: Oh, definitely. I would develop crushes on people, but oftentimes I was in a long-term relationship as well and we had established kind of an emotional monogamy, and sexual monogamy apart from work, where we would both go to work, fuck people, then come home and be with each other. But I would definitely have the experience where you had a great time, maybe even fooled around before or after on set, and then you go home and it's like… I can't say that would disappear immediately. Sometimes it was still there, [whereas] your long-term relationships have that insane fire in the beginning that dies out.
I feel like that fire itself is kind of a drug. I like to use it to escape myself and kind of get high. But I think I got in enough pain that I was just like, "I can't do it with this anymore."
Christopher Zeischegg: After my last relationship ended I was really hungry for that. I had these, I guess they were just flings. But part of my problem—and maybe this has to do with being in porn for so long—is that I may feel like I'm in love with you before I know anything about you. But then that establishes certain expectations. And maybe then in the same week it's like, "Holy shit, I'm not sure I have any interest in you other than this."
I was hooking up with this guy and he would always go down on me when I had my period and I was like, "Oh, he must be in love with me. I mean, his face is bloody." But I think the truth was he just loved eating pussy. Any pussy. What do you think is the difference between sex and love in this case?
Ryan Driller: I'm a very horny guy. I have a high libido and a high sex drive, so lusting does come from a physical place. I see somebody who's got attractive attributes and I want to put my penis inside her. But there is a stronger connection when you have that love and you will do anything for that person. I, too, love eating pussy. I know biology, I know it's not grotesque, so I'm not going to stop when my partner has her period.
What's the longest you've ever eaten pussy for?
Ryan Driller: Well over an hour.
Tyler Nixon: I don't know, multiple minutes? I enjoy it, especially when I find a girl who I enjoy myself and find to be very lovely down there.
I always joke that it takes me 48 hours to have an orgasm. With my partners I'm like "Is this OK? Is this OK?" and they're like, "Do you want me to wear a visor that says 'It's not taking too long'?" Of course there is a range within the female experience. But often in porn the women come very quickly. And obviously they're not all real. But some of them probably are, right?
Tyler Nixon: Forty-eight hours? Someone better get on it then.
Ryan Driller: There's a good percentage that are real, especially when it comes to pussy eating. That's a time when you can't see as much anyway so it's fine to go into a natural pussy-eating position, whereas doggy and missionary are at a 90-degree angle—it's not actual missionary position. It looks like it because of the camera angles.
Were you ever in the midst of a pussy-eating session and the crew was like, "OK hurry it up. Proceed to fucking now"?
Ryan Driller: All the time. Though there are a few studios that just let you go and do your thing. They don't care as long as they end up with 26 minutes of content.
Danny Wylde: I still do some sex work in real life, in the flesh, but that's not as big of a concern because I don't have a crew around me. People aren't like sitting there when you're jerking off, trying to get it up, and the crew just hates you. Everyone wants to go home and you're fucking it up. All the new girls get offended. If you're 18 and beautiful, and some guy can't get his dick up, it's like, "What the fuck is wrong with this person?"
But that's a good lesson for all of us: just because a guy can't get his dick hard doesn't mean he's not attracted to you. It could just be nerves. Why did you quit performing?
Danny Wylde: Since I was 19 or 20 years old I was taking Cyalis. At one point I injected my penis with this steroid that just makes it hard. But I got really psychologically addicted to these drugs, because I was taking them constantly. So there were times when I would get priapism, which is where your erection doesn't go down. I went to the ER the last time and the doctor was like, "You need to knock this shit off, because if you start causing scar tissue to build up in your penis from us stabbing it to drain blood you're going to fuck things up." And that was basically just me saying, "OK, I'm gonna quit."
I'm a hypochondriac with anxiety disorder and I feel like I'm always suffocating. So during sex, being choked is not my thing. But it's so trendy now. There's such a proliferation of it in porn that I'm like, "Does everyone enjoy it except me?" I've had more people attempt to choke me in the last 1/5 of my sexually-active life than in the first 4/5ths, and I wonder how many of them really enjoy it and how many are doing it because that's what they see and think they are supposed to do.
Danny Wylde: That's a good question. I would assume that some enjoy it and some don't, but just go along with it.
Ryan Driller: It's a good question. Are we teaching people what we think is supposed to happen or are we doing it because that's what everyone wants to see. I mean it's on that edge where people must want that and that's why it's popular. But there are always trends in porn. When I came into the industry MILFs were huge. I do a lot of the romance stuff because I have a problem totally degrading women. I can't really grab a girl by the neck and throw her around and talk a lot of shit, because it's not in my nature.
Tyler Nixon: I tend to choke a little bit. Like my hand will always wind up on a throat. But it's not like I'm choking, it's more like I'm passionately, like, look at me type of thing. If it's aggressive, it's very degrading kind of. I mean I have to do that. Porno is performance art—that's all it is. Everything people do in an average scene, unless you're watching X-Art, you're doing positions where you're contorting your body and it's not really that comfortable.
All I've ever wanted is a big dick. Like, I felt that if I had a big dick that things would be OK. That I would be protected from the world in some way, like everything is shit but at least I know I have a big dick. The dick is with me. It's a force. Has having a big dick ever provided you with emotional or psychological consolation?
Tyler Nixon: Oh my god, does it show that clearly on my social media that I'm an emotional wreck?
Danny Wylde: Uhhhh, no.
So Sad Today: Personal Essays will be released next March from Grand Central Publishing. Pre-order it here.
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