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Why Is Fashion Dipping Its Chocolate in Porn's Peanut Butter?

Jun 11, 2014 | Updated Feb 02, 2016

It used to be that the only thing male fashion models had in common with gay porn stars is that they both had to sleep with people they didn't like. But now that's changing. The middle circle in the venn diagram between fashion and gay porn is well, filling out nicely. Fashion icons like Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein have dated porn stars. The fashion company Andrew Christian uses porn stars from the Randy Blue studio and Addicted Underwear recently used Bel Ami porn stars to hawk their wares.

Why is fashion getting its chocolate in porn's peanut butter?

It's getting to the point that you can't tell male fashion models from gay porn stars. In fact, most people fail our groovy test -- Can You Pick Out The Male Model From The Gay Porn Star In These Shirtless Side-By-Side Comparisons? There's a reason for that: Gay porn seems to be gravitating toward a male model look. Studios from Bel Ami to Sean Cody to Corbin Fisher recruit and shape their performers to look more and more like the men on the cover of magazines like Details, GQ, and Out Magazine.

It isn't just the studios; it's the performers. They are paid astoundingly low (see How Much Money Gay Porn Stars Really Earn). The more they make themselves look like high-end fashion models the more money they'll make.

Is this the mainstreaming of gay porn? It depends on whether you think the fashion industry is influencing porn or vice versa. I think it's a little of both. Fashion wants to cash in on the ubiquity and popularity of gay porn and the porn industry wants a little respectability, along with a lot more revenue. The tsunami of free porn on the internet is forcing porn studios to differentiate themselves or die as unpaid commodities.

Studios can only differentiate themselves in three ways: The Act, The Scene or The Look. Treasure Island, for example, specializes in certain acts. Broke Straight Boys specializes in certain scenes (straight men having gay sex). Studios like Bel Ami specialize in a particular look -- boy next door/smoldering-look models).

Of course, gay porn stars have always been good looking (the lopsided results of our side-by-side photo comparison poll, "Who's Hotter--Gay Or Straight Porn Stars") proves that. But back in the day very few of them could actually make the cover of fashion magazines. Today? There's a lot of peanut butter in that chocolate.

The Internet has destroyed scarcity. It isn't just because today's porn stars are starting to look more and more like fashion models. And it isn't just because gay porn is so much more ubiquitous than it's ever been. There's a larger force at work: All of porn is being mainstreamed. The internet has destroyed scarcity. It is no longer shocking to see porn. What's shocking is being able to avoid it. The desensitization makes us go from spawn to yawn. You can even see the mainstreaming of porn in cinematic films from major Hollywood studios. It's not that unusual for them to cast (female) porn stars in significant roles. And the porn sensibility is definitely creeping into mainstream movies. Whatculture.com did a pretty smart piece on this thought with their article, 10 Mainstream Movies That Are Pretty Much Just Porn.

A lot of fashion's chocolate is dipping into porn's peanut butter. No one knows how far this trend will go but you can be pretty sure the results will continue to be good enough to eat.

You don't have to look like a model to read the author's latest book, How To Bottom Like A Porn Star.