What is betrayal? The dictionary calls it, “the breaking of a presumptive contract, trust or confidence.” To betray is to be disloyal, to be unfaithful, to be deceptive and misguiding. A betrayal is a violation.
Those of us who work in any capacity in the porn industry, both gay and straight, do so under the assumption that everyone connected to our business has figuratively signed an unwritten contract… an agreement that we essentially won’t do things that would jeopardize the way we all make a living.
Throughout history, traitors from Judas Iscariot to Benedict Arnold have been despised and ostracized. However, in our business, many people continue to support and fund one insider whose work is consistently treacherous. I’m referring to Zachary Sire of Str8UpGayPorn, whose poisonous presence is an ongoing danger. I am recommending that the studios who still do affiliate business with him rethink doing so.
The list of Sire’s sins is seemingly endless, but allow me to review some of the most egregious things he’s done over the years.
Sire reveals the real names of porn models along with communicating the information to relatives and significant others — even if those people have no connection to the industry. There’s no reason to do something like this other than to hurt those involved.
Sire posts mug shots of people in the industry, and gleefully details their arrest history. He revels in humiliating and shaming those in the gay porn business.
He is infamous for his approach to moderating his posts: deleting comments and blocking users who offer any criticism of his work or approach himself. He creates a vacuum of vitriol, which many misinterpret for bias-free coverage of content and events in the industry.
Sire often speculates about the HIV status of porn stars, and in my opinion, wants people to fear those who have HIV. Just like Michael Weinstein, he undermines the successful, game-changing antiviral treatment PrEP, and seems to want his readers to see HIV as a death sentence, even though that is no longer the case. He collects as many negative articles as he can find about PrEP and re-posts them on his site (I’ve counted at least 40 myself) to spread fear and confusion. This is all a direct contradiction to our longtime battle against the stigma of HIV/AIDS.
Sire famously revealed the identity of his competitor, the Queer Me Now blogger (who is a true fan of the industry), the morning after he won the “Best Blog” Grabbys award. Since the blogger lives in Thailand, this put not only his career, but also his freedom and his very life in danger. Sire even acknowledged this fact on his blog, and being a coward with no principles took it down after mounting pressure from honest industry professionals left him little choice. This was a personal attack sparked by jealously, as detailed in this article on TheSword.com:
In his lengthy 2013 posting about his departure from TheSword.com, Sire said that site was, “specifically designed to lampoon, satirize, and… humiliate people in the gay porn industry who had said or done something stupid.” There’s nothing wrong with legitimate criticism, and most of us in this business have developed thick skins and can take it.
But Sire’s vitriol is not legitimate. His writings are the hateful and vindictive rants — he lies and simply fabricates facts to support his postings.
Most recently, Sire tried to capitalize on the fact that a woman in California filed a lawsuit against my company in an attempt to extort money from me by falsely claiming I left a mess in the home I rented from her.
In the comments section, Sire gives legitimacy to the article when he responds to a reader with the following, “You’ve obviously never been on a porn set. People douche, people piss, and people leave shit (literally) everywhere.”
But that’s a lie. I’ve worked in the industry for over 20 years, and I know that no adult company would leave a set in this condition, Sire’s above comment is an insult to industry professionals, an insult that helps prolong the damaging stereotype of adult entertainment.
Companies are covered by insurance that protects against situations like this, but if this baseless lawsuit prevails, it will set a legal precedent and create a potential nightmare for all porn producers.
Sire’s blog depicts the gay porn industry as a drug-infested nest of STD infections, a sleazy business filled with criminals. He essentially has created an online catalog of accusations, a kind of reference library that will delight every anti-porn crusader. He continually provides ammunition for our enemies. It’s blatantly apparent that Sire doesn’t celebrating sex (like other industry bloggers do) but rather uses sex to humiliate and shame performers. He hates the industry he writes about and hates those that work in it.
And yet, his website continues to attract some studios that have affiliate dealings with him. But at what cost? Funding Sire’s vile writings will only backfire on the gay porn industry. Models should condemn his attacks and refrain from cooperating with him, and companies that advertise on his site should pull their accounts. He has been biting the hand that feeds him for far too long. It is time to say “enough is enough.”