“Sex and disability are two awkward subjects that most are afraid to discuss individually,” adult film performer Daniel James tells Queerty. “By combining the two, you create this pornographic material that is controversial enough to get people talking and sharing. I don’t care if they enjoy it, question it or hate it; at the end of the day they’re still clicking and watching.”
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James is not your average adult film performer. Sure, the 22-year-old Canadian enjoys sex and has been filmed having it–lots of it. But there’s one thing that sets him apart from all the others: He has Cerebral Palsy.
James says he may be a disabled adult film star, but don’t call him inspirational or brave.
“It’s straight up bullshit [when people use those words],” he says. “[By using those words], people are basically reducing us to the characteristics of our disabilities.”
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We recently chatted with him about his disability, how that affects his job, his thoughts on going gay-for-pay, and what he has to say to anyone who says he should be ashamed of his work.
Check out what he had to say…
QUEERTY: So, let’s cut to the chase. Like me, you have Cerebral Palsy. Unlike me, however, you’re an adult film performer. How does your disability affect your ability to do your job?
DANIEL: People develop this screwed up notion in their mind that all individuals with disabilities are physically incapable of sex. Sex when you’re disabled all comes down to the technique and thinking of ingenious ways to use the surroundings to your advantage. I would say that the biggest roadblock I face is finding studios willing to work with me, and I obviously understand why they would be hesitant. But there are hundreds of other weird genres already out there. My goal is to hopefully demonstrate to them that this is an opportunity to create material which will cater to a new demographic, whether that is other disabled viewers or not.
How did you get into doing adult film? I can’t say I know of many disabled folks doing it.
I sort of fell into it by accident to be completely honest. One night I was drunk in my dorm room sitting in front of my computer and decided to do some research on producers based here in Canada. I discovered a local indie company that featured alternative looking performers. With low expectations, I sent them an email expressing my interest, along with some Facebook photos of myself. To my surprise, they responded. And a few months later, we shot the thing.
I used to think that I would never get laid because I’m disabled. Fast forward to now and look at what’s happening. This is all because I noticed an opportunity and took action. It’s like any other side hobby or business, you have to grind and put in the work every single day if you want to make things happen.
Are there certain limitations or things you absolutely cannot do when shooting?
I do have my limits. Some of these include aerobic positions and partner support where I can’t pick the person up off the ground. Basically, I can’t hold you up, or stand for prolonged periods of time without my leg muscles tiring. But there are ways to shoot around that.
Have you had any odd experiences because of your disability, such as fetishizing or discrimination?
I can’t say that I personally have been fetishized strictly because of my disability. The only hardships I face is navigating the dating world. They’re either immediately turned off due to my physical shortcomings caused by the disability, or they’re weirded out by the stuff they read online or from the photos of me with random naked people. That’s just part of the territory when you live differently than everyone else.
Recently on Twitter you said you wanted help breaking into the “gay scene.” I gotta ask, being Queerty and all, would you ever do gay scenes?
I’m not sure if it’s going to take a python or micro penis to change any doubts in my mind about trying something like that. What I can tell you, from my experiences frequenting sex positive spaces, is that I’ve seen more penises in person in my 22 years than most men ever see in their entire lifetime. I guess I just haven’t found that perfect dick for me yet.
Have you ever been with a man outside of work?
I have loads of gay male friends I regularly hang with, and I’ve been inside a decent number of bathhouses and clubs here in Toronto’s gay village for interviews and promotional stuff. I’ve been involved in a few photoshoots where I developed some strong business relationships with gay models and performers as well. I guess you could say that I’ve been around a decent number of big dicks.
So is it safe to say you are straight, bi, or… How do you identify, exactly?
I’m whatever you want to imagine.
So many people look at adult films as something “shameful” or something you need to hide. A lot of people have lost their day jobs because of it. How do you respond to this?
How does that one saying go? “Be a slut, do whatever you want.” We’re all a certain degree of perverted. I know that I’ve been hypersexual for as long as I can remember. It started out so innocently: Going from holding hands with the girls during reading time in elementary school, to typing ‘boobs’ into Google on the computer when my mom would go grocery shopping. But these days I would rather frequent the sex clubs and swinger parties at friends’ apartments. Some of us are just more open and expressive about it than others. We all like to jerk off and we equally enjoy it when other people jerk us off, so who cares. Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you.
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Baba Booey Fafa Fooey
“Gay for pay” is so homophobic. It lends to the idea that being gay is a choice. I wish you would stop reporting on it. It is so insulting and offensive.
i was in love with a disabled guy, we were good friends and hooked up, but because i wasn’t disabled , he often said i couldn’t understand what he was going through, and we never had a relationship so i was friend zoned, it sucked, but i eventually moved on. He had a healthy sex life from what he told me, but he also had low self esteem. it happens to us all in varying degrees, but it’s so odd we rarely see the commonality in each other and it brings us to together, but it always in almost every instance keeps people apart relationship wise.
@Baba Booey Fafa Fooey: Agreed! I was half-way through the interview before I realized we weren’t talking about a gay performer. Yes, he’s been to bathhouses, but like all hookers, it was all about self-promotion only. This article has NOTHING to do with gay life.
Very poorly written article. What are the symptoms of this disease? Is this guy straight gay film performer? Takes alot of guess work to figure or the writers head and why he hides so much.
“I do have my limits. Some of these include aerobic positions and partner support where I can’t pick the person up off the ground. Basically, I can’t hold you up, or stand for prolonged periods of time without my leg muscles tiring.”
I’m guess I’m just lazy because that would describe me too.
Pics or it didn’t happen.
Since Queerty decided to publish this article about a straight-performing/opposite-sex performing (of course!) porn actor, why not go out and find a self-affirming GAY or BI disabled or differently abled performer? They exist, you know. What is the constant obsession among this site’s reporters with straight guys, in 2016? It’s like a closeted fan book from 1950 or something.
He actually does gay for pay cam sex and enjoys it. In some articles he is described as bi. He has also shot a documentary that made it into Cannes. Seems like a really nice guy. Link (NSFW): http://gay.blogs.cam4.com/2017/06/wes-goes-behind-the-scenes-with-daniel-james/
This was the bit that really got me:
Q: So is it safe to say you are straight, bi, or… How do you identify, exactly?
A: I’m whatever you want to imagine.
That is a total bullshit hooker response. In other words I don’t want to alienate anyone because you never know where your next pay cheque is coming from.
How do you people, who complain about everything on here that’s not gay, function in the real world. Everything doesn’t have to be gay. Every other gay blog has a variety of articles that are not gay but of interest to people. I’m sure many people who read Queerty are interested in things other than Alaska Thunderfuck and Finding Prince Hooker. I mean, c’mon a story about paint dryng would be more interesting.
“Gay for Pay” the title should come with some sort of eye roll inducing insurance in case my eyes get stuck like that. I’m sick of seeing it.
“My goal is to hopefully demonstrate to them that this is an opportunity to create material which will cater to a new demographic….”
How about a goal of getting a real job and career instead of breaking down supposed gay porn barriers.
Yes!!! If his disability isn’t stopping him from porn then it won’t stop him from getting a real job.
No actual hetero/straight guy does gay or bisexual porn, call them like they are closeted bisexual and gay men who are being marketed as “straight” to appease the queens who have homophobic and biphobic fantasies and need the fantasy of having sex with a hetero guy.
@Jack Meoff: He acts like you can just choose what sexuality you’ll be each day when you wake up. That is not the case, so when people try and answer vaguely like him it is like they are saying being gay is a choice, rather than how we were born. I find that offensive.
Why no pictures nor videos of Daniel James in action, or at least some poses.
“Gay-For-Pay Genre”? There’s no such thing… (Though, in the case of this article, it’s a too-easy description to get clicks).
There is fetish-specific gay porn and while I understand that some gay men have a fetish for straight men it’s gay porn. Full stop.
As far as his non-answer about being straight/gay/bi – he is a performer in the adult entertainment industry so his answer is exactly what I’d expect from a professional performer.
Here’s a more in-depth interview (and more thorough than this click-bait)
Gay for pay= I will f*** anything for money. I believe hookers also live by this credo and by the way he talks, the latter would be a more apt description than an aspiring fake gay. People like this disgust me.
What a ‘disgusting’ response. This man has obstacles in his way that most of us could never deal with. He grew up doubting he would ever get laid. I respect everything he has overcome to get where he is.
Luna you think “gay for pay” is any better than ANY type of sex for pay? I don’t see a distinction between paying a gay guy or a straight guy to do any sexual act, on or off camera. What’s the difference? It’s all degrading.
Such an inspiration to everyone! He shows that people with ANY disability; smallpox, scoliosis, leprosy…anyone can aspire to the greatness and self-fullfillment that is gay porn. Some day someone (not you) will find a cure, and we can all look back at their accomplishments (not yours) and then sue his pants off for “restriction of trade” since no future generations will be able to pick up your special niche of “specialty” porn. But until that day, you just reach for the stars, baby! I’d say “hand me a tissue” but apparently they’ve all been used up for other purposes.
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