For several years, there was an unspoken rule in porn that redheads could not make it very far as stars. This was especially true in the gay porn business, where hot brunettes like Matt Ramsey (aka Peter North), William Henson, Ryan Idol, and Joey Stefano, and blondes such as Mark Dalton, Thom Barron, and Kevin Williams ruled the covers of magazines and movies and attracted thousands of lustful fans during the '80s and early '90s. That all changed, however, with the arrival of "pig play," a movement of sorts celebrating unbridled passion and machismo – regardless of hair color, race, or body type – that swept the gay community and, not surprisingly, gay porn. Suddenly, redheads were in. From hunky Will Clark and skinny Blu Kennedy to newcomer Adam Faust (see next week's "School of Hard Knox"), redheads have become a hot commodity in the business—an exotic taste, if you will, though no less sexy. Tim Rusty is one of these men.
A power-bottom with a penchant for extreme play, Rusty first came to the attention of porn fans when he made his debut in Titan's GAYVN Award-winning epic Fallen Angel 5: Horse. Shortly thereafter, he partnered up with popular star Owen Hawk, who was trying to start his own porn company. Their efforts came to fruition with Dark Alley Media, a company that launched in 2004 and has since released several titles (including 2006 GAYVN Award-winner Mutiny: Shipmates' Revenge). Rusty (who appeared in a memorable scene in Mutiny) eventually decided to part ways with Dark Alley, choosing instead to focus on his own endeavor, the recently launched TimRusty.com, a website devoted to all things Rust-ic.
I recently had the pleasure of talking with Rusty via the phone and got to the, er, bottom of his new site, his first porn gig, and why he just can't get enough of fisting and water sports.
Ken Knox: So, you've started your own site?
Tim Rusty: I sure have.
How did you go about getting off the ground?
I basically contacted a couple developers I had known from running Dark Alley and came up with a concept and started from there.
How are you putting it together? Do you have a webmaster?
I have a webmaster. I'm not that technically savvy as far as building Web pages. We set up a content management system, so I can go in myself and, with the little bit of computer experience that I have, change the content easily. But I do have a developer. I do have a graphics designer that takes care of all the technical end of the site. But, I try to keep it updated myself, because right now it's in its growth phase. I try to keep to the operations as small as possible. As the site grows and becomes more successful, when I have more budgets, I'm going to start bringing more people into the pictures to start picking up the pieces.
What made you decide to make the move to the Internet as opposed to traditional porn?
I was a founding partner in [Dark Alley Media]. My personality is that I'd like to get into new things and build them. When I was with Dark Alley, I had the ability to build a video company and do traditional hard-product sales, and I always had an interest after getting that off the ground—in the content-streaming side of the industry. I thought streaming is where the future potential lies. You look at mainstream movie companies—they're all going to video-on-demand or they're [looking into] iPod compatibility, so I think that based on what they're looking at, the adult industry is going to take the same stance, though maybe a little slower. I felt that starting now with Internet would be better in the future—that I'd be more well known and have more promotion out, and I wouldn't have to make that changeover later on.
What do you think you're bringing to the table that will help distinguish your site from other ones?
It's a hard question to answer because I don't have anything per se that I feel is independently unique from anybody else. However, I want to address the quality—the video quality and also the service of the site. You know, keep a level above everybody else. Make it a premiere. So, I want to keep the design clean and straightforward. I want to continue to have new content. Plus, TimRusty.com is just one site right now that's going to be a part of a cluster of sites. With the membership at TimRusty.com, you'll also get memberships to view other sites. It gives users a little bit of a broader choice. So, the other sites that'll be up down the road will round out their membership fees. You'll get a little bit more of an advantage.
', "timrusy.jpg", "", " border=\"0\" hspace=\"5\" alt=\"\" vspace=\"5\" align=\"right\""); ?>
The hardest thing is management. Especially getting off the ground, you're working with programmers and developers that are in different locations and who also have to work and coincide with each other. It's very hard managing schedules. I had a target date that I wanted the site to be up and running before March, so that when the GAYVN Awards came out, this site would have been live. Of course, that went out the window, because there are technical difficulties in getting the back systems running. Sometimes the developers take on too much work outside of just this one project; it also throws my calendar off. That has been the single hardest thing of getting the site up and running. Everything else, from acquiring the equipment, getting the models I wanted to work with…that was far easier than getting the technical side up and running.
Have you begun shooting your own content yet?
How's that going?
Definitely well. I had about a year of background…I've kind of gotten my feet wet, so I know what to do there. What I haven't done, though, yet—if you go to the site right now, you don't see any video there, because the site's still in its beta mode. Getting some of the blips figured out with the back end, getting everything technically running fine before we put the video up, because that's the one last portion of the site where the free members right now will get to see a preview of the clips coming up, and then we're going to go to a pay membership, where you have a full-streaming download and you can see the entire clip.
What have you learned from appearing in porn movies that you can apply to your own content?
Just the production. It gave me a little bit of insight as to what the dos and don'ts are. It also gave me, when working with different directors, an insight into what their styles are and what people like to see and what works for them. When you work with a few different directors, you want to have your own style, but you also get to learn the things you shouldn't do. Even though you may think it's a great idea, they will tell you otherwise of why people don't want to see something like that. That's the single greatest thing of working on all the different sets that I was able to pick up: their experience.
You're obviously into extreme play in your own private life. Is that the direction you want to take the site in?
I think that's where my site is going to stay, because, like I said, my site is just one site that is part of a cluster, and each site is gonna have its own niche that it's going to address. So, if you look at the videos that I've been in, all of the scenes that I've done have been extreme. They've had leather, they've had flogging, they've had fisting, they've had water sports, they've [had] something…I don't think there's anything I haven't done yet. Actually, my first scene was all of those combined, so I kind of came out with a bang. That's what my fan base knows me for, and that's what I think I should stick to: what people like.
How did you get into this type of play in the first place?
I've always been curious to learn new things. It's kind of like part of it was just experiencing it. I wanted to find different forms of sex. Learning something new always interested me. The other part of it was certain things, like fisting, which I've always been into as far back as I can remember. That's something I enjoy in my life and just doing it on video was natural.
In the past, extreme fetish play has been viewed, at least in porn, as a niche, but it seems to be that it's popping up more and more in mainstream gay content now. Do you think it's becoming less marginalized in this industry?
I think so. It seems like every video that comes out has a fisting scene or a water-sports scene. So, I think as far as its being taboo, it's not taboo anymore. I think the acceptance of it in videos has definitely spilled over into Web content. I don't see how you can be so extreme anymore. I don't know what's not out there anymore.
It makes you wonder how many gay men are starting to open up to the more extreme stuff. You probably get your share of action, so what do you think?
I think some people are still tight lipped about it. But, I think as gay men, there's always something we'll want to do. We're just more sexual than straight people. I think everybody has some fetish that they want to live out. Online is the way to do it.
There still are some people that say the more extreme content makes the industry look bad. What do you think about that?
I don't think it makes it look bad. I think the industries evolve. Entertainment evolves. If you look back on movies in the '50s, that's not what they are today. So, I think naturally we're always going to try and do one thing better the next time we release something. Plus, our industry is just growing. It started very new in the '70s. They didn't really know production concepts and videos were really harsh. Today, we have very great content, and I think it's just our industry has grown.
Do you worry that by streaming more extreme content, you may be making yourself more vulnerable to government interference?
No, I don't think I'm more vulnerable. I think the government's going to target whom they want to target. It's just a matter of politics and setting yourself apart and making enemies. I think if you do the right thing, no matter what your content is, I don't think you'll have a problem.
What appeals to you about extreme play the most?
I guess that I'm interested in it in my own life. It's not just something I do on screen. What makes the appeal for me is to do that on my website.
What about in real life, what appeals to you about the kinkier stuff?
I guess it's about the control, giving somebody else control, on a deep and serious connection with that person. If I get into extreme or kinky play with somebody, it's because I feel a great connection with them; it's not just somebody I met and they're coming home with me that night.
How did you get involved in the business in the first place?
I got contacted by a casting director at Titan. I've always thought about getting into it, and I had a small Yahoo! group where I had some people that were members that forwarded my info to a friend at Titan. And Titan called me up. It was all a last minute. They needed me for this movie, Fallen Angel 5. I decided to go ahead and do it. Who knew it was going to be the picture of the century? The biggest release ever, and here I am the new guy. That's how I got into it. It was history from there.
How was that experience for you? You hadn't done it before right?
No, that was my first movie. It was my first scene. They're a great group to work with, and we were five hours north of San Francisco on a private ranch. It was a blast. It was just great.
So you had never ridden a horse before?
I had never ridden a horse and here I am riding a horse in a porn video.
Were you nervous about the experience?
Yeah, I was nervous. I always want to give everything my all: 110 percent. I was very nervous to do the right thing, to make a good impression with them because it was my first time working with them and in the industry. Also, I was very concerned about my image, so that made me nervous, being in front of other people. I hear tons of other people say, "It must be nervous to be in front of a whole crew and everything." That, to me, was nothing. It was more about how everything would look and whether they would like what I would have to deliver.
Had you always been a fan of porn?
Always. Of course, that's why I got into this.
When did you start looking at it?
Probably at age 14, as soon as I was able to get on a computer and get online. It was about when I started looking at it.
So, you started on the Internet then right?
Yeah, it was as soon as my father had a computer with an Internet connection,—that was it right there.
What do you like most about being in the business?
It's fun. I work a normal job where it's a very rigorous, day-to-day corporate job, and being in the this business, you have another name; you have another personality and it's fun. It's not a serious job. You can be lighthearted about it, and I like that. It gives me an alter ego, so to speak.
Does your family know what you're up to in your free time?
My father does; my mother doesn't. My father is an attorney and helped with setting up Dark Alley. When I was establishing that company, we had a little legal battle with another New York producer [writer's note: Lucas Entertainment mogul Michael Lucas], and I had to get some direction on how to handle it, so the first person I talked to was my father on how to handle it. So, I kind of broke the news to him, and he just told me never talk about it in front of my mother. One of my older brothers knows. He has actually done camerawork for one of the straight companies, Evil Angel. I had to tell him, and his girlfriend just loves that I'm in it, and they keep asking me about what movies I'm coming out in. It's great to have them, because I can talk about everything about the industry with them.
What are some plans you have for TimRusty.com?
We're going to basically do a lot of promotions once the site goes live and gets out of beta mode.
When do you expect that to be?
I'm aiming right now for the end of June, beginning of July. I don't have an exact date, because I had to be a little more flexible. By July, we want to go live with it. Basically, I'm just looking to brand my name. You have studio names, and you have stars. After a while, their names start to die. I'm trying an experiment to see if there's a way to establish your name and keep it going. Regardless if you're performing or producing. There are a couple of people who were able to do that, like Michael Lucas. I want to see if there's a way to build that and sustain yourself, cause I think in this industry, a lot of people of get into it, and they do a few movies, and they're forgotten about 10 years later. Maybe this is a way to build a lasting reputation, and a fruitful career.
Finish this sentence for me. My cock is to me like…
I would say because I'm bottom, it's like tits on a bull, but you know, since I've got to jerk off to make myself happy, it's like a really bad pun: overused. I really need to give him a break sometime.Well, he's welcome to rest over at my place…