Tanner's Tales, #16
This is the sixteenth installment of Tanner's Tales. As far as I know it is the last.
When I posted the eighth installment last September, I said it was the end of the story but since then both Tanner and I have received many messages from readers asking questions about him, about his present whereabouts, and about his life. Some questions have been about his present life. Tanner has said that for now, at least, he does not want to share details beyond the fact that he is living and working with Sean in the Fort Meyers, Florida area.
Other readers have asked for more details about certain aspects of Tanner's life in Texas and later, in California. These further installments of Tanner's Tales will deal with those periods.
If readers wish to contact Tanner they may do so at the e-mail address below. He doesn't promise to answer all messages but he will receive them and will read email@example.com
As with the earlier installment, these ongoing installments deal with Tanner's experiences as he described them to me. I have tried to put his material into story form, more or less as he presented it to me in e-mailed notes and telephone conversations. It is presented as a factual account but I have omitted or changed the names of certain universities, corporations and individuals.
Please refer to my introductory notes for Tanner's Tales #3, in which I discuss the topics of "S and M," "Fisting" and "Rough Sex." I would be interested in hearing from readers who have personal experience with the practice of fisting, both to satisfy my own curiosity and to confirm or correct any ideas expressed by Tanner and related in these stories.
As in the earlier installment, I have not attempted to convey the exact tone or the accent with which Tanner speaks. He was raised in the South and until his move to Florida, he spent most of his time in the New York City area. He still speaks with echoes of his original regional accent.
Andrew has again proofed this story and both Tanner and I want to express our thanks for all his help.
This work is copyrighted © by John Yarer, et al, and may not be reproduced in any form without specific written permission from the author. It is assigned to the Nifty Archives under the terms of their submission agreement but it may not be copied or archived on any other site without the written permission of the author.
All John Yarer stories posted on NIFTY can be found under my name in the Prolific Authors list accessible from the NIFTY Home Page.
If you wish to send comments to me, you may contact me at the e-mail address below. If you wish to be placed on my list for notification of future postings you may also use this address.
TJ had a guy on his staff at Trigger Films named Campbell. I didn't know until much later if that was his first or last name. Everybody just called him Campbell. He was an osteopath who'd gotten in some sort of trouble about five years before I moved to LA, resulting in him losing his osteopathic license.
Campbell hung around the studio, which was a pretty grand term for the metal barn we called home. He was almost always on the sets there or wherever we were shooting. He was probably in his late thirties or early forties then and as much as anything I think he just got off on being around a bunch of hot looking younger guys, that and watching the action on the shoots.
After Campbell lost his osteopathic license he'd gone back to school and gotten licensed as a nurse. By the time I knew him he was also working on a massage therapy license. Maybe he'd already finished that too.
Campbell was the only guy I ever struck a non-cash deal with for sex. He gave me vitamin shots about once a week and also loved to give me massage. He really got off on touching and rubbing my body and he was damn good at it too.
Whenever I was at all tensed up or just sore with muscle fatigue he'd get me on his table and in an hour I would be so relaxed you could have folded me into an envelope. The guy was great and I had no complaints. In exchange for his services I fucked him once in a while when I didn't have to hold back for an on camera shoot or because I was going to be seeing a paying client.
It was sort of funny because Campbell and I never really discussed the sexual part of our relationship. It just sort of happened without us ever talking about it but we both understood the rules and we were both happy with them.
Actually, it was never a problem having sex with Campbell and never a real drain on the system. He loved to be fucked and since I always wore a condom I could get him off just by pounding his prostate. I'd moan and groan and fake an orgasm. Hey, I know chicks are supposed to be the only ones who do that, but when you're having sex an average of two or three times a day you soon learn to conserve the juices. Just call it the tricks of the trade.
I knew Campbell was doing other kinds of things for some of the other guys and I later learned that some of the stuff he was into went way beyond what you'd call normal medical services. I made it clear to everybody I worked with that I'd had a problem with drugs and didn't want to get back on junk of any kind. I don't think Campbell was pushing dope. He certainly never approached me. I guess he may have been into growth hormones, things that can really mess you up.
Some of Campbell's clients were other porn actors who were probably reaching the end of the run and trying to stay in shape for just a year or two longer. Despite his earlier problems, Campbell was really a sweet guy and, as much as anything, I think he was just trying to help. I later learned that he eventually managed to get his medical license in another state and went on there to start an osteopathic practice. The last I heard of him he was doing well.
During my time in LA there were some really sad examples of guys that were hanging around Trigger or the other male porn studios who were long past their prime. Most of them were more or less on the take. They'd spent any money they'd made when they were younger, probably in most cases on drugs. Some of them were guys you'd have seen in porn flicks made ten years earlier when they were really hot, but by the mid-1990s, they were just trying to get one more job, even though they were in such sorry shape that no director would hire them and no audience would want to look at them if they were in a new film.
Most of those guys, and a few women, I should add, had just turned into cheap whores. A lot of them were so hooked on drugs that they probably didn't last long anyway. It was really sad to watch. I knew I was going to do my thing, make a nice bundle and bolt. There was no way I'd allow myself to get caught in that trap.
A few readers asked me about the money side of the porn business. I guess it's changed a lot even in the six or seven years since I was doing it in LA. You have to understand that I was staying dry, staying off drugs, which was fairly unusual for actors in porn flicks and for hustlers. I was living modestly, even after I moved to Santa Monica, and I was getting a lot of meals paid for by clients. I was probably not typical of guys I knew there then, many of whom left LA as broke as they arrived. A lot of them left sick or worn out or dying with AIDS. I was definitely among the lucky ones.
I'd made good money the six years I was working for the XXX Corp and arrived in LA with a nice nest egg, almost $100,000. When I left LA for New York I had $342,000 in my savings account. A lot of that had come from my porn film earnings but a lot had come from hustling. It' all legal so far as the IRS is concerned. I reported it and paid my taxes.
Most important of all, I got out healthy and in one piece, both physically and emotionally.
I guess on all fronts, I was very lucky.
California was great but the people I was dealing with in the gay porn film industry were mostly a bunch of pricks. I guess I'm just a southerner at heart and basically a small town guy. I didn't like the rush and the frustrations of living in LA but the money was great and I kept it up as long as I could. Most important of all, I stayed clean.
There were always parties and I could have easily gotten back into drugs but I was determined to stay away from that whole scene. I learned that I could be around it and not get sucked in. That was a major victory.
I also mentioned before that one thing that really made LA tolerable was that Bobby was there. He and Pam were married by then. They invited me out to their place in the Valley and the evenings with them, barbequing in their back yard or going to the beach, or just hanging out, were a major change from the high energy parties I went to two or three nights a week. I think Bobby and Pam kept me grounded. I could spend an evening with them and know they were real, real people in a real world. It made the fake world of gay porn more obvious for what it was and helped me play around the edges without getting swept into the vortex.
In May, 1996, I got a real scare. I learned that Sam Best, a guy I'd had sex with many times in the films, tested positive for AIDS.
At about the same time I learned that one of my private clients, a very successful guy in his mid-fifties had also tested positive. He was a married man and his wife and family had no idea that he was doing it with other guys. I only learned recently that Don, my former client, died in 1999.
Sam Best, the guy I'd had sex with in several films, had really been around a lot. He'd been in both straight and gay porn films. He also had an ex-wife and a little girl. It was a really sad situation. Sam told me once that he figured he'd had sex with over a thousand different people, both men and women, and in the years before the AIDS scare he'd never used condoms with men. So far as my own potential exposure was concerned, I figured I'd fucked Sam a dozen or more times and he'd fucked me at least five or six times, but each time using condoms.
By the time I moved to LA, TJ was insisting that the guys in the films he made at Trigger use condoms when we fucked, but we'd never used them when we were engaging in oral sex. At any rate, I got tested immediately. I had a few rough days waiting for the results. Needless to say, my tests came back negative, but it made me rethink a lot of things. Over the years since I've been tested on a regular basis and have remained negative.
There is a very sad footnote concerning Sam Best. About three months after I moved to New York I heard he'd died in a car crash in Mexico. When I'd last seen him, just before I left LA, he'd still looked great, even though he was HIV+ and we all knew his days were more or less numbered. I guess if he'd not been killed in Mexico, he might still be alive. At least other guys I know have survived and done fairly well on the new AIDS medications.
Sam was a great looking guy, about my height, but with a bigger, bulkier body. He was even a little larger than me in the cock department. Sam was also sort of my natural opposite with dark hair and black eyes. I guess you could say he was the lineman and I was more the quarterback. In the flicks we were in together we made a good team, two big, muscular guys, me with light hair and him with dark.
It was also clear from the fun we had on the set that we both loved sex and could really get into it together. It didn't matter with Sam that I couldn't handle the lines. We were so spontaneous together that the adlibbed dialog and the easy way we came on to each other just seemed to flow naturally.
Sam was always easy going and fun to be around and he always seemed to take what life tossed at him as if it were just normal every day stuff. I knew he loved his kid and was very concerned to provide for her as best he could.
At the time I heard of Sam's death I sort of thought that maybe it was for the best. I had no idea of the details of his death until about two years later but I must admit that when I heard about him dying in a car crash I wondered if maybe he'd just chosen his own way out, preferring to die quickly while he was still in good shape and avoid the fate that seemed to be in store for him.
In the fall of 1998, while Tanner was living in the New York City area, he was contacted by C. W. Campbell, who was in the city at a medical conference. They arranged to meet for dinner and it was then that Campbell told Tanner about Sam Best's death in Mexico in 1996. Campbell's account is contained in his own story titled Sam Best, which can be found at NIFTY/Gay/No Sex, July 16, 2003. It is not a pleasant story and may be disturbing to some readers.
In August of 1996, I moved to New York. I'd been offered a position with a public relations firm there. They knew me from my XXX Corp days and it looked like a real good job. A major motivation was the realization that, other than allowing me to make some quick bucks, my life in LA was going nowhere and placing me in a lot of danger as well.
I was in New York almost exactly six years, the same length of time I'd worked for the XXX Corp after graduating for college. I reached New York in August, 1996 and moved to Florida in August, 2002.
I'm here because of Sean. I think I've finally found where I belong. I guess I knew it was Sean I wanted to be with as long ago as our first meeting back in 1988. There were half a dozen times when it almost happened. But now we are together and I guess the timing was finally right.
Quite a few of you have asked about the nature of my relationship with Sean. He thought the questions were way too personal but I don't mind answering and Sean said that if I was comfortable talking about our life together it was okay with him for me do so. I mean, it`s not like I`m saying more than he feels comfortable with, it`s just that he`d not be so open himself.
First of all, Sean and I are working things out so what I say now may not be what we are into six months from now.
But for now I guess I can say we are partners, in both the business and personal sense. We are living together and we sleeping together. We have great sex, and as it's always been between us, it is full of surprises. We are both versatile and that gets played out in our lovemaking.
Our relationship isn't totally monogamist but we are working on that, too. For now, if we do bring another guy home, we share. Threesomes can be a blast and we really get into it, but at the end of the secession we send the other guy home and it's Sean and me who end up spending the night together.
I guess that sort of sums it up. At least I can't think of anything more I want to share right now.
Thanks for all your messages. I hope I've managed to answer all your questions. I'm flattered by your interest and hope you've enjoyed these additions to the original tales.
Thanks again to John Yager for putting my notes into readable form.