Friday, January 18, 2008

The Unzipped Interview with Steve Cruz

I decided to post the full interview with Unzipped Magazine. It illustrates my views on safer sex and the reason why I have worked so hard to bring you this site. This original interview was source for the Naked News feature in Unzipped Magazine February 2008.

Interviewed by Ken Knox


Unzipped: What was the impetus for starting HowIRoll.info?

SC: I noticed that bareback porn was starting to make a real presence in the top 100 in DVD sales on GAYVN.com. At the same time I noticed in my personal life more and more guys were wanting to bareback. It's unclear to me whether DVD sales are simply reflective of the times or if the films were contributing to a relaxed attitude around condom use. Regardless, the real irony here is the fact I felt safer on a porn set
than I do hooking up with guys in my personal life because on the set (Raging Stallion, Titan, All Worlds, Hot House, Falcon) you just use condoms- no questions. I have always been involved in public health— as a designer and volunteer— on the ground level of several campaigns promoting safer sex, Crystal Meth prevention and enrollment in the trails for an HIV vaccine. It was something I could do on my own, so I made the time in my crazy pants dropping schedule to do it!

Unzipped: How do you feel that your celebrity will assist you in getting this message off the ground?

SC: Well people are paying attention right now... I'm cast in some pretty major flicks and I'm Raging Stallion Man of the Year in 2008. So while I have the attention why not promote a very important message? I'm a porn star. I have a lot of sex- HOT SEX. I play safe because I'm in the highest risk group for infection. Who better to send the message? When guys tell me that condoms are a turn off I'm taken back... unless your deathly allergic to latex I don't see a valid reason to feel that way unless taking risks is a thrill. Like playing chicken or Russian Roulette. When I feel protected I'm free to experience pleasure and a connection with the guys I'm screwing. Otherwise I'd be freaking out about infection...Talk about NOT HOT!

Unzipped: What kinds of marketing/advertising do you plan on doing to spread the word?

SC: The How I Roll campaign is a website and community forum. It 'rolls out' at the 10 year anniversary of The STOP AIDS Project's Condoms Now Program. I enlisted famous illustrator Glen Hanson to create the artwork and together we will produce the Steve Cruz condoms to distribute free to bars and sex clubs based on the quantity I can afford to produce. Raging Stallion Studio has generously donated studio time to help me develop a short video ad on all on their DVDs in the year 2008. Of course I'd like to advertise, web banners and print ads... since I am just one man, I will rely on the generosity of donations to do this. Any agency or private donor that believes in the cause can really make a difference. To contribute contact me through my website at SteveCruzXXX.com.

Unzipped: How will this project differ from similar ventures, such as Chi Chi's Wrap It Up campaign?

SC: I was totally inspired by the 'Wrap It Up' PSA and by Titan's Safe Sex Web ads. I have so much deep respect for these companies , especially in light of the recent controversy at the David Awards. Whether you think it noble to refuse an award or just plain rude, you have to admit— they believe in a cause and they live by their principles.

In addition to sending a message, I wanted to provide useful information. There is a lot of controversy on both sides. Those in support of a barebacking industry say that the general public is not swayed one way or another by what they see in a movie. While those in support of condom-only flicks might say that the eroticizing of risky sex makes it more appealing, especially to younger generations just coming of age who might not know someone who's had complications related to HIV or who's lost a loved one. You can say that this is an adult industry and we are capable of making our own choices, I'd agree. But don't just stop there! That's why I partnered with STOP AIDS. Without information, how can you make an informed decision?

Unzipped: Give me a quote that best describes how you personally feel about the issue of safer sex.

SC: You have to do what works for you. For me, that means fucking with condoms. If the community is relaxing our attitudes toward condom use then the next option might be to only hook up with guys with like status. If you're negative and you're hooking up with only negative guys, ok fine, maybe that works for you. But how negative is he REALLY? And how negative are you? When you ask a guy what his status is and he says negative, go one step further and ask when they last had an HIV test. If it was 8 or 12 months or later, he's overdue for a test... unless he's been locked up in a kinky chastity device... and he's probably status unknown. Keep in mind there is an entire window of time between tests that you can never really know. I assume everyone is positive and protect myself as best I can. I test every 3 months or so because I fuck a lot, and that includes getting screened for STDs.

Unzipped: Anything you want to add.

SC: At the soul of my campaign is PROTECTION. HONOR and RESPECT.
Protect yourself and others.
Honor your partner, find out and tell the truth about your status.
Respect his limits, if he says no... leave it there.

Get involved! Visit HowIRoll.info and participate in the online
forums... tell us what works for you!

8 comments:

Tom Terranova said...

Great site, Steve.
Congratulations!

jonathan said...

Thank God!!!!... Finally a person with the brains to use their position as an icon to cause a stir and is passionate about it. As a newbie to the whole porn scene I just found out about ya and watched a few vids on gaypornblog.com and your message just leaped out of the rest of the video well anywho enough of the flattery and down to business. I am obviously elated to see that someone else has educated themselves I myself was one of the few individuals who's parents led the informational awareness in the 90's. Needless to say I knew more than anyone in my age group not saying much for a 2nd grader but hey I remember all of it to this day and that is what counts. I'm all for safer sex and agree with you 100% Steve. Safer is Hotter.

ricky sinz said...

keep spreading the word steve, im proud of you and i know that pushing this issue in porn doesnt exactly make friends but if you reach out to one person and maybe make an impact in one life than it is all worth it,
you have my full support and alot of people are standing behind you.

DJPerezMA said...

6/12/08-Bravo, Steve! Just came upon "How I Roll" through its presence on MySpace. I applaud that you are using your position as a Performer in the Porn Industry to step forward with this solid Prevention Message and Forum.
As a Safer Sex Peer Educator, I understand the power of a strong visual message to get a point across. that's why I always keep a prominently displayed condom-clad life-like dildo on my condom display table when I go out to clubs to hand out latex, lube, and infromation.

Having Chi Chi encouraging folks to "Wrap it Up!" is Important & Valuable (I have link to "SAFERSEXISHOTSEX.COM" on my MySpace Page.)

Having a Hot Porn Stud that men have been getting off on stepping forward with the prevention message is even more powerful, because you can point readers of the site to expicit visual evidence of your Porn performances that shows how Hot Safer Sex can be. Sex Sells; it's about time Sex was used to sell Safer Sex!

Keep it Up, Hard, and Latex-Clad!

Peace, Pleasure and the Pursuit of Happiness!

D. J Perez
http://www.myspace.com/djperezma
"In MY House, All Acts of Love, Pleasure, and Peace are Welcome!"

Kevin said...

Although I agree with the promotion, I kind of find it a double standard when a director like Chi Chi says "I will never make a condomless movie, the day I put profit over safety, is the day I quit this business." and yet directs MANY straight porn movies where there are no condoms in sight.

JB said...

"if you're negative use a condom?" Well. Actually. Positive people are the ones who should be using condoms responsibly as they are the ones with HIV. Everyone should use condoms; not just negative people.

VancouverHunkyGuy said...

JB... The biggest problem with the view that "only poz people need to wrap up" is that the body needs 3-6 months to develop antibodies to the virus, which, to my knowledge is what all the testing methods look for when one takes an HIV test.

What does that mean practically? It means that someone with a negative test result is negative as of 3-6 months ago. This person may have become infected and not be aware of having become infected. Other STIs (sexually transmitted infections) work on the same principle.

Anonymous said...

Steve Cruz's blog all straight. Straight guy telling gay guys how to conduct themselves?