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!