Gay for pay refers to a straight man who does sexual things for money that he wouldn’t normally do as a heterosexual, such as kissing or anal sex. Men who identify as straight do these sexual acts for a variety of reasons – from the need for cash to the thrill of performing to an audience that is predominately gay men.
On platforms like OnlyFans and JustForFans, where people can create their own adult content, men who identify as straight produce all sorts of explicit content directed at gay audiences. This is the so-called gay porn. These men, who all classify themselves as heterosexual, are a new breed of male-on-male porn actors that is a byproduct of a larger cultural shift.
As the sexual landscape changes, more men who identify as heterosexual are willing to take on gay roles and perform for gay audiences. The cultural and social conditions that allow this to happen may seem strange, but it’s not without its benefits.
In this article, I explore the phenomenon of gay for pay by interviewing some men who upload explicit content on sites like OnlyFans and JustForFans. I also look at the role of TV networks that support these actors by broadcasting their content and examine how these networks shape narratives on LGBT life. My research suggests that gay for pay doesn’t upend mainstream expectations of masculinity, but rather overcompensates by reinforcing them.