Of all the guys I’ve interviewed, I probably have the most history with Landon Conrad. No (sigh), not that kind of history. I first tracked down the Falcon porn star a few months back to ask for an interview. He wrote back, “Sure,” before adding “Please, no overtly sexual questions.” So what was I going to ask a man who has sex for a living, his thoughts on the Nicollette Sheridan “Desperate Housewives” lawsuit?
The star also wanted the interview to be conducted via email (I’ve never agreed to that with anyone), and I told him I needed Skype verification; I’d contacted him directly, not through a Falcon representative. Gee, I wonder how many of those requests he gets every day.
I never heard from him again.
Landon and I finally hooked up (once again, not that way), after a mutual friend emailed both of us about the veracity of the other. The “overtly sexual questions” was the first topic on his mind, and for reasons that hadn’t entered my ego-bruised brain.
“I think I’m going to quit if I get into another relationship,” says Conrad, who segued into his recent breakup, and the Porn Effect. “It was a huge part of it. People say it’s okay; they want to be supportive of their partners even if it’s not.”
Turns out, Conrad’s split (they were together five years) hit right when I’d emailed him, and he wasn’t thrilled with having to bare it all off-camera. “Some guy asked me how many times I douche a day,” says Conrad. “I’m not going to answer that. There’s a right time and a right place. When you’re out with your partner, it’s not the right time.”
Landon Conrad, I soon realized, is 34 years old, single, gay, living in Los Angeles, an object of sexual fantasies, and, like many of us, alone. When he signed with Falcon two years ago, he was still with his ex, so he’s just now learning about the dating scene when everyone else has seen it all.
“It’s presenting new obstacles, I guess, or challenges,” says Conrad, in a quiet, kick-back voice that neither suggests pomposity nor begs for likeability. “Sometimes guys want to fulfill a fantasy. They want to sleep with you, but not get involved with you.”
Before you say, “What did you expect?” Conrad addresses the question first. “I don’t know that I blame them. I might be the same way.”
“Oh, God, I don’t know” is Conrad’s answer to where he meets men, before adding, reluctantly, Weho, Facebook, and Grindr to the list. “I want them to find out the real me before anything. When they don’t know what I do and I tell them, they want to Google and find out everything about me.”
What Google probably won’t reveal is that Conrad’s job, to some extent, is even more dependent on body image than a mainstream model. After all, those photos usually stop at the swimsuit, and you can’t Photoshop a flip-fuck.
“You never feel like you have a break to not care about how you look,” says Conrad. “I’m fine with the gym, but my diet is hard. Everytime you eat you have guilt over it. I like McDonald’s and chocolate cake and ice cream. But I’ll say ‘Oh, fuck, I shouldn’t be eating this; I have a shoot in a week.”
I didn’t want to, well, probe much further on the private stuff, so I told Conrad that the first time I saw a photograph of him, his chiseled jaw, blue eyes, and James Dean coif made me assume he was Hollywood’s latest heartthrob.
“I’ve been hearing that a lot now,” Conrad says, sounding surprised to hear it again. “I never thought of myself like that; an actor. Maybe I didn’t have the ambition I needed to pursue that, or maybe I didn’t think it was really possible. Now I’m, like, ‘Shit, maybe I should have tried.’ ‘Cause now it’s not really a possibility.”
He’s a big fan of Colton Ford, but telling him that Ford’s an actor and singer, post-porn, didn’t take. “None have had a real, legitimate mainstream career. Once you do porn you’ve pretty much shot yourself in the foot.”
Conrad’s leap to porn from a retail job is pretty straightforward. A Salt Lake City native, raised semi-Mormon, he sent photos to a website and was spotted by a Falcon recruiter. He’d been getting requests for years, especially when he hit clubs in Los Angeles. Of the industry, and Falcon, Conrad has nothing but praise, and an irreverent sense of humor.
“’Boogie Nights,’” in my experience, is so far from the truth,” says Conrad. “And I love that movie. At one point it was probably like that. There are no drugs, they’re very safe, there’s never any risky practices going on.”
If you’ve watched Conrad’s video progression, you’ll find he started out as a Top, but lately has been sporting a more submissive side. “If you can take it for a long period of time, it’s easier to Bottom,” says Conrad, turning the interview into just the best Bitch Brunch ever. “You just lay there. If you’re a Top, you’re sitting there having to thrust up and down. It’s tiring. But I can’t bottom that long. It hurts.”
Given his choice, he’d prefer to be filmed on top, and in a more romantic setting. “I’d rather be face to face making out; that turns me on more than anything.”
Conrad would also prefer not to work with straight men. “I’m gay, and I do care who they put in front of me. I’m not looking for a big connection, but I want something there. It makes the scene more believable. With straight guys, when they are constantly losing their erection and watching straight porn on their iPhones to get hard again, it doesn’t work for me. With a gay guy, if you’re trying to work it back up, you’re there for each other.”
Somewhere along the line, we hit those “overtly sexual questions,” and Conrad happily clarified that this was the right time for discussion. He doesn’t look at himself on camera (“I don’t have to watch to know that I’m doing a good job; I have fans tell me every single day”), and said he didn’t know that his dick had been a key topic on a lot of web sites. “The Sword” magazine said Conrad had the “Eiffel Tower of Cocks,” to which Conrad responded, almost as an interruption, “It’s because it’s very, very straight and goes straight up and hits the prostate very well.”
Conrad says that porn takes a certain amount of self-confidence, and that most men can’t do it. “At times guys come and they can’t perform. I’m seeing it a lot. You have seven people in the room watching you. For me, it wasn’t that I was an exhibitionist; I didn’t jack off in front of the window. But, always, when I was having sex, it was with maybe three guys.”
He cut me off when I said he might be considered a role model, but agreed that seeing porn might make gay kids accept their sexuality.
“Maybe I’m helping them realize what they are. Maybe seeing it kind of helps you. You can be comfortable with who you are. And happy.”
After our interview, I asked Landon to send some of his favorite photos. One of them, in black and white, is all about artistry and nothing about arousal. When I told him I liked it more than some that looked like stills from a video shoot, he wrote back, “Well, the article is about a porn star, so the pix should look kinda like porn … Right?” That’s part of a bigger question, and one that only he can answer.