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Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Steven Daigle Interview

By Jason Sechrest, JasonCurious.com

A gay rodeo cowboy who rides his men as well as his bull, Steven Daigle’s star first shot to international fame as a finalist for the hit television series Big Brother. Daigle then shocked the world by becoming a gay porn star and his XXX debut, Steven Daigle: XXXPosed, directed by Chi Chi LaRue for her studio Channel 1 Releasing, went on to become the number one most-rented title of the year according to GayVN Magazine.

But lately, it’s more Daigle’s personal life than his work that has become a topic of mainstream (TMZ) and adult (The Sword) tabloid discussion. His Twitter meltdowns have become infamous—from losing it over losing the Fleshjack Award to having a one-way screaming match with Hairspray director Adam Shankman. Most recently, the insanity hit its peak when Daigle was arrested outside The Abbey in West Hollywood for allegedly assaulting his ex-boyfriend, Trent Locke, for which he goes on trial (ironically) on Feb. 14.

I have previously refused to write anything about Steven’s public debacles and dramas in my columns and blogs, only partly because these days I’m trying to focus more on celebrating the adult industry and the amazing people in it instead of shining a light on its more negative counterparts. I refused to give promotion to childish theatrics, as it seemed that, good or bad, Daigle was relishing in any public attention. Needless to say, this became one of the most difficult pieces for me to write in my 12 years of interviewing porn stars.

I decided my goal with this interview—instead of rehashing the incidents—would be to ensure that not only would the reader finish the interview knowing more about Steven, but that Steven would know more about himself.

In the Q&A below, Steven Daigle opens up for the first time to discuss not only what happened, but more importantly, why. First, though, a little about his movies.

Of the three movies you did with Chi Chi—Steven Daigle: XXX Posed, Steven Daigle: Stalked, and FUCK U, which is your favorite?
Totally Stalked. 100 percent. I loved the raw dirtiness of shooting Stalked in the dungeon at The Faultline in L.A. All the men, the surroundings, the flashlights—it’s just raw, animalistic sex. It’s a room full of sex! It was a really big turn on to me.

Since then, you’ve worked for a lot of companies in a very short period of time, but you are reuniting with Chi Chi this month for a new webisode project called Raising the Bar. This is interesting to me because it’s so different! It’s Chi Chi and C1R.com’s first-ever online gay porn soap opera series. Tell me what that has been like to shoot.
Oh my God, I am so excited to see it. The sex was amazing! I worked with Jock Hudson and we have this amazing scene on top of a bar. But what I love most is all the acting we got to do, because I think it’s going to show a different side of not just me but Adam Killian, Mitchell Rock, Jimmy Durano, Conner Habib—we all spent an entire eight hours shooting nothing but dialogue, and it’s not the usual cheesy porn “I’m a plumber, I’m here to clean out your pipes” dialogue. It’s really edgy stuff.

I know there’s a scene where you pay a straight guy for sex while his wife waits outside in the car, and there’s another scene where Adam Killian snorts cocaine off a guy’s dick before they have sex.
Yeah, the dialogue and the situations are more conversational, not contrived. They’re real life situations. Not that I’d ever say I’ve snorted coke off someone’s dick, but you get where I’m going with this I hope! [Laughs]

After you were a finalist on Big Brother, how exactly did Chi Chi approach you about becoming a porn star?
We met at a Big Brother wrap party, which was amazing because I was a huge fan of hers and she as it turns out was a huge fan of mine! We couldn’t believe we were even meeting each other, so our friendship naturally ensued from there. She joked about putting me in a movie and I laughed it off, until one day the pieces just fell into place. I knew I was going to be laid off from work, and I remember it was a Tuesday night—I made the call and asked if she was serious about it.

So this was all born out of you losing your job?
Well, no. The brutally honest answer is that being on Big Brother gives you a taste of—I don’t want to use the word stardom—but “attention.” And everything that comes with attention. To go back to a nine-to-five job is really mundane and difficult. I was bored to tears at my job, and when I knew I was going to be laid off, I saw this as a chance to reach back out again to that attention and to people noticing you and wanting to do interviews with you, wanting to talk to you, all the things they call “celebrity.” I saw a glimmer of an opportunity to again have the life I’d had after Big Brother and I chased it.

I love that you choose to use the word “attention.” Because that’s really what an exhibitionist thrives on, and the interesting thing about you, Steven, is that you’re not just an exhibitionist sexually, but you were an exhibitionist before porn by putting your entire personal life out there for everyone to watch on national television. When did being an exhibitionist and the need for attention start for you?
[Pause] That is an incredible question that has never been asked of me. Can you give me a second? You’re making me do some deep thinking right now!

Take your time.
[Longer pause] I was a loser in high school. I was a nobody. I was invisible, and I mean that in all senses of the word. At high school, at home, no one ever paid me any attention. Part of it is because I was also a late bloomer. I grew very slowly and had many awkward phases where I looked funny until my early 20s, when it just changed overnight. Everyone started telling me I was hot! Next thing I knew, I was insanely popular in college and had a huge group of friends. I went to all the parties. It was the complete opposite of my high school years. I became that person everyone wanted to look at and when you go from being invisible to being the center of attention, you can’t get enough of it. You never can!

So that’s where it began?
I can remember my Freshman year going to college parties and dancing on the table, whipping my dick out, flopping it around. And I remember it was, “There’s Steven! He’s the life of the party!” So it just grew exponentially from there.

So it’s safe to say you didn’t like yourself very much before all that attention.

Absolutely! I hated myself! I didn’t understand myself. I didn’t understand what being gay was either. To me, the meaning of gay was two men having dirty sex behind a dumpster and then running away from each other. I didn’t understand there were real relationships and feelings involved. So I would ask myself, “Why do I feel this way? Why do I think these things?” And I would pray to God to either take the thoughts out of my head or to just kill me. On top of that, I had nowhere to turn. I had no friends or parents to talk to. Even though I always had food on my table and a roof over my head, there was no love, no support system, no flow of information, it was entirely dysfunctional. I was a lost kid, wandering around hating myself, wondering what is my purpose and thinking there was no reason for me to be here.

You’ve had a lot of public meltdowns since becoming a part of the gay porn industry. The Fleshjack Awards incident where you publically berated them and threw your Fleshjack out of a hotel window; the Twitter war with Hairspray director Adam Shankman, where you called him countless names; and now this fist fight with your ex-boyfriend Trent Locke. I’m not interested in asking you to rehash all of these stories as much as I am in finding out what it is in you that either creates or attracts all of this madness to your life. What do you think it is?
I’ve asked myself the same thing! Am I attracting it or do I go out and create it? My answer is that I expect a lot out of people. If you’re my friend and you’re someone I care about, I will move mountains for you. I’ll be the most loyal, honest, trustworthy person you’ve ever met. I make it my job to make sure everyone in a room feels loved and is happy. So when I don’t get that in return, I become disappointed and disillusioned.

Okay, but we all have bad things that happen to us every day. There are people who are bankrupt or starving or have cancer who have managed to rise above their problems! Why is it that while some people can go through these major hardships and continue being positive and inspiring, you lose a Fleshjack Award and lose all control?
You just hit a really big question. A life-long eternal question I ask myself. I’m addicted to watching documentaries and stories where some teenager has a terminal disease and yet every day they are an inspiration and love everyone and I’m like, “Why can’t I? … I want to be that person.” I am truly blessed. I’m healthy and attractive and I have a personality and people like me and I make friends. I’m able to support myself! I travel the world. I’ve had so many opportunities laid at my feet, and yet something like not winning a Fleshjack Award, yes it can throw me into a meltdown. Why? Why, Jason? You tell me!

Well, you mentioned earlier that you absolutely hated yourself before you started getting attention. So your sense of self-worth is wrapped up in other people’s attention, which not only created the exhibitionist within you, but it also means that when you lose an award, you’re not just losing an award, you’re losing your entire reason for getting out of bed in the morning. Am I right? How much of your self-worth have you allowed to be based in getting attention from others?
[Long pause] It’s validated my entire existence on this planet. I can’t even believe I’m saying that, but it’s true.  I’d say if I don’t go through my day without receiving some sort of recognition or someone telling me they like me or they think I’m hot, that I’m a nice guy, when I go to bed I feel extremely depressed and fall asleep thinking I’m probably worth nothing.

I want to read back to you something you said to me earlier in this interview. You said, “I was a lost kid, wandering around hating myself, wondering what is my purpose and thinking there was no reason for me to be here.” So, has that really changed?
No, I guess it hasn’t.

You now have all the attention in the world, you have fame out the ass, but you’re still that lost kid, aren’t you? So what’s going to make those feelings go away? Winning a Fleshjack Award? Getting a boyfriend? A magazine cover? You say you’re so loyal to your friends and you make it your job to love everyone, but when are you going to become that person for yourself?
[Crying] I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know.

Do you want to learn? Are you going to work on it?

I want to learn. I have to! One thing I try to take from life, something I learned in my early 20s—every experience you go through, whether it’s negative or positive, is a learning experience. Everything we do over the span of our lives, the purpose is to learn something about yourself—which I do. I do learn from my experiences.

Do you?
Yes, I’m starting to. Even this week. Did it hurt my feelings when I read the Cybersocket Award nominations and I wasn’t nominated as one of the best performers, or that my movie Steven Daigle: XXXPosed isn’t up for best movie? Yes, it hurt me. I wanted to go on my Twitter and say, “Fuck Cybersocket! It’s all political! They don’t know what they’re talking about!” but I looked back at the Fleshjack incident and I know now that’s not a solution. I said to myself, “You know what? XXXPosed is an amazing movie—an amazing project—and I don’t care that it’s not nominated. It stands by itself that it’s an achievement and doesn’t need validation from Cybersocket.”

Wouldn’t it be something if you could say that about yourself?
What do you mean?

Wouldn’t it be something if you could look in the mirror and give that little speech about XXXPosed to yourself? To be able to tell yourself that your life is an amazing movie and you are an amazing character in it, Steven. That you stand by yourself as an achievement and do not need the validation from anything or anyone else.
[Silence]

Do me a favor and try it every morning. Just for the next 30 days. Please. You don’t have to do it forever. Just 30 days. And see if your life changes.

Okay, I will.

The greatest thing about being your own worst enemy is that you can stop at any time. No one else is doing this to you but you. You are completely in control. No one else.
You’re so right. That’s why I’ve always fought any idea of therapy. There’s something inside of me that knows I’m strong enough on the inside to fix this myself.

Which is why, in one sense, this recent incident with being arrested and the trial and all … it could become the best thing that has ever happened to you if you let it. It only seems awful right now, but that’s an illusion.

Completely. It’s an unfortunate situation in that people are getting hurt, but everything we do in our lives we learn from and hopefully we’ll take it a step further to change our lives for the better. I believe I’m going to be able to do that.

Steven Daigle’s official web site is StevenExposed.com. Jason Sechrest’s daily porn star news and gossip blog can be reached via JasonsNewsDesk.com.

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