Saturday, November 28, 2009
Turk Mason is a phenomenon. The quintessential twink, with an almost angelic face, a slender, toned physique that is beautifully proportioned on his 5’10” frame, sandy brown hair, hazel eyes, and a high, sculpted bubble butt. His versatility goes beyond just sexual positions and encompasses his persona, with a range that includes believably innocent, to sly sexual devil, which he is able to pull off by simply changing his expression. He is the boy next door with a sexual twist and a very dirty mind. He can appear young enough to satisfy the closet chicken hawks, as well arouse the twink lovers, and then exude a more mature look and manner for those who prefer their boys to be past their teens.
And they are but two in a long list which includes Kurt R. Brown, Zedneram, Jeff Slater, Sandro Bross, Justin Thai, the NO H8 campaign by Adam Bouska,
and an entire book that features him solely by Mark Grantham.
He can be found in Beautiful Mag, Playguy, Freshmen, Inches, Allboy, Unzipped and other notable publications. It’s Turk’s world, and we are the lucky voyeurs in it.
B: Are you an only child?
B: What was your relationship like with your family? Were you close?
TM: Growing up I would have to say that I was not very close with my immediate family; however, I was very close with my grandmother.
TM: Every semester I go along with PornTeam.com to college campuses to talk about the adult industry to students and every time someone will ask me this or a similar question. It is one of my favorite questions to answer; the students always want to know what my parents think.
When I first entered the industry at 18 and moved to LA shortly thereafter, my family believed I was simply modeling as I had since I was a small child. It wasn’t until about 2 years later that my father found out. My dad enjoys porn and he subscribes to a catalog that sells porn DVDs – one day he was looking through it and stumbled upon a box cover with me on it. The film was ‘A Holiday Tale’ and by looking at the cover alone you cannot necessarily tell it is a gay film, and since he was looking in a straight catalog, he assumed right away that I was going straight porn. So he calls me shortly thereafter and says ‘so I knew you were modeling, but I didn’t know you were doing porn…well, at least your getting all the ladies’. That was when I had to tell him I was not only doing gay porn, but in a committed relationship with another man. It was fine though, he is a great guy and very accepting. He has absolutely no problem with what I do and actually supports it and always wants to be updated on my most recent works – as he puts it ‘my little skits’ ha-ha.
B: How was sex and sexuality addressed in your home when you were growing up?
TM: Um…I’m not sure that it ever was. I think I learned about it mostly on my own and finding my step fathers porn collection, ha-ha.
TM: I have always had an awareness of my attraction to both sexes. When I was young I used to love to draw people and I freaked out my parents several times because I would draw these men and women with enormous breasts, and large groins with great detail. Of course I wasn’t aware of what these parts of the body were even for, I just knew I liked them.
B: I know that your first sexual experience with a man took place during a film shoot, but I'm assuming you were not a virgin. Did you have girlfriends growing up?
B: At what age did you lose your virginity?
TM: I lost my virginity to a girl at 15 and to a guy at 19.
TM: I always played with it, yanked on it, and showed it to my friends ever since I can remember. But the first time I masturbated was at age 12 I think. I remember being home alone after school one day and I decided to watch one of my step dad’s porns. I remember getting a boner and then rubbing the head of my dick for a few minutes before I came. I had no idea what had happened and I was actually scared, I thought I had broken my penis or something. But in the next few days as I realized it was not broken, all bets were off and I would rub one off any chance I got, ha-ha.
B: Did you ever participate in the ritual circle jerks during school?
TM: Who didn’t? Ha-ha, I was usually the one to initiate it.
B: What type of student were you? Did you enjoy high school?
TM: I was a very good student all through grade school, high school, and the few years I attended college. I always maintained a 3.0 grade point average or higher, and in college remained on the dean’s list for all 6 semesters I attended.
B: Were you a part of any of the little cliques at school, like the popular kids, the jocks or nerds?
TM: I was what I like to call a drifter. I had select friends in each of those cliques but I don’t think anyone would say I was in one of them. I have always liked who I like and never really cared much how a person looked or what they did.
B: What was your favorite subject?
TM: English and the arts, these have always been outlets for me to express myself, either in written word, acting, drawing, painting, or creating something altogether new.
B: What did you want to be when you grew up?
TM: As a child I remember I wanted to have my own business. I have always loved advertising and the idea of making and selling a product. I actually had a pretty lucrative business as a kid selling things I had made out of clay at school.
As I got older I knew only one thing about my career goals, and that was that whatever I did it needed to contribute to society in a positive way, in other words it needed to help people. So my major in college was dietetics, to be a dietitian – but I never finished.
B: What is your fondest memory of childhood?
TM: Probably any of the numerous outings I had with my grandmother. She was a great women and I always had a great time with her growing up. I actually plan to soon get a tattoo in her memory behind my ear; it’s going to be her name, Marilyn.
B: You did your first nude photo shoot at the age of 18, for Kristian Modeling. How did this all come about?
TM: Well, I had always modeled; my mom had gotten me into it as a child. My family had a small business and I was the spokes boy sort of speak – every week we would place an ad in the local newspaper and I would be in it. So from there I got other jobs doing local dental ads, Macy’s ads, etc. Being as overly sexual as I was, when I turned 18 it seemed only natural to model nude. So I sought out nude photographers and Kristian Modeling was one of the first to get back to me. As soon as I got back from the shoot in Oregon, I was more than ready to go again, and I knew this was something I wanted to continue.
B: Did the idea of posing nude always hold some appeal to you, or is this something you never thought you would ever be doing?
TM: Yes it held a lot of appeal to me. I love the nude body artistically and erotically. Once I realized how comfortable I was with my own nude body, and how comfortable I was nude in front of a camera, I knew this was something I was going to be doing for a long time to come.
B: Do you remember how much you got paid for that shoot?
TM: Yea it wasn’t much, maybe like $200.
B: Was money the primary motivation to continue with it, or did you just genuinely enjoy it?
TM: I genuinely enjoyed it but as the money became more and more that definitely added to my motivation.
B: You branched off into film just one year later, doing your first movie when you were 19. On your website (www.turkxxxonline.com) your bio states that this was your debut not only in film, but also the first time you had sex with another man. The man, Vance Winter, ended up being your partner. Can you describe the experience of having your first gay sexual experience in front of a film crew?
TM: Well, it was a very small crew – just me the two models and the camera man. We had all just met but we clicked right away. I still talk to all of them to this day.
As far as the sexual experience goes, I really had no idea what to expect, I was new, naïve, and of course a little scared. But once we all started I became very comfortable with it and had a great time. It is a little weird to have your first time documented on film though.
B: Were you and Vance immediately smitten with each other?
TM: IMMEDIATELY! I actually had a girlfriend at the time, but when I met him it was like love at first sight. After the week was over and we both flew home I couldn’t get him out of my head and it was no more than two weeks later that I broke up with my girlfriend and he and I moved to LA and moved in together.
(Vance, Chi Chi LaRue, Turk)
B: You both left the business after 2 years of working as an exclusive couple, on Turk XXX Online you state that you guys left "the big city to settle down in a quiet little town". Where did you guys go?
TM: We went back to my hometown, Sonoma, for that next year.
B: You were both still relatively young at this point, and yet you managed to have a meaningful long term relationship. Still, four years can be exceptionally long when you are still growing mentally and emotionally. At what point did you realize that things were changing between you two?
TM: It was actually around the time we moved to Vegas, about two years into the relationship. This was the year before we quit the industry completely. At this time we had left the front of the camera to go behind the camera and write, scout, and edit adult films. We created our own line that year called Lycan Films that was not incredibly successful, but did okay.
Vegas was a very depressing time for both of us, we had moved there expecting great things and only found boredom. The industry, our boredom, and money problems began to weigh heavily on us and slowly started to tear us apart. No longer living life together in the fast lane, we began to realize that we really did not have all that much in common. We began to argue pretty frequently and after only three months in Vegas we left. We quit the industry as well and started fresh.
The next year was very good, we played house, we got engaged and we began to plan our futures together. But the fact remained that we had not had the young single life that we each wanted and perhaps everyone needs before they can have a serious relationship. So eventually we split up.
B: How did the decision to break up come about? Was it mutual?
TM: It was mutual; we both wanted different things in life and felt that each other was holding the other back. The decision came about after we had broken up and gotten back together several times, and even tried counseling. Each breakup was worse than the last and we finally wore each other out.
B: When 2 people have been together for such an extended period of time, it can be very difficult to separate, even if this is what both individuals want. Turning the "we" back into a "me" or "you and I" is not as easy as some would think. Did you go through a difficult period of adjustment?
TM: Oh yea, I am still having a problem with it. I find myself expecting so much out of the relationships I’ve gotten into since Vance, that I end up dissatisfied every time. I’m still trying not to compare my relationship with him to any new relationship I get in to.
B: So you decided to reenter the industry. Was this a difficult decision after being away for a year?
TM: Not really, I gotta say I did miss the attention.
B: Is there anything about your life that you wish you could change or something you wish you had done differently?
TM: No, I don’t have regrets and I hate playing ‘what if?’, I feel things like that are for the weak and I am a strong individual.
B: On a personal level, what matters most to you?
TM: My close friends mean the world to me, they are my true family and without them I am not whole.
B: You did your first nude photo shoot at 18, but have since been shot by some of the most incredible artists working today. Many of them are favorites of mine, and I'm going to ask you about them later. How did the more mainstream sessions come about?
TM: Just by word of mouth I think, there are quite a few networks of photographers out there that get together and share models, and after my first couple of shoots I was getting booked pretty regularly with other photographers both mainstream and adult.
TM: It’s a little of both, if I see a style I like I am not afraid to approach them.
B: Many of the photographer's you've worked with would not be classified as porn artists. Have any of them branched out and explored hardcore images with you?
TM: Many of them have. I tend to be more comfortable nude than with my clothes on and photographers usually realize that pretty early on in the shoot. I am also very willing to do just about anything to get the shot. My favorite line is “I have never done this before” … I hear it all the time. Most of the time the nude images I get with these more mainstream photographers I am asked to credit with a different name, an alias the photographer comes up with, but I don’t mind.
B: I would image that there are quite a few people who are not aware of the fact that adult stars are often the models of choice for mainstream photographers. Do you enjoy doing the G and PG images as much as the more explicit ones?
TM: I love doing fashion shots, but I am like I said much more comfortable nude, more in my element.
B: You have been featured in a few photo books. I want to first mention one that is solely images of you by a photographer that I have a deep admiration for - Mark Grantham. The images are from two sessions and were shot on location. Can you talk a little about that project?
TM: Yes, I have shot with Mark several times now, solo and with J Phoenix (a fellow model and friend) and I always love working with him, the end product is always fantastic. Mark chose a select group of models to create about 5 books celebrating these models individual work with him, and I am proud to have been one of those models. Mark’s style is very fine art erotic which is a style I have always loved.
B: I consider Mark to be a true and passionate artist, and my communications with him have led me to the conclusion that he is also a sweet soul. What was it like to work for him?
TM: Great, he truly is a master of his craft and very sweet. After my last shot with him he cooked me dinner and offered me a place to stay for the night if I didn’t want to make the long drive back home that night. And every summer he invites me and all his other models to a swim party at his house in Santa Cruz. He is a great guy and so easy to work with I sometimes forget its work.
B: You are also featured in a rather famous collection of images by the one and only Justin Monroe. I would have to say that there are very few people; no matter what level of the industry they fall, that don't know who this visionary artist is. The book was his first, entitled "Down the Rabbit Hole". How did this come about, and what was it like to work with him?
TM: I have worked with Justin two times and each time was, for lack of a better word, magical! He is a visionary; his works are always so inspired, intricate, fun, and erotic. It’s everything you could want in a photograph. The first time I worked with him we shot in the back of a semi-truck parked out on a street corner in the middle of downtown LA. I played the role of a dirty sex-charged trucker, and I posed with nothing but a trucker hate both in and out of the truck for several of the shots.
The second time I shot with Justin I played a puppet alongside J Phoenix and puppet master model Johnny Raymond Jr. This was an erotic Pinocchio inspired set that took an entire day to shot. We were completely covered in airbrushed body makeup, none of the clothing we had on was real, it was all paint, pretty cool.
B: Justin's shots can be incredibly complex since he creates these mini worlds. His photos tell stories, even if it is just a single image. What is the process when working with him?
TM: He always has a concept in mind and will do whatever it takes to get that image perfect, even if that means stealing an American flag to go it, ha-ha, he knows what I’m talking about. The setup always takes the longest, but he shoots very rapidly once all is perfect. He too is very fun and easy to work with.
B: Is there always a clear concept in mind when you shoot or do the photographers allow for spontaneity?
TM: It tends to depend on the photographer as far as a concept goes, however spontaneity has always been welcomed on every shoot I have done.
B: Zedneram is another photographer that has created a niche. His photos are often infused with sexuality and erotic elements, but he somehow manages to stay within some invisible line. What was it like to work with him?
TM: Again, another great photographer, easy going and fun to work with, Zedneram has a very distinctive style that sets him apart from other photographers. Look at one of his images and you will automatically know it is one of his.
B: I've talked to many models and there is a definite feeling that working with Justin Monroe is inspirational and the cornerstone to challenging oneself to step outside of a personal comfort zone. The other photographer that models refer to as achieving an ultimate goal if they work with him is Dylan Rosser. You have the distinction of working with both. How do their styles differ?
TM: Quite a lot actually, I think it is obvious from their works that each has a look they go for. One is very over the top, raw, erotic, and often humorous or supernatural. The other is very clean, simple, and always beautiful. They both capture the sexual beauty of a man but in very different ways. I am so happy to have worked with both on more than one occasion. I consider them both more than just photographers, but inspirations, and more importantly friends.
B: Dylan photographed you with one of my personal favorites - J Phoenix - (as did Mark Grantham) and the images of the two of you are always incredible. You guys exude undeniable chemistry. Can you talk about your collaborations with J?
TM: I have collaborated with J many times now with several well known photographers, and I am sure we will work together again very soon. The funny thing is we did not plan to work together on any of these shoots, each time the photographers handpicked the two of us to work together. We do have a great chemistry, one that has proven to sometimes get us in trouble with each other. We have actually only known each other for a year and in that time we have become incredibly close. We have so much in common, and get along so well it’s a wonder why we are not dating, ha-ha!
B: When you worked with as many respected photographers as you have, it can be both difficult and uncomfortable to single certain ones out. I know I can't do it, but I can choose a few whose work I'm the most familiar with and ask you to describe their style and the experience in a few short sentences.
a) Kurt R Brown creates stunningly beautiful lines in his photographs and is a very funny guy in person.
b) Jeff Slater is a good friend and favorite of mine; he creates very classic pieces, pieces that will surely stand the test of time, and he is always willing to try something new.
c) Adam Bouska is the absolute best at making a photo pop.
d) Issac Photography has great concepts and is a pleasure to work with. No two sets he does are ever alike.
e) Lope Navo has a very old Hollywood glamour feel to his photographs, while at the same time making them so incredibly sexy your eyes cannot look away.
f) Sandro Bross has an incredible eye for what is sexy without being overly erotic.
g) Ryan Wibawa is excellent at close-up beauty shots as well as large cast fantasy shots.
h) Scott Marrs is the most creative, inventive, and skilled photographer and photo editor I think I have ever had the honor of working with.
B: Of all the shoots you've done, are there any that truly stand out for some specific reason?TM: The ones that tend to stand out are the ones were I get to be more than just myself. The shoots where I take on a character, such as the puppet with Justin Monroe, and a Satyr, Tar Monster, and Super Villain with Scott Marrs. All of these shoots took a lot of preparation time but each was very worth it for the incredible end products.
B: What was the most difficult experience you've had regarding a shoot?
TM: I did one shoot where I was in a pool posing while trying to float on about 6 different animal shaped floating toys. Between trying to stay afloat, look good, keep my hair dry, and keep all the floaters facing the camera – it was quite a challenge.
B: Has your adult film career opened more doors in terms of working with photographers?
TM: I think it has, having a ‘name’ always helps.
B: Have you ever been turned down by a photographer because of your adult career?
TM: Not so far.
B: I've heard some horror stories lately, and you don't have to name names, but has a photographer ever crossed the professional line during a shoot? If so, do you think this is because of your adult profession?
TM: Yes, several have, and yes I do believe it has to do with my being an adult entertainer, but for the record it is not appreciated. We models talk too, and if a photographer gets out of line with one of us, they will basically become blacklisted from the rest. It’s never in a photographer’s best interest to assume a model will be open to doing anything sexual with them.
B: You know one of my favorite images of you, but do you have a favorite of all the photos you've done?
TM: It’s so hard to choose just one. There is a solo shot of me by Mark Grantham that I absolutely love, it is a nude shot of me up against a graffiti covered wall – it is just so relaxed yet erotic, it’s beautiful.
B: There are so many talented photographers out there now, and you've already worked with so many, but is there a particular one that you've yet to work with but would like to?
TM: Yes, I would love, love, love to work with Rick Day in New York. We have spoken before and plan to work together the next time I make it to the east coast, I can’t wait! His works are among the sexiest male shots out there today.
B: I have to agree with you there. I think Rick Day is phenomenal, but for some reason his name is not as well known outside the industry as it should be. He’s a legend in the eyes of quite a few male models and his name crops up often when I interview and ask which photographer the model dreams of working with. He is one of my fantasy interviews, along with Luis Rafael and Justin Monroe.
There is much diversity in your portfolio, ranging from the boy next door, to the porn sex symbol, as well as your circus style shots with Justin Monroe. Is there an image, idea or concept that you've wanted to create but have yet to do?
TM: I am always looking to do anything new, now I am primarily looking to do more edgy, riskier pieces over the more traditional fashion and nude works I already have. I recently completed an entire bondage series that I thoroughly enjoyed and there are a few other similar types in the works.
B: Without meaning to put you on the spot...can you name 5 models that you've either worked with or would like to work with that truly stand out in your opinion?
TM: Of course! The following 5 I have worked with one or more times and would recommend to any photographer…
1) Drake Diaz (www.modelmayhem.com/242930)
2) Ryan Diesel Orme (www.modelmayhem.com/628773)
3) DoCe (www.modelmayhem.com/21439)
4) Cortland A (www.modelmayhem.com/594831)
5) J Phoenix (www.modelmayhem.com/762623)
B: Your model mayhem profile is fantastic, but sadly limited. You have such a vast catalogue of images. Have you considered having a mainstream Turk website to showcase your modeling work?
TM: I showcase my modeling work as well as my adult work on my site http://www.turkxxxonline.com/.
B: What is the most important thing you've learned in regards to modeling?
TM: Know your strengths and always be prepared to push the envelope, if you are confident in your talents you will go far.
B: What advice would you give a new person just starting out?
TM: Choose your photographers wisely, and NEVER get into any sort of photo situation where you are required to pay for your set. If you have what it takes and a photographer knows that, you should never have to pay a cent out of pocket.
B: What do you consider you best feature?
TM: Probably my face, I have a look that can be very childlike and porcelain or very harsh and exotic. Like with all other things, you just have to know how to work it.
B: Why do you think so many photographers have sought to work with you? What is the appeal, in your opinion?
TM: Probably my intensity, when a photographer asks me to evoke an emotion I get completely into it and feel that emotion. I believe the eyes are the window to the soul and if you can think of something to make yourself feel sad, happy, sexy, or mad, that will come through your eyes and thus your photos.
B: So what's next for Turk, the model? What upcoming projects will we see you in?
TM: Well, coming soon is Dylan Rosser’s new book ‘RED’, were you can see some photos of myself and J Phoenix in a very intimate scene.
©2009 Sean Dibble