BLISS was created solely as a labor of love with the purpose of getting to know more about many of the photographers whom I had long standing admiration for. These were the artists that fueled my own dreams of honing my craft and improving with the hopes that my own work would eventually gain some semblance of recognition within the community of male image admirers. It was during the conceptual phase that I realized that my inspiration extended also to the models and that many of them had yet to be seen on a broader scale. I felt that if others could view these images it would not only increase visibility but also the same sense of wonder and appreciation that I get when I view their photographs.
I started with a wish list of who I wanted to feature and what each of these artists and models represented in my eyes. I was enamored with model J. Phoenix and believed that he had just the right balance of classic beauty mixed with a modern twist, along with a raw sensuality that would interest potential viewers. He became the first cover model and interview. When I was gathering images to accompany his feature, I was instantly taken with a duo image that he did with another model – Turk Mason. There was something familiar about him but I was unable to place where I had seen his face before. Some quick research revealed that Turk Mason the model was also Turk Mason/Turk Melrose the porn star. There was no question that I wanted to feature him, but his superstar status left me in doubt about how agreeable he would be regarding an interview in a little known blogazine.
If there is anyone who does not know, Turk Mason is a genuine porn star, not some flash in the pan who appeared in a few movies and then disappeared from the industry. His career spans nearly a decade, with 8 years in the business, 50 films, coffee table books (including Dylan Rosser), magazines, blogs, and his own popular site – Turkxxxonline.com. He has worked alongside some of the biggest names in the porn biz, and even performed with his real life partner at the time, Vance Winter. With that amount of clout, there was no way he would ever be interested in BLISS.
In a moment of nerve, I contacted Turk and told him that I wanted to do a feature on him, but my original concept had evolved into doing a full issue devoted solely to three facets of his life. It was the longest interview I have done to date and covered the man, the model and the porn star. I have been fortunate in that every person who has been profiled was extremely gracious, but Turk still manages to come out as being the most involved and generous. He is highly intelligent, detail oriented and professional. He took the time out of his very busy schedule to work with me, including the editing process, to produce what marked the turning point for BLISS.
Turk’s issue was posted in November of 2009 and it instantly garnered recognition for the magazine. The number of visits to the BLISS site for his post was 5 times higher than the entire prior month’s total. And the readers kept coming. It is now almost 2 years later and his feature remains in the top 3 of all time views, and was number 1 this past month. That is called staying power.
With this level of popularity, it is hard to imagine, but Turk has decided to retire. That is, to say, he is retiring the character of Turk Mason and, in his words, moving forward as himself – Frank August Fanucchi. His final live duo performance, with porn star Michael Brandon, is scheduled for 4PM PST / 7PM EST / 11PM GMT on March 24th and his site will be offering a special 1 day membership for $4.95. Turkxxxonline will end on April 1st, to be replaced by a new site, NakkidYouth.com, which will debut on the same day.
Since it was the character of Turk and the words of Frank that pushed BLISS to a higher level, I thought it only fitting to revisit Frank and talk about this new chapter in his life. Once again, I got in touch with him to pitch my idea, and once again he replied with the same grace and humility as he did the first time I asked to profile him. There is no doubt that his multitude of fans will greatly miss Turk, but I have no doubt that they will embrace Frank with the same outpouring of love and support.
Here’s to you, Frank.
©2011 – Sean Dibble