September 21, 1999

September 20, 1999

Porn Star Interview: Thomas Lloyd


Lean and lanky Thomas Lloyd arrives at the French Market restaurant in West Hollywood fresh from his workout. Wearing a tank top, shorts and a baseball cap, the 32-year-old screen stud orders coffee and lights up the first of many cigarettes. Settling all six feet and three inches of himself into a chair at an outdoor table, the star of such films as Redwood, Fallen Angel II, Dirty Hairy and Animus begins talking about his Topeka, Kansas, roots, and what led him to Los Angeles and the business of making porn. It is September 20, 1999.

You’ve had quite a year. How did you get involved in the industry?
Well, it’s a long story, but it was a total accident is what it boils down to. When I was 30 years old, I was still living in Kansas City and I went through a midlife crisis.
At 30?
At 30! I spent the entire day in bed on my 30th birthday with the covers drawn up over me and the shades closed. I was Mr. Doom and Gloom because I was trapped in Kansas, and I really wanted to work on my music and get it out there to the public. But I wasn’t able to do that in Kansas.
What did you do in the years leading up to 30?
I went to college for three years in Topeka and spent my senior year at university in France. After that, I returned to Kansas and went into postgraduate studies for secondary education. But during my student teaching, I was repressed. I had just come to terms with my homosexuality at the age of 26. When I came out, I came out! I was tired of being in the closet.
Had you dated women?
Yes. I had known since the age of three that I was attracted to men, but I was an only child. I was adopted. We lived in the country, distant from other people. I was a strange kid. I didn’t have a whole lot of friends. So I didn’t know that other people didn’t feel this way.
How strange?
I was just weird. I’ve always been independently minded, always doing very strange things. I was like a mad scientist because I was always into science fiction. I loved Star Trek. I’d be off by myself, in my own little world, even when I was with other people. I spent most of my time in the school library.
But you knew that you had these feelings for men?
Yes, but I aped everyone else. I started dating women, like everyone else. I pushed those feelings aside. But I didn’t really think in a sexual manner. I mean, I remember my dick getting hard, but I didn’t associate that with anything sexual. I had no idea! I was 17 before I ever masturbated. And my cousin showed me how. We jacked off a bit together, just ourselves, side by side. But I thought he was really hot. That was when I realized that I was very different.
What do you remember about your discovery?
Oh gosh, there was so much at once. I was totally intrigued with it. I’m sure my mother wondered why there were fingerprints in her can of Crisco because that was my favorite lubricant. (laughs)
What happened when you were 26 that made you come bursting out of the closet?
Well, I had been struggling with these issues for a while. I went through a highly destructive phase, doing all sorts of drugs and losing the will to live because I was not being me. I started having more and more thoughts of guys, and I didn’t know how to express it because I didn’t really know any other gay people. I’m sure they were there, but I hadn’t perfected the gaydar. I remember that I picked up a copy of the local newspaper—it was a very liberal town, even for Kansas—and there were personals for men seeking men. I would read those ads every week and stash it under my sofa, and I’d have to get really drunk before I would dare read through it.
One night, it was just before Christmas, the neighbor girl from upstairs came down. She was cute, and she stripped and wanted to do it. I had been sexually abstinent for about four years at that point. I was trying to kill my sexual urge for men by killing my sexual urge entirely. I even reduced the masturbation a lot. I was trying to make myself asexual. So, I tried to do the nasty with her and it just wasn’t working and she repulsed me. I couldn’t even get hard. So I sent her out, had a couple of drinks, pulled out the personals and dialed a number right then. I left a message on the voicemail; the guy called me back within 20 minutes and said to come over. I did, had a dick in my mouth and said, “Yes, this is what I’ve been missing!”
Were you scared to do it?
Yes, I was petrified. I knew no one. All I knew was what I heard in the press, you know, about the Jeffrey Dahmers, who will take you in and run you through a band saw and eat you for lunch! But the guy I met was nice. He was not exactly the most beautiful man in the world, but at that point in time, to me he was an Adonis. He was a guy who had a dick, and he fulfilled this fantasy I had been carrying around for God knows how long. Once I figured it out, I went through about one week of saying, “I’m bisexual.” Then, I said, “Forget this. I’m not bisexual, I’m gay.” I promptly told my friends, and they were, like, “Who cares?”
Did you tell your family at that point?
I told them a year and a half later. At my 10-year high school reunion, I took my boyfriend. And since my father is a doctor in the community and most of my former classmates are his patients, I knew that word was going to get back to him. So I figured I would tell him ahead of time and get it out in the open. It did not go well. Mom burst into tears, and Dad turned white as a sheet and stormed out. But my boyfriend and I were the hit of the prom.
Have your parents come around since then?
Not really. But we never talk about it. It’s not a subject I bring up and they don’t touch it.
Do they know about your work in porn?
No, they don’t have a clue. If they did, they would probably hire an assassin and kill me. And I’m not kidding.
Does that make you uncomfortable? Do you wish they knew?
Well, they’ve never accept me in anything I’ve ever done. And I deal with that. I don’t like the fact that I have to hide things.
What was your first experience with watching porn?
The only porn I have ever watched, before I ever participated, was a straight porno when I was 18 at the Princess Cinema in Topeka, Kansas. I was very drunk with some high school buddies, and it was the most foul and disgusting thing I had seen in my life. I walked into this theater that smelled know, and there were a bunch of old men tossing off, watching these horrible women with sagging body parts on the screen. It was just foul and repulsive. Before I ever got into the industry, I thought porn was dirty and disgusting.
Did you think it was something you might want to do?
Oh, no. Never in my life did I ever even consider the notion of doing porn or even nude photography.
So what happened?
I just surprised myself. I always liked to be a show-off, but up to that point, my showing off had been limited to more cerebral things. I never considered myself physically appealing. When I look in the mirror to this day, I still see the geeky, lanky, 17-year-old kid with the horrible skin condition staring back.
Did your decision to do porn have anything to do with you self-esteem?
Yeah, and this is not an insult, but I’ve found that a lot of models have low self-esteem, unnecessarily. They probably felt like I did. They grew up in a situation where they felt different and people treated them like second-class citizens. It’s something that carries over, and we all find ways of dealing with it. And being a show-off is one way of dealing with it.
So how did you ultimately get out of Kansas and into porn?
I was a French translator for Exxon. I hated my job. I wanted to work on my music and get away from the corporate side. So I sold everything, bought a plane ticket to San Francisco, packed up my musical equipment and went.
Why San Francisco?
Because I’d never really been to California. I thought it was an artsy-fartsy musical community, plus I was tired of being in the closet. I wanted to be someplace where I could totally be me.
And that led to modeling?
Yes, while looking for a job, I saw an ad in the paper that said “Models Wanted.” I had done some fashion modeling back in Kansas, so I answered this ad and it turned out to be nude modeling for the Internet. I’d never done anything like that before, but my new philosophy was to try new things, I said, “Sure, I’ll audition.” And I stripped and they said, “Looks good.”
Have you always been in shape?
No, it’s always been a struggle. I was a very fat child. Late teens, I got lanky and scrawny but not very much in shape. I never hit the gym until my late twenties. I looked pretty good, I guess. We went to the photo shoot, which was in the Redwood Forest, north of San Francisco. And it turned out that we were doing promotional stills for the Internet for the video Redwood, which Titan Media was shooting at the time. While I was up there, Bruce Cam from Titan Media saw me and asked if I’d like to do a scene in the movie.
What did you think?
I didn’t know what to say. I was so embarrassed. I thought, “Do I really want to have sex, in front of a bunch of people, on camera, and then have the universe see me having sex?” Then I thought, “This could be cool,” because I was really getting off on doing the nude poses.
Were you comfortable being naked?
I started off being shy, but I got into it. I surprised myself. I never knew I was an exhibitionist. It brought out the monster in me! (laughs)
Did you enjoy the attention?
I loved the attention because I had never really gotten a lot of attention before.
How long did it take you to decide to do the scene?
About five minutes. I’m impulsive at times.
Did you shoot the scene right then and there?
The following day. Shot it in a greenhouse with the entire cast and crew standing around outside. And I was so nervous.
Who was your scene partner?
It was Austin Woods. I think he was a newcomer too.
Were you comfortable with what you had to do in the scene?
Not at first. They explained what I had to do, which was to go into the greenhouse and pounce on the guy.
And you were the top?
Yes, I am exclusively a top—in real life and film. I was very nervous at first, then that exhibitionist in me came out.
How long did the scene take to do?
Oh my gosh, all day. About five or six hours. But it got really warm in that greenhouse.
Any problem with your cum shot?
Never. That is never a problem. If and when I get aroused, I never have trouble. It’s all a matter of chemistry with your partner. I’d rather get to know my scene partners beforehand, but I usually meet them two minutes before I have some part of them in my mouth!
After doing that first scene, did you plan to do other films?
I thought it was a onetime deal. But Titan called me back four months later to shoot Fallen Angel II. I was given a copy of Fallen Angel I to get an idea what it was like, and when I saw Steve Cannon, I was just drooling. I was praying I’d get a scene with him! But I didn’t.
Did the leather content turn you off?
No. I keep getting cast as this leather-daddy type, I guess because of my size, but honestly, I’m pretty vanilla. I love wearing leather because it looks good. But—I hate to disappoint the leather fans—it’s not really me. I’m just not that rough. But I agreed to do it, and I had fun. Damon Page was my partner. He’s a beautiful man, and we had a ball. Bruce Cam directed again.
Were you also working on your music at the time?
When I shot Redwood, I had just gotten a job as an accounts manager for a large food company. But soon after, I became the Webmaster for the company that was doing the CD-ROM for Redwood. I ended up producing and developing the CD-ROM for Redwood, and I composed the soundtrack.
So how did you end up in Los Angeles?
Well, I really didn’t like San Francisco. I like warm weather. So I thought I had a job in Los Angeles, so I moved here. The job fell through, but I made other connections and got some Web design projects. I started freelancing, and now I have my own Internet design company.
And that led to L.A. porn connections?
Yes, then I started going to porn events in L.A. I guess Will Clark’s first Bad Boys Pool Party was my big launching point. Nobody knew who I was until then.
What made you attend that event?
When I moved out here, I was contacted by Jamoo and he interviewed me for his book Superstars #2. We got to be friends, and he brought me to the pool party. I started meeting people. I’ve never solicited any studio for work. I want to be the one that somebody really wants for a film.
So who came calling?
Greenwood Cooper, for their first hard-core film. Then Can-Am, I did their Web site. Then Chi Chi LaRue used me in The Final Link. Then All Worlds used me for Animus. Studio 2000 contacted me for Czech Point. I haven’t done a whole lot of videos. I’ve only done 11 in two years, which isn’t a lot. I’d much rather do a very few quality videos as opposed to a ton of mediocre videos. That’s not what it’s about for me. Even today, every time I do a video or a photo shoot, I fully expect it to be my last. I treat it that way because I don’t want to get a big head. I want people to know that I am not a porn “star.” I’m just a guy who does videos, and I do it for fun.
So you don’t consider this a career?
No, and I never will. The day I stop bringing a little joy, a little pleasure, a little excitement to somebody’s life, that’s the day I hang up my cockring forever. ’Cause that’s the only reason I do it—to bring something, to touch somebody’s life, to bring a little excitement that they can’t experience. I had 27 years of not being able to experience a lot of things that I only had vague fantasies about.
Do you have a favorite film that you’ve been in?
What was it like being directed by Wash West?
Wash is incredible. He’s a sweetheart to work with. He has this vision. As a model, it can be annoying because he knows what he wants. He wants these really awesome shots. It’s worth the time and trouble. But it makes for long shoots.
How does his technique differ from other directors?
He takes a lot of time. He gives some direction but enough free reign to do what turns you on.
How comfortable do you feel with the acting aspect of the films?
I had done some acting way back in high school, and I enjoy it. But I was not as prepared for Animus as I should have been because I didn’t have as much notice. I had one day’s notice.
How long did it take to film?
Five days, which is long. I was in a lot of scenes, a lot of night scenes. I’m not exactly a night person, and my eyes look red in some scenes.
Is there a favorite scene that you’ve done?
The one with Tommy Lords in Animus, because he was new and fresh and innocent. But I’ve loved everyone I’ve been with. No bad experiences, other than getting my face slammed against that wire fence in Fallen Angel II. I had fence prints on my face for weeks!
What has been your experience with the fans?
Mostly good. I’ve had some strange requests. The thing I find most annoying is that people assume I’m an escort, which is not the case. I don’t see it as a bad thing, but I am not one. I like to get personal with my fans, but not that personal.
Do you watch your own movies?
Always, but just once. Only for criticism. To see how I look. I do not turn myself on! My type is anybody but me.
Do you enjoy knowing that you’re getting other guys off?
Yeah, that is hot. I’m hoping to fulfill a fantasy. I know what it’s like to need fantasies, and I think it’s the coolest thing to fulfill someone’s fantasy.
What’s ahead for Thomas Lloyd?
You know, I kind of play it by ear. I would like to think and hope that eventually my music career will take off. I am releasing a CD of music that I wrote for The Final Link soundtrack.
How would you define your image?
Thomas Lloyd is just the boy next door. I am just the boy next door. I’m not stunningly gorgeous. I’m just me.

Reprinted from Manshots magazine (1999)