The New Pornographer

Mikey Butders creates a sex scene empire one sweaty shot at a time

Staying hard can be hard work. Shooting a scene takes anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours and involves constant maneuvering for ideal camera angles and frequent stops to change positions. To stay in the game day after day, most pro studs take Viagra or inject themselves with steroids behind their scrotums. Butders says he runs on the strength of his fantasies.

Then there's the ejaculation scene — the pop shot or money shot. Though it might seem like the easiest part of the job for a fit, young guy, it takes awhile to get used to. Imagine "your most vulnerable moment" under bright lights and a prying camera, Butders says. After a while, you get used to it; you learn to tune everything else out.

It's different for women, Butders says. "A girl, to do porn, all she's got to do is open her legs." He says his perception of women — already shaky before he began doing porn — hasn't improved after a few years in the business: "There's not any difference. Porn girls are just more forward." Most women are manipulative, untrustworthy, and simply out for money and good sex, he believes. "I've realized they're all whores." As evidence, he says he's slept with more than a few married women and girls cheating on their boyfriends — something he shows no hint of considering hypocritical on his part.

Butders hasn't given up on the idea of a girlfriend, though. He just doesn't want one now. As much as he'd like to be with someone, Butders dreads having to justify what he does during the day. He doesn't want to deal with the stereotype of a "dirty, STD-infested" porn star, and he worries about losing sexual stamina for work. "You want to do one nut a day," he states.


Sometimes the porn star life is a dream come true, Butders says. The time he convinced two Canadian girls on spring break to shoot a scene with him — that wasn't bad. He can't complain about his recent trip to Russia, where a wealthy pornographer paid him almost $3000 per day for three weeks of sex with beautiful Eastern European women. But, more often than not, he's just going through the motions, literally. So he tries to keep his business plan in perspective. Lately he has cut his work down to one or two scenes per week. He spends his free time — which is most of his time — keeping up with the New York Yankees and Knicks, reading the BBC news online, and playing in a recreational baseball league. He starts every morning around 10:00 or 11:00 with an espresso and an apple. Instead of working for an assortment of production companies that sometimes offer as little as $300 a scene, he waits for higher-paying jobs, and he waits for his big break.


Butders would do well to listen to Ron Jeremy and other experienced pros, says Miami-based cameraman and producer Vic Lagina (get it?). Fresh out of film school in California four years ago, Lagina filmed his first porn scene for a Jeremy movie. Right before the pop shot, Lagina recalled in a recent e-mail, Jeremy told the female star to count down from twenty. As soon as she hit zero, Jeremy ejaculated. Less awe-inspiring was the sight of a naked Jeremy eating cold pizza in the kitchen afterward. "I'll never shake that one," Lagina wrote.

Beyond emulating Jeremy's physical control, Butders should imitate his work ethic, Lagina wrote. When Butders was new on the porn scene, he phoned in one day to tell Lagina he couldn't make it to a shoot. He wanted to stay home with his girlfriend — before he gave up on having girlfriends; he was tired from a night of sex and didn't have the juice to do a scene.

After shooting a few hundred scenes, the 32-year-old Lagina still can't stand some of the industry's quirks. "The crazy part is that I sometimes get burned out from this job," he wrote. "I know it makes zero sense to the average individual: You shoot hot naked women all day and you get paid a lot of money to do it, so what's the problem?" There's lax schedule adherence — "the porn star delay," Lagina calls it. There's erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, especially among inexperienced performers. "Being around the lights and a guy holding a camera that they just met a half-hour ago can understandably bug someone out." There's the occasional actor who tests positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea. (Most porn stars are tested for venereal diseases every 30 days, according to Lagina and others.) A yeast infection can blow a shoot, but there are ways — an inserted sponge, namely — around menstruation.

As for the stereotypes, yes, plenty of porn stars do hard drugs, Lagina admits. He questions, however, whether the industry is unique in that respect: "I know surgeons who have had coke problems." Before every scene he films, Lagina asks the actors if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If the answer is yes, the shoot doesn't happen. Same goes with Viagra, Lagina claims: "I won't give out a blue boy, because it's a liability if they should keel over with a heart attack." Exploitation? Sure, Lagina says, there are those who prey on impressionable young women. But, he says, "I think there are an equal amount of girls who see themselves as a commodity that can make them a decent living for a certain period of time." The smart ones invest or save their money, Lagina says.

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