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Inside the (gay porn) actor’s studio

Notes from Scotty B’s Casting Couch

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Porn star John Magnum puts Scotty B’s casting couch to good use.
Photo: Xania Woodman

Saturday, February 20, 10:30 p.m.

"Who wants some fucking porn?”

I hang my head and laugh. That pretty much clears up any question as to whether or not I’ve found Scotty B’s Casting Couch, the bi-weekly gay porn party at Piranha’s 8½ Lounge. Every other Saturday since the February 6 debut, the naughty boys of the gay-porn circuit have been sent to the lounge’s red leather couch, where Los Angelino Scotty B. invites audience members to join him on the casting couch while he grills the porn stars on the tough issues.

Scotty B knows what the boys want: porn!

“Top or bottom?”

“Watch your own porn?”

“Madonna or Gaga?”

Oh, but it gets way raunchier than that. And funnier. Scotty has no problem inquiring as to the surgical status of the guest’s manhood, his bedroom practices on camera and off, and his sexual playbook. Audience members bold enough to take microphone in hand and join in for some good-natured, X-rated banter are handsomely rewarded with expensive porn box sets. “$65 value!” Scotty says waving the DVD.

Two weeks ago, Scotty welcomed to the hot seat adult film star Johnny Hazzard, quite the big deal, I’m told. This week’s guest is John Magnum, a 25-year-old Las Vegan who just made the successful leap from the iffy realms of internet porn (SeanCody.com) to DVD stardom with Falcon Studios, this being another very big deal. His recent exploits are featured in the new film Pledge Master: The Hazing.

“Come, come, come,” Scotty taunts from his couch, inviting a guy onstage to help Magnum out of his preppy white polo shirt. He has a chiseled military frame, bulging chest, tattooed biceps and massive legs. This reveal is repeated every 15 minutes as Scotty calls us to attention for some more racy repartee, then sends us back for mingling and cocktails at the bar, where I meet a man who calls himself Bonnie and me Gloria Estefan. Bonnie is holding it down as the evening’s only heckler, but Scotty lets Bonnie’s droll retorts roll off his back; clearly he’s heard worse.

For about three years, promoter Scott Boardman has hosted Cocktails with the Stars, a similar party which is filmed every Thursday at West Hollywood’s Micky’s Lounge. These two weeks outside of WeHo are research for Scotty, who also plans to bring gay- and porn-centric events to Palm Springs, New York and Mexico. “I’m just hoping to gain a fan base here. Vegas has never had its own gay porn show.”

During his next break I get some time with the star. Alabama-born, the compact, muscular and blue-eyed Magnum (stage name, natch) is relatively fresh out of the military after six years of service, but he’s keen to adopt a new Daniel Craig-era James Bond image. He leans in close, and with an almost unnerving intensity tells me about his plans to move beyond porn and into Hollywood, producing and directing an intellectual thriller. Even on porn sets, he explains matter-of-factly, he observes the crew to learn the ropes. No need to test the limits of this current career, he assures.

Moments later he’s back onstage, giving the audience one more eyeful of his current career, doffing again the polo and even showing off a little bit of bum. This time I blush. We’ve bonded! I almost can’t watch.

“All-time record?” (five times, 30 minutes)

“Kinkiest locale?” (a sand berm in Iraq)

“What’s it like for a woman to be here amongst all us gays?” one fellow at the bar asks. “Um, high school drama class?” I return. He melts into laughter and paws me. “You’re faaaabulous! I looooove you!” I get that a lot tonight: I’m fabulous and I’m loved. Oh, and I look like Gloria Estefan. As often as I hear that, I don’t see it.

At midnight it’s over. The bar, now bursting, spills over into Piranha nightclub where Coco Vega’s drag show is just about to begin. Effervescent and thrilling, the short show is just what I need to clear away memories of the foreign porn DVD covers I had too-closely inspected. And when that’s over, the party begins. Lights out, music up, go-go dancers/porn stars Benjamin Bradley and Roman Heart are on, and I’m off.

“Bye, Bonnie!” I wave en route through the writhing man-throng. He growls like he’s downed a handle of whiskey: “GLLLLORIA!” I still don’t see it.

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