As much of the world is on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, GayVN caught up with some talent in front of and behind the camera to see how they were handling the time offand what they see ahead for their industry and community. In our second installment, we chatted with Falcon exclusive and GayVN Award nominee Devin Franco, most recently seen in Falcons Tales From the Locker Room and in a scene with Drew Sebastian on the recently launched Trailer Trash Boys. BJ: Where are you right now? In general, how do you think the people in your area are exhibiting safe behaviors? DF: I am in the heart of Hollywood, hunkered down in my apartment with my roommate Dakota Payne. We sit out on my balcony a lot, and most of the people I see are wearing masks. The ones who aren’t are usually exercising or just walking their dog. When I need to go out for supplies, I can’t enter buildings without a face mask, so everyone in public spaces in Los Angeles is wearing a face mask. People are social distancing. Even walking on the street, people are giving each other a wider distance between them as they approach. How have you personally been adjusting during COVID-19? How has life changed for you and your loved ones? What have been the biggest adjustments? I was already a bit of a homebody, so my routine hasn’t changed much since I work mostly from home. The main thing that has changed for me is not being able to go to the gym, which is a big deal for me because it’s not only a big part of my work, but it is an outlet for my passions and a place for me to let off steam. I haven’t been as motivated to work out from home, but I have been getting better at doing it regularly. I just ordered some home equipment because I don’t know how long this lockdown will take. I have been trying to keep myself busy with baking, reading. I’ve been working on a collage, making sure I have content to share, playing video games and watching plenty of TV. But even with plenty to do, the lockdown is starting to get to me mentally and emotionally. I am not the most social person, but I still crave being around my friends and meeting new people, and hooking up with guys. Plus, the future is so unknown right now. It’s hard to plan your next steps when the ground beneath your feet is constantly shifting. I keep wishing things would go back to normal, but I know that’s unlikely. I just don’t have an idea of what the new normal is. I worry for my sister and the friends I have in healthcare, but I am thankful for the work that they do. My family has been safe and they live in very rural areas, but even they are hearing reports of COVID-19 cases nearby. What has been the hardest thing for you, and what do you miss the most? Not being able to work out or travel freely. The gym is my temple and the thing I look forward to every day. I have built up so much of my life around my bodybuilding goals, and to not only lose the gym but also some of the progress I have made is frustrating and demoralizing. But I am rethinking my fitness routines and trying to find other ways of staying fit and strong. How have you had to adjust your exercise routine? How creative have you had to get? So far, I just run around Hollywood, do 100 push-ups, squats, crunches and lunges. I really like running down Hollywood Boulevard now that it’s empty. I just ordered some home equipment so I can add more to my routine, but it’s been impossible to find stuff in stock. When do you think the porn industry can get back to creating content, and how will this affect how things are done in the near-term and longer-term? (testing, travel, etc.) The porn industry did not stop creating content. The way things are done have changed, but things were already going through a transitional change in that the balance of power is shifting more towards the individual performer. I think this pandemic has actually sped up the pace of this change. A spike in fansite subscriptions during this time will ultimately lead to better production quality from the most successful individuals. Many performers have already invested in their own lighting, recording equipment, and editing software, as well as hiring someone to film the action so the phone isn’t just propped up on the wall. I don’t know what will happen on the regulatory side of things, but at this point in time and history as the government shows it can’t actually function in any meaningful way, the idea of a regulatory authority is hilarious. How can performers on platforms like JustFor.Fans and OnlyFans get creative during this time and still provide new content? Time for an unpopular opinion: Do what you always did to create content. I think social distancing is an important way to slow and limit the spread, but it is naive to believe these measures are meant to completely stop the virus. In fact, the odds are most people will catch this virus at some point. So if you plan on still making porn with other performers, I’d suggest talking about it, and make a decision together about the kind of content you want to create. Going to see a friend sometimes or making a video one-on-one with someone is not the same situation as going to a party or an orgy. Making content with another person does not mean you don’t continue to wear a face mask in public places or stop social distancing habits completely. This virus isn’t going away even if we have a vaccine (thanks, anti-vaxxers), so we are going to have to adapt and continue on with our lives. But there’s also nothing wrong with a good solo video jacking off or playing with some toys. Ive seen firsthand how many gay men on the hookup apos dont seem to care about social distancing and are more than ready to still hook up with a stranger. How do you feel about that, and what would you say to them? I actually haven’t been on Grindr once during all of this, but I was hardly ever on it before this. It doesn’t surprise me; it’s human behavior. In fact, if you took these apps away right now, we would be congregating in the bushes in a park in the middle of the night, which would be worse! You aren’t gonna keep people from fucking even in the middle of a disaster (you better believe there were people fucking on the Titanic while it was sinking). So like I said previously, just because you meet up with a guy to suck his dick doesn’t mean you stop wearing your mask to Target, or that you should throw a party for your grandma’s 90th birthdaybut don’t think that because you have never left your house once during the lockdown that you are singlehandedly saving the world from a plague. Realistically, how long do you think it will be until gay men can feel comfortable hooking up on the apps? Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if the hookup app culture died with this pandemic. It’s killing our nightlife and our social community, which I hope comes roaring back to life post-lockdown. Being on Grindr is a gambleno matter what you bet on, you’re always gonna get some form of misrepresentation. But based off of your previous question, I’d say gay men already feel comfortable hooking up. Anyone who says they aren’t is probably just virtue signaling. Talk about the importance of porn during this time for people, who need safe ways to get off and relieve stress. Now more than ever it seems porn is proving how much of a purpose it has. Porn has always had its place, but it’s great to see it be able to rise up (lol) and help in this crazy time. People need a way to get off and to explore their sexuality in a safe and healthy environment. That has always been the case, but now more so than ever. Not only that, but it has helped so many people in this crisis who lost their jobs and started a profile on a subscription website or started camming. I feel so lucky to be in porn right now because I still have plenty of ways to work from home. What lessons about life should this pandemic be teaching us? This pandemic has exposed the flaws of our government, health and social systems for the rotting cancer it really is. We have been aware of our problems, we fight about thembut never actually do anything about them. We never actually move toward progress and away from petty fighting. That’s why we have the highest infection and death rate. Everything we have done for the last 40 years has set us up for this specifically American spectacle of failure. Even now in the midst of the pandemic, we are fighting and can’t unite on a response, making any responses useless and meaningless. We need to end this contrarian culture of opposing an idea simply because it exists. Just because one happens to form a thought of the opposite persuasion doesn’t mean it’s right or helpful. We need to accept fact and truth and not run blindly away from them. We need to give science more of the respect it deserves and start taking it more seriously. People deny climate change, evolution or they even think that the earth is fucking flat, but those same people accept and come to expect their phones and electronic devices to be connected to the internet and harnessing some sort of energy supply, and they accept planes will fly without question. And when the world is dealing with a pandemic that shuts down our economy, those same people desperately turn to science for answers and help. We can no longer accept selective deniability of science. At the very least, we should not take it seriously or give it validity of any kind, but that doesn’t seem likely enough. We will never progress if we think people who deny science add any value to a discussion or effort by providing their opinions or input. Their opinions are not worth equating with science and logic, and we should stop promoting them as such.
written by: Brady Jansen