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Tyler Knight

by horrorsleazetrash on November 29, 2010

HST bailed up Porn Star and Writer Tyler Knight for a little Q’ n A.  From Bukkake to Buddhism, we scope out the line between sex and spirit.

HST: Does being “dead average” scare you, or is it more appealing being outside the social norm? I mean there is nothing abnormal, in my mind, about having sex on film for a living, but there is an underlying system out there destined to draw a line, right?

TK: I’m average in the sense that there is nothing extraordinary about me whatsoever. My station in life is the sum total of a series of decisions and events that have lead me here. I’m an analogue for the common man, in that, it could be anybody else, had they made the same choices. I give no thought to pursuing a life outside or within the social norms. It’s just a matter of living the one life the best way I know how… making mistakes along the way and learning from them…facing challenges and rising above them.

Your life is yours, and using your finite time on this Earth to make others happy is an exercise size in futility. An un-winnable pursuit. Anyway, my life just…is.

HST: It sounds like you have given this all a lot of previous thought. Are you a man that grapples with moral conflict? Your philosophy is like nihilism mixed with Buddhism. Are you devout to any religion or doctrine?

TK: I’d say my philosophical point of view is somewhat malleable as I move through life and gather experiences. I wouldn’t call myself a nihilist… not yet anyway. For now, it is skewed towards Absurdism ala Albert Camus. For me, the pursuit of meaning *is* the meaning. That’s an important distinction.

HST: You tried to make a conscious change in 2009 and produce “couple friendly” porn, or porno that woman would find enjoyable and be comfortable with. Do you really think that there is a void in sexual desire between the sexes, or is it more to do with appropriateness?

TK: Well, I’ve made a dozen films for Playgirl–working as a spokes model for them for many years, and other couples friendly studios over the years, also. I just happen to win a Feminist Porn Award for it in 2009. It’s pretty cool, in that, there is no politics involved in the selection of whom wins. Just a bunch of women who enjoy adult content. That it was selected by women makes it all the more nice.

In full disclosure, I’ve done my share of edgy content. Content (scenes) that everyone at the time would argue you weren’t a real performer unless you did them with ferocity, like: double penetrations where one penis in the anus, another man’s penis simultaneously in the same girl’s vagina; anal cream pies, which is ejaculating in a woman’s anus, then she pushes or scoops it out for the camera to see; bukkakes that can be anywhere from a dozen to a hundred or more men lining up to ejaculate on a woman’s face. I am complicit in a lot of ways.

I’ve always been more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy regarding my sexuality, and there were men that were far better at extreme acts, like dunking girl’s heads in toilets while they chain-sodomize her. In general, my career tact wasn’t so much a conscious choice as much as it was a natural progression in the course of my career based on my disposition.

HST: I can imagine that there is always different ways to look at things in your industry. Some more hard core than others, but all as interesting as the last. Your signature sex toy for California Exotic Novelties boasting a 8 inch cock. I heard someone say once “you know you have made it when they make an action figurine of you.” is there any part of you that sits at home of a night and wonders – is someone snuggling up to a plastic me right now?

TK: The product, both the dildo and the blow-up doll, are terrible! Let me share some actual customer feedback:

By jane doe “This product is beyond sad. It might be a fun decoration for a bachelorette party but that would be it. The blow up doll is made of very cheap vinyl and is not even close to remotely looking anything like a man. The edges where the material comes together are sharp and it looks absolutely ridiculous. I am very sorry I purchased this. I wish the description had been somewhat accurate of what this really is.”

By Artzume “This inflatable doll is not your typical love doll -it features only one spot to satisfy a man and if you are not that, the doll is useless. There is nothing much to say about the inflatable appendage that isn’t strong enough to give any pleasure to man or woman. It simply squashes under any weight- this is better to be used as a decoration than anything else. It does have a nice face though and could be used as a bedside mate if you are single to fill the empty side of your bed- not really suitable to please many people sexually-more of a novelty.”

By Ryan “This has a balloon cock, so not worth the money i spent.”

By throbbingpussyintexas “First doll I bought and very disappointed. Inflatable cock, just cheap doll.”

By anonymous “…this product is terrible! the box is misleading. the penis never really gets hard. i couldn’t get it inside me. what a rip off!”

Perhaps I’m just jealous. My blow-up doll was on the Colbert Report (a popular comedy satire TV show in the States), and I wasn’t invited. Its career trajectory is far better than mine.

HST: Haha! It would have been nothing without you as a fore runner Tyler, but I get your drift. I can just imagine the irony. You have racked up a number of gongs at the AVN awards, is that level of gratitude and appreciation a drive for you? How much is that kind of thing valued in the industry?

TK: Eh. Bragging about winning porn awards is like showing mommy what you did in the toilet. Nobody remembers who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. You think anyone, even in porn, cares about who wins some silly piece of Lucite? It’s screwing, for God sakes…it’s just as arbitrary as an award for taking a crap or any other bodily function.

HST: From one bodily function to another – writing. Aside from pornography you are also quiet a well established writer. Your piece in thieves jargon seemed to hit home a lot of the realities I have often left un appreciated in the world of porn. This passage in particular;

“I am under the hot lights, fighting to catch my breath through thick smoke pumped in for atmosphere. Sweat stings my eyes as strobe lights do their damnedest to provoke a seizure. The cameraman positioned under my balls is telling me to stroke my cock with my right hand, not my left, because I am blocking the shot of the contract girl. Heart beating like a trip hammer, I feel the eyes of the background extras on my shriveled woodless cock.”

how much of a mix is it between the perfect job and a soul crushing grind?

TK: That day was just before Viagra became ubiquitous on porn sets, or Caverject, the porn panacea. (Caverject is an embalming fluid designed for paraplegics you can inject into the side of your penis to obtain an erection.) I think every man can relate to the underlying conflict: performance anxiety. To answer the question: a perfect job is one in which I derive deep satisfaction in pursuing its execution. Earning a living wage would be part of the job description. Any job in which the laborer feels trapped and his efforts are insignificant and trivial may be “soul crushing” be it a meat packing lineman, or a white collar cubicle farm denizen. Pornography was never a perfect job for me. As jobs go, I’ve had better, I’ve had worse…more worse than better. At its best, porn was a tool. Life support, both financially and content wise, for my writing career. It has outlived its utility. Writing is my purpose in this life. I rediscovered this through my tenure in pornography. Unorthodox, sure, but it doesn’t really matter how you discover your purpose, as long as you do. Most people never do, and live lives cast adrift like a rudderless ship…or they “end up.” I am very fortunate.

HST: I am envious of your freedom to rationalize complex situations and be free with the consequences. Sometimes I think it would be cool to dress like a woman, but then I come round and realize I’m just tripping out and my mum and dad would kill me. How do your parents feel about your independence, was it always such a free and carefree run?

TK: Absolute freedom…pure autonomy…is an illusion. Neither I nor anyone else is really free until the moment they sip their last breath. Then…who knows?

HST: Could pornography make sex monotonous for home life? or is that simply insane talk?

TK: It could not be more different, personal sex and sex for the camera. Even in the best case scenario, you must always be peripherally aware of the 4th wall (in this case, the camera) and open up to it so that the action may be seen. You may be in the moment, connected with your scene partner, and the room and the other people in it drift away, and it’s just you and the girl, together as one. Then the camera man talks, telling you it’s time to switch positions, snapping your concentration, and it’s jarring…like when you are jerking off in the bathroom with the water running and your mom bangs on the door… For me, without some kind of personal connection, personal or professional, you are just masturbating with another person’s body. Nothing wrong with that some times, but there comes a time when you may desire something more.

HST: Ahh a beautiful mix of love and spit roasts. You’re a lucky man to able to differentiate and simultaneously experience the mix and mash of lust and passion. Speaking of lust, I just want to mention Kayden Kross. You and her teamed up for Tyler’s Wood, a parody in regards to golfer Tiger Woods recent sex scandal. I remember a fair bit of controversy over that tape – Vivid even offering some big bucks for his conquests to star. Is there any taboo or privacy for the stars out there, or once they break that boundary of inhabitance is it all free range?

TK: As a public figure, what you do, even (especially) behind closed doors, is interesting to the public. The western culture has a fascination for celebrity gained without merit as evidenced by the glut of reality shows and people (in)famous only for sexual escapades. What’s unique about this particular point in time history is: this cultural obsession is juxtaposed with the blatant erosion of the middle-class dream–and said middle class consumes this product to escape their grim reality that waits for them whenever they open the mailbox fill of bills. And here I am, in the middle of this, complicit in the bullshit. I dunno…

HST: It confuses me too, some of these people I cant for the life of me understand why they are famous in the first place, and if its cause of a sex tape – I want to fucking make one and be bigger than Jesus. Some people need to search for inspiration but I have a feeling you are overloaded with it. Situations and scenarios would present themselves on a daily basis. And while I credit you hugely for being competent and deep enough to understand and verbalize them, the stories would almost set them selves up for you to knock them down, am I right? Do you push the limits of what you see and do so you can expose yourself to the madness in this world? as a source?

TK: No. To the contrary, inspiration is for amateurs. You work. And through your work, the inspiration presents itself. If I were to wait on inspiration to strike I would not have written a goddamn thing. You don’t write a 90,000 word novel by sitting around waiting for a muse. The more I work at my craft, the more inspired I become. Dangerous Writing, a school of minimalism whose proponents include Chuck Palahniuk, has a principle of Recording Angel. That is, nothing is spoon-fed to the reader. No judgments are passed that would rob the reader of creating his own experience through the text. Nothing is fed to the reader as being: fat, ugly, evil, good, beautiful, stupid, wise–whatever. You show human emotion and behavior–and through that, the reader will draw his or her own conclusions. I don’t write insanity. I record what I experience and lay out the details for you to unpack and reassemble in your own mind. Far more powerful that way. I don’t seek to push limits. I record my world and lay out details.

HST: While I understand I’m not sure I agree, but Big Chuck is one of my all time favorites so I’m willing to change my mind to some degree. 1978 is a beautiful poem. It seems to have been written with the heart of a man but the understanding of a child. A haunting mixture. Has racism been a substantial part of your adult life? I have found that being a black man in porn is often a huge benefit, haha and I mean that without the pun, rather I find the stigma is often embellished. You have featured in films like “Black Guys in Teenage Thighs” and “Black dicks white chicks”. Is this empowering to you?

TK: The notion that we live in a post-racial society is a fallacy. The phrase “..but, I voted for Obama!” is the new “some of my best friends are black.” Obviously we have come a long way, but the work is far from done. Electing a black President of the United States didn’t sprinkle magic dust on the world that eliminated racial tension. That said, racism has not been a factor in my life to any significant degree because I refuse to let it. The playing field is not level, and perhaps it never will be, but that means I have to work that much harder…and I do. The microcosm of pornography is a different matter. It’s the last bastion of American industry operating on a Byzantine notion of equality. Gender and race. Some industry practices would never be tolerated in other sectors of industry, but it’s (policies and behaviors) rationalized by my contemporaries with the paradigm “It’s not racist, it’s porn.” Even within porn, I’m fortunate that these things have had no material impact on my career trajectory. But I’m fortunate. For every Tyler, or Mr. Marcus, or a Lexington, there are a hundred other black men whose experience in the industry is dramatically different.

HST: But there is defiantly a distinct difference and its well played upon right? Even stereotypically, the black man in porn is somewhat a protagonist of the highest degree? Like Brando or something. Id almost go as far as to say Porn is often a social narrative most of the time, the only variency of the tale is dependent on the view point of the narrator.

TK: Porn is social commentary for race in 21st Century the way the minstrel show was for the early 20th Century. Except not nearly as clever or as faithful to the social narrative of its time.

HST: How much is porn a fantasy and how much is honest. I equate it to being a war photographer. Something’s stick with you, there is nothing you can do to erase them, they shape who you are as a person. Can you separate yourself from the fact and the fiction.

TK: Sure. The moment the scene is over I step into the shower and wash “Tyler Knight” down the drain, and I leave everything on set. Aside from when I may be recognized on the street, or obviously, when I’m writing a story, I give zero thought to the world of pornography. None. Although I have some friends in the industry, I don’t ever socialize or party within the business. This works for me.

HST: Keep business and relationships completely separated, a good example of working avoidance and separation, again like the war photographer. What about the process of writing, cant that also be war like – remembering the hard memories, imagining the worst futures, delving into the emotion and ethos of all tender human necessities. I’d say being a writer and a porn star are basically the same thing in many ways. Which gives you the most passion and pain?

TK: Neither gives me pain. Porn has turned me into an a-sexual. “A” for apathetic. I just don’t care or harbor any deep feelings about my work in porn beyond doing the best I can every time. I never think to myself, wow, you really banged that girl well today, or beat myself up if I can’t get hard, because really, does it matter? Detachment clarifies thought. If writing was painful, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t get people that say they torture over every word, and then the order of that word, and write sixteen drafts of one piece. Screw that, man. I write what I feel as the words pop into my head and hit the “post” button as soon as I’m finished typing. On occasion (never) I may reread what I wrote and edit it the next day. The exception was when I wrote a novel. Even then, it was not painful. It was a joy! I couldn’t wait to type every day. If any endeavor is so hard that it brings grief into your life, you need to examine the place that venture has in your life.

HST: Connected to everything by something. Life and sex are perfectly symbiotic. There is metaphor and art in everything we do in carnal pleasure. It is the only thing that makes me disbelieve in God and relates us back to animals. That inherent wildness in our bodies. Not in our hearts but someplace else. Either the head of our dick or the core of our souls. What are your thoughts on God? I know it sounds a little off topic, but it’s kind of the staple question around this joint lately.

TK: Contrary to what many may believe, great art requires great discipline. Discipline, technique, talent, work ethic and fortitude. This does not mesh with the image of the artist living a hedonistic, tortured existence. Without discipline and technique, and very importantly, something to say, that tortured, carnal soul is just another babbling idiot taking up valuable space. I make no distinction on this point from written, visual, or any medium of art. Have something to say, and work on saying it well. Great art cannot exist in a vacuum. Great art is a mirror held up to the society in which it resides.

HST: Non reggrette rien?

TK: I look forward.

HST: Ill stare at the same place then dude, cheers.

Tyler Knight . com

Tyler Knight twitter

Tyler Knight Wiki

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