Bestie Porn Dude: Leo Forte

  • by Cornelius Washington
  • Tuesday March 31, 2015
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Thoughtful. Provocative. Insightful. Latent. Daring. Introspective. Beautiful. Sensitive. All of these adjective describe the man that you, our readers, have chosen Leo Forte as your Best Bay Area Gay Male Porn Actor. You voted for him, and now you've got him!

Cornelius Washington: Congratulations! You have been voted Best Bay Area Gay Male Porn Actor by this year's Besties readers poll. How do you feel?

Leo Forte: Thank you very much to the B.A.R. for having me as part of the nominees.  I feel fantastic! When it comes to the adult industry, I've always felt I've never gotten the lion's share, so to win is a fantastic feeling.

What do you think that you've brought to porn, escorting, entertainment in general, and the Bay Area, in particular, that no one else does?

I don't think that I've brought anything unique, per se. It's not like I'm curing cancer. I've brought myself, mostly. I've been uncensored and very exposed.


Please detail all of your Bay Area performance events for my readers.

Performances? I don't think that I've performed much in the Bay Area, at least not how I would like to think of a performance. I used to perform for Dore/ Folsom St. Fair, but, it became much more of an exploitation with sponsors, and not a celebration of the BDSM arts.


Let's discuss your porn career. When, why and how did you decide to enter the adult film industry?

Well it's not a career. There are no 401K or stock options.  I decided to do it because when I was a 'baby gay. I would fawn over the men in the pages and the videos. I would see the reaction that others had to their beauty; I wanted that. I grew up feeling ugly, and being told I was ugly, so, I craved that validation. Rewind a few years back; I had just gotten out of the military and couldn't find a job anywhere. No one would hire me, and I had no degree to prove I was good at my job. Bills piled up and food was running short. What else did I have to lose? So, I made some calls, and I found myself in Florida filming my first scene a month later. It's been five years since.


What do you now know about the porn world that you wish you'd known before you started?

I wish I had known it was just a passing fancy, and how quickly and easily one is replaced. I wish I had known that it doesn't matter how good of a performer you are, people will rip you apart and stuff the trash with you. I wish I had known it was so racially biased.


Leo Forte

As you know, the director of any film medium sets the tone for the entire production. What do you look for in a porn director?

A good porn director is infinitely difficult to find. They have to be mavericks; rebellious and edgy. New ideas and situations will make them stand out from the typical, "two boys on a box." They have to be kind. I have run into so many asshole directors who are mean and bitter. They don't value the time of people around them. A director has to be dedicated to the craft, fine-tuning it so that it's as great as possible. Most I have known are just in a hurry to get it done or don't bother to correct a model who is doing something bad or wrong. A director must be honest. If something isn't going to work, say so. Don't expect that magic will happen on set; it's not always perfect. A great director should be having great sex. I know so many porn directors who don't have sex; it's a quagmire I've never understood.

Finish the following sentence: "When I watch porn, what I notice that's missing is..."

... reality. The models are automatons going through the motions without the slightest sliver of connection. It lacks passion, both in front of and behind the camera. This is what is causing amateur porn to do so well. It's real.


Leo Forte at the studios

What do you do onscreen that you don't off-screen, and vice versa?

On-screen vs off-screen: the list is too long. I tried to be 'me' when performing, but, found out quickly no one cared, so I became a persona that people liked; that stops when I get off set. Off-screen, I have hot wild sex the likes of which porn should be made out of.  Although studios would never cast me with them, most of the hottest men in porn have been in my bed at some point or another.


Regarding escorting, what do you think the 'dominant(hetero Judeo-Christian)' culture can learn from the sex subculture (escorting)?

To be honest, I'm still trying to battle my Judeo-Christian conditioning. I believe that sex is a pillar of one's existence and perpetual happiness. Sex should not be shunned, ignored or lied about. Sex is one of the potions with which we heal spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally.


What are your clients' commonalities ... and differences?

My clients come from all walks of life, with different desires and fantasies that I instigate into reality. The commonality is that they are all successful, wealthy, and powerful people. The men and women who come to see me are of an exotic taste and they look for someone who is well-versed and not just playing dress-up. They are mostly return clients who come to me for something specific.


What's the ratio of openly gay vs. married and/or bisexual clients?

Is there a ratio to openly gay/married/bisexual clients? I don't know. I never bothered to ask. It's not my concern. I concern myself with the individual and making them happy. Bottom line; what happens before or after my time with them is irrelevant.


What do you wish that the general public understood about escorting?

What the general public should know about escorting is that we all pay for it, somewhere down the line. I simply cut the song and dance to a simple transaction. It's the oldest profession in history and, like any other profession, some are great and some are tragic at their work. 


Leo Forte in super-glam costume and makeup.

Go-go dancing and performance; I understand that you enjoy fashion and costumes. What are you fantasizing about creating for yourself to wear, and where will you wear it?

I'm very gay for fashion. Fashion feeds my soul, and so does wearing something that no one else will ever wear. I don't generally think of what I'm going to wear. I grew up a club kid; I just reach in a bag and pull out fabulous. I don't need an event or a reason for awesome fashion to happen. It's a lifestyle. Most people will never appreciate anything you do, especially what you wear. I do it for me and my satisfaction. Call me selfish. I show up to brunch in couture.

What are your thoughts, regarding Jean-Paul Gaultier's retirement from ready-to-wear, to focus on haute couture? What would you have him make for you?


In your experiences, personal and professional, what do you see as gay men's biggest social mistakes?

Regarding gay men's biggest social mistakes, again too many. I struggle to put all of these thoughts into one coherent phrase. I don't like the way we treat each other in my generation: as disposable as the tissue used to wipe up a cum stain. Gay men were once a tribe, a community whole within itself. It once pushed and elevated itself brother to brother, giving selflessly. Most men today are interested in eating each other, over helping each other. Every man has become a sovereign nation with no exports and in constant need of foreign aid. The sense of community is smoke and mirrors, or a platform for one person to boast about their contributions and how they were the ones who defeated Godzilla single-handedly. We are forgetting that it is a powerful thing to be gay; not just watering it down further into something that can be easily swallowed by mass media. Equality is great, but a red herring. We lose ourselves when we try to fit in and be normal or accepted.

Leo Forte in some creative rope bondage.

Let's discuss S&M a bit. There have been serious discussions about traditional, masculine-identified projections of sexuality vs. the more alternative forms, i.e. cosplay, puppy play and the mixing of the elements of gear. What are your thoughts?

My thoughts on "Contemporary S&M" - I think that there is a resurgence into what S&M truly is. For so long now, we have been worshiping the image of what BDSM is supposed to be. I firmly believe that the magic/shamanism of BDSM has been forgotten. The only thing that matters now it the price tag on your leather. I can't see one more demo where someone is getting whacked in the face with a flogger. It's just dumb.

This is why I don't frequent leather bars anymore, even though I've always thought of myself as a lifestyle player. BDSM should be fun and creative; it should challenge and inspire, confuse and scare you. I'm not scared of Tom of Finland. I'm not inspired by your bike chain on your neck. I am confused why everyone at the Eagle looks exactly the same. I don't think that anything you are seeing now is progressive, by any means. I think that the new generations are breaking away from the status quo and accidentally finding the whimsical, dare I say, gay side of BDSM.


Many people in the gay community are ashamed of the fact that gay porn stars are seen as role models and icons. What's your opinion?

People should not be ashamed of porn stars being icons or celebrities; they have been for our whole history. They are the physical personifications of our culture during their time. So, if gays don't want to have porn star icons and celebrities, they should do something that's interesting and novel. In a hundred years, your bitching will get you nowhere.  


What is your opinion on "bottom stigma?"

Bottom stigma comes from the Judeo-Christian school of chastisement, where being in the passive/female role is degrading, because being a woman is degrading. A top can only be a top when there is a bottom-ergo the bottom defines a top. That, to me, equals power, not the lack thereof. Also, in my opinion, total tops suck in bed. It takes a bottom to show them how to do it right.


Leo Forte behind the camera. photo: mr Pam

I know that you've also become a porn director. What do you see is the difference between sexuality and sensuality?

I have been a director of porn now for a long time. I first started with years ago. Even with my last position with NakedSword, I was a director. However, I've always done the work underneath another director's umbrella, which, unfortunately, to my naiveté, meant I got zero credit for it. It's unfortunate that only one title ever had my name as the director: NakedSword's Hotel Hook-Up. The troubling thing about that, and everything I did after, was how difficult it was for the director of photography to admit that I was capable of doing a good job. I was even handed over my own production line, and when I asked in a playful manner, "Now can my business card say Direcotr?" I was shot down and told, no.  I realized that as long as I remained under the shadow of another, my ideas, concepts and scripts, would always have someone else's name on it.  So, I left. 

What is the difference between erotica and pornography?

Sexuality is just a person's proclivities, orientation and preference.  Living in San Francisco sexuality is a kaleidoscope of possibilities, most of which confuse me, but, I support them.  

Sensuality is deep. It's the person's sexual essence.  It's that 'thing' that makes them sexy or, as Dida Ritz says, "cheesecake." This, you can't fake. You can have a body, face, and cock, but you aren't guaranteed to be sexy. It's the way you move, look, feel, taste and smell. It's how you speak. The things you say and more importantly, what you don't say at all.  Swagger.

Erotica is the pleasure delay.  Erotica is what you don't see.  Erotica is a well-painted suggestion.

Pornography is cock in hole, the full monty; no subtlety, simply fucking. If you're lucky, it might even be hot.


People come from all over the world, relocating to San Francisco, to live their true lives, out in the open. You are becoming a 21st-century personality. What would you tell people about how it feels to be so powerful and so free?

I'm not powerful or free; I fall to the same limitations that any other man or woman would. I am insecure. I am petty. I am human, and the best thing I can do is live the life I'm given to the best of my ability. I live by my standards and protocols, no one else's. I live and die by my own sword. I am my best political statement and the best tool I'll ever own. My goal is not fame or money, but, to live. I want to experience the world for its love and cruelty, bounty and drought. As for the fear of the unknown, I piss my pants every day with uncertainty. My chances are as good as anyone's. I let the river of life take me where it wants, and it usually works out well.  

What do I have to say? Advice? We're all scared, but, how you react in moments of fear is what defines your path. Flinch and you will lose.

Follow Leo Forte on Twitter at

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