You might recognize LeNair from one of his adult films. Or from a shadowy corner of the Cock, or one of the other cruising havens he proudly frequents. Or maybe he sold you a plug or a dildo at that popular sex shop you frequent. Or maybe he was your model for the Drink-N-Draws that are popping up at gay bars everywhere these days. Or maybe you’ve read his poetry or blog posts, or have seen him perform a provocative reading of his work. Regardless, LeNair Xavier is a sexual and poetic force to be reckoned with. And he has much to talk about with Thotyssey, including where you can find him next.
Thotyssey: Thanks for talking to us today, LeNair, and happy birthday! You turned 45 on March 31st, and it sounds like you’ve lived a life so far. Do you feel like you are in a “good place” now (define that however you want)?
LeNair Xavier: Well, since I didn’t come out until I was about to turn 31, the life I’ve lived so far has been me playing a game of “Catch Up” with myself. I do feel I’ve missed out on some things, but most of it is dismissive because it’s mostly from the ageism in porn and gay nightlife.
However, I do think my coming out so late has me at an advantage over most gay males. Therefore, I am in a good place now, because by being in my 30s when I came out, I already had some degree of a foundation in my sense of self. Meanwhile, gay males are coming out younger and younger, saying they have a sense of self, but don’t. Who they claim to be is more so molded by gay media definitions.
A very different perspective, for sure. Let’s talk about your early life for a moment. Where are you from, and what were your family and childhood like? Were you afraid to come out because of your situation then?
I’m 1 of 4 children born out of wedlock and raised by a single mom in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. I come from a religious upbringing, in which I was told that once I had sex with a man, I would immediately go to hell. Knowing the disappointment that would bring to my mom, conflicted with my own natural bi (but mostly homo-) sexual urges, caused such an inner-conflict that from my teenage years until my coming out, when the slightest thing went wrong in my life, I contemplated suicide to avoid the pain. A pain that, with hindsight being 20/20, I see now was me trying to escape the added-on pain of not being true to myself. For the pain of not being true to you already has one teetering on the edge of living and dying.
Was it this need to express your sexuality that brought you eventually to the porn industry and your life as Tré Xavier?
Yes. It was also a means to help others who were in what I call “orientation limbo” like I was. I wanted them to be inspired by porn the way I was, by seeing me comfortable with my orientation (along with social media and interviews), and realize that if they were gay, then they would never find peace unless they lived their truth. Unfortunately, the porn industry doesn’t have the humanity to be concerned with that.
How long ago was this, when you went into the industry?
Actually, my first porn gig was a live solo show on a website called Showguys [now defunct]. The date I did it was April 1, 2005. Just one day after my turning 34.
In those early stages, or at any point, did porn ever fulfill your sexual and exhibitionist needs, or any other needs?
After my first movie, which was a 1-on-1 scene, I felt sexually liberated. Like my fucking for the whole world to see validated my gayness. However, that joy was short-lived when I saw how the porn industry cared more about money than it did about the questioning minds it (and, sadly, still) molds. So I take that experience, coming out of it sane, AND (most importantly) talking about it, as fulfilling my need to help others questioning themselves to find their sexual path.
On what ways did the industry treat the actors inhumanely? Were actors pushed to do things that they didn’t want to do, outside of their comfort zone?
I think there always have been things instances of one being asked to do something outside of one’s comfort zone. But that’s why porn directors more frequently hire prostitutes over straight-up exhibitionists. It’s because they know prostitutes often have a price with which they will bend (or completely break) their own rules.
But I have witnessed instances of verbal abuse, and pairing gay porn actors with gay-for-pay should be criminal. For that, some of the biggest names in porn need to be put out of business. Because only a selfish piece of sh*t is going to put a gay-for-pay bitch in denial in front of a porn camera. Gay-for-pay guys have a problem with identifying themselves. If you were on a regular job, such denial of having such a problem gets you fired, or not get the job at all. Since a porn actor is giving their body to someone, don’t they deserve the same protection? I think so.
Now, there are definitely tales told on AntiPornography. The problem is, usually tales of abuse and being put in bad situations aren’t told until a person leaves the industry. And even then, they will likely stay silent. Because since you need to be an adult to be in the porn industry, allowing yourself to be treated badly means that you had a moment of selling out your adulthood for validation in the business. A shameful act, but one that I own up to.
Porn is probably the most heavily-categorized genre in existence. For better or for worse, genres tend to be specific towards the race, ethnicity, age and body type of the actors as much as towards the acts and kinks they perform. In your opinion, is this an acceptable practice?
I feel in most situations, it is quite UNacceptable. For it is how we, the gay community, have become our own worst enemy. Once we started using porn as our teacher, that is where our ongoing decline and in-fighting began. Porn taught us which body types, colors, ethnicities were to be perceived as sexy AND which roles (sexual and non-sexual) they played in our community. One reason I got into the porn purposely as a bottom was to undo the porn-induced stigma telling Black guys to be uber-aggressive and abusive tops when they have sex with a white/light-skinned guy.
The same holds true for many of the acts in porn that younger gays, especially, are finding no problem with. Gays pursuing straight guys, which can lead to a dangerous situation of a gay being silenced to keep the down-low guy’s secret. As well as daddy-fixations, which too often indicate daddy issues that were sexualized as a way to cope. Take any porn director to task on this, and they always run to the “porn is a fantasy” excuse.
I have to guess that, at that time, condoms on porn sets were not prevalent.
Actually, all of the movies I did were condom films. Even though my personal stance is that barebacking is a matter of choice, I partially caved out of fear of backlash from the hypocritical condom police studios of the industry. But also because I was unaware of how barebacking studios paired their performers.
So, how long was your porn career, approximately how many films did you make, and ultimately what drove you to finally leave the business?
I was active in the industry for about three years, but officially quit after four. I did a total of eight movies, but since I did two scenes in a couple of those movies, my total number of movie scenes is ten.
What drove me to finally leave was being left standing alone by so many in the industry when I would take a stand on many issues. I’ve always had porn actors come up to me at an event saying they like what I say because I was telling the truth. But when I would ridiculed by porn blogs like The Sword, those porn actors commenting to back me up was nowhere to be seen. So eventually I decided that if these guys want this industry to crush their spirit and steal their sense of self, then let it bring those porn actors to croak. And me no longer caring about their mental and physical well-being is what made me say it was time to go.
Now, my concern is solely for the viewers who can be influenced by the garbage these porn actors lower themselves to be in.
Let’s talk about “sex clubs” for a bit, which I use as a very general term to describe places where you can openly cruise and sexually play with other guys. I’m sure people outside of this scene, particular younger guys who grew up in the age of Grindr, might find this pursuit dangerous and puzzling. What do you think they’re missing out on?
I think they’re missing out on the obvious–live interaction.
For you can’t see shifty eyes from a Grindr profile. You can’t hear vocal inflections to indicate lying by words on a Manhunt message. You can’t smell dick cheese or undouched ass from a BBRT pic.
While we as males are all about the quick fix when horniness hits, the older generation had no choice but to deal with a live interaction. This younger generation has the idea of a quicker fix thrown in their face, and they never think about the big picture of the consequences of going that route.
Now, I’m not saying going home with a guy you picked up at a bar is without risk. But it’s less of a risk if you can SEE, HEAR, TASTE, and SMELL LIVE who you might be leaving with.
We’re already a community plagued with what I call emotional cripples, because we continue the chain of broken relationships under superficial pretenses, instead of breaking the chain. And reliance on websites like Adam4Adam and apps like Scruff only further exasperate the problem.
And before I get attacked for hypocrisy, YES, I do have a profile on some of these sites. No apps though. And I use them mostly to study people. I rarely pursue someone on them. And if I do, I always write down the address and phone number of where I’m going before I leave the house. So if I turn up missing, you have an idea of where I was last.
What is the the hottest, most ideal experience you have gotten from these places?
It’s hard to say. However, since most of my exhibitionism is to undo the aforementioned ignorance incited by gay media, the hottest and most ideal experience is one that can spark a thought in others to undo that damaged thinking.
A perfect example of this: one night during a break from a go-go dancing gig, me and another go-go boy slipped into a bathroom where many others were sucking each other off. We started fucking, with me as the bottom to his light Mexican topping. While some were intrusive by putting their hands where his dick meets my ass, others seemed to touch us just to feel our sexual energy. Because they would touch me or my playmate, then go off and fuck the playmate they came in the bathroom with. It’s hot to me, because I love being the center ripple of a wave of sex.
You write a lot in your blog and on social media about the politics of this sex party world. Just like in porn, you say that lots of guys who approach you want you to fulfill a certain need that you’re expected to fulfill as a black man, as a man over 30, as a guy with a big dick, etc. Are the parts these guys wanting you to play usually in contrast to the parts you want to play?
Most of those roles are. In fact, I can give you part of a Facebook post I wrote just last night to show how much I differ from them:
I am a soon to be 45 year old, medium-dark brown-skinned, well-spoken Black man. Only 5’6″ tall. Not humongous, but instead size proportionate cock. Versatile, and loves to bottom for all colors (including the perceived small cock of an Asian). And when I top, I’m passionate. Not uber-aggressive trying to punish my white bottom in 2016 for my forefathers being enslaved. In short, I’m NONE of what I should be.
(Well, at least according to gay media outlets like Instinct Magazine, The Advocate magazine, Out Magazine, Queerty, #GayNightlife, and #porn, I’m not.)
Now, anyone who reads the rest of that post will know I’m not being down on myself. Because as I’ve said before, I’m glad to break the mold.
It seems you frequent the Cock. How do you like the newest location, compared to the previous ones?
I like the space. It serves its purpose. However, I think it can serve its purpose better by being better-managed in regards to which nights they only have one floor open, and which floor that should be.
For I feel if you’re to have only one floor open, nights like the underwear party, Playpen Mondays, need the downstairs, since it draws a lively crowd, almost like the weekend nights. Meanwhile, other more quiet nights can use only the upstairs.
You also work during the day at a well-known sex shop in the city, and must at this point have a big familiarity with toys and sex aids. Has it become easy for you to match a customer’s needs with a specific product?
I can if the customer tells me enough about what they like, or what their problem might be. Because while we here in America try to act so sexually evolved, many are actually not. And with so many here in New York City living these crazy corporate lives, I find myself having to undo a lot of what they’ve been taught because porn (straight and gay) has been their teacher.
In fact, that’s why I like my day job. Through it, I can undo some of the misinformation I might have taught guys during my time of doing studio-based porn. It’s my shot at some level of redemption.
That’s really noble! You are drug-free, and very verbally anti-drug in your social media. Was this always the case?
I’ve experimented. Because I’ve always been curious, asking myself “what’s the draw?” And after having great sex, and being a self-control freak, I want nothing to interfere with me feeling every tingle to my nerves from sex, twisting my thinking on some level, or numb my pain. And contrary to what any drug-user might say, because of that experimenting, I know for a FACT: NO DRUG ENHANCES SEX OR YOUR OUTLOOKS.
Sex is natural, and gives off enough of a high all by itself when it is done right.
Do poppers count in this scenario?
Especially poppers. I’m so sick of the excuses people pull out of their ass to enable the use of them. First, it was to claim that it makes it easier to take dick. If so, then why are tops huffing, to? We need to wake up because the lie has already been exposed.
And also, while the high might not last long, a lot of a little makes a lot. The truth as to what makes it easier to take dick is that it takes three things: GOOD LUBE, HONEST DESIRE for that INDIVIDUAL’S cock, and BREATHING DEEP AS HE ENTERS.
The problem is, many of us do what we’re encouraged to do, which is continue the chain of treating one another as expendable. So, that top is thought of as a stick for your ass, and not a person. And the top thinks of the bottom as only a hole. And the haze from poppers furthers that along.
That’s why I won’t date someone who huffs on poppers. Because as far as I’m concerned, with one popular brand of poppers being RUSH, as far as I’m concerned, when I have sex with someone, I AM THE RUSH. And I REFUSE to compete with a chemical in a bottle 33 times smaller than me.
Now, that’s not to say I won’t hook-up with someone who does them. My feeling is, maybe my treating them as a person and not just a hole or stick will make them realize they should want better treatment for themselves from sex.
Sorry for the rant. It’s just so sad how this is one of many self-destructive allowances the gay community gives. All for the sake of rebellion, like teenagers saying “we’re not like them (straight people).”
You’ve posed for Drink-N-Draw at Phoenix back on March 22nd, and have done so other times in other venues previously. What’s that experience like?
I’ve modeled at Drink-N-Draw at three separate places that it’s been held. And the reason I keep going back is because I love seeing drawing artists at work. Too many are relying on graphic artists, which take some creativity and skill. But when computers die, then what? It’s not like that of an artist who must use their hands, mouth, toes, or whatever to draw. That’s an art form that will live as long as we humans do. And I like being in the midst of that energy.
Does anyone draw you well?
That honor would go to @jameslbarry on Instagram.
Speaking of creativity, when did you begin writing?
Writing is just like a lot of my other artistic skills. I’ve been doing it since I was a child. I got away from it for quite awhile, because I was focusing more on my performing arts skills. Then I got into porn, and got even further away from it. I got back into writing because I needed to express all that I was seeing in our community, and then in the adult industry. I don’t think I would have survived any of it if God hadn’t given me the gift of writing.
In addition to social media, you write poetry and essays, and often read them as performance pieces which usually end in you being nude onstage or on-camera. Is this the ultimate exhibitionist fantasy for you, baring your body and soul at the same time?
Much to my chagrin, I’ve never been completely nude onstage. We have to thank NYC’s hypocritical laws against nudity for that one. I’ve just done skimpy underwear on stage, but have been nude for many cameras.
Anyway, whatever degree of naked, it is me baring my body and soul at the same time. Because I always make the nudity have a purpose beyond being shocking. Even though the shock can’t be helped thanks to American sexual repression and making nudity synonymous with it.
Sometimes, however, it works for the better. Because the video for my poem “Beauty To 44 & 5 Despites” addressing ageism and racism was first done with me wearing sock underwear. It to date has 728 views on Vimeo. Then I did a nude version, which to date has….13.5K views.
Sounds about right! I assume you’ll be keeping your clothes on for the 8th Annual Rainbow Book Fair you’re doing a reading for at John Jay on April 9th.
Yes, my clothes will be on there!
Can you tell us about that?
I’ve been invited to be one of the readers in their Poetry Salon, where they have poets come up and read/recite for about 5 minutes apiece. It’s often with enough poets to cover the entire time the fair goes on.
I’m planning on doing 2 poems with the intent of combating one sexual issue in our society where it seems a person can’t be seen as both an intellectual being, as well as a sexual being. So one poem of my poems will be erotic, while the other will address a social issue.
Sounds intense. Anything else you’re involved in that you want to talk about?
Well, I’ve been a guest blogger for a few post on the sex toy website Kiiroo.com. My most recent tells five ways to improve your sex drive. And I am considering making another poetry video. I may or may not be naked, but however far I go, it will serve a purpose.
Also, I’ll be the bartender for the Leslie-Lohman Art Fair on May 13th. And as the night progresses I tend to wear less and less.
So, wrapping up, if somebody reading this wants to get with you and finds you at a sex party or the Cock, what’s the best way they an approach you?
Look me in the eye, not in a creepy way. But that’s always the best initial approach. Just come to me, and say “Hello”. Don’t grope first, and/or try to suck my face first. Because my depth makes sex be about a connection of souls, even if it’s a quick tryst at a sex party or bar backroom. And just because it’s a sexual environment, that doesn’t lessen my rule of how it’s MY BODY, MY CALL.
Too many guys seem to not realize that. So I hope what I do and say get that fact through their skull. Thanks, LeNair!
LeNair Xavier can be found frequently at the Cock, and at various other exhibitionist-friendly venues. He will be reading selections of his poetry at the 8th Annual Rainbow Book Fair at John Jay College on April 9th, and he will be bartending for the Leslie-Lohman Art Fair on May 15th. He has a blog called L’s X-Ray Vision, and can be followed on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. He guest blogs occasionally for Kiroo.com.