Exclusive: The Erik Rhodes Interview
Why he’s really stayed with Falcon Studios all these years, why he really hates Diesel Washington, what really happened with his adult circumcision, how he’s really handling the recent split with his boyfriend, and why there was blood pouring out of his asshole over the weekend. Really.
In the age of XTube, fledgling adult studios, and interchangeable models known more for their off-screen drama than their on-screen performances, Erik Rhodes has become one of the last remaining true gay porn “stars.” His body of work spans the past eight years (a lifetime in gay porn), going back to 2004′s Flesh from Studio 2000. Shortly thereafter, he made Super Soaked for Falcon, and has remained exclusive with that studio ever since.
His own fair share of off-camera antics notwithstanding, Rhodes’ prolific career as a musclebound fuck machine speaks for itself, as does Rhodes himself in his first-ever Sword interview.
The Sword: First, I have to wish you a happy birthday since you turned 30 this month. What did you do to celebrate?
Erik Rhodes: I had a quick lunch with my twin brother since he is the last important person in my life, and we obviously share the birthday together. Later, after “working” I chose to let a client take me out to dinner. I think he felt sorry me. What pathetic piece of shit would celebrate such a milestone birthday being a hooker? Basically, I just tried to make it as uneventful as possible.
So you do escort? I wasn’t sure.
Yeah, escorting has always been an extra way to pay the bills. But I’m no professional and I still need to really mentally prepare myself before meeting Johns. I find it almost impossible without prescription drugs, and I need to turn down clients constantly if I can’t get myself into that frame of mind. Sometimes it’s hard to live up to the “Erik Rhodes” image.
And what do you think the Erik Rhodes image is?
I’m not sure…I have a fear of letting people down. I’m not sure why I even care, but I do.
How much do you charge?
It all depends. If I have my shit together, people complain that they have to take out a mortgage on their house to afford me. I like to claim that they are getting a “Falcon Classic” though. But if I don’t have my shit together, you might find me whoring myself out just to get high, but still a “Falcon Classic.” But if any Johns are reading this, don’t get any ideas. I think I have my shit together, kinda.
Is there a certain age you’ll reach when you’ll retire from escorting or gay porn?
I don’t think I’ll ever go out of my way to publicly state that I’m retiring from porn. What will that do besides look like a desperate attempt to prove to the world that I can stand on my own two feet without porn as my crutch? I think if I ever find a path out of porn, I’ll just disappear and spare myself the humiliation when things don’t turn out as planned and I end up back in some low budget trash porn just looking for a paycheck. And honestly, that’s not poking fun at anyone, because I’ve seen it happen to friends. Unfortunately, from them I’ve learned to just keep my mouth shut on that topic.
Is there anything specific that might make you want to leave porn or “disappear” from the industry?
Shit. A real, decent paying job that doesn’t make me wanna blow my brains out every time I walk through the door is an obvious reason to leave, but I’m not sure what that job is yet. But come on, you guys have written about that kid that got canned from Subway because he was recognized. How long do you think it would be until someone spotted me working at your local McDonald’s? I don’t think I’d last the week. Plus, what the fuck do I put on my resume as employment for the last 10 years? At some point you just learn to accept that you’ve basically fucked yourself over.
Reading the comments and questions people—who I guess are your fans?—leave you on your Tumblr, and reading the comments people leave about you here…it always seems like people don’t “get” you, or that they take you too seriously, but you obviously don’t.
I just don’t think people understand my personality. I’m the type that dies laughing at dead baby jokes, yet will cry uncontrollably during the closing sequence of Vanilla Sky. My blog shows both sides of that, which at times leaves people kinda confused. A lot of the time, I think my personal preference on what is offensive just differs from most of the world. If they get it, they get it. If they don’t, they don’t. I just want them to walk away from my blog saying, “Wow, maybe there is a little more going on there then I originally thought.”
Most of the things you write about and the negative questions you choose to answer—and even the music you have playing on the Tumblr—is pretty depressing. Are things really that bad?
The blog is a place where I can vent and get shit off my chest. If I had real friends, or at least a person I thought would care to listen to some of the things on there, I probably wouldn’t have a reason to write it. I think my brain just hits a point of overload and if I don’t get it out, I’ll seriously lose it. People say I sound like a prepubescent girl, which is funny because if that was the case I don’t think they would have needed four police officers to cart me off to Bellevue Psychiatric last night.
I’m glad you’re OK now?
So what do you make of the anonymous people who are leaving the nasty comments and asking the nasty questions?
It’s human nature. People from an outside perspective are always quick to insult you before ever thinking to help build you up. In all honesty, I can’t help myself from doing it sometimes as well. I actually love to insult other models on The Sword under a fake name—I totally jerk off while doing it! I think we all wanna throw in our two cents even if we don’t know what we are talking about. You can’t take it too serious or you’ll end up throwing yourself off a bridge.
I get tips all the time from people who say they saw you drunk or high and acting crazy, or that you and your boyfriend are always on Grindr (separately), that you’ve been arrested for drugs, etc. Is your personal life that crazy?
I don’t drink, but yes I do abuse drugs in public. So what? And actually, me and by ex-boyfriend were on Grindr together as a last ditch attempt at a failing relationship.
Wait…ex-boyfriend? You and Anthony broke up?
Yeah. Obviously it didn’t work and our almost four year relationship is now over, which has been very hard on me since he was the only thing that made me keep my feet on the ground. I don’t think anyone will ever know me as well as he did, and honestly I don’t want to let anyone get that close to me ever again. Sure there was an extremely toxic side of our relationship, but when it was good, it made me into a completely different person who I liked being. Someone so far detached from Erik Rhodes that no one would believe it. But that’s over now, and the ugly side of me is starting to take over and it’s not looking so good.
Is there anything you would want to say to him now if he’s reading this?
All I know is that if life ends like the series finale of Six Feet Under, I will see him and our two dogs the last second before I die. If there is a God, he knows, he owes me at least that. And if he’s reading this now—and since I love to steal lines from my favorite movies—”I will find you again, in a world where we are both cats.”
What about rumors you hear about yourself that aren’t true. What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard about yourself?
I think the best one I heard is that I overdosed and dropped dead on the the dance floor at the White Party. I mean, how awesome is that. But seriously, what makes people think I would be dancing? I don’t dance.
One thing that always comes up when people are talking about you here is fisting. Do you do it in your personal life, or is it just in the movies?
Yeah, I’ve been into fisting since I was 22. I saw it in a movie and didn’t believe it. I thought it was fake and that they were using a prop body or something. So every night after escorting in the city, I would buy a new bottle of poppers before catching the train back to Long Island. When I’d get home, I’d spend hours slowly forcing my own hand up my ass until I finally got it all the way up there. I mean, it was painful at first, but the pain was like releasing the stress I had from forcing myself to escort back then. It became a very personal thing to me that I’d only do by myself. I only really liked to do it with my boyfriends when I thought I deserved the abuse. It’s slowly gotten out of control though. Now, I find with depression dictating a lot of my life, it’s become a dangerous outlet for me.
Is it at the point now where it doesn’t even hurt? Can you feel anything back there anymore?
I find myself trying to dig in myself deeper and deeper just to find a new feeling. Like, wow, that doesn’t feel right. But feeling something that should be very wrong just feels extremely right. I know it sounds crazy and you might not understand, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who do.
I’m sure there’s some people who can relate.
Whatever. I put myself out of commission this past weekend. I hurt myself really bad. You’d think seeing blood pouring out of me would make me stop, but no. It only turned me on more. I saw my eyes dilate as if I just shot up drugs, and the back of my brain began to tingle. It was amazing. I’m getting chills just thinking about it.
Please be careful.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t waiting to do it again, cause I am.
I remember you saying a while ago that you started doing fisting on film to sort of “mix things up,” because you kind of have to keep people guessing these days. How are things different in gay porn today, as compared to when you first started out? Be it the studios, the models, the fans.
Well the internet is killing everything, and these kids today are seriously sluts. I don’t remember myself being such a fucking messy whore. But then again, I don’t think I spent much time sober back then. Fast forward to now and the fans, well maybe they’re not even fans, but “they” are everywhere and I can’t go anywhere without someone noticing me. I’m at the point where I just wish it would stop. Granted, I’m sure I’ll miss it when it’s gone. I’ll be pathetically starting all conversations with, “Remember me? I’m Erik Rhodes.” Hopefully I’ll get hit by a bus before that happens.
And so many models are overexposed now, or they’ll work with 700 studios in one month. What has kept you loyal to Falcon?
Falcon has been like family to me, and I’m a very loyal person. I’m not the type to abandon ship with the first ruffle in the waves. I’ve treated my relationship with them like I would a boyfriend; sure it’s not always gonna be great, but if you stay true to them, hopefully you can expect them to have your back, right? And Falcon has, so there’s no reason to end up anywhere else.
If you had to work for another studio, which one would you want to work with?
I’m comfortable with Falcon, and that takes time to do with me. I don’t look forward to forcing myself to make those relationships with other companies. I’m sure I can if I have to, but right now I just don’t want to.
Which studio would you not want to ever work with?
Come on. I’m not dumb enough to burn bridges before even building them. I guess nobody will know…for now.
OK, which performers would you never want to work with?
Diesel Washington, of course…because he’s black! And, I’m a racist fuck that hates black people. I’m KIDDING of course. I really don’t wanna work with anyone. I actually go out of my way to ask Falcon to make sure I don’t meet my scene partners before my shoot.
Because I’ll over analyze them and find something to not like. And then I’ll dread doing my scene and more than likely have a panic attack. Granted, they might be great people, I just don’t wanna know until the work is over. But most of the time, by then, I couldn’t care less to play “let’s get to know you.”
I know you have some friends though, even guys you’ve worked with. You don’t dislike everyone.
True, on a rare occasion I will like someone. My last scene partner, Colin Black, turned out to be a really great guy. And holy shit, would you believe he is BLACK? I actually try and stay in touch with Colin. Go figure.
How is everything going post-circumcision?
The whole thing was a nightmare. What a mistake. I was abusing a lot of Klonopin at the time and everything sounds like a good idea: Circumcision, a bunch of weird tattoos, a joint Grindr with my boyfriend, shooting up bath salts…I mean the list goes on and on. But yes, things are back to normal.
After a second surgery to fix the original circumcision, right?
Yeah, it only took two surgeries to do, but hey, doesn’t surgery on your cock, twice, sound like a good time? And thank you guys for only talking about my dick and how jacked up it looked the first time around.
I thought it looked fine after the first one!
I knew the shit looked messed up, but what was I supposed to do? Not work until the second surgery could be done? Fuck that. I had to wait six months for my doctor to even admit that he fucked it up and that it needed to be redone. There’s nothing like when your doctor looks you in the face and says he’s sorry for fucking up the surgery that he suggested you do in the first place. I had to restrain myself from attacking him.
And so you found a different doctor?
Of course. I couldn’t use the same doctor the second time around. Please, he had his chance. I couldn’t risk him messing it up again. I mean, what could he do after that? Cut it off completely and make me a tranny? I would make for one seriously ugly bitch. Anyway, to make it look correct the second time required them to cut open my nut sack and reposition my balls.
It finally looks alright, but it’s not the same. I wish I had never done it.
There’s either no one better or no one worse than you to give advice to a new porn star. Assuming they’re going to listen to you—and I think they should—what would you say to someone starting a career in gay porn today?
My advice would be this: Do not expect to have a career in porn. Use porn as a platform to start a successful career as a hooker. Get your face out there through the movies—which really don’t make you shit—so you can just sell your ass for top dollar on the street (unless you think you have too much pride for that and you just wanna shake your ass for singles at the bar). Either way, just be prepared to be used, for your relationships to fail, and to lead an overall miserable life. Hugs and kisses, good luck, and look me up when you’re in New York. I know a great dealer.
Sound advice. Thank you, Erik!
[Falcon Studios: Erik Rhodes]