RIP: Gay Porn Legend And BDSM Trailblazer Daddy Zeus

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The Sword can confirm that Mikal Bales, better known as Daddy Zeus (seen left with Tony Buff), has died. Cause of death has yet to be reported.

Bales had enormous success as a director, performer, mentor, and producer, and his overall impact on the gay porn industry can’t be overstated. Below, Raging Stallion founder Chris Ward shares his thoughts on the passing of a legend:

“Daddy Zeus was the founder of the legendary Zeus Studios, and he was a pioneer who helped make the modern gay porn industry possible. After retiring from the business, he moved to Palm Springs for the final decade of his life.

Daddy Zeus was a huge force in the gay porn scene for two decades, and was the driving force that brought hardcore S/M into the mainstream of gay culture. The typical Zeus movie from the 1990′s showcased hugely muscled, masculine men being tied up and tortured with gusto. Zeus was the forerunner to the kink films we see today. DZ (as he liked to be called) was an industry leader, and he himself made great personal  sacrifice for the cause of gay erotica.

Just as Daddy Zeus was ruthless when torturing his boys, he also had a huge heart. When JD Slater and I founded Raging Stallion Studios, DZ   was the first industry power player who stepped up to help us get started. He offered hours of advice and was clearly thrilled to be helping the next generation learn the ropes. We went on to co-produce many films together, and working with DZ as a director was a learning experience that I will always cherish.”

-Chris Ward

 

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5 Responses to “RIP: Gay Porn Legend And BDSM Trailblazer Daddy Zeus”

  1. TWEWY says:

    Poor guy.
    Not in a mean way, but how a lot of people die was probably a heart attack.

  2. Tony Buff says:

    My first feature in the industry was with Derek DaSilva for Daddy Zeus, producing and directing a little more than five years ago. He was a legend and inspiration to fetish and Sm players around the world who became a dear friend and trusted mentor. I will miss DZ’s humor, passion and guidance as I fondly remember the times we spent together. As I sat down this morning to finish the my current edit and saw the familiar Zeus Studios’ St Andrew’s cross on my screen, I broke down and cried. I don’t think it will be the last time.

    ~ Buff

  3. Daddy Zeus always insisted call him Dad. His nicknames for me were things like “6 pack” and “pecs” – compliments I never felt I lived up to except when he said them. He built me up with kind words and made me feel good about myself and my love of masochism. He loved all his boys and lucky for us, his zeal for BDSM found its way onto video at a time when that was still rare. His videos were the first BDSM porn I saw as a young man and set a standard for all of us in the genre. It was an amazing honor to later work with him and get to know him and love him. The circumstances of his passing leave me doubly sad, but I know he is at peace now, even if it leaves the world with a lot less love and joy.

    Rest in Peace, Dad and thank you for all you did for us little lost kinky boys.

  4. Robert Kalin says:

    Mikal was one of my closest friends for the past 25 years. He and I shared the most wicked sense of humor. We would giggle for hours about everything. He loved his eye-candy and “tits” on the hottest boys. We had an amazing journey. A day won’t go by where he won’t be on my shoulder whispering in my ear…..Heavy sigh.

  5. Alan Carvalho says:

    I met DZ by chance, on the Recon website, just two years ago. His famous name was familiar to me, so I send him a friendly email. He was easy to chat with, and met us in person within a few days of our chat online! We had a common interest, gay erotica, and my personal passion to have him share his legacy of Zeus Studios on video, to interview him. He met me and one of my partners at Koffee in Palm Springs. As we listened to each story, I couldn’t help imagining having him share these same stories he shared with us on video!
    He was politely resistant, modest in a way, but I kept pushing. We hit it off instantly, his passion to chat for hours about his history in gay erotic films and my passion to video him at his finest, it never unfolded. I pushed him to get it started, and he kept telling me that he was close friends with other producers that he would be happy to introduce me to! He insisted that they would be more fitting for my project. He would say to me, “Alan, who would really want to watch a film about an old producer of erotic films?” I said, “What? Are you KIDDING ME? Every gay man I know would love to hear your stories, but from you!” I respectfully put it aside, hoping that when I finally moved here to Palm Springs, I’d have more time to chat further about our project together! I thought that as we got to know each other, he’d warm up to the idea for this gay erotic documentary; I wanted him to be the star of my video, and with his help we’d interview others in the industry that made such an impact on gay erotica!
    I was shocked and saddened to find out that DZ died in November of 2011. I am just NOW finding this out! I moved here 3 weeks ago, and hadn’t had a chance to call him to have lunch or dinner at our favorite Chinese Buffet off 111 in Rancho Mirage! Damn it, I am reminded now that if any of us have a desire to say hello to a friend, to meet for a casual meal, do not put it off. None of us know how long or little time we have on this earth, so my dearest DZ, forgive me for waiting too long to say hello again! I wasn’t even back in Palm Springs to say GOODBYE!
    You will be missed, and although my time with you was too short, I will forever treasure your friendship, your laughter, your personality, that sweet flirtatious horny twinkle in your eyes, it never stopped! Thanks for introducing us to a great group of guys who ended up using our home and surroundings (while in construction) here in the hills of the Cathedral City cove!
    Titan shot a few photo shoots here, and a film that I’m proud to own! YOU, Mr. DZ, you made that happen! No one delighted in good erotica as much as you did! And you were ballsy enough to continue being filmed in recent BoundGods and Bound in Public films! Your legacy lives ON in those videos! Rest in everlasting peace! You will always be loved!

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