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Porn star wants you ... safe: Harvey Fierstein and gay-porn superstar Michael Lucas talk about Lucas's safe-sex campaign (hot!) and crystal meth (not!).

Harvey Fierstein has long been active in the battle against AIDS; his recent. work includes penning opeds for The New York Times and holding forums in the city to address the rise in crystal meth use and HIV infection among gay men. So when he found out that Michael Lucas, the Russian-born porn star" and producer, was publishing an open letter to gays decrying drug abuse and unsafe sex, the four-time Tony award-winner immediately contacted him and initiated a dialogue. Following is a conversation between Fierstein and Lucas at the New York City theater district restaurant Joe Allen.

Fierstein: So I never heard of you, but there's a boy in my show, Hairspray, who would come to my dressing room and make your face [imitates Lucas's trademark expression during on-screen sex] and say, "I'm going to star in a Michael Lucas film!"

Lucas: How ridiculous is that? [Laughs]

And then he plops your letter down in front of me, and I went, "Holy fucking shit, somebody's actually said it": Hello, my name is Michael Lucas, I'm a porn star, I luck more than you will ever luck in your entire life, and I have no fear of getting AIDS because I have safe sex. I don't care if you're positive or negative; I'll never ask because I don't care--we're only going to have safe sex. Better stop blaming society, better stop blaming drugs, better stop blaming the government, better stop blaming the drug companies, and let's just say it: We carry it, we give it, we go out and get it. Cut the shit. Now, what brought you to that point? Why did you feel the need to say that to the community?

Because of statistics--the statistics are horrible.

You saw the numbers going up?

Yes, absolutely. My doctor is one of the leading specialists in HIV/AIDS in New York, and he told me many times it's on the rise. At least four or five friends of mine became HIV-positive in the past 1 1/2 years, and I don't think anyone should get AIDS these days. Ifs ridiculous. We know everything about it, we know how it can be transmitted, we know exactly how not to get it--it's quite a difficult virus to actually get.

Can you understand that when you make a statement like "This is a simple disease not to get; it is hard to get this disease," why the person who just seroconverted might say to you, "Why are you blaming me? I didn't go out to get myself sick. Why are you demonizing me?"

Nobody said that. Sex is a very powerful thing. Hunger is probably the only thing more powerful than sex.

I would know nothing about that [laughs].

Sexual desire is incredibly strong, and people lose their heads. It's very important not to, and to be in control. Just put a condom on. This is why I never ask anybody, "Are you positive or are you negative?" It ruins the moment, it's not important, it doesn't matter, it interferes with the privacy of another person, and then it gives you totally nothing, absolutely zero.

But this has been our message for 22 years! For 22 years we've had the same message--why do you think [yours] is different?

My message isn't different; it's just coming from a different person who's actually lived a very, very sexually active life. I bad sex five times a day, lots of sex, for years and years, and I didn't get AIDS. It's not a stroke of hick--the only mason I didn't get it is because I use protection. That's all.

So here you are; you've given your message out. But you're a porno film producer, you're hiring models, and [you say] "I don't want you if you've ever done a bareback film" and "You can't work for me if you've done drugs in the last 24 hours." Why don't you want to work on the set with somebody who's on drugs or hungover?

Because if someone's on drugs, it's a load of trouble for me. I've worked with people on drugs, and it's always terrible, it's never good.

Tell us, tell us, tell us!

These people are never hard. I heard stories that some people can only get hard on drugs--I never saw that. And of course, they look terrible, they're exhausted, they're aggressive.

Say it nice and clear: Crystal is not sexy!

I'm not even talking about only crystal, I'm talking about any kind of drug. It never was attractive, it never was sexy, it never was interesting for me.

Now, you said you don't care if you're HIV-positive or HIV-negative, not if you're going to have safe sex anyway. Why, then, would you care if they've done a bareback film before?

Because this is the only way for me and for the industry, for people who care, to destroy those companies---because the majority of companies [are] about safe sex. So before doing bareback movies those guys will think twice--they will know that once they do it, they will not be able to work for companies like Lucas Entertainment.

OK, tell me what you want out of life.

What I want out of life? I think I'm doing just fine. I want to expand my company--I still want to be the number 1 player on the East Coast in the adult field, as I am now--and I [want to keep] speaking on the subject of safe sex and drug-free healthy lives.

So maybe a book?

A book, no. I'm 32 years old; I can't write a book right now.

There are self-help books written by the Olsen twins! Why not Michael Lucas's Guide to Hot Sex?

That is very ambitious. [Laughs] Michael Lucas's Guide. My guide is my movies. It's so simple. You buy the video, and that is a guide. You asked me once, "Why don't you write, before the video starts, the message USE A CONDOM?" Because when you turn on the video you see the guys put on the condoms.

A picture's worth a thousand words.

Exactly.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:activism
Author:Kennedy, Sean
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Interview
Date:Aug 17, 2004
Words:1014
Previous Article:Reaching out to the down low: a look inside the clubs where men have secret gay sex reveals why many can't be convinced to play safe.
Next Article:Keep the bathhouses, lose the shame: the problems of increasing HIV infection and rampant crystal use among gay men are intertwined, argues PATRICK...
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