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Life after gay porn: Ex-Titan, Alpha Male star Mike Dreyden on the hunt for Mr Right on Dekkoo's Love Is Blind

'BTW, I saw one of your movies...' Cute New Yorker talks acting, dating and streaming service's new show

Life after gay porn: Ex-Titan, Alpha Male star Mike Dreyden on the hunt for Mr Right on Dekkoo's Love Is Blind
Instagram/MikeDreyden
Mike is a contestant on new dating show Love Is Blind

Sponsored: He quit adult entertainment in 2011, after blockbusters for Titan, Alpha Male and Lucas Entertainment.

But Mike Dreyden says he still receives fanmail from around the world. What’s more, his porn past often comes up on dates – including his rendezvous with another Mike on Dekkoo’s new dating show Love Is Blind.

The program from the streaming service for gay men launches today; Valentine’s Day, 14 February. (The site is full of content for curated for gay men, such as Armand Petris’s short film Undetectable.)

You can watch the hilarious trailer for Love Is Blind above.

But Mike’s certainly not going to let his past prevent from meeting the perfect guy – despite the occasional stumbling block.

Morning Rituals… #focus #naked #schedules #dust #mikedreyden #mikedreydenmedia

A photo posted by Mike Dreyden (@mikiedreidel) on

‘I’ll meet someone I didn’t think knew about it,’ laughs the 48-year-old actor.

‘I’ll think: “We’re having a genuine moment – he seems like a cool guy.” But then, having dinner, he’ll say: “By the way, I saw one of your movies…” You’re like: “Oh. I see where this is going…”‘

me and my lil bro @rica_shay at da beach!

A photo posted by Mike Dreyden (@mikiedreidel) on

Here, Mike talks artistic ambitions, porn industry myths and also his near-naked yoga session with his strapping Italian date on Love Is Blind

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How did you end up on Love is Blind?

I think an email I got from a friend of a friend, saying ‘there’s this new reality show you might be interested in!’ I sent some photos and a bio over. A couple of weeks later I heard from them. ‘Hey, we think you’d be great for this!’ We shot it days later!

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What happened after the cameras stopped rolling?

Did we ride off into the sunset, holding hands?! No, actually, we lost touch. I tried, but our schedules just didn’t match up.

Did you go home together that night?

No, we did not!

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That’s a shame – you clearly got on!

It was a fun exchange. There were moments when I was literally messing around with him to see where has brain was at. A lot of it went over his head, I think! I was taken aback by some of his answers.

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We’re roughly the same age, but I don’t think he was as connected to the world as I am. I’m not a news junkie. I don’t let that overwhelm me. But I try to stay informed.

It’s such a shame nothing came of it!

I was a little disappointed in the beginning. He seemed fun and we had a lot in common, but we just couldn’t reconnect.

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Are you seeing anyone at the moment?

No, I’m very much single. I don’t have time really, as much as I’d like to have someone involved.

Have you seen any of the other guys who took part in Love Is Blind [below]? There are some interesting date ideas…

I saw some clips in a trailer. They look interesting… I saw the couple who did the AntiGravity yoga class. That didn’t look like it was going so well!

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You had the traditional yoga class…

Yes – as a matter of fact, I still have the mat from that day!

You didn’t come home completely empty-handed then!

No, I didn’t. [Laughs]

Love Is Blind about dating. Does your porn work impact on your romantic life?

Back in my porn life I didn’t date much. People pursued me for sex. Either they wanted to work with me, or it was: ‘You’re a porn star, let’s go have sex.’

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People assume because you’ve done porn, you have sex all the time. That’s not the case; not for me anyway! Now there’s distance since my last film, the guy’s I’ve been meeting lately won’t know about it. If I think it’s going to go somewhere I might bring it up, because I don’t want them to be blind-sighted by it. I’m not ashamed of it.

I had that conversation once after a month of seeing someone and he was very curious. He said ‘Are you serious?!’ He watched some of it and was like: ‘That lighting they used is horrible!’

Tell us more about the years leading up to your appearance on Love Is Blind

When I did it, I was a couple years back after living in LA, figuring things out. I come from a theater and film background, but I ended getting into nightlife and porn on a lark. I didn’t think it would go anywhere, but I sort of made a name for myself, riding that wave to see where it would take me.

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The there was then a time I was done with it, ready for a different path. I wanted to pursue my acting career. I’d lost sight of that. I came back to New York with a plan, and hit the ground running. I finished my theater degree, did some off-Broadway stuff, some independent films and went from there.

And I wanted to meet somebody. I thought ‘This is a unique opportunity, different to Grindr or Scruff. Maybe I could meet someone outside of just getting laid.’

whatcha think?

A photo posted by Mike Dreyden (@mikiedreidel) on

How long did your career in porn last?

Five. I did my first film in 2007 and last in 2011.

Also, how would you define a porn star?

It depends who you ask. [Bosses] would label a ‘star’ by the amount of films they’ve done. My point of view is that’s over-saturation. Once I saw things were happening for me, I wanted to do stuff with studios I admired, their aesthetic. Also, I had friends working for them. I did one major project with every major studio.

#MikeDreyden as #LeoOcean #mikedreydenmedia #lastcallwebseries @lastcallwebseriesnyc @brooklynwebfest #October7th&8th

A photo posted by Mike Dreyden (@mikiedreidel) on

I did a Titan film, a Raging Stallion film, a Lucas Entertainment film, maybe two. Smoking Hunks, because I smoked at the time. I did Alpha Male in London, which was fun! I also went to the HusltaBall there. That film was called Out With The Pornstars, it’s one of my favorites.

We shot in this bar underneath an elevated railway, a really funky space. My career over those years, I wanted it to be something I was proud of going forward – not trashy.

What are the most common misconception about porn?

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is: ‘Is everyone always high?’ That’s not true. And people don’t realize a porn set is like a standard film set. It’s the same work involved, except there’s a lot of sex!

There are craft services, a runner, someone to do your hair, make up. Sometimes the food isn’t as healthy as you’d want – when you work up an appetite like that, you need protein, energy, good quality food!

Also, in gay porn, it’s a tight-knit community. Overall, the actors take care and look out for each other. Everyone knows each other.

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It sounds like you gave it up because you wanted to refocus, and not because of some major negative experience…

It was not that. I was getting tired of the grind. I did want to create my own porn line at one point, but it wasn’t exciting me the way I thought it would.

What was the highlight?

The traveling I got to do for free. I went to San Francisco, LA and Chicago many times, and even London. A lot of great fun, and I met a lot of great people along the way.

What happened after your break in LA?

I did two independent films with Todd Verow; an indie film called Open which just premiered. Then I met Michael Vaccaro who has his web series, Child of the 70s. I ended up in some episodes of that. I read an article about people who create their opportunities, like their own web content.

The lightning bolt hit me. I’m sitting on seven years’ experience from leaving corporate America – I did real estate for 10 years – getting into gay nightlife, go go dancing to bartending, getting into adult entertainment and becoming a porn actor. Nobody can tell my story better than me. I began madly writing. Three years later I have the first two episodes of my show on YouTube with more in the summer. It’s called Last Call. All this came from one day saying ‘Fuck it, I’m going to try porn.’

A photo posted by Mike Dreyden (@mikiedreidel) on

Also, it’s important to point out that people can enter and exit porn without being damaged…

Some do it for the money, the glitz and glam. But there are a lot who use it to propel them forward. Boomer Banks for instance. An incredible designer. He was go go dancing. He knew that I did porn. When I was bartending this party we started talking and I told him ‘This is a business. They will chew you up and spit you out if you don’t have your head on straight. It’s not the be-all-and-end-all. It doesn’t matter how pretty you are – that’s fleeting.’

Dirk Caber is a dear friend of mine, and also an ex-boyfriend. He got into porn following my lead and now look at him. He and also his husband Jesse Jackman are two of the biggest porn stars. Jesse is an engineer, Dirk is a classically-trained musician! There are so many similar stories.

Of course, there are lots of three dimensional stars…

Yeah, people don’t realize. They think that’s all we are. That’s how they view and pigeon-hole us for their own fantasises. Then when you meet and have an exchange they say: ‘Oh wow, you’re such a nice guy!’ Or ‘you’re smarter than I thought you were!’ They think ‘This is an actual human being, just one who has sex and lets me watch!’

Dekkoo.com (pronounced ‘DECK-koo) is the premiere subscription-based streaming service dedicated to gay men. It provides the largest streaming collection of gay-centric entertainment available boasting a larger selection than Netflix or Amazon Video. Dekkoo is available via iTunes, Google Play, AppleTV and Roku and now also via the new Amazon Dekkoo Channel. For more information about Love Is Blind, click hereFor more information about Undetectable, click here.

 


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