I really don't know what to say about a man who I find so overwhelmingly sexy that I got tongue-tied every time I tried to write this. With nearly 500 movies to his credit, and the kind of notoriety that other men could only dream of possessing, actor Jamie Gillis is, simply put, the man for whom the term "sex god" was invented. His astonishing (and, at the beginning, accidental) career in adult movies has allowed Mr. Gillis to lead a sex life that would've made Casanova green with envy.
I've read so much about Gillis in the past week (purely clinical interest of course) that now I'm thoroughly confused as to who he really is or what he's really like. I suspect that's just how he likes it. His official site, jamiegillis.com contains nothing more than an email address and recent photo. My sense was that most everyone who knows him personally seems to like him a lot. Most everyone who knows him slightly seems a little frightened of him. Most everyone -- love him or hate him, know him or not -- seems kind of shocked by him.
I guess the thing that is most shocking about Jamie Gillis to most people is, quite simply, that he does it ALL. Really. I mean *ALL*. He is perhaps the single most versatile, polymorphously perverse male adult actor. He has starred in every manner of vanilla sex movie, using his supremely beautiful and naturally, pre-ED drug, ever-hard cock to give God only knows how many bouncing starlets the rides of their lives. He has starred in SM classics, where his intense, dark, sometimes sociopathic sexual sadism is so vivid, raw, and real it makes you shiver. Watch him in some other SM movies, though, and he is groveling, craven, so degraded you are sure he could never imagine him ever saying anything but "yes, Mistress." He was as convincing -- and as hardcore -- in the gay movies he made, making people believe he had "turned gay." He really freaked people out with his enema and scat movies. He appears to enthusiastically enjoy every sexual variation known to mankind; and, seriously, I wouldn't be surprised to find out he invented some new ones. Mainly, he comes across as a smart, handsome man who was lucky enough to have the talent, ambition and sexual stamina to earn a living by having sex with infinite numbers of insanely gorgeous and sensual women.
Endlessly creative, endlessly sexual and endlessly hard, Gillis is also endlessly talented as an actor, something I think his critics often miss. More than that, he is a totally utterly sexually uninhibited professional (i.e., classically trained) actor. Jamie Gillis is nakedness personified on screen. I think Stanislavski would approve of him but his critics get lost in the details and their own political agendas: if they disapprove of the sexuality depicted, they disapprove of Gillis. Which, from my point of view, is bizarre. After all, it's Gillis' ability to throw himself fully into his roles that's made audiences believe that his porno films are autobiographical. To me, that's a form of acting genius.
There are two more reasons I am completely mad for Jamie Gillis. First, because porn may be a man's world behind the scenes, but it's all-girl on-screen. You can count on one hand the number of het male porn stars who are really famous: Jamie is one of them. Second, I love him because he is so huge a part of our BDSM history, and truly one of the men who changed the course of sexual mores in America. He was not alone in this, of course, nor was he ever a political figure. I somehow doubt he ever saw himself as a sexual activist and yet I consider him a key figure in the 20th century's sexual revolution. His movies, his complete embrace of pan/omnisexuality, his openly SM lifestyle with former girlfriend, Serena, his free spirit and his passions...the sum of his work has shaped the sexual world we all play in now.
Rather than continue gushing for the rest of my life about him, here are some of the best places to find out more about this object of my cinematic lust.
Read The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry by Legs McNeil, to find out more about the hot Gillis/Serena SM affair and the lives of the porn stars who changed American sexual attitudes.
Listen to Jamie Gillis in an Interview with Johnny Dare
Check out the interview Mr. Gillis gave to Susie Bright
Get some interesting background on his life and porn filmography on Penetrating Insights
Oh no! He retired from porn in 2007! Cindy Adams had the scoop
You can also check the Jamie Gillis listings on Wikipedia or IMDB, but I found their summaries kind of weak. How DOES one Wiki a porn legend?
Perhaps my favorite found link was this one on MovieFone, which failed to provide the details on a film Gillis starred in, titled "Whore."
To which I say...Only if his name is Jamie Gillis.
In part II, I'll run some video clips and a bunch of vintage images from Mr. Gillis' filmography.