Eric Swiss is fast becoming the Yaphet Kotto of the porn world. This does not mean he is chunky, black, and the grandson of the Crown Prince of Cameroon (thus making the analogy awkward) but instead that he appears prominently in a lot of movies and is not yet a big star.
Calling Swiss articulate and thoughtful is dangerous because it is like when then-Presidential candidate Joe Biden called Barack Obama “clean”: it implies that the object of the compliment is the exception.
But the British Columbia-born Swiss, 33, states his case without resorting to anything that requires a suspension of disbelief. This includes his crush on Bree Olson.
Gram: Describe the divide between knowing you have a job that many people would like and knowing that it is sometimes not what it is cracked up to be.
Swiss: I’m amazed anyone would refer to ‘porn star’ as a job. It’s true that you occasionally encounter the most foul-smelling, tainted, and diseased snatch in the world and some of the worst attitudes ever recorded on celluloid, but at the end of the day, I’m balls deep in an 18-year-old at least once a week.
GP: How do you describe your job to friends at home, both the ones you know will be supportive of you and the ones who might also be in the room?
ES: As a general rule I tend to avoid too much conversation on the subject of porn with non industry friends. Once the topic comes up, it tends to stay the focus of attention for a long time and I tend to do a lot of Q&A.
More than anything it depends on how the week has been going. If I’ve spent the day shooting two teens in a B/G/G I tend to be much more positive about the job. If on the other hand I’ve just finished struggling my way through a MILF scene, with my eyes firmly fixed on the paycheck, I tend to be more reluctant to sing the praises of a life spent chasing tail.
When asked, Swiss says he got into the business “one inch at a time.”
GP: I deserved that answer. What about a time when you didn’t feel sure about yourself?
ES: I headed over to Europe for Venus 2008. I spent a month and a half over there banging out scenes in Berlin, Budapest, Prague, and the like. I had a scene there that challenged me to my fullest as a performer. It was for Eromaxxx, a site called “Drunk Sex Orgy” or something similar. There were 8 – 12 male performers, 20 female performers, 40 – 60 female extras, numerous video and still camera operators, lighting crew, and grips. The scene was shot in a nightclub, complete with loud music and girls throwing bottles and pouring champagne on you if they felt like it. Apparently there is a hierarchy to male talent in Europe and yours truly was at the bottom of the ladder.
After unsuccessfully trying to convince three girls to take some dick (not an easy task when you speak no Hungarian, Czech, or Slovak), I gave up on the conversational aspects and went Neanderthal, grabbing a girl by the hair and bending her over the stage, only to find out I was flying the pole at half mast. For the first time since my early days, I politely exited the scene. It took a solid couple of Woosaa minutes to get that nasty uncomfortable feeling of wanting to run from there, vomit, and hide forever to subside.
After a few more minutes of reminding myself of the many scenes I’d shot in the past and the three girl lesbian exchange that was happening on stage in the other room I had the beginnings of an erection returning and the feeling of ants under my skin subsiding. I re-entered the fray, somehow got ahold of Carla Cox, and began to lay siege. Once the fucking started I started to come back into my own. I dropped down on her and while tonguing her delicious little cunt felt my Eric Swiss return.
The rest of the scene was one of the greatest things I’ve ever shot. For the first pop shot I strung together such a string of vulgarities and abuse at such a volume of voice all four cameramen turned on me. Once that happened, the girls started to fall into line, and it became the drunk sex orgy I’d hoped for instead of the career ending moment of disaster it started as.
“It’s work,” he said at the time. “Things are slow. Am I going to turn down work when I can learn about the business from a different angle?”
Swiss told me a story of a perennially broke male performer who had recently hit him up for money.
GP: Describe the margins male (and maybe female) performers live on. Do you think occasional cashlessness is a symptom of the times or of poor financial discipline?
ES: There’s no denying the barren landscape that is porno today. The business model is changing and so are the companies playing the game. But across the board it’s dismal. Yet again today, I called a company for which I used to shoot a few times a month and was told they were on hold until March. It’s naive to sit in our little porno bubble northwest of Hollywood and cry about the passing of an age.
Everything in America is slow. The last numbers I saw for the car industry showed Hummer doing 13% of last year’s business. Would I rather be eight inches inside the latest industry newcomer once a month or desperately trying to sign some sucker on a gas guzzling shortbus?
Incoming male talent does not make much. I’ve heard there are guys shooting for $100 or $200 a scene. But they make it work. Ask them if they’re occasionally cashless after paying L.A. rent, L.A. food prices, gas prices. Some probably are and some probably do all right on it.
As for the particular guy asking for the loan, he’s perpetually broke.
GP: You do some rougher scenes.
ES: The latter part of 2008 saw that change, however. With the obscenity cases making headlines, producers and directors started reining in my scenes, cutting footage, and giving me rules. Why should I follow their rules on screen when I don’t follow them in my bedroom?
A few weeks ago I was in the shower with a girl/girl performer who asked me to show her what I thought was rough sex. She gave me some lip, so while holding her up by the hair, I knocked her knees out from under her, lowered her into a perfect kneeling position, and sprayed her in her widely surprised eyes with a blast of urine. (She was much more amenable to my suggestions after that.)
This is the type of porn I yearn to shoot. Unfortunately, not too many companies are still willing to release that type of footage. On January 18th I incorporated Swiss Media, my porn production start-up. I’m hoping that by producing my own content I can “shoot for the future” and the European market.
GP: Was there a time you were aware that it might not be the way everyone was having sex? Especially in Canada?
ES: In Junior year of high school I was nailing a girl at a party and a friend of mine walked in. He just stood there staring as I plowed away on this little fuck toy. After a while I told him to get out and he said “I can’t – I’ve never seen anyone fuck like that before.” So I threw a shoe at him, much like an Iraqi reporter at our last president.
What I consider rough sex may not be so for some people and may be the most prurient form of depravity for others. The hardcore bondage and dominance people probably look at my Thursday night fuck-a-thons as vanilla. “He doesn’t even use nipple clips or cattle prods!” On the flip side of this, the way I fuck now is considerably more menacing than five years ago and is getting progressively more so. I just sent in the application for Kink.com and hope to raise the bar.
GP: Do you have a girlfriend/partner outside of the industry? If so, what have you learned about relationships because of this?
ES: No. That’s like bringing sand to the beach. In the industry I have yet to meet a girl that holds my interest. Outside of the industry girls are incredibly difficult to deal with once they find out what you do. Relationships have their time and place, and male talent climbing the ladder is neither of these.
GP: Have you ever taken some good advice from someone in the biz with more seniority?
ES: Max Hardcore: “If you don’t own your own content, then someone else is making the money off everything you do.” As a direct result, I started my company and plan on owning some of my own content. It’s amazing that having an hour-long conversation with Max gave me more insight and direction in this industry than three combined years under the “big names” in porno.
Then there’s Ron Jeremy and his “magic number.” I’ve frequently been asked to endorse a product, or speak on the merits of the latest erectile aid. I used to do it for the practice of doing on-camera interviews. Ron Jeremy put the truth to it when he said, “Do it, but get your rate for doing it.”
GP: What about Max’s incarceration?
ES: It’s an abomination. This is 2009, not 1949. The guy’s fucking name is Max Hardcore. If you don’t want to see the pinnacle of hardcore sex, don’t order the title or click the link that takes you there. If they made a horror movie called “The Scariest Fucking Movie Ever Made” and people tried to put the producer in jail because it was too scary, people would laugh. When you turn 18 in America you get to start making your own decisions, which includes taking responsibilities for your own actions.
GP: Do you consider anything obscene?
ES: To me BBW porn is far more obscene than anything Max ever created. Let’s jail the producers of “Tons of Fun” – nobody needs to create shit like that…
GP: Are you a U.S. citizen? If not, do you have to get back to Canada now and then to recharge your work visa?
ES: Green card, valid until 2015. I’ve put off getting the citizenship due to the course of US foreign policy over the last few years. As I’ve traveled I’ve noticed the love of American travellers has been on a steady decline. I like to travel and as such would rather hold my Canadian passport for a few more years and see how America changes during these interesting times. As for going back to Canada, they don’t really like me at the border and give me an unnecessarily hard time crossing. Other than one trip to Vancouver and Whistler (ski area) last year I haven’t been back in ten years.
GP: And what brought you from Canada?
ES: A bus.
Let’s say there’s a kid from home who gets your number and calls you up, saying he wants to be a perfomer/editor/P.A. in the industry. What is your first reaction?
ES: The stock answer. (818) 709-4452 (It’s “The World Famous Bukkake Hotline”). If you can finish a bukkake, come see me again and I’ll get you a scene. Unless of course you happen to know some girls that also want to get into the business. After that comes the inevitable discussion of solving the mental game before resorting to pharmaceuticals.
GP: Are awards for adult work important to you?
ES: Awards are very important to me. This is one industry where you certainly do not get a three month evaluation. The amount of feedback that you get as a male performer is limited to “good job” or “yeah, we’ll call you when we have something else for you.” During my first year I would ask over and over how my scene had looked from behind the camera, or more specifically, how I could improve my scenes. The few scant answers I received were usually limited to “Open up more.” Awards and nominations are a way for me to self-evaluate and see that two years later, not only have I “opened up” but am producing stroke-able scenes.
GP: Who is the perfect sex partner in the business?
ES: Bree Olson, Bree Olson, and Bree Olson. Her attitude is amazing, she loves to fuck, and she looks good doing it. The first time I shot with her she looked me in the eye and asked if I liked anal. “Of course, I love anal” says I. She spits on her hand, reaches around her ass cheek, lubes my knob and slides it into her ass, never once looking away. That’s the type of girl who gets to where she is.
GP: Best thing a female performer could say to her partner before the scene starts?
ES: “Hello, my name is Bree Olson.”
The interview had taken a decidedly cheesy turn, having gone from tales of pissing on women in the shower to what amounted to a declaration of love for Bree Olson. But there it was: what fills a hole but a wedge? And what defines swiss cheese but holes? And doesn’t brie come in wedges? These two complete each other.
It was as if beginning that story with that cumbersome Yaphet Kotto reference wasn’t enough – I had to finish the whole thing by going dairy.
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Slave 01, Not the Cosbys, Texas Vibrator Massacre, We’re all Max Hardcore when we drink; Tina Tyler – only immoral for a limited time; Workingman’s Gunn
See also: Eric Swiss on MySpace