Lexington Steele: Iron Man
Lexingtons decision is enter adult film is one that sparks hope in the eyes of all corporate slaves who cloy at the mundainity of their traditionalist career. The former broker said kaput to Wall Street in 96, landing in LA two years later. The rest is porn star history. Three AVN Best Male Performer of the Year awards (adult films most prestigious award) later, Lexington continues to prove that hes anything but your average dick, literally.
Speaking with a eloquence you wouldnt expect from a porn star, the Syracuse educated Lex says his interest in adult films stems from his entrepreneurial ambitions and not his libido. I pretty much seized an opportunity in a business where I thought I could be successful, he says. Lex has taken his own popularity and used it to expand his business to cover all areas of adult film from international transsexual flicks to reverse interracial. Yet still, Lex describes his own sex taste to be as simple as meat and potatoes.
So who is Lexington then: A back-breaking, jungle-grunting Casanova? or a soft spoken brand developer with a pension for missionary? Read below to and decide for yourself.
HipHopDX.com: How has the scene changed from 1998 to 2008?
Lexington Steele: I havent seen any demonstrative differences, but I think there have been a few business changes that have transpired in my 10 years [in the industry]. Ive seen the business change from being [focused on] women with curves to girls who look more like girls, or teens, if you will. Ive seen [the industry become more interested] in anal sex and more focused on reversed interracial, which is white male to black female. Ive seen the emerging importance of Asian performers as well as Latino performers [as well]. Internal cum shots is really a genre that has come up within the past two years.
DX: So when you think about your company, Mercenary Pictures, and you consider your marketing plan and being strategic in the industry, what do you see as being the most dominant or interesting trends for 2008?
LS: Essentially, my company has always been focused on interracial sex, primarily between black male to white female. That is a very huge part of the whole business in terms of the genre gonzo. Gonzo is pretty much just all sex; there is no plot or finishing dialog. Our purpose here at Mercenary is to put out interracial and black on black videos. In terms of any changes that my company will be making for 2008, were just focused on quality of production in terms of what we do. Last year we began producing alternative videos; producing transsexual movies out of Brazil and producing some gay titles as well. Another division of my company is called Black Viking Productions. Black Viking has a series called Youd Never Know, so If you like trannies, if you like gay sex, we have something for you. Were like a one stop shop; We are covering a lot of the different markets that are out there. I dont foresee any demonstrative changes in what people are looking for right now. If anything, in 2008, we are positioning [our brand] online. There is the notion that a lot of people are accessing their videos online as opposed to buying them in stories. We want to increase our strength in the video on demand market. Also, we want to focus on membership based websites. We want to position ourselves with the technologies that are available.
DX: How do you divide your time between the all the areas of business you are involved?
LS: I still do everything from perform to direct, so the majority of my time is spent in the executive capacity. Now Im working on getting total independent distribution. We release four titles a month, releasing every Thursday of the month. I do at the very least eight scenes a month which puts me in at least two scenes per title. Before I began Mercenary I was doing like 15-20 scenes a month.
DX: Last time I spoke to you, you discussed how lucrative the company had been. Is Mercenary still going growing?
LS: Over the past two years, it has been about branding. We want people to not only look for Lexington Steele, but its just the fact that in the next 10 years or so I'm not going to be in front of the camera. In March, it will be 10 years since I moved to L.A. Over the past two years, we have become a major player. So when I am no longer performing I want the catalog to continue to grow. First of all, I want people to know that Mercenary as a company is black-owned and black-operated and is a major label. Mercenary is about so much more than Lexington Steele.
DX: So for your 10 years, how are you going to celebrate?
LS: Im not really into celebrating benchmarks. My attitude is that if I take the time to acknowledge my accolades or the number of awards I won, my competition will have an opportunity to sneak up on me. I only focus on what is going on tomorrow or the day after than instead of focusing on yesterday or the day before. The accolades dont necessarily generate revenue.
DX: Did you always want to become an adult performer?
LS: A lot of guys fantasize about being an adult sex performer, but my fantasy was running my own corporation. It has never been my fantasy to become an adult sex performer. I pretty much seized an opportunity in a business where I thought I could be successful and that has come to fruition. My fantasy has always been to be an entrepreneur and being my own boss and running my own company and [commanding] the responsibilities that come along with that.
DX: Do you ever feel resentment from men because you were able to escape corporate mendacity and now enjoy both success as a business man and pornographer?
LS: There is a lot of appreciation for what I do as a performer. Its like the way a pro-athlete receives appreciation from a fan. As American young men we are inclined to play sports but as we get older a very small percentage become professional athletes of that sport. That being said, since everyone is having sex, there are very few individuals that people will pay money to watch them have sex. I consider myself no different from a pro-athlete. I appreciate the type of reception that I gain from my fans.
DX: I know you were on Nip/Tuck where you played Chaz Darling, a male escort. Do you have any other acting roles lined up?
LS: I was on Weeds, which is a Showtime mini series. Ive been on a number of televised talk shows and documentaries. I didnt expect or intend to get so many opportunities as Lexington Steele; I kinda thought I would be within the confines of adult film, but [theses opportunities show that] the general public knows who I am. I had a talk show on Playboy TV called Lex and the City from 2005 to 2006 and I completed a pilot for my own talk show which we are now shopping.
DX: I remember you staring Mercenary Europe, an overseas division of your company. Is that venture still in operation or development?
LS: We had a director producing out of Hungary and in the Czech Republic but I closed off that division because it became [vulnerable], and that is directly attributable to the depreciation of the US dollar and the introduction of the euro. There is just no cost benefit to producing are there.
DX: How is your fame different over seas than in America? And how are your fans different?
LS: There is a demonstrative difference between the reception here and the reception in Europe. First and foremost, in Europe, adult videos are mainstream. There isnt this stigma there with being an adult video performer [like there is here in America]. Also, in Europe you are an American first. They dont look at you as a black person or a Latina or Asian, they look at you as an American first. Now from that standpoint, in the US there is overt and covert racism which has become an institution. In Europe they dont have institutionalized racism. In the US if its a black male and a white female or a black female and a white male its interracial sex. In Europe its a boy and girl. There is no negativity regarding it being an interracial scene. In the US you have management agencies and boyfriends of [white female] talent who will direct them away from doing scenes from black men. That is based on racism. In Europe there is no concept of there being racism because the guy is black. I dont really know if the US will ever grow to that point were color isnt such an important issue.
DX: Well, I think there is some racism in Europe, although not institutionalized the way it is in America, dont you think?
LS: Well I am speaking soling about my experience as an adult performer.
DX: So what would an experience be like for you in Amsterdam? I imagine its one of your favorite countries.
LS: I had a great time in Amsterdam. Im not really an individual whod spend a lot of time in the red light district. I dont pay for sex. I get paid for having sex. My enjoyment in Amsterdam is that I am a connoisseur of fine cannabis and Ive traveled to Amsterdam for cannabis conventions a few times. They do also have a very active swinger community out there. They have really fun sex parties out there. Plus, the Dutch are good people.
DX: So where else have you traveled for cannabis conventions and the like?
LS: Well, shoot, Amsterdam is point central. Ive also attended some events in Germany. Prague and Berlin are also a lot of fun.
DX: So do you think marijuana should be legalized in America?
LS: Well, yes. I do think it should be legalized in America for the simple point that there are the therapeutic aspects of marijuana as compared to other illegal substances. If you compare marijuana consumption with alcohol consumption, one cannot definitively find a death from marijuana poisoning [but you can for alcohol poisoning]. You know, we have a problem with drunk driving but with marijuana, if anything you might get a ticket for driving under the speed limit. If it were legalized the government could make it a taxable item. I dont think the smokers of marijuana would have any problems with a tax being put on it. It would be like the same tax put on alcohol and cigarettes. I dont think it should be accessible to anyone under the age of 18.
DX: Do you believe there is a correlation between Hip Hop and the adult film industry?
LS: I dont believe that there is any true line between the two industries. Its a fallacy. I think Hip Hop is a far different animal. Hip Hop is part of American culture; sex is part of culture. A lot of people want to believe there is a connection between the two, but Hip Hop as been a part of my cultural experience for my whole life. I dont think porno videos have an impact on something as great as Hip Hop. But umm, a point to be made is that there is a mutual appreciation between adult video performers and the Hip Hop community. Its based on being performers and entertainers. Music should not be limited to those who are 18 years old and older, but what I do should be. If there is any way that a person under 18 can access what I do, then there is a problem.
DX: So who produces the songs used in pornos? Sometimes dont sound all that bad. Ive had a few stuck in my head, actually. Nothing is worse that humming a song about Justin Slayer on your way to work.
LS: You can use music as a tool to increase the reception of your video or you can not have music behind it. Say there is a black on black video, the costumer more than likely might want to hear Hip Hop or hear Hip Hop or a Hip Hop bassline underneath the sex.
DX: Do you ever feel objectified or that have become the manifestation of The Big Black Dick. Mapplethorpes collections come to mind.
LS: I dont have a problem with people addressing me solely based on my sexual performance. Its like if you interview your favorite athlete or musician, youre going to want to ask them about their body of work.
DX: Has anyone ever been confrontational with you regarding the suggestion that you promote the stereotype of the hypersexed black man?
LS: Ive definitely dealt with that. Ive decided to take on those stereotypes and redesign those stereotypes. I usually ask those people what they do for a living. I let them know that I will go down in history as one of the greatest people to do what I do and I ask them where they fall in that list of people who do their same job and usually theyre not in the top 1%. My pedigree allows me to not fall into those stereotypes. I graduated with two degrees from Syracuse University, I run my own company and I worked on Wall Street for six years. Im the most heavily awarded ethnic individual in this billion dollar industry, you know? So as an individual, its very difficult for someone to fuck with me.
DX: Since you seem to have it all together, would you consider yourself a role model?
LS: Im not a role model. Because of what I do, I dont consider myself a role model. I would rather people choose their role models from those who operate within what is morally acceptable. I dont really feel that what we do as adult performers is at the point of moral acceptability in the US.
DX: Do you feel torn between your career and general Christian doctrine which might condemn the adult film industry? Is it true that in the past interview you have suggested that you feel conflicted with God and your career?
LS: That was a totally misconstrued point that I made. People who are spiritual, like myself, we carry our spirituality inside of ourselves. I dont believe any institution has any hierarchy on my personal relationship with god. I have been blessed with physical attributes that have allowed me to provide entertainment. What I do is not illegal so I am not at odds with anything. Im not married so I am not committing adultery. If I be damned for fornication, then I am no much unlike then the billions of people who walk this earth today.
DX: What happened to your engagement to Vanessa Blue?
LS: It didnt work out. I dont have anything within me to say bad about her.
DX: So would yall still perform together?
LS: Well, I dont think she is performing now. But weve done so many scenes in the past buton a personal level, if thats what youre asking me, no. I have no interest. But I cannot say anything bad about her; I wont say anything bad about her.
DX: How does your job affect your relationships with women? Have you had relationships with women outside of the business?
LS: There are going to be some people who think that, you know, How can you be in love with someone if you are having sex with other people? and if thats what you believe, then I won't date that person. I certainly dont intend to make what Ive done or what I do. I could be out on a date with someone who doesnt know I am in the industry and then a fan comes up and whats to shake my hand and talk to me. I will be doing my date a disservice is she was under-informed or uninformed. Also, you have to be very conscientious of what you are doing physically because individuals who arent in the business may have had multiple partners [without getting tested]. It is my responsibility to be a bit more responsible than you average male because I do have unprotected sex with strangers. But on top of all of that I will say that people becoming more open and more people are intrigued by someone who is skilled at the art of sex.
DX: What have you learned about the art of sex over the past ten years and what can you share with other men?
LS: I could provide an encyclopedia on sex. The thing is not everyone can do what I do. So I encourage people to be the best that they can be. But I would not expect individual to take the information that I give them and do what I do.
DX: So what is the official length and girth of your penis?
LS: 11" by 7".
DX: Good lord! Did you recall having a growth spurt when you were a kid? And Im not referring to your jeans turning into peddle pushers.
LS: I cant identify any time when I had a growth spurt. I didnt spend a lot of time measuring my dick. More people have made an issue of my penis than I have.
DX: What is your relationship with your family?
LS: They dont have a problem with it. My father is a forward thinking man. My mothers attitude was that my health was taken care of. She was concerned about me getting someone pregnant.
DX: There is this whole darker side of porn that people think of that includes getting penile enlargement to STDs to Viagra being handed out like skittles on the set. What do you have to say about that?
LS: I dont know anyone personally [who has had enlargement surgery]. There is a lot of performance enhancing drugs in this business, but the bottom line is that either you can do this shit or you cant. Taking a drug is not going to get you a career in this industry. We have to get tested ever 30 days. Honestly, I feel more comfortable having unprotected sex with someone in my industry than with an individual not in my industry because the likelihood of a girl that is not in my industry having a full STD panel and HIV test in the past 30 days is slim to none. My first test is dated December of 1996my [latest] test is dated December 17. Before a scene the talent exchanges tests. I will also say that there are no legal mandates in the state of California that we have to have these tests. I think it should be [legalize] but its not necessary [because its standard practice in the industry].
DX: Have you ever received offers for really crazy endorsements?
LS: I dont endorse the use of chemicals to enhance sexual performance, unless you really need that. The craziest involved me going to Tokyo. They asked me to participate in a showcase were I would basically put on a Godzilla costume where my dick would be outside of the costume and it would be like, Lexington Steele is Cockzilla. There were going to pay me $5,000 for like four hours of work but there are certain things that money cant buy. That was in 2000. Since then, people who have come to know me over the years know that is not how I represent myself.