Interviews, Sex + Love Advice

Ask a Porn Star: Dale Cooper

June 10, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 12.38.59 PM

Hottie Vera Papisova gets the dish from hottie Dale Cooper about porn, blow-jobs, and HIV prevention. 

Dale Cooper is at the top of Paper magazine’s “A Guide Hipster Porn Stars” with a 9.5/10 hipster rating.  This is partly because he gets his moniker from a character in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, partly because he has a mustache, and partly because he’s ~an intellectual~. Woah, another porn star who says smart things and does other shit besides porn!? It’s like modern porn stars can be entrepreneurs who consider sex work just one way of making money! *face palm*

Three years ago, I started following Dale Cooper after reading an article he wrote for Huffington Post about gay men conforming to dominant perceptions of masculinity as a reaction to AIDS stigma, and how gay porn reflects this. His Twitter bio says “homosexual overlord,” and LOLs aside, it’s kind of true. Aside from porn, Dale Cooper (real name unknown) is a sexual health educator, a social worker for HIV/AIDS clients, and a fundraiser for sexual health causes and affordable housing. Earlier this month, he guest curated Wonderlust, a conscious sex festival, and he was a guest speaker at Lyst Summit, where he talked about sex in technology and games.

Dale and I talked techniques for lasting longer in bed, blow-jobs (obv), the worst thing about being a porn actor, and why the gay community hasn’t embraced PrEP, a daily medication that is over 90% effective in  preventing HIV transmission.

0002-dale-cooper-01

OMG so hot WTF

Vera: I want nothing more in life than to be as good at blow-jobs as any homosexual overlord. What’s your best blow-job tip?

Dale: Try asking the person who owns the penis what they like to have done to said penis. Some people like the sensation of a throaty hum, some like the balls to be played with, some enjoy manual masturbation, others prefer only mouth. Some like the sensation of a ice cube held in the mouth. If that doesn’t work, try playing with their asshole.

As a porn star, you have to be prepared for long days of filming. Do you have any advice for guys who want to last longer in bed?

I find that breath control really helps. Well, I guess I should say first that 1) there are breaks on the porn set, and 2) a lot of usage of erectile dysfunction meds. I don’t think that’s spilling any big secrets. I recommend the former–take breaks from the aggressive action and focus on some other fun sexual activities! That’s a great way to prolong the fun.

Anyway, breath control is great, as well as moderating tempo during the actual fucking. Make a joke! Laughing during sex is not only sexy but it gives everyone an orgasm of another kind. I love laughing. Sex is a very funny thing that a lot of people tend to take very seriously.

What’s the best thing about doing porn?

Snacks! I love snacks! I think I said as much already. Particularly fruit trays. And the travel. I’ve gotten to see some parts of the country and even the world because of my sex work that I never would have been able to. I’m a bit of a homebody, so having that incentive to get out (plus having it paid for) is a huge plus.

What’s the worst thing?

When there’s pressure from someone on set to move things along. As a dude in porn, my penis is not necessarily just a hydraulic organ, and nothing kills my libido faster than anyone, cast or crew, tapping their fucking foot or being impatient. It’s really terrible. Some shoots can last for a really long time, and I take it as a sign of maturity and professionalism when those involved can take that in stride and do their best to see what everyone needs to continue. I say that both as someone who has “held things up” and as someone who has been held up. I’m a chiller at heart, so that kind of energy really fucks with me.

PrEP is a daily medication proven to be more than 90% effective in preventing HIV transmission. Doctors are calling it a huge breakthrough, but when I did some research, I found that the LGBTQ community hasn’t exactly welcomed it with open arms. Why is that?

This is a doozy. Truvada is manufactured by the pharmaceutical giant Gilead, and is an antiretroviral drugs that’s actually a cocktail of two separate drugs: tenofivir and emtricitabine, which both essentially inhibit the HIV retrovirus from replicating itself. It’s the frontline treatment for people who are diagnosed as being HIV+. For some gay men (barebacking enthusiasts, sex workers, people in serodiscordant relationships, people in consent-challenged relationships)—Truvada, which has to be taken (for now at least) daily in order to keep the amount in the bloodstream at effective levels, seems to make a lot of sense, and I think people in those groups were among the first adopters of the drug. For others, it can be more of a tough call. There is some thrill in the idea of fucking without a condom for a lot of gay men, even those who wouldn’t call themselves “barebackers,” per se. Perhaps it has more to do with owning up to their desires for sex that are considered wrong, dirty or dangerous. Or thinking that Truvada is a pill for sluts and “I’m not a slut.”

There are some words of caution to be said here: Truvada works, as you mentioned above, at 90% or over effectiveness when taken routinely–that is, every day at around the same time. The reality is that not a lot of people do that for anything in their lives, and the effectiveness drops precipitously to about half that for those who take it irregularly. Essentially, some may choose not to take PrEP because you have to be a perfect pill taker to get the highest possible rate of prevention, and, while studies are mixed, who remembers to do everything all the time? (It should be noted that condoms have similar, even lower, effectiveness rates due to not being used properly.)

What I have seen is the hook up culture starting to embrace PrEP usage as a way to wheedle down potential sex partners: on hook up sites such as Manhunt and Adam4Adam, for example, “on PrEP” is an option for serostatus. There are lots of different ways to practice safer sex (talking with partners and fucking the ones you trust, condoms, getting tested regularly, having sex with just one partner who is doing the same right back, perhaps taking PrEP), so for some, PrEP is seen as another tool for practicing safer sex. For others, it’s an invitation to “bad behavior.”

For me, I don’t like the idea of taking a chemical into my body for a non-disease state (being a gay man). I like the methods of safer sex I already practice, and while they may get in the way per se, they’re not as invasive nor as expensive. There’s also the very real risk of developing Truvada-resistant strains of HIV in a big cultural petri dish, and since Truvada is the frontline drug, this is worrying. Sorry I’ll stop!

big-pic1

Lastly, could you answer this a question for you from a reader?

Hi Dale, I’m a 25 year old gay man and I just broke up from a 4 year relationship. I previously watched pornography with my ex, but I felt like it was taking up too much time in our sex life, and that I was developing self esteem-issues for not matching-up to the ‘ideal’ physique and masculinity shown in gay porn. Before my ex, I never really watched porn and used to masturbate using my own imagination. Since the breakup I have watched porn on my own twice—I got hard, ejaculated and everything was normal, but generally I’m struggling to get an erection now. Last week I had sex with this guy that really turns me on, and I feel a certain connection with him that I didn’t feel with my ex. But I kept losing my hard-on after a few minutes and felt really embarrassed and emasculated. I really want to meet up with him again, but I’m scared that the same thing will happen. What do you think the problem is, and what would you suggest I do?

While I must say that just a few sessions of porn-viewing may be a red herring in this instance, it’s clear that it’s left a mark. I should also say that there’s a lot of fantastic gay pornos out there that are not mainstream large production studio porn, and I highly recommend if you do watch porn you watch some of that. Nothing wrong with mainstream big-dick big-muscle porn! It pays my student loans (I have neither a big dick nor big muscles FYI). All I am suggesting is that if I went to a buffet and there was only beefsteak to eat, I’d get tired of beefsteak pretty quick.

So that all being said, I definitely understand the importance an erection can have for you and your partner(s) during sex. People view it as a barometer of sexual arousal, and it’s tough to get back into the swing of your libido when you feel emasculated or that you’re letting a partner down. Your biggest sex organ is your brain. I would not recommend going back to him right away. Keep his interest, but don’t commit to sex again right away. Spend some time with yourself and your sexual imagination. Imagine what turns you on about him. Imagine what you would like to do to him, and what you would like him to do to you. Take stock of your body: am I aroused by this? Am I also getting an erection? Is an erection important to my personal enjoyment of my sexual fantasizing? Would I like to do some of these things in real life? Take stock of yourself, because sex should be about mutual pleasure, however that pleasure is formulated. During your day, think of some of the sexual fantasies that worked well for you. Is it stirring things below, even in non-sexy places like the office or grocery story (depending on where you work or shop, of course).

Once you’ve squared some things in your own head, you need to try to get into his. Giving him some head may be a good start. I would try to find smart ways to tell your partner, as you told me, that you find him very sexually appealing. That may take the form of flat out saying it. Or it may take the form of focusing on parts of his body that turn you on during sex, no matter what your own penis is doing. Everyone likes being told how appealing they are to someone. You may just need to think of creative ways of doing so. If things progress, and you feel comfortable talking about your concerns, he may have some great ideas about ways to get you going, also.

I hope this helps!

Vera Papisova is a writer and sometimes standup comedian who writes for Teen Vogue, Yahoo Style and ComplexTo submit questions for her future “Ask a Porn Star” columns, leave a comment below or tweet them to @VeraPapisova or @Slutever.

Main photo by Victor Jeffries II.

Comments

Comments

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply