I call this blog a Gay Spirit Diary. My goal is to integrate sex, love and faith in God, ideally through Christian same-sex marriage. I’m (slowly) writing a book about it, and here I explore some ideas — which is all a bit of buildup to telling you about my chat this afternoon with a famous Gay porn star of the ’80s and ’90s, Jim Bentley.
If sex, love and faith can be integrated, Bentley is as good a place to start as any. I have no idea of his religion; he may not have any. But he’s a nice guy, intelligent and cute. He’s retired from the biz now after a prolific 20-year career, living in the 805 and at last report raising figs. How biblical.
Any number of Christian commentators (heterosexuals all) will tell you that pornography is the root of all evil, and sometimes they’re right; sometimes it’s exploitive, maybe most of the time. But I lived through the AIDS crisis, baby, and porn kept a lot of Gay men alive. So it can’t be all bad. Self-love is always better than promiscuous, destructive sex.
If Jesus were around now and living in Southern California, no doubt he’d have a few porn stars as buddies; he always went where the need was greatest and the people were most real.
Jim Bentley, whose real name is James Bending II, is not someone I ever fantasized about. Yet he impressed me the first time I saw him; he’s smart. He gives off a good vibe. He’s someone you’d want to know outside the studio or the dirty bookstore. He’s sexually uninhibited, and that’s sometimes a sign of an integrated personality. He had wonderful grandparents who raised him, and somehow that shows onscreen.
We talked on the phone today because he’s written a book, which got a very favorable review in the Bay Area Reporter, a San Francisco Gay newspaper. I wanted to order the book, because I want to know more about that personality I’ve seen on video; what makes him a whole human being, when most porn stars are as deep as a sheet of paper?
I suspect he’s that outstanding, although you never know what you’re going to get in any porn clip. Usually it’s the product of a director who has no idea what he’s doing; thus we expect very little of the actors, much less that they actually show some pride in themselves.
Jim Bentley always brought class to his shoots. That’s why I learned his name.
Fact is, “cute” is a dime a dozen in pornland, and so are big dicks; they’re commodities, like soybeans or sorghum. But here was this boy who consistently stood out; he likes sex but there’s more to him, and you can see that onscreen.
He has a website, which is here. To buy the book you call his number, and he answers. He immediately put me at ease. He told me what to do to obtain the book, which is available by PayPal. If you don’t do PayPal (and I don’t), just write him an e-mail. He signs all his books.
I like that, and as an author I do the same thing. Every paying customer deserves a personal thanks.
The odd thing is that I’ve never particularly responded to his body. Never fantasized, “Gee, I want to boink Jim Bentley.” No doubt it would be fun, but I’ve always been more interested in the rest of the story; his background, his history, how he lives now in his young middle age.
His natural hair color is brown, but the day he went blond, he became a star. He’s the ideal smooth boy, with a slim athletic build. I guess he has a big dick, too, but I never really paid that much attention. What I noticed was how much he loves sex, and how open he was with his personality.
You don’t see that in porn; what you see is the closed personality, the fake, the whore who does whatever the director says so he gets paid and rehired, no matter how stupid the director.
Jim Bentley was different; a clip I saw today showed him in a tuxedo, slapping ass with a hunky brunet (J.T. Sloan). Bentley was “elegant,” the director said; in porn terms what does that mean?
More than a tuxedo, I’d say. It meant he was fully there, in the moment, having sex — which is what my fictional characters Jamie and Kent, who love each other, aspire to.
I’ve always been more interested in Bentley the man than Bentley the porn star. Personality outweighs dick size, buds, it’s the biggest turnon of all.
Here’s what I think about Gay marriage and morality. I have to take a breath here before I push on, so that God will guide my fingers and my thoughts.
We have, in the Song of Songs, wonderful imagery of marriage as a glorious gift of God.
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the covert of the cliff,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.
Song of Solomon 2:14
There is nothing wrong with appreciating Jim Bentley’s face — or any of the rest of him.
The big challenge is really simple, whether it is possible that two men or two women who love each other have a moral equivalence with a woman and man who love each other. Is it love that prevails, or heterosexuality?
God is love, after all, so what are we to make of Jim Bentley and his lover?
Well, you can figure out what I think; love prevails over heterosexuality, not in my terms but God’s. This is my belief.
Of course I could be wrong, but God is love, and Jamie falls for Kent, it can’t be helped. He falls head over heels for Kent.
Ought they not to be married?
My point about Jim Bentley is this, he’s someone you could fall in love with, and take home to mother, and stand up in church with, and care for as much 40 years from now as you do today.
That is the value of his open and loving personality.
His book, I’m sure, is full of sexual exploits and nude photos, but what I really want to see is the rest of him, the brain, the heart and soul. I want to know the boy who became a proud man.
I want to know how he did it, and how to replicate that for the rest of Gay men who are living unfulfilled lives.
I think we do pretty well as a people, oppressed and murdered in half the world; but spiritually, we’re still pretty hard up.
We need to know that God loves our love — even if that’s Jim Bentley, a foggy picture on a computer screen. God loves love.
I hope to get Mr. Bending’s book, to find out what makes him tick, and to show something of how a Gay boy who grew up in Fresno, the product of a broken home, still managed to come out unscathed after stardom.
Sex, love and God are all of one piece; that’s the Song of Songs, the Song of Joshua and the Song of Bentley.++