LGBT

Meet Norm. He’s just starred in his first porn film.

He’s 83.

Blessings of the Elder. Image courtesy of Himeros.tv

Himeros.tv is the gay porn studio from YouTube star Davey Wavey.

Their latest production is Blessing of the Elder.

Directed by Daniel Cardone, the film features Blake Mitchell, Joey Mills, and Norm Self.

Blake and Joey are cute young twink boys. Norm Self is 83 years old and is making his porn debut.

I spoke with Norm for a behind-the-scenes look at the film.

What was your initial reaction when Davey asked if you’d like to be featured in a film for Himeros.TV?

A flurry of reactions. Incredulous. ‘Who? Me? — acting in an erotic film?’

Then I began wondering, who would see it, what it might do to my relationships — especially church friends who would never think of me in this kind of role.

Ultimately I decided it was an amazing way to spread the good news that Divinity Itself wants all of us to honour and enjoy all of our treasured, sacred, embodied being.

Had you ever considered appearing in porn or erotic films before?

No. I have a very dear friend who is a seasoned porn star, and I once stood on the sidelines while a porn film was being shot. I remember some good conversations with the models — mostly about the techniques of the performance. But I didn’t think of myself as going in front of the camera.

Sex and sexuality seems to be something that you’re very connected with, and you’re sharing that through your sacred intimacy and embodied spiritual guidance sessions. When did you start on that journey?

Subliminally, when I was a five-year-old, pouring some of the buttermilk from my puppy’s bowl onto my dick in the hopes of getting him to lick it off, or watching my older brother and his cohorts with their neat, wavy pompadours and nothing else on, cavorting nude in a country swimming hole, or voyeuristically watching them from my hiding place while they jacked-off in the barn.

In my teens I began to get some validation for my intrinsic spiritual core, from the church. They gave me some sound nurture and support for basic morality, justice, and above all, Spirit. But they mostly overlooked sexuality, the erotic part, and when they did get around to sex it was mostly a reinforcement of the puritanical, moralistic mores of the society.

Even in my rather liberal seminary, talk of sexuality and eros was treated in arid, theoretical, and disembodied terms. I kept longing for deeper, juicier connections between my body’s lust for intimate erotic connection and the Spirit that underwrites it all.

I was in campus ministry during the 60s. Along with the numerous liberation movements into which I put much of my own energy, and encouraged others to do the same, I encountered the ‘human potential movement.’ In the realm of personal growth, that movement did for psychology — at least the human development part — what I had always wished the church would do for its seekers.

Near the end of my career, I found the Body Electric School, with its emphasis on ‘full body orgasm.’ Here was an out-in-the-open opportunity to be in a room full of naked men, giving and receiving erotic massage — including genitals — but not for ‘getting off’ but rather experiencing the whole body as a temple meant for pleasure, and the genitals as generators and activators of that pleasure.

When you work with someone for a one-on-one session of sacred intimacy, what does that involved?

I’ve worked with hundreds of men and no two sessions have been alike. In general, I cast myself as a participant–observer. Standing at exquisite attention to my partner for the duration of the session, while he does his spiritual and erotic quest, and offering coaching and other resources — including my own body — to assist him in finding what will enrich his erotic adventure.

But it’s very subtle. One of the greatest obstacles to spiritual and erotic progress is that most people don’t know what they really want, and such inklings as they do have are often hidden below their conscious mind in layers of guilt and shame imposed by societal conditioning. So, we sometimes have to tease some of that out to find a starting point. That involves creating a safe space to open into ‘forbidden’ territory. It might include my testing some ‘outrageous’ ideas for him to respond to, and getting affirmation that it’s OK to ‘go there.’

When we do land upon some rich ‘pay dirt,’ then we often go into fantasy. For example, I might ask: “Do you watch porn? When you see porn, or have a fantasy of what turns you on, what kind of a scene would be a ‘turn-on?’ Would you like to set that up and try it out?” If the response is ‘yes’ then we will do that. Or, I might ask: “In your sex play, what are some things you fantasise about that you are reluctant to ask for from your partner?”

It’s my intention to ‘meet him where he is’ as the most responsive and sensitive partner I can be for the time we are together. Does that mean having sex? It does, if what he has been repressing has him blocked, and if experimenting by trying something out with me will help release him.

I will often invite him to translate the learning from the day’s session into his regular life, and imagine some ways he can apply this learning to his ongoing life journey. Even then, we may inquire what might block him from actually doing the experiments, and brainstorm remedies for the blockages.

You were in the navy during the Korean war — apart from the horror of war, was life in the navy anything like the Tom of Finland fantasy that we sometimes imagine it to be?

Well, not for me. I had a lot of fantasies going on with respect to shipmates, and carried around many a hard-on, but I was at that time closeted even from myself. I would have been horrified at the possibility of being caught or being ‘outed.’

I have heard many stories from men who have been in the Navy, about their surreptitious sexual exploits, and I’m sure they do happen — but I wouldn’t advise enlisting in hopes of an exciting erotic life with shipmates.

At what age did you start to publicly identify as a gay man?

It’s hard to give a precise answer. Of all my acquaintances I was the last to know or acknowledge that I was gay. I repressed that part of my being so deeply that it never became a question in my public life. But I was always supportive of gay men and gay issues in the public arena. In the latter years of my active clergy ministry, I facilitated a group of young gay men at San Diego State University who were struggling with their sexual issues. We used as a resource Mark Thompson’s book Gay Spirit. After a couple of years, I began to see myself much more clearly on this part of my being and to say ‘That’s me!’

My ‘formal’ coming out was when I actually fell so in love with a wonderful gay man, and he seemed to be so passionate about me, that we were talking of ‘marriage’ — or taking the ‘significant other’ designator that was assigned to gay life-partners at that time. I gave a reception to introduce him to my intimate community, including my church supervisor and my family, as my new life partner. I was 64 at the time. We ended the prospect of marrying soon after, but I was ‘out’ and I was happy.

What was the experience like of filming Blessings of the Elder?

Very few projects have given me such personal pleasure. The bucolic rural setting, the wonderful, competent crew, the exquisite subject matter, and the sumptuous joy in doing what I was there to do, and the hope that it would bring pleasure and empowerment to many others — what could be more beatific?

What sort of reactions have you had so far from people who have watched the film?

Not many of my intimate community have seen it yet, but their responses to me have been gratifying and congratulatory. I am encouraged and fulfilled knowing that others are open to new levels of joy and pleasure in their erotic, sexual, and spiritual lives.

Are you interested in appearing in more erotic films?

Yes! Not only is it a delightful activity in itself, but supporting projects that are working for the sake of human fulfilment — that is my fondest aspiration.

What do you hope that people feel when watching you in Blessings of the Elder?

Cherished, hopeful, inspired, and empowered.

I want people to see themselves on screen and realise that they are intended by Divinity Itself to experience the full-bodied pleasure that is being portrayed.

Blessings of the Elder. Image courtesy of Himeros.tv

Read more from Gareth Johnson




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