December 19, 2014 | Posted in gay by
Blessed with what can only accurately be described as a monster cock, Rocco Steele has taken the gay porn world by storm this year. Anyone who thought he was a flavor of the month or a one-trick pony was quickly proven wrong when Rocco turned out to not only have great equipment, but the know-how to use it. Now, that's all well and good, and anyone with a big cock and some talent could certainly make it a few months in the industry, but Rocco's down to earth demeanor, as well as the fact that he came into the industry after battling off the demons of his youth, have given him an endearing backstory that makes him an instant favorite of almost everyone who watches one of his scenes.
I recently chatted with Rocco about how rewarding he finds porn over the corporate world, whether or not he stays in touch with anyone from his old careers, and what it is that sets him apart from everyone else out there.
Vincent Thrice: You have a narrative that is quite different from a lot of men in the industry in that you came in with a wealth of life experience and working a job in corporate America and the whole lot. Knowing what you know now, do you think you would have survived in the industry had you gotten into it in your late teens or early 20s?
Rocco Steele: No way. In my 20's I was in the throes of my alcoholism and drug addiction. I would not have been able to approach this with the integrity that I am able to do now. For example, back then, I was so self-entitled - felt the world owed me everything. I was also very self-absorbed and would not have been able to be concerned about the goals and objectives of others….whether it be studios or models or whatever. I would have destroyed every professional relationship and burned every bridge and of course, blamed everybody else for it (laughs). Things are obviously so much different now.
In addition to now being in recovery for many years and having learned better coping skills and learned so much about myself and others, I have a lifetime of work experience in a corporate setting. This taught me discipline and professionalism. So, I bring this with me on shoots, appearances, etc..and it's nice to walk away knowing that even in an adult entertainment setting, I can still be gracious and dignified….and know that people want to work with me again.
VT: Fantastic. It's also nice that you have that self-awareness to realize that this is not something you could have sustained when you were younger. At the same time, you did take a somewhat conventional road into the adult industry, starting as an escort and then working your way into modeling and shooting. Do you see that as a road to longevity within the industry, or do you think that you could have bypassed all that and been better off without those particular experiences?
RS: For me, it was all a journey that unfolded as it was meant to unfold. I really think that was how it was supposed to be for me. And when you think about the progression…having the corporate job for many years, approaching mid-40s and wanting something different for my life, and then leaving my corporate job to start my own business (not related to adult entertainment)…it was logical to me that I would start escorting to make ends meet and to basically keep a roof over my head while I developed my new business.
Then the requests came from studios as they saw my escorting ads. Thats exactly how it happened. For me it seems very linear and makes sense so I don't see it happening the other way. In fact, when I left my corporate job, the last thing on my mind was doing porn. I had to get there. I had to wrap my head around it and being out there escorting and talking to other guys already doing porn helped me do that.
VT: You had the benefit, if you want to call it that, of coming out when you were in your mid-20s, but it was still the 80s, a time when being out wasn’t exactly an easy thing to do. Do you find that your decision not to come out had more to do with societal pressure or your own self-denial?
RS: Well I came out in stages. I came out to my closest friends while in college but yes, due to societal pressure and the fact that I was the president of my fraternity kept me from coming out until immediately after college. I would say I was out in terms of lifestyle by 23 and out 100% (to my family) at 25. When I first started college, there was definitely confusion and denial. I had the feelings in the locker room and in the showers but I also had a strict Italian father who wanted me to bring a girl home and get married. But as soon as I had broken the chains of college and my very straight fraternity, I met a guy and we were together and I knew who I was at that point.
My friends and surprisingly, my family embraced my being gay from the start so I was fortunate that I was able to continue to be who I was from that point on , without hiding anything. It was the 80s and I consider myself one of the fortunate ones to be able to come out even in my 20s.
VT: Awesome, I'm just always curious about people's stories, and you have a pretty great one.
RS: Thanks, I’ve done a lot (Laughs)
VT: That’s an understatement (Laughs). You mentioned in your interview with The Sword that you grew tired of the fashion and beauty world because you felt that you were paying your dues and not getting recognition for doing so. Do you find that the work you’ve done in the industry over the past seven months has paid off with more measurable rewards than your 14 years in the fashion industry?
RS: This is the subject of therapy every week and I talk about my porn career and the successes around it and I get really happy and my therapist encourages me to embrace the success. It’s hard for me because I’m still this good catholic boy and I still carry with me all that bullshit and yes, that catholic shame. I mean I was an altar boy for crissakes (laughs).
Anyway I digress…my point is…I AM so grateful for what is happening right now. And yes, ironically, I am seeing measurable rewards for having worked my dick off for the last 7 months. That’s who I am…I am a worker bee…and very type A about my work product, whether it be porn or fashion. But I would apply this same level of commitment in my past life in fashion but with no payoff. I couldn't freaking understand it. So what the last 7 months has done for me is reaffirmed that I am a committed professional and rewards come as a result. I was really having so much self-doubt about myself by the time I left corporate America.
My internal struggle of course is - should a good (ex) catholic boy be so proud of his success in porn…and I'm finally able to say "fuck yeah!" The universe hands you opportunities throughout our lives…and we can choose to grab them or let them pass us by. As unconventional as this opportunity may be to some, I have realized that it's a good one and i need to go with it. So I embrace it and and strangely I am the happiest now than I have ever been. I think it's because Im finally doing shit "balls out" and on my own terms.
VT: Out of curiosity, do you stay in touch with anyone from any of the various industries you worked in prior to joining the adult world? In other words, are there any people from your past that know what you do now and are supportive of your decision or possibly even happy that you actually made it out of those worlds and into a more edifying career?
RS: Actually yes. I was just invited to a Holiday party thrown by my former boss. He found out about me because he was in Ptown last summer and one of my videos popped up on the screen at a bar. He took a pic of it and texted it to me and we had a good laugh. Anyway, we are very open about it and it's really nice to have friends outside of the industry who you can talk to and support you. I also have a few close friends I know from recovery who know everything and are very supportive as well.
VT: That's really great to hear. I was curious because I worked retail for 12 years before this and the people I stay in touch with are supportive, but that's not always the case.
RS: No, not always. I definitely run into people on the street who know what I’m doing and you can just tell there is a level of discomfort…and that’s not fun.
VT: No, not at all, but honestly, I think you’re having the last laugh.
RS: I think so too.
VT: Do you also have any advice for anyone struggling in the corporate world or working a job that they hate as far as never giving up hope that they can make it out someday? Anything from your life in particular that feels like a really valuable realization in those terms?
RS: For many years I felt like a square peg in a round hole. It’s the best way to describe. I paid the dues and sacrificed so much to succeed in that world. Now I’ve been in it since I was 19…but corporate fashion/beauty career was the last 14 years…and I can say for most of that time I felt like I didn't belong. I wouldn’t tell anybody to drop everything and go into porn that’s for sure. But I would advise to allow yourself to start exploring what your true loves are in life….and try to make a living around that. For example, do you like photography or cooking or animals? I think our society is more forgiving/more embracing of individuals who pursue new careers to be true to themselves. So look into being the photographer or the caterer or the dog walker. I truly believe a person is happiest when they are being true to themselves. Is porn my life's work? No absolutely not… but as I said, it’s on my terms now and I feel so liberated.
VT: Any teases you can give us for your upcoming scene with Dolf Dietrich? We just posted the behind the scenes photos, and it looks pretty hot.
RS: Well let’s say we are fully clothed in our suits and suspenders etc…and then we are not…so it's going to be very sexy as you watch us rip each other’s clothes off. That’s all I can say. I love that I am doing more daddy on daddy stuff. My fans have been hinting that they've seen enough twinks (Both laugh).
VT: Yeah, I think it's great as well... So what do you think is the hottest scene that you’ve done, or maybe a top three if you can’t pick just one?
RS: I will always go back to Guard Patrol, my Raging Stallion scene with David Benjamin, Brian Bonds, and Mitch Vaughn. In my real life, I love a nasty group scene and that's what this is. It's so fucking hot. I just look at the stills and I get hard.
VT: Great choice, that was a phenomenal scene.
RS: We all had great chemistry with each other and Bruno Bond directed it…and he is amazing and sweet and knew how to capture this chemistry on camera. It really worked and fans seem to be going crazy over it.
VT: I find that most of the performers I speak with have a real sense of how good a scene is going to be while they're shooting it, and they're almost always right.
RS: Yes, we definitely knew. Even in between takes, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. And in contrast, I have had scenes where there is nothing between me and the other model. The challenge is obviously how do you make it convincing enough to the viewer that there are fireworks when there isn't.
VT: Well, as a testament to how good you are, I never would have known. Staying on that same theme, is there anyone you haven’t worked with yet that you’re dying to work with?
RS: My followers really want Dirk Caber and I to do a scene together…and I am totally into it. I love Dirk. He's a good industry friend of mine and I have a lot of respect for him. I also think he's sexy as fuck and I think we would have a crazy sick scene together. But as you know I do both condom and BB and Dirk only does condom…so we need a condom studio to shoot us.
VT: Yeah, I was just about to say that, the logistics are probably the only thing standing in the way.
RS: Yeah, but I think it’s such a great match-up. Two daddies… grrrrrrrr (Both laugh)
VT: Totally! My last question is just if there’s anything else you’d like your fans to know or perhaps anyone that’s discovering you for the first time?
RS: Because I wear my heart on my sleeve for every interview I've done, I pretty much have told everything there is to tell. I do want fans/followers to know that they are the unexpected treat on this journey. When I set out to do porn, I didnt know I would have the daily support of followers on Twitter, for example. It's been such a joy and pleasure getting to know them day in and day out. We have a lot of fun. They let me know what they like and what they don't like and what they want to see more of and less of. I've made some friends and even having dinner with a couple of them soon. So I guess I want to say thank you to all my fans. The support is overwhelming but in a good way and it fuels me and keeps me going.
Photos courtesy of Charles Thomas Rogers