April #13 : People Like Them: T&A Q&A - by Bruce Bibby

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Trial of the Year

Protease Inhibited

Right to Fly

The Roles to Recovery

Promising Prospects

Upping the Ante

Bye-Bye, Birdie


Editor's Note: Hope Has History

People Like Them: T&A Q&A

Taking Risks

Dangerous Discharge

Vito Russo's Celluloid Closet Lives On

Just Another Day Livin' in the 'Hood

Mister Sister

Censored Secretions

Swap Meat

God Is a Bullet

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

April 1996

People Like Them: T&A Q&A

by Bruce Bibby

Man of the Year's Dirk Shafer shows what he's made of

Dirk Shafer -- the Playgirl pinup boy turned film auteur -- is dressed for success. We're at Muse, the trendy LA eatery where everyone looks at you like you're from Oklahoma when you walk in the door. A similar gaze greets me when I arrive in jeans and a torn leather jacket. Meanwhile, Dirk, locks moussed, is already ensconced at the bar like he owns the place: Black vest, black jacket, black boots, black watch. I'm tempted to tell the maître d' that Dirk really is from Oklahoma, but I don't. Instead, I gab with the 33-year-old chiseled, hair-tinted muscleman about his prick-posing documentary, Man of the Year, and just where the hell AIDS fits into it.

Bruce Bibby: Are you an extrovert or an exhibitionist?

Dirk Shafer: Definitely an extrovert. I've always attacked everything I've done, whether it was ballroom dancing, working out or modeling.

BB: Tell me about modeling.

DS: I wanted to be the best at it I could be -- and that's when I realized how silly it is. Because what if you are the best at modeling -- what does that bring you? The fun part was that I would sometimes direct the shoots.

BB: Have you ever wanted to be in a porno movie?

DS: I've fantasized about that, but I would never do it.

BB: Have you been asked?

DS: Many times. I do think the idea of being watched is fun. It intrigues me. I think maybe it would be fun one time, but porn is degrading, really, and there's no future in it.

BB: Is Playgirl art or porn?

DS: It's gone through many phases. I wish it had aspired to be what Playboy is, because Playboy is aesthetically beautiful. I don't think it knows what it wants to be. Right now, it's much more hard-core than it ever used to be. They're showing erections now.

BB: Tell me about Pledge, the PWA in Man of the Year.

DS: Pledge was my next-door neighbor in Santa Monica; we became really good friends. He had a great, open, honest air about himself -- he was from South Carolina. We got to be better friends as he got sicker. I was with him when he died.

BB: At which point did you decide to include Pledge in the film?

DS: He was always in it, for as long as I can remember. But I didn't want to get too heavily into that -- it's not a movie about AIDS, which is such a difficult subject to cover and accommodate. There were additional scenes of him sick and I pulled them out. They didn't feel right. But he was always there, grounding me and showing me how silly this farce called modeling was.

BB: There you are gorgeously moussed up next to somebody who's dying.

DS: Exactly. It makes you look even more superficial and that's the point. It's all a charade.

BB: The film's still a comedy, is it not?

DS: Yes. But I didn't feel it was fair to tell a story, a slice of a gay man's life, without bringing the subject of AIDS into it.

BB: Is that what we've become -- a disease?

DS: Well, I hope not. I mean, if I remade the movie now, I don't know if I would necessarily leave [Pledge's story] in, just because of what I've been hearing -- that there's a backlash because every time gay men go see a gay movie, there's AIDS in it. But at the same time, it was a true story, and it would have been irresponsible if I didn't portray it truthfully.

BB: You're in a long-term relationship?

DS: For five years.

BB: Do you associate sex with AIDS?

DS: I try not to, but every time I have sex it crosses my mind. I've been having safe sex for so long that the idea of not having it seems stranger than using condoms.

BB: Is unsafe sex something you would like to consider?

DS: Yeah, we would like to. But it's such a habit, wearing a condom. And the idea of having [unsafe sex] is scary to me. But I would hand my life over to Mike, definitely. I trust him that much. But we're still more comfortable having safe sex.

BB: If you were a sex toy, what would you be?

DS: I would definitely be a dildo.

BB: I don't know why, but that was the last thing I was expecting. I thought you'd say nipple clamps or something.

DS: [Laughs] A dildo is exactly what I would want to be.

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.