Is there life after porn? In this transatlantic chat, Aiden Shaw—star of On the Mark and Grease Guns—says no. But we think the Brit doth protest too much. This summer, when his band, Whatever, isn’t touring Europe and the United States, Shaw will be finishing the sequel to his latest novel, Boundaries (Millivers Books), the literary money shot after his 1996 Brutal foreplay. Boundaries has raised more than eyebrows, not because it was written by a porn star—that’s been done, love—but because it’s written so well. Here, the notoriously naughty but shy Shaw waxes poetic on his favorite authors, the mechanics of dildo casting and wet dreams.
That’s what the novel’s about—the boundaries on love and sex and friendship.
Is it autobiographical?
All the characters are aspects of me. I wouldn’t write about something I don’t understand. I know what it’s like to do IV drugs, to have S&M fantasies, to send shit to someone.
You sent someone shit?
I was once going to do that to somebody I had a crush on. But I wound up not doing it because of my boundaries.
What books have influenced you?
Straight Is the Gate by André Gide. I love E.M. Forster’s short stories, Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales, Shakespeare’s sonnets, Baudelaire.
What’s your summer reading?
I just finished Allan Stein by Matthew Stadler. He’s a pretty writer. I’m starting some essays in Andrew Sullivan’s Love Undetectable, strangely enough.
Do you still do porn?
I last modeled in a porn movie, Dissent, in October ’97. It’s out this year. I’m doing two shoots next month, where I’m just going to have a hard-on while dressed in a suit. Quite stylish, actually, like a fashion shoot with a hard-on.
Is there life after porn?
Did you ever fall in love on a porn set?
Losing your virginity was…
It was what it was. I only remember it with a woman. Maybe it was less significant with a man.
How was the Aiden Shaw dildo made?
The head of Falcon Video took me to a workshop where this cute boy gave me a hard-on—I can’t remember how. We did three casts because they want to use the best balls, the best head and the best shaft. The boy put his hand between my bum and pressed on the base of my balls to keep me hard. It felt nice.
Are you happy with it?
The dildo? It doesn’t move me. I think it’s funny that it exists.
How is it being the object of so many fantasies?
If it’s true, that’s lovely. It’s not something I carry around with me. I just live—eat and sleep and shit. I’m just getting by.
Pick five words to describe yourself.
Cup. Tooth. Daffodil. Vagina. Difficult.
I’m meant to be famous for having a big dick, so I thought that was funny.
What did you do right after you tested positive?
Burst out laughing.
I guess because the people who told me were so serious. Also, I was relieved, because once you’ve got it you can’t catch it. I don’t think I’m the kind of person who could get away with not being positive. I can’t live like that—if I’d had to be vigilant up to this day, it would’ve killed me.
Why did you come out about your HIV?
I was never in about it.
Does AIDS play a role in Boundaries?
Slightly. Inasmuch as it plays a role in every gay man’s life.
If you could spend a day with Aiden at age 7, you would…
Warn him. Or bugger him.
What’s your favorite drug?
My antidepressant. It’s the only one I wouldn’t like to live without. And Valium. Of course, I’m pretty keen on all my HIV meds—they’ve kept me going this long.
Your favorite condom?
The nonlatex ones, Avanti. But who likes condoms?
Favorite sex act?
Wet dream. You can do what you want yet you have no control. I’ve been a woman in my wet dreams. When I compare wet dreams to sex acts I’ve done—and I’ve done everything—there’s no comparison.
What turns you on?
A fat-free, low-calorie something with chocolate, fudge, hazelnuts, cream and loads of sugar.
Do you ever get sick of being Aiden Shaw?