bj's gay porno-crazed ramblings

February 24, 2018

Scott O’Hara

Filed under: "vintage" porn stars — bj @ 3:02 PM

Scott O’Hara, who you may remember from such films as: California Blue, Hard Pressed , Slaves for Sale 2 , Joys of Self Abuse, The Other Side of Aspen , Sgt. Swann’s Private Files, Below The Belt, Sighs, Head Over Heels and a personal favorite, Oversize Load amongst others – wrote a great autobiography, Autopornography: A Memoir of Life in the Lust Lane. Two other books are authored by him: Do-It-Yourself Piston Polishing for Non-Mechanics, and Rarely Pure and Never Simple: Selected Essays of Scott O’Hara – and wasn’t he behind the publication STEAM A Quarterly Journal for Men?


  1. I saw from your link to Amazon that he was the publisher of Steam Quarterly.

    Thanks for putting this here. The pages and reviews were very good. I recall an essay in the collection Policing Public Sex that may be in that collection of his essays. That 1996 volume also had essays by, among others, Walt Odets and Pat(rick) Califia. One of the reviews made me remember that specific part where he talks about voluntary seroconversion and how it ‘liberates you’. I’m afraid I have to agree with the writer of the review who found this ‘disturbing’. There were lots of reports even in that single essay about lots of sex in Griffith Park, L.A., and the others. There was often even in that essay alone an undercurrent of hysteria (understandably.) The recklessness of the 00s trend back into barebacking was, then, already being talked about, although I imagine in most cases it was just being risky (still going on, but maybe less fashionable now) rather than talking about ‘voluntary seroconversion’, which I doubt anyone much bought, nor do I think he would have otherwise. I’m sure the books are interesting, although I think for me, this may be enough. Was interested just now to see NYPL has several of them.

    He does seem to reflect the difference that took place in all domains in the 80s and has continued with little interruption till this day–louder and louder. Al Parker was important mostly in the 80s too, with a few things I just noticed from late 70s. I still went to porno theaters till they only showed VHS, which means at the old Bijou on 3rd (I believe) and just south of 14th St, which had rambling rooms at that time, and then was severely truncated and policed by at least 1999.

    I know your specialty is mostly 70s with some exceptions. I’m the same, but even like a couple from the 2010’s (Darius Ferdynand, Ted Colunga.) Jeff Stryker was mostly 80s, and there would have been some from the 90s that I can’t remember right off.


    Comment by parisian — February 24, 2018 @ 7:05 PM

  2. He was so much my type when I was first coming out and discovering porn, physically speaking – blond, muscular but not steroid-y, attractive face and he had that kind of punk aesthetic later in his career. And of course the dick, and not to take anything away from that truly impressive appendage of his but I believe he was fairly short, closer to 5 foot tall than 6 foot, and there’s that optical illusion effect when a shorter guy has a large dick it looks a lot bigger on him than the same cock would on a taller man. Winner Takes All is probably the other very notable film he was in, when he would have been just starting out in porn. I agree about Oversize Load, that was a great one.

    I also remember being impressed with his writing talent, seeing some excerpts from his work in various porn mags of the 80s and 90s prior to his death. He stood out in this regard because most porn stars aren’t known for their literary skills but he managed to transition into this as a post-porn career and continue to build on his notoriety. I can’t judge someone for how they respond to the news that they are poz, especially someone who discovered this in the early days of the plague but it seems Scott felt it was important to live his truth and not be compartmentalized into the box that society (especially gay society) wanted to see him trapped inside.

    He’s one of a handful of gay porn stars, past or present, who is notable enough to have a wikipedia article larger than a stub – it’s pretty interesting and has a lot of references and related links:


    Comment by zephyr — February 26, 2018 @ 12:35 PM

  3. Interesting guy. I wrote a review of his 1997 “Autopornography” book once for oh gawd some gay literary journal. It was a well-written book, engaging and provocative. The seroconversion business is to cringe, yes, but one other pronouncement of his stuck in my mind: that despite what the world believes, a surprising amount of love takes place in men’s anonymous darkroom encounters. I probably still have every issue of his “Steam” and of “Wilde” magazines in a trunk upstairs. Esp. loved “Wilde,” every gonzo issue of which ended with a group photo of ordinary queer folk posing naked for the sheer joy of it–artists, bike couriers, even a book group. Yeah, why not? In the time of the great plague, it was a very welcome bit of fun.


    Comment by krakenbaba — February 27, 2018 @ 1:47 PM

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