01 Feb Legends: TJ Swan
TJ Swan was seductive and sexy in way none of the other AMG boys ever would be.
February is the beginning of Black History Month, it’s safe to say that no historical figures are overlooked in quite the same way that gay, black porn performers were/are. In fact, I’d bet that most people (even guys who watch a lot of porn) would be hard pressed to name any nonwhite adult entertainers from the 60s, 70s and 80s. While performers like John Holmes, Linda Lovelace, and Ron Jeremy are no less than household names.
But they were definitely there.
Things may be improving nowadays (though that fact is easy to debate when you look at the ocean of white, white faces that make up the Gay Porn Class of 2017), but since this month is dedicated to history, I thought it might be worth taking some time to talk about some rockstar performers of color/yesteryear.
TJ Swan (or Tyrone Jones) was an adult entertainer and model initially for Athletic Model Guild, which was established by photographer Bob Mizer in 1945 (about 16 years before Swan was born – how’s that for a porn institution!). Mizer is generally credited with ‘discovering’ Swan (though he seems to say that about a lot of models), and shot some of Swan’s first nude/erotic work.
Outside of those loose facts, though, there isn’t a ton of information readily available about TJ’s history, save for his GEVI profile which lists just shy of 30 of his titles. It also notes that, in addition to his 10 inch penis, he also had a mustache and was born in 1961. GEVI isn’t super thorough about the lives of performers, is the lesson here.
An ‘interview’ with INCHES magazine is also light on facts, though what it does mention is kinda depressing:
“He’s black as night and wants to rule it. He says he wants to be known only as TJ from LA. He doesn’t need to put out word he moves softly but carries a big 11-inch stick! People seem to know that instinctively. He got his 150-pound body growing up on football, basketball, tennis, track and lifting weights.
Last we heard he was earning a living doing janitorial work, even though, heaven knows, he could earn, a helluva lot more selling what he sports between his legs on the streetcorners of the big city. But this TJ, this brown-eyed, 23-year-old with the blue-ribbon dick, is in no way like those who sell it to the next buyer instead of blue-collar work.
This TJ is a proud young man who believes in earning his own way… who collects stamps as a hobby… who admires his father more than anybody else on earth… and whose only true goal in life is to be self employed. Now if that isn’t smart, what the hell is? [sic]”
Now, aside from the just plain terrible writing there, I have to assume that INCHES writers got paid by the amount of punctuation they could jam into each paragraph. I’ve never seen so many unnecessary periods, commas, and hyphens. It was a lot of work not to edit that as I retyped it here.
That INCHES piece also came with some rather gorgeous and intimate photos, courtesy of Old Reliable publications (which is its own sad story for another day), and I definitely think they’re worth sharing :
These photos are great illustrations of some of what I find so alluring about TJ. You almost never see this guy presented as a thug or a tough guy, but he also escapes being a fey, effeminate bottom, too. There’s something about his facial expressions in photos that is simultaneously open and confident (without being cocky or arrogant), as well as sort of distant and jaded. He never photographs like a pornstar (picture that face that Brent Everett is always making), but like a grown man who happens to have a huge dong, and happens to be rolling around on fake grass with another naked man (AMG used that fake grass set a lot, and there are LOTS of photos of TJ wrestling other models while oiled like a Turk).
He looks human, I guess is my point. He doesn’t smile often in photos, but when he does it’s endearing and disarming. I’d be exceptionally interested in talking to TJ about his experiences and what it meant to him to be photographed and objectified this way.
I hope that TJ Swan found some degree of pleasure or joy in it. He’s certainly provided a lot of both things for a lot of people this way (myself obviously included).
I want to wrap this up by including one of my first encounters with TJ, The Bacchus release Black Sweat. I somehow acquired this film at age 16 or 17 on DVD and have watched for the last 10+ years with a mixture of amusement, confusion, and masturbatory lust. This is the main scene from that collection, which features TJ’s ‘home gym’ being utilized by a group of his friends, until it gets too hot to workout and everyone starts penis wrestling on the floor instead.
It’s often billed as a gangbang, but there’s something so almost wholesome-seeming about all of it that it never reaches that ideal on its own. That’s just what people like to call a group of black men taking and giving pleasure. A thing you’ll notice that I’ve never understood is the switch in the middle to two obviously white-sounding voices dubbing over all the men in the scene. The audio switches back by the end, but it’s a jarring and comical swap that always makes me laugh.
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