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TitleWonder Bread and Ecstasy - The Life and Death of Joey Stefano
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Table of Contents
                            PROLOGUE
CHAPTER ONE
CHAPTER TWO
CHAPTER THREE
CHAPTER FOUR
CHAPTER FIVE
CHAPTER SIX
CHAPTER SEVEN
CHAPTER EIGHT
CHAPTER NINE
CHAPTER TEN
CHAPTER ELEVEN
CHAPTER TWELVE
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
VIDEOGRAPHY
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

WONDER BREAD
AND ECSTASY

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JOEY STEFANO

BY CHARLES ISHERWOOD

Page 81

CHAPTER EIGHT

oug Smith was back living in his hometown of Hollywood, Florida,
when he heard from Stefano that he had moved to San Francisco.
When Smith had lost his crystal connection—and only means of

support—he had lived with Stefano and Karen Dior for a couple of months.
Conflict with Dior soon erupted over Smith’s culinary habits. He was not a
big fan of peanut butter and jelly on Wonder bread, the entirety of Stefano’s
foodstuffs, so he consumed Dior’s more sophisticated vegetarian fare, to
Karen’s increasing annoyance. He knew his welcome wouldn’t last long.
When his drugs had evaporated, so did many of his friends, and Smith had
to take stock of his life. In any case he had come to see that the veneer of
glamour that his drug-addled gang had kept carefully polished hid a more
mundane reality: “It was a great party while I was making a lot of money
dealing drugs; it was fabulous. But the party came to an end when I realized
these people weren’t shit, when I realized the people whose asses I was
kissing the whole time were nobodies.” But his friendship with Stefano had
deepened, and his admiration for him had grown as Stefano’s career had
taken off. In fact, it had been Stefano who encouraged Smith to go back to
Florida and return to school. He’d even bought Smith his plane ticket.

Stefano’s drug use had continued to spiral out of control even as his
career took off, and by the fall of 1990, when he parted with Karen Dior, he
knew he had to break away from the environment that was keeping
temptation firmly in his path. He chose San Francisco, where he didn’t have
a network of friends whose casual drug use might trigger his more than
casual habit. He was clean for several months; despite the amount of drugs
he did and the frequency with which he did them, Stefano could also turn

D

Page 82

away from them on a dime when the mood struck him. It was ultimately a
dangerous ability, because he could keep returning to drugs with the idea
that he could stop using whenever he wanted, even as each binge weakened
his will to resist the next.

Stefano supported himself in San Francisco dancing both in the city and
on the road and working for an escort service run by a man named Juan,
with whom he lived and shared a close relationship. But after a few months,
Stefano got the itch to return to L.A., and a fight with Juan precipitated his
return. It was the spring of 1991, and Stefano was in an upbeat mood. He sat
down for an interview with Sabin for the inaugural summer ’91 issue of the
Gay Video Guide, a publication founded as a resource guide for gay-porn
aficionados. Unlike the skin magazines, which publish photo stills and a
glowing review of a video in exchange for an ad, the Gay Video Guide
doesn’t rely on the largess of the video producers for its existence. Sabin
made the decision to print it on newsprint in a small four -by six-inch format
to keep costs down and maintain some independence. The quarterly
magazine uses a four-star system to review dozens of videos and also
includes news stories about the business, a gossip column by Gender, and a
star interview in each issue.

The interview with Stefano provides a rare first -person account of his
life and career. It also captures Stefano at a significant crossroads,
personally and professionally. He discusses the time he spent in San
Francisco as an initial attempt to get some distance on his frenzied life, to
lay plans for a way to get beyond it.


STEFANO: I want to go to school for accounting and to study psychiatry.
GAY VIDEO GUIDE: I thought that was why you had moved to San
Francisco.
STEFANO: I tried to get into two schools there, but I wanted to come
back here. I went to San Francisco to get sober—from everything.
GAY VIDEO GUIDE: When I first interviewed you ( Thrust , 1989), you’d
just gotten back on track after falling off the wagon. You were just
starting out in this business. Then success hit really big, and you fell off
the deep end . . .
STEFANO: Yeah, I was really into drugs.
GAY VIDEO GUIDE: I think you cleaned yourself up a couple of times
while you were living here . . .
STEFANO: Only once!

Page 162

name of Domino is rather better. Also with Michael Parks, Luke Bender,
and Steve Kreig.

Scoring (Vivid Video, 1991). Jim Steel and Chi Chi LaRue conceived and
directed this middling fare, distinguished primarily by Stefano’s finale scene
with newcomer Steve Ryder, long-haired and beefy. They go at it in a pool of
light in the middle of darkness, which heightens the drama. The rest of the
video is standard cheapo sex.

Sex in Wet Places (Catalina, 1992). Directed by Chi Chi LaRue (as Taylor
Hudson), Wet Places is a sort of sequel to the more inventive Sex in Tight
Places, which features boys going at it in various confined environments (a
phone booth, an elevator). The scenes in Wet Places all take place in or near
water. The blond box-cover boy Bo Summers, taking a very long bath,
fantasizes about various couplings: Wes Daniels and Brett Ford by a pool
(with sunglasses throughout); the boyish brunet Randy Mixer with
Summers in a waterfall. Stefano’s partner is Kurt Manning, a somewhat
stocky performer with a sexy, muttlike face. Stefano is near his prime here
and enthusiastically gets reamed on a weight bench. The momentum of the
scene, unfortunately, is diminished by LaRue’s arty cutting in of bits from
other scenes.

Sex, lies and videocassettes (Sierra Pacific, 1989). A plot-driven video
in which Stefano plays a young model wanna-be who comes to L.A. under
the tutelage of a leering queen who promises him GQ layouts but delivers
him to prostitution and disappointment. Contrasted with this is the sweet
story of Jared Young, who finds happiness in the gay-porn biz. It’s quaintly
simplistic propaganda for the porn biz, which, considering the audience it’s
reaching, amounts to preaching to the choir. Stefano has one of his best
scenes with frequent partner Lon Flexx, and the on-the-set porn sequences
give an approximation of the milieu. With Bill Marlowe, John Fell, and
Chris McKenzie.

Songs in the Key of Sex (HIS Video, 1992). One of Chi Chi LaRue’s more
elaborate extravaganzas, this saga of an up-and-comer in the music biz,
played by Randy Mixer, would be a little more persuasive if Mixer could
carry a tune. Or act. Oh, well, he’s cute and a good sexual performer.
Stefano has a supporting role—or rather, scene—in which he’s paired with
Wes Daniels and gets fucked wildly. Also with Jason Ross, Chance Caldwell,

Page 163

Brett Ford, and Sharon Kane as a nightclub chanteuse with a closetful of
wigs.

Tijuana Toilet Tramps (Stallion Video, 1994). One of Stefano’s last films,
this pseudo-documentary has a camp edge that makes it endearing.
Purporting to witness the nasty goings-on at a tearoom, the video features
occasional man-on-the-toilet interviews conducted by an offscreen Gino
Colbert. So Chip Daniels is interrupted while working Miguel Lopez’s cock
with the question “ ’Scuze me, sir, can you tell me what you’re doing?” The
boyish Daniels, with a chipper grin, replies, “Sure, I’m sucking a cock right
now that’s really juicy!” Stefano’s scene with the balding, beefy Anthony
Gallo kicks off the video. His long hair is pulled back in a ponytail, and his
body is buffed. He seems to be having a pretty good time too, but there’s a
notable roteness to his behavior.

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