August Lacore was walking down Hollywood Boulevard when a porn producer ''discovered'' him. At 18, the Suitland, Md., native was soon in his first foursome -- filmed or otherwise. It was soon followed by a gangbang with eight men.
''It was actually [one of my fantasies],'' Lacore says. ''I'm a little freak. It was more than I expected, and I really enjoyed it.''
That was three years ago. Lacore currently makes videos for Chocolate Drop, and says it pays much more than the rent.
''I get to fly to L.A., Miami, New York, just to do shoots,'' he says. ''I basically wanted to do [porn] because of the thrill. I get noticed by a lot of other gay guys who watch porn, so that's really a turn-on for me.''
Getting noticed isn't always a good thing, warns Kyle Quinn, a local bartender whose one-year affair with porn includes five videos for TitanMen and a photo shoot for Playgirl.
''Just think before you do it,'' he says, ''because it does affect you for the rest of your life.'' In addition to being stalked and harassed to the point of having to change homes, the 23-year-old has also had to deal with his parents finding out about his porn career thanks to a W-2 sent to his mother's house.
Quinn got into porn to build up his self-esteem in the wake of an emotionally crippling relationship. He was discovered on MySpace.
''I thought it would change how I think of myself,'' he explains. ''It didn't help at all. But it really helped me the other way, because I realized I don't need someone to recognize me [to feel worthy].''
J.D. Adams knew what he was into long before he started doing it in front of the camera.
''My first boyfriend had introduced me to magazine Bear,'' says Adams. ''He helped me become comfortable with being not the preppy type, but being more of the masculine, hairy, blue-collar look.''
Adams, 43, launched his porn career in Louisville, Ky., home to American Bear magazine, in which he debuted. When Adams and his partner moved to D.C., he was asked to up the ante in a video.
''There was some event going on at the D.C. Eagle. They had a lot of vendors. Manhunter Video was showing their videos and I stopped to look. The production director came over to me and asked if I'd ever wanted to be in a porn video.''
With his partner's approval, Adams made two videos for Manhunter.
''It was a lot of fun,'' he recalls. ''One of the things the production manager had recommended was to hold off cumming for three to seven days. It was very difficult.''
Adams hasn't done porn in a while. ''I'm just busy with other things in our life,'' he says. ''Even though I enjoyed doing the porn, it's not a focus for me.''
Porn remains a focus for Luke Thomas.
It also remains a controversial topic because Thomas specializes in bareback porn.
''I'm [HIV-positive] and I only work with other guys who are [HIV-positive],'' the 34-year-old, tattoo-adorned local says, adding that he also specializes in fisting and bondage.
Thomas disagrees with people who suggest that bareback porn promotes unsafe sex.
''I just think their arguments are specious,'' he says. ''Just because something happens in a movie doesn't mean you want to go out and do it. It's a lot better for people to watch bareback porn than to actually do it themselves.''
Thomas started making porn three years ago after meeting a casting director for Treasure Island Media. He loves doing it -- despite the long hours.
''If you want 20 minutes of footage,'' he says, ''you have to fuck for three hours.''