Shaw was born in Harrow, London, on 22 February 1966, the sixth of seven children in an Irish Catholic family. At 14, he began dressing in an "alternative" way, taking an interest in the New Romantic, Punk, & Goth fashion/youth culture scenes that were prominent at that time. At 16 he enrolled on a two-year Creative Arts foundation course at Nelson and Colne College. Then he spent two years at Manchester Youth Theatre. Afterwards he embarked on an Expressive Arts degree at the then Brighton Polytechnic (now University of Brighton), but after only a year he transferred to Harrow College of Higher Education to study Film, Television, Photography & Video. After leaving college he worked for a time directing and art-directing music videos for bands such as Peter Hook's (bass player of New Order) off-shoot project Dead Beat.
Changing his last name, Shaw began working in gay porn in the early 1990s. Since then he has appeared in over 50 films, often working with director Chi-Chi LaRue. In 1991, he won the award for Best Newcomer at the Adult Erotic Gay Video Awards. He retired from the porn industry in 1999 though made a brief reappearance in 2003-04.
In 1991, Shaw collaborated with the New York artist Mark Beard to produce a limited edition publication named Aiden. Beard had been sharing a London flat with Shaw at the time. The book included several portraits (mainly nude and semi-nude) of Shaw, with text written by Beard and Shaw (who at that time was still known by his birth name of Aiden Brady).
This book documents Mark Beard’s experience of living with Aiden, a male prostitute he met while working in London as a set designer. It consists of Beard’s text, his intimate—sometimes explicit—photographs of Aiden, and Aiden’s own words, interwoven Rashomon-like to reveal the coinciding ties and disconnects between sex and desire.
However, it was not until 1996 that Shaw wrote his first novel, Brutal. Also in 1996, The Bad Press published a collection of his poems, If Language at the Same Time Shapes and Distorts our Ideas and Emotions, How do we Communicate Love? He wrote two more novels; Boundaries (1997) and Wasted (2001), and an autobiography, My Undoing (2006) in which he openly discusses his life in the sex industry as a porn star and as a prostitute, his drug addiction (particularly crystal meth), and his HIV status (Shaw was diagnosed HIV positive in 1997). In 2007, Shaw completed an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths University of London, following which he completed a second autobiography, Sordid Truths (2009).
Shaw wrote and produced two albums of music, performing lead vocals on "Whatever" with his band of the same name. He also produced performance artist Nina Silvert on "Nina Silvert does Aiden Shaw".
In 2011, Shaw trained to become a qualified English teacher. He also modelled for GQ magazine in Berlin. It was in this publication that he was spotted by and signed to Success Models in Paris. He currently resides in Barcelona, where he is represented by Sight Management. In 2013 he was the face of Polish fashion company Bytom.
My Undoing: Love in the Thick of Sex, Drugs, Pornography, and Prostitution by Aiden Shaw
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Running Press (May 24, 2006)
Amazon: My Undoing: Love in the Thick of Sex, Drugs, Pornography, and Prostitution
For the first time, porn legend Aiden Shaw takes fans behind-the-scenes to the gay adult film world that made him a star. My Undoing ventures from locales such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and London, to the sets of premiere studios like Falcon, Catalina, and Studio 200. Yet, this is not the typical adult film memoir, where stars drop names and titillate readers with explicit moments. Although My Undoing shares in unsparing detail all the hot stories about the sex and drugs that fueled Aiden's life, it more profoundly follows him through a course of rocky and unfulfilling relationships. As Aiden eloquently and often humorously points out, the romantic life of an adult film superstar is sometimes lonely and lacking in love. But not love only in the form of a relationship, rather also love from within himself. The book is equally moving for his revelations about his Irish Catholic family, his Positive HIV status in the sex industry, and his recovery from a near fatal car accident that left him temporarily paralyzed.
Sordid Truths: Selling My Innocence for a Taste of Stardom by Aiden Shaw
Paperback: 275 pages
Publisher: Alyson Books (November 1, 2009)
Amazon: Sordid Truths: Selling My Innocence for a Taste of Stardom
Sordid Truths chronicles the author’s ascent from being just another broke college boy who dabbled with the idea that he could sell his young body for hard cash, to becoming the internationally renowned adult film superstar. After finishing just one year of his degree, Aiden Shaw was twenty-one and easily lured away from study by the heady mix of sex and money in London. Within a short time on the scene, he was something of a celebrity in his field, having been introduced to wealthy, weird, and wonderful eccentrics and famous—and famously closeted—eurotrash personalities and the celebrated elite. However, working as a prostitute turned minor league once gay adult film legend Chi Chi La Rue took Polaroids of the naked and aroused Shaw and launched his career. The rest is history, as is documented in more than fifty films that won him numerous honors.
The author of the best-selling memoir My Undoing and two novels, Aiden Shaw divides his time between New York and London, England.
More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Persistent Voices
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