Publisher: Cerberus Inc. (May 22, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: The Price Of Dick
His name is Richard but he'll say, "Call me Dick." He's a big, butch, brainy guy in an executive suit, hotter than spit on a skillet. The type of guy you can see fully dressed and imagine buck naked in the throes of an orgasm - every six-feet-two, muscular, sexually intoxicating inch of him. He's an ambitious freshman in a prominent brokerage firm who's figured out he can use more than his smarts to get ahead. He's perfected a surefire method to drive home a hard deal. No one can resist him. And he's got one really big secret. But that will cost you.
For photographer J.J. Johnstone, the price of Dick just might cost him everything.
Dan Skinner Bio: I'd already been in the photography business for too many years to count, shooting covers for hetero romance covers when I had my epiphany (ten years ago now) to shoot gay book covers and make them as acceptable and mainstream as the hetero ones. It was a big risk and I was told by many people, especially people who advised me financially, that it might not be a profitable thing to do, and could quite possibly ruin my reputation. But I was tired of seeing the proliferation of covers featuring a man and woman, the cologne and perfume ads featuring a man and a woman... every ad under the sun - only featuring a man and a woman, and knowing that only one side of life was being spoon fed to us by the media as the acceptable aspiration and ideal. In fact, it made me angry and crazy, and determined to do something about it. We were here... didn't anyone see us?!!
I had several things working against me. The m/m fiction genre was just beginning to come into its own, but television and the entertainment industry were slowly allowing us into their vision as folks who existed right alongside them, and I knew the flux and flow of gay literature was going to eventually change. Will and Grace helped that. Brokeback Mountain helped that. So I had hope and crossed my fingers that I made a good choice as well as a conscientious one.
Along with that, I had to find guys daring enough to pose with each other in photos mimicking the same love and adoration as was seen in every Harlequin cover since time immemorial... They had to embrace and kiss and portray romance… between two people of the same gender. So finding the guys was going to be a chore... and finding guys in the Bible belt of the country, the Midwest, was going to be even tougher. But I did it.
Revenge is mine… the dbag’s bed has been christened by the models during a shoot!!
Dan Skinner is offering a copy of TPoD to one commenter on this blog. You can comment on LJ or DW if you have an account, if you don't have an account, please leave a comment on DW with a contact email.
So there I was, quickly regressing to puberty, sitting in a sauna with the object of my lust. Looking at his thick muscular legs, broad shoulders and other weight-developed bulges properly bulging and glistening with a sheen of hot sweat, I wanted to eat him alive. We soon exited the sauna together.
Unburdening myself of common sense was an easy task standing in the shower with him. Every inch of his make-me-growl masculinity, covered in blond fur, ass like two ripe honeydews just daring me not to look when he turned his back. I caught a quick glimpse of that gloriously long, circumcised, purple-capped cock and balls hanging between his legs under an unpruned patch of dark pubes. I remember thinking I hadn’t ever bought that much meat in a delicatessen but I still bet I could eat it all in one sitting. It took every bit of restraint I possessed to not pop wood in that shower. The mating dance was an endurance test. Think tearing down the Washington Monument using only your mind.
He invited me out for a drink this time, and we drove to Houlihan’s again. It was a Friday and the line out the door consisted of families with brats and people with an hour to waste after work. I suggested we get a six-pack and go to my apartment, which luckily, was only three blocks away, with a liquor store right on the way.
I’m sure it wasn’t in his mind, but it was in mine that this was a hookup. And I’d like to think he wasn’t completely naive about my intentions. I was in testosterone hyper-drive. I got him to my apartment and we drank and talked like good ole buds. He was comfortable telling me about his recent college life, the break up with the girl of his dreams who left him for another man because she had cheated on him and was pregnant. His heartbreak. All the things I couldn’t have cared less about—good riddance to anything that would have been competition anyway. Dick got into his high school days of playing football and wrestling, and I sat there picturing that mass of muscled man-ass crammed into a singlet, me trying to pin him on a mat with my head pressed deep into a musk-reeking ass crack.
He was a frat boy. I should have guessed. They all had a certain look to them. And his frat brothers were his best friends in the world and meant everything to him. He missed their daily camaraderie. I wondered if he’d jacked off with any of them. Used the fraternity paddle in an un-fraternity-like manner. You’ve seen the porn. Don’t tell me your mind didn’t go there.
It was a disappointingly platonic get-together, like any dull straight boys could have had, but I learned a lot about him. How many couples fuck on a first date anyway, right? I consoled myself with that lame excuse. Shame on me—I should have paid close attention to the story he shared with me that night. While in his freshman year of college, his parents tried to surprise him with a friendly unannounced visit. Lo and behold, in his dorm room a snooping mother had found a used condom in his wastebasket. She collapsed into pious, Catholic tears and left before he got back to his room. A few days later she sent him a two page, single-spaced, typewritten letter preaching to him about the Catholic stand on premarital sex, and especially condemning the use of that horrendous tool of the devil, the seed-killing prophylactic. Don’t worry. Those facetious words weren’t hers. I paraphrased. This boy was more browbeaten by mommy than Norman Bates.
Didn’t matter to me that he was a mommy’s boy. He could have been wearing prison orange and had the tattooed tear of a brazen killer on his cheek and it wouldn’t have stopped me wanting him. That he was double-fisted clutching onto his “I’m so straight” persona with his stories, I found cute because I was reading something different in body language and eye contact. He was in my company for a reason. I thought he was just a bit backward about the how-tos of getting naked with another dude. I’d get him there...eventually. I felt it in my bones. One in particular.
So our little beer-drinking, life-sharing, guy get-together ended with him thanking me for a nice evening and shaking my hand at the door.
In my head I fucked that butt so hard I made myself cry.
He began by telling me how much he admired me. That’s always a good opener if getting someone’s attention is your goal. He liked that I was my own man; that I could be myself without worrying what others thought of me, and said that made me seem very strong in his eyes. I was liking me better and better the more he talked. It didn’t hurt that every time I looked at him I had some kind of teenage-like hormonal surge. Amazing how a confluence of praise and lust can just make your defensive barriers collapse like Jell-O on a hot stove.
I asked him what was wrong. People who tell you they need space usually want you to invade it and ask what’s wrong. Otherwise they wouldn’t have invaded your space. And I ain’t going to lie. When he started rambling on with the redundant details of his job and how he was struggling to get ahead, I was still picturing that one night in my bed, pushing my aching dick through the crack of his ass, laying quarter-sized pearlescent droplets of myself all over those flawless mounds. I wanted to bite those muscled buns while he was telling me his problems. Oink.
I could tell there was something more; something deeper going on with him and he was having difficulty spitting it out. I asked him to grab a beer for both of us. That seemed to be exactly what he wanted to hear. We sat, and cracked beers together. He took off his jacket and tie, unbuttoned his shirt and gazed off into the corner.
It was nothing I didn’t expect. Mommy. He faced the same dilemma every night at the dinner table, every morning over breakfast before his mandatory appearance at Mass. He was coming unglued having to deal with her every day. The only reprieve was when he was at work, when she wasn’t calling him there. He rubbed his eyes as if there were tears there. I didn’t actually see any, but the idea of it was oddly endearing.
With a mixture of fascination and dread, I had a feeling I knew where he was headed.
“You’re absolutely the only person I have to talk to. My friends wouldn’t understand some things about me. I can’t talk to anyone at work. You’re the only guy I feel safe to tell my feelings to.”
Yep. Knew where this was heading.
“I don’t know how to ask this but I haven’t got anyone else to go to, and I was wondering if I could stay with you? Live with you for a while. Be a roommate.” he looked at me, his face all knotting like he was still near tears. “I can sleep on the couch. I don’t have many clothes. I’d never bring anyone back. I can help pay the utilities...I can help you with your shoots...”
I almost had my denial figured out before he uttered that last sentence, and then the wheels in my brain went spinning out like I was a NASCAR driver. It pushed everything else right out of my head. A hot, good-looking guy living in my apartment willing to help me with my shoots. I could have someone available any time for any shoot just by turning around and saying... “Hey there!” His face didn’t have to be in any of them if he didn’t want. A million covers were nothing but torsos. And he had one helluva torso.
It was a matter of weighing the conveniences against the inconveniences of two grown men living in a two-bedroom apartment where one bedroom was used as a studio/office. One bathroom.
And there was another thing. After my last relationship, I vowed to live alone because I just liked the freedom of it. A lot of thoughts went racing on perpetual left turns through my mind. Don’t think I wasn’t thinking of the possibility of a few more drunk sucks or even fucks with him if he became a roommate. Everyone was teachable.
So I said the words that would change pretty much everything about my life for a long, long time.
I had a roommate.
What costume would you wear that would truly show your hidden personality?
A costume of Dan Skinner.
Why the lycra/spandex fixation? I know there’s a story there…
First guy I saw at my local pool was wearing one and I thought I’d die.
In no more than two sentences, can you describe yourself to a complete stranger?
I’m the one the extraterrestrial abducted and threw back out. And as the spaceship doors were closing you could hear them screaming, "And for God’s sake, clean the Probe!”
What is the most sentimental thing someone gave you that you cherish to this day?
The answer to this question has been sealed in a document.
How much do you run on an average day?
I average no more than 10 miles a day. When I’m stressed that number goes up.
Do you have a plan to gain the weight you’ve lost lately? Does it include cheesecake?
If I like the way I fit in clothes, I stay with that weight. If I want to gain weight it will be with some Old Vienna Hot Corn chips. lol
What is your favorite guilty pleasure food? The one your trainer would highly disapprove of?
See answer above.
Your top five recommendations of gay films please.
Prayers For Bobby
Eating Out (original)
What is the meanest thing you've done to someone in an argument or fight?
Broke a coffee table over them.
What song do you have to hear only once to get stuck in your head for an entire day?
Any friggin’ Gaga song.
I'd empty my bank account and take out a loan to have sex with____. Why?
Prince Harry. Because he’s mine anyway. Everyone knows that.
If you could wish one celebrity into the cornfield, who would it be and why?
Sarah Palin. Don’t even get me started why.
Your models all look like they have so much fun during your shoots. Do they? An do you?
Them, yes. Me. No. I sweat bullets.
Has it been difficult to stick with your recently adopted NBW (no bad words) policy? Explain a little bit about what NBW is.
NBW stands for No Bad Words. My trainer believes that bad words create bad events. I don’t speak them But I think them. I purge them on my runs.
Do veggie sausages really taste as good as the real thing?
What is the largest, um… attribute you have seen on a model?
Enough that I would never even attempt it.
On a scale of 1-10, ten being a completely controlling perfectionist, how would your models rate your determination to get every little thing perfect in every shot?
I’ve seen one black model in your past work. Why haven’t there been more?
I try to get them. But there are very few in the Midwest. When I search the model sites I see tons of black and ethnic models on the east and west coast. I’m always looking tho.
It is said that every traumatic event in life has the potential to make you bitter or better. You seem to have made a conscious choice to make yourself better through this difficult past year. Do you struggle with that sometimes? And how do you get yourself back on track after a bitter moment?
I still struggle. I’m not so much bitter as I am disgusted. Probably more with myself than anyone. I feel very duped.
During the 2012 Presidential election, you were pretty vocal regarding your beliefs and opinions. You have a bigger platform now that you have two successful books and more photography work than ever. Do you plan to be as outspoken in 2016?
Always. This country needs to continue to move forward. As long as we have a party that lives and functions in a repressed past we have to make certain they never have a voice in lawmaking again. If they can’t move forward they need to get off the train.
What is the largest group of models you have had in one shoot?
Eight. Will never do it again. Too ADHD to put up with the scramble.
Why Cerberus as a company name? (This is the mythical three-headed hellhound who guards the entrance to the underworld)
It was one of the first sketches I ever made as a child that was pretty decent. The other was Dean Martin. So Cerberus it was.
If you could write a letter to your 18 year old self, what would you say?
Don't get married twice. And check out the guy next to you in history class in 11th grade!
Where can readers find you on the internet?
facebook D.w Skinner
twitter @ DanSkinnerArt
Kindness is FREE... you have enough to share with everyone!
Today is a great day to make AMAZING things happen!
I slept so great I woke up this morning and felt like an 18 year old. Just couldn't find one.
Seriously... I mean seriously... Only MJ can be in college and find a straight guy who wants to do the male romance shots with him... He must be emitting pheromones!
Okay someone just messaged me a very good question which I don't think I've publicly answered, but think is a good one. "Are all your models for male/male romance gay?" The answer is ‘no’. A good percentage of them are, and some are bi. But I also have quite a few who are straight. And yes, they really are straight. Why do they do it? Because, they say, it is an acting challenge. It gets them attention because of numerous blog postings… so there is a recognition factor, and also because it is a very popular trend in European magazines and can get them lucrative modeling gigs. One did a shoot with me at the insistence of his girlfriend because she thought it "was hot". And one did it because he supports marriage equality. So, I do have a variety of models who do it for a variety of reasons.
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