Top 17 Performers of 2013These performers appeared in 10 or more superb scenes in the 2013 calendar year. In order of excellence:
1. Trenton Ducati
The best performer of 2013. For the second year in a row, Trenton Ducati takes the top prize as a performer who is guaranteed heat in everything he does. After rocking my world for two straight years, I can only hope he continues to bring it 100% for a good long while. His real life story, from gay cowboy to porn star, is a fascinating one, and he recently started the inspirational #KillMeth campaign. There is little more than can be said except: he's The Best.
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2. Tommy Defendi
Tommy has been around for quite some time, but has probably never been as active as he was this year, getting his versatile groove on for just about every company under the sun and rarely, if ever, disappointing. He identifies as bisexual, with leaning towards women in his personal life, and it's a testament to his dedication to the gay adult industry that you could never imagine he doesn't live for men by watching his work. Special mention must be made of his seductive bedroom eyes and surprising acting ability.
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3. Jessy Ares
#9 on last year's honor roll moved up to #3. That cheeky devil with the mischievous grin, dashing accent, and really stepped up his game even more this year, accelerating from an already admirable stud muffin to one of the very best of 2013. He's been making impressive appearances in videos for the past two years, first as a Titan exclusive and now making his way through only the best companies, from Men at Play to Lucas Entertainment. Jessy has also been hard at work on his musical career, and you can find his albums on iTunes.
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4. Paddy O'Brian
#7 on last year's honor roll moves up to #4 this year, and he honestly has gotten that much better since 2012. "Straight boy" Paddy is one of few tradey types in porn today who actually delivers the goods. He knows what his fans want and what it takes to make a splash, and his long-awaited bottoming debut for Men.com paid off in spades. I love his thick accent, cheeky grin, and all of his physical attributes, and can only hope that his flip-flopping on video doesn't mean he will be leaving us soon.
5. Connor Kline
Possessing the best award-winning buns in the business, Connor Kline made a surprise entrance into the industry in 2012 with Sean Cody and then twink-centric Helix Studios, but exploded in popularity over the past year. He even worked under the alias "Brice Banyan" before settling on the name of a superstar, working with only the best studios. An ever hard dreamboat, Connor is also to be commended by raising the level of heat in scenes with many a "gay-for-pay" performer, something only a truly talented sexual creature can do. Consistent heat with Connor, and his "Born This Way" tattoo is a noteworthy trademark.
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6. Tim Kruger
Dropping from #4 last year to #6, Ginger German dreamboat Tim Kruger still continues to wow with his exclusive website, Tim Tales, which keeps him so busy he doesn't have time to work for any other studios. That suits me just fine, though, as Tim Tales is one of the most consistently hot websites around. As its star centerpiece, Kruger breaks in a number of newcomers monthly, many of whom only make one video just to experience The Tim. Lucky buggers. My heart swoons when he smiles, which I wish he would do more often. But in any scenario, Kruger is the tops (literally).
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7. Colby Keller
Here is the gay adult video star you want to take home to Mom, or go to the opera with, or discuss queer theory with over coffee and croissants. Colby Keller's immense appeal is in his ability to be several different things to a variety of viewers. His smarts are a turn-on, as are his physical attributes. 2013 marked his eight-year anniversary of working off and on in the industry, and he's worked with only the best, from Randy Blue to Joe Gage at Titan to his recent reign as one of Cockyboys' most memorable performers. I was so honored that Colby published a piece I wrote on director Arch Brown this year on his essential blog, Big Shoe Diaries. One of these days I hope to bump into him at one of the several art/queer/culture events we both seem to frequent. The Colby Cult will no doubt continue for some time. And don't forget to check out his Manhunt Daily video blogs!
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8. Lucio Saints
Swarthy Lucio has made great strides in 2013. He was a runner-up on the honor roll in 2012, but accelerated his output this year and damn near all of it was stellar! Surprisingly versatile and always delivering at the top of his game, this tattooed Lothario possesses a dynamite set of bedroom eyes that vividly illustrates he means business. He's now started his own website, which is off to a strong start and will hopefully grow in stature in the new year. Interviews with Lucio are scarce, so I look forward to learning more about him.
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9. Dale Cooper
Another 2012 runner-up, Dale Cooper reminds me so much of Colby Keller, but he's also someone very singular and unique in the gay porn world. His mustache is delightfully retro, as is his complete investment in the sexual chemistry of a scene. That kind of energy is severely rare today, making all of his performances refreshing and white hot. Like Keller, he has become a favorite of both Cockyboys and D/G Mutual Media (Ray Dragon and Joe Gage's partnered company), and has developed a sizable cult following, if not bona fide superstardom. Cooper, for a time, had a nice Facebook presence before vanishing from the social networking site, transitioning to his website, which reflects his distinctive sense of smarts and study of gay sexuality. Gay porn does not define him, it's merely one aspect of a multifaceted man. That is sexy. He's another gay adult video star I would really enjoy accompanying to a museum or talking the arts with over brunch. I mean, the guy's porn name is borrowed from David Lynch's "Twin Peaks". Marry me, Dale.
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10. Scott Hunter
British bottom extraordinaire Scott Hunter was #14 on last year's honor roll. He delivered so many astonishing and scorching performances this year he jumped right up to #10, and shows no signs of stopping in his seeming quest to represent the best the UK has to offer. Hunter's piggy on-screen reputation is nicely balanced by his smart and very sweet YouTube presence, where he interacts with fans and answers questions. A quite lovely chap...with a vibrant and insatiable streak of nastiness. The best of both worlds.
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11. Kayden Gray
Hot on the heels of Mr. Hunter is another British import who has made a tremendous impression over the past year, a versatile pretty boy with plentiful gravitas, and one of the few porn stars who pulls off the backwards hat look. He's worked for every major British studio and has made the leap to US videos with Lucas Entertainment, gracing perhaps the most memorable cover of the year, Bangers and Ass (great title). You also gotta love when someone as blessedly hung as Gray gladly flips over with relish. In fact, he seems to love challenging himself in the size department, meeting every one head-on and succeeding with flying colors. What does 2014 hold for this marvelous man?
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12. Colby Jansen
It's like your burly rugby player dream come true decided to start doing porn. That's Colby Jansen all over, and the key to his enduring popularity. This former Marine broke out of the gate so hard it exploded, making a strong impression at Kink.com before finding a home at Men.com, where he's their most reliable and consistent exclusive. He made a solid bottoming debut this year, and flashes his 50-watt smile in almost every scene. Jansen used to be on Facebook, but has since kept his social networking reserved for Twitter, where he's very active and communicative with fans.
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13. Harley Everett
The #1 performer in my 2011 honor roll slowed down his output in 2012, dropping to the honorable mentions, but is back at #13 with more memorable scenes where this engaging giant towers over his scene partners. He has maybe the best pecs in the industry, a dazzling galaxy of tattoos all over his body, and need I mention the accent? Everett now seems to be pursing a career in personal training, hanging up his "porn star" uniform, and is currently engaged. I wish him only the best in all his future endeavors.
14. Derek Parker
The #1 best newcomer on last year's honor roll makes #14 in this year's all-time best. A scruffy ginger beard, enticing tattoos and piercings, and a strong desire to please his scene partners help this eye-catcher stand out from the crowd. There's something rough and tumble about Parker that is balanced by a sweet side that I personally would love to see more of on video. In any case, he's a name that pretty much guarantees erotically charged viewing.
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15. James Ryder
The Garbo of my honor roll. This brooding tattooed young'un is like a ghost. He has very little web presence, which is like asking for extinction in this industry...or may just be a search for anonymity in a very public world. Ryder apparently started in porn several years back as Seth Adams (which I don't remember at all) and has an Instagram, but doesn't seem to have done any interviews. Maybe it's high time I asked him to finally do one! In any case, he's brightened so many scenes this year and is a name I've come to be excited about whenever I see it.
16. Mike De Marko
1980s porn star Michael Christopher's cock was reborn in the person of Mike De Marko, whose appendage sticks straight out like a unicorn's horn. Surprisingly, considering the girth and length he wields, De Marko tends to end up on the bottom in duo and group scenarios, but that's the way he likes it and he excels in that department. An exclusive at Men.com until late last year, Mike is apparently now a free agent, so here's hoping we see more of him anywhere and everywhere. He's something special.
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17. Tate Ryder
Dropping slightly from last year's #13 to #17, Tate Ryder also split from Trenton Ducati this year, which thankfully did not stop him from a feverish onslaught of superb videos demonstrating that he could do just fine on his own, thank you very much, even after a premature retirement announcement in March. The Aussie superstar is versatile and aims to please with every one of his scene partners, often bringing out the best in his co-stars. His Twitter and website have gone black, so uncertainty surrounds his future in the business. Here's hoping that whatever he decides to do, his path is a happy one.
Studio Exclusive MVP's
1. Vander (Chaosmen) - Last year's #1 exclusive retains his crown. A rare website exclusive who is openly gay, loves what he's doing, and has the talent to graduate to bigger studios. Chaosmen must suit him just fine, though, because he's been on there for a few years now with no sign of budging. Bring on more Vander!
2. Quinn (Corbin Fisher) - One of the few openly gay performers at Corbin Fisher, Quinn is someone who coaxes out the best in even his most uncomfortable partners. Versatile, passionate, mesmerizing: the three best attributes of any adult video performer. Corbin Fisher knows what gold it has in Quinn and casts him frequently.
3. Glenn (Chaosmen) - Glenn has come a long way. He's not the perfect Chaosmen performer, and still shows hesitation in some areas...but is generally a reliable go-to to break in new talent.
4. Ryan (Sean Cody) - Did you ever want to see Lee Pace from "Pushing Daisies" do porn? This is the closest you'll get. Ryan is a dead ringer, with a gorgeous smile and genuine desire for his scene partners. The best Sean Cody performer. Twitter
5. Blake (Sean Cody) - A close second for best Sean Cody performer is Blake, another smiley bottom who brings out the best in his sometimes very wooden "gay for pay" co-stars. In a very short time he has shot to the top of the current crop of SC models.
6. Mick Lovell (Bel Ami) - For one shining year, stunningly gorgeous Utah Mormon Mick Lovell was the superstar face of Bel Ami. Now that he's gone on to a legitimate modeling career under his real name, 2013 will forever be the year of Mick Lovell. That an American beauty could draw such attention to an almost fully eastern European company says something about him.
7. Austin Wolf (Randy Blue) - Randy Blue's beautiful men are often defiantly "gay for pay". Not so Austin Wolf, who just might be the real deal. He's so present, so passionate that all of his scenes are must-sees. The best Randy Blue performer, bar none, and one I wish to see much more often. Twitter
8. Kevin Warhol (Bel Ami) - Bel Ami's second best performer, primed to take the title from Lovell next year. He even broke over to the US side and appeared on Cockyboys this year. A sexual dynamo like few others, and the star of his studio's current roster of guys.
9. Aries (Chaosmen) - Like Glenn, Aries has some work to do before he can even come close to Vander...but unlike Glenn, he is actually much more engaged and skilled in his performances. If he had done more videos this year, he would have likely one-upped Glenn on this list, and the same can be said of Solomon (who bubbled under the top 10).
10. Diego Sans (Randy Blue) - Another of RB's rare gay performers, a beautiful Hispanic guy who gives Austin Wolf definite competition for the title of best Randy Blue performer. Like Wolf, he's another passionate and dedicated performer who I wish would branch out to work for other studios so we could see much more of him. Twitter
8 Best Newcomers (2014 Watch List)
1. Mike Dozer - Big, burly, hairy, ever hard. So much more of him to love in 2014, I hope!
2. Max Cameron - A tattooed San Francisco boy with a taste for kink and a scruffy, sneering grin.
3. Andy Taylor - The best twink up-and-comer. He's made quite an impression already!
4. Fernando Torres - The best new Lucas Entertainment exclusive!
5. Boomer Banks - In a very short time, Boomer Banks has made a giant splash in the industry. For good reason!
6. Asher Hawk - Escalating from low rent sites to the top tier of Cockyboys, Asher Hawk is a primo performer who deserves the superstar status he will no doubt be reaching in 2014.
7. Donnie Dean - A furry Canadian beauty who did far too few videos this year. More please!
8. Dato Foland - A Stag Homme discovery, this Russian beauty has the most piercing eyes in porn, and shows off his versatile chops in scene after scene.
Any list would be incomplete without these marvelous men, who consistently give their all. They complete the 2013 honor roll of the best of today's gay adult video industry.
1. Tomas Brand
2. Hans Berlin
3. Christopher Daniels
4. Adam Herst
5. Adam Russo
6. Adam Killian
7. Damien Crosse
8. Austin Wilde
9. Duncan Black
10. Marcus Isaacs
11. Donato Reyes
12. Jake Genesis (likely an exit from this list, he retired and found religion soon after superstardom)
13. Jesse Santana
14. Blue Bailey
15. Alessio Romero (his other half, Rogue Status, almost made it to the Best Newcomers list)
16. Shawn Wolfe
17. Darius Ferdynand
18. Ray Diaz
19. Dolan Wolf
20 (tie). Diego Lauzen & Wagner Vittoria (this real-life couple is dynamite, together and apart)
Top 5 Most Consistent Online Studios
1. Sean Cody
3. Tim Tales
4. Raw Fuck Club
Top 12 Feature Videos (in alphabetical order):
1. After Hours (Titan Media) Dir: Paul Wilde
2. Arschgeil (Cazzo Film) Dir: Jörg Andreas
3. Dad Gets Into Trouble (D/G Mutual Media) Dir: Joe Gage
4. Grind (Titan Media) Dir: Jasun Mark
5. The Horseman (Rock Candy Films) Dir: Nica Noelle
6. In der Fleischfabrik (Meat Factory) (Cazzo Film) Dir: Jörg Andreas
7. Joe Gage Sex Files Vol. 13: Off-Duty Cops (D/G Mutual Media) Dir: Joe Gage
8. Lovers in Paradise (Lucas Entertainment) Dir: Christopher Crisco & Adam Killian
9. Original Sinners (Lucas Entertainment) Dir: Marc MacNamara
10. A Priest's Confession (Rock Candy Films) Dir: Nica Noelle
11. Timberwolves (Raging Stallion Studios) Dir: Steve Cruz
12. Water Logged (Rascal Video/Channel 1 Releasing) Dir: Chi Chi LaRue
Honorable mention: An American in Prague: The Remake (Bel Ami), Armed Forces Physical (D/G Mutual Media), Cock Tease (Raging Stallion Studios), Forever Lukas (Bel Ami), Heretic (Raging Stallion Studios), On Tap (Titan Media), Sands of Time (Kristen Bjorn), Stag (Titan Media), Sun Kissed (Falcon Studios)
John Bruno (1967-2013)
Wilfried Knight (1978-2013)
Arpad Miklos (1967-2013)
Alex Stone (1960-2013)
David Thompson (1965-2013)
Bobby Williams (1982-2013)