Diversity Rules at Savage Talons Media
Pito Savage and Rick Talons are ambitious entrepreneurs with a unique concept: Savage Talons Media. The two of them operate their own website where they star in a series of self-produced hardcore videos.
EDGE had the opportunity to ask them some questions about their work and their experiences as a real-life sero-discordant couple.
Calling the shots
EDGE: When did you guys decide you wanted to start an adult entertainment company?
Pito: Rick and I conceived the idea of Savage Talons Media in 2009, but the name wasn’t attained until 2010.
We were getting offers from different companies to do porn. Some companies were wanting me and not Rick, or vice versa. So we said let’s start our own thing where we call the shots and run the show.
We started out with a blog that Rick created to build a fan base, while at the same time he was constructing and building a website for us. We slowly started grabbing the attention of men from all over the world.
Rick: To expand on what Pito said, when we started the blog, it was really meant to only be an outlet where we could post the pictures that we wanted without the restrictions that so many other sites were putting on us at the time. In time our audience grew, and we were getting slammed with requests to shoot a video for several other companies. We didn’t really like the idea of filming with another company, so we decided to start our own production company.
EDGE: There’s been a lot of controversy around barebacking in porn and whether it encourages unsafe behavior among viewers. What’s your take?
Rick: I don’t feel that porn is encouraging bareback sex. It’s the other way around: The people who like bareback sex are the ones influencing porn companies to produce condom-less videos.
A recent study showed that almost half of bi and gay men practice unsafe sexual behavior even though they know the risk. It’s up to the viewers to take the precautions of having safe sex. In addition, the porn companies are just trying to give their fans what they want. If there weren’t a demand for bareback sex, there wouldn’t be so many bareback companies doing so well in the porn industry.
Living with HIV
EDGE: Talk a little about your experiences with the attitudes around HIV.
Pito: HIV seems to sometime always be a buzz in our ear, because one of us is negative and the other is undetectable positive. Some guys are uneducated on HIV and want to know how I’m still negative if Rick is undetectable positive. I just tell them to educate themselves.
Rick: The subject of HIV has always been a big part of our lives from the very beginning of our relationship, since I was HIV+ when I met Pito. I have always been upfront about my status in my personal life as well as my public life. I am always posting on Facebook and the blog about the subject to educate those who don’t know much about it, as well as showing them that HIV doesn’t change who you are or how you have to live.
HIV has a terrible stigma, even in the gay community. It really surprises me just how many gay men know very little about the subject, and how those gay men treat individuals who are infected. I think a lot of men either don’t think, or care, how they make those who are infected feel at times.
HIV isn’t the killer it used to be, with proper treatment. We can now live as long as anyone else with a chronic disease. Many negative men who are uneducated about the subject are often time scared to be around an infected person and most would never consider getting into any kind of relationship with someone who has HIV.
The majority of our fans, online friends and real life friends are very accepting of our status and the fact we are a bareback couple. Many have asked how I am undetectable positive and Pito is negative. We are happy to pass on any information and facts they might need to get up to speed with this disease.
EDGE: Gay porn has long been criticized for its lack of diversity and stereotyping of non-white actors in their roles. How has the response been to you guys as an interracial couple?
Rick: (laughter) This subject. I see a lot of problems in porn. We made a few bondage videos that have been widely appreciated by our fans. But we did a film where Pito was the sub and I was the dominate one. I had Pito blindfolded and tied up into chains. When we released a few scene shots of the video to the public, it was met with a lot of resentment. So we had to put the film on the shelf until a later time when we feel our fans are ready to see it for what it is, rather than what they want to make it into.
Our society has a long way to go when it comes to dealing with racial issues. Until the human race can come together as one, I think you will always see division in the gay community and especially in the porn industry.
EDGE: What’s been the biggest challenge in operating Savage Talons Media?
Pito: Our biggest challenge, I would have to say is, finding models to our standard to film.
Rick: I think getting the word out about Savage Talons Media has been very challenging.
EDGE: Who are your porn idols?
Pito: Bobby Blake, Peter North and Mario Ortiz.
Rick: Jack Radcliff, Dean Coulter, and Mike Roberts.
EDGE: Do you guys plan on expanding to include other models?
Pito: Absolutely! We’re getting there.
Rick: This brings us back to one of our biggest challenges.
EDGE: What are your eventual goals for Savage Talons Media?
Pito: Continuing to expand our company until we are worldwide. Do what we do, and do it to the best of our ability. Meet great people along the way, continue to receive awesome opportunities with interviews like such, and meet other men in the business.
We hope to meet a tremendous amount fans from all over the world so we can show them the love back that they have shown us. Without them, Savage Talons Media would be nothing.
Rick: I’m not really sure I can answer that. I think my real goal is to do the best we can and one day walk away knowing we gave it our all. Now if that means that the company grows as big as Titan or Falcon, then so be it.
EDGE: Thanks for chatting with us! A final question: Which one of you is the freakiest?
Pito: Neither one of us is freakier than the other; we are very well matched in that department.
For more on Savage Talons Media, visit the Savage Talons Media website.