Avocado Toast series

Two millennial women eat avocado toast against a white backdrop.

The Avocado Toast series is an intergenerational sex-comedy.  Have you ever wondered about your parents’ sex life?

Neither did Molly and Elle until coming out and divorce forced them to learn about their parents’ new sexcapades. Now, these 30-something best friends cling to each other as they navigate their parents’ sex lives alongside their own. 

Border2Border Entertainment is producing the Avocado Toast series and producer Charlie David recently sat down with co-creators Heidi Lynch and Perrie Voss to discover how they came to create this new show.


Were there any personal experiences that inspired the characters or storylines in the Avocado Toast series?

Heidi:  YES! Originally the show was based on the tumultuous time in our lives when we met. I had just ended things with first female partner.

Perrie: And I had received a sudden phone call that my parents were breaking up after over 30 years of marriage. Sadly it wasn’t an amicable split, which made it even harder. 

Heidi:  We both felt totally discombobulated and leaned on each other – hard.

Perrie: Heidi and I had a bond before those things in our lives escalated, but that bond really deepened through these experiences. There were a ton of tears, a ton of laughter and a ton of wine hahaha. That experience really informed the base of our protagonists.  

Heidi: Through drafts, the show has now morphed into an amalgamation of truth, imagination and research.

What hole does this fill in the current TV/web landscape?  

Heidi: MEN & WOMEN AGE 23-69 😋 If you type “avocado toast, millennials” into google you will find a litany of articles written on how millennials are ruining their lives and the world that baby boomers created. This way of thinking is toxic and divides the two generations.

The Avocado Toast series aims to bridge the gap between millennials and baby boomers by talking about something both groups will always have in common… sex! We explore the intricacies of platonic female relationships, which is rarely truthfully depicted. ALSO… Bisexual representation needs to happen! It has started happening slowly with recent stars coming out as bi. So if there is anything we can do to help that and to create bisexual representation by telling our story we will! 

The Avocado Toast series explores sex and all the awkward interactions that can happen in a conversation about sex between a millennial and a baby boomer parent.  It’s weird for parents to think about their kids having sex and it’s weird for kids to think their parents have a sex life.  How can we get over this cultural minefield and have meaningful conversations about relationships between the generations?

Heidi: This is such a great question and hard to answer because the entire thing is awkward. I want for everyone to have full rich sex lives and to never feel embarrassed about them.

I don’t think any parent or child needs to “get over” that awkward feeling. BUT I do think a parent and a child need to respect each other and support each other’s happiness. EVERYONE DOES IT. hahaha. We want to explore society’s desexualization of women over 40.

Perrie: And along that line – why we as a society tend to have double standards for men dating younger women (which, let’s be honest, you can’t swing a cat without running into hahaha), but we can be flabbergasted at a middle aged woman dating a man 30 years her junior. There can be more judgment. But obviously women have vibrant sex drives throughout their lives, and there’s still this left-over stigma pre-sexual revolution that they need to be prim and proper and not publicly show desire. I mean – go get it girl! I personally want to explore this and I think we will both learn a lot from this exploration. We don’t necessarily have the answers, but we have a viewpoint on it and we’re excited to learn as the show develops. Sex is so subjective. So let’s start that conversation!

Heidi: We also want to question why SOME parents of LGBTQ people take issue with who their children choose to be with romantically.  It really should never matter who your parent/child is having sex with as long as they are happy and feel safe. But some really funny and awkward conversations might need to happen en route to getting there. 

The Avocado Toast series is written, starring, directed, and created by women.  That’s kick-ass!  

Heidi: It is really fun and incredible to get to work on a set that is female heavy. I feel that way especially because I have created a character that is exploring her sexuality. Molly is bisexual so that means some girl on girl action will be required. With Sam Coyle directing I have full confidence that any scene we shoot will be shot with a female eye. The set will feel professional and I will be taken care of. That is not to say that couldn’t happen with a male director but as an actress I have a laundry list of moments where that wasn’t  the case, even on “closed” sets. That being said, we absolutely have some incredible men behind the scenes on Avocado Toast which make it clear that gender shouldn’t be the determining factor in why you work with someone. The best human for the job is what we want and is what creates harmony and a cohesive vision. 
 

Perrie: I could talk about this for days, but that’s exactly it. I was a little baby feminist as a little girl even before I knew what that meant. I didn’t comprehend or see that there was an integrated division until I hit puberty. I used to win track races and swimming races over the boys and not even bat an eye about it. So I think I carried this “I can kick your butt in anything” aka “we’re equal” mindset with me and had a hard time adjusting to the idea that women can be considered “less-than” (and I think sadly all women have endless histories of these micro and macro moments that we’ve had to deal with). 

Although I didn’t set out to systematically create a woman-heavy project, Heidi and I found these powerhouse humans (who also happened to be women) who fit our project perfectly. Then it got exciting – this industry can be tough for women, and there is something SO empowering about giving other women job opportunities when they perhaps were overlooked in previous years and projects. Women are amazing! Heidi and I have set up collaborative environments and it is super inspiring to be around that energy. And like Heidi said – I LOVE the men that are a part of our project. They have each been handpicked as well. Each of them are hugely kind, understanding, and massively talented humans. They trust us and believe in the project. There’s no tolerance for “mansplaining” on our sets! hahahaha. 

Thanks so much Heidi and Perrie! To follow the adventures of the Avocado Toast series and follow along with production, join us on our Facebook page.

For a deeper dive into gender, try the Border2Border Entertainment documentary, Dude for a Day.

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I’m a Porn Star: Gay for Pay documentary

I'm a Porn Star Gay for Pay by Charlie David

A large number of the men working in gay porn identify as straight. This documentary explores the fascinating world of guys who go Gay for Pay.

I'm a Porn Star Gay4Pay

Watch the gay for pay documentary, I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay now on your favorite platform!

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When did straight actors start playing gay for pay?

Over the past century of western cinema, we’ve seen a steady increase in representation of LGBTQ characters, but there’s long been a taboo against playing these ‘gay4pay’ roles, for fear of being typecast. In the 1950s to 1970s, it could be a career killer to play gay, and few actors or studios were willing to take the risk.

Gay for Pay Rocky Horror Picture Show

Most examples we have were either studio films where the queer characters were villains or independent ventures by boundary-pushing filmmakers. In the 1980s, films with gay story lines were often indistinguishable from activism, and often reflected characters coming to terms with new HIV transmission and AIDS.

Gay for Pay Philadelphia

In the 1990s and 2000s, a curious change began to take place. A-list Hollywood actors began to selectively play gay characters.  And it wasn’t about playing gay for pay.  Playing gay was associated with a new adjective – brave.

The TV series Melrose Place had a straight actor playing gay for pay in the early 1990’s – a rarity.

Doug Savant starred as Matt Fielding on a FOX series titled Melrose Place from 1992 to 1997.  I remember this story line very well as it was one of the first openly gay characters on mainstream television.

This depiction of a gay person  was scrutinized and censored by the network.  For example,  a kiss between Matt and guest star Ty Miller during the finale of season two was edited out at the last minute by FOX. 

Doug Savant left the series after five seasons and, a year later, his character was killed off-screen in a car crash.

Watch the gay for pay documentary, I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay now on your favorite platform!

    gay for pay documentary        Gay for Pay documentary Amazon  Gay for Pay documentary Google Play

Watch the first 5 minutes of I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay free above!

Gay for Pay Interview with the Vampire-Pitt Cruise 1994

In the 1994 film, Interview with the Vampire, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt play a homosexual vampire couple although the word gay is never used in the film.  Any LGBTQ person who has read the book or watched the film knows these guys are more than just best buddies who spent several centuries together! 

The actors playing gay for pay were most often straight-identified men who were lauded with praise for tackling brave roles. That word, brave, has always struck a chord with me and most often, a dissonant one.

Why for a straight man who is an actor, who makes believe for a living, is it brave to take on a gay role? What is it about exploring the idea of love, intimacy and sexual excitement causes a wall of fear to be thrown up, a wall so high that only the most courageous would attempt to climb?

Suddenly, the tides were shifting. Everyone wanted a gay4pay role on their resume.  It was now a badge of honor for straight actors to go gay for pay, and many wanted to join the ranks of Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Brad Pitt, Eric McCormack, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

I'm a Porn Star Gay for Pay

The floodgates were open and it was exciting, but still confounding to chat with straight actors at auditions who would say things like, “Oh, yeah, I play a serial killer, so why not do a gay for pay role?”

Catch that?  Playing a gay role was associated with playing a serial killer.  Decades later and the queers are still being villainized in common conversation, often unintentionally.  I’m sure comments like this come with the best intentions, they’re just most often uninformed. 

I'm a Porn Star Gay for Pay 14

Today, it seems we’ve finally reached the point where it’s no longer breaking news when an actor tackles a gay for pay role, regardless of their personal stated or still often unstated sexuality.

I'm a Porn Star Gay for Pay Star Wars

Intrigue has refocused online into the world of pornography. Curiously, there is a disproportionate percentage of men working in gay porn who identify as straight. Why would a straight man do gay4pay porn?

What motivates him to try this or make a career out of it?  Why is there such keen interest and debate into the sexuality and personal lives of these men?

And what does it say about us, the viewer, that so much of gay porn is dominated by images of straight men? Are there shades of internalized homophobia emerging?

Why might we be turned off if the man on screen looks, sounds or behaves in a way that is identifiably queer?

To try and answer some of these questions, we interviewed men from some of the most popular and prolific studios, which fetishize straight men.  Performers like Will Braun, Dennis West, and Justin Bryant Adams.  I also spoke with gay performers like Eddie Stone, Brent Everett, Alex Mecum, and Diego Sans about their experiences working with straight guys.

We also hit the streets of Toronto and San Diego to test the curiosity and opinions of the public. Welcome to the curious, surprising and always outspoken world of straight men who go gay for pay.

I invite you to watch I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay and join in the conversation.  I always love to hear your reactions so please be sure to rate, review and comment wherever you rent or purchase the documentary.

Watch the gay for pay documentary, I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay now on your favorite platform!

gay for pay documentary        Gay for Pay documentary Amazon  Gay for Pay documentary Google Play

I'm a Porn Star Gay for Pay 13

Director’s Statement – I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay

Curiously there are a disproportionate percentage of men working in gay porn who identify as straight.  This is called working as a gay for pay or gay4pay performer.  But why would a straight man do gay porn?

I’m a filmmaker. My job is to provoke you to think and hopefully start a conversation after watching my work. In my opinion, it’s not my responsibility to tell you what your opinion should be.

Instead of emulating Sally Field (“You like me. You really like me!”) I’d rather the subjects of my films make you uncomfortable. Love them, hate them – doesn’t matter to me. Just consider them.

As wise old Rumi said, “Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

I was asked by a TV network to make a documentary about straight men working in gay for pay porn. There are reams of digital 0 and 1s filling cyber space with people arguing, guessing, colluding, and fantasizing about what the real sexuality of these men are.

That doesn’t actually interest me and I’ll be blunt here and suggest it shouldn’t intrigue you either. That conversation is about putting a label on a person. It’s our responsibility as a society to stop reducing each other to labels and they are many – fat, slut, white, black, poor, privileged, straight, queer – you get the point.

I hope I can poke your curiosity beyond firing up your labeling machine and to an arena that considers broader questions like…

What does it say about us, the viewer that so much of gay porn is dominated by images of straight men? Are there shades of internalized homophobia emerging?

Why are so many young people considering porn as part of their career or financial paths?

What are the ramifications of straight producers, directors and performers making gay for pay porn?

Does this entertainment accurately reflect our bedrooms?  Does it need to?

Is it a mockery to have straight men doing gay for pay porn? Or is it an example of how far acceptance and visibility for LGBTQ people have come?

Is this the entertainment the gay porn audience wants or is it simply what’s being offered?

To answer these questions the documentary interviews men from some of the most popular and prolific studios that feature straight men. Gay performers also add their perspective about working with straight guys.

Please watch the documentary, consider these questions and then comment. Let’s start a conversation. Let the 0 and 1s fly!

Watch the gay for pay documentary, I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay now on your favorite platform!

gay for pay documentary        Gay for Pay documentary Amazon  Gay for Pay documentary Google Play

Find out more about Director Charlie David here.

Director Charlie David discusses his film Positive Youth.

Did you know that I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay is actually a sequel?  You can watch the first film, I’m a Porn Star here.

 

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