Twinkle, Twinkle Little Porn Star

When Dylan Ryan, a Harvard junior, placed a provocative personal ad on an Internet dating site, he expected to receive a few propositions. What he didn’t expect was an offer to star in a porn flick. Ryan, a handsome, green-eyed economics concentrator, who spoke with FM on the condition that only his stage name be used, was conducting research at Cambridge University last summer. A failed relationship back home coupled with a sense of isolation in England led him to post a profile on Gaydar, a popular dating forum for gay men in Britain. “I just put it up because I was really bored and lonely,” he says.

Ryan’s ad, which features two erotic pictures, describes him as “a hopeless romantic” whose head is “both in the clouds and in the gutter.” His ideal fantasy? “Just embracing the right person.” His sexy self-portraits and obvious need for physical affection proved a potent combination. After three months, Ryan’s profile had garnered over 3,000 hits.

Ryan’s popularity didn’t let up after he returned to Harvard, and responses poured in. “It was always hilarious,” he says, “because I got insane messages from really old men who would say ‘I really like your body.’”

One of these men was Max Lincoln, the founder of Eurocream, a British production company specializing in gay erotica. Lincoln e-mailed Ryan in early November and offered him a role in “Dreamboy 2,” Eurocream’s latest project. Uncertain of his sex appeal in real life, Ryan shyly declined Lincoln’s offer.

The porn king was not discouraged. After learning that Ryan was a Harvard student, he gave him a call. “Harvard is really well-known over here for its serious academic reputation,” Lincoln says, “so the image of one of you guys getting naked and fucking is very horny.” Lincoln’s interest was further piqued when Ryan sent him more photographs that revealed Ryan was circumcised—an anomaly among British men. Ryan doubted his allure, but Lincoln continued to prod. “He told me that he had been in the business for a long time and knew what looks good,” Ryan says. “He thought I had the right look.”

During reading period, Ryan wrestled with the decision. While he didn’t have moral qualms with the act of sex on film, he worried that others would perceive him as “morally bankrupt.” He was particularly concerned that starring in a gay porn flick would give his unsuspecting mother a clue that he was gay. After friends assured him the experience would be “hot,” however, Ryan signed a contract. “I thought it would probably be a liberating experience,” he says. “I was bored with life at that time.” He earned £1,000 pounds ($1,600) for four days of filming, and didn’t even have to miss class. “It was an extreme coincidence,” he says, “that production fell during intersession, when I would be in England with a friend from school.”

In the film, Ryan portrays Jack, an affluent Harvard student who travels on a boat from England to his second home —an 11th century chateau near Angers, France. In the opening scene, Jack is crossing the English Channel on a ferry when he bumps into Danny, a horny film student traveling through Europe. In a scene borrowed from Titanic, Jack points to his necklace and asks the loaded question, “Can you photograph me wearing this. . .only this?”

Ryan describes the first hours of production as “the most awkward moments of my life.” Despite the director’s confidence in his physical appearance, Ryan faced a hard time (or lack thereof) in the cold weather. “I’m self-conscious about my body,” he says, “and three cameras were filming me at once.” Ryan was instructed to follow cues from Lincoln that told him when to perform certain sexual acts and when to make pre-determined noises. Although Ryan consistently laughed at the cues, Lincoln lauded Ryan’s performance. “He was working 18-hour days,” he wrote in an email message. “We shot two main sex scenes with him, two photosets and also some dialogue scenes with his co-star. He was stunning in all of them—a real dreamboat!” Lincoln also praised Ryan’s “amazing stamina.”

Ryan’s growing romantic feelings for his co-star, Ryan Morgan, made things a bit awkward as the two traveled across the Channel. British law prohibits the filming of sex scenes with three or more people, so production was moved to the more laissez-faire France. “Talking really humanized him,” Ryan says.  “Initially I thought he was some dirty porn star, but then I realized he was just another kid with the same ambitions as me.” Ryan doubted, however, whether his co-star was legitimately attracted to him or just following the script. On the third day, the cast filmed at a chateau in the Loire River Valley. After this particularly memorable evening together in the chateau, Ryan and his co-star Morgan re-enacted some of their earlier on-camera scenes—this time with better dialogue, fewer Titanic-themed props and actual emotions involved. To top off his whirlwind intersession of international movie stardom, Ryan had met the man of his dreams.

When Ryan returned to frigid Harvard, he checked his online profile at Gaydar to see if he had received any more responses. His co-star had wistfully written to him, “I hope it’s not too cold for you. I should be there to keep you warm.” Ryan admits that his separation from Morgan has been difficult.  “I think about him a lot,” he says.  “Getting back into the routine of classes is a good way of diverting my attention.”

At the end of February, Morgan and the Eurocream staff will reunite with Ryan when they travel to New York City to film the movie’s final scene. Lincoln hopes to recruit fresh talent by scouting Harvard Yard. “I have never been to Harvard,” he says, “but I imagine a huge campus filled with Ryan look-a-likes, all with perfect bodies, who can fuck like bunnies all night, and yet are all going to be Wall Street millionaires by the time they are 21. It’s sexy!”

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