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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 7, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 49
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Making a Gayby

Stars of acclaimed indie film talk about Gay-straight sex

by Chris Azzopardi - SGN Contributing Writer

There are lots of ways to have a baby if you're a Gay man with a platonic girlfriend. Surrogacy is one option. You could adopt. Maybe even go the donor insemination route.

Or... you could just get naked and stick it in.

Gayby, an acclaimed indie film from writer/director Jonathan Lisecki (recently nominated for Best First Screenplay by the esteemed Spirit Awards), now available on DVD, is the story of two besties, Jenn and Matt (real-life friends Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas), who decide to fulfill a lifelong promise to have a kid ... by having sex together. Here, the two stars talk about how they differ from - and resemble - their on-screen personas, and how a Gay man can (believe it or not) conceive a child the 'natural' way.

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT


Jenn: We met during our freshman orientation at Boston University, and it was literally and completely love at first sight. I don't mean love like, 'Oh my God, I want to marry that guy' - it was like, 'You're coming with me.' He's just one of those soul-mate people who knows you. We go together really well - he's very much my brother. So I can't even think of him having sex. It totally creeps me out. But neither of us really can. We get grossed out.

Matthew: Yeah, we're never going to have sex. That's never gonna happen. 'WE'RE BOTH NEUROTIC'


Jenn: I remember reading, 'Jenn's walking around the city depressed and she falls into a bush' and thinking, 'I can't wait to fall into a bush!' I thought it was this big moment, like I'm gonna fall from a cliff into a bush, and it wasn't. I have as much fun as my character does and I work hard like she does, but it's obviously high comedy - I'm not walking around falling into bushes. I was also a spinning instructor for years, and that is my motorbike.

Matthew: We're both really neurotic. I think we both share that quality, so I don't think Jenn is the only neurotic one in this relationship like she is in the film.

HAVING BABIES


Matthew: I have no desire to have a baby. Jenn wants to have a baby. She always says that I'm gonna be involved in the child's life, and I'm sure I will be.

Jenn: If Gay-couple friends of mine wanted me to have their baby or something - I'm not in the market to do that right now. I'm not ready to mother at this moment, but I'm not against it. I'm not even against having sex with a Gay man!

DOES THIS EVER HAPPEN?


Matthew: I would say maybe, like, less than one percent of the time. But maybe it's more. I don't know anyone who's done it this way. I feel like people are more apt to go the turkey-baster method. If sex were the only option, I think I'd be able to handle it. I mean, it's very strange. It's obviously more an excuse to write a really funny scene than something that happens in reality. [laughs]

THE FIRST SEX SCENE


Jenn: That was actually our favorite scene to shoot. It was really hard not to break. We had actually shot that scene in the short a couple of years ago [Gayby was originally a short]. It's longer in the film, obviously, but it's pretty much what we did in the short. I think we were just so comfortable. Matt and I travel. We're always sleeping in the same bed. It was really easy. Like, 'Oh, this is a familiar moment.'

Matthew: It was a blast. There's a comfort there that I wouldn't have had if it were with someone I didn't know. A lot of the awkwardness was authentic in that it was so easy to imagine how awkward it would be in real life to have to go through that, so I think part of that added to the fun of making that scene. It's totally awkward but doable.

[The shoot] was pretty casual. Jonny is one of those directors where I didn't feel like I was under his control too much. It felt a lot looser than that. I guess for the physical stuff it would depend on the shot, like if they needed the shot of me jerking off under the sheet and Jenn's face in the background, there was definitely a specificity to that - the angle of the camera and how high my hands could jerk upward. That sort of thing. [laughs]

IN DEFENSE OF SEX WORK


Jenn: People who say that sex scenes - at least with the gorgeous gentleman I've been given the pleasure to be cast opposite of - are awkward, hard, and weird are lying. They're lying because they want to be artsy-crafty. It's bullshit. There is nothing weird about it. People were watching! People were filming! Come on, that's great. I was given my best friend and three gorgeous men who are wonderful gentlemen. Going to work to make out with someone? Not difficult. I can see the allure of the porn industry.

ADVICE TO GAY MEN


Matthew: My character, Matt, has it right: He suggests that he gets off outside of her and then rolls over and sticks it in when it's just about to happen. That's the best way for a Gay man to go about having sex with a woman. It saves you from actually having to go through with it for too long. IT'S ABOUT FAMILY

Jenn: The film is very much about the family that we create. We have our biological family and then we grow up and move to big cities, or we move away from our family of origin and we build our own little family with our friends, coworkers, and neighbors. We get to choose who we want in our family when we get older. We have the gift of choice. Just like I chose Matt, and Matt chose me. He's definitely my Gay husband.

Matthew: The definition of family isn't exclusive to just blood relatives. It's really beyond that. I am not very close to my family, and I moved to N.Y. and I had to create my own family, essentially. That's what the film is about. It's about creating your own family when you don't necessarily have one. Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website, www.chris-azzopardi.com.

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