Interview with Mario Ortiz
Pornstar shares stories about his move from bareback porn to bodywork.
HOOK: How long were you in the industry?
Mario Ortiz: I left the industry four or five years ago for personal reasons. I went back to school for Fashion at FIT.
HOOK: How many years were you in the business?
Mario: I started doing movies in 2002 and stopped in 2008. Six – seven years
HOOK: How did you get started?
Mario: It was by accident actually. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine me doing porn. But I was here for four, five months and I had no money even to pay the rent. A friend of mine from Venezuela who was doing movies asked me if I needed money. “Are you willing to do anything for money,” he asked? “My boyfriend wants me to stop doing porn so I have a new movie and I have to say no but if the people like you, you can do that movie.” They were paying $600, not that much, but for me it was millions.
I went to casting. They liked me. I did the movie. There was somebody doing a special report on the movie and they said they really liked my performance. I thought it was bullshit. I gave my number and a month later Chi Chi Larue was calling me. I thought it was a prank phone call. But it was him and he wanted me. He brought me to San Francisco, Catalina, LA. I started worked for them and others. I started doing movies, movies, and movies!!
HOOK: How did you feel starting in the industry? Were you conflicted?
Mario: Today I look back and I am amazed what I did. But in the eye of the hurricane you don’t even realize what is going on. Today I am amazed when I look back. I didn’t even know what I was doing. And people liked me. In the moment I thought it was normal.
HOOK: What did you feel like? Did you feel you deserved it? This was the life you wanted?
Mario: I never felt sexy or WOW! That’s why I never realized what was happening. Now it’s like WOW. I wish I was more conscious about it. The thing was I never planned it. So I was doing it without any plans or being conscious that I was in a big industry and that my name was getting big.
HOOK: Do you think people would have treated you differently if you had done more planning?
Mario: Yes, Even me. I would have treated myself different. I didn’t value myself as I should have. i didn’t treat myself with dignity; even with friends. People were treating me pretty badly outside the business. They weren’t in agreement with what I was doing. I heard “You should change your career. This is not what you really are.”
There was a lot of jealousy. I thought they were my friends but they made me feel very badly. I also met someone who was very jealous of my success who made me stop for two years. If I met him today I would tell him “Fuck You.” I needed to give myself value. I didn’t dignify myself.
HOOK: Can you give me an example?
Mario: Respecting myself. This is my job. This is who I am. I’m not hurting anybody. They made me feel guilty and I let them do it
HOOK: What decisions would you have made differently?
Mario: I would have made more money. I would have made it a real career. I would have been more serious. I would have made different choices. But I did well without even planning.
HOOK: Did you make a lot of money?
Mario: I made money but not a lot. I wished I had planned for it; planned how to invest. I was partying; I was having fun. I was falling in love with a lot of stupid guys. Even then the boys made me feel bad out of jealousy. I should have respected myself.
HOOK: Where did the money go?
Mario: It went to pay rent. Travel. Helping a lot of people who didn’t deserve it. I was very stupid. I was helping a lot of people. I was even making money as an escort. Everything went together.
HOOK: Was porn or escorting more lucrative?
Mario: You make more money escorting. If you are a porn actor, you are also an escort. They go together. You make more money as an escort. Not with movies. It’s how you use that name. Shows you’re in. It’s how you manage your name and the marketing.
HOOK: How did you negotiate becoming an escort? That want part of your plan either.
Mario: It came the same time. I used Rent Boy. I used a web site. They went together.
HOOK: How did you reconcile escorting to yourself? Did you come to a decision that you were comfortable? Some people get conflicted; you were confident.
Mario: I needed money <grin>
HOOK: Was being Latino a help or a detriment? Did it play into your success?
Mario: I use it in my favor. Being Latin helped. I came at the right time – the right time, the right place, with the right people. I am Latino but I’m white – I have freckles. I had a unique look.
HOOK: Did you do any bareback?
Mario: I did. People tricked me. One of the last movies I did I never knew they were taping behind the scenes. I wasn’t very into the sex I was having on camera so I got this guy behind the camera and I started fucking him without a condom. The director taped and used it in the movie. I never knew. And they advertised it as the first Manual Ortiz? Bareback movie? EEEK. When I saw that I thought “What the fuck?” I should have sued them. But I didn’t care.
HOOK: Did you normally have sex bareback? Off camera?
Mario: Off camera I do everything. Bareback. No bareback. I didn’t want to do bareback in front of the camera because it closed contacts. Other companies that don’t bareback shut the door in your face if you do. They don’t want to work with you because of your bareback video.
HOOK: How did you come to a decision to engage in bareback off camera? No judgment. I was just curious. Negotiated play is how a lot of people……..
Mario: The first time I had sex in Venezuela was bareback. I was always a top. I heard Tops have less risk, so …… I’m just more comfortable doing it like that. If the other person is ok with that, I do it. If not, I use condoms. In that moment the guy agreed so we did. Was just a little anyway to get me excited.
HOOK: Then they filmed it and released it. Did you tell the company you were upset?
Mario: No. I didn’t tell them. That’s how I didn’t manage myself in the porn industry. It’s what I said, if I had been more focused and planned more, everything could be different today. I needed to be more career focused. But things happen the way they’re supposed to happen.
HOOK: Did this affect your relationship with other companies? No judgment. I was just curious. Negotiated play is how a lot of people……..
Mario: It was the time I had decided to stop working in porn so there wasn’t much of an effect. Right after I stopped – although people are still calling me. Especially bareback companies.
HOOK: What was your motivation to leave the business?
Mario: It was personal things. I decided to stop. In the beginning it was very hard. It’s like the Mafia. It’s hard to get out. It’s easy money – that’s not that easy – it’s like a vicious, Mafia circle. You have to have a plan to get out.
HOOK: Did you make a plan? Did people try and keep you in the business?
Mario: Yes, I decided to stop and start going to school. Nobody tried to stop me. It’s just you. You can’t do this forever. As years pass by and you’re enclosed in that environment – if you don’t have a Plan B, eventually, what are you going to do? You get old and it’s not available.
HOOK: Were drugs used on set? Were you using them on set?
Mario: No, on set, no. Companies were very strict. One time someone came to the set very high and Chi Chi stopped the scene. I did drugs for a year and a half – two years. Today I am seven years – three months sober. I decided to stop because there were rumors around the company that I was doing drugs. I wasn’t that much but there were rumors. I started going to AA meetings and it stuck.
HOOK: Was doing drugs affecting you negatively?
Mario: No, I was doing my job. I wasn’t doing that much. It would have had a negative effect if I continued.
HOOK: Did you have rules for using?
Mario: I was doing drugs when I was off work.
HOOK: Did you have rules for clients using or using with clients?
Mario: I did two, three times with clients but it got very bad. I became paranoid and it got very bad very quick. I didn’t do my job.
HOOK: How did the clients react?
Mario: We were feeling the same thing. We both did drugs. Once I had to leave after three hours. In fact one client threw me out. “Take your money and go.” We both became paranoid. I realized it was affecting me so I decided myself to stop. I start realizing drugs weren’t doing much for me
HOOK: Are you doing body work right now? Are you doing massage?
Mario: Yes. It’s kind of sexual in a soft way. There’s no pressure like having sex when the client gets hard.
HOOK: Do you have regular clients? What are some of the ways you use to keep regular clients?
Mario: Have a good energy and make them feel comfortable. There has to be chemistry though. Sometimes there isn’t chemistry – you can do everything but there is no chemistry. The clients are also human beings.
HOOK: I see you’re wearing a cross. Do you bring spirituality to your work?
Mario: I am very spiritual. Especially with my participation in AA. I believe in God more than ever. I have God in my life.
HOOK: How do you reconcile that in your work? Spirituality and the work you do?
Mario: My God is about love. I don’t agree with the Church when they say gays or prostitutes deserve censorship. My God is different. My God – my higher power – is about love and understanding and forgiveness. If I want to be effective so I have to affect somebody. I want to affect somebody the way AA affects me. I am as perfect as anyone.
HOOK: Are you glad you worked in the sex industry?
Mario: I f I was born again, I would do it again. I will be Mario Ortiz again but smarter. I am very proud to have achieved what I have achieved. Others wanted to do it but didn’t have the courage. But I did. It’s a fantasy for a lot of people but I did it and I did it at a high level. Today I feel proud. Five, six years ago you might have gotten a different answer. I was ashamed. Today I respect myself and I have dignity.
HOOK: How did you go from ashamed to finding dignity?
Mario: Today I know who I am. Today I have respect. Today I love myself. Today I don’t let anybody step on me. I hold myself in the highest regard. That’s different than five years ago where I put myself last and others first.
HOOK: That’s common in the sex industry.
Mario: Yes, in our heads we are not good looking – we are not capable. You have to believe you’re capable.