Mason Wyler Comes Clean
As gay porn stars go, few know how to raise eyebrows quite like Mason Wyler. The 26-year-old self-described “sex fiend” is known for being more graphic than your average porn star — in January he detailed a sexual relationship with an Internet porn star who was a “roid-raged, drug-addicted, racist asshole.” His ads on sites like Adam4Adam and Manhunt in 2009 declared he was trying to see how much sex a slut could have online and that “anything goes.” And in 2008 he made headlines when he posted on his blog that he’d been raped — when he followed it up with a series of posts about enjoying rough sex and ultimately decided against pressing charges, several bloggers suggested he’d made the entire thing up.
Now Wyler is making headlines again — this time for coming out as HIV-positive. In a post on his official website, Wyler says he tested positive in May and has “only myself to blame.” And as it has before, response has been all over the map — from supportive to indifferent to the suggestion it’s all just a publicity stunt.
Wyler talks to The Advocate about his decision to disclose his status, what this means for his porn career and how he feels about the mixed response to his announcement.
The Advocate: What made you decide to come forward and tell people you’d tested positive?
Mason Wyler:Well, a former housemate of mine tweeted about it, trying to smear me in a negative light and suggest I was out there spreading disease. And then one of the industry bloggers picked it up and tried to smear me in a similar light. Since it was already out there that I had tested positive, I thought I should say something.
In your blog post, you said you have only yourself to blame.
I take responsibility for my own actions.
What have you learned? Would you go back and do anything differently?
I’d like to say I would — that I’d be 100% safe, that I wouldn’t be as promiscuous. But that’s really hard to say. It’s not like I learned anything new because I never thought I was invincible, I never thought it couldn’t happen to me. I knew all the risks. I knew each time I participated in unsafe sex it was a good possibility I might get something. It’s like saying after you get shit-faced drunk and you wake up the next day with the worst hangover ever that you’re never going to drink again. It’s very difficult to actually adhere to that.
Now that it’s out there and you’re in a position to become an advocate for HIV prevention, is that something you see yourself doing?
If the opportunity were to present itself, sure. I wouldn’t mind doing it. But I think the education’s there. I think there should be better education when it comes to testing and what the different types of tests mean. I think there are kids who will automatically assume that just because you have a test that says HIV-negative, you are, and they don’t understand the window periods.
How do you imagine this will affect your career?
My career, in my opinion, was slowing down. I’d worked for practically every studio there was to work for — I’d done 200 to 300 scenes. The e-mails were slowing down, the phone calls were slowing down. I just figured this contract I had with Next Door Studios was a good deal and that eventually people would get tired of me and my career would kind of come to an end and I’d have to go off and do something else.
Any idea what that might be?
I went to school to be a teacher, so I was thinking of going back to school, getting a master’s degree, and becoming a professor. I figured it would be easier to be a professor if my background came back to bite me in the ass. Colleges and universities are much more liberal when it comes to things like that, as opposed to being a high school, where it actually would be a big problem.
Do you imagine you’ll ever perform again?
If the offer’s there. I know there are other porn models who are HIV-positive. The difference with me is I feel I’ve become kind of the face of HIV in the porn world for this moment in time. Now I feel like my name, my face, and my body will be associated with that, but I don’t know how it would affect sales. It’s all up to the studios and what they think and, I mean, as long as my scene partners know my status and hopefully are positive themselves. Condom porn, I would go for it.