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OK, I thought to myself, “Porn Again” – Everybody likes or is at least curious about porn, although the majority rarely admit to it in public. When offered an interview with the author, I said “Yes, why not,” decidedly without yet knowing the essence of what lurked inside the pages of the pretty pink-covered book, revealing its even prettier and sexy creator standing in the midst of pink.
As I began to read the first chapter, the very first pages captured my complete attention. By the time I was midway through, I was totally addicted to the book as well as the author, Josh Sabarra. Only this book wasn’t about porn. Yes, it candidly followed the author’s sexual adventures and experiences; however, it was more about “the journey.” Haunted by his childhood demons, embarrassed and harassed by schoolmates, and tortured by his own lack of acceptance toward himself, this book represented a difficult yet unbelievable and amazing adventure through the depths of his very soul.

Being a high-level marketing executive and producer at an extremely young age, Josh rode the Hollywood roller coaster, meeting and befriending some of the most relevant celebrities the world has to offer, and although splattered through his memoirs, the book wasn’t about them either!

Electrifying, sometimes shocking, yet warm, unexpectedly filled with humor and sensibility, the book becomes a stunning habit. Although I am far from an avid reader, I finished his book within several hours, and wished for Josh to have been older so there could have been more of the book to read. Every biologically straight woman longs for a gay bestie, some secretly, others like myself outwardly excited at the very thought of it. Every gay man wishes for a Hollywood lifestyle filled with glamour and hot sexual escapades similar to those of Josh.

Following Josh’s voyage through the words of his manuscript proved to be blatantly impressive as well as sincerely and noticeably marked with integrity; however, speaking with him proved to be overwhelmingly glorious. Within five minutes of our conversation I found him to be an incredibly special person, filled with a warmth and innocence rarely displayed that quickly in an individual. His sexually enchanting publication, ending jealously with his coming of age, I feel is merely a beginning.

With a title like “Porn Again,” besides the gay male audience that this book is perfectly written for, what other kinds of admirers do you hope to capture as well?
My audience, particularly when I was on Ricki’s show for that period of time, the women that responded to me online were women between the ages of 30 and 55. They liked the idea of having a gay best friend, and that’s how Fox positioned me with Ricki: I was her gay best friend. People want to ask “those” questions. They want to ask what we do in bed. Having somebody that candid and honest, I knew that people always responded to that edgy sensibility that I had, the fact that I was willing to talk about anything. So I feel like the title’s kind of in your face, but at the same time I was hoping it would suggest to people that there’s something cheeky about it or something playful about it, and that it wasn’t just “porn.” But the play on words is “Porn Again,” and that people know that it’s really wink, wink, wink. This is what I say: “If people come for the appetizer, but the food is good, I’m fine with that!”

I was slightly hesitant to do the interview, only because I wasn’t a gay man, and I wanted to do the interview justice. Well, the moment I began to read it, I realized that it was appealing to everyone, every gay man, every straight woman, everyone interested in humanity.
See, that was my goal, that “you” would read this book and feel like you’ve been through it with me, and that you can say, “Hey, here’s a relate-able person who’s had these extraordinary experiences with people that we all think about, and we all look at from the outside,” and say, “How wonderful it must be!” You know, we create these lives on social media where people just sort of look in from the outside, and they see what they perceive to be this glamour and glittery existence – I’m guilty of having participated in it – and it’s so empty. It was a cover for everything that wasn’t real about me. I wasn’t being myself. When you get the part about Ricki, people are gonna say, “What a toxic friendship!” And you know what, it was! But it was really such a precipitating event in my life, because I don’t know that if it hadn’t happened the way it was, I wouldn’t have stopped and looked at myself the way I did. In a way I’m thankful that she came into my life and that it ended the way it did. No, she’s not the kind of person I wanted around me ultimately, but it took having her to realize that.

As a writer I really appreciated the way in which the book was written – which, by the way, was extraordinarily well. I loved reading it and wished for more when I had finished.
I’m so happy that you responded to the book. It has been my dream to do a memoir. I sort of worked in a vacuum. When you’re writing like that, I’m sure you know, you don’t always have a sense of whether it’s good or not. You’re working and working, then I’d put it down, and I was like, “Ugh, this is terrible!” I’d give it to my editor and she’d say, “It’s fantastic!”

I get it. I do.
You know, you don’t realize sometimes when you’re doing it, it’s such a sedentary, isolating kind of work. For someone who has always worked with people, it was really weird to sequester myself for two years to do this the right way. So you’re really one of the first pieces of feedback that I’m getting.

Well, I didn’t only enjoy the book, but I got something out of it.
The fact that I’m gay does make it an interest of certain people, but I think anybody who has been marginalized or singled out for their differences – anytime, whether it’s weight or being short or being a redhead or whatever it is that you’re made fun of – I think anybody could identify what it’s like to go through life being an outsider. It’s funny, I was working on something for “The Huffington Post.” I was saying that the difference from being bullied for your sexuality versus being bullied for the things you typically hear is those people – if you’re being bullied for being a redhead or a weight problem – you can identify what it is about you that’s triggering that disdain from other people. When it’s because of your sexuality at that age, you’re 5 or 6 years old – when there’s just this fiber of a realization that you know there’s something different, but you don’t know what it is – there’s nothing outward that people are making fun of you. It’s something they’re perceiving about what you are that they feel is wrong. It’s a hard thing to articulate to people. Bullying is terrible no matter what somebody’s making fun of you for, but when you can’t even understand what it is, and it’s so about your insides and not about your outsides, that’s the part I think people can identify with.

That has to be so difficult for a gay child growing up.
It just like manifested itself in different ways. I had anxiety problems. At the time nobody called it panic attacks. Nobody applied it to kids. I was having anxiety attacks, and that’s where the eating problems came from. I would eat to comfort myself.

That’s a common affliction.
I tried to put some humor into it. My point was not to drag people down. Obviously there are some dark moments to it. There’s the suicide and the surgery addiction, but I came out of it OK. I can laugh about it. I can see the mistakes that I made.

Hey, I pray to the Botox god and thank him every day.
I started it at 22. I’ve been doing it for 18 years, and when it wears off I don’t have a line in my face. I’ve been doing it so long the muscles have probably totally atrophied. I have a feeling that I probably don’t even need it anymore.

You probably, at 22, didn’t need it to begin with.
You’re probably right. I did a lot of things to get approval from other people.

Do you love yourself now?
You know, I do, for the first time in my life. It’s weird to come to 40 and be that. I used to look at myself and I would say—and you probably know the dating scene in the gay community is very difficult. I’m sure people would yell at me for saying that, but I can tell you that based on my anecdotal romantic research online. I’m not a drinker, I’m not a bar person. I don’t put myself in that environment, so I don’t meet people that way. The only way that I really have an opportunity to date is online. There comes a point when the friends you have, have run their gamut on setups for which their criteria is simply that the other person is gay. I found out after a while that relying on setups wasn’t really working, so I ventured into the online dating world, which you probably saw in that one chapter – which was totally crazy. I find it’s a very “looks” and youth-obsessed marketplace. People want to see your picture, and they say how recent is it, and can you send me one without your shirt on. That’s so specific. And you know, I would tell you five years ago, Eileen, I probably would have gotten my ass back under the knife. And now I’m like, you know what, I’ll buy a pair of pants that’s a size 32 instead of a 30. So yeah, to answer your question, I think for the first time I’m comfortable with my own skin and love myself and who I am. But in 10 years all of our balls will be dragging on the floor.

Ten years?
Well, maybe that’s not the right age, but I think people a lot of times just have this idea of perfection, this idea of what they have, this person they’re going to bed with … and I’d say that’s not seeing the forest for the trees, if you’re really looking to find somebody.

For many of the gay men I know, looks are a big deal.
I agree. I found that too, and you know what, I have not met any one who’s ever been comfortable with my looks and evidence by the surgery addiction. So it’s very hard for me. I always feel when I’m talking to people with dating that I have to be really sort of self-effacing, deferential, and I say, “I’m not really in perfect shape.” I feel like I’m almost setting people up to not want to go out with me. I feel like I have to manage their expectations because of what they’re so used to getting online. And a couple of things I find on the dating scene now is before someone will even talk to you they want to know if you’re a top or a bottom.

Oh, for sure.
It’s like OK, first of all, nice to meet you, second of all, if you’re really in a loving relationship, I’m not going to limit what I will do sexually, because part of the idea is doing things for the other person. Do you think it should be a criteria?

I don’t, but I think more times than not, it is.

And the fact that it gets discussed, and people will decide that they don’t wanna go on a date with you if you don’t answer in a way that’s comparable. And then the other thing: “Are you masculine? Are you straight acting?” I say, look, if you put a penis in your mouth, you’re not straight acting.

I always say “gay until proven otherwise.”
Well, there you go. Oh, one other thing I find interesting: I tend to like men who tend to be a little more mature. I tend to bond with people who are at least in their 40s, so let’s say 45 to 50. So I’ll meet people who are 53, 54, and they’ll still say to me that they don’t know if they want a long-term relationship, that they might be fine in a short-term. So I say, “Honey, at 53, everything’s short-term.” Who knows how long we have after that. Meanwhile, I’m single. I must be doing something wrong.

Well, it depends. If you’re OK being single then you’re not.
Obviously I’d love to meet somebody. There’s nothing better than having a partner in crime. I don’t know, if you read the chapter on my ex.

Gavin?
Yes, Gavin. He’s a great guy. It was really like a parent/child relationship. It was somebody that I had this obligation to, and it was a caretaker/caregiver situation. I feel like I went through that for five years, and I don’t want that again. I don’t need a millionaire, but somebody who is self-sufficient is great for me. I also feel it would be nice if somebody could nurture me a little.

I’ve been married twice, and I love being single, love not having to answer to someone. Arguments can be made for both. I will not curl up and die if I don’t meet somebody, let me put it that way.

Sometimes when you stop looking so hard, something comes along.
I agree. That’s a good philosophy. You know, one of the things I always talk about with people is, they’ll tell the number of sexual partners. You know, if a woman enjoys herself she’s called a slut. Gay men call everybody a whore. “Hey, whore.”

It’s a compliment now.
It just makes me laugh, because if you’re safe and both adults want to be there, do whatever makes you happy. Do it five times a day with five different people if that makes you happy. You know, my whole thing is delayed adolescence. At 36 years old I was behaving like an 18 year old. I had a great time. I learned what worked for me, I learned what didn’t work for me, I learned it with a little more maturity. I did it backwards, but I did it. I have a much clearer sense of what I want in act two.

I noticed in the book you hung out a lot with Paula Abdul. My publisher Mike Todd really admires her. What’s she really like?
She’s just a genuinely nice, good person. I think that comes across; that’s why people respond to her. When we’re out, when somebody comes up to her, she is genuinely happy to spend time with them. You should see her fan base. There will be a 4 year old, and then there’ll be someone who’s our age who grew up with her and we know her songs from the ‘80s. If you saw how she is with these people and so happy to give them a hug, to make that moment special for them. She recognizes that moment is special to them and she makes it so. In that sense, what you see is what you get. She’s very down to earth. We’ll sit in her bed in our pajamas with popcorn and Goobers. She doesn’t care that her makeup is not on. She can be a real person with a wicked sense of humor. She is so sharp and funny. She should be doing sketch comedy. It’s like an untapped talent of hers, and she’s such a good storyteller. If you sat down with her for a half hour you’d be wrapped in the stories. She’s always been a very good friend to me.

What’s your favorite chapter in the book?
Well, I really like the last chapter. It’s sort of the ultimate self-acceptance. It’s hard for people to understand what the last chapter is, but for somebody who went through that whole feeling like I had, to hide who I was from my parents and being so scared that they would be ashamed of me because of it. Then to get to the point, at 40 years old, when I’m standing with them in a porn shop. My parents are your typical Jewish, 70-year-old cotton tops from South Florida.

Your dad’s a doctor.
A urologist, so all that sex stuff is like dinner table for him. He’s so unfazed. I can have those conversations with him, which is so great to have family so supportive.

Really quick, I want to ask you some non-industry questions.
Well, does it sound like there’s anything I won’t talk about?

Absolutely not. You’re naked in a store window…
That’s actually happened to me.

I bet! Anyway, you’re holding up a sign. What does it say?
Applied.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What’s your color?
Cobalt.

Pick two celebrities to be your parents.

It would be creepy to say who my crushes are.

Not at all.
Channing Tatum and Paul Rudd, the nerdy hot Jewish guy and the sexy, beefy guy. In my living room is a larger-than-life-size of Channing Tatum made of 5,000 Mike and Ike candies.

OMG, really? How cool and crazy.
I commissioned it. It’s this artist who does junk portraits of celebrities.

If you were a porn star, what would your name be?
Tyler Rexx.

Love it. You’re a superhero; what are your powers?
The ability to know what other people are thinking.

You have a date with someone in outer space. Who are you going to take?
You know who I’d love to take? Jonathan Groff. I think he’s the most adorable thing. And if he’s reading this, feel free to give him my number.

Last one: What would you want me to know about you?
I’m an honorable, loyal person.

I think I already know that.
Honesty is probably the most important thing to me.

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