The first thing that comes to my mind after interviewing Chi Chi LaRue is “Minnesota Nice.”
That’s the phrase often expressed to describe the general pleasant and polite nature of citizens of the state of 10,000 lakes.
It’s also the perfect phrase to ascribe to its native son (or daughter depending on how you look at it), Ms. LaRue, the legendary drag queen director of gay adult videos.
I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting before talking to this captain of the porn industry, but what I heard in the tone of the voice and in the words themselves put a smile on my face and somehow put me at a comfortable ease.
LaRue may be coming up on 20 years out in Los Angeles, but the roots are firmly Midwestern.
CP: How did the Chi Chi LaRue persona come about?
CCLR: I became Chi Chi while living in Minneapolis, long before I went to L.A.
I was hosting drag shows up there and was fairly well known.
I was even in Prince’s movie “Purple Rain.”
While my speaking part ended up on the cutting room floor you can see me in a scene with Apollonia singing.
CP: At age 28 you arrive in Los Angeles with a desire to work in the porn industry and today you’re now one of the most recognized names in gay porn.
How did it all begin?
After seeing my first porn movie at age 16 – a straight porn flick at that – I became a big fan of the x-rated genre.
And so when I moved out to Los Angles back in 1986, I applied and got an office job at Catalina Video, a leading producer of all-male x-rated movies.
I was working with the legendary director William Higgins at the time and after six months on the job he gave me my first opportunity to direct.
I was hooked from then on.
CP: So you arrive in L.A. in the mid-1980s and finally get going with Catalina, one of the leading gay porn movie studios.
What other studios have you worked for?
CCLR: After Catalina, I then went to work for In Hand followed by some time at Vivid.
I went back to Catalina and then after that I started a 15 year relationship with Falcon Videos.
Currently while I still direct movies for Falcon and actually do some straight porn for Vivid, my real focus is now on my own production companies: Rascal Video and Channel 1 Releasing.
CP: Now you’ve also had quite a bit of success and are a bit of a pioneer with live internet porn.
What’s that all about?
Yes, I have live internet porn sites: “Live & Raw” which was launched in 2000 and then “Live & Raw Hotel” which came later.
Basically you can see guys “doing what they do best” either by themselves or with others.
And the cool thing is that subscribers to these sites can actually communicate with the models in real time and with each other in chat rooms.
The advent of high speed broadband internet connections has made this quite attractive to many folks.
CP: Now when I first heard about “Live and Raw” I thought it would be a barebacking site.
However, my understanding is that you are all about safe sex.
CCLR: Oh yes, anything associated with me will only be safe sex!
There may be a certain high level of raunch and piggishness with some of the things I’m doing - have you seen my Link series of movies? - but it’s always, always safe sex.
I’m REALLY anti-barebacking.
As for “Live and Raw,” when I first launched the site the word “raw” didn’t mean what it means today, which is “bareback”.
Back then, “raw” meant fresh and new.
There was this one guy in Chicago whom I met recently... it was huge!
CP: You’ve discovered some incredibly hot stars including Zak Spears, Hal Rockland, Spike, Joey Hart, Doug Jeffries, Caesar, Rascal Exclusive’s Matt Summers, Johnny Hazzard, and Eddie Stone.
How do you go about finding these boys?
Actually in most cases the boys find me.
A lot of times guys who are interested in getting into the business will come up to me or be referred to me by others who already know me.
It’s pretty well known that I treat folks well and with respect so more often than not guys will come to me.
Via my web sites I get 2 - 3 submissions a day from guys all over the world wanting to break into the business in front of the cameras.
Now I do still go out and make discoveries, especially when I travel.
There was this one guy in Chicago whom I met recently.
I nicknamed him “Circus C*ck” – it was just huge! – and I tried to entice him into doing some work for me.
I’ve made discoveries while perusing internet web sites as well as going to bars and clubs.