An INTERVIEW with
JULIAN ANTHONY GUERRA
A Latin Writers Sexual Odyssey
by Eddie Varela
Julian Anthony Guerra burst onto the adult entertainment scene ten years ago with the launch of a line of erotic fiction from Masquerade Books Badboy imprint. The first series of books to feature gay male erotica to be mass marketed to chains like Barnes & Noble and Borders, Guerra reconstructed classic gay manuscripts such as Sins of the Cities of the Plains and Imri, edited newer novels such as Mike & Me, and wrote and compiled short story anthologies such as Slow Burn and Come Quickly. Of particular interest to latinophiles has been Guerras long, productive and highly creative association with New York Citys renowned Latino Fan Club. Although his LFC feature Jacknives can be found in many adult video stores, and his books can be found in shopping malls across the country, not much is known about this mysterious artist. Suffice to say, the journey to get to the bottom of this matter has proven more than fascinating!
Currently working in mainstream fiction under any one of several pseudonyms, Guerra was not an easy man to track down. When asked why he continues to write stories and edit manuscripts in erotica, he answered, Well, its fun! This kind of writing comes easy for me, and the money is fast and reliable, to tell you the truth. Currently finishing an anthology of gay sex stories set during the Gulf War (Badboys Go to War), Guerra has also maintained close ties with the Latino Fan Clubs preeminent vidographer Brian Brennan. Theres no one better in the business, said Guerra. I may be biased, but I think his product is the hottest. In fact, we sat down with Guerra on the set of Brennans magnum opus, SPICE BOYZ
Part One of our interview covers Guerraqs early years, and the authors candor and descriptive verve help to piece together a fascinating portrait of an artist trying to come to terms with masculinity and his own sexuality. Many of the images he sites out of his adolescence, in fact, have found their way into his erotica, particularly the classic Latino Fan Club video, Jacknives, which is currently being reissued and is available from LFC.
Tell us about your misspent youth. What are the makings of a writer/director of Latino erotica?
I was raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a set of low income housing projects teaming with blacks and Hispanics. Puerto Ricans mostly. My Pops was born in Puerto Rico and was still pretty young and frisky by the time I came along. He was still fucking anything that moved. The girls loved him because he was dark, quiet and gorgeous. My Moms never could hold him in one place, so she finally kicked him out. I guess you could say I got my looks from my Pops, but my brains from my Moms.
Id think creativity would take a back seat to survival on those mean streets at the time.
I was never much of a fighter, so in order to survive, I had to be creative! [laughs] Actually, I could throw a good punch, but I really preferred talking my way out of situations. Because I started thinking so much at such an early age, I guess I became more of an observer than a participant. I didnt really dig what my Pops was doing to my Moms, but he sure was cool despite the fact, you know? Guys like him, I never wanted to be like them, but they sure turned me on. Bad boys. They looked good even in greasy T-shirts and worn out jeans. They treated their women like dirt, but still got the girl. That fascinated me.
Tell us about your early sexual experiences. What were the things that first turned you on?
A lot of the little things, you know? I tried to put some of them in Jacknives, and succeeded with that, more or less. I guess you could trace a lot of it to my Pops: the way a handsome Latino mixes his rice and beans with his fork; the way he brushes his girlfriends hair for her, the brush moving so roughly through her shiny hair, his long fingers smoothing out so gently. I like the way a hot Latino will stand there against a wall, his shoulders tilted a bit, his eyes smoky, the slightest smile on his lips, his lower belly sticking out a bit over his pants because of the natural forward tilt of his hips. Latinos make no bones about sexual desire. If theyre hot for you, they let you know. Because of the situation with my parents, thats a freedom I both loathed and admired as a kid.
You wrote an award-winning story called Growin Up Rican which was published in early issues of Machismo magazine. It was about a Puerto Rican teenager from New York City who has his first homosexual encounter during a visit to the island. [See sidebar for a steamy excerpt.] Very detailed. Very hot. Very real?
You did your homework! [laughs] Yeah, a lot of it was true. My Pops had gone to live there after the divorce, and I visited him and his family there every year. I condensed a lot of the experiences I wrote about in the story into the course of a summer. They really kind of unfolded a bit more naturally over the course of five or six vacations. As a teenager, all it took was getting off the plane in San Juan to give me a hardon. And it felt like I stayed hard for the whole time I was there! Everyone touches you there. They put their hands all over you. They stare at your body and assess it and talk about it. I was a shy kid, so I was mortified and hypnotized by this. I was also a pretty skinny kid, so they were always trying to fatten me up. My cousins and their friends were older guys. Realhandsome beach bum types with this creamy tan skin. They got into weight training, and insisted that I do it with them.
Sounds like there was a real conflict in you between brains and the body. Which side won out?
Well I was always inside my own head in New York, thinking, analyzing. That did me no good at all in Puerto Rico. No one spoke English! My body seemed to be what interested everybody, and after a while my resistance broke down. Its what I really wanted after all, wasnt it? So I let them handle me. I let them put me in skimpy little shorts and tank tops that showed off my abs. I let them feed me weight-gain drinks andput their dark hands all over my biceps and pecs to feel how I was coming along. I let them yell at me with those deep Spanish voices to do a few more reps, even though I was exhausted. The only reason I didnt pass out from embarrassment because I had a constant huge erection is because my cousins and their buddies always seemed to be sporting hardons themselves! They got hard if a girl passed by, they got boners looking at muscle magazineshell, they put huge bulges in their shorts in a stiff tropical breeze!
So was your first gay sex really in a shower with your cousin Carlos, as you wrote in the story?
Well, that was certainly one of the earlier ones, but no. Actually, my very first encounter happened months earlier. Tino, a friend of my cousins from Puerto Rico, had come to New York to visit some family in Queens. He called me up and invited me up and invited me out there, cause there was no one his age to hang with. I guess the family that Tino was visiting had an oldest son who had already gone away to college, so we hung in the basement where hed lived. It was filled with Playboys, Penthouses, Screw magazines, posters of half-naked chicks and body builders on the wall. And it had a set of free weights. So there we were, spending hours surrounded by pornography, huge bulges in our jeansits like we were almost drunk on it. Horny as hell.
I see where this is going. Were all ears!
Actually, theres a bit of a twist. Tino was extremely good looking. He had these big brown eyes that always brightened when he got excited. Thick dark eyebrows. He was a little smaller than me, but lean and solid. He had the sweetest face, with these pouty lips and this charming smile. Id try to be funny with him, just so I could see him smile. Hed read the Penthouses folded over, staring at the big-titted naked chicks, a lit cigarette dangling from those lips, and his T-shirt would be pushed up over his flat belly. With the tips of his fingers, hed brush his belly, and sometimes hed pinch the little ridge of his navel with his fingertips. His dick would throb in his jeans when he did that. I tell you, Id have excused myself to go jerk off in the bathroom to keep from getting blue balls, but that meant that Id have to leave him for too long!
I think were all identifying with you!
Anyway, so its getting late, and were working on bicep curls with the free weights. Getting pumped. Talking. So Tino tells me to take off my shirt so he can see how Im coming along. I get all shy as usual, and he laughs and pulls it off. He sees that Ive gotten bigger since last summer, put on a few pounds, and hes sitting on the edge of the bed admiring it. He reaches up and squeezes my pecs, making me feel his to compare. It sounds salacious, but it was so innocent at that moment. When he starts tracing his fingers over my abs to make a point about how I should work on my cuts, I cant help myself, and my feelings get kind of obvious at right about his eye level. At that point I should have backed off, but to tell you the truth, I stayed put on purpose, almost as if I wanted to see what would happen next. So Tino smiles up at me with those mischievous eyebrows and touches my cock right through my pants. It felt like an electrical current was running right through the denim from his palm to my dick! It got so quiet, all I could hear was the soft popping sound the buttons on my jeans made when he opened them one at a time.
I should have jumped back again when he pulled out my cock and pushed it into his mouth, but I just couldnt! It felt too good! Remember, up until then it had been Vaseline and some quick yanking from chicks in movie theaters. This was like putting my big dick into a wet little Puerto Rican blast furnace! I had jerked off that morning, and it still took only about two minutes of his sucking to made me come a boatload. He made me shoot it across the carpet, because he said, only maricons swallow. After a few minutes collapsed on the bed next to him, he got me to help him jerk off. He was looking at that Penthouse while I pulled slowly up and down on his tremendous uncut dick. I studied it, comparing it to mine. Tino had a lot more foreskin than I did. The whole head of his big cock disappeared completely when I pulled it up, with plenty to spare. After a little while, when I knew he was really going, I reached over and played with his navel while I jerked him off, pinching that little ridge just the way he was doing before. Suddenly, his dick comes to life in my hands, like its barking like a dog, spitting these huge streams of semen across his body, across all the magazines, across the bedspread. He gasped real loud and I got scared and pressed my finger to his lips, and he started laughing. so I laughed, too.
I find it interesting that the narrators in your work, yourpoint-of-view characters, are more submissive. Carlos certainly his way with the narrator in Growin Up Rican, Bobby both pines for Carlos and is raped by Darius in Jacknives. And yet, your first experience was of a smaller Latino basically servicing you.
Im fascinated by the sexual power dynamic and power exchange, especially in the macho world of Latinos. I started out denying that kind of hyper-masculinity in myself because I dindt like what my Pops had done to my Moms. And yet Ive always found it alluring because a masculine bond was something that I guess I missed out on. When I have gay sex, I like it with a strong, masculine man, preferably Latino, simply because its something that fills a hole in a part of me. So to speak!
Along those same lines, there is definitely some S&M imagery in your work.
As I got into my early 20s I got out of the Lower East Side and got into college and the workplace at odd jobs. It was veryvanilla, and I sort of distanced myself from that kind of experience. While doing some fundraising work for an AIDS charity, I came into contact with the Gay Mens S/M Activists, a huge leather organization in New York City. Here were these super masculine men decked out in black leather chaps and bar vests, who spanked and flogged each other for fun, and they were raising huge amounts of money for the Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center, and for Heritage of Pride and Gods Love We Deliver. I had to know more.
How do you relate the kind of sado-masochism you learned about with organizations like GMS/MA to the macho images that turned you on when you were younger?
Well, here was a chance for me to revisit that machismo, relive that kind of power dynamic in a controlled environment. In safe, sane and consensual SM, you play by a set of rules that are negotiated before the scene. You talk about what you want, so when you do it theres a sense of danger, but also a sense of trust and control. I was lucky enough to meet a South American top man named Eduardo. Although Eduardo was not gorgeous, he definitely had a sexy masculinity to him, the strong silent type who knew exactly what he wanted. I guess he was drawn to me because I was new and aloof and hadnt played with very many men. We were at a convention out of town when he ran into me in the elevator, grabbed me by the ass and whispered into my ear with that deep voice in that thick Columbian accent that he had to have me.
So Eduardo brought together these two worlds for you.
He tied me up and spanked me and such, but what I really enjoyed was being with such a dominant man who desired me. I guess you could say I sort of topped from the bottom, because I put him through all the rigors of sexual experience that I had when I was younger. We showered and ate and worked out together just like scenes out of Growin Up Rican. We fought and struggled physically with one another just like in my story Tougher Than the Rest. [See the excerpt in the sidebar.] Only this time, I was able to realize what was going on underneath and come to terms with my masculinity and sexuality. My time with Eduardo made me ready to write out my experiences and my fantasies, and eventually put them on video.