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The Cary Grant of Porno

by Michael Persson
Wednesday Aug 15, 2007

Wikipedia has in its entry for Jeff Stryker as being of Armenian descent. "Armenian?" says Stryker, sitting on his porch on a rainy Friday. "I don't have an Armenian hair on my body." For those of you familiar with Stryker's work, you'll already know that for the most part there's no hair on his body, if you discount his head and eye-brows of course. For those of you who aren't familiar with Jeff Stryker, let's just say he's an icon who has starred in not just the biggest selling gay porn video of all time, but the largest grossing straight porn video of all time. He is to the porn world, what the Big Mac is to hunger anytime. Oh, and he has a penis purported to be 10" long with a girth that would have Linda Lovelace rapidly turning blue. But enough of such trifles. Back to Wikipedia, since if they've got this easy to find fact incorrect what else don't they know about this star who most of us have seen around town?

Jeff Stryker comes off as a good guy, cut in that classic mold that, at one point, had women around the world go ga-ga for the American guy. Cary Grant comes to mind, Rock Hudson also. It's a personality that is polite, soft spoken, or in Jeff's case baritone deep. It's a character both gentle and strong. No wonder Jeff Stryker was inducted into the Hollywood Museum as an icon. That's because he is. "Being in Provincetown is, for me, going back in time to Springfield, Illinois, where I grew up," says Jeff. I wonder, did he know back then that life would take him to the very top of an industry that has spat out more people than it's left whole? The prologue reads more like "Christian meets lion. Brace yourself."

Stryker wanted to be an actor, at 18 for the kid that was "busting concrete" and whose good looks stuck out like a sore thumb from his peers, who were "corn fed and in-bred," Charles Casper Peyton entered a male strip club in Springfield and in a sense came out in Los Angeles 21 years later as Jeff Stryker: industry superstar. Many have thought, and I've heard them say as much that Stryker, in order to reach the top, must have been on many a casting couch. For the first three years of his career Stryker always asked for a round trip ticket home and enough cash to get him to the airport. There would be no casting couch castings for this young lad. Without knowing it Stryker was building a career as an "untouchable," someone for whom a private persona was kept as far from public view as possible. "I knew that when I became Jeff Stryker that I was dedicating my life to him."

Today after acting in over 50 films, Stryker is here, working on his new project, "A Sophisticated Evening With Jeff Stryker," which he hopes will get the guy he's dedicated his life to into the mainstream. So far, it seems to be working. Back in that male strip club in Springfield the owner told the young Charles, "The only way you're gonna get in is if you work." And by that he meant dance. He handed Charles a cowboy hat, "If you're good we'll pay you. If you're not, good luck." Charles was told to strip down to his underwear and go on stage. "Well, I didn't wear underwear so I just put the cowboy hat over me and went out." The club was full with about 500 pumped up women. "I was scared. And didn't know that I had two songs to dance to before taking the hat away," says Jeff. "Half way through the first song the hat was already off, and the women, well the women went wild." For Springfield, that tiny place, where Abraham Lincoln started his first ever law practice, inside the club called "Inferno" they'd just witnessed a young Cary Grant turn their expressions of amusement into intense delight. That night a star was both discovered and uncovered.

Copyright Provincetown Magazine. For more articles from Ptown's premiere weekly, visit www.provincetownmagazine.net


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