Although most of the population remains cooped up in their homes during quarantine — and in many cases all alone with little human-to-human contact, if any — their libidos remain as strong as ever. Yet, if there’s any demographic of people who have learned ways to connect with one another and even find pleasure during a health crisis, it’s gay men. “We’ve done this before,” says digital storyteller and Palm Springs resident Davey Wavey, referencing the AIDS pandemic which ravaged the community in the 1980s. “It’s in our DNA.”
Wavey, whose YouTube channels have more than one million subscribers, has become a weblebrity thanks to his many viral videos which are sometimes educational and often provocative. In 2017 he decided to create Himeros.TV (link NSFW), a website that offers erotic videos for people who, as he suggests, “are sick and tired of the same old porn content.”
While LGBTQ people are obviously unable to visit with friends and fuckbuddies and can’t go to bars or the gym during the state’s stay-at-home orders, Wavey insists that the desire to consume adult-oriented content has increased.
Although it would be easy to create hot and explicit video content intended to just get people off, Himeros strives to do more than that. By collaborating with tantric instructors, sex coaches, sexologists, and incredibly appealing models of all ages, shapes, and backgrounds, the site has built a platform that uses erotic videos to enhance the experience of sex and sexuality through connection, pleasure, and exploration.
“Himeros is for anyone who wants to see what it looks like when men are authentic and vulnerable,” he says. “It’s for people who feel like they’re not seeing a reflection of themselves in the porn that they watch.”
Surely, many people can appreciate that, especially with more free time on their hands while self-isolating.
“Sex is adaptive,” he says. “It will always find a way. To that end, we’ve been filming a #StayHome series using video conferencing tools. And we’ve enjoyed the challenge of filming erotic content with models in different locations — often, in different countries. With a little creativity and imagination, the sex can be just as hot and sometimes even hotter by putting technology to work for our pleasure.”
Like it or not, porn influences the way we have sex and our relationship with ourselves and our bodies. “If we’re really honest with ourselves, most of that influence is not for the better,” Wavey says of his inspiration to create innovative content. “When I was growing up in the absence of mentorship or any real sex education, porn became the vehicle through which I learned about sex, but, as it turns out, traditional gay porn isn’t great at teaching us about what feels good or how to connect truly with another man.”
Because human touch has recently become taboo, it’s possible that some might develop a degree of trauma when the quarantine ends. “Sex, touch, and pleasure are incredible tools that can help heal us,” Wavey says. “I look forward to creating content that reconnects us with these truths. Part of me believes that after we grieve and as we heal, the pendulum will swing equally far in the other direction — and that there will be a resurgence of joy and ecstasy the likes of which none of us have ever seen.”
That’s something worth waiting for.
Davey Wavey joined the I Love Gay Palm Springs podcast to discuss the coronavirus lockdown and Himeros.TV. Hosts John Taylor and Shann Carr, with Gay Desert Guide Brad Fuhr and CV Independent Editor Jimmy Boegle