Jump to content

Arpad Miklos


Steven_Draker
 Share

Recommended Posts

Arpad Miklos' suicide shows we should look after gay porn stars

 

Arpad Miklos has become the latest gay porn star to kill himself. So are pornography fans killing the objects of their own desires?

15 FEBRUARY 2013 | BY CHRIS HALTON

 

As the debate rages on about the effect the ‘porn epidemic’ is having on our relationships, our youth, the expectations we have of our partners and our collective insecurity over whether we are measuring up sexually, I think it is time we gave some attention to the performers themselves.

 

Arpad Miklos is the latest in a steady procession of gay porn stars to die prematurely. He was found dead in his New York apartment on 3 February, having committed suicide. He was 45 years old.

 

As sex is seen by most of us as an enjoyable act, the fact more porn actors die from suicide or drug overdoses than the general population may seem counter-intuitive.

 

But then again, having sex for money under any circumstances raises questions about the link between how we use our sexuality and our self-esteem. Can we fully respect ourselves whilst having sex with others for money? What psychological effect does it have on a man when sex stops connoting pleasure and human connection and starts being work? Are we able to separate sex from emotion? And if we are, is that a good thing?

 

There are no easy answers to these questions, and I do not pose them on moral grounds, but rather to highlight the conflict that exists within each individual when he takes stock of his actions.

 

In the wake of Miklos’s death, Colby Keller, another gay porn actor, referenced his suicide in his blog, stating: ‘While I don’t pretend to fully know the rationale behind his decision, I can say that I’ve struggled myself with depression and suicide.

 

‘Like any physically demanding, socially-vexed form of labor, sex work isn’t easy work – not least because of the stigma and meager income.

 

‘You give a lot of yourself for what can seem like very little in return. It can take its toll emotionally.’

 

As a society, we do stigmatize sex workers. We make their identity indistinguishable from what they do to earn a living. We dehumanize them by negating their wholeness.

 

This must be extremely damaging to the psyche of any sex worker because if you are viewed so myopically, you are left with very little room to maneuver. You either have to fill the role you have been given, thereby promoting an inauthentic and one-dimensional version of yourself, or retreat from the world outside of the sex industry entirely. So your friendships and relationships will largely exist within the context of your professional life.

 

Our ambivalence towards porn and its performers is analogous with the conflict we feel about watching it. Men in particular have a strong urge to view porn, yet associate doing so with shame and sin.

 

But if we are watching porn, then we are as much a part of the industry as the makers of it. After all, we are the ones who ensure its continuation and proliferation.

 

Despite this, I think we have a very ‘us and them’ approach to it. ‘It’s okay for me to sit here in my bedroom and watch two men having sex for money, but it’s less okay to actually do it.’

 

We tend either to discriminate against porn stars on the basis of their lack of virtue or objectify them by reducing them to their basest constituent part, namely their ability to perform sex acts in a way we deem to be arousing. Then we label them ‘stud’, ‘sex fiend’, ‘donkey’.

 

Culturally, we view porn stars as extroverts. We see them as sexually aggressive, often body-obsessed and either extremely liberated or morally vapid. That’s if we bother to consider them as anything more complex than sex-machines in the first place.

 

So how do society’s judgments impact on how performers see themselves? What does it do to you to become just a ‘sex object’?

 

Well, as feminists have been saying for eons, it makes a person into a thing. In the case of gay porn, it turns a man into a product and a commodity, and one with a shelf-life. Because if the product has been labeled ‘hunk’ then it only has any value if it retains a gym-fresh body and does not get old.

 

And if the ‘sex object’ does start to get too old, or the industry stops paying? Move on and find something else to do. But how easy is it to let go of an identity you have so much invested in? What do you do once the sex industry is through with you?

 

Arpad Miklos was a chemist in his native Hungary, where he was born Péter Kozma, before being ‘discovered’ and flown to America to make his name. I suspect after 15 years in porn he was thirsting for some appreciation and validation on the basis of something other than his physical attributes and sexual voracity. But who was going to employ him for anything else?

 

The stigma attached to working in porn would have prevented him from being able to disclose his work history to a potential employer. So how would he have secured a job? What support did he have outside of the sex industry? Where was he supposed to turn for advice?

 

His death should be taken as a wake-up call. Whatever people think about porn and its place in society, it is not going away, as internet viewing figures will attest.

 

We must look more seriously at what working in the sex industry does to performers’ mental health. We should help them find meaningful occupation somewhere else if they leave the industry.

 

We also need to provide them with emotional support and promote their inclusion in society instead of alienating them on the basis of what they do or used to do. These men may be physically strong, but in many cases, they are also emotionally vulnerable.

 

Nobody knows why Miklos took his own life. What we do know is that he was more than just a sex object. He was a man. He was somebody’s son. And he should have had a future.

 

source: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/arpad-miklos-suicide-shows-we-should-look-after-gay-porn-stars150213#sthash.jZwa6HfC.dpuf

 

 

"For a gay community outraged at our own bullying, maybe it’s time we look in the mirror at how we treat our own. The gay porn industry may not have killed Arpad Miklos, but we porn ‘fans’ might have."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steven,

You brought a tear and frustration for a man that I did not even know. Asking for understanding and tolerance of most of mankind is, in my opinion, 'barking at the moon.' I hope that your humanity will never allow you to descend into acceptance of this kind of destructive mind set. And thank you for your post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing this. A few years ago, when I was new to hiring, I had a memorable appointment with Arpad. It was a very gutsy thing for a newbee to do, but he made me feel very comfortable. The best part of the evening was a 3 hr dinner at a downtown restaurant of his choice. He was very friendly and engaging and spoke of his youth in Europe. I remember thinking that he was, although extremely developed and masculine, like a little boy when speaking of his youth. He did not speak of it, in any way, as a means of telling how he came to his profession. Just sharing a bit of himself, on his own. It was like I was speaking with a new and interesting acquaintance and not someone I had hired to spend time with. Our second and final meeting was like seeing an old friend. He was about to take a non working vacation and was interested in hearing about things to do there, since he knew I had been there before. It was not too long after that that he passed. Such a tragic loss of a great human being. It will always make me sad. Am so glad I made that first call for I will always remember those dinners....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can't handle working in an industry with these pitfalls, you need to quit and find other work that you can handle

 

these guys can't give up the easy money and ruin themselves. that's their choice. a stupid, stupid egotistical choice

 

in life you can't always have your cake and eat it too

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steven, I found a lot of truth in what the article had to say about attitudes towards escorts and escorting. I don't know why, but I've never gotten around to asking you. Do you find any differences in attitudes towards escorting between America and Europe, or any other parts of the world you've traveled?

Flesh, the true and living thing, trumps every effort at representation.

—M. Cunningham

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest countryboywny
Steven, I found a lot of truth in what the article had to say about attitudes towards escorts and escorting. I don't know why, but I've never gotten around to asking you. Do you find any differences in attitudes towards escorting between America and Europe, or any other parts of the world you've traveled?

 

People are people, some will look down their nose at anyone that doesn't meet their "qualifications" for respect. Some people will show respect to others even if they don't agree with a particular behavior. I'm pretty judgmental of certain behaviors, but have always felt that what people do in their privacy is just that.. private. ...oh, and for someone in my particular circumstance, I'm thankful for escorts, and I respect them for making me happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not really much into watching porn, and I never hired Arpad. However, he was always on my "to do" list... and I know that "to do" sounds a bit tacky, but I emphatically didn't mean it to have such a connotation. I have always treated any working guy with the utmost respect... as it takes a special talent to work in such an industry.

 

Regarding Arpad, I always saw a certain goodness in his eyes... and that kindheartedness was probably not appreciated by many in the industry. No matter what our profession, it always makes one feel good to know that our efforts are appreciated. In addition, everyone... yes every one of us as human brings... feels a certain need to be loved. Actually love might be too strong a word in every instance... but all service providers need to be somewhere in that zone that falls in between appreciation and love.

 

All professions have a stress level associated with them. However, certain industries and occupations definitely have unique parameters factored into the equation that result in higher demands and higher than normal levels of stress.

 

Perhaps as clients we should remember that fact when we deal with such high tension professions...

IMG_0933_Sig_crop_46x20.jpg "Take it like a man!"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arpad Miklos was not a victim. He was focused, resolved. Resolute in his beliefs with a very grounded sense of self. He was not some lost soul, used and abandoned by the cold, cruel porn industry. I think he would have resented very much to be portrayed as such. He had no illusions about it and he was never, ever anybody's fool. He was pragmatic about his role in all of it. A realist that made a brave and very real decision. I believe that the note he did leave behind pretty much said that he wouldn't give anyone the satisfaction of knowing why. He was private in all matters and his business was nobody else's. He was loved, though, and I believe very strongly that those closest to him do know why he chose the path that he did. It's just not our business to know. We don't have that right and he would think it hilarious that he was even still being discussed, at all. As he said to me, once, "What do I care what strangers say when I know the truth?"

 

He was funny, very dry and he would surprise you with it. He called Chris Daniels, "Lolita." I don't really watch the dvds I have made over the years, but I am very grateful to have the ones of him. He was in his element here, doing what he was great at. Not the guy you saw in the countless vids, but himself. I can tell you for sure that Arpad did not do anything that he didn't want to do. In my mind, he lived his life on his own terms, by his own code and I think it only fitting that he died that way as well.

 

I had tremendous affection for Arpad and enormous respect. Still do. It is not the same without him.

 

Not discounting the fact that the porn industry can be heartless nor the fact that it does have many, many victims. I applaud the idea that the gay community take some responsibility for the men we objectify once their 15 minutes is over. I am just respectfully saying that Arpad Miklos was not one of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can't handle working in an industry with these pitfalls, you need to quit and find other work that you can handle

 

these guys can't give up the easy money and ruin themselves. that's their choice. a stupid, stupid egotistical choice

 

in life you can't always have your cake and eat it too

 

I know a local escort from DC who is now worth 1.2 million dollars, has helped his family back home, and wants to leave all to his nephews. He has the stomach to do this job and loves it, money, trips, knowledge, etc.

 

I assure you working at a McDonald's is more difficult, my worst job ever was at a Department Store, it was so boring...

 

Not everybody can stand this kind of fame, or the loneliness that might come with it, the gay community loves and admires, yet also hates and looks over the shoulder to pornstars, they are dirty symbols of who we are, good for fucking but not for marrying...

 

Easy money, inherited or won after fucking old farts like most of us are, is always better than no money at all. Is up to you and your education (the one you get at home not at College) what to do with it, if you save it, good for you, if you spent it and go through your youth doing drugs like happens to so many pornstar like Ryan Rose, you'll never have the same opportunity again, you'll age, lose your body and cock ability to do the job, and wish you could turn back time and do it all over again but focusing on saving money.

 

it's a tough job, but unless you're a slave you can always make a choice to quit and start your life doing something else, I agree with you on that one. You're cranky but you're always up to something.

Liberal, born and raised in Maryland, proud member of pink pistols!

Ignore list: WilliamM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I really resent is the assumption that the suicide of a porn star (or any other celebrity, really) is related to their work, the source of their celebrity, or a substance abuse problem. It might be, but it might not be, and those of us who aren't their close friends or family have no way of knowing what motivated them. Even their friends and family may never know.

 

I didn't get a chance to post the following psychological researcher's description of the six stages of suicide after Robin Williams' death. It makes for compelling reading.

 

(Scientific American)

 

Some excerpts:

 

Most people who kill themselves actually lived better-than-average lives. Suicide rates are higher in nations with higher standards of living than in less prosperous nations; higher in US states with a better quality of life; higher in societies that endorse individual freedoms; higher in areas with better weather; in areas with seasonal change, they are higher during the warmer seasons; and they’re higher among college students that have better grades and parents with higher expectations.

 

Baumeister argues that such idealistic conditions actually heighten suicide risk because they often create unreasonable standards for personal happiness, thereby rendering people more emotionally fragile in response to unexpected setbacks. So, when things get a bit messy, such people, many of whom appear to have led mostly privileged lives, have a harder time coping with failures....

 

 

Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, inadequacy, or feeling exposed, humiliated and rejected leads suicidal people to dislike themselves in a manner that, essentially, cleaves them off from an idealized humanity. The self is seen as being enduringly undesirable; there is no hope for change and the core self is perceived as being rotten.

 

This is why adolescents and adults of minority sexual orientations, who grow up gestating in a social womb filled with messages—both implicit and explicit—that they are essentially lesser human beings, are especially vulnerable to suicide. Even though we may consciously reject these personal attributions made by an intolerant society, they have still seeped in.

Nobody's free until everybody's free - Fannie Lou Hamer

 

Avatar courtesy of Chomiji; character drawn by Kazuya Minekura

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I really resent is the assumption that the suicide of a porn star (or any other celebrity, really) is related to their work, the source of their celebrity, or a substance abuse problem. It might be, but it might not be, and those of us who aren't their close friends or family have no way of knowing what motivated them. Even their friends and family may never know.

 

I didn't get a chance to post the following psychological researcher's description of the six stages of suicide after Robin Williams' death. It makes for compelling reading.

 

(Scientific American)

 

Some excerpts:

 

Most people who kill themselves actually lived better-than-average lives. Suicide rates are higher in nations with higher standards of living than in less prosperous nations; higher in US states with a better quality of life; higher in societies that endorse individual freedoms; higher in areas with better weather; in areas with seasonal change, they are higher during the warmer seasons; and they’re higher among college students that have better grades and parents with higher expectations.

 

Baumeister argues that such idealistic conditions actually heighten suicide risk because they often create unreasonable standards for personal happiness, thereby rendering people more emotionally fragile in response to unexpected setbacks. So, when things get a bit messy, such people, many of whom appear to have led mostly privileged lives, have a harder time coping with failures....

 

 

Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, inadequacy, or feeling exposed, humiliated and rejected leads suicidal people to dislike themselves in a manner that, essentially, cleaves them off from an idealized humanity. The self is seen as being enduringly undesirable; there is no hope for change and the core self is perceived as being rotten.

 

This is why adolescents and adults of minority sexual orientations, who grow up gestating in a social womb filled with messages—both implicit and explicit—that they are essentially lesser human beings, are especially vulnerable to suicide. Even though we may consciously reject these personal attributions made by an intolerant society, they have still seeped in.

 

Thanks for the link to the Scientific American article. It was an interesting read, very thought provoking. It does allow for a glimpse into to the minds of people like Robin Williams and Arpad Miklos. As you mention, none of us may know what motivates them, and there is a chance that they do not even fully understand themselves. It is all so very tragic.

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thanks as well Okie. The sad truth is that Arpad Miklos, Robin Williams, David Foster Wallace, Virginia Woolf and too many others suffered a similar fate for the same reason: depression. It's a disease. Even those of us lucky to have overcome it can have a hard time dealing with it's appearance in others. But it has biological manifestation in brain chemistry that is not fully understood. If we keep focusing on the cause of each victims dilemma we may find solace for our sorrow or there but for the grace of G_d comfort that it wasn't me but we will miss an opportunity to search for a cure to this hormonal imbalance and others will surely die. I laughed and cried with Robin Williams (once ran into him and his wife buying a TV at Bloomindales), I shared a similar education with David Foster Wallace and lusted mightily after Arpad Miklos who was always at the top of my to-do list. But the sad reality is that at present the only way to prevent suicide is to medically or physically deny the liberty of the depressed. For the what these folks contributed to our lives, their memory deserves more than our sorrow or moralizing. Just Google Suicide Research and pick a way to make a difference .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There have been some great posts here beginning with Okie's bit of personal insight and continuing with the thoughts of quoththeraven and g56whiz.

 

However, I wonder if what Okie saw was a total facade with Arpad disguising his internal feelings... a defense mechanism at work. Just some probably inappropriate supposition on my part... but there have been situations where persons in many fields who outwardly exhibit a jovial or possibly even a confident or domineering persona are really insecure and totally hurting on the inside.

 

Still, the bottom line is that in most cases we will never know... and it would indeed be a breakthrough if there were a way to better help such individuals. All I can add is that I mentioned in my posting above, it would not hurt if individuals who work in occupations where mental illness, depression, suicide, etc. are above average occurrences are treated with greater respect and dignity. It would not be a cure-all, nor would it be easily achievable for all professions, but it is something to consider for those of us who might wish to do some small part to help prevent such occurrences with those with whom we associate. Just a thought.

IMG_0933_Sig_crop_46x20.jpg "Take it like a man!"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I can add is that I mentioned in my posting above, it would not hurt if individuals who work in occupations where mental illness, depression, suicide, etc. are above average occurrences are treated with greater respect and dignity. It would not be a cure-all, nor would it be easily achievable for all professions, but it is something to consider for those of us who might wish to do some small part to help prevent such occurrences with those with whom we associate. Just a thought.

 

Amen WG. Amen!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, g56whiz, for mentioning depression's neurochemical origin, which I'd intended to refer to in the post I never made on Robin Williams' death and at least to some extent preempts -- or should preempt -- the natural but ghoulish tendency to speculate about why this, that, or the other person has committed suicide.

 

As someone who has inherited depressive tendencies from both sides of my family, I'd like us to go further than WG has suggested. In addition to not demonizing those in professions with an above-average rate of suicide, I'd like all of us to change our attitude toward mental illness of any sort, not just depression, and seeking help for it. If mental illness were seen as a medical condition on a par with diabetes, high blood pressure, and the like, maybe more people would seek treatment and there'd be more funding for treatment and research, especially as to which treatments are effective. Even when people do seek treatment, access is still a problem.

 

At this point, I'm not going to derail the discussion by asking if we really know which professions have a higher rate of suicide -- for example, I don't know of any legitimate study on the suicide rate in the adult film or gay porn industry, and without one it's irresponsible to make any claims about it -- or are once again making assumptions, but I know that those in the active military commit suicide at a significantly higher rate than society at large even though active military is one of those sectors of society that receives at least token respect. So it isn't all down to societal views of the endeavor involved.

 

It seems to me the real culprit here is the conflicted view society seems to inculcate in most of us regarding sex and sexuality, made worse by the disapproval of same-sex attraction, that leads us to look down upon (or at least hold at arm's length) the very people who inflame our desires and help us fulfill our fantasies and make up our own narrative about anyone in it who is seen as a "failure". Those narratives say more about us than they do about those about whom we make them up.

Nobody's free until everybody's free - Fannie Lou Hamer

 

Avatar courtesy of Chomiji; character drawn by Kazuya Minekura

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...