Despite the increasing proliferation of internet porn, low-budget adult film producers, and YouTube-style porn sites, the name “TitanMen” still carries with it a certain air of esteem, even respect, in an industry today where almost anyone with a penis and a camera can declare himself a “porn star.”

From François Sagat to Alex Barisi, TitanMen has created no less than the gay porn version of the Hollywood studio system, signing exclusive deals with those rare few -usually hairy, muscular “Daddy” types – who meet the TitanMen ideal.

Certainly one of the highest fliers in the TitanMen family has been UK-based Dillon Buck, who was signed to an exclusive deal in 2007, eventually finding a spot (alongside Sagat and Barisi) on the much-revered TitanMen 2009 calendar.

But even among such rarified company, Buck somehow stands apart. For all his rugged self-confidence and upfront sexuality, there’s one thing about Buck that immediately captures you: his smile.

Whether a dirty grin or a full-toothed smile, he exudes an almost disarming warmth that goes well beyond the standard porn star posture. You like him. You want him and you like him. He’s the kind of guy with whom you can imagine living out your wildest fantasies, yet spending the next morning in bed cuddling and watching TV reruns.

In advance of his appearance at the SAleathermen HELLFIRE CLUB Party on January 30th (in support of the Cape Town-based Dibanani AIDS Project), Mambaonline had the chance to sit with Buck to discuss his life, his career, porn icon Zak Spears, the Los Angeles vice squad, and the politics of porn:

So, Dillon, let’s start at the very beginning. Prior to your career as a gay adult film icon, what exactly were you doing?

I was an escort and doing that for about a year before the movies. Prior to that, I was a fashion designer, having gotten a degree in fashion and having worked the majority of my career on men’s bespoke clothing; down in London for the first few years and then north to where I am now in Manchester.

So when you were young, was that your desire? To get into fashion?

I did have an interest. But as a kid, I actually wanted to be a professional dancer and did various forms of dance from age six until my late-teens.

So then how did you get from that to bespoke men’s tailoring…

…to porn? Well, the first people I ever spoke to in the “gay adult film industry” was a UK-based company called MEN AT PLAY, who approached me via the internet to come to London to chat with them about doing a series of medically theme porn called the Dr. Richard series. It became very successful and kind of snowballed from there.

Until eventually TitanMen caught wind of you?

The director Joe Gage (of Kansas City Trucking and L.A. Tool and Die fame) particularly liked the Dr. Richard series, and I flew to the States in 2007 to do a film he was directing for them; called Men’s Room III. And then to be asked after two week’s filming if I’d be interested in being a TitanMen exclusive—as their sole British exclusive—well, it was like a major, major honour.

So what was it like working with Titan?

I absolutely loved working with them. The director I probably most worked with was Brian Mills, who worked as co-director with Joe Gage; basically directing the cameramen, making sure that the camera is always in the right place. You know, like tight on a guy’s face when he’s cumming. All the important bits you never even think about.

But get pissed off if you don’t see…

(Laughing) Exactly. And with Joe, instead of getting the regular stock formula that you see in porn movie – where the guys comes in and there’s some oral and then fucking – you have a story that gives you a bit more to play with in terms of being a character. So then it always doesn’t feel like you’re just filming porn. You’re shooting a movie. And I suppose that’s why Titan is different and why they’re as big as they are.

So what about in front of the camera? Is there anyone you especially liked working with?

I think probably one of the best experiences I had was working with Zak Spears in Blue Movie, the film I most recently did for Falcon. Zak has been in the industry for really the best part of two decades, and if you know porn movies, he’s kind of like a legend. And I mean, it’s funny because sometimes you mention the name of a guy in porn and people are like, “Who?” But not Zak. Everyone recognises him and when you meet him, you can’t help but feel a little bit nervous.

You mean like performance anxiety?

(Laughing) No, no! But you know, here’s someone you’ve seen on the screen, someone who you’ve had fantasies about, and he turns out to be this big-hearted, soft, sweet guy. And with this deep, husky voice that’s really sexy.

(Lowering voice) Really?

But he’s like such a nice guy and so professional and normal that he puts you completely at ease. It was a great experience.

But then you got busted by the Los Angeles police.

Yeah, we got raided! We were filming on a closed set and, while I don’t know the complete story, someone with sour grapes toward Falcon apparently called LA vice and told them we didn’t have the right permit to do the movie. And then next thing I know, I’m standing there completely naked and this guy walks in and I’m looking at him thinking, “I haven’t seen you seen you the last couple of days. Who are you?” It kind of doesn’t help your hard-on, I must admit.

You’re very upfront about being a professional escort, even posting an informative “how-to” on your blogs page (www.dillonbuck-xxx.blogspot). What are your feelings about the escort profession?

Well, it is one of the oldest professions around and done well, it can provide a great lifestyle. Personally, I believe that it’s becoming far more acceptable, mainly to due men and their lifestyles. Businessmen simply don’t have the time to trawl the internet for dates, or to wait in club, only to have to settle on the last drunk. Knowing exactly what you’re getting – someone who’s professional and discreet – saves a lot of time and energy, particularly if you have a fetish. And for some, it’s a sexual fantasy being with an international porn model.

You seem completely at ease with yourself, your career, and with sex in general. What in your background has made you that way?

I was brought up in a very relaxed and loving environment, where I was encouraged to be comfortable with myself and to be forward thinking. To be an individual and not to worry so much what people thought of me. And I think that goes a long way toward accepting oneself as being gay.

And the name Dillon Buck? How did you come up with that?

Well, firstly the “Buck” part is part of my actual name. One of my pets who sadly passed away five months ago was named “Dillon” and I kind of liked the sound of the two together.

Okay, so now the downside. What have been the not-so-great parts of being an international porn star?

As a professional escort, it’s been about raising my profile in way I couldn’t have done otherwise. And because of that, I’ve had this stalker who calls me and leaves messages on my cell about things I’ve posted on my blog that he takes offe

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