Growing up in southern Louisiana was a blessing and a curse. While I had to hide and bury the core of my being -- my sexuality -- I did however live in a place that celebrated life and living! We lived to eat, drink, and be merry. My early childhood was not extraordinary, but looking back, it was blessed. Summers were spent outside, climbing trees, making forts out of refrigerator boxes, and setting booby traps for my imagined prey.
I lived without a care in the world... until the day I discovered I was falling helplessly in love with my sister's boyfriend. I vividly remember the day I first "felt it" -- he was just coming out of the swimming pool when he flipped back his heavy mane of jet-black hair like only really cool boys could. I watched every drop of water collect and drip off the tips of his wet hair, on to his round shoulders, and down the V of his back, all the way to the base of his cut-off jean shorts.
I was soon admonished by my sisters and mom when they discovered my secret. "Boys do not like boys," they said, and from that day on, I was very aware that something is wrong here and that fitting in and hiding the best part of me was going to be necessary for survival.
Flash forward to today, and that way of being and thinking is no longer necessary. In fact, I live a life that I love with my two partners, our four dogs, and our "God dog," Bella (you can read more about our relationship in this feature profile from New York Magazine
This part of A Thing of Beauty is a celebration of living -- a life worth living. Nothing is stopping us from being who we want to be, loving who we want to love, and doing what we want to do. Just like the refrigerator boxes that I used to transform into elaborate forts, our lives can so easily transform from "nothing" spaces to "something" spaces.
When you watch this film, try and connect to the most joyful parts of your past. Connect to all the things you wanted and still want, and make them your reality now!
& RJ Sebastian
From "Endymion" by John Keats
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.
Part II of A Thing of Beauty expands upon the "eroti-doc" style of filmmaking spearheaded by filmmakers Jake Jaxson and RJ Sebastian, this time structuring the film around the first stanza of RJ's favorite poem, "Endymion" by John Keats (the first line also inspiring the series' name). Featuring a cameo appearance by the directors' third boyfriend, Benny Morecock, Part II is very much another visual poem fueled by optimism, adventure, and the celebration of sex.
As an interpretive collage, the film meshes overt excerpts from the poem in the directors' personal lives with their allegorical sexual counterparts featuring CockyBoys Gabriel Clark and JD Phoenix. While intentionally subjective in nature, this poetic style of filmmaking is undoubtedly connected through feeling more than reason -- a departure from Part I's convergence of resigned monotony and speculative fantasy.
By bringing Morecock into the film, Jake and RJ are sharing a personal part of themselves -- something not many directors are willing to do in a porn film. This kind of boldness and confidence behind the camera embraces viewers in a way they might not be expecting, inviting them to share the kisses between Gabriel and JD, the smell of the ocean, and the raw power and passion of sex. As powerhouse performers, Gabriel and JD share a sexual dynamic and chemistry between each other that is authentic enough to put you right in the middle of the action.