How Demystifying Gay Porn Host I. Que Grande Opens Up His Porn Star Guests

Leveraging his vast contact list, the longtime adult film veteran gets the men you've seen show everything reveal something new.

Season 2 of popular podcast Demystifying Gay Porn was initially scheduled for an earlier launch, but 2020 had other ideas.

“I really didn’t think it was going to take this long, this pandemic,” host I. Que Grande says with a sigh. “I didn’t want to do any interviews via Zoom or anything because I prefer to talk to people when they’re sitting right across from me.”

But once his day job at porn studio Treasure Island had him putting together some just-in-case shoots in September, Grande bit the bullet and started recording again, a mixture of socially distanced and in person, audio, and video conference. In some ways, the global pandemic offered a universality to Grande’s conversations with stars of gay porn. The podcast is, after all, dedicated to humanizing these men fans mostly know from having sex in front of cameras.

“There’s no way you can avoid talking about it,” he says. “Along with the idea of demystifying these guys who normally would just take their clothes off in front of you, the idea that they are also hunkered down and going through the same thing you are, it’s interesting.”

Most of the guests on Demystifying Gay Porn are models with whom Grande has a longstanding relationship; barring that, he tries to have a conversation with them in advance to build a rapport. “There’s something about digging into a person. So much is revealed just over the years that when you sit down and have a full blown conversation, it’s very interesting.”

The results are singularly appealing, conversational interviews with men who feel relaxed enough to be their authentic selves. Guests have included Dolf Dietrich (in the inaugural episode), Max Konnor, Armond Rizzo, Danny Blue, and most recently Riley Mitchell.

Dolf Dietrich and I. Que Grande

But even with pre-chats, Grande sits down to record with no set agenda, preferring to be surprised by the turns each interview takes. If he does his job right, he gets the ultimate compliment from the model at the end of taping: “I can’t believe I just talked about that!”

A lot of sticky ground has been covered since Demystifying Gay Porn first debuted in July 2019. But podcasting wasn’t necessarily on Grande’s mind when he parted ways with porn studio Dark Alley that year. Not until he started scrolling through Twitter and seeing how many of the scenes he’s worked on and performer’s he’d worked with were racking up retweets and shares did Grande realize the mass appeal of gay porn on social media. And when Champ Robinson told Grande he should start a podcast, the wheels started turning.

“The first season… It’s fleshing itself out while it’s happening,” Grande says with a laugh. “The first episode, I’m sitting there and praying the audio equipment is set up correctly! There’s a progression of better audio and better interviews as the season goes on.”

A video component was always integral to the plan—after all, these are some of the world’s most beautiful men. Why not give the home listeners some eye candy, too? Plus, hearing someone’s answer to a question and seeing their response are sometimes two very different things. 

The results feel genuine and charming, buoyed by Grande’s upbeat attitude and the chance to hear the models answer questions about the work they put into their careers. “How much time they spend in the gym, the diets, how they’re able to take a 10-inch dick and walk out perfectly fine,” Grande says. “And a lot of times when I ask those questions, I will selfishly ask questions for myself. This person would know what ‘big dick problems’ are! And I think people do like that. And a lot of models say they get emails asking what their diet is.”

So what’s the secret? 

“Some of them are just very lucky,” Grande says, laughing. 

About Mark Peikert More Articles
Previously editor-in-chief of Playbill, Backstage, and New York Press, Mark Peikert is a content creator with over 15 years of experience in publishing. In addition to his editorial work, he's also a popular moderator who has shared the stage with everyone from Angelina Jolie and Julianne Moore to John Mulaney and Tituss Burgess. Not at the same time.
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