Thursday, August 4, 2016
I miss Lon Flexx. A lot.
David Lee Anderson was born just 16 days before I was. He was born on January 7, 1965, in Claremore, Oklahoma. He grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, but his family returned to Claremore when he was in his late teens. He graduated from Claremore High School. He came out of the closet to his family in his teens, and publicly after he left high school. He attended the University of Oklahoma for two years, during which he was elected president of the Gay Activities Alliance.
Dissatisified with the homophobic atmosphere of Oklahoma, he moved to California in 1988, residing first in Riverside and then Costa Mesa. He got a job writing liner-notes for Universal Studios laser-disc releases. But it was his discovery in late 1988 by Catalina Video that made him a gay porn star. He'd do a whopping 15 adult films in 1989 -- one every five weeks. His break-out hit was Billboard for Catalina, and it was quickly followed up by Cousins Should Do It (1989, HIS Video), Heat in the Night (1989, Huge Video), Sex, Lies and Video Cassettes (1989, Sierra Pacific), and Some Men Are Bigger Than Others (1989, Tiger Media). These were mind-blowing performances. When he throat-rapes his co-star in Heat in the Night, it's one of the most erotic performances of the year. Lesser films included an amazing auto-fellatio performance in Blow Your Own Horn (1989, Vivid Video), a star turn in Cowboys and Indians (1989, Vivid Video), a performance so cool that he blew out the film's star in Davey and the Cruisers (1989, Fine-Line Prods.), a stunning oral-only show in International Guide to the Fine Art of Fellatio (1989, Vivid Video), and the steamy Ten is Enough (1989, Sierra Pacific).
He moved to the gay ghetto of West Hollywood in 1990, and made a whopping 22 films that year. That's one every two weeks! He made four must-have, absolutely stellar appearances. Anyone would be proud to have just one of these in their career; he did all four. They included Big Bang (1990, Falcon), More of A Man (1990, All Worlds Video), Plunge (1990, Falcon), and Sex Shooters (1990, Sierra Pacific). A-minus films included the superb California Stud Pups (1990, Video 10) and Mystic Museum (1990, Infinity Video).
By now, Lon Flexx was one of the biggest stars of the gay adult firmament. He was universally recognized throughout the sex industry as one of the nicest people anyone would ever meet. He was funny, gentle, open, honest, and cared very deeply for the people he worked and performed with. He was well-known for being a settled person, wanting to make a home for himself while enjoying the sexual blessings God had given him. And he cooked. Boy, could he cook! Performers talked about how he'd bring home-made baked goods to the set, or how eating at his house was like going to a tasty local diner.
He also had the superstar status to allow his body to be more masculine. He had naturally dark skin and dark brown hair, and his legs were always unshaven and extremely hairy. But during the first years of his adult film career, Lon Flex trimmed most of his pubes down and completely shaved his upper body. He now began extensively working out, packing muscle onto his chest and allowing his natural, somewhat furry body hair to grow back. Although he'd sometimes shave his stomach and create a stronger pubic hair line, he was downright hairy-chested in the last three years of his career.
And he had time for fans. A full six-footer, and strikingly handsome, he was recognized practically everywhere he went. But if someone wanted to talk to him, or asked for an autography, he was quick with a smile and a chat. He loved fans, and wanted them to feel like he was approachable. Once, while in a West Hollywood market, he was mobbed by six or seven gushing fans. He talked with them at length, even hanging around until the last fan had gotten through the check-out. He was so beloved, that he'd be approached on the street. He'd flash that boyish, eager smile and sign whatever they wanted.
But there was a downside. Although nearly all gay porn studios had begun using condoms all the time on all sets, Falcon Studios would not do so until 1992. Falcon was, at that time, the biggest and wealthiest gay porn studio in the world. Its films cost nearly $70 each. Its Jocks and Mustang lines were $35 each. One of Falcon's biggest stars -- indeed, one of the four biggest adult film stars in the whole world -- was Joey Stefano. By 1990, Stefano was HIV-positive. Just how Stefano seroconverted is not known, but he was an intravenous drug user, male prostitute, and engaged in an extensive amount of unprotected anal sex in his private life in addition to having mostly unprotected anal sex on the set of adult films. Stefano was so fucked up, he didn't even know he had HIV; once he learned he had seroconverted, he told no one. Lon Flexx wasn't a drug user or male prostitute, but he was having a significant amount of sex in his private life, some or all of which may have been bareback. And on the set of Plunge in 1990, Lon Flexx had unprotected anal sex with Joey Stefano. Looking back, it's hard not to find the scene disturbing.
His health began deteriorating in 1991, and he did just six videos in 1991, only one of which (Lunch Hour [Catalina]) was any good. In 1992, he made just two films. One of these was the excellent Trade-Off (All Worlds Video) for Jerry Douglas, who had directed his eye-popping performance in More of A Man in 1990. But Lon was increasingly sick. While visiting his family in New Mexico over the Thanksgiving holiday, he fell seriously ill. He was diagnosed with AIDS, and spent several weeks in the hospital. He did not return to Los Angeles until March 1993.
He was hospitalized frequently in 1993 and 1994. David Lee Anderson finally entered into rest on at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood, California, on September 15, 1995. His entire family was by his side, as was his partner, Rob McCaffree. He was cremated, and his ashes scattered at Slide Rock State Park in Arizona on September 30. He himself had selected the site some time earlier, one of his favorite places in the whole world.