Editor’s Note: On December 26, 2017, Jeremy Long (legal name: Masyoshi Mukai), 34, was involved in a crash that took the life of his friend Maya Isabelle Thone, 20. CHP investigators said “drugs appear to be a contributing factor in this collision” and Mukai was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI. He has since retired from porn and is waiting for his next court date to determine his fate. Below is his final statement before, in his words, “leaving the spotlight forever.”
Becoming well known for largely one thing, that you “have a big dick,” is just about the most insane thing to gain popularity from. And in the context of modern day America as an Asian guy, it’s a spotlight that shines a very different shade than it would anyone else. I got to live life free from that one thing that every single one of my fellow Asian American males suffers from on at least some level — an emasculating inequality bred by a small dick stereotype. Maybe as a guy who has been living the past few years with his dick being a central part of nearly everything, I’m overemphasizing things a bit. So now I’m going to make an unexpected segue into how all of this has affected my life. How does an Asian male porn star, and especially one where race is a big part of who you are, end up in the end?
In the beginning this article was going to be themed something along the lines of what it’s like to be an Asian male porn star, a little more biographical context, and what Asian American males are facing in the dating world. Articles like this would make my blood boil (not the fact that Asian members of the media were reporting on it — that’s awesome — but rather the underlying material they were revealing is what angered me. I saw myself as in somewhat of a position to shed some light on potential positive directions we could take, and so it started off with me trying to present the antithesis of the stereotypical Asian American dating experience — my own.
I was living such a surreal lifestyle where the tables had turned justly in the right direction. Without exaggeration, I was sleeping with a new girl nearly everyday at some points in my life, and basically had a waiting list of girts who wanted to fulfill their fantasy of sleeping with their favorite porn star. And those were on the days I wasn’t already getting paid to have sex with chicks on camera. Using conventional what-men-want metrics, I was living the dream.
“The further I sunk into porn, the further I departed from any identifiable group’s perspective.”
As successful as my life was in this area, my brethren Asian Americans were facing an increasingly uphill battle. I’m sure there’s some economic term for this phenomena — when things get worse for a group with shared attributes, the small subsections of this group experience a disproportionate windfall for not having a presumed trait. If there hasn’t been a term coined for this, I’d like my Nobel prize, you know the fake one for economics. One thing was for sure — the further I sunk into porn, the further I departed from any identifiable group’s perspective. While my non-Asian male peers in the industry had varying levels of exploits off-screen, it felt much more amplified for me. A regular white guy compared to a white male porn star? Most of society won’t see that much of a difference between the two. Same goes for Blacks, Latinos, etc., but an ASIAN porn star? Most didn’t know we existed — or rather, had the capability to exist — and upon learning we do exist (with a population of at least one to a few) many felt honored to be able to have an encounter with such a rare breed.
At one point I was thinking about writing a book about my experiences and it started off with a description that sounded like me hiding off in a bathroom preparing/tying up (the stuff IV drug users do), but then gradually revealing that it wasn’t heroin or conventional drugs but Caverject/bimix that I was injecting into my penis. And it wasn’t the story of the sad misfortunate life of a heroin addict that was about to begin, but the even darker and complex world of an Asian male in the porn industry. The first time I had to do it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life (that probably caused some sort of permanent mental trauma). The fact that it very quickly became a routine part of my life without any discomfort, along with several other things, really set us and our lifestyles apart from “normal” people. Some of us in porn actually call them civilians, like in reference to a girl you were with last night, she’s a “civilian,” or that new chick from [name of agency, e.g. 101 or East Coast models].
“There’s a ceiling to the amount of sex that will fulfill your life, and it’s quite low.”
So I think much of what leads those of us in porn to self-destructive lifestyles is partially grounded in how we see ourselves as very much detached from the normal/real world (I want to say ostracized but it’s more self-imposed — there are so many ways in which we cannot relate, and our worlds are so drastically different we simply aren’t the same as “normal” people). I’d imagine people in the military, especially those who have just been deployed to combat, have similar feelings (although of a very different nature). And while vets have some very specific and distinct issues that they have to live through, we share some common ground in that we feel like we have long departed a mental state of normalcy. There are some things we just know. The first “thing” and one that everyone, even those not considering porn at all should think about, is that there’s a ceiling to the amount of sex that will fulfill your life, and it’s quite low, and a place once reached, pretty disheartening. You needn’t even become a porn star to find this out. You can simply go to a country where prostitution is legal and there is ample supply. Germany with their FKK clubs and all of the rest would be a perfect place to discover this. And those who have an unsuccessful sex-life at the heart of their unhappiness will quickly realize their unhappiness is grounded in something else.
“The world of porn is one that basically has no floor; it’s a bottomless pit for how bad your life can get.”
And as far as our lifestyles, and aside from the obvious: e.g., we’re surrounded by sex, money for sex, drugs, partying; many of us are fleeing from broken homes, abuse, and we aren’t getting anything close to the help/treatment that would be beneficial for most, and absolutely necessary for others. The world of porn is one that basically has no floor; it’s a bottomless pit for how bad your life can get. With girls, it can be doing scene-types you’d swore you’d never do, doing stuff off-screen completely violating and leaving them scarred, perceiving themselves to have lost all dignity — and acknowledging this leads to a slippery slope to the bottom.
One of the ways to cope with such trauma is just to accept it as your fate — you were meant for this, it’s not something you can fight — so just accept it and try to endure through it. However, this fallacious mentality, by giving up what little hope you could have held onto, leaves you with nothing; it basically surrenders to a battle that’s taking no prisoners, succumbing to a false realization that you were destined for porn, and invites an endless amount of trauma with a deep and permanent impact. Drugs are actually a godsend, in some sense, and in the worst circumstances. I can say for certain that many, myself included, would probably not have been able to survive some of the darkest times without “medicine.” Functionality wise, I’m sure whatever a psychiatrist would give out isn’t that different from getting high at night for temporary escape. And that’s how drugs really find its most poisonous place in porn — not from the partying, and the fun stuff, but it’s place in porn as a form of medicinal use.
“Porn-sex is work, physically tiring, demanding, and even dangerous…”
And there’s usually no one there to watch out for you, no one to intervene when things are getting out of hand, because, although the world of porn isn’t full of people incapable of caring for each other (nor is it impossible to find true friends in porn), it’s just that usually, each of us is too immersed in our own world full of toxicity and we’re struggling to cope with our own reality to form any kind of support structure. I’d imagine any bold attempts at taking on leadership in this area would be quickly stifled by people who need to, and have the means to, stop any efforts at making porn a healthier place. And just like there are so few Asian males in porn, it’s not because they’re evil and do so with that intent, it’s simply business as usual, motivated by monetary profit, which happens to be at a crossroads of so many different societal issues.
For guys (in straight porn), we’re in even less of a position to demand respect or fair treatment, and one of the conversations I’ve had seemingly thousands of times is explaining how it’s not nearly as awesome as you’d think. Porn-sex is work, physically tiring, demanding, and even dangerous (e.g. all those visits to the ER after dosing too much Caverject). For me personally, I began with a genuine well-intentioned goal of fighting a fight that I saw no one (or very few others), fighting. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say my decision to shoot porn was philanthropic, I’d characterize it more as rebellious. Standing up for what was ingrained very deeply, at a young age, as something of great importance. I saw it akin to the fights I used to get into even as far back as elementary school, getting called “chink,” “gook,” etc. Being one of the few who fought back, as opposed to the others who didn’t, was something that formed the basis for my own self-respect. This was taken to the extreme at the California Youth Authority where everything is about those two things: race and self-respect. After getting a real education (after my mere GED from CYA), and studying things like critical race theory and Asian American studies (and then opportunistically having the chance to actually make things happen in real life), I made the conscious and calculated decision to follow this path. It was made during a time when I was in the middle of being in such a fortunate place of privilege and potential places in a career that would be considered “successful” by nearly everyone’s standard. Whether working at some big law firm, or a public defender’s office in the Bay Area, I was in a position of mobility I’d never had before.
While I was so caught in this promotion of “Asian Pride,” I failed to prioritize the most important thing all of us Asians have to be proud of: our families and loved ones.
I don’t think anyone who knows me well would call me selfish, at least not in the sense of having greed or lack of compassion. Any apparent act of altruism I’ve done or claimed to have done was very likely genuinely so, but it’s my perspective that I believe is very self-centric. I failed to see how my actions would affect or hurt others, even people I love very deeply. Its failing to allow myself to be driven by anything but my gut instinct or “following my heart” that has resulted in the most disastrous outcomes I never could have imagined. That and the scale and depth in which my porn career, which in the beginning would have required quotation marks (i.e. I could have escaped unscathed early on with porn only having had a minimal impact on my life), grew beyond what I ever could have anticipated, and had caused a comprehensive breakdown of nearly everything important in my life — every relationship/friendship, and familial responsibility. While I was so caught in this promotion of “Asian Pride,” I failed to prioritize the most important thing all of us Asians have to be proud of — our families and loved ones.
In porn, we have absent from our lives what is one of the main activities/focuses/concerns of regular guys, which is finding girls to sleep with. For me personally, having been at both extremes — being incarcerated where we have zero contact with females for years to having tons of sex — I feel like I’d switched from eating normal meals at home to a non-stop buffet. I soon reached that bloated feeling we all know when we tried to get our money’s worth and can barely walk out. I’d lost any desire for meaningless sex, and quantity wise it was growing to the point my best estimation of my “count” would have a margin of error in the hundreds.
Throughout all of this, I think I was able to really examine a new dynamic/aspect when it came to “quality” of sex. Most guys judge it by how hot the girl was or how skilled she was, but after having so much sex in its most artificial, transactional form, you can truly appreciate how sex can also be incredibly meaningful in the right context — with someone you love. For some, the beginning of a series of sexual interactions can have the potential to develop into strong unexpected feelings of compassion with that person (e.g. why I think it’s very difficult to ever truly maintain a “friends with benefits” type of relationship for long). This at the very least holds true for some, myself included. In porn, we almost necessarily have to have that completely absent from our lives. Love is impossible. At least the way I define love, or rather, the way I fall in love; it simply couldn’t coexist with an ongoing porn career. So porn means no meaningful intimate relationships, while even hooking up with a new girl comes with its risks, as an unplanned one night stand can easily lead to a one-sided relationship full of pain, and pretty soon you’re just this asshole who continues to hurt girls in a serial manner.
Some of the things I’ve experienced are just so amazingly surreal they change you forever. I’ve stayed at “model houses” which are basically big houses full of porn stars living together. I’ve been to orgies where I’d have sex with more girls that night than many would in a whole year (since everyone is tested we just go around and you basically get a brief shot with every girl there). We’re also popping antibiotics all the time, since they help prevent the one class of std that comes and goes very easily. At this point I’d departed very far from my original motive of Asian male representation in porn — I was just living a wild, crazy life with a loosening grip on reality.
If I ever found myself in an exclusive relationship, and while I’ve now learned some very important considerations to take when one ends (allowing each party to have closure, time to heal, etc.), I would break up with someone and start back up this cycle of toxicity, and much of it would be very visible for the other party to see. Not only is this painful as any breakup would be, it’s extremely embarrassing for the girl, and very much unfair. I found myself abusing these newfound privileges. I never imagined one’s life could change so drastically, so fast. Numerous times there would be a fan who would hook up with me, saying out loud,”OMG I can’t believe I’m fucking Jeremy Long,” while I’m saying to myself the exact same thing, “I can’t believe I’M fucking Jeremy Long,” this guy who didn’t exist a year ago but is now me.
While the scale of significance and many other things aren’t even close to comparable, I think I understand what Dave Chappelle went through — he was developing two different Dave Chapelles while one needed a firm grounding in a set of values and character while the other requires the ability to vacillate like a chameleon depending on the context or surroundings. And you can tell Dave was a proud man, and it probably became more difficult to look himself in the mirror each time he had to sacrifice his true character and values for what was required for his career. Not only will you very quickly lose yourself, your loved ones won’t even understand what you’ve become.
“I promote the character Jeremy Long as a careless playboy type, because I think that’s the image Asian Americans need very much…”
And this goes back even to those from my past, every one of my ex-girlfriends were impacted on some level by their ex-boyfriend who all of their friends and family knew was now an actual porn star. And there were girls who still cared about me and even loved me (like my wife) who had to watch all of this craziness unfold in front of them while powerless to do anything but feel pain and misery, and embark on their own self-destructive paths. I promote the character Jeremy Long as a careless playboy type, because I think that’s the image Asian Americans need very much, not because in a vacuum, it’s a positive thing, but in our real-world context it fulfills an absence and provides some needed balance to the contrasting images which inundate our media. The real-life me isn’t nearly as heartless. When I’m dedicated to someone, I’m 100% as I am with everything I do, and becoming this new person where the lines between Masa and Jeremy became blurrier everyday made my whole entire world and perspective surreal. That and the sheer magnitude of it all, both the number of seemingly nonstop encounters with fans who’d fantasized about me to the novel nature of some encounters. Not out of necessity, but I guess driven more by the general momentum of things in my life, I actually even prostituted to a few wealthy female fans who had fantasized about it. One was even the daughter of the founder of a very well known global corporation. It was all just really insane, and I’d been around drugs my whole life without ever getting into them. But somehow porn and drugs are a synergistic formula for disaster, and even despite that fact being very much evident, it’s just as enticing. For some reason I guess it was a combination of feeling so dirty I wasn’t above anything (including drugs) and me needing a mental escape from a world that had gotten too insane. And then later it became a way to numb the pain of the hell I’d created for myself after hurting everyone I loved.
I guess to conclude this point, I immersed myself in a surreal world full of toxicity, and failed to adequately build any barrier to protect the people in my real life who really cared about me. And while living in such a fast-paced lifestyle, I failed to see how many people I had hurt, some very badly.
As you might anticipate, this story ends in tragedy and disaster, and on a scale proportionately surreal to this whole entire story. Early on, I connected with some others in the Asian American activist community in hopes that we could spread some of this [what is referenced in the first paragraph) to the rest of our Asian brothers. Sure, tons of girls want to bang the guy in the spotlight, and to make him/me less of an exception to the norm. We thought producing amateur porn would make some real change on a massive scale, really making history and changing our own fate. The fate of our people was a dream worth sacrificing almost anything. In the end, I did in fact essentially sacrifice it all, but that was attributable more to my idiosyncratic self-destructiveness, amplified by the nature of the project, which, I believe, could be carried out by those fit for the unique demands presented.
I had already achieved more progress than I would have had in my wildest dreams when I first started, so I was confident that I could scale this progress to the national or international level. Making real change for the fate of your people is the loftiest of goals, and I yearned to fight the fight that needed to be fought. At the very least, we could conclude with certainty that the well-endowed Asian male actors would produce a broader impact than the few we had presented so far, including myself, and if just as a personal reward, those we recruited would have a very active Tinder account if it was integrated into their porn star social media. Mine, linked to my Instagram account, made every girl two clicks away from seeing that I didn’t have a two inch dick and having an auto-swiper let this exposure take on a massive scale. Here’s a link to the project proposal.
While I was having Jeremy Long out there enjoying this rockstar lifestyle, I did also have a whole world and life that I struggled to avoid colliding with. I had friends, ex-gfs, family, and even a wife (who I had separated with), who all knew me as another person and couldn’t believe what was really happening. Out of all the crazy things I’ve done in my life, now I have to go off and do porn of all things? And it wasn’t just me trying, I was really doing it. It was unbelievable to everyone in my life, with me above all finding it the hardest to believe that my whole life wasn’t a dream. Everything changed so fast and I happened to have already had a pretty unbelievable background as a UC Berkeley law student, so insanity had become my norm. Pretty soon things began to take a toll on me. I remember in an article or interview someone had asked me if I was worried if my mom would find out, and if that worried me, and at the time, I (incorrectly) assumed I’d never be on anything my mom would be exposed to. She doesn’t go on Facebook, or even use the internet. About a year later I got an offer to appear on CNN. My mom who was totally disconnected from social media and anything like that, did however, have a TV, and it did play CNN. I was long past the point of no return by then, however, and I just saw it as my fate or duty to what I sincerely felt was a good cause. My mom did see me on CNN — on the previews of a show — that gave her enough of an idea that she didn’t want to watch, as she’d long ago adopted an ignorance is bliss mentality. She even messaged me saying she saw the preview on TV; it didn’t say exactly what it’s about, she didn’t think she wanted to watch it, but she said to continue doing all of the amazing things, there’s obviously something about me that’s very special, and she just hoped I’d find the right direction. It’s this latter skill I’ve struggled with and hope to one day harness in a way that at the very least stops harming people around me.
So I continued to extend Jeremy Long off-screen into my real life, and during this process, I became less and less my real person and more this fictional character I created. Girls who I would “date” would initially be accepting or even excited to be dating a porn star, but would be soon find themselves in a very one-sided relationship with this guy who almost had a duty to be the ultimate narcissist but desired sex symbol. I actually do have that thing called empathy which I guess a real narcissist lacks, and I began to notice that the more I “did for the cause” the more my “real life people” in my real world began to hurt. It’s painful to have had me as an ex-boyfriend and be the laughingstock of gossip. It hurts to grow stronger feelings for someone who you’d agreed to be okay with having a job that required me to have sex with other women. It hurts to be married to the guy who’s popping up online in memes referencing his cock or sexual prowess, when there was a time you’d thought that was yours forever. Porn and drugs and the partying lifestyle that came with it began to spiral out of control and I lost sight of my priorities. Out of concern and respect for privacy, I’m going to have to leave some details out, but I’ll just say that I had caused immeasurable damage to my loved ones.
Me overdosing on caverject, a friend overdosing on drugs, trips to the hospital, and crazy jealousy fueled fights became routine. I’m a pretty extreme person, and I always follow my heart. This is all coupled with, I’m sure, at least a few diagnosable mental disorders that are likely the common denominator of why I’ve led such a crazy life. After suffering through some very painful family problems, I later reconciled with my wife, who had to cringe every day seeing a new post I made or scene come out and who didn’t hesitate to try to rescue me from this world she knew was toxic. She was the jealous type. Vietnamese. Reputation for being a little crazy, and a habit for being on the non-traditional end of DV cases as a female. And she was also two clicks away on her phone from seeing things that would make it come flying at me moments later. Unfortunately, instead of her bringing us up, I brought us down. While porn introduced me to drugs, I’d introduced it even deeper into our relationship. And she struggled with trying to keep us from spiraling downwards. As with all the amazingly good things that have been handed to me on a platter, I selfishly ruined, and was forced to discover that a downward spiral is even faster done alone. On Christmas Eve and day I found myself completely alone and struggling to cope with one of the most depressing times of my life. A feeling I’d somehow been able to avoid throughout my life up until then. A good friend of mine, who was as keen as she was caring, saw how much I’d changed, and took it upon herself to ensure I made it through the holidays where these feelings of darkness are amplified. I numbed the pain I’d brought on myself with drugs.
She knew for years I made an annual pilgrimage to visit Hmong New Years in Fresno. Despite, not even knowing what Hmong meant (I didn’t either the first time I met a Hmong person), she thought me being able to attend again would be the healthiest thing for me. All that was on her mind was my physical, emotional, and mental safety — she had a genuine and very much warranted fear that I might hurt myself. I failed to reciprocate this concern for own safety, and I got us in a very bad car accident and she passed away. I can’t even begin to construct a set of words that can express how pained my heart and soul are, how much self-hatred I’ve developed towards myself, and the complete loss of an understanding of the world, and what I thought were its fundamental tenets. There was never a clearer scenario than ours with who should have survived. I cannot make any sense of why I was allowed to survive. She was without exaggeration one of the most caring people I’ve known who lost her life while literally trying to save mine.
Regarding the actual accident and whether it was caused by the lingering effects of my massive consumption of drugs over Christmas Eve and day, or just a general debilitation by my weakened mental state, I genuinely don’t know. I remember only bits and pieces (I’ll explain later why these facts, which would normally be dispositive to my punishment, won’t make a difference in my case). Regardless of technicalities, I know in my heart I was the sole cause of her death. This life of chaos and toxicity concluded with me committing the worst act I have ever done in my life and caused so much pain I’d never imagined I’d be capable of.
Ever since learning she had passed away, I’ve been in a surreal state of misery. Again, I won’t even attempt to find the words to express how horrible I feel, and hope the actions I’ve taken and will take will illustrate this. My first instinctive reaction was to join her. And this feeling will likely linger with me until the day I finally do. The second was to perform a Japanese ritual called Yubitsume. It involves chopping off joints of your pinky, and fingers working your way to the thumb if you have a subsequent need (i.e. you have no more pinky left and you have to move on to the next finger). I’d already done this once before a few months prior — the family issues I’d described earlier. I began this in hopes to begin a GoFundMe to raise funds for her family, but for various reasons that I am not entirely aware of, it unfortunately won’t be taking place. As my loving wife had always done during times like this, when I needed her most, she returned to be there for me in loving support, which I found I was in more need than ever before in my life.
I have been struggling with figuring out what right course of action to take regarding my ceremonial Yubitsume and her family. Tradition would entail I either chop it off in front of them or have it delivered. This would obviously be traumatizing and completely inappropriate. In the end I decided on something of a middle-ground approach, as it may be found distasteful and misinterpreted. I will avoid directly exposing anyone to any images while also providing the option if its so wished. I will do my best here to provide enough context about this ritual which could be very easily misinterpreted as a wild act of insanity, when it is a purposely, calculated act of apology and self-punishment. I hope it will be viewed as what I intended it to be, a sincere act of remorse and expression of sorrow. It is a centuries old tradition with origins in samurai culture, as each missing finger weakens one’s ability to wield a sword. This tradition has carried on in modern times, with symbolic meaning.
Even in Japan, this is seen as extreme, and reserved for the most serious circumstances. I find myself in a state of sorrow and remorse unlike any I have ever felt in my life. I have caused the most unimaginable pain to the most undeserving people, and have caused the death of the kindest person I have known, who was only put in such a position because she was worried about my own life and safety. My heart is completely filled with pain and regret. I would do absolutely anything to change the past, to take her place, to avoid the worst mistake I have ever committed in my life, but I’m stuck in a reality that is painfully real where my actions cannot be undone. In addition to voluntarily taking the maximum sentence of 10 years for my charge, this tradition has provided me with some measure or means to express my feelings and shed light on how pained my heart is. It is a centuries-old tradition that my ancestors, if not personally partook, at least respected. It lends it a sense of legitimacy in my eyes. It is something permanent, and beyond mere words. It fulfills it as meaningful enough to use to address something with this level of seriousness.
Finally, I can barely type out these words that will be the conclusion of this. Several weeks ago my wife, the love of my life, my soulmate, took her own life. I reached a place so full of fear and pain and misery and surreality that no words could come close to bearing the ability to describe. This wasn’t a feeling disparate in matters of degree, but of kind, and one that I think human beings, as an entire species, very rarely ever encounter, and I had to the fullest. I was so utterly scared and full of fear, a fear of reality being reality, a fear that reached deep into me and consumed my entire soul. I didn’t feel like I’d been hurt so bad, that nothing could be worse. I was instead awakened to all that I’d been blind to before and exposed to something entirely new. We had always called each other soulmates and our painful pasts are what made our bond so strong. We had both led lives that caused disaster and pain to others. I fear that what I experienced was my soulmate entering the next realm. Even if that be the case, even if it’s to the depths of Hell, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to follow her there. Just like we had been able to throughout the worst of times, I’m sure we can again make our own little heaven to share, even if its Hell we’re stuck together in.
She had been struggling with what was thought by some to be schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder. We got the chance to spend nearly every night of her last night in each other’s arms, with a tranquility we had never before been able to enjoy. It is that I will be forever grateful for, but the pain of the loss of these two beautiful souls is too heavy for me to bare while needing to describe, so I will say goodbye to all of you now, and after finishing the responsibilities I have remaining, I will be gone from the public’s eye forever.