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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Lost Boys: Vintage Images of Jim Bentley

Lost Boys: 
Vintage Images of Jim Bentley

If you don't know who Jim Bentley is, or have never seen him... then turn in your gay card immediately, because it's clear you've never watched a gay porn in your life (and I'm pretty sure it's in the rulebook that you have to in order to remain in good standing). Bentley was certainly in enough of them and he not only enjoyed his work, but was rewarded with an incredibly lengthy career. So much so that he was inducted into the GayVN Awards Hall of Fame in 2002. 

After hitting that high note, he went on to write an autobiography, The Last Time I Drew A Crowd, which was generally well-received and favorably reviewed by David Alexander Nahmod for San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter in August of 2006. It seems Nahmod, too, was weary of reading yet another tragic gay porn star tale, for he said of Bentley, "The dude actually had fun, has no regrets, and has moved on to a good life. Wow, how refreshing!"

So, yay! 

This one has a relatively happy ending. 

Relatively... we think.
Jim Bentley

AKA: Jim Benson, Big Jim Bentley, James Bending
Birthdate: May 24, 1960 
Birth Place: Fresno, CA 
Height: 5'10"
Endowment: 8" cut
Eye Color: Blue

Years Active: 1984 - 2011
Films: 69
Compilations: 47
Studios: Falcon, HIS, Vivid Man, LA Video, Eagle, NOVA, LeSalon, Metro, Stallion, In-Hand, Rebel, etc.

Born on May 24, 1960, Jim Bentley grew up in Fresno, CA. His home life was slightly dysfunctional from day one, with his parents soon heading for divorce court. There, he and his siblings became the subject of a brutal custody battle. Yet, even though there existed a great deal of animosity on both sides, Bentley remembers both his parents truly loving their children. He recalls numerous times when the family would get together and things were good. Raised by his step-grandparents, Bentley was doted upon. The loving older couple provided Bentley and his two siblings with the stability they so desperately needed. 

Bentley chose to do porn. He actively pursued it because "he loved having sex and loved the notoriety he got from performing on camera." He would make his gay porn debut in 1984, featured in four films: Heroes, Splash Shots: Memories of Summer, Tough Competition, and 
Big, Bigger, Best. All the films were well-received and did well on the lucrative video market, providing Bentley with a solid foundation upon which to build a career.

Bentley's lean, hard body and striking good looks made him a fast  fan favorite.  His versatility on-set (namely his willingness to work as both a top and bottom) made him a favorite among directors. Known and respected for hi work ethic; the man was always on time and ready to perform.

Because it was his chosen career, Bentley treated porn with respect, taking the job seriously. He grew impatient with models whose drug and partying habits held up production. Although he, too, used substances from time to time, he never allowed his use to get out of hand; they never controlled him. For he saw first hand, by watching his co-workers, exactly how destructive unchecked drug use could become. 

And he was smart. As early as 1987, at the urging of Leo Ford, Bentley branched out into the bi-sexual market. He was also a popularly featured actor in a number of what was then termed 'inter-racial' films. This diversification helped ensure that he remained gainfully employed on a consistent basis.

Even as he was approaching middle age, Bentley was sought after because he'd remained in great shape; as handsome and sexually potent as ever. The secret to his longevity in the industry? He knew how to and was willing to play the game. An example?  

Here are some tidbits from an interview in Male Review:

MR: What's your favorite color?

JB: I like electric blue, it's more modern. Beautiful!

MR: What was the most tempting offer you've ever had from a fan?

JB: A really handsome man came up to me a Greg's, said “Are you Jim Bentley? And immediately gave me the biggest lip-lock, and I loved it! He reached out and took what he wanted. He was only in town one night, so he took me back to his hotel. Fortunately, it was the Beverly Wilshire.

MR: Who is your fantasy co-star of the existing porn stars?

JB: I have a new discovery that I'm about to release to the world …

MR: Let's say somebody who's already active though.

JB: I'm usually the top, but I'd like to have someone just take my ass down on screen, I'm not sure who. 

It's a difficult question to answer. I'd say Al Parker.

MR: Do you show your own tapes to your friends?

JB: Yes, I see it first with a friend. I never watch it alone. I have a couple of friends who will tell me the truth.

MR: Do your films turn you on?

JB: It's hard to look at myself on the screen at first. Eventually, it swings around and becomes erotic again.


Big, Bigger, Best
Splash Shots: Memories of Summer
Tough Competition

Getting It
Making It Huge
They Work Hard For Their Money
Thinking Big

All The Way
Best Wishes
Eagle Pack 1
Giant Splash Shots II: More Memories of Summer
Moonlusting 2
New Zealand Under Covers
Night At Alfies
Switch Hitters 2


Advocate Men Live 4: From San Francisco To Rio
Bi Surprise
Black Pack
Cabin Fever
Danny Does 'em All
Haulin' 'n Baulin'
Interracial Affairs
Spokes 2

Behind Closed Doors: By Invitation Only
By Day Bi Night
Danny Does Dallas
Entertainment Bi-night
Health Club Gigolo
Made For You
Swing Shift


Bad Boys 17: Trucking
Boys On Call
Castro Commando
Dogs in Heat

Bi n Large
Big Deal
Bizarre Gay Sex Scenes
Gay Hung Men

Big Showoff
Daddy's Revenge
Do Me Dirty
Fire in the Hole
Foolin' Around
JS Big Time
Matinee Idol
Men Together
San Francisco Sex
Sex Alley
Switch Hitters 9

All-American Man
Easy Prey
Just Men
Ripe for Harvest
South of Market Leather

Biker Boys
Demolition Man
Gym Tails
Officer Dick
Ticket To Ride


Historic Affairs
Killer Looks

Late Nite Porn

Marine Obsessions

New Meat 27

Splash Shots 3: To The Hilt

Guys Of A Certain Age 2

Dads Cruising Grounds

Off-camera, Bentley enjoyed an active, healthy love life. This helps account for the number of years when he remained absent from the screen. Of note: a relationship he had in the 90's with an HIV-negative man who was diagnosed with and eventually died from cancer at the age of 33. Bentley took personal care of him for months, until the man's family shut him out.   

He also had an unusual 'day job'. In an interview he gave to Inches magazine he talked about his life as a fig farmer, an occupation he pursued in tandem throughout much of his porn career. 

As the millennium approached, Bentley's porn career seemed on the wane. He was older now, but his name still held some allure. Based on his past, he could still snag the occasional gig. He would also explore new avenues of revenue in the form of a self-published autobiography, 2005's The Last Time I Drew a Crowd: The Autobiography of Jim Bentley. It told the story of  a man who somehow survived the AIDs crisis, coming out the other side still doing what he loved; gay porn. Many of his contemporaries? Not so lucky. Plus, now he had a new love: writing. 

Sadly, it wasn't all wine and roses. 

By 2006 he was going by the name James Bending. Under that name a warrant for his arrest was issued, hence the mugshots below. I failed to learn the specifics or how it was resolved.

The next bit of info I found places him in NYC in 2010, running ads seeking work as an escort. According to the source, Bentley was using out-date pictures from his porn days in the ads, but would fess up once a client called, copping to his real age.

In 2011, Bentley finally retired from the world of gay porn, with hopes that he would get to pursue writing as a full-time career.

He also made an appearance in an interview segment in 2015's Seed Money; a documentary which told the story of Falcon Films Studio and it's founder.

After that?  

Well, there's this little rumor, posted on a message board: "Last I'd heard he was somewhere in Northern California living a somewhat communal Earth Child weave your own sandals life."

Who knows, maybe he went back to farming figs? 

Wherever he is, he can rest assured that his legacy lives on, all over the internet. And, as Nahmod from San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter, indicated, it is refreshing to know that someone could navigate the world of gay porn with a professional demeanor and live to tell the tale. 

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Is it just me, or does Bentley make a mullet look almost hot? 

You know, in a MacGyver/dirty porn theatre perv kind of way? No? Just me?

His dick looks so good sticking out of that ripped up jock.

He is cute and has a great dick, but other than his abundant appendage, he doesn't do a whole lot for yours truly. I am rather amazed that he stayed in the game as long as he did, but then... once you find your passion and it becomes your livelihood, I can see how it could be difficult to walk away from. 

I do hope he's happy, living safely on a nice fig farm with someone he loves.

That's all for this week. 

Thank for reading. 

--- ---

Live To Tell - Madonna

You'll See - Madonna


Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Live to tell indeed!
And he's been in many a skin magazine cover. He does give that McGyver vibe. I'm glad he survived the plague.


Xersex said...

He retired from porno aged 51! what career!
He's still good looking!

Jimmy said...

What X said. What a long career.

whkattk said...

Good, long career. And I think it's wonderful he managed to survive. I hope he is doing great.

SickoRicko said...

OMG!! He was such a throb for me! Thanks for the report.