He soon began working as a fitness trainer at a gym in nearby Riverside, CA; a career choice that would serve him well, on and off, throughout his life. Thanks to his muscular physique and the contacts he made in various gyms, by March of 1975, Barresi found himself featured in Playgirl magazine, appearing beside Cassandra Peterson (better known these days as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark) in a photo spread titled A Playgirl's Fantasy by photographer David Meyer. Three years later, in December of 1978, he would also be the first man featured on the cover of Hustler magazine.
COLT CALENDAR 1976
MANDATE April 1977
HONCHO December 1979
UNZIPPED June 23, 1998P
PLAYGIRL September/October 2008
IN TOUCH #19
Cops, Jocks And Military Feet
Spare The Rod 2: Military Issued
In the end, Travolta's attorney convinced Baressi to issue a retraction and an apology... in exchange for $25,000. "I was having a nervous breakdown," Barresi said. "I just wanted it to be over." Barresi told The Guide that "when the dust settled, I regretted the retraction a lot more than I regretted the initial call to the Enquirer."
"I was willing, however, to let it go because some years passed and maybe he'd forgotten the promise he made to me. But the straw that broke the camel's back was when I was leaving. He handed me the remnants of the complimentary hotel basket with partially eaten fruit inside and open packages. The only thing that was intact was the bottle of Dom Perignon champagne. So I took the champagne and
put it on the shelf in my apartment as a reminder of how demeaning and how cruel he was to me. To give me leftovers as if he was giving me a gift of some kind. So, after that, I pondered the idea and I decided to tell the Enquirer about who Travolta really is."
Yet, despite all the issues he had with the industry, Barresi continued to carve out a career in the adult entertainment industry until 2006. In fact, Barresi, using the alias Joe Hammer, won numerous industry awards for his work, most of it non-sexual, in gay porn films, and in 2008, Barresi was inducted into the GayVN Hall of Fame. Industry magazine Adult Video News said Barresi's directorial efforts make him "...undisputedly the king of military-themed videos."