For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way.
From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.
Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier
This is a surprisingly common one.
Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.
They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
1. Tell us about yourself (age, where you from, etc.)
I’m 24: was born Jeremy Marshall; youngest child to may parents… My Gran (Grandma) named me after a character on a soap opera. Jeremy being short for “Jeremiah” Hebrew for “God shall uplift”, “God is high”, “Exalted One”… I was born in Jackson, MS, but soon moved to suburbia Northeast Philadelphia, PA. I had a pretty good childhood. As a kid, I was adventurous and daring. I loved to draw. I excelled in grade school. I was intelligent and artistic. After winning an award in 6th grade for an art piece I drew; my parent noticed my passion for drawing and enrolled me in art classes. I was also involved in the church. I served as an alter boy, usher & sang in the children & adult choirs. As I entered high school, I slowly started to become more interested in script writing. I have an affinity for mythology and lore. I also became involved with music; where along with three of my best friends at the time formed a male R&B group called; “Simply Blaque”. I graduated high school with a 3.4GPA, Vice President of the Hotel Restaurant & Tourism Academy, and seal of achievement within the National Honors Society.
2. How long have you been in the adult industry?
5 years this past May of 2011…
3. How did you get into the adult industry? Was being in porn a dream of yours or something that just kind of happened?
I was contacted by Pnut Untouchable of the Untouchables based out in Phila, PA. I did my first screen test with Pinky Untouchable for his DVD “OH SO FREAKY” an from that; Pnut later introduced my to Marvin Jones of B.C. Prod. Lol, I wouldn’t say it was a dream of mine, but shooting a porno might have been in the back of my head of things to do before I die lol… More so, I’d say it was something I just fell into.
4. Does your family know you are in the adult film business? If so, what are their thoughts?
They know that I’ve done videos, but that’s the extent of it. It’s a part of my life that I necessarily don’t hide from them, but it’s nothing we discuss openly. They don’t ask too many questions and when referring to it and just an issue that gets swept under the rug. All they care for is that I’m okay and I know what I’m doing.
5. What was your first day on the set of porn movie like?
I will admit, it was nerve wrecking, but I was confident. I wasn’t even sure if I would do it again after my first, but I never that I wanted to turn it out and deliver a good performance. In any thing I do, I strive for quality and perfection. The main issue was the production set-up, but with a comfortable and welcoming group of individuals the Untouchable Family were; they made the experience easier.
6. When we first talked, I mentioned to you that I am launchin my own production company, MEN Entertainment, which will put a positive, mature and fresh face of Men of Color in porn! Much of the porn featuring black and latino models are mainly based on negative stereotypes perpetuated by both whites and black/latinos. What is your take on this?
Think outside the box and go against the norm. Actors gets Oscar for playing against the type and in any form of entertainment; and especially being something new and fresh just now hitting the scene, it’s always better to bring something that no one has done or seen. I always like to ask myself what new element can I deliver to a project that’ll give it that extra POP! Lastly, (company / actors) if you’re willing to feed into the stereotypes conceived by the media; then your only result will be what comes with them.
7. What changes would you like to see in the porn industry?
I could ramble on to name a few, but the main thing I would like to see enforced mainly within urban gay porn; is fair distribution of royalty checks. I just think that if the producer / company is still getting paid off a DVD or scene that’s 2 – 3yrs old; then as should the models. Yes, I understand with internet pirating on a rise; and the behind the scenes man power needed for packaging, distribution & marketing requires mad funding, let alone funding for the models, but the FANS aren’t getting off to the behind the scenes activity… it’s the models who bare the sling and arrows for all time. It’s the models that make the sales. Therefore, RUN US OUR MONEY!
8. What has your experience been like working with smaller “boutique” studios (i.e. Blatino Connection, RawRods, etc.)?
Big or small… no matter the venue; I make it KILL! That’s what I think many I’ve worked with can appreciate about me. I come on time, prepared, no crazy diva demands and I leave personal drama at the door & Remy Mars enters to perform the task at hand. Usually makes for an easy day for everyone. Producers love options to choose from when building a scene. Sometimes I can give too much good footage; making it hard for editors to settle on what clips to use. I’m a perfectionist and when Remy Mars turns on; he’s a showstopper!
9. Condom-less sex is making a huge comeback in porn. Even major studios that now shoot condom only movies, are releasing “classic” movies that feature raw/bareback sex. What is your take on the raw/bareback comeback in porn?
It never went anywhere; straight companies have been doing it for years. I’d say it was more closeted back in the day; solely due to the ignorant belief that “homosexual” sex was the cause of HIV/AIDS. In today’s world, the fascination of things taboo is on the rise. It’s more of a viewer’s demand. These companies are trying to keep up, stay relevant and produce material that the viewers want to see. Owners invest tons upon tons of dollars in their companies; (The adult industry is a multi-billion dollar market) and being that urban gay porn is so boxed within its own small division; producers for this genre have at least 10x more the pressure to exceed expectations. Not at all do I think companies are shooting raw sex just for the kicks and exploitation of our urban brothers; but they have to EAT too. Money must be made! Sucks to say, but at the end of the day, you don’t have to make money; you don’t have to do anything but eat, shit & die; and hopefully there’s a nice bench in someone’s City Hall your broke homeless ass can occupy.
But I ask this; say tomorrow ALL ADULT COMPNAIES (Condom / Bareback; Gay, Straight or Lesbian) all have been ordered to shutdown! Does one think this action will stop the increase of HIV/AIDS/STD’s/UNPLANNED PREGNANCIES in the politically acceptable “modern” world? Last time I checked, these Xtube / Webcam performers aren’t Porn Stars… just regular individual with a video recording medium. More than a lot of few are advertising raw sex. Oh, I guess since they’re rarely shooting their face; that makes it “okay”. Even in mainstream feature films; two actors start to have sex, but how often do you see any of them grab for a condom? Yea, leave it up to the viewers mind, but still ignites the illusion.
Please, I’m not defending or saying that I am a proud sponsor of unprotected sex. I just say let’s not point fingers. Obviously that’s not getting us nowhere with the cause; so how can we go about a progressively positive approach to find a means to an end? Too much speaking; not enough action. When you’re yelling at a dog; why would it come to you? If someone already knows they’ll get cast as a pariah if revealing their status; why would they be comfortable sharing such information? Not to mention the cruel acts homosexuals like to do to each other if ever scorned or threatened. Then some – many develop this whole “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell” mentality… it just gets ridiculous. And that’s what I believe is the primary cause / spread of these stigmas.
GET TESTED! GET TESTED! GET TESTED! Even if you’re just guzzling cocks down your throat… GET TESTED! Its the best thing you can do for yourself, your partner and all involved in the chain of body counts; other than abstinence. Treatment & help is available… but you have to want it.
10. Name some porn stars you have really enjoyed working with!
DREAM #1!!! … Breion Diamond… Hotrod… Cuban Michaels… Manny Baby… Mikeal Race… Lo… Mr. Sauski… Mr. X… Dre (R.I.P.)… Venom… T. Malone… Rock of RocaFellahs… Jermany… Kannon… Enigma… My Compact Champ Golden… Peanut & Pinky Untouchable… Lol the list could go on. I’ve worked with many…
11. Who would you like to work with that you haven’t so far?
Ace Rockwood #1!!! Trapboyy, Lol I got this lil homemade video of us with two other known names… (Jermany & Dawn PM) Lol lets just say it got hot in that hotel room lol… And of course; my personal favorites Castro & Tiger Tyson. But don’t get me wrong; there some new talent that I’d love to get a swing at, but considering I only have less than 2wks left; will just keep them for my dreams.
12. In most of your films you started off more as a bottom. Through time, you have become more versatile on film. When not on film, are you just as versatile or lean towards one way?
I’m versatile, but relationship wise; I’d be more so the acting bottom lol. I’m only verse because I’m mostly masc, got a nice sized dick, and considering the speedy downfall of “TOPS”; and verse just becoming the “it” role to be; Lol you just have to go with the Jones. Topping is kind of boring, I hate bottoms who can’t take dick; annoys the hell out of me, and not to mention, some bottoms don’t know how to clean properly. I like to avoid mud slides.
13. You have mainly done both 1-1 scenes and 3somes. Which do you prefer more? If your private life, do you prefer 1-1? 3somes/Groups?
I’m more of a 1 on 1 guy… every now and again I’ll feel the need for a well constructed 3some; but unless I’m hosting or its for some type of financially beneficial purpose; you won’t see me at no one’ bath house or sex party. Nothing against them, just not my twist.
14. What’s your favorite position to fuck?
ALL, but to name just one… I looooooooooove to ride! Doggy’s always the next best thing; although I am becoming a fan of sideways too…
15. Would you star in a Bi or Str8 porn movie? If so, any str8 stars in particular you would work with?
Hellz Yeah! I love me some Pinky! That chick is AWWWWWESOME! And that ass is RIDICULOUS! Only thing, I’d have to be “only” fucking females at the time. Not a fan of cross-breeding… Lol again. Nothing against those who do, just not my twist.
16. In a few of your movies you have done some fetish play (i.e bondage, dom/sub roleplay, piss). Did you enjoy it? If so, what kind of fetish play do you enjoy most in private life
I like going outside the norm from time to time… Remy Mars doesn’t get to come out and play a lot in my personal life; but when he so happens to seize control; Lol kink turns him on. Pain is pleasure… if it ain’t hurting; the dick must not be working… I like playing the dominant role whether I’m topping or bottoming… so if you’re topping me; you gotta know how to be aggressive cause I’ll quickly take control of the sex. Then I’m fucking you.
Now onto some more intimate questions J
17. How and when did you lose your virginity?
15 or 16yrs old… went out with a cousin of mine to his girlfriend’s crib. She had one of her girlfriends over; Lol… I took a room; my cousin took a room and I walked out a new man…
18. What turns you on about a man – both sexually or non sexually!
Sexually – A nice frame. Doesn’t have to be a muscle man; but a nice tone and some thickness. Tats and a nice smooth neck. Lol I love a veiny dick too… Oh, gotta have a nice butt lol… Something to squeeze on.
Non – Sexually – Intellect, funny, Go-Getter and some independence. Someone open minded… I could go on to name off all the typical things, but honestly, just someone who’s interested in me unconditionally; and willing to build something long term.
19. Are you single? In a relationship? If you are in a relationship, how has it affected your relationship being in the adult industry?
I am single… I would love to settle down, but I won’t settle for anyone. Picky I guess… sometimes being a Scorpio isn’t best when love is in question… We lose interest quickly. Lol we’re in relationships with our work, careers, and networks.
20. You recently announced that you are retiring from porn. Is there a specific reason(s) for your departure?
This was never long term; and something I’ve always knew was approaching. Just transitioning. Moving on to something different. I entered the industry when I was 18… I’m 24 now… a lot has changed in my life and my mentality has matured. I want adult entertainment to be looked at as something I’ve done; not who I am or what will be my defining achievement. I have bigger dreams planned for myself. The industry served its purpose and I enjoyed it while it lasted. I leave with no woes or regrets, but precious memories and a swarm of loyal fans who’ll follow me through future ventures. Being a Porn Star; I found my independence as an individual in a hungry man eats man world… I’ll forever be in debt to it, but time to start new chapters. Need more adventures for the novel lol…
21. Do you see yourself possibly maybe doing some scenes in the future if the right offer comes along? (hint ..hint) LOL
Lol, people always say that… Lol what if someone offered me “$5000” or more… and as I tell them; I’m not looking to be recalled or rehired. This isn’t a break or hiatus… I’m am done folks! Caput! Lol I’ve paid my dues… I’ve put in the time and hours… I am done lol… As far as my legacy; I just want someone who’s sitting somewhere as I was; contemplating whether or not they can do this life; and wondering what positive can come from it, but look to me… Look at the path of Remy Mars and see that I did it and got out; and continued success as many others before & after me have… Through they find muse & clarity.
22. I read in an article you are going to college. Congrats. What’s your major? What are your plans upon graduation?
I currently study Digital Filmmaking & Video Production at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. After graduation I plan to go straight in for a MA in Marketing & Advertisement. Hopefully land a good gig on some studio set; while pitching script ideas to various producers. I’m hopeful!
23. Do you have a website or blog where your fans can reach you?
Jerm Martian on Facebook
@Remality on Twitter
24. Here are Raw Daddy’s list of questions I ask each interviewee.
· Name 5 of your favorite music artists
#3 Jay Z
#4 Florence + the Machines
#5 Various MoTown artist
· What’s your favorite color?
· What’s your favorite curse word?
· What do you fear the most?
Leaving this world unaccomplished
· Boxers or Briefs or No Underwear
· New York City or Los Angeles
I love NYC, but I’m in love with LA
· What’s your favorite lube?
· McDonald’s or Wendy’s
· What do you prefer: Big Dick or Big Ass?
· If you can be anywhere (i.e. islands, city, etc), where would it be and why?
In Beyonce’s belly; Lol do I really need to explain why?
25. Thanks so much for your time. I wish you all the best in whatever you do.
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
I love you… Happy Holidays & thanks for having me! You’ve been a WONDERFUL audience!