Is a Reality Dudes membership worth it?

If you’ve ever been on a gay porn site before, you more or less know what to expect from the opaquely named Reality Dudes. The site features a bevy of half-naked, predominantly Caucasian 20-somethings getting unclothed and doing the old Shasta McNasty. Reality Dudes is not a website that intends to reinvent the wheel (or the spinning cock ring? flying double-headed dildo?) of amateur porn. It does what it does reasonably well and with few frills.

Should you be in the mood for that sort of thing, please continue on.

How much does a Reality Dudes membership cost?

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A monthly membership starts at $29.99 per month, with three month memberships available for $49.99. Or you can subscribe for a full year for $99.99 if you pay all at once. That averages out to $8.33 per month.

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What are the perks of a Reality Dudes porn membership?

1) Easy-to-browse website

Reality Dudes doesn’t exactly boast a surfeit of videos. With 1,000 scenes in its catalog, the site is behind many of its top competitors. Corbin Fisher, which was founded two years after Reality Dudes, has twice as many videos on its site. But what stands out about Reality Dudes is how accessible the content is. It’s easily searchable and tagged for user convenience. Notable keywords include BDSM, Bukkake, and Cream Pie (because, sure, why not?).

Harping on site design might seem like a strange starting point for recommendations. But when many gay porn sites look like they were created in GeoCities, having a site that’s easy to browse and access is a sigh of relief.

Note: Should you still get lost somehow while browsing Reality Dudes, there is actually a second site directory to help you out.

2) Unique payment options

One novel feature of Reality Dudes is that it allows prospective membership holders to pay for their subscription through unused gift cards. For instance, a $25 gift card to Starbucks buys 18 days of access to the site, while trading in a $200 gift card to Best Buy earns you 722 days (or almost two full years of access).

Other participating brands include: AMC Theaters, Banana Republic, Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, Foot Locker, Forever 21, Guitar Center, Home Depot, Lane Bryant, Lululemon, MAC Cosmetics, Target, Walmart, and Yankee Candle.

So if you have no idea what to do with that Old Navy gift card your grandma gave you for Christmas because it’s 2019 and you’re not homeschooled, put it to good use.

3) Trailers for (nearly) every video

One of the more agonizing things about paywalls is that without a free preview of the action, it can be difficult to discern whether you’ll enjoy the full feature or not. For those of us who remember the not-so-halcyon days of renting porn DVDs, it can be frustrating to open up the package just to find that big ol’ lump is nothing but coal.

Reality Dudes does a good job of being forthcoming about what’s actually in the video without giving away too much—lest chronic window shoppers get off on the two-minute clip alone.

4) Variety is the spice of porn

Whereas niché sites like Gay Creeps or Naked Kombat are devoted to very particular fetishes (namely, sleep sex and erotic wrestling, respectively), Reality Dudes offers a refreshing variety of genres for viewers to browse. There are seven different sub-sites (pun absolutely intended) under its umbrella: Str8Chaser, Dick Dorm, Thug Chaser, Boys First Time, Gay Revenge, Papi, and Reality Dudes.

Some of these should be self-evident: Dick Dorm is devoted to college guys, Thug Chaser and Papi both star men of color, and Boys First Time features gay virgins.

One is worth spotlighting, however. Although the format sometimes differs, Str8Chaser often features first-person videos that put the viewer at the center of the scene. Most of these videos are similar to the once-popular Bait Bus franchise: A handsome fellow is approached in public, lured into a van, given a wad of money, and then does dirty, filthy things to earn that stack of Benjamins.

The use of POV offers a fresh spin on the well-trod gay-for-pay trope. The baser pleasures of watching a young stud service your stand-in phallus need no advertisement from us.

5) Amateur doesn’t look so amateur

When it comes to porn that strives for a certain homemade quality, content creators can get away with a lot. But what puts the content at Reality Dudes a cut above amateur videos you’d find on Xtube is that they’re made by professionals who know what makes good porn tick. The scenes are solidly filmed and executed: well-lit, well-shot, and well-framed. For viewers who are looking for that found footage-y feel, Reality Dudes videos have a shaky-cam aspect that adds to the illusion you’re peeping into the world’s tonguiest dorm room.

While the actors have good chemistry with each other, one pleasant surprise was the smart interplay between the cameramen and the models. Although offscreen, the director often interjects to tell the actors what to do. It’s a small detail, but given that there are only so many ways to show hot frat guys making out, a sense of creativity makes a big difference.

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What didn’t we like about Reality Dudes?

1) Why aren’t there more videos?

Given that Reality Dudes has been around for more than 15 years, it’s a bit confusing that the site doesn’t have more content than it does. Since it was founded in 2002, it has produced about a video a week. The output, however, has gotten more frequent in recent years—with a new scene posted maybe every three or four days.

Making movies is hard, and in any other industry, churning out a video a week would be pretty good. After all, there was a time when Terrence Malick only made a new film every 15 years. But gay porn is an extremely competitive market—with new sites coming and going every day. With the advent of DIY sites like Only Fans democratizing adult entertainment, the level of competition is unlikely to slow down any time soon. Gay porn these days is basically The Favourite but with even more fisting.

If Reality Dudes hopes to keep up with where the market is going, it needs to keep putting out—and put out a lot.

2) The models are a bit same-y

While browsing the site, I thought that one of the models was a guy I went on a series of increasingly terrible dates with in college. (Long story short: He had a great face but bad hygiene habits and even worse people skills. He also didn’t own a bed.) But then I realized that half the models on Reality Dudes looked like that guy.

Reality Dudes has a market to satisfy and a certain clientele that it wants to make happy. Given that capitalism is our only world government these days, it makes sense the site would want to feature what sells. But diversity isn’t just the future. It also makes a lot better porn. When viewers click on a video just to feel like they’ve seen these same three millennial white guys in the last 500 videos they watched, it induces a kind of sexual déjà vu. Groundhog Day might be a classic, but it is not a turn on.

3) Separate isn’t equal

The majority of the content on Reality Dudes devoted to people of color is housed on Reality Thugs, which is exactly what it sounds like. We’ll save the ethics of shoving most of its non-white actors into problematic tropes about Black masculinity for another time, but what’s particularly troubling is how infrequently Reality Thugs is updated. A new video is posted about once a month.

Given that Reality Dudes only puts up a new video on average of every day, getting a video featuring Black men about a quarter of the time might seem pretty good. Maybe it is, and I’m sure I’ll get an email from the site’s administrators telling me just how inclusive the content is right after this review goes live.

But to see any videos featuring two Black men in the same scene together, I had to specifically click on the link to Reality Thugs to get there. Almost none of these scenes appear on the Home Page or under the Popular section. Of the first five pages under its main search page—which house videos from all six of the Reality Dudes websites—three of them had a Black actor in the scene at all. To quote a Saturday Night Live skit where Emma Stone plays a singing Eastern European cleaning woman with the hots for Santa: “This isn’t great, Dan.”

4) Revenge porn isn’t hot

One subcategory on the Reality Dudes website I purposefully neglected to mention above is Gay Revenge, featuring revenge porn… but sexy.

I know that looking for sound, unimpeachable ethics in porn may be like looking for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie, and that porn often deals in cultural and social taboos. Viewers tune into scenes about rape fantasies because (unless something illegal is happening) they aren’t real; it’s a safe space to explore desires that might otherwise land you in prison. I get it.

However, many states have yet to catch up with the pervasive reality of revenge porn. Despite affecting 10 million Americans, victims of revenge porn often find that there are few laws protecting them and little recourse if a seemingly private video of them and their ex-partner is uploaded to a tube site. Tube sites often don’t respond to take-down requests, and even those who are successful in getting the video removed may wait weeks or years. In the meantime, having their most personal, intimate moments broadcast to millions of viewers could psychologically damage them for life.

Revenge porn isn’t erotic or sexy. For a lot of people, it’s a nightmare. It’s the prerogative of Reality Dudes to create any kinds of videos it wants, but that doesn’t mean the site should.

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Is a Reality Dudes membership worth it?

Value is in the eye of the beholder. If not, Green Book wouldn’t be nominated for Best Picture.

While a Reality Dudes membership might be appealing to those looking for traditional gay-for-pay videos made with above-average skill, the site has some pretty distasteful negatives to contend with. Placing performers of color into a second-class status on the site might be a sad standard of the gay porn industry, but as a woke, naked, spread-eagled Captain America would say on the subject: “I will not tolerate—I will not allow—any talk of the necessity of necessary evil.”

There are sites that are just as problematic as Reality Dudes and have more content for cheaper. And if you’re looking for a site that has truly made a commitment to inclusivity, you might check out Naked Sword instead.