DUBLIN — A number of Brandon Iron’s friends and associates unofficially confirmed over the weekend that the male talent and producer, who had been MIA since March or April, had passed in Ireland, where he had relocated.
Beyond those online statements, many questions remain about Iron’s demise, specifically about the date, manner and circumstances of his sudden disappearance and death.
According to XBIZ sources, some of his friends and associates in the Los Angeles adult industry are currently in the process of preparing a memorial here to commemorate his passing.
His friends reached the conclusion that he has passed over the weekend, after some of them contacted his estranged partner, with whom he shared custody of a young daughter, and she gave her version of his disappearance and death.
However, since the alleged death happened somewhere in Ireland, official confirmation has not been obtained by the press or his friends. The date of Iron’s death is also unclear: he vanished from social media back in late March and some believe he might have died as early as April.
Friends and associates who spoke with XBIZ, unanimously seem to believe Iron committed suicide, though lacking official confirmation from Irish authorities, it is also unclear how he passed.
Attempts to contact the Dublin City Coroner, under Ireland’s Department of Justice and Equality, have been unsuccessful. Iron’s former partner (some say wife) Sarah has claimed she is not considered “next of kin” for the purposes of receiving information. Iron is survived by his daughter and a brother, an academic in Canada.
The Canadian-born performer would have turned 51 last month.
The Size of the Fight in the Dog
Brandon Iron began performing sporadically in 1991 and joined the industry full-time in 1997.
This is how Iron’s official bio described his career choice: “He completed a degree in English, but quickly learned he preferred adult magazines over literature. After squandering several years in unfulfilling jobs, he pursued his pornographic passion and has no regrets.”
He was immediately recognized for the length and girth of his penis — he often photographed it next to diverse soda and energy-drink cans for comparison. His penchant for extremely rough gonzo-style scenes and over-the-top cum shots, two signature trends of the early 2000s, made him a popular performer back then.
He gained notoriety in the industry under the umbrella of Extreme Associates, and later on became one of the signature content creators for Red Light District and Platinum X.
Self-aware about his height, Iron’s favorite motto was “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
“I’m a short man, and I just wanted to belong somewhere,” he said in an extremely revealing 2014 interview for Sal Genoa’s “Porn Director Podcast,” which should be essential listening for anyone interested in Iron’s life, career and psychology, and also for anyone looking to understand what happened to the DVD stars of a decade ago after the dawn of the tubesites.
“I just wanted to be part of a team,” Iron told Genoa. “Extreme Associates, Rob Black, they were the bad boys around 2000.”
After several years working under other companies, the performer/director broke free in 2007 with his own Brandon Iron Productions. Unfortunately, his timing could not have been worse, as the business model he had learned from his former bosses (DVDs plus paysites) was being decimated by the tubesite revolution and “free porn.”
In the last 10 years, besides losing a considerable amount of projected income to the new realities of the industry and getting involved in endless fights to keep pirated content off the free sites, Iron had a series of personal situations that effectively removed him from the U.S.-based adult industry.
For most of his American career, XBIZ’s sources confirm, Iron had been on a visa waiver program between Canada and the U.S. Iron has often been described by friends as “a globetrotter,” and his social media posts show that travel was one of his greatest passions, alongside reading. At some point, though, he was suddenly denied entry into the U.S. when returning from a trip and was sent back to Canada.
What followed was a protracted legal nightmare involving expensive lawyers that eventually resulted in his obtaining a Green Card and being allowed after years to return to his Canoga Park office to recover his car and possessions.
The passing of his mother in Canada, and his Kafkaesque problems with U.S. immigration authorities, were part of the reason for relocating to Europe, where he managed to continue his career into his 40s in Barcelona, Prague and Budapest.
The other crucial element of his move was that he fell in love with Sarah, a fan who had initially contacted him for a tryst (according to a close friend), and who eventually became his partner and the mother of his child. Iron, Sarah and their daughter lived together as a family until the relationship disintegrated sometime in the last few years.
Iron, according to friends who spoke to XBIZ, was privately enraged about his former partner and claimed she was holding their daughter as a pawn in their disputes.
In October 2018, Iron posted the following disturbing offer on his personal blog, which appears to reflect what his friends describe as his own feelings towards Sarah:
Suck My Cock, (INSERT EX GIRLFRIEND’S NAME)! ($29.99) Do you have an ex girlfriend who broke your heart? Maybe she cheated on you with your best friend. Maybe she dumped you for another guy. Maybe she used you until you were no longer useful to her. Look, EX means thanks for the EXperience but our time has EXpired. Now, please EXit my life! Show her how you really feel about her by purchasing a custom video where I will tell her to suck my cock and swallow my cum. After she becomes my dicked- down dumpster, I’ll send her your best regards. Add and additional $10 to my “Make It Rain” section on my main page and I’ll virtually piss in her mouth. T&C’s apply: 1. For entertainment purposes only. 2. First names only. 3. Void where prohibited.
Brandon Iron, Claudia Jammson and Steve Holmes
XBIZ spoke exclusively with Steve Holmes, whose career as an in-demand transatlantic male talent coincided with much of Iron’s.
“I was shocked but not surprised when I heard the rumors a few weeks ago,” Holmes told XBIZ.
Holmes explained how he has known “Brandon since my very first trip when I first arrived in the U.S. in 2002.”
“He approached me and shot me on this trip and since then we worked together many times and we shared office space for a few years when we were shooting for Platinum X Pictures.”
“I always called him ‘Mr. Rollercoaster,’” said Holmes. “One day he was the happiest man in the world — ‘I have the best life, I have sex with all these beautiful girls,’ and the next day he would say ‘I can’t do this anymore, I’m selling my camera, I’m going to work at the warehouse.’”
A strange thing Holmes noticed was that even if Iron was not in one of his “low moods,” he would be generous to other people but relentlessly unforgiving to himself.
“He would say ‘I don’t deserve this’ all the time,” explained Holmes. “He would punish himself — he’d take the train from Budapest to Hamburg, which would take three days, because he said ‘I don’t deserve the luxury of flying’!”
This also translated into his feeling about his status as a male talent A-Lister.
“We were all a tight group of performers, back then — Erik Everhard, Manuel Ferrara, Lexington Steele, me,” said Holmes. “We all worked for each other, during the Red Light, Platinum X years.”
“Brandon kept saying, even after a great scene, ‘I’m not good enough to work in this group.’ We’d say ‘you’re great, man.’ And then one day he just left and next thing we knew he was shooting bukkake for $100, because he ‘deserved that.’”
His Facebook page shows him proud of buying cheap used books at thrift stores and going to the Irish stadiums where U2 or the Rolling Stones would play, and then listening to the echoes of the concert outside nursing a pint of stout, while posting about how he should not spend any money on the expensive tickets.
And When There’s No Pearl Inside
“I first met Brandon in 1998 when I was working at Legend,” wrote Kick Ass Pictures producer and former journalist Mark Kulkis on Iron’s Facebook page after news of his death started spreading. “Brandon was going through one of his funks at time. Throughout his career, he would suffer these bouts of low self esteem where he was convinced he was no good and declare he was going to quit the business.”
Iron never did quit the business, but the business sort of quit him. By the time he vanished from social media, in late March, he was spending his time recycling old content featuring early appearances by superstars like Sasha Grey, Faye Reagan or Riley Reid, creating custom clips (some of them very personal and unusual), appearing on Chaturbate and managing two ManyVids stores: one for his trademark, ridiculously-huge-cumshot POV blowjobs and the other aimed at the gay market featuring himself masturbating alone.
The masturbation solos were branded as “stress relief” videos. “Hi! My name is Brandon and I have a lot of stress in my life,” he blurbed them. “This is how I deal with it.”
“Men of that generation, the DVD years, have a particularly hard time adapting to the new online reality,” a female performer whose career overlapped with Iron told XBIZ. She herself has successfully transitioned to the new business models, but she sees a lot of her former male colleagues struggling.
Part of the problem is a cultural change. Invariably Iron is described as well-read, very well-travelled, mild-mannered, intellectually curious — off-camera, that is.
“Brandon and I came into the industry at the same time,” performer and activist Alana Evans told XBIZ. “I’ve known him for more than 20 years. He was one of the most respectful, kind and sweet men I’ve ever met.”
On-camera, though, the kind of content he made now seems dangerously dated, from his trademark “Slap Happy” abuse play series, to one of his franchises, “Load My Mouth,” a sister site to “Cover My Face” and “Sperm Cocktail.”
His own brands, “Brandon Iron’s Perverted Planet,” “Brandon Iron’s Baker’s Dozen,” and “Brandon Iron’s Ten Little Piggies,” all repackage content from 2006-2008 and seem oddly out-of-time in the current porn landscape.
By 2019, some of Iron’s earlier work has even become meme-fodder, with thousands of strangers and people of a younger generation mocking his height, his Canadian accent and his low-budget shenanigans. A video where he wrestles a prop snake has been uploaded to YouTube as the “Worst Intro Porno Ever.”
His clip offers over the last year are positively dark. Instead of the rubber snake, Iron offered a sampler of existential angst:
“Let Me Cum In Cider If there’s one thing the Irish love, it’s cider. Let me prepare a refreshing cocktail for you by making a deposit in a can of Bulmer’s, sealing it, and sending it to you. Serve over ice or take it straight up, your choice. Signed, sealed, delivered, it’s YOURS! Enjoy!” (July 28, 2018)
“POV face pumps. Begs for cum. She wonders if I’ll taste ‘sweet, salty, or a little bitter.’ She has no idea how bitter I am, but that’s another story.” (July 19, 2018)
“You know how good it feels when you release a monster load that’s been brewing in your balls for 3-4 days? The kind of orgasm that makes you black out for a second, see lightning bolts and tighten your b-hole? Purchase my Tips to Increase Semen Volume for Big Loads and I’ll email you secrets and techniques used by many male pornstars to achieve unforgettable cumshots. I’ll tell you which foods to eat and which to avoid. You’ll learn which supplements best enhance your body’s natural ability to produce white gold. This isn’t alchemy, friends. It’s nutritional science that will have ladies wondering why you and Peter North have never been seen in the same room at the same time. What are you waiting for? Be the One Man Bukkake you were meant to be!” For $4.99.
Back in March, he texted a friend, “I miss L.A. so much.” After the long Irish winter, he wrote, California seemed like “Paradise.”
He posted pictures where he smiled sadly while holding his latest thriftstore finds. He was reading “The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving Kindness” by Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön and Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential.”
He read a memoir by David Rieff, Susan Sontag’s adult son, mourning his famous mother. Iron had alluded online to the loss of his own mother, and his anger at her lack of proper end-of-life care in Calgary. Rieff’s memoir title was “Swimming in a Sea of Death.”
Through all that, he kept posting photos of himself in different European cities, always with the sad smile. “I’ll go wherever Ryanair takes me,” he wrote.
His last Twitter post (the rest are robotic announcements that one of his ManyVids has sold, a grim occurrence that now follows any adult industry tragedy) is about money, or lack thereof. He had been promised a Lamborghini in the DVD days, he wrote, and now he might consider a job as a parking valet.
“When you come in and your balls are bigger than your brain, if you ooze confidence, the world’s your oyster,” he told Sal Genoa in 2014, the words bursting from him like a manic beat poet blessed, and cursed, by a can-thick dick.
“And then, that oyster gets shucked, and when there’s no pearl inside, you take a good, deep look inside yourself, and you say ‘I’m only a 46 year old pervert.’”