I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that “twincest” is a neologism you don’t need to impart into your regular vocabulary, but it is raised in a recent Salon article on Milo and Elijah Peters, 19-year-old Czech twins who have caused a stir in the gay porn community.  The twins reportedly first showed up on the website of Bratislava-based porn distributor Bel Ami in the summer of 2009 in group videos, not touching.  Over a period of months, they progressed to mutual handjobs within a group scenario, then blowjobs, then oral sex, and finally (and hugely publicized), anal intercourse.

Thomas Rogers explains:

While the concept of twin performers is not new to the gay porn world, the Peters twins are notable both because of the extent of their popularity and the things they are willing to do with each other on camera. They French kiss; they perform oral sex on each other; they have anal sex; and most shockingly of all, they do it in a tender and romantic way.

“My brother is my boyfriend, and I am his boyfriend,” says one of the twins during a phone call from Prague (Elijah and Milo sound so much alike on the phone it is impossible to tell which one is speaking). “He is my lifeblood, and he is my only love.”

The twins’ astonishing lack of shame — and their willingness to do anything with each other on camera — has helped turn them into a gay porn phenomenon. Since they first began appearing on Czech porn studio Bel Ami’s website (NSFW, like all links in this story) in 2009, the company’s traffic has doubled to 1.5 million users per month, and Milo and Elijah have become the subject of breathless coverage on adult blogging sites like Fleshbot and The Sword. They’ve even been flown from Prague to the United States for a whirlwind tour of Florida gay nightspots. But their surprising popularity raises some disturbing questions: Who are these twins? What keeps so many people watching them? And what, exactly, are viewers getting off on?

Rogers doesn’t quite answer all these worthy questions in the article, but they are certainly worth a ponder.  First, the boys themselves:  they’re cute and twinky, no doubt about it, and either one of them on their own could likely make a small splash, but in combination?  Titillation dynamite.  They even have a YouTube channel to give their fans access to their lives (the video below, in which they talk about their upcoming trip to Florida, is SFW):

Also from Salon:

The first of the full twincest videos begins with a confessional interview, in which the two of them sit on a couch and talk about their attraction for one another — “Just looking at my brother’s watching his body in the mirror makes me horny.” Before long they’ve stripped down to bikini underwear, are sitting on each others’ laps, and slow-dancing in the middle of Bel Ami’s living room set while reminiscing about a night out (“Like that night at the disco, do you remember?”).

Then things get a little more intense: They kiss passionately, jerk each other off, give each other blow jobs, and finally, in the grand finale, have unprotected anal sex with each other on a couch. The entire affair is disturbing not only because the sight of two identical-looking men having sex is, well, disconcerting, or the fact that they’re doing so without protection against HIV — but because the twins are either really good actors, or they really enjoy having sex with one another.

This, in fact, is one of their primary selling points – that they are in a fulfilling romantic relationship and only delighted to share it with viewers.  Rogers points out that it’s difficult to ascertain the relative truth of the storyline, as opposed to what degree this is marketing strategy, but that they appear legitimately enthused by their fame and happy to propagate their message, whatever it is, exactly.  They say they began having sex with each other at age 15, and that their parents found out about their relationship when a video link was sent to them:  “Our parents recognized what we actually do, and it was not good,” says one of them.

Rogers goes on to highlight the relative ubiquity of the pornographic twin fantasy, but acknowledges that the most familiar context is that of a straight man fantasizing about female twins offering gratification.  He also mentions the inherent and obvious narcissism of the twin fantasy, which deserves a greater discussion:

“On some level, you could argue that twincest is this idealized version of gay sex,” says Shamama [Jack Shamama, author of Gay Porn Blog]. “These guys are basically having sex with themselves.” It goes without saying that the two look identical — but Bel Ami plays this up in the twins’ scenes, having them wear matching outfits, and posing in publicity photographs as if they are reflective images. According to Jonathan Turner, a distinguished professor of sociology at the University of California at Riverside and the author of “Incest: The Origins of the Taboo,” “it’s almost like self-masturbation.” For Shamama, who says he used to fantasize about having sex with himself when he was younger, these fantasies were a way to rationalize his gay attraction. He used to do it “as a way to sublimate the fact that I wanted to have gay sex.”

The biggest part of twincest’s appeal, however, probably has to do with the forbidden-ness of watching two brothers have sex. “If it’s porn, it’s usually violating some cultural norm,” says Turner. Both gay and straight porn are filled with storylines about breaking the conventions of class (sex with the pool boy or pizza boy), race (interracial porn), authority (sex with a teacher or a police officer) or age (younger men having sex with older men or women). Of course there are countless other porn genres (from fisting to water sports) built on traditionally unacceptable behavior — so why not incest, one of the least acceptable sexual behaviors there is?

This, however, plays so heavily to spectacle that it goes beyond the taboo suggestion of incest, in my mind – it seems more carefully calculated.  As Rogers rightly indicates, it doesn’t arouse the same level of disgust as parent/child incest, I think because of the perceived equity of the power dynamic.

It also might explain why twins have been popping up in gay porn since the ’70s, though usually in a much more demure form than the Peters twins. Likely the first twins to appear together were the Christy twins, two long-haired brothers who appeared in films in the 1970s (though some argue they may simply have been two men who looked very much alike). About a dozen gay porn twins have followed in their wake — with names like the Odyssey Twins, the Lautrec twins, and the Otov twins — though very few had any real sexual contact, the most notable exception being a pair of Czech twins named Jirka and Karol Bartok. The Bartok twins released one major film, “Double Czech,” with William Higgins, another Czech studio, in which they had sex with each other while looking utterly mortified (the same studio has recently begun touting another set of twins, the Richter twins, as their own up-and-coming twincest stars). But like most other gay porn twins, the Bartok twins quickly left the industry, either out of embarrassment or because they’d made all the money they wanted.

And that’s something that the Peters twins claim they have no intention of doing. “We want to keep making videos for Bel Ami for the next 50 years,” one says. Of course, like previous gay porn twins, their motivations for doing porn are likely a mix of the pragmatic (money, travel opportunities) and psychological (adolescent rebellion, sexual exploration and fame-seeking), but unlike their predecessors, their astonishing lack of shame is enough to make you believe them. They’ve recently taken part in what Bel Ami is touting as “the largest orgy in gay porn history,” filmed in South Africa, and they’ve got their sights set on our shores. “Being famous would be the best thing,” one says. “In the future, we want to move to America.”

Queerty covered the twins in January and wondered if the Peters are really as groundbreaking as they’re hailed.  They cited Juan and Cesar Hortoneda, who appeared in the January issue of  L’Uomo Vogue, looking especially friendly:

I personally find this far sexier than anything I’ve dug up on the Peters twins (and no, I haven’t seen any of their porn videos).  Why?  Because it is suggestive rather than explicit.  Because my socialized aversion to actual incest is pretty damn strong, and moreover, the fact that these boys are 19 renders them children in my mind.  To me, the greater sin is the objectification of adolescents, who I firmly believe are performing for the camera without a mature or long-term understanding of the consequences of their actions.  Just because they are legally “of age” doesn’t mean they have full agency.  I’m not trying to trivialize their desires or sexuality, however legitimate (or not) it might be, but because children deserve a safe space to develop their sexuality in a way that doesn’t reduce them to objects for the more seasoned and cynical.  Adolescents are dramatic, performative, and experimental by nature and whether I take moral offense or not to the actions of the Peters twins is ultimately irrelevant.  I just don’t think it should be on pay-per porn sites right now.

But since this is a post about “twincest”, I had to Google “gay porn twins,” which is how I discovered Keyontyli and Taleon Goffney (last heard of up for robbery):

And to go one better, I present the Visconti Triplets: