Scott O'Hara, circa 1984
|Born||John R. Scott
October 16, 1961
Grants Pass, Oregon, U.S.A
|Died||February 18, 1998
San Francisco, California U.S.A.
Scott O'Hara (October 16, 1961 – February 18, 1998) was an American pornographic performer, author, poet, editor and publisher. He rose to prominence during the mid-1980s for his work in such gay adult films as Winner Takes All, Below The Belt and In Your Wildest Dreams. O'Hara wrote three books: 'Do It Yourself Piston Polishing (for Non-Mechanics), Autopornography: A Memoir of Life in the Lust Lane, and Rarely Pure and Never Simple: Selected Essays of Scott O'Hara, and edited and published the quarterly men's journal, Steam.
O'Hara was born John R. Scott on October 16, 1961 in Grants Pass, Oregon. He was known professionally as "Scott O'Hara" or "Spunk" and used his professional name throughout his adult life. In an essay titled "A Dick by Any Other Name", O'Hara wrote: "I knew from an early age that I was a changeling. I spent the next eighteen years looking for my real name, and since I found it I have not pretended to be anyone else."
He first came to prominence when he was awarded the title "The Man With The Biggest Dick in San Francisco" in a contest in the early 1980s. That title became his trademark for the rest of his porn and professional career. Published measurement of his penis varies from 9.5 to 11 inches. From 1983-88, he appeared in over twenty gay and bisexual-themed adult films and videos, several of which demonstrate his rare ability of auto-fellatio. In addition to his work in adult films, O'Hara starred in Making Porn, a play by Ronnie Larsen based on conversations by Larsen with Scott O'Hara.
Scott O'Hara authored the books Do It Yourself Piston Polishing (for Non-Mechanics), Autopornography: A Memoir of Life in the Lust Lane, and Rarely Pure and Never Simple: Selected Essays of Scott O'Hara. He edited and published the quarterly men's journal Steam and the cultural magazine Wilde, and contributed to a number of other publications. As a playwright, he contributed to the musical, Ex-Lovers, which had a successful run at the Theatre Rhinoceros in San Francisco.
Upon his death, he left his personal papers (consisting of 39 boxes of journals, correspondences, notes, and manuscripts) to the John Hay Library of Brown University. The archives of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco preserve a collection of O'Hara's performance costumes and other memorabilia.
O'Hara identified as gay and was a cautious proponent of barebacking, praising the freedom from fear of risk it gave him. He had "HIV+" tattooed on the back of his shoulder in 1994. He spent his final years in his San Francisco apartment he called "The Cave", surrounded by his record albums, CDs, books and erotic art, and occupied his time gardening.
O'Hara lived with HIV for more than 10 years and had developed Non-Hodgkin lymphoma for almost five years. He dubbed his illness "The Death Spoor" and died of AIDS-related complications in San Francisco on February 18, 1998 at age 36.
- Winner Takes All (1982)
- California Blue (1983)
- Ramcharger (1984)
- Slaves for Sale 2 (1984)
- The Joys of Self-Abuse (1985)
- The Other Side Of Aspen 2 (1985)
- Sgt. Swann's Private Files (1985)
- Sighs (1985)
- Advocate Men Live! 1 (1986)
- Below the Belt (1986)
- The Guy Next Door (1986)
- Hung and Horny (1986)
- Oversized Load (1986)
- Sex-Hunt (1986)
- Stick Shift (1986)
- In Your Wildest Dreams (1987)
- Switch Hitters 2 (1987)
- Advocate Men Live! 4 (1988)
- Double Standards (1988)
- Head Over Heels 1 (1988)
- New Recruits (1988)
- The Sex Party (1992)
- Do It Yourself Piston Polishing (for Non-Mechanics) (Badboy, 1996)
- Autopornography: A Memoir of Life in the Lust Lane (New York: Haworth Press, 1997)
- Rarely Pure and Never Simple: Selected Essays of Scott O'Hara (New York: Haworth Press, 1999)
- "'Spunk'. The name reverberates, the body arrests.". Advocate Men. May 1985.
- Scott O'Hara. "A Dick by Any Other Name". Rarely pure and never simple. Psychology Press. ©1999.
- "Head Over Heels". All Worlds Video. 1988.
- Adam Gillitt (June 1998). "Full of Spunk". Poz Magazine. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Scott O'Hara Artifacts (collection no. 1998-19); see the entry in the online catalog of the society.
- Scott O'Hara (1997). Autopornography: A Memoir of Life in the Lust Lane. Haworth Press.
- David M. Halperin, What Do Gay Men Want? pp. 88-89. The University of Michigan Press. © 2007
- Scott O'Hara Papers, 1979-1998 at the Brown University Library
- 1997 Scott O'Hara Interview by Owen Keehnen at the Queer Cultural Center
- "Sex Positive" (article about O'Hara in June, 1995, issue of POZ)
- "Full of Spunk" (obituary for O'Hara in June, 1998, issue of POZ)
- Scott O'Hara Tribute Site