Matt Lynn, an out gay cinematographer-turned-filmmaker, just released Season 2 of his webseries, “Journeys” in both an X-rated version (available on Himeros TV) and on YouTube in a PG-13 version (where the four explicit 15-20 minute episodes run 10 minutes).
This season, written by Daniel F. Cardone and produced by Davey Wavey, features an all-new cast. This time around, the drama has Otto (Andre Donovan) and Desmond (Adam Ramzi) opening up their relationship, only for Otto to have conflicted feelings about this arrangement. He eventually meets a couple, Jesse (Max Adonis) and David (Ricky Roman), who help him get a new perspective on things.
Gay City News recently chatted with Lynn about “Journeys” and navigating shifting dynamics in gay male relationships.
GARY M. KRAMER: This season has a different feel and cast from the previous season. How did this iteration of “Journeys” evolve?
MATT LYNN: In season 1, I pitched Davey Wavey the idea of losing your partner and finding a connection. This season was more lighthearted. I made it about a couple opening their relationship. By having Otto talking in direct address to the audience, it was more playful and fun.
KRAMER: “Journeys” tackles the topic of threesomes, which you also addressed in your other series, “The Third.” What are your thoughts on open or evolving relationships, thruples, and the idea of cheating if one is monogamous?
LYNN: It’s funny, I’m broaching this topic of threesomes in multiple projects. A lot of gay men feel they need to be heteronormative in their relationships. But I think exploring and defining our relationships for ourselves is very important.
In our modern times, to explore what sexuality means to us is very important, and we are able to explore that in our cinema and media by telling these stories. I’ve been in a monogamous, closed relationship for four years now, but for a lot of couples, it is important to ask the questions and find what works for you and your partner or partners. Because everyone’s different.
KRAMER: You inject your series with humor and sex, but “Journeys” actually tackles the serious subject of relationships and jealousy. Can you talk about creating a tone that balances the sex with emotion?
LYNN: I think it’s very important that we don’t think of sex as something different — that sex is an equal partner in the story. The sex scenes have a purpose. Sex is emotion and intimacy and vulnerability, so it allows you to connect with an audience.
The opening scene of episode 1, if you’ve been in a long term relationship, you’ve probably tried a three-way and the third was far more into one partner than the other. That immediately brings up a lot of emotion. That’s a part of the sexual experience that hasn’t been talked about a lot. When you have jealousy, you need to connect. In every episode we address how do we communicate emotional truth and character through sexual experiences? That’s how we started writing, and we went from there.
KRAMER: Some of the more explicit sex scenes reveal the characters in private moments, but these are also where the characters were being watched. What are your observations about voyeurism and consuming pornography?
LYNN: One thing I love about doing this project is that it deals directly with voyeurism. Otto breaking the fourth wall, saying, “I know you’re watching this” and jerks off for us. He has an emotional connection with the audience. The series is about what does it mean to be vulnerable — are you cheating on your partner if you jerk off in a monogamous relationship? That’s what the show is asking. We all are voyeurs. What is acceptable to you and your partner? And it’s about communication and talking.
KRAMER: The series talks about being present in a relationship, having secrets from your partner. What observations do you have about how we engage and detach from our partners?
LYNN: It comes down to communication. It’s difficult to have these conversations with people you’re intimate and vulnerable with because you’re afraid of rejection. I like being able to broach this subject and discuss opening a relationship or having these feelings someone can’t explain or understand. Most people in monogamous relationships don’t know how to talk about what they want. Three-ways and open relationships happen; it’s how you choose to establish it. And we plant a seed for people to talk about it.
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