Gay Porn's Erik Rhodes Is Dead After Slowly Dying in Public for Years

On Wednesday night, adult performer Erik Rhodes (born James Elliott Naughtin) died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack that may have had something to do with his use of steroids, says Towleroad. He was 30 years old.

Rhodes seemed to consider putting it all out there as his round-the-clock job. I didn't know him from his porn work, which began in 2004, but from his painfully confessional online presence via a Blogspot blog he started in 2008 with a gushing post about a Marilyn Manson concert he attended. Things went downhill from there and his expressed misery crossed platforms and ran all the way through his most recent Tumblr post: five days ago, he discussed his steroid and human growth hormone usage, adding, "I'm waiting until i pop. Or my liver to fails… which every comes first."

Frontiers L.A.com points to a post from two months ago, in which Rhodes discussed his use of meth and a resulting 72-hour period he spent at Bellevue under observation. It's an extreme example of the kind of show-and-telling of his own destruction Rhodes did for over four years:

From Friday, August 28, 2009, "Summer Rain"

Before picking up the computer and spilling these thoughts out of my head i just sat there... with 2 simple questions and one despreate plea going through my head, "How did i get here?', "Whats happens now? and "Please, please, if there is a god in the sky, please make this a terrible dream". Shockingly, no responce, no sign, no guiding light. If my boyfriend didnt know me as well as he does and had hid all the perscription candies i would have made my own guiding light right about now. Thanksfully valium has me pretty evened out.

From January 13, 2009, "Disassociative"

My up's and downs have been extreme lately and have consisted of mainly, me screaming at my boyfriend since I'm having a hard time understanding him and then when I'm not looking to fight about something stupid, me wanting to cry about how worthless i feel and how much i don't feel loved by anyone.

From February 17, 2010, "Eventually We Are All Going Home..."

I'm tired of wasting my life, waiting for death, without making my mark on this world, without trying to be a good boyfriend and start a family, without just giving life a chance at being worthwhile. I have never understood life in general and i think its finally about time to just give up hoping that life isn't as shallow as it become to me... i mean there must be some meaning and I'm starting to believe the harder you search for it the longer it alludes you. So in an attempt to feel alittle more alive, I have abandoned all my hopes and I'm just letting life take me where it wants. I think this way i can avoid life's consistent "let downs".

From January 6, 2009, "Bitter Again"

I was just thinking the other day as i did my typical routine, "jesus, this doesnt feel like living" and i thought to myself when in my life did i feel more alive? and it was when i woke up in hospital bed after OD'ing. I guess that why i been so obcessed with autoerotic asphyxia lately, when your life feels so meaningless at times, you need to wake yourself up and let you know your alive.

From December 6, 2009, "Bamboo Puncturing the Skin. (Updated)"

... i can't live like this anymore. I've spent the last 5 years of my life slowly dying and expected so much more from myself..... there is no hope left...

From February 16, 2009, "What A Shame (first part)"

I feel old. I think i'm starting to look old. This hard life i forced my body to endure is starting to show. I get a nosebleed almost everyday, my heartburn feels like i'm constantly being stabbed in the chest, my knees ache, my body aches. Painkillers are crutch in my life and just not for recreational use.

Pathetically i have even considered botox and all this other bullshit to help my battle with aging. If that isn't a new low for me... has vh-1 and this self absorbed society finally gotten to me to? If steroids and the couple hundred pills i pop a day weren't enough, what else can i do look pretty just alittle while longer? Who cares if my liver in struggling to work, who cares if it feels like i'm being punched in my kidneys all day long...honestly who cares. You know, turning 27 i sit there and say myself "only 3 years left, i better make them good".

Oh... i have given myself and expiration date, kinda like a carton of milk. You can't expect things to last forever, and with the way things are going, 30, i'm just gonna call it quits. That's if i even make it to 30. If things get better then i might change my mind but, that is what is engraved in my brain at the moment.

Sometimes when people die, we search for pieces to mash together and create a picture of why. There's no need for that here. This guy wrote his own eulogy and it's as emotionally articulate as any. Erik Rhodes was tortured, he wallowed and then he died at age 30. His demons were a formidable match for the notoriously destructive world of porn.