ROWEN BAILEY: PORN THIS WAY
Wed, 25 July 2012Twenty-four-year-old Joburger Rowen Bailey is on his way to becoming South Africaís very own international gay porn star.
Since last year, heís made four videos for top studios including Lucas Entertainment, Fresh SX and UK Naked Men. (For a glimpse of Rowen in action, simply do a Google image search Ė preferably not when your momís in the room.)
Contrary to the clichť of taking to porn out of financial desperation, Rowen got into the business quite simply because he thought it would be a blast to make his fantasy come true. Heís blessed with a naughty smile, a joy for sex in front of the camera and very pleasing physical attributes.
In real life, heís much more charming, relaxed and fun than he comes across in his video appearances. Rowen sat down with Mambaonline to give us the scoop on his adult film escapades, coming out as a porn performer to his family, and what his boyfriend thinks of all this.
Where are you from originally?
Iím from the east of Johannesburg. Iím from Brakpan, but donít tell people that. [Laughs]
What did you want to do when you were growing up?
I studied commercial theatre and dance in Pretoria. But I only did that for two years because I had a foot injury. I left because I knew I could never be a professional dancer because Iíd never recover properly.
You work in retail, right? Does the company know what you do?
They do! They donít mind as long as I donít say who I work for.
Have you always been interested in porn, as a viewer I mean?
I was an addict! I still am. [Laughs] It all started with Bel AmiÖ Those pretty, angelic boys. From then it became something that I always wanted to do. I wanted to get into it myself.
And when did you embark on this journey
It was last year October, while I was in Spain. Itís quite taken off since then.
Are you involved with anyone?
Yes I am. Iíve been involved for about four years.
And how does he feel about it?
Oh, heís totally happy with it. I think he kind of gets a kick out of it. Heís also quite a porn addict. Heís always known that itís something that I wanted to do Ė right from when we met. And when the opportunity came along, I said ďlisten Iím doing thisĒ and he totally supports it. He would never do it but he supports me doing it. Itís good that we have that trust in our relationship.
Why do you think he supports you? Do you have an open relationship?
We donít have an open relationship per se. He just knows that itís something that I want to do. But he knows that when I do it, its work and it stays work.
So do you believe in monogamy?
No I donít. I donít think that any man is monogamous.
So then you do have an open relationship with your boyfriend?
Well, not that Iíd go off and do my own thing. But we have the odd occasion when weíll decide to do something togetherÖ
I see. And your coming outÖ
Iíve been out since I started high school. I was about 14. It was never really an issue for me. People always have stories of how hard it was but I was lucky. My friends and my family were all fine with it. My mom just said, ďbe safeĒ.
So I take it your family knows you do porn?
They do know. My parents didnít take it too well. At the moment itís a subject we donít speak about. But theyíre very liberal peopleÖ My brother used to run a production company that produced porn, so that kind of helped soften the blow a bit. They found out through my brother who saw it. Weíre a very open family. [Laughs]
So was it easier coming out as gay man then as a porn actor?
[Laughs] Yes, definitely.
And your friends?
Theyíre very inquisitive. They want to know what happens and how long it takes, who Iíve met... Theyíve been very supportive and interested.
So how did it happen. How did you get into the business?
I just e-mailed the studios and said ďlisten, Iím interested in doing itĒ. And they said ďfineĒ. Theyíre not going to fly you out from South Africa so [the videos] happen when Iím in Europe. When I went to London earlier this year I applied to all the studios. For Lucas Entertainment last year they were shooting in Spain and I was working in Portugal at the time so they paid for my flight to Ibiza. In August Iíll be going to London and Europe so Iíll probably do three or four more videos then.
Do you think youíll be doing this for a while?
Yes. I enjoy it. I think itís quite fun. [Smiles]
How long do you think it could last as a career?
For me itís more of a hobby. Itís not a career. Itís something I do on the side. But you can last quite long because porn is kind of like a fetish thing. If you get older you can move into that daddy category, the bear category or whatever. You start out as a twink, become a muscle hunk and then a daddy bear.
How would you describe your type in the business?
Probably a twinkÖ working on becoming a 'twunk'. Thatís a muscle twink! [Laughs]
Would you consider yourself to be more highly sexed than most people? Do you think thatís played a role in your doing porn?
Letís get down to details. How long do the shoots usually take?
It takes about six hours. They do hair and makeup. And they do a photo shoot first. You do a scene and then they stop and then they shoot againÖ
Is it fun?
Itís a lot of fun. It also depends on the person youíre doing it with. Iíve been lucky. Iíve been with people that I immediately clicked with.Do you have a choice about who you get to perform with?
Well so far Iíve always been told ďthese are the people we want you to shoot with. Are you happy with it?Ē And I have a choice to say yes or no. But luckily Iíve been happy with everyone Iíve been presented withÖ
Is there any specific kind of porn you like watching?
Well, obviously I like Bel Ami. I like the twinks. But I also go from extreme to extreme. I also like the more rough, dark type of porn. With leather and a bit more kink in itÖ
Is there a difference between what you like watching and what you like doing?
No, itís pretty much the same. For Lucas Raunch I did a water sports scene, which Iím quite into. So Iím also into the more raunchy stuff. And I think people like it also because they donít usually get younger guys in porn who are into those kinds of things.
Any favourite performers that youíd like to work with?
Number one is definitely Harry Louis. Heís dating Marc Jacobs. And Jay Roberts. Iíve actually become quite good friends with him. Hopefully Iíll get to work with themÖ
Thereís an assumption that someone whoís doing porn would be quite promiscuousÖ
Iím not a slut. [Laughs] I think there is that whole stigma thing to it. But itís no different from any other guy out there hooking up with someone online or at a club. Itís just I do porn. Itís out there Ė people actually see it. While normally things go on behind closed doors.
What is it about doing porn that you enjoy, other than the sex? I mean you can enjoy sex without it being on camera.
Itís being filmed and other people seeing me. Knowing that people will be watching - it turns me on a lot. Maybe that does make me a slut! [Laughs]
Knowing that other people are going to be turned on by youÖ
Yes, definitely. Plus you get to have sex for a living and itís with hot guys. How can I complain?
A lot of porn actors also do escorting on the side.
To be honest. Itís something that I have done. Not for a long time. Itís not for me. I like having the choice of who I want to be with.
When was this?
When I was at varsity. And it wasnít proper escorting. It was just a quick something on the side. It was for the money. I was living all alone when I was studying and sometimes times got toughÖ [Laughs] You want to party and go out and have a good life and you need to make money somehow.
Is there anything you wonít do on camera? Are there any no-go areas?
Obviously unsafe sex. Thatís a no-go for me there. What elseÖ. What wouldnít I say yes to? I guess Iíd need to be presented with something. I canít think of anything off the top of my head. Although, Iím not really into the whole torture, rape thing. Thereís a whole market for that. Anything thatís actually painful, noÖ
Barebacking is huge in the industryÖ
If other guys want to do it, then they can do it. But itís not for me. I just really believe in safe sex. Even with my boyfriend we still use condoms after four years. Better be safe than sorry.
What turns you on about a guy?
I have this huge thing for guys with big pecs. Yes! The bigger the pecs, the more brownie points they score.
Well, not tiny. Obviously, big is always better but I can deal with the average. Iím not a big size queen.
I guess as I performer you have to be relatively substantial...
Yes, or a bottom. [Laughs]
Well, you have no problems in that department! Whatís your preference?
I prefer to be bottom. Sometimes you get asked to be top, but I prefer bottoming. Thatís my own preference in my life as well.
Did you have any insecurities or fears when you first started this?
Yes, when I did the first shoot, itís the most nerve-wracking thing that you could ever do. Youíre standing there in front of a whole crew, six or seven people, and you have to take your clothes off and have sex. And youíre thinking ďoh my god, am I going to get hard, am I going to stay hard, am I performing well?Ē Itís very nerve-wracking.
How do you overcome that?
You take Viagra! [Laughs]
But at what point do you start enjoying it?
You kind of just have to get your mindset right. You just have to realise that these people do this for a living. Youíre not the first person theyíve seen have sex and youíre not the last person. I think after the initial stage you get very comfortable. And the crew are usually great. Theyíre very supportive and they talk you through it. They tell you exactly what to do and they make you feel calm and good. It was on my first shoot that I met Jay Roberts and heís become like my porn brother. He sat me down and said, this is what you need to doÖ
When you watch yourself, what goes through your mind?
You criticise yourself. You go, ďoh my god, why did I do that? Why am I making such weird noises?Ē [Laughs] Itís quite interesting. And you learn, donít do that again.
Is it a turn-on to watch yourself?
No, not really. Iíve never been turned on watching my own porn videos.
And your boyfriend?
We havenít actually watched them together. Heís watched them alone and he gives me feedback. We do usually watch porn together, but not my videos.
Usually watching porn leads to sexÖ and I donít think he wants to have sex with me while watching me having sex with someone else. [Laughs] Itís a bit odd.
Thereís a perception that the porn business is a dark, sleazy world, full of drugs and gangsters. Whatís your experience of that?
Iíve never experienced that. When I was in London I met up with a lot of porn stars. And theyíre the guys who donít party till five oíclock in the morning. They go home at 12 because theyíve got a shoot in the morning. They donít drink and theyíre the more conservative guys in terms of socialising.Is it a kind of bitchy interaction?
There is a bit of a bitchy environment. Especially in London because there are so many porn stars there. But the guys Iíve worked with have been pretty cool. Towards me at least. All the guys Iíve worked with have also been in long term relationships, so that could be why we got along.
Tell me something that people wouldnít expect about making a porn film?
For me, I was surprised by how open those people are about these things. I arrived for my first scene in Ibiza. And as I walked in the door there were two people having sex and being filmed. And it was like, ďhi there, just put your stuff down there and have a seatĒ. Itís just like a job for them. That kind of surprised me.
Do you think weíre a little conservative in that regard in South Africa?
Yes we are. Well, we are conservative but thatís kind of like a faÁade. Thatís also what I discovered with people asking me about it. They wonít always admit that they watch it or that they would do it. They put up that appearance of being conservative.
So where to next?
Iím going to the UK in August and Spain and Iíll be shooting with UK Naked Men again and Christian Torrent in Spain. Iím also trying to get into Men at Play. Theyíre the dressed-up-in-suits kind of guys. They previously said Iím not their look, butÖ weíll seeÖ [Laughs]