Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
Blog Post Written By: Adrie Rose
I never went to journalism school or landed a journalism internship so I never learned the proper or official way to ask a subject to sit with me for an interview. I fully acknowledge that tweeting into the void and mentioning a threesome is not exactly professional, but it worked. It worked, I got to cross a very prominent item off of my bucket list, and now I can tell everyone that I talked to The Pope. Not the one in Vatican City saying extremely controversial (for a Catholic) things in one breath then blaming childfree women for the total collapse of society in the next. The Pope, aka the 6 and a half foot tall guy in all black that lurks menacingly in the corner of kink.com’s more theatrical productions. But don’t let his performer persona fool you – when off camera, he’s totally just a guy named JP. A guy with super exacting business standards, a great t-shirt collection, and an abiding love for Halsey – especially her early work. When I first discovered Kink, of course, I didn’t care about any of that. But approximately 5 years later, I got to talk to him about Only Fans, social media, SESTA/FOSTA, and everyone’s favourite global health crisis.
First question, right off the bat, what the hell does tree trunk mean?
Yeah, on the Kink website…the actor profiles…yours says tree trunk.
Ok, the short answer is supposed to be that I’m very well-endowed. The long answer is that I didn’t write it nor is it accurate. Several years ago someone poked fun at me because it also said my build is muscular and I’m maybe dad bod…at best. But I guess someone thought I was cute, or they were cute, and put in a bunch of ridiculous information about me.
If I had to compare, I would say Owen Gray, maybe, is tree trunk.
Yeah, I can see that.
So yes, larger than average is what tree trunk is supposed to be but I am very much average.
Thank you. I’ve needed to know that for years. For the first official question, have you made any changes to your process since the pandemic began?
At first, we were remote recording. We’re doing Zoom or Skype calls with whatever equipment people had at home. We would try to write scenarios that made the most sense for whoever they were quarantining with. At first, that was fun, but it quickly became frustrating because I’m used to having my videographer, my gear, my studio, and creative control while they had a work light and an iPhone. But the goal was to get us fed. We weren’t out to make a killing – it was let’s make enough to pay my bills and get you your rate. So we made it work.
But once we started learning more about it [Covid], I spent like 8 hours doing a ton of research. Not “research” like on my phone and playing games, but 8 hours of legitimate investment in reading and writing up a bunch of documents and procedures to take to the CEO of Kink, explaining how I would make it work, be safe, and limit the risk. It was a few more months before her answer changed from “I’m scared for all of you and I don’t want you to be at risk” to “Ok, I’m comfortable with this.” When we first started, it was gloves and masks on everyone, rules about how long you had to wait between shoots, and we added Covid to the full panel – that’s the blood work models get done. When the vaccine came out, everyone got it.
Long answer short, it was a lot of hurdles but it’s worth it if everyone is staying safe.
That makes a lot of sense. It’s a lot of work, like spending 8 hours writing documents. No one tells you when you become an internet whore, but there’s a lot of paperwork.
That’s very real. My wife is my business partner and she handles the business side of things. I’m the pretty face – that’s a joke. I’m the talent and the creative part. When we left The Armory to start our own production company, she asked to handle that side of things because she’s very smart and I said, “No, I’m an asshole and I want things done a particular way.” She says, “I don’t care. You can do it your way but I’m not going to live with you while you try to do everything yourself.” So we sat down to work it out and I wanted things done a particular way so we went back and forth for a bit. Then my therapist helped me relinquish some control and we went and did what we individually do best.
She does all the paperwork for us but it’s so funny. The models call her “mama bear” because she’s on them too. Once she gets to know them, she’s on them, but not in a forceful way. It’s, “Have you gotten your paperwork done? Have you gotten your S-Corp in? Be a responsible human.” Because, at the end of the day, yes there are fun perks about what we do but it’s still a job. Every one of us is a small business owner.
Oh that’s fun. It’s like being dommed on camera and then mommy dommed off camera to do your taxes on time.
It is. When we first started the company and she was setting up her email address, she asked if she could use “thepopesboss” and I said, “Yes, don’t let anyone take that away from you.” Everyone thinks it’s cute because I’m 6’4” and 200 lbs while she’s 5’2” and a little over 100 lbs but she’s still the boss. I called her “Boss Lady” on a live at the beginning of the pandemic and now the internet knows her as “Boss Lady.”
You started an OnlyFans during the pandemic. Was that just the best of a bad situation or a genuinely useful tool?
It started as the best of a bad situation. I had one from before the pandemic but I was awful at it. I was lazy. I had pictures, because I’m proud of what I do, and when you upload them it benefits both parties. So I would put the pictures up there and forget about them. But when all of this happened, I thought, “Well, I have all this content.” So I started uploading it and working with it and it turned out to be really beneficial.
The larger corporations probably won’t be happy to hear me say this, but fuck them. It’s probably one of the best things that’s happened for our models – and me as a performer. Instead of some company holding something over your head, the model can choose what they do and who they work with. And now people are coming in and thinking, “I want that.”
These multi-million dollar companies would be nothing without the talent. If you take away all the hot girls, I’m just some guy in all black, in the middle of a room, holding a rope.
Well I’m sure that someone’s kink.
Probably, but it’s a small group.
I think one of the best things about Only Fans is that it’s really equalized the industry. You don’t need a Sony A7-whatever, tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear, and a warehouse to film anymore. You only need an iPhone and a ring light.
That’s wild to me. When I started, we were filming at 4:3 and when 16:9 came out I couldn’t imagine what to do with all this extra space. So you invest all this time and money into learning and keeping up with the changing technology, then Only Fans comes along and it’s like, “...an iPhone? They’re making more money than me and I’ve got a fucking 4,000 foot studio?” It was infuriating for a minute but then you either get on board or get out of the way. You learn how to monetize that too.
Especially after SESTA/FOSTA, it’s filled a gap for sex workers that feel like they’re constantly looking over their shoulder for content restrictions.
Absolutely. When I first started the podcast… Some backstory — I started the podcast because my wife kept telling me things like, “Did you know Casey Calvert has this really cute dog.” I wanted other people to see us, to see sex workers, in that humanizing way. So when I first started it and I uploaded it to YouTube, I thought, “If Joe Rogan can say the shit he says and get $30 million a year for it, I want a piece of that.” And we kept getting flagged for the monetization policy.
It sucks, because it’s censorship. And like most censorship, they say, “We’re trying to help you. We’re trying to keep people safe.” With sex workers, they say, “Oh, it’s trafficking!”
It’s a new boogeyman.
You said you started a podcast. Was that because of the pandemic or was it something you were already doing?
It started before the pandemic. Like I said, I saw my wife humanizing the models and wanted other people to see that. So I started by asking a friend to go get coffee with me and I recorded it. The idea behind it was to show people that there’s more to us than being told where to stand and what to put in our mouths – to show the human side of us.
One of the better things about Only Fans is that it allows us to separate our work and things we can’t post on social media from our jobs. Sure, some people really like to fuck for money, but it’s still a job.
It is. Sure, I’m a guy that wears all black and hangs out in a dungeon but I also have dogs and a child and a wife. I don’t want to talk about work, I want to talk about those things.
It flew by but we’re at about an hour. Before we go, is there any advice you want to give people?
Advice for performers or humans?
Either one. Advice for anyone.
For people that are interested in this industry, I would say do your research. Most of us want to genuinely help other people avoid the mistakes we made. Find a sex worker friendly accountant and be smart when you set up your bank account.
For human advice, fucking be nice to each other.
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