It is rare for me to be taken aback by someone who is so physically desirable that its hard for me to comprehend words when speaking to said person. When that persons intelligence, wit and humor equal the aesthetic, it is even harder. That is how I see the gifted, handsome and absurdly smart Bryan Knight when I met him a couple of months ago at the 2015 Hookie Awards here in New York City.
Bryan, who has lived in New York for quite some time now, has a lot on his plate. One of the best masseurs out there, to the point where he won an award for it at the 2014 Hookies, he spends his time keeping clients happy and people turned on as he has made quite the name for himself in the adult industry. On top of that, Bryan is an incredibly gifted artist who is making his name in that particular field known as well. With all this going on, Bryan sat down with me to talk all about it including how he got started, his weirdest encounter with a client, thoughts on barebacking, art, and so much more. Take a look.
So Bryan, what got you into the masseur business in the first place?
After I finished my first internship in upstate New York, I responded to a Craigslist ad for a carpenter. I arrived at the funeral home at 10 in the morning in the middle of desolate nowhere. An older gentleman in a candy-striped shirt, pink suspenders, khaki pants and snow-white hair answered the door. He looked innocent enough. He told me that the carpentry job had already been done and I was disappointed. Then he said “Would you be willing to give me a massage instead?”
So, we went to the embalming room. I made sixty bucks, and it was amazing. It didn’t bother me that there was a dead body in the cooler next to us. As he’s rising from the slab, he says, “You are really good at this! You should do this for a living.” So, I took his advice to heart. Ten [sessions] became a hundred and grew. By the thousandth session, I realized I had started a career. And last year I won Best Masseur at The Hookies.
Sometimes when people do massage on their ads it can also parlay them into doing the full blown escort experience. When did that part of your career begin?
Most visitors want real therapeutic work, but they want a hand job at the end. This was just something they could not get where they were told they were supposed to go. Afterwards, about two years into it, both my parents lost their jobs. I felt very strong obligations to help them and help myself be independent. Escorting offered the promise of a lot more money with a lot less effort. So I tried it out. Then it became part of who I am and how I take care of myself.
If you had to choose, what do you prefer more- the masseur side of the business or the escort side?
The massage aspect I am excellent at. I try to be the best at this. Escorting was much more than the physical act I realized, so it was harder at first. I’m getting better at it now by understanding and really connecting with people. Not just because of the physical act but creating an experience and memories that they want. They want to look back fondly on these amazing times and want to feel happy. They won’t remember my face or what we did but they’ll remember how they felt about themselves and the whole experience, and that is what the escorting business is doing for clients in the long run.
You say you are getting more comfortable with the escorting situation; however has there ever been a situation with a client that was completely out of your comfort zone?
A very famous movie producer hired me three times, and on the fourth time he was drugged out of his mind. We didn’t do anything; we just sat alone in a dark room for four hours. Then I went to leave and wanted to be paid, and he started putting me down. Like really, really trying to tear me down. I wasn’t worried so much about a physical threat, but the fact was someone essentially went crazy. He was one person one day and a completely different person the next day. That was really scary.
He made all sorts of non realistic threats when I left, without getting paid. It wasn’t the worst, I wasn’t hurt, it was just a waste of an evening which I have had before. Very rarely though.
The biggest danger I face is emotional assault. There are haters out there. Hate is not something that just rolls off your back. You have to wash it out or it settles in your skin and makes you sick.
Most people however are awesome (or at least neutral)l so they don’t really care or bother me. The bad ones made me depressed or discouraged especially early on when I couldn’t talk about what I did. When I started I didn’t tell many people when I came out about it but now I am open with most people.
If the domino effect continues with the masseur to the escort, chances are that some guys then lead themselves into the adult industry on camera. Is that something you are doing right now?
Yes I am. I’ve done a total of 11 scenes since 2010. Four for Bear Films, five for Tyler Reed and one for New York Straight Men & 1 for Gentleman’s Closet (which was just sold to Trenton Ducati.) For Gentleman’s Closet, the guy was under my foot and I was stomping on him. That was one of my favorite videos ever. There was little cock shown but it was fun! I didn’t know how sexy it would be to put on men’s stocking and garters. I thought only Skye Woods can do that and get away with it.
11 scenes is impressive however over the course of 5 years seems minimal. Why is that?
Right now, porn is fun. Porn is good promotion. I want to do stuff that looks good and that is fun. I have had experiences on film where it was work, and I thought “I could do better”. Not like Raging Stallion or Titan Men, which is really staged. I’ve heard that their working hours are really long. My primary concern is- do we have good chemistry? Is it fun? Can viewers share the fun? I just did a video with Scott Reynolds, which is not a typical lineup. However, the chemistry was authentic and the viewers really like it. Most people who commented on my say that was their favorite video.
Do you have any particular directors or actors in the industry that you would like to work with, and why?
I love Mike Cruise (www.rentmen.com/mikecruisenyc). He’s a sweetheart. Him and I get along so well. Dallas Goodbar, who is also working with me on my comic books, is a really nice guy and we can do some fetish stuff together. He has a great dry sense of humor. Chris Roberts is someone I wanted to do the son-daddy-coach roleplaying scene with him forever. He’s so good at it, and I would consider him a master in his field. I like my bottoms ranging from lean scruffy college-guy otters to big belly powerlifters, to muscular bears out of a Bara comic. I also would like filming with more men of color, because I love seeing the contrast on film. Leo Donato and Tyson Tyler are the first sexy men of color that come to mind.
Barebacking in the adult industry- yay or nay?
Have you seen any of my videos? They are all bareback, except for the solo and fetish videos. I did my first video with my boyfriend which was bareback. We did it for fun, but I figured I would be excluded from most of the major studios afterwards.
Mainstream studios tend to be avoid performers who shoot bareback for a couple of reasons. For instance, straight people still blame gay people for AIDS in one form or another. They see guys doing it without condoms and hate us, or at least implicitly blame us. “Oh, those guys are doing it and doing exactly what got us in this trouble in the first place.
Bareback sex between men is also interpreted to mean some sort of irresponsibility or morally reprehensible behavior than between a male and female. There are all these ingrained biases that the porn company perpetuates they think that if they cater to the audience. They believe they make more money by excluding actors who do bareback by minimizing their liability.
The bareback porn is emerging more on an amateur level because that is what men want to see. They are tired of being told they can’t have sex the way they want to. Realistically there is this amazingly pervasive ignorance of what it means to have STD’s and live with a long-term disease. Most guys today cannot conceive of having every other of their friends die and disappear and not know what happened during the 80s and 90s. They cannot conceive of that. So because they do not have direct experience with what happened, they assume that “Oh it’s not going to bother me, it is manageable”
The other thing is- it is still a human rights issue. Gays try to gain acceptance in the government by pandering to the straight crowd saying, “Hey we are just like you. We deserve the same rights as you but we just have same-sex relationships.” Bareback and all the stigmas around the practice is not in alignment with that message. So, at least publically, bareback is still rejected.
We are still fighting for marriage equality and other rights, so people don’t kill us or bully us and we don’t lose our jobs over it. Opponents use bareback sex as a weapon against us, even if it’s absurd. The gay political community wants to remove any tools that our opponents can use.
Ultimately? I think it’s about self-choice. You can reasonably assume that a legal adult who consents to the activity also takes responsibility for educating themselves about the risks involved with the activity.
Just from being in your apartment I can tell you are very creative. There is a lot going on visually from my standpoint. What else do you have going on in the world that is Mister Bryan Knight outside of what people know you most for?
Unofficially, I am producing comics. I have six artists in different stages of different projects. I’m actively looking for more artists and colorists as well. I am not going to say what the projects are but if you are tired of Grindr and Scruff, the next comic book project is just for you.
I want to do memoirs of male sex workers in the industry in comic book format. There is only one book, only one, that I know of called “Rentgirl.” I felt the author could have brought more to the table. It was bold for its time however I think I can do better- both male, female and in between.
I’m working on a children’s comic as a gift for my boyfriend, and our friends love it. Our relationship has lasted because we blame all our problems on our imaginary pets. The laughter has gotten us through some hard times together. This comic is our love letter.
Long term, I would accept other writers and turn their work into graphic novels. My escort clients are seeing this artwork and saying “We want our erotic fantasies personally illustrated”. So my artists are getting bumps in their business through me.
So these are so many different outlets that make Bryan ultimately Bryan. What is your favorite of all of them?
As I grow and expand and I am able to handle more. Massage helps me heal people and relaxes me. Escorting is exciting. Comic Books allow me to record experiences from the first two and create art that people relate to because it is authentic. These three activities are part a single cohesive process.
In conclusion- what are you hopeful for a year from now?
Most of my life is the way that I want it to be. I’m actively developing books, savings for a home, bodybuilding, and a number of things. There are times where I need to slow down and appreciate it and not work so hard. Just to enjoy what I have. As I get older I am sure I will slow down a little bit but that will come.