An XXXtraordinary Day Job

Porn Star Insists His Job is Safe, Satisfying

By Tiffani Teng

 

Denis Reed AKA Pavel Matous AKA Ian Voight has starred in many films in the Czech porn industry.

Denis Reed AKA Pavel Matous AKA Ian Voight has starred in many films in the Czech porn industry.

Denis Reed, 28, is a porn star, and he wears the mantle proudly.

“My plan is to continue even ’til I am 60 years old, depending on my health,” Reed said. “I’ve had nothing but good things to say about the time I’ve spent in the industry,” he said. 

At five feet nine inches tall, with blonde hair and brown eyes, Reed has classic boy-next-door looks. His t-shirt, despite being a bit loose, still highlights the curves of his chiseled shoulders, chest and biceps. It’s hard to believe that someone who appears so clean-cut on the surface is one of the most cast adult film actors in the Czech Republic, where it is particularly easy to produce pornography due to low production costs and liberal regulations.

Reed has made a name, or several, for himself in porn. He uses various aliases such as Pavel Matous and Ian Voight. His resume includes employment with a number of top name adult video studios like William Higgins, Titan and Falcon. Reed has shot hundreds of movies and scenes, dabbling in all types of porn from gay and bisexual to “mature” porn with women older than 60.

Reed was recently named the top male star at Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network. The North Carolina-based Internet firm was a pioneer in video on-demand. Its system is now considered the template to porn’s digital success.

While the US internet porn industry was estimated at being a $3 billion in a 2007 New York Times investigation, the Czech industry is not as lucrative but is a notable part of the country’s culture. The low religiosity and the very culturally accepting attitude towards pornography has made the Czech Republic one of the premiere porn production destinations.

Reed is perhaps typical of those who work in the Czech Republic adult video industry. He has avoided government scrutiny and public stigma. The Czech Republic, a former Eastern Bloc with a liberal sexual outlook, continues to be a hotbed for the gay porn industry. According to Cafe Babel, porn stars can earn up to eight times as much for doing a gay scene. In a pragmatic nation, porn provides an easy opportunity to earning an income.

“At the beginning, my parents thought I was just a model. Now they know. If anything it is just something we can joke with each other about.”

Reed was first introduced to the business through nude modeling, but after some shoots, he took the logical route and dived into on-screen performing. “It was naturally the next step,” he said. “There was more money.”

When asked about the reasons people went into the porn industry, Matej Zucha, an affiliate manager for a company focused on producing adult videos, said, “Money, money, money.” 

“The closest family usually knows about the nature of their work, and due to the economic situation, they usually accept this kind of occupation,” Zucha, 25, said. “In general they are coming from the families with insufficient funds. That’s why they go for fast and kind of easy money.”

Reed’s 10-year-and-counting run with the adult video industry has been littered with minimal negative encounters. He said that he does not feel stigmatized by friends and family that know about his alter-ego.

“At the beginning, my parents thought I was just a model,” Reed, who had, back in 2004, thought his gig in the pornography industry would be a short one, said. “Now they know. If anything it is just something we can joke with each other about.”

Reed initially starred in just solo scenes but soon found himself with a female partner and eventually a male scene partner was added to the roster. This transition also seemed logical to Reed who found that, although he stumbled at first, he quickly got over it. “I think it’s the same for anything new. New things are awkward. Doing gay porn for the first time wasn’t any different.”

“I used to identify as straight, but now, I guess I’d say I’m bisexual,” Reed said.

However, Reed says he could not recall a time he has not had a girlfriend. “Getting into the business was great for my wallet,” he said. “I could always afford a nice dinner and presents for my girlfriend.”  He married his long-term girlfriend in the summer of 2013.

Reed’s wife, who asked that her name not be used for this article, said that she had initial concerns when she first found out about her then-boyfriend’s profession. Like his parents, he had told her that he was a model, but as the relationship seemed to be growing serious, Reed told her the truth. “I ignored his messages for a while,” she said. It was because she disliked being lied to. “But he really got to me and it became an obstacle we got over.” Now, she often visits sets and even talks to the workers at the studio, including his scene partners. “He’s showed that he’s just a really good, genuine guy.”

Despite his busy schedule, one that includes a newborn and dozens of shoots, Reed exudes a mellow vibe. One of his hobbies is to smoke marijuana.

“There was a mass group scene in a metro, 20 actors fucking. For half a year I couldn’t even go out because the police were looking for me.”

Among his favorite scenes to shoot are those with a voyeuristic quality, shot in a public without city permits. Sometimes it’s just a talk scene, but there are also scenes with intercourse shot outside.

Usually no issues arise, but Reed recalls a time a few years ago where he was almost arrested. “There was a mass group scene in a metro, 20 actors fucking,” he said. “For half a year I couldn’t even go out because the police were looking for me.”

Despite Reed’s legal fears, the Czech Republic has very lax laws concerning the production of porn in the country.

Unlike the United States, where in the major porn hot spot of California all performers are required to wear condoms and undergo mandatory STD screening, the Czech laws are much friendlier towards unsafe sexual practices. 

This is a major draw for viewers who pay to view “barebacking,” anal sex without condoms.

Reed is frequently featured in barebacking videos with titles like “Czechers: A Bareback Game” or “Bareback Road Trip.”

Despite having had more than 260 scene partners, Reed is unfazed by any potential risks he may have shooting bareback scenes. “The sex we have is completely safe. No one can film a scene with any kind of infection and studios take care of us,” Reed said.

Some days, Reed has arrived to set and been told that a shoot would not occur because the “passive,” the male in the scene who is penetrated, had gotten a “not serious std.” Before every scene, Reed said the actors he work with undergo medical checks including tests for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis and chlamydia. 

According to surveys and condom sales, the Czech Republic has one of the lowest rates of condom usage in Europe. However, HIV infection rates are extremely low in the Czech nation, especially compared to the rest of the European Union, so porn actors have very few qualms about unprotected sex. According to a 2012 report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe, 2,100 adults, less than 0.1% of the adult population, were living with HIV/AIDS in the Czech Republic. 

Reed says that since the use of condoms in scenes is rare, the Czech Republic is an appealing destination for firms producing porn, which cater to a Western audience outside of the former Eastern Bloc.

Despite the rosy picture Reed paints of his profession, there are moments where he does feel exploited but not by his employers.

He occasionally takes to his Twitter and Facebook page to interact with his English-speaking fans.

Reed occasionally interacts with his English-speaking fans via Facebook and Twitter. Recently Reed, as part of a longer status, posted on his Facebook: “I’m not a prostitute, stop to propose me ‘private bookings,’” an occurrence he says happens more often than he’d like. “I like my job. But sometimes there are good and bad things from the job. I try to focus on the good.”

Tiffani Teng is in the NYU College of Arts and Science class of 2017. Her home town is New York City. 

 

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Categories: Spring 2015 Issue Number 1

Author:The Prague Wandering

The Prague Wandering is an NYU based study abroad webzine- the only one of its kind. It focuses on issues in contemporary Czech culture and the city of Prague, exploring beyond the study abroad bubble.

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